PLANO, Texas — Barb Ashbaugh is in the business of helping people and organizations reach their maximum potential, and Ashbaugh is a big believer in practicing what she preaches. Over the last 20 years, her Plano-based company, Ashbaugh’s Trade Secrets LLC, has helped dozens of organizations from an array of industries including aeronautics, finance and health care, to increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability by using leading-edge evaluation and training to improve performance. Ashbaugh’s Trade Secrets recently became one of only 610 out of 70,000 performance management and training consultants nationwide to earn the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) credential from the American Society for Training & Development Certification Institute.

Ashbaugh is one of only 54 management and training consultants in Texas to hold the credential. The credential represents a new trend in the training industry, helping management training practitioners raise the level of expertise they bring to their clients.

“The companies that come to me know they need help, but they often don’t know why,” Ashbaugh said. “It is crucial that I bring to the table the very best in expertise and experience in order to help pinpoint and revolutionize areas needing improvement.”

United States companies spent an estimated $134.39 billion in 2007 on employee learning and development, according to the American Society for Training & Development’s annual State of the Industry Report. This amount includes about $83 billion in internal learning and about $51 billion for external services such as vendors, workshops and outside events.

Ashbaugh provides a wide range of external services including competency development and evaluation; training, development and consulting for retention and succession planning; selection and hiring practices; and human performance improvement.

Ashbaugh’s professional accomplishments include transforming entire business functions from the ground up. The key to every project, large or small, she says, is building relationships with people.

“Most people inherently want to improve and excel at their craft, and my job is to facilitate and enhance their ability to do this,” she said.

Ashbaugh was able to turn a division of one Texas-based publishing company from an autocratic dictator style of management to a participatory style of management over a period of four years. This culture shift resulted in increasing productivity by 40 percent and increasing retention by 36 percent.

“Once the workers were able to see a tangible opportunity for improvement, they were lining up for standing-room-only classes – eager to participate and to be heard,” Ashbaugh said.

Prior to founding her firm in 1989, Ashbaugh worked in health care marketing for 15 years. She is a well-known speaker throughout the training and development industry and mentors new consultants in their practices.

Ashbaugh is currently serving her third term on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) as the Vice President of Marketing. She also serves as president of the North Dallas chapter of Women of Visionary Influence, a mentoring organization.

In order to receive her CPLP credential, Ashbaugh passed an exam and completed a work product which was judged by the ASTD Certification Institute It covered nine elements:

* Designing Learning
* Facilitating Organizational Change
* Delivering Training
* Managing the Learning Function
* Improving Human Performance
* Coaching
* Measuring and Evaluating
* Managing Organizational Knowledge
* Career Planning and Talent Management

Ashbaugh holds degrees in Organizational Communications and Business Management and is also a certified award-winning distributor for Inscape Publishing, Inc. In addition to her academic credentials, she holds numerous certifications in the areas of performance management and training.

For more information about Ashbaugh’s Trade Secrets, visit .

[tags]Barb Ashbaugh, performance management and training consultants, Ashbaughs Trade Secrets LLC[/tags]