Meet Maurine!

I am Maurine Kwende; I am transitioning to serve as the Independent Consultant community of practice lead here at ATD DC metro starting November. I was a volunteer for the chapter during the 2019 ATD Ice Conference. I have been a member of ATD DC Metro since 2012 and consider ATD as home to me for all things Talent Development. Before joining ATD DC metro, I was a member at ATD Tallahassee, Florida, where I volunteered in various capacities, including as a board member, VP of Communications, acting VP of Professional Development, President-Elect, President, and Past President.

Outside of ATD, I have a family. I am married to a fireman with two small kids. I am the CEO and Founder of EMK Learning Solutions LLC (, where I take pride in serving clients with custom training solutions, strategic planning, leadership development, personal development, facilitation workshops, coaching, and public speaking. I am a certified speaker, career and leadership coach, and consultant. I am passionate about empowering women and girls to fulfill and exceed their maximum potential through group coaching and workshops. No matter how big our dreams are, we can live them. I just published a book titled 'Dream Big and Live Your Dreams Boldly' to help others live their dreams boldly. I am also the host of the "Empowerment Minutes" podcast, a podcast for L&D, leadership, and coaching. On a personal level, I'm close to wrapping up my Ph.D. in Learning Technologies Design Research from George Mason University by December 2022. Outside work, family, and school, I love to volunteer and give back to my community, and I am passionate about service and adding value to others.

My Day

4:00 AM: Wake Up

My day starts early each day. When my alarm goes off, I jump out of bed and go to my home office downstairs, get a glass of lukewarm water and start my day in my pajamas. I'm a morning person, and at this time, my brain is razor-sharp, and I do most of my productive work in a quiet, uninterrupted space when my kids are fast asleep, and I can focus and get the job done. First, I log in to my computer, check emails, look at the list of goals I wrote the previous day, and add or subtract from it. Then, I start working on client projects which could include any of my services.

7:00 AM: Exercise

I then take a break from working and change into my workout clothes—I work out in my living room for 30-40 minutes. I do Bootcamp, HIIT, upper body, and lower body exercises. I also love the jump rope and using weights. I work out 5-6 days a week and get my heart rate going. I use Sydney Cummings videos on YouTube to work out.

7:45 AM: Kids Time

I commit my day in prayer and start getting my kids ready for school. I drop them off between 8:05 and 8:15 and come back home and catch my breath.

8:30 AM: Breakfast

I make myself a cup of black tea and add some milk and brown sugar. I can't do without my cup of tea. Then, I make a healthy breakfast, usually a veggie omelet and a slice of toast with some avocado. I have breakfast alone or with hubby if he is home. I try to eat healthy as much as I can.

9:00 AM: Work Zone

After breakfast, I get into a work zone with the kids out of the house and hubby at work or home. I resume working on client projects and keep going. I am most productive in the mornings, and I give my clients undivided attention. I work best without noises, and I also always have a notepad to note down any creative ideas that come to mind that I share with my clients. Everyone I work with tells me I have good ideas and am ready to be a sounding board. This has helped my clients with new ideas and perspectives that might contribute to the projects or future reference. My word is my bond, and I take pride in my work. I am most fulfilled when I turn in work, and I am proud of the client's satisfaction. EMK Learning Solutions LLC is a value-driven company. We serve our clients and ensure they are valued and get the best value for the work and relationships.

1:00 PM: Lunch and Meetings

After four hours of work, it's time to take a break and refuel. I prefer home-cooked meals and prepare my food in advance. I make myself a plate of anything containing veggies, carbs, and protein. Spinach is one of my favorite vegetables, and I love fish. Lunch could be sauteed spinach and grilled salmon with brown rice or fried plantain. I give myself 30 minutes to eat lunch, and if I have any scheduled client meetings, I do them at this time.

2:00 PM: Back to Work

After lunch and meetings, I get back to work and start wrapping up the most critical work that needs to be done. I check email again and make sure I attend to any urgent tasks.

3:30 PM: Family Time

School is over for the day for my kids, and they are ready to be picked up. So I drive to the elementary school five minutes from home, pick them up, and bring them home. I give them my undivided attention and have fun with them and hubby.

4:30 PM: Professional Development

Around this time, I check emails and attend any scheduled professional development sessions. I always say this "why should someone invest in you if you don't invest in yourself?" I take this time to learn a new skill, study, write scripts for my podcast "Empowerment Minutes," available on iTunes, Spotify, and Podbean. I also use this time to catch up on my schoolwork. At this time, I also do what I love to do, including catching up on social media, calling friends, and just relaxing.

6:30 PM: Dinner and Family

I get dinner ready for the family, and we all eat dinner, which is usually buffet-style. Each kid has their preference, so creating a menu with variety in mind is vital. After dinner, we hang out as a family. I also help kids with homework and play, catch up on TV shows or fun videos.

8:00 PM: Wrap Up Work

I get back to my emails and finish off any pending work and take a look at my goals for the day and check off accomplished tasks and start preparing for the next day.

10:00 PM: Bedtime

I get the kids ready for bed and start winding down for the day. It's time to pray again and thank God for the day. Finally, I set my alarm, and it's bedtime for me.

It's a wrap. That's what my days are like. Of course, every day is unique, and there might be a few changes here and there. I will leave you with these questions: "How are you living your dreams? Are you living your dreams boldly and unapologetically?" Check out my new book "Dream Big and Live Your Dreams Boldly" to learn more and take action. I would love to help you live your dreams boldly, reach out to me, and let's chat. I love volunteering and enjoy my volunteer role as the Independent Consultant CoP Lead at Metro DC ATD.

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