Conexion Training helps anyone who lives and works in multicultural and multilingual contexts.
Conexion Training is a registered 501 (c) 3 non-profit registered in the United States in the State of Georgia. Our vision is to connect people through language and cultural training. Our mission is to provide quality training in the areas of learning a new language and in understanding how to relate well to others of different cultural backgrounds.
We believe that although the world has never been more connected, people have never misunderstood each other more. In our global, multiethnic, multicultural world, we need to be able to understand not just how people think differently, but why people think differently. Language and culture are two primary vehicles through which we can understand each other. The two are interconnected. Culture affects language and language affects culture.
At Conexion Training we offer two primary courses, The Language Course is designed to practically help a person studying language to learn how to build a realistic, personalized plan to learn their new language. Dr. Ruth Nolen designed this practical system for learning language, and has applied it and fine-tuned it for years with students all over the world. The Language Course has been proven effective by practitioners. In the near future, Conexion Training will be adding video examples of how to do task-based language learning (TBLL) projects for language learning.
The Culture Course is designed to help people understand how to learn to relate well to people of different cultures. Dr. Steve Nolen guides the participant through a definition of culture, the CQ® Model of cultural understanding, and then overviews some main areas of cultural differences that teach why people of different cultural backgrounds think and act differently.
Conexion Training offers a third course we call The Facilitator Course. This course will train someone to supervise your team’s language and cultural needs. This course is meant to prepare the person to become the “expert” of culture and language within their specific context to train other team members to effectively adapt to the culture and learn the language.
The Language Course will give anyone studying languages the principles and structure to learn their new language. Full-time, part-time or survival-level learners will benefit from this course. It will also develop the learner’s understanding of how languages are learned and address reasonable expectations and outcomes.
The Culture Course is for anyone interested in understanding cultural differences and relating well to people of other cultures. It will give you a foundation of principles and a process that will be helpful to you for life.
MEET THE TEAM
Steven L. Nolen
D. Min., Founder and President
Dr. Nolen holds a B.S. in Accounting from Jacksonville State University, a Master’s of Divinity degree, and a D.M. in Intercultural Studies. He has 30 years of cross-cultural experience and has worked with leaders from multiple ethnicities and cultures. He is CQ Certified through the Cultural Intelligence Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan (https://culturalq.com).
He has a passion both to appreciate other cultures and help others to accept, appreciate, and adapt to people of other cultures. The Culture Course is designed to help anyone living in multi-cultural contexts or working on multi-ethnic teams to better relate and understand those around them.
Ph.D., International Programs Director
Dr. Nolen holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching Additional Languages from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics and ESL from Georgia State University. She has studied several additional languages and has 30+ years of cross-cultural experience, including second language teaching. Her academic interests are in second language acquisition (SLA) and Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT). Her Ph.D. dissertation addressed utilizing TBLT linked classroom teaching to real-world situations encountered in society. This type of research is for the purpose of empowering learners to use social situations as learning opportunities. She has helped develop new language programs in several different countries and coordinated efforts among partner organizations for further research to be conducted among adult learners in international contexts.
Raquel graduated with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. She is an experienced cross-cultural liaison with 10+ years of Language interpretation skills in the US educational & medical fields. She is originally from Colombia and has lived in 5 countries, including her current home in Spain. She has been involved with her husband Dirk in international business since 2002. They are now based in Malaga, Spain where they enjoy partnering with business entrepreneurs in the greater Mediterranean region. While in Malaga, Raquel has been volunteering as a Spanish teacher through an NGO that serves the immigrant community from North and West Africa. Raquel is bilingual in English and Spanish and has a passion for building bridges through language and seeing people thrive in different cultures.
Brazilian Contact Coordinator
Lea has a Bachelor’s degree in Theology, a Postgraduate degree in Counseling and Psychology, and is currently studying for her Master’s Degree. She is passionate about caring for people’s needs and works as coordinator, administrative assistant, and counselor for various organizations in Brazil, where she resides.
Mark is the Chief Operating Officer for Sober Peer. From start-ups to national federated associations, he has served as a senior-level executive and led counseling, human services, and technology companies through a broad range of business cycles and stages of evolution.
During his career, he has consistently forged strategic relationships that met the needs of both the partner company and their constituents, employees and customers. Mark’s non-profit and business leadership experience have made him an invaluable part of the Conexion Training directors for many years. Mark and his wife Bobbi live in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mark is a graduate of Georgia Tech University. Following graduation, he began a successful software company which was purchased by a larger company. After 17 years in the software industry, Mark now manages a private portfolio of family investments and enjoys spending time with his family. Mark’s experience of running and growing a tech company have been pivotal in Conexion Training’s online course development. Mark, his wife Heather, and their two sons live in Braselton, Georgia.
James is retired from Thomas & Betts, Inc., where he was the Director of IT Infrastructure for the worldwide computer systems and networks. He managed over 100 IT professionals in the US, Mexico, Europe, Canada, Australia, and Asia. He had direct responsibility for strategic planning for the IT systems, budgets (over $100 million), contract management (negotiation and selection of software), training, people development, and day to day operations. James’s experience with international business has been very beneficial to the finances and operation of Conexion Training. James, his wife Patsy, and their two children and grandchildren live in Moscow, Tennessee.
Mario is Senior Director at Sports and Entertainment, Tomorrow.io. He has 20+ years in Product Strategy, including Executive experience in Business Development, Product Management, Sales, Marketing, Operations, Systems Engineering, and Design. Mario’s experience in a major global business has been instrumental in strategy development and the strategic changes Conexion Training has been making these past few years. Mario, his wife Rachel, and their two sons live in Dacula, Georgia.
Valarie is the Senior Director of Human Resources for Crestline Hotels & Resorts dba Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center. Crestline Hotels & Resorts is a hotel management company located in Fairfax, VA. Valarie has more than 25 years working in Human Resources in the hotel industry. Prior to Georgia Tech, she worked in the role of Director of Human Resources with Sonesta Hotels in Duluth, GA following Sonesta’s purchase of the Marriott Gwinnett Place Hotel, where she was employed with Crestline Hotels & Resorts for more than 17 years. Valarie’s vast experience in business and human resources has been a huge asset for Conexion Training. Valarie and her husband William live in Snellville, Georgia.
Harry is a retired Federal Express pilot who spent 35 years flying nationally and internationally. Harry’s vast international experience, having engaged people in various cultural contexts for decades, has been invaluable to Conexion Training over the years. Harry and his wife Elaine live in Collierville, Tennessee. They have 3 children and 10 grandchildren. Both of his sons are now pilots with Federal Express!
Matt is Vice President for the Orlando Health Foundation. As Foundation Vice President, Matt is dedicated to managing the comprehensive fundraising programs for Orlando Health in the areas of planned giving, major gifts, and grants. In addition, he manages the operations of the foundation including the areas of finance, donor stewardship, prospect research, and database management. Matt has held several leadership positions within the Foundation and has participated in numerous successful fundraising campaigns for the hospitals and programs within Orlando Health. He is a Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) and is a member of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy and also serves as a board member for several non-profit and civic organizations. Matt’s non-profit experience in the area of funding and giving has been an incredible asset for Conexion Training.
Matt, his wife, Abbie, and their 3 children reside in Windermere, FL.