PDA: Leadership

SMCCCD PDA 2022-23


Leading teams series

Complete any 4 workshops to receive a Certificate of Completion. Trainings are offered on a first come, first served basis with a cap of 50 participants. Offered Fall 2022 & Spring 2023.

"It was really helpful to join this meeting during this difficult time to learn how to be patient, strong with ourselves and colleagues and our own family." - Canada participant

How to Say Anything to Anyone: Managing Critical Conversations

Trainer: Rae Ann Ianniello | Date: Thursday, Aug 25.| Time: 12:00 – 1:00

Do you get uncomfortable handling challenging or emotionally charged conversations? Instead of avoiding tense situations, would you like to learn proven techniques for getting the best results for all parties involved? In this interactive session, you will learn how:

Key Outcomes:

  • Develop clear goals for your conversation

  • Prepare for a productive conversation

  • Have healthy and respectful discussions

  • Move from conversation to action

Leading Effective Meetings

Trainer: Sandy Benz | Date: Thursday, Sept 22. | Time: 12:00 – 1:00

Consider for a moment what you dislike most in meetings…and what you like best. Now imagine using that knowledge to lead your own productive meetings. How would you prepare, encourage participation, and handle difficult behaviors? This interactive and fun workshop will provide proven strategies to implement right away.

Key Outcomes:

  • Create a preparation checklist for effective online and in-person meetings

  • Identify methods to facilitate group decision-making and consensus

  • Anticipate and address difficult behaviors

  • Create a self-evaluation for continually improved meetings

Know and Grow Your Team

Trainer: Sandy Benz | Date: Thursday, Oct 20. | Time: 12:00 – 1:00

During the past year, many teams have returned to the workplace, began using hybrid work arrangements, and are experiencing staff turnover. It’s easy to wonder, “How well do I know my team?” Understanding each other’s work preferences, styles and strengths and contributions is an important part of creating and maintaining high levels of team effectiveness. This course will allow you to explore several ways to know and grow your team – virtually and in person.

Key Outcomes:

  • Assess your own team's most recent changes, needs and opportunities

  • Explore several approaches to getting to know your team

  • Review a variety of resources for growing your team

  • Measure your team's effectiveness on a short- and long-term basis

Leading with Emotional Intelligence

Trainer: Jackie Welch | Date: Friday, Oct 28.| Time: 09:00 – 10:00

More than 3,000 studies prove that leaders with high emotional intelligence are more effective, make better decisions, and have greater career success. In this interactive session, you will learn how to boost your emotional intelligence by exploring the topics of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

Key Outcomes:

  • Assess your EI

  • Develop the 4 competencies of EI

  • Manage emotional people and situations

  • Demonstrate empathy

  • Plan a relationship chat

A 60-Minute Crash Course in Giving Feedback

Trainer: Rae Ann Ianniello | Date: Friday, Dec 9. | Time: 09:00 – 10:00

How well do you deliver and receive feedback? How can you use feedback to improve your relationships, get your needs met, and grow your skills? In this interactive session, you will learn how to:

Key Outcomes:

  • Deliver specific, helpful, relevant feedback in a positive way

  • Use a toolbelt of techniques for giving and receiving feedback

  • Identify and address ineffective feedback

  • Practice giving supportive and constructive feedback

Leadership Development Series

Complete any 4 workshops to receive a Certificate of Completion. Trainings are offered on a first come, first served basis with a cap of 50 participants. Offered Fall 2022 & Spring 2023.

"For a very short window of time, I was grateful to connect with others in the SMCCD community to learn together and hear others' best practices with their teams, and have the support of a group that I know shares many of the same values. Thank you so much for holding this engaging, empathetic, and empowering workshop." - participant

Project Management

Trainer: Jackie Welch | Date: Friday, Sept 16.| Time: 9:00 - 10:00

Project Management is a critical skill to learn for professionals in all types of industries. In addition to "regular" job duties, managers, supervisors and team leaders are often expected to take on extra assignments- and to get that additional job done well, on budget, and on time. This highly interactive workshop introduces the nuts and bolts of project management. You will learn what project management means, the steps required to complete projects on time and on budget, techniques and tools for planning and tracking your project, and methods to keep the team focused and motivated.

Leading by Example

Trainer: Rae Ann Ianniello | Date: Thursday, Oct 13. | Time: 12:00-1:00

“A leader leads by example, not by force.” – Sun Tzu

As the driving force of your team, you set the tone, create the vision, and encourage collaboration. In this interactive session, you will learn how to:

Key Outcomes:

  • Set good examples for our team

  • Create and maintain standards

  • Encourage team members both personally and collectively

  • Demonstrate resilience while managing uncertainty

Advanced Coaching Skills for Leaders

Trainer: Jackie Welch | Date: Friday, Nov 4. | Time: 9:00 – 10:00

Today’s employees want to be part of something bigger than themselves. Through coaching, leaders can create a sense of belonging and influence motivation within their teams.

Key Outcomes:

  • Plan for success: purpose, time, place, and desired outcomes

  • Observe and evaluate before providing supportive or constructive feedback

  • Use 4 proven methods to improve your interactions

Collaborative Leadership

Trainer: Sandy Benz | Date: Thursday, Nov 17. | Time: 12:00 – 1:00

Collaborative leaders know how develop team members to contribute toward team and organizational goals and value the ideas and opinions of others. This leads to more innovation, efficient processes, increased success and improved communication. This session will provide insights and practical tools for developing yourself as a collaborative leader.

Key Outcomes:

  • Understand key leadership traits to creating a collaborative environment

  • Explore seven ways to build collaborative leadership

  • Learn how to listen and learn from your team members

  • Use online and in-person tools to solicit ideas and build consensus

The Hidden Power of Introverts in the Workplace

Trainer: Agatha Kuczera | Date: Friday, Dec 2. | Time: 9:00-10:00

People with extroverted personalities are 25% more likely to land higher paying jobs. So, how can you thrive as an introvert in Western work culture? In this session we will uncover the benefits introverts bring to the workplace and how to utilize their strengths for a more cohesive work environment. Introverts- we aren't lonely, we're contemplative!

Key outcomes:

  • Understand the differences between introverted and extroverted personalities

  • Recognize the benefits of hiring introverts

  • Create introvert friendly work environments

  • How to thrive as an introvert in the workplace

Workshops are held in Zoom. New to Zoom? View Zoom for Beginners resources.

Professional development Academy Trainers


Agatha Kuczera

Agatha Kuczera received her B.A. in Behavioral Science and M.A. in Communication Studies. Her love for the nuances of human communication stemmed from growing up as a first-generation American and navigating cultural clashes of assimilation. Agatha first got her start in teaching communication at San José State University, where she also became involved in workshop training and academic publishing. Since then, Agatha continues to teach communication studies across several Bay Area community colleges in hybrid, online and in-person formats, and has expanded into professional development training. She believes in creating personalized, creative, and fun learning experiences through multi-media approaches.

Jackie Welch


Jackie Welch, CPCC

Jackie Welch, Certified Coach, Facilitator and Trainer has a diverse leadership background with 25+ years of corporate experience driving business results, embracing culture change, and working in collaboration with other teams to deliver exceptional customer satisfaction. She is an experienced workshop facilitator working with organizations to identify potential gaps and implement solutions. Jackie is also a member of the ICF (International Coaching Federation) and has also completed her required studies in Learning & Development in the area of Instructional Design and Delivery. Her Credentials consist of: DDI Certified Facilitator, Instructional Design, Certified Coach, CPCC and Minority Business Owner (MWBE).

Rae Ann Ianniello

Rae Ann

Rae Ann Ianniello, M.A.

Rae Ann Ianniello holds a Master’s degree in Communication, two teaching credentials, a certificate in Human Resources Management and a Master Trainer certificate from NUMMI (Toyota affiliate). She has served as the President of the HR Connection (a professional educational and networking group), and is a member of the American Society for Training & Development. Rae Ann has presented courses using several modalities including Instructor-led, hybrid, and online courses for a wide variety of organizations, including high-tech, start-ups, profits and non-profits, large and small businesses, and government agencies. A dynamic, hands-on instructor, she delivers in-depth training that is interactive, practical, and fun!


Sandy Benz

Sandy Benz is deeply passionate about the people side of organizational change — with expertise in leader and team development, employee engagement, change and transition management and emotional intelligence. Her 20-year career in organizational development has involved coaching, consulting and facilitating leaders to adjust one’s mindsets, behaviors and outcomes particularly in the areas of interpersonal dynamics.

Clients have described her approaches as engaging, proactive and results oriented. With a Master’s degree in Adult Education, Sandy is a Board Certified Coach (BCC), Certified Executive Coach (CEC), ProSci© Change Practitioner, Genos© Emotional Intelligence Practitioner and a Situational Mindsets© Facilitator.

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