Colleen Pelar

Speaking & Team Training Credentials

I've had the opportunity to help transform workplaces in a wide variety of companies, associations, and government agencies, including:

  • Air Line Pilots Association
  • AT&T
  • Deloitte
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Health & Human Services, Division of Child Support Enforcement
  • Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General
  • Department of Labor
  • DRS Technologies Signal Solutions
  • Drug Enforcement Agency
  • Ernst & Young
  • Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration
  • ​Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • ​Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • George Washington University
  • Healthcare Distribution Alliance
  • Intuit
  • John Snow Inc.
  • Marriott
  • Mary Baldwin College
  • Naval Sea Systems Command
  • Northern Virginia Community College
  • Pandora
  • Social Security Administration
  • Verizon
  • Veterans Benefits Administration
  • Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

I now focus my work primarily on supporting small to medium sized professional associations.

I'm a graduate of Penn State, where I studied PR as part of a General Arts & Sciences degree.

Dog Training Credentials

I started training dogs professionally over 25 years ago while pregnant with my oldest child. I spent that nine months concurrently reading everything I could about dog training and child rearing and was struck by the similarities between the best of both.

During my dog training career I was a sought-after conference speaker and published three books about building safe, happy relationships between kids and dogs. I continue to share advice for multi-species families through my website LivingWithKidsAndDogs.com.

These days, though, I'm primarily occupied by my work with professional associations.


 Mary Margaret Callahan

 Sr. National Director, Program Development, Pet Partners

quote-left

​If you haven’t heard Colleen Pelar present, you’re missing out! Banish the days of monotone speakers in a darkened room boring everyone to tears. Colleen is a passionate educator with a great presentation style that’s engaging, relatable, and fun. You’ll learn and almost certainly laugh out loud. I’ve heard her speak in multiple venues from a horse barn to a state-of-the-art conference center and regardless of whether she’s talking to 10 people or 200, she is a master at connecting with her audience and energizing the room. I recommend her wholeheartedly!

If you haven’t heard Colleen Pelar present, you’re missing out! Banish the days of monotone speakers in a darkened room boring everyone to tears. Colleen is a passionate educator with a great presentation style that’s engaging, relatable and fun. You’ll learn and almost certainly laugh out loud. I’ve heard her speak in multiple venues from a horse barn to a state-of-the-art conference center and regardless of whether she’s talking to 10 people or 200, she is a master at connecting with her audience and energizing the room. I recommend her wholeheartedly!

Why I talk about dog training when speaking to association teams

Dogs and dog training provide endless analogies for exploring human behavior and how to change it for the best. And sometimes looking at an analogy is a safe first step to looking directly at ourselves.

Many of my dog-training colleagues and clients over the years have remarked to me how the principles of positive dog training seem to apply to people and life in general. It's really true. Good trainers know, for example, to:

  • Never miss an opportunity to reinforce behavior you like, because doing so makes that behavior more likely to happen again
  • Focus on yes over no to create engaged learners
  • Construct environments that promote success and good decision making
  • Have a clear goal in mind--and all the steps laid out to get there--before tackling change
  • Celebrate the small successes that build toward great ones

And on and on. So between the compelling analogies and the ooh's and aah's or laughter that a well-chosen dog pic can add to a presentation, I find building dog-related themes into my talks hard to resist.

Ready for positive training for your association team?

Let's chat about your team and your goals. I'll send you a program proposal customized to your needs and budget.

Customized productivity and team building talks for Northern Virginia profit and non-profit professional associations of all kinds.

Need More Time to Ponder?

While you think about which programs will work best for your team, enjoy free monthly tips for improving teamwork and productivity.