Webvent Academy

Bringing Professionals Together

Building a Learning Platform for the Future

Wednesday, February 2, 2022 2:00pm - 3:00pm EST

Host: Association for Talent Development
By: Samuel Parks, Associate Director, Public Affairs, DAU; Vance Gilstrap, Dean, Capital and Northeast Region; Steve Minnich, Dean, Mid-Atlantic Region, DAU; and Christopher Hardy, Director, Defense Acquisition University

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Throughout the years, the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) has become a world-class internationally acclaimed learning institution. In 2020, the time had come to fundamentally change the way we deliver training to our workforce. DAU’s transformation of our “learning platform of the future” was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading our workforce of 183,000 to fully embrace virtual learning.

In 2022, we will continue to transform DAU’s learning platform that efficiently provides our professionals the assistance and learning they need, when and where they need it—empowering the workforce for today and the future.

Join our panel of DAU experts to discover how to:

• Redesign curriculum, training delivery, culture, and more.
• Prioritize performance support and learning transfer.
• Enhance connecting people with peers, resources, technology, and training.
• Develop a credentialing system to support skill building and career development.
• Reorganize and rebuild infrastructures and leadership.


Please register above to view this Webinar.


Samuel Parks
Samuel Parks

Associate Director, Public Affairs, DAU

Samuel Parks works directly for the DAU Office of the President in a variety of roles. He is the Associate Director for Public Affairs and is responsible for creating, curating, and managing the university’s content across multiple social media platforms and external, web-based communication channels. Parks specializes in content marketing, corporate communication strategy, strategic planning, and digital communication.

Prior to this, Parks served as the Mission Assistance Coordinator for a DAU regional office. In this position, he was responsible for managing a portfolio of approximately $4 million in consulting services and a customer base of more than 1,500 organizations. Mission Assistance, DAU’s product line of consulting services, pairs organizations with the university’s acquisition subject matter experts to help successfully complete complex tasks. This position developed a unique and comprehensive, customer perspective in Parks that continues to serve him in his current role.

Parks holds a bachelor of the arts in political science and foreign languages from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and a certificate in marketing communications from Georgetown University.

Vance Gilstrap
Vance Gilstrap

Dean, Capital and Northeast Region

Vance Gilstrap serves as the Dean, Capital and Northeast Region, for Defense Acquisition University (DAU). As the Dean, he is responsible for directing DAU’s training, consulting, and acquisition leadership support to acquisition programs in the greater National Capital Region and throughout the Northeast US, including nearly 50,000 acquisition workforce members. He directs DAU’s training, credentialing, and acquisition consulting missions to PEOs, PMs, acquisition programs and Agencies, and workforce members, to implement Presidential, Congressional, & SECDEF guidance for training certification and to improve acquisition outcomes.

• Responsible for DAU’s training, consulting, and acquisition leadership support to DoD Acquisition
• Directs DAU’s training, credentialing, and acquisition consulting missions to PEOs, acquisition and services programs, Defense Agencies, and 50,000 DoD Acquisition Workforce members
• Leads over 100 faculty and staff in delivery of training and consulting in every acquisition functional area and many specialty knowledge areas such as Agile development, project management, cyber protection, cloud migration, DevSecOps, risk analysis, and source selection

Steve Minnich
Steve Minnich

Dean, Mid-Atlantic Region, DAU

Steve Minnich is the Dean, Mid-Atlantic Region for the Defense Acquisition University (DAU). He directs a portfolio of learning programs and mission assistance that provides a global learning environment for acquisition professionals across the DoD. He leads a regional campus workforce in providing education and performance development in the functional areas of program management, engineering, lifecycle logistics, contracting, financial management, test and evaluation, and cybersecurity.

Prior to this assignment, Mr. Minnich served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the Mid-Atlantic region. He was responsible for all regional curriculum development projects and delivery of all regional course offerings in both resident and virtual classroom formats. Mr. Minnich also served as the Department Chair for Acquisition/Program Management and Professor of Program Management since joining DAU in March 2009.

Mr. Minnich has a B.S. degree in Aerospace and Ocean Engineering from Virginia Tech, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Florida Institute of Technology. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, Defense Systems Management College, Federal Executive Institute, and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

Christopher Hardy
Christopher Hardy

Director, Defense Acquisition University

Christopher R. Hardy, Ph.D., is the Director of Strategic Planning and Program Evaluation of the Defense Acquisition University.  As DAU's strategic planner, he provided the road map for DAU's rapid rise to national preeminence as an award winning corporate university that has repeatedly been recognized as one of the best throughout the public and private sectors. This powerful story was recounted in "Leading a Learning Revolution: the Story Behind DAU's Reinvention of Training," Pfeiffer, 2007, in which he was a co-author. Dr. Hardy has a Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Christopher.Hardy@dau.edu


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