21NTC Session

Using Text/SMS to Train, Educate & Build Community

This is a resubmission of an accepted 20NTC session proposal.


Through this session, attendees will learn how our organization transitioned much of our continuing education training of volunteers and our Board to texting, (and how we used this technology in new ways during the COVID pandemic for crisis communications.) We will share our story of implementation and how, through use of this tool, we have disseminated just-in-time training related to current information regarding the pandemic as well as continuing education. This tool is used by all generations from Baby Boomers through Gen Z. They have responded favorably to the use of this technology in training. Through use of texting we have obtained an open rate of over 75% and engagement of 92% of our volunteers. During the uncertainty of the pandemic volunteers looked forward to receiving their text messages.  This innovative tool was critical to our organization engaging our volunteers in a meaningful and cost-effective way during a difficult time.

Session Type

60 minute session

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how innovative tools can be used to train and engage volunteers using their cell phones.
  • Envision and describe how they can implement groundbreaking remote training in their organization.
  • Create a fluid training curriculum that can be absorbed by volunteers (in <10 minutes) at their convenience.

Target Audience

Trainers, Volunteer Management, Leadership, Marketing & Communications, IT who want to educate & engage volunteers, staff and board members.


Alli Stephens

Marketing & Communications Director

CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County

Alli Stephens is a nonprofit communications specialist and has piloted the development of successful marketing strategies and organizational development plans. She has been an influencer in the nonprofit arena for more than 17 years with a unique concentration on crisis communications. Although her primary role is driving development and volunteer recruitment through public relations and marketing campaigns, Alli has become distinctly involved in advancing training communications.

Ann Marie Ronsman

Executive Director

CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County

Ann Marie Ronsman is the Executive Director for CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County, Texas. She is a registered nurse and also a former CASA Advocate. She is the former Training Director for CASA and in that role transformed the training of volunteers using technology. She is a Trust Based Relational Intervention Practitioner which is a designation given through Texas Christian University after completion of a rigorous course of study in child trauma. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a Master’s Degree in Nursing Education from Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She resides in Montgomery with her husband Matt and their five children.

David Asheim

CEO & Founder

Train by Cell

Dave Asheim, CEO of Train by Cell, started one of the first mobile companies over 14 years ago with a focus on using mobile technology to improve business communication and employee engagement. With more than 4,000 clients, Train by Cell has worked with banks, credit unions, and other institutions in the financial services sector. Dave has a bachelor’s degree in finance and an MBA from the University of Illinois. Prior to launching Engage by Cell, Dave worked in leadership roles at iHello, Well Engaged, Flex Products, and Continental Bank. Dave has spoken at many conferences around the country including the Association for Talent Development, Society of Human Resource Managers, the American Museum Membership Conference, the Smithsonian, and the National Park and Recreation Association.



March 24, 2021


8:30am – 9:30am