The Kick Team

We create Online Learning. We then work with you to develop the best possible performance support solution.

These are the folks who will help you achieve your goals.

In addition to the core team on this page, we have a large network of contractors who work with us on a flexible schedule to round out or team as needed.
Click each to see a short bio and how they inform the products we create.

Shannon BW

Shannon Connor

CEO & Instructional Designer

Shannon founded Kick Learning in 2008.

A popular industry keynote speaker, Shannon is a seasoned instructional designer and eLearning developer. Highly-proficient with all of the authoring tools and ancillary software needed to create award-winning eLearning courses and possessing a solid understanding of adult learning models and processes, Shannon lends her expertise and her eye to all Kick projects.

Creative at heart, Shannon studied acting and improvisation for years, even starring in a few local commercials. She enjoys weaving that creativity into courses that teach concepts, change behaviors, and bring measurable results for her clients.

Melissa Mackal Headshot 400px

Melissa Mackal, Ph.D​

Director of Instructional Design

Melissa brings to the table 10+ years of instructional design and considerably more time in the general field of education and psychology.

She is dedicated to rigorous instructional design, elearning and helping clients realize their visions. These have combined to fuel her passion for the learner and creating a seamless learning experience.

Fields for which she has designed and developed training are industry, corporate, retail, financial, military and social services. When she is not engaged on a project, she is co-creating courses and presentations with Behavior Analytic colleagues.

She holds a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems and Learning Technology, an MA in Clinical Psychology and is an approved CE provider for Behavior Analysis certification. Melissa lives in Louisville, Kentucky and enjoys lazy days, bonfires, and day trips with her husband and two sons.

Engy Abou Elkhair

Director of Visual Design

Engy is a creative designer with an artistic flair.

Highly skilled in converting complex content into visually appealing material, her talents enable her to convey meaning in a way that entices, engages, and moves learners to take action. Engy runs a team of developers and graphic artists from her location in Egypt. We like to say her team’s work “sing for us”. The beauty you see in our learnings is because of Engy and her talented designers.

Engy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the American University in Cairo, majoring in Graphic Design and minoring in Business Administration. She loves to travel, explore new destinations, and experience new cultures…especially their food!

Jena Abou Elkhair

Graphic Designer/Developer

Jena is a graphic designer known for her passion and creativity.

She is always hungry for more knowledge and eager for success. Jena thinks outside the box and is a problem-solver, often providing creative solutions for tough situations during development of our eLearning courses. Jena’s talents aren’t limited to graphic design and development.

Jena is also a talented photographer, animator, and
sound editor.

Jena obtained a Bachelor’s Degree of Arts, majoring in Media Practice, from the
University of Sussex. Traveling the world, trying new food, and exploring new places are what keeps her creative juices flowing.


Youmna Osama Mostafa

Graphic Designer/Developer

Youmna has always had various interests since a young age. Specifically, she has been passionate about art and words.

She has always been intrigued by the relationship between the two and challenged by how to convey words visually and in a creative way. Through her work for Kick Learning, she tries to have her own unique fingerprint on the presented work. She is also fond of the design team spirit — sharing ideas, knowledge, and success with other members.

Besides development of eLearning courses, she is skilled in animation and publication design. Youmna earned a bachelor of Arts degree from the American University in Cairo, majoring in both Graphic Design and Psychology.

Besides work, you will find her writing, painting, or reading to discover people’s stories or the mysteries of design.


Sama Osman

Graphic Designer/Developer

Sama’s journey with graphic design started in her early school years and she has evolved into a passionate designer.

Working with Kick Learning alongside a great team has allowed Sama to learn, grow, and expand her skill set as a designer.

Sama’s interests also include anthropology (which she studied at The American University in Cairo), reading, and occasional crochet!


Salma Shawki

Graphic Designer/Developer

Salma is a multidisciplinary designer who constantly pushes herself towards skills convergence.

Thoroughly proficient in providing engaging learning experiences using different design skills, Salma earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Sciences and Arts at the German University in Cairo, majoring in Media Design.

She has a broad range of experience in the design field, carrying projects from concept to completion in different scopes, such as instructional design in the academic field, graphic design, interactive design and web design.

The German system she studied in and subsequently worked at advanced her character into having a conceptual, analytical, reflective and strategic design thinking mindset.

Salma walks with her heart on her sleeve. She is always seeking to learn new skills and is profoundly passionate about conceptual photography and film making.


Melanie Grafton


Melanie likes to call herself a “helper”. She loves learning new skills and implementing them in ways that help other people.

Using her fondness for words, she can help bring information to others by connecting technical data to easily-accessible material. In her longstanding role with Kick, Mel edits the audio that voiceover artists record, creates reports and tracks assets, and proofs the courses for grammar, spelling, and functionality. She’s a Jill of all trades here at Kick and we couldn’t get through without her!

Before joining Kick, Melanie obtained a Bachelor’s degree in English from Eastern Nazarene College.

Melanie enjoys curling up with her dog, a mug of coffee, and a good book on a rainy day.

Vera Hough

Vera Hough


Vera is a writer, editor, and voice artist who passionately loves words—their sound, their meaning, and how they look on the page…or screen!

Vera has degrees in English from Princeton and NYU, a certificate in Young Adult literature from SUNY Stony Brook Southampton, and has published essays on the web about parenting, pop culture, and disability. In high school she had a secret: she loved tests—and now at Kick Learning one of her favorite things to do is create assessments, although she also enjoys wordsmithing and thinking critically about the learner experience.

In her spare time Vera enjoys reading, running, and singing at the piano, especially if her large family joins in.

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