Interview: Presenting William J. Kohley, RODP: An Interview with Bill Kohley, Co-Chair of the 31st Annual Information Exchange

By Yaeger, Therese | Organization Development Journal, Fall 2000 | Go to article overview

Interview: Presenting William J. Kohley, RODP: An Interview with Bill Kohley, Co-Chair of the 31st Annual Information Exchange


Yaeger, Therese, Organization Development Journal


Peter Sorensen Jr., Ph.D., RODC and Bill Kohley, RODP are co-chairs of the 2001 Organization Development Institute Annual Information Exchange. I caught up with Bill during one of his doctoral classes at Benedictine University recently. Bill was more than happy to discuss the plans for the 2001 Information Exchange meeting and his O.D. work.

Therese: Bill, what can we expect at next 31st Annual Information Exchange?

Bill: Fun, camaraderie, and great ideas! The Organization Development Institute is a fantastic place to share new and exciting O.D. practices, tools, case work, and theory. The meeting is scheduled for May 20-2511, 2001. The theme is "What is New in O.D. and Human Resource Development", and that is exactly what we expect. We are currently working with a wonderful facility - the Hickory Ridge Conference Center in Lisle, Illinois. Hickory Ridge is a Marriott property located on 20+ acres in the western suburbs of Chicago. It is conveniently located a short distance from both Chicago airports and offers access to a plethora of activities.

As you are well aware, O.D. has strong roots in the Midwest. Many previous O.D. Institute Information Exchanges were held at George Williams College, just north of Chicago in Wisconsin. Additionally, there are some excellent O.D. associations, corporate O.D. centers and O.D. academic programs all readily accessible to this location. I'll give you just a hint of what we have cooking: The Organization Development Institute's largest chapter is located in Chicago. This Chicago O.D. Institute Chapter (CODIC) is currently chaired by Joseph Ambrose. Tim Buividas, a member of CODIC, also runs the Outdoor Learning Adventures at Hickory Ridge. We are hoping to collaborate with Joe and Tim to offer some additional activities, on premise, to attendees. The ODN, and Academy of Management's Organization Development and Change division, are also well represented in this geographical area as well.

McDonald's Headquarters, Lucent Technologies, Anderson Consulting, and several other large organizations with cuttingedge training and O.D. programs are located nearby. We are currently discussing tours and training overviews with these organizations. Many of their O.D. personnel are involved with Benedictine University's Doctoral program or are members of local O.D. associations. Corporate sponsored programs always help us defer the costs of participation for students and meeting attendees.

Finally, the academic O.D. programs in the Midwest are all very supportive. Benedictine University remains the largest academic constituent of the Organization Development Institute, and plans to provide extensive support for the meeting. Case Western Reserve University, Bowling Green State University, Loyola University, DePaul University, and several other universities are all proximate. We are looking to further collaborate with these institutions to expand the breadth of ideas and student participation.

The evening activities under discussion will further promote the friendliness and social atmosphere that these Annual meetings are known for. Whether we spend an evening on the river in Downtown Naperville or take a boat cruise on Lake Michigan, plenty of options are available to ensure a good time for all participants.

Therese: This sounds wonderful, are you expecting a small or large group?

Bill: The Annual Information Exchanges are very informal and friendly places to interchange ideas. The setup at Hickory Ridge will allow us to maintain this, but at the same time accommodate a larger group size. We expect more attendees this year than usual due to the extremely high concentration of O.D. professionals and academics in the Chicago area. Don Cole has put together some wonderful meetings the past few years at Loon Mountain, Trinity University in San Antonio, and Hawaii Pacific University. We feel Hickory Ridge is even more convenient for O.D. …

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