Evan Hackel is CEO of Tortal Training, a leading training development company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Tortal uses strategic engagement methodologies and specializes in developing mobile training platforms for organizations with distributed workforces. Evan is also Founder and Principal of Ingage Consulting, a management and leadership consulting firm located in Woburn, Massachusetts.
Evan is in demand as a training and leadership consultant, keynote speaker, profit-builder, and more. Before leading Tortal Training and Ingage Consulting, Evan spent 20 years on the top executive team at CCA Global Partners, where he led four international business divisions with more than 2000 units that earned more than $5 billion in sales. Evan founded and supervised CCA’s marketing, national programs and training departments. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the IFA’s Knowledge Sharing Committee and is a current and former board member of many organizations, cooperatives and groups to which he lends his expertise.
Evan is author of the highly successful book Ingaging Leadership: 21 Steps to Elevate Your Business.
Evan received a BA in Economics from Colorado College and an MBA from Boston College.
Evan is a family man. When he is not at his desk or on the road for consulting and speaking engagements, you can find him and his family on the ski slopes . . . most likely in Maine.
Cordell Riley is Owner and President of Tortal Training, a leading training development company he founded in Charlotte, North Carolina, in year 2000. Tortal uses strategic engagement methodologies and specializes in developing mobile training platforms for organizations with distributed workforces. A recognized training expert with extensive experience in the franchising sectors, Cordell has spent more than 20 years helping thousands of companies achieve outstanding success through training. He is a sought-after keynote speaker who addresses conferences and company seminars nationwide.
After his time in college and the military, Cordell launched his career at Driven Brands, the owner of Meineke and Maaco. During 20 years there, he rose through the ranks with increasing levels of responsibility for Operations and Training. He then founded his own company, Tortal Training, in 2000.
Cordell is recognized as a pioneer who was among the first to focus on the critical role that training plays in cultivating great brands. At Tortal, he has assembled a powerhouse team of top training professionals and problem-solvers who have made his company the industry leader in identifying and achieving critical business goals, designing training, developing learning solutions, creating innovative training for mobile devices, and other key capabilities.
A highly sought-after keynote speaker, Cordell currently serves on the Supplier Board for the International Franchise Association (IFA), and has served on the Educational Foundation of the IFA, the Board of Governors for the Institute for Certified Franchise Executives (CFE), the Education Committee of the Automotive Aftermarket Association, and as a Trustee of the Motorist Assurance Program.
Cordell graduated from Mississippi State University and served stateside during Operation Desert Shield. Cordell loves Charlotte, North Carolina, where he lives with Donna, his wife of 21 years. Their two children began college in 2017.
Cordell describes himself as a “huge Carolina Panthers fan.” When he is not busy being a family man, watching his team win, running Tortal Training, or traveling to give keynotes, you will find him fishing or pampering and showing his classic Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
Dan Black provides learning development consulting to existing clients so they can better leverage the power of eLearning to reach strategic business objectives. He helps his clients discover innovative solutions and increase performance metrics while minimizing impact to budget.
Dan is a recognized expert in eLearning solutions, training development, leadership and business development and is consulted by organizations of all sizes. Over his career, he has developed training programs, online curriculums, and designed workshops for multiple companies.
All of us are excited that Lynn Buannic has joined Tortal as a Learning Strategist. But to tell the truth, Lynn is not completely new to us because she and Crystalle Ramey, our VP of Learning Development, worked side-by-side doing training development for Time Warner Business Class during a time of explosive growth. After Crystalle joined Tortal, she jumped at the chance to bring Lynn on board.
Lynn explains, “My professional goal has always been `deliver impactful learning at the speed of business.’ I work with clients to focus on understanding their need for change, their budget and the time requirement and my philosophy is, we will find a way! With a blank sheet of paper, anybody can write the Great American Training Masterpiece, but in business, we work within common constraints (budgets, culture, and timing) to craft effective training solutions.”
Lynn has spent more than 20 years creating, implementing, and measuring effective learning solutions in telecommunications and other industries. Back in the 1990s, she got her first job working for a small regional cable television company in New Jersey. When a colleague left to begin a small boutique consulting company, Maher & Maher, Lynn seized the opportunity to join her.
While at Maher & Maher, Lynn led the team that introduced a blended learning solution that reduced training time by over 50% and enabled an increase from three launches yearly to twelve. “A change of Biblical proportions,” she says with a laugh.
Lynn lives in West Long Branch, New Jersey, and loves life there. “I’ve lived in Buffalo, Virginia, Denver, and New Jersey. But I grew up in New Jersey and I am a Jersey girl, and it is great to be back! I live a mile from the ocean and enjoy taking my dog Jersey to the beach!”
Lynn is part of a big, close-knit family that gets together every Saturday for dinner. Somewhere between a dozen and 25 people are always there. An important part of her family is Lynn’s wonderful daughter, Aimee, the mom to Lynn’s grandson! “Life is what we make it, and it’s my responsibility to make it a great day” Lynn says.
Brannon Dreher joins Tortal Training as a Client Engagement Manager. Brannon has over 15 years’ experience in business development, event planning, marketing, international marketing, sales management, brand positioning, e-marketing, direct marketing, social media and public relationships across a number of commercial, industrial, and retail market niches. Brannon brings a continual learning focus, and communication skills to produce quantifiable results.
Brannon returns to the Learning and Development space to provide blended learning solutions for companies based on need and to create customized learning solutions for the clients, while increasing the effectiveness of company’s human capital whether it’s business development, service through client retention or effective leadership.
Brannon holds a Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing & Business Development, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing & Management and had his thesis published (Dreher, B. (2011). Alternative Agriculture for the Tobacco Farmer in Kentucky Business Lexington)
Brannon also coaches a 18U-17U Showcase Baseball team named the Charlotte Megastars. Brannon recruits young talented baseball players throughout North Carolina and South Carolina to play in his organization. Mentoring/coaching these young men to be leaders, helping them receive scholarship money and preparing them for college, career and their life.
Brannon volunteers for an afterschool program for at risk kids at Billingsville Elementary, mentoring and coordinating fund raising events for the program.
Before Joining Tortal Training, Megan Sweeney spent more than 20 years developing and running training for restaurant groups such as Hillstone Restaurants, 131 Main and BlackFinn AmeriPub. In addition to her extensive experience in the restaurant sector, she has created and implemented successful training programs for eHarmony and other companies.
Megan fell in love with training when she was enrolled in restaurant training programs early in her career. Today, she loves helping companies identify their needs, meet them through training, and move to the next level of success.
Megan, who grew up in Northern Virginia, now enthusiastically resides in Charlotte, where she enjoys kickboxing and taking advantage of all the eateries and great activities our city provides.
Crystalle Ramey has over 20+ years of Corporate Learning & Development experience for companies such as MasterCard International, JPMorgan Chase, Time Warner Cable Business Class, Kelly Services and most recently owned her own company The Bulb Effect. Her roots in adult learning began as a Marksmanship Instructor in the United States Marine Corps and served during the Gulf War and the Somalia Relief Effort. Her experience is complimented by her education; having achieved an AS in International Business at Westchester Community College, a BS in Organizational Development at Manhattanville College and most recently a M.Ed. in Instructional Systems Technology at UNC Charlotte.
Additionally, she served a total of 5 years on the board for Association for Talent Development (ATD) Charlotte and just recently received her PMP certification. She tries to find any opportunity to make you laugh and is a comedian that has opened for several nationally touring comedians.
She is passionate about creating learning experiences that inspire behavior change. She regularly attends and speaks at conferences regarding topics that advance the learning profession by empowering learning professionals.
Mike Ziglar has over 27 years of experience in the fields of Learning and Development and Customer Service. Mike joined Tortal in 2007 after an 18-year career with Delta Air Lines, Inc. where he worked in Customer Service, Station Supervision, Corporate Security, Learning Facilitation, and Learning Design. Mike has an associate’s degree in Aviation Maintenance and Technologies in which he obtained his aircraft mechanical licenses for both airframe and power plant ratings. He is currently Tortal’s Senior Instructional Designer, performing many functions to maintain the production process as well as research and develop new products.
Stephanie Stiles is Director of Learning Development of Tortal Training. Today, she oversees the design and development of Tortal’s strategic learning solutions. She works with Tortal clients and the Tortal team to ensure training needs are met, expectations are exceeded, and quality learning solutions are delivered. Stephanie champions the Tortal Training tagline, “Effective Training Made Easier.”
Stephanie joined Tortal Training in 2002 as an Instructional Designer. She has risen through the ranks with increasing levels of responsibilities. She launched her training career in the financial sector, where she worked for BB&T, one of the largest financial service holding companies in the U.S. Through Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, she has led training programs for youth, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities and specialized needs and helped them find a pathway to careers in banking, She also spent time at Abby Inc., a leading provider of payment processing training.
Stephanie grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. She married her high school sweetheart and they currently reside in Huntersville, NC with their two teenage daughters.
When she is not working diligently on a Tortal project, you can find her passionately supporting her daughters’ dance competitions and softball tournaments.
David Smith, who joined Tortal Training in 2017, is expert in two different stages of training development. First, he interviews clients, analyzes their past training approaches, and helps define learning objectives. Second, he takes that information and builds learning platforms and software to create effective training that “sticks” and moves the needle.
“I am invested in Tortal’s philosophy of the Four D’s,” David says. “That means Define, Design, Develop and Deploy.”
David first got excited about training after he graduated college and starting working as a business analyst for a large bank. “I was the technical liaison between the call center and the IT department,” he recalls. “And because of that, I discovered the critical role that training can play in achieving business objectives.” David then spent 10 years at Epiq Systems, where he was responsible for developing training delivered using the company’s proprietary software.
Those experiences explain why David brings a unique mixture of experiences and abilities to the Tortal team.
David grew up in Cleveland and earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from Cleveland State. Recently, he earned a Masters in Information Technology from Bloomsburg University.
Because he got tired of Ohio winters, he made the decision to move to Miami, where he enjoys walking to the beach, working out with his trainer, and just generally being warm. Plus, he is psyched because he has tickets to see Elton John in November.
Matt brings keen skills and a “can do” attitude to everything he does to develop and deliver great training for Tortal clients. “It comes down to determining the client’s needs,” he says, “and then delivering them in a fantastic manner.”
Matt excels at every phase of learning development. He can be at those first meetings with clients to identify training goals. He likes the technical side of translating big ideas into training that pops on phones or screens. But he also loves thorny tasks like converting old courseware from old to newer tech, and jumping into projects at the midway point.
Because Matt Cole is part of the team, your project will be in great hands at Tortal.
After completing college, Matt launched his career in hospitality, where he was a party coordinator, supervisor and then, finally a trainer. He brought his new enthusiasm for training to Tortal when he began here more than four years ago, then added the latest computer and technical skills to become a top instructional designer.
“I did whatever they asked me to do,” Matt says with a laugh. That’s a modest way of saying that he soaks up knowledge like a sponge.
Matt was born and raised in Florida. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from the highly innovative Florida International University in Miami where he became, in his words, “Oriented toward making organizations work more efficiently, with a higher happiness level.”
Matt now lives in Charlotte, where he is part of a paintball team that plays what he calls “scenario games.” He loves a good sci-fi movie or series, and escapes by reading graphic novels. He is engaged to be married in October 2017.
Lee has over 17 years of software development and Web administration experience covering a wide array of technologies and industries. Lee’s technical proficiency and strategic understanding of various user levels and technology-based business approaches allows him to create and improve processes to elevate performance and enhance profitability in both technical and non-technical organizations.
Joshua De La Vega
Joshua is a bilingual IT professional developer and consultant with project management experience in various technology platforms, in diverse cultures and environments (latin-american and north-american). Josh has over 17 years of experience as a consultant working as a Software Development Engineer with companies in varous industries. He is a hands-on Engineer avid to discover ways of putting new technologies to work. His experience in managing Web consulting projects has allowed him to develop competencies in planning, deploying, migrating and developing the most intricate software solutions and generating solid customer relationships.