About Us

We’re not just a list of courses, and we’re more than your old-school training department! We are a small but mighty team of quirky learning-obsessed professionals tucked away in HR at National Center bringing you all-new ways to learn. We work behind the scenes to provide learning opportunities to all AHA employees which help us grow and equip us to better achieve our mission and win the fight against heart disease and stroke. Everyone is working hard at the AHA to leave a legacy, and ours is Heart U. It was created with all employees in mind and we’ve poured our heart into it (pun intended). Helping you succeed is Why!
  • Over 1,000 offerings focused on the areas of talent and career development, communication, leadership, organizational and individual effectiveness, hiring and performance management delivered in a variety of formats to meet you and your team's needs and busy schedule.
  • Customized learning and development programs for supervisors, individual contributors, teams and support staff.
  • A variety of learning and development resources that includes recommended Ted Talks, podcasts, Heart U Video and Book Channel, MOOCs, Harvard’s Tip of the Day, icebreakers, conversation starters and teambuilding activities, book clubs and learning challenges.
  • A robust learning portal– your command center for all things related to learning and development at Heart U.

MEET THE TEAM

Get to know the people dedicated to helping you on your learning journey.
Jennifer Barnes
Jennifer Barnes is the director of Learning & Development at Heart U. She leads the team to help equip staff with the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to succeed at AHA. Jennifer is formally educated in instructional design and educational psychology, which combine for innovative and creative approaches to learning. She continuously feeds her passion for learning and development by striving to deliver an exceptional learning experience to all staff. Jennifer has a love/hate relationship with the game of pool and plays with the first cue stick her father won at the age of 17.
Amanda Haggerty
Amanda Haggerty is a Heart U Learning & Development trainer, passionate about giving AHA employees an incredible learning experience. Amanda has a wealth of experience in sales, fundraising, public speaking, and training. Her work at Heart U focuses on strengthening relationship development skills to further our mission. As such, she designed, implemented, and is the lead trainer for the Learning! 100 award-winning program, Building Powerful Partnerships, which benefits both our revenue generating and health strategies staff. Amanda has earned certifications in Langevin Learning Services courses around Adult Learning, Instructional Techniques, and Instructional Design. In her spare time, she loves vacationing at the beach, cooking, and will watch pretty much any reality TV show on Bravo.
Prasert Meesuksabai
Prasert Meesuksabai is a learning technology designer at Heart U. He combines his technical skills and creative flair to create engaging web-based learning products that entertain, inform, and educate. Prasert’s cutting-edge graphics keep Heart U content current and engaging for learners. Technology and learning have always been his passion along with graphic design. One of his digital artworks was selected to be a part of the Richland College Art Students Exhibition at Latino Cultural Center in Dallas. Always on the go, Prasert loves to travel and find new places to visit; on his bucket list is to make it to every state in the U.S.
TJ Townsend
TJ Townsend is a learning technology designer at Heart U and works extensively in eLearning design. His technical skills are showcased in his ability to design eLearning courses, develop webpages and create inventive marketing materials. He is also integral in creating videos, games, and interactions for Heart U. This encompasses a large part of Heart U’s curriculum that TJ oversees. TJ is actively involved in the world of multimedia, from programming and 3d animation to video and audio production, and web development. TJ is a car lover who has participated in dozens of track and competitive racing events. He is also an offshore fishing enthusiast.
Brandon Walker
Brandon Walker is a Heart U Learning & Development trainer. He brings his talent for public speaking to the classroom, where he educates, advises, and engages participants on a variety of leadership and professional development topics. He is certified in several leadership training programs including DISC, Situational Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, and Crucial Conversations. He also holds a Langevin certificate as an Instructional Designer/Developer Level I. Brandon is the author of the book INERTIA: Seven Principles of Leadership in Motion. Brandon is an avid genre enthusiast and loves all things related to Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and superheroes.
Laura Zerega
Laura Zerega is an instructional designer with Heart U. She has a passion for identifying and creating learning solutions and thrives in making information exciting and engaging. Laura takes an identified need and works through the best ways to approach, research, connect, and develop for an effective learning experience. She loves finding new things to research, whether it’s innovative theories on leadership development or new time management tips. Her research extends to empirical studies, some of which has been published in Communication Quarterly. Laura’s family roots are in the pasta business: her great-great-great grandfather, Antoine Zerega, established the first pasta company in the United States in 1848.
Linda Banowetz
Linda Banowetz is the LMS & training administrator for Heart U. Linda has a breadth of learning management system (LMS) knowledge that helps people succeed through their online learning experience. For Linda, customer service is a top priority. Her goal is to proactively monitor and solve any issues, if they should arise in the LMS. Linda believes in being accessible to the AHA team as a resource for their continued success with Heart U. When Linda’s not managing all of our LMS needs, she enjoys spoiling her four grandchildren.

Your learning journey begins here! Heart U aims to provide you with an out of this world experience that meets all of your learning needs.

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