Message from the Troy CE&O Director

Greetings and welcome to the Winter/Spring edition of the CE&O LEAD magazine! If you are familiar with Troy CE&O and this magazine, you’ll notice the headshot and signature in this article from the Director have changed. After 30+ years in training and consulting, Sharleen Smith announced her retirement from CE&O in July of this year. Sharleen came to Troy in 2014 and worked to grow CE&O into a thriving department. We are thankful for her vision and wisdom and look forward to continuing the growth that she began several years ago! With that said, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself!

I have worked in the Continuing Education and Outreach field since 2012, and in communications and hospitality prior to that time. It’s truly a privilege to help public, private and nonprofit organizations explore personal and professional development opportunities that Continuing Education and Outreach offers across the state and nation. I graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, and earned my Executive MBA from Auburn University at Montgomery. I love serving the communities in which I live and work and volunteer with several local schools and non-profit organizations. I am thankful for the love and support of my husband and 2 children.

As the lifelong learner evolves and more information than ever is at our finger tips, I look forward to working hard with the Troy CE&O team, to anticipate the future and create professional development opportunities that will help individuals and organizations for years to come. In order to look to the future, we start by looking at the past. The past two years have presented numerous challenges. With that said, I want to share some research that our team has been working on!

Did you know that there are currently five generations in the workforce:
• Traditionalists – born 1927–to-1946
• Baby Boomers – born 1947-to-1964
• Generation X – born 1965-to-1980
• Millennials – born 1981-to-2000
• Generation Z – born 2001-to-2020

The advancement in technology between a Traditionalist and Gen Z is so great. These generations have had entirely different life experiences.  What shapes them, motivates them, their worldviews, the way they communicate, are all different. As employers we have a responsibility to engage every employee, regardless of their generation. We must be flexible and accommodating, and seek out opportunities to learn from one another.

This results in different expectations when it comes to what the employee experience looks like and what it takes to retain each worker.  Now, add in a pandemic and that picture shifts yet again as each generation experiences this life altering time differently. Again, as leaders, we must be flexible.

Remote work is now a reality for a greater number of workers than ever before and it’s been proven that this shift has not come at a detriment to productivity. People are saving more money and becoming more active in caring for their mental and physical health.

Troy CE&O trainers have done a good bit of research on shifts that leaders should make in this ever-changing world. We challenge you, as things continue to change, as we look back in order to move forward, create innovation in your workplace!

As we prepare ourselves, our staff and our organizations for 2022, allow Troy CE&O to assist in creating a flexible culture; a culture that is resourceful, optimistic, adventurous, etc.…. Our trainers have prepared assessments that will assist you with self-awareness, and training
programs that will help you build a culture of flexibility, with every generation that you work with.

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve Troy CE&O as the Director, and look forward to working with you and helping you and your team reach your full potential by matching you with the Continuing Education program that meets your needs.


Laura Chambliss

Laura Chambliss
Director, Continuing Education and Outreach
Troy University                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           334-983-0005