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NEWSLETTER - December 2021


PACDA’s December event was wildly successful. We celebrated PACDA’s 2021 achievements, member benefits, and 2022 plans. In addition to entertainment and breakout sessions for networking, the session provided the following:

Intro to PACDA (it was a first-time event for many registrants)

We used the story telling approach of answering What, Who, Why, When, Where, and How questions to describe PACDA:

    • What: A state Division of the premier professional organization for career coaches: National Career Development Association (NCDA).
    • Who: Career Practitioners in outplacement, talent development, higher ed, K-12, workforce development, private practice, public/private agencies, and NFP settings.
    • Why: Offer high quality, accessible, affordable professional development and networking opportunities to career services practitioners.
    • When: Monthly programming.
    • Where: Virtual for now (regional onsite programming post COVID-19).
    • How: Committees and project teams governed by monthly Leadership Collaboration meetings (open to all volunteers).

Overview of PACDA Member Benefits

We offer our members an array of opportunities to develop, lead, and grow professionally. See a great infographic here: Why Join.

Future and Past Event Summary

    • 2022 Plans: at least five events already posted to our website.
    • Offered 11 PACDA programs in 2021: across four key categories (Labor Market Issues, Resources for Career Coaches, Support for Targeted Client Populations, and Job Search Best Practices) – Visit our Store.
    • Discounted access to 40 partner events in 2021.

Ways to engage with PACDA

Regardless of your areas of interest or skill set, there are myriad ways that you can engage with PACDA as noted below. Learn more by completing the Volunteer Interest Survey or email

    • Committees (Programming, Communications, Finance, Membership, Partnerships, Technology)
    • Special Projects (Career Coach Directory, Volunteer Engagement, Fundraising, Sponsorships, Member Survey)

Recognition of PACDA and Partner Volunteers

Like many professional organizations, volunteer participation drives PACDA’s success and we recognized the 35 volunteers who contributed to our 2021 achievements as well as those who contribute to our 10 partner organizations’ operations.

Plans for 2022

PACDA’s strategic focus in 2022 is on member value enhancement (membership growth, exceptional programming, and expanded resources). We remain committed to:

    • Diversity in membership/presenters along every dimension: geography, age, gender, orientation, ethnicity, religion, etc.
    • Delivering positive value to career practitioners throughout PA, border communities, and, for virtual offerings, nationwide.
    • Responding to constituent needs – if you haven’t yet responded to our survey, please do let your voice be heard!

In order to achieve our goals, we need to expand our press coverage. Do you have press connections/ contacts in your metro area? Please email

By enabling robust interactions, deepened relationships, and impactful programs, PACDA continues to magnify the significant positive impact its members have on career services delivery to individuals and their families, communities, colleagues, and employers.


Insights for Coaching LGBTQIA+ Clients

1/24/22: 12– 2 PM

Registration Opening Soon!

Alternative Employment Options in Pennsylvania: Relaunch, Internships, Apprenticeships, Externships, & Transitional Jobs

2/24/22: 4:30 – 6:30 PM

Social Media 101: Leveraging LinkedIn

3/28/22: 12 – 2 PM

Alternative Theories of Career Development

4/26/22: 4 – 6 PM

Networking & PACDA Jeopardy!®

6/21/22: 4 – 6 PM


Check out our PACDA Store



What topics would you like to see in 2022?

You recently received an email with a survey link. If you have not completed the survey, please click on the link below.


PACDA End of the Year Celebration 

On December 13th, 37 members attended our virtual PACDA End of Year Celebration. Special guest Theresa Hummel-Krallinger entertained us with some Covid comedy, then acted as game show host when we played a hilarious round of The Match Game. Fun and laughs all the way around!

          VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT                     

Cara E. Fulton, MFA, MA

Cara E. Fulton is a career and life coach who recently started her own practice From the Bottom Up Coaching. With over 25+ plus years in the performing and theatrical arts, Ms. Fulton has experience as a stage and film actress, dancer, and vocalist. Beginning her training and professional journey in her youth, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and continued her education by earning a Master of Fine Arts from CUNY-Brooklyn College where she studied Theater Technical Design and Production. This training led to her performing nationally and internationally and freelancing as a theatrical costume designer and costume shop manager. Her background also includes working in sales, as a freelance writer, banker, and extensive experience working in ministry and community outreach.

Years later she returned to IUP where she earned a Master of Arts in Student Affairs in Higher Education. Within higher education she has worked in the capacity of an Admissions Counselor, Adjunct Faculty, Program Manager, and Director of Career Services.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she currently resides north of the city in Butler County with her young son. When not coaching clients, she enjoys baking, exercising, reading, dancing, connecting with friends, and family time with her son.

What inspired you to join PACDA?

Whether personally or professionally, I feel that community is so important. I joined PACDA to be part of a like-minded community of career centered professionals. In addition, it is important for me to be in an environment where I can continue to grow and expand my knowledge in this field.

What motivates you; why you do what you do?

My passion for living a life of purpose has fueled my drive to help others do the same. Truly, I believe the best life is one that thrives to live for a purpose beyond self-interest, makes a positive contribution to society, and leaves a long-lasting legacy. The road to identify our life’s purpose is not an easy one. I know first-hand of how working with a coach can help.

How have you been impacted by the pandemic professionally and personally?

Personally, the pandemic has significantly impacted my family. It has humbled me and reminded me that tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Every day we must make the choice to see a brighter day, have hope, and persevere no matter what comes our way. Professionally, the pandemic has forced me into another transition which has prompted me to finally start my own career and life coaching practice.

What are your plans for next year?

Professionally, my goals for 2022 are to build my business, take a few professional development courses, and continue to expand my network.

Contact Cara at or connect on LinkedIn.

Shelley Maley , PHR, GCDF

Shelley Maley is a virtual career coach, job search strategist, and the Founder of Dreamcatcher Career Coaching, LLC. With extensive experience in career coaching, human resources, and management, she assists clients from ages 16+ who are either starting out or burned out in their careers.

Shelley is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University with a background in hospitality, healthcare and higher education. Her experience includes management, human resources, and career coaching. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, she now resides in the Lehigh Valley with her husband, daughter, and a few too many feline companions. She is a credentialed Global Certified Career Coach (GCDF), providing career-related advice and assistance to jobseekers of all generations. In addition, she has a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification, awarded by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI).

When she’s not coaching clients, Shelley enjoys traveling, attending concerts and Broadway musicals with her 17-year-old daughter, hiking, and spending time outdoors with family and friends.

Why do you do what you do?

I became a career coach after experiencing serious career-related burn-out ten years ago. At the time, my husband and I both had very demanding careers in healthcare and had a young daughter as well. The long hours and stress were affecting my physical and mental health so I decided to leave my HR Director position to get well and spend more time with our child. Career coaching is the perfect profession for me because I never want anyone else to feel as lost, hopeless, and confused as I had been.

How have you been impacted by the pandemic?

Although there have been so many downsides to the COVID-19 pandemic, I think we’ve learned to get back to good old-fashioned family values. Working from home with my husband while our daughter attended high school online actually helped us grow closer. I also started exploring local parks and trails and developed a love of hiking and spending time outdoors (and lost a few pounds in the process). Finally, I was able to focus on starting my business, Dreamcatcher Career Coaching, LLC, which was something I had thought about for eight years.

What are your plans for next year?

My daughter will be graduating from high school and starting college, so we’ll be spending time getting ready for that transition. I’ll also concentrate on growing my business, getting back to the gym, and volunteering with the PACDA Communications Committee.

Contact Shelley at or connect on LinkedIn.

REFLECTIONS: Looking Back and Looking Forward

By Jessica Visek
PACDA Co-Chair Membership

What a year! 2021 will be remembered as “The Great Resignation” or “The Big Quit.” Career coaching is now one of the hottest professions out there and so we needed to pivot and adjust to meet our clients' needs. We also factored into our practices that many job seekers have not been out in the market for some time….or ever.

As a business owner and career coach, I have grown tremendously during 2021, and gained more professional confidence. I know I have made a difference in so many lives this year and the success stories are plentiful. My clients are in fulfilling roles and found a work-life balance.

2022 will be “The Year of the (Job) Seeker.” As career coaches we must embrace our vital role to propel our clients forward in their career journeys, walking their journey with them, guiding them as they seek their true path.

To end, I would like to share two inspirational quotes: “Your past never defines your future.” – Anonymous; and “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” – Jim Rohn


You never fail until you stop trying. - Albert Einstein 

No one can tell you who you are except for you. - Serena Williams

Don't fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.
Author unknown

The thing that counts the most in the pursuit of happiness is choosing the right traveling companion. – Adrian Anderson

On particularly hard days when I feel that I can't endure, I remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days is 100% so far. – MarcandAngel

Around here, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious-and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. – Walt Disney

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Melody Beattle

Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control- James Allen

Exemplary leaders know that if they want to gain commitment and achieve the highest standards, they must be modes of the behavior they expect of others. - James M. Kouzes

Don't believe everything you think. - Robert Fulghum

by PACDA members. If you have a favorite you would like to share, email



Work with the best – our Treasurer Craig Toedtman – and learn what it takes to oversee PACDA’s finances.
When you’re ready, you’ll become the organization’s Treasurer, with Craig nearby to answer any questions.


We are looking for volunteers to contact presenters and work with them to plan and
implement events of interest to PA career development professionals.


You may be a tech geek, or someone who wants to develop their tech skills further.
Learn how to use our membership software Wild Apricot and other tools such as
Google Drive, JotForm, Mailchimp and Zoom.

PACDA is a state division of the National Career Development Association (NCDA).

Through NCDA you have the opportunity, to further develop yourself as a career development professional through the Leadership Academy, credentialing, annual conference, and other member benefits.

Each year NCDA recognizes and honors its excellent members by presenting awards at the annual conference. We encourage you to review the award categories and consider if you would like to nominate your colleague from PACDA. Nominations are open November through January. Nominators and nominees must be NCDA members.

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