Tracy Nelson, SPHR, CPTD

President & Chief Executive Officer


Tracy Nelson, MSOD, SPHR, CPTD, is a senior level human resources, organizational development, and learning/talent development leader with over 30 years of business experience in a variety of industries spanning healthcare, financial services, insurance, hospitality, manufacturing, and non-profit. She currently serves as President & Chief Talent Officer of Aspire Talent Group and formerly served as Vice President of Talent Solutions for the University of Wisconsin Center for Professional & Executive Development.  In addition, Tracy is adjunct faculty at the Wisconsin School of Business, part of the University of Wisconsin. She served over 10 years on the Board of Directors for the Madison Area Chapter of the Association for Talent Development including a year as President, and is currently President on the Executive Board of Directors for Greater Madison SHRM, Society of Human Resources Management.

Tracy was one of the first in the nation to earn the Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) designation (since changed to the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) designation) through the National Association for Talent Development. While serving as Vice President of Learning & Development for a Madison-based financial institution, Tracy’s learning team twice earned the international ATD BEST Award. The BEST Award is based on benchmarking organizations worldwide recognizing those who leverage their learning function to drive organizational strategic initiatives and demonstrate efficiency of learning delivery and measurable business impact. Tracy was also twice featured in national Training & Development magazine for her learning programs, and serves as a frequent conference speaker. She specializes in helping leaders, teams and organizations optimize their talent and performance. 

Tracy’s experience and credentials include:

  • SPHR – Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources
  • CPTD – Certified Professional in Talent Development
  • Prosci Certified Change Management Leader
  • DDI Certified Leadership Development Trainer
  • Human Capital Institute Strategic Workforce Planning Certificate
  • President, Executive Board of Directors, Greater Madison Society for Human Resource Management
  • Past President & Board of Directors VP, Association for Talent Development-Madison Chapter
  • Adjunct Faculty & Executive in Residence, Wisconsin School of Business, UW Madison, Strategic Human Resources & Management
  • Edgewood College Human Resources Program Guest Lecturer
  • Certified CCL (Center for Creative Leadership) 360 Assessor/Coach
  • Certified DISC Profile Assessor/Coach
  • Certified in Big 5 Psychometric Testing
  • Certified Human Synergistics Assessor/Consultant – Culture, Leadership, & Teams
  • Certified Educator for Covey Leading at the Speed of Trust program
  • Certified TRP (Totally Responsible Person) Educator
  • Featured in ASTD National Training & Development Magazine
  • 2015 Top 10 Finalist “Best in Class” Leadership 500 National HR Award for Excellence in Leadership Development Programs
  • International Conference Speaker 

Tracy is currently a member of:

  • National & Madison Area Chapter of the Association for Talent Development
  • National & Greater Madison Society of Human Resource Management
  • Madison Organizational Development Group (MOD Squad)
  • Chair, Madison Leadership Roundtable
  • Human Synergistics Global Change Circle Member

In her role as President of Aspire Talent Group, she serves a wide array of clients providing consulting, assessment, leadership development, team optimization, and training services in the following areas:

  • Management & Leadership Development
  • New and Emerging Leader Programs
  • Employee Engagement
  • Change Management
  • Managing Conflict, Handling Difficult Conversations
  • Communication/Interpersonal Skills/Emotional Intelligence
  • Coaching & Maximizing Performance
  • Rewards and Recognition Programs
  • Adult Learning/Curriculum Instructional Design & Development
  • Learning Technologies & Curation
  • Culture & Organizational Effectiveness
  • Keynote Speaking and Training Facilitation
  • Presentation Skills Coaching/Group and Team Meeting Facilitation
  • Project Management
  • Internal Service and Teambuilding
  • Strategic Planning/Workforce Planning/Human Resources Consulting
  • Employee Relations/Performance Management
  • Talent Development, Succession Planning, & Career Development
  • Recruiting, Screening, Hiring, and New Employee Onboarding
  • Individual, Team, & Organizational Diagnostic Assessments

Tracy believes in investing time to learn about and understand her clients’ goals and needs, and works as a close partner in finding strategic, innovative solutions to move their organizations forward.

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