Mission Statement

Through human, financial, and physical resources, PDI’s mission is to conduct education-related activities which will enhance the economic base, educational credibility and professional presence of the University of North Texas.

About PDI

The Professional Development Institute Inc. (PDI) has provided education, information and training for more than four decades. 500,000 professionals have gained the tools and knowledge that increase performance on topics ranging from oil and gas accounting to financial management, private investigations, legal and business skills.

Our goals are to deliver value for your education and training dollars, and to ensure that our programs are effective for your needs.  Instructors, authors and staff come from all areas of industry and education, and are ready to provide quality service and valuable workplace solutions.


Dr. Marvin Berkeley, then Dean of the College of Business Administration, founded the Professional Development Institute (PDI) in 1973. PDI was originally a college department, but was incorporated as a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit corporation in 1984.

PDI’s first director - and president – was Dr. Paden Neeley, who guided the organization to a national reputation as a leading provider of education.

PDI and UNT have historically maintained a mutually beneficial partnership. PDI works with faculty at UNT as well as experienced industry professional to create practical, applicable training and education.  PDI has contributed millions to the university, funding endowments, professorships, equipment and special events.

Management Team

Ken Robertson, President, has a B.S. from Gorham State University and an MBA from the University of North Texas. He has been active with the American Society for Training and Development, the American Society of Association Executives and the UNT President's Council. Prior to joining PDI, Mr. Robertson held executive positions with Galveston’s Moody Foundation, the Texas Society of CPAs in Dallas, and organizations including Primedia and Voyager.

Mary Ann Crow, Director, Administrative Services, manages oil & gas conferences and the national oil & gas schools. She holds a degree from Colorado State University.

Melissa Harrison, Chief Financial Officer, is responsible for the financial accounting systems and financial reporting for PDI. She holds a BBA from Texas Woman's University.

Jim Hoffman, National Director, Business Development and Sales, has over 35 years in the oil and gas industry. In addition to his duties as National Sales Director, he has authored and teaches “Intro to Upstream”, “Land for Non-Landmen”, “Production Operations” and “The Upstream Office”. Prior to joining PDI, he held executive positions with a number of Oil & Gas software and consulting organizations, including PwC, Oracle Energy and Artesia Data Systems.

Sharon Horton, Manager, Chief Executives Round Table, coordinates meetings, social events, and an annual members’ retreat. She is a former corporate trainer for the Sheraton Corporation and a former member of the Hospitality Board of Governors at the University of North Texas. Sharon has a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Maryland University College.

Linda Meux, Director, Corporate Training Services, manages corporate training operations, working with companies to ensure successful events. Ms. Meux earned a B.A. from Midwestern State University.

Jennifer Murray, Director of Marketing, oversees marketing and advertising plans for all of the programs PDI offers. She also works closely with PDI’s website and registration systems. She holds a BA from Austin College and a MBA from The University of Texas at Austin.

Carol Perry, Manager, Marketing, works closely with PDI advertising and public relations. She holds a B.A. from Texas Tech University and a M.A. from University of Texas, Permian Basin.

Jason Robertson, Program Manager, On-Demand Programs, is responsible for building, maintaining and delivering all PDI On-Demand programs. He holds a B.A. in Telecommunications from Texas  Tech University.

Tami Russell, Director, Public Programs & Distance Learning, manages PDI’s extensive certificate program curriculum and all of PDI’s distance learning.

Rena Vincent, Staff Accountant, is responsible for accounts payable, receivable, payroll and other general administrative duties.  With many years of experience in a variety of industries, she adds a broad range of accounting and administrative experience to PDI.