Our People

  • Susan McDonald Osborn
  • Jennifer Gallagher
  • Lauren Vodde
Susan McDonald Osborn

Susan brings more than 25 years of progressive experience in performance improvement interventions to all client engagements. Bolstered by years of instructional design and project management experience, as well as a master's degree in human resource development, Susan has a reputation for consistently delivering results and delighting clients.

As an owner of Laurus Design, LLC, Susan partners with executive-level clients in government and private industry to identify organizational business issues and ferret out gaps in employee performance. She recommends creative, custom interventions that are aimed at rapidly improving business metrics by increasing the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) of the employee workforce. Susan's background in program management allows her to balance learners' needs with clients' budgets and timelines. Every program she designs must not only increase KSAs but also help organizations meet their metrics (e.g., sales goals, customer satisfaction, or average handle time). That being said, Susan also has a heart for adult learners. She designs experiences that take into account the “heads, hearts, and hands” of learners. Susan's philosophy is learning experiences that engage employees and motivate them to use new information and behaviors in the workplace will, in turn, help organizations meet their goals and metrics.

Susan is known for generating new, creative ways of approaching unique organizational challenges. She recognizes that no two organizations have the same challenges and that no “cookie cutter” learning solution is likely to achieve the desired results.  Susan has the rare ability to align learning solutions to key business objectives by selecting efficient and effective interventions that bring about real, positive change. And, she has a keen sense of how and when to combine two or more delivery systems to create blended learning solutions. One of Susan's most successful programs combined one day of in-person facilitated learning followed by virtual small group collaboration, augmented by expert coaching and supported by an online Community of Practice Web site.

Prior to founding Laurus Design, LLC in 2007, Susan was engaged by the Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to implement e-learning. At the start of her three-year tenure, the agency had two online courses and held approximately 12 Web conferences per month.  After a short time of discovery, Susan recommended and implemented the Adobe suite of rapid development products at FHWA. She created a change management/implementation plan and managed against it until the technology was widely adopted. Susan oversaw the creation of standards, templates and models which are now used by the National Highway Institute (NHI) to create its online courseware. At the end of her tenure, there were over 26 graduate-level online courses in the NHI catalog.  Further, the use of Web meeting technology for business collaboration, knowledge exchange, and learning increased from 12 synchronous meetings per month to over 130 events per month. While at FHWA, Susan wrote and delivered several asynchronous training sessions on topics such as Designing Interactive Webinars and Developing High-Impact Training.

Susan, while an employee of a large training development company, provided program management and instructional design services to organizations such as Wells Fargo Phone Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Prudential Insurance, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, BMW North America, and the Forum Corporation. In fact, Susan's program leadership in converting Forum's classroom courses to online learning was so impressive that The Forum Corporation purchased her company.  Similarly, Susan's work in re-engineering new hire training for Wells Fargo Phone Bank call center representatives was acknowledged by ASTD, which awarded her the prestigious Excellence in Practice Award for her success at all four levels of Kirkpatrick's model.

Susan has extensive experience in the government sector as well.  She has provided team leadership and project management, primarily through the OPM Training and Management Assistance Program. Susan applied the instructional systems design/ADDIE model for instructor-led classroom training, computer-based training, satellite-based training, and paper-based documentation. Some of the agencies Susan worked with are Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Transportation/Federal Aviation Administration, and the U.S. Army Drug and Alcohol Operations Agency.

Susan selects from a wide variety of analysis, development, and delivery tools in the conduct of her consulting work. Some of the items in her toolbox include methodologies and tools for rapid needs analysis, competency modeling, job task analysis, solution architecting, program design, rapid e-learning development, virtual collaboration, knowledge sharing, training delivery and project management. She is especially facile in the design of highly-engaging learner-centered synchronous online learning (i.e., virtual classroom training).  Susan is an expert user of Adobe Acrobat Connect and Adobe Presenter 6 for rapid development and deployment of instructionally-sound, creative learning experiences. She is committed to building connections among team members and to bringing learners and facilitators/experts together, regardless of their geographies. Susan has mentored dozens of subject matter experts in the use of rapid training development tools and Web meeting/synchronous training delivery technology.

Susan has a master's degree in Human Resource Development (human performance technology). Her Bachelor of Arts degree is in Latin American Studies, with a teaching certificate in Spanish. She is a member of the e-Learning Guild, the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI Potomac Chapter), Women in Technology, and the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). Susan is an experienced instructor, conference speaker, and meeting facilitator, in virtual as well as brick and mortar spaces. Over the past few years, she has presented at The National Academies/Transportation Research Board Conference, the ITC e-Learning Conference, the United States Distance Learning Association, and the National Transportation Training Directors Conference. 

Susan, a native of Northern Virginia, and her husband, Paul, live and work near Dulles International Airport. She is the mother of two grown daughters. Susan is an active member of Floris United Methodist Church, Herndon, VA, where she has served in many volunteer leadership positions.

Jennifer Gallagher

Jennifer brings over 12 years of experience to Laurus Design, LLC from a variety of educational and training settings. With clients in the private and public sectors, Jennifer's application of information architecture, instructional systems design and knowledge management has resulted in successful client engagements. In the last 5 years, she has focused on applying the ADDIE model and adult learning principles to design, develop, implement and evaluate training. Jennifer integrates Web 2.0 technologies into the way she works, as well as into the knowledge sharing and learning programs of her clients.

From 2002-2007, Jennifer was a key player in the selection and implementation of e-learning tools and infrastructure for the Federal Highway Administration. As the demand for e-learning in the Agency broadened, the need for more sophisticated tools became evident. While at FHWA, Jennifer grew the Web conferencing capacity from 10-12 training sessions per month to more than 100 Web-based sessions per month. Similarly, she led efforts to design, develop and deploy several asynchronous e-learning courses for the National Highway Institute. Perhaps her greatest achievement at FHWA was influencing the Agency to research, test, procure and adopt new communication, knowledge-sharing and training technologies.

Jennifer has designed many successful technology-based learning products using Web conferencing (webinar), Web-based Training (online), Computer-based Training (with CD-ROM), mobile learning (m-Learning), and Communities of Practice. She works with many Adobe products including Presenter 6, Connect Professional, Flash, Captivate, and more. Learning Management System technologies with which Jennifer has worked are Blackboard, WebCT and Adobe Training/Events.

Jennifer's technical background includes development of a custom Learning Management System and Content Management System to deliver Flash-based content for K-12 students. After gathering system requirements, Jennifer recommended – and then built – a custom Learning Management System that allowed several teachers/writers from around the globe to create and deliver online content via the Internet.

Jennifer has created learning products and infrastructure for the Department of Transportation (Federal Highway Administration), Department of Health and Human Services (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), Harcourt Brace publishers (NetG), K12, Inc., and the George Washington University. 

Most notable is Jennifer's ability to collaborate with Subject Matter Expert(s) and colleagues to create technically-accurate, visually-appealing, and instructionally-sound learning products. She works effectively to deliver high-quality products, on time and within budget. Whether Jennifer is working in a graphics package, video editing software, an html editor or a rapid e-learning development tool, she consistently receives recognition from clients for the quality of her work.

With a BA in Graphic Design, Jennifer has led many efforts to create the vision for learning products and Web sites. She has set the visual standards for multiple product lines and created style guides and templates to ensure that every client product facilitates a positive user experience and supports learning.

Lauren Vodde

Lauren brings ten years of combined education/experience and a proven a track record of assisting clients to excel beyond their expectations. Along with her expertise in client relationship management, Lauren also boasts a B.S. in Business Management from the prestigious Virginia Tech Pamplin School of Business. Her progressive experience in event coordination/marketing and consulting services in the human performance technology field enables Lauren to support a wide variety of client requirements.

Although Lauren's work often takes her down the path of logistics and operations management, her more memorable experiences have involved the planning and real time supervision of project launches, educational conferences, and showcase events. Her exemplary organizational skills and congenial way of doing business are true assets when working at all levels of an organization. Lauren maintains that her success rate is due, in large measure, to the importance she places on client relations.

In 2007, Lauren was responsible for the direction of all catering activities for the very first Americas Cup of Polo, an international event that attracted more than 7,000 attendees. For her employer, Lauren was able to secure her company's position as sole caterer for the event. She interfaced with major corporate sponsors to ensure that their guests would be delighted with the hospitality services at the event and, on the day of the event, supervised a staff of over 200 servers and event vendors.

Lauren was brought in by an upscale Northern Virginia hotel in 2008 to promote and develop a client base in an underdeveloped market. In just one year, Lauren successfully captured and retained that market, securing more 2010 pre-sales than the total actual 2009 revenue. Based on Lauren's best-in-class sales and customer relationship skills, the hotel was chosen to receive the Bride's Choice Awards™ 2010. This award recognizes the top 5 percent of local wedding professionals from the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, and professionalism.

As a core member of the Laurus Design team, Lauren currently serves as a Special Events Coordinator and Business Analyst for the 2010 Census Call Centers training deployment initiative. In January, Lauren provided event coordination services for the 2010 Census Call Center Grand Opening, attended by high-ranking US government VIPs, industry C-level management, and community leaders. In her role as Business Analyst, Lauren collects and analyzes enterprise-wide training attendance, attrition, and certification data to ensure that staffing metrics are at the level needed to ensure excellent call service delivery. Lauren's self-designed reporting methods and analytical abilities exceeded company requirements with no reporting or processing errors. Lauren continuously meets her own high standards of efficiency, accuracy, and creativity – which is critical when training over 5,000 call center staff in a 2-week period.

Born in Northern Virginia, Lauren now lives with her husband in Washington State. She is a member of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity.