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2009 Testimonials -- General

 Daytona State College
[Two Programs -- "Practice Safe Stress" and a "Leader's Greatest Gift -- TLCs: Inspiring Trust, Laughter and Creative Collaboration" -- for faculty and staff; Dec 2009]

Daytona State College wanted a guest speaker that would motivate, entertain, inform and energize its faculty and staff.  Mark Gorkin provided all of that and more.  His approach to learning involved each participant and led them through experiential exercises that punctuated each of his subject emphasis points.

He leads his audience down the path and fully describes stress and then presents strategies to reduce both stress and potential burnout.  He then builds on those premises with leadership concepts that challenge his audience to attain a higher level of trust through laughter and creative collaboration.

Through Mark Gorkin's lecture, exercises, humor and song, the Daytona State College staff and faculty gain usable knowledge and behaviors that will enhance abilities to handle stress and lead the college into the future.

Thomas Sanders
Training Manager
Organizational Facilty & Development


Mark Gorkin did everything he said he would do and more!  His presentation style demonstrates his deep understanding of people, and he was both entertaining and thoughtfully engaging while teaching and guiding the audience.

Rita Quinton, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President
Organizational Facilty & Development
Leadership Development Institute


Daytona State College
1200 West Intl. Speedway Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL  32114


Assn. of Legal Administrators
Regions 1 & 2 Educational Conference & Exposition, Savannah, GA

Oct 2009

Just a brief summation of some of the "outside the box/outside the curve" evaluation feedback that my high energy, highly interactive and FUN program -- "Practicing Safe Stress in Times of Change" (CM02) -- received at the 2009 Regions 1 & 2 Educational Conference & Exposition held in Savannah, GA this past October.

Out of 62 attendees there were 57 responses.  The total conference presenter evaluation average was 6.09 out of a possible 7; my overall rating:  6.54.  My actual range:

The content was interesting to me...6.72
The presenter demonstrated mastery of the topic...6.70; presenter made good use of allotted time...6.70  to

I gained new insight relevant to my work...6.35
My learning objectives for this course were addressed...6.40

And 94.6 would recommend this speaker for future conferences (1.8% did not answer).

Though it's the written responses that really capture the flavor of the electric time we had.  (Actually, an officer from the Atlanta Chapter came up to me right after the program and said, "I wasn't in your workshop, but everyone is raving about your program.  Would you be willing to come to Atlanta?")  Some of the written responses:

Highly recommend for the future.  Needed larger room.  Speaker captivated attendees the entire time.

This workshop was a lot of fun, at the same time we learned a lot!!

He has great energy and his ability to motivate was dynamic -- great session.

Initially I was skeptical of this session, but I REALLY enjoyed it.  Maybe his animation helped me to think outside of the box.  I thought the group drawing was an excellent exercise for us to do together.  The rap [sic] was hysterical.  [I'm pioneering the field of psychologically humorous rap music and, as a therapist, calling it, naturally, "Shrink Rap" ™ Productions.]  And finally...

We need more seminars like this that bring us all together.

Assembled by
Rosemary Shiels
Professional Development Program Manager


Alameda Pediatric Dentistry
(One-day Team Building Retreat for 25-person Office; Carmel Valley, CA)

November 16, 2009

Dear Mark,

On behalf of all the doctors and staff members at Alameda and Pleasanton Pediatric Dentistry, we would like to thank you for putting on such a fun and entertaining program during our staff retreat in Carmel!  Everyone took away a little something from the tips you gave about communication and team building.  I can't count how many times during the day that people would tell me how your talk was exactly what we needed. We appreciated the open atmosphere that was created -- where even the shyest staff members felt comfortable speaking up and getting involved in the discussions and exercises.  Everyone came back noticeably energized and our team was even more cohesive than before; ready to take on the challenges that we are all currently facing during these times.  Thanks for helping make the retreat a successful and worthwhile event.  People are already asking about when the next one will be.


MyLinh Ngo, DMD
Alameda Pediatric Dentistry


Oct 2009 Speaker Showcase -- Terrific Speakers; Columbus, OH


You are a hoot -- as they say down South.  A great talent with lots of wisdom.  Great job!  Glad we finally got to meet.  Let's stay in touch.


Dr. Thom A. Lisk, President/CEO
Professional Speakers Bureau Int'lwww.TerrificSpeakers.com
Phones: 614-841-1776


Dept. of Homeland Security/Personnel Security Division

[Three-Part Stress and Team Building Series for 50+ attendees]

October 22,2009

MEMORANDUM FOR: Mark Gorkin, MSW, LICSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
FROM: Katherine Q. Janosek, Chief, Personnel Security Division and Team Building Working Group, Personnel Security Division

Managing Stress Workshop Acknowledgement/Thanks

We here at Personnel Security Division (PSD) of the Department of Homeland Security would like to thank you for taking part in our Team Building Working Group Workshop which was a three part series which included your:

(1) Managing Stress, Effective Communication and Strengthening Teams: An Interactive and FUN Approach,
(2) a Manager's Meeting and
(3) Disarming a Critical Aggressor, The Four "R's of PRO Relating, and The Six "F"s for Managing Loss and Change.

The staff thoroughly enjoyed your humorous approach for dealing with stress and issues in and outside the office and the lively interactive exercises were an added plus. Your participation has contributed to our Team Building mission. With your inspiration, we are well on our way to becoming a more productive and team oriented division. We hope that your time spent with PSD was equally rewarding.

Kaye Janosek, Chief

Teresa Hunter, Admin Asst.

Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) -- Southwest Chapter Leadership Conference
[1-hour closing presentation on "A Leader's Greatest Gift -- TLCs:  Inspiring Trust, Laughter and Creative Collaboration"; 60 attendees]

Sep 15, 2009
Mr. Mark Gorkin,

     On behalf of FAPAC Southwest Officers and from all the attendees of our Leadership Seminar last Saturday, 12 September 2009, I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for your outstanding and enlightening training experience.  Everyone in attendance had a great time and gained valuable knowledge on how to deal with stress and how to lead and manage personnel in a stressful environment.  Additionally, the various exercises you provided helped build teamwork.  I am sure that everyone would be able to use the valuable tools they gained from this seminar in their day to day working environment.

     Thank you so much and we look forward to working with you again in the future.


LCDR "JB" Baluyot
Assistant Supply Officer
Aviation Supply Department
(619)545-3246 cmml, 735-3246 dsn
(619)545-3251 fax

CEO FAPAC Southwest

Federal Asian Pacific American Council/DC Chapter Meeting

[45 minute program on "A Leader's Greatest Gift -- TLCs:  Inspiring Trust, Laughter and Creative Collaboration"]

Sep. 3,  2009


Again, I would like to personally thank you for taking time to give FAPAC members a wonderful session yesterday at our general meeting.  You have the magic of engaging the audience.   We benefited and enjoyed your session.



Marina Milton, CPA
FAPAC 2009 Program Chair


Earth Sciences Division/National Science Foundation
(Three-day Team Building Retreat to Build Communication and Coordination Bridges Between and Among 30 Scientific and Administrative Staff)

Sep 2, 2008


Many thanks again for all that you did.  So many people came back feeling so optimistic for our office.  Our new division director enjoyed it so much.  He wished that he could have stayed the whole 3 days.  Attached are a few pictures from the retreat.


Follow-up Feedback

October 5, 2009

I am glad that Teresa decided to select you.  There are many that still talk about you in the office and how much they really enjoyed the retreat.  Our main trouble maker who would not participate in the retreat has since retired and it was time for her to do so...Thanks to you working with our division, we have program directors who will stand up for us.  That is a major accomplishment!

Patty Brooking
Management Operations Assistant
Division of Earth Sciences
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Blvd., Room 785
Arlington, VA  22207


13th Expeditionary (HQ) Support Command, Ft. Hood, TX
("Communications and Team Building" Predeployment/Offsite program and after dinner speech on "Motivational Humor" for 70 senior officers, senior sergeants and spouses)


Mark, Sorry it has taken me a week to get back to you...one of those weeks...we will definitely look into seeing how we can get you into theater to experience the "combat" side of stress..you definitely were instrumental in setting the stage for our conference and achieved more than I could have ever expected with respect to building our Team...as you saw, we are a unique organization consisting of Soldiers in the Active, Reserve and National Guard who generally don't have the opportunity to get together until we meet in theater.......the exercises you provided during the seminar and the excellent dinner session really hit the mark, and provided us with some very useful concepts/tools as we continue to do the spade work in building an effective Team....in an organization like this, that is a never ending task...thanks again for making time for us....you provided a wonderful service and laid the foundation---definitely consider you a valued member of the 13th..will definitely stay in touch and yell if--when:) we need some more from the Stress Doc!!!


Wentz, Paul BG (Brigadier General) MIL USA FORSCOM
13th Expeditionary (HQ) Support Command, Ft. Hood, TX



Dept. Of Homeland Security/Federal Women Employees Month
["Creatively Dealing with Change and Conflict" -- 1.5 hour Keynote for 150 attendees]

May 4, 2009

"Mark Gorkin did a fantastic job of keeping the audience energized in an afternoon presentation entitled "Creatively Dealing with Change and Conflict"!  The group exercises were rousing and well-received.  Mark was a refreshing change from the usual lecturers and talking heads.  One participant stated that he was "quirky but very knowledgeable and interesting".  Numerous laudatory comments were received regarding Mark's delivery methods.  He was definitely the right choice to revitalize the participants right after lunch.  Mark is lively, energizing, and informative.  He definitely knows his stuff!"

Linda Fresh
Federal Women's Program Manager
Department of Homeland Security
Headquarters Equal Employment Opportunity Office


(202) 447-0252

County of Fairfax, Virginia
[Ten-Part Series on "Creatively Managing Stress, Conflict and Team Building through Humor" for Govt. Employees]


Hi Mark,
I just wanted to email you to let you know that the workshops you did for county agencies this past spring were well-received and came at a good time given our budget situation.  We appreciated your flexibility in rescheduling when a few of the sessions had low enrollment.  I know that the Housing folks were pleased to be able to incorporate one of your stress workshops into their annual professional development day.  In addition, the one for the Job Seekers Network was very timely and appropriate. 
The feedback that I've gotten has been very positive and employees appreciated your humorous approach to a very difficult challenge.  We will be in contact when we need to hold future workshops.  Thanks again for everything!
Barbara Emerson, SPHR
Manager, Organizational Development and Training
County of Fairfax, Virginia
12000 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, Virginia 22035

Mental Retardation Services/Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board
[1.5 hour “Practice Safe Stress: Creatively Engaging Transition-Transformation and Building Team Cooperation through Humor" for sixty]

From: Friedman, Joel
Friday, May 29, 2009 1:30 PM
Emerson, Barbara; Stocks, Judith R.
Wooten, Alan D.
RE: A Speaker Referral

Thanks for referring Mark Gorkin to us. He presented, “Practice Safe Stress: Creatively Engaging Transition-Transformation and Building Team Cooperation through Humor,” to Intellectual Disability Services staff yesterday as part of a larger program. Everyone enjoyed the topic content and Mark's delivery "style." He was very easy to work with leading up to and during the presentation. I think he's a keeper. 


Joel M. Friedman
Coordinator of Strategic Planning
Mental Retardation Services
Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board

(703)324-4433 (Direct)
(703)324-4400 (Main)



Thanks again for your time and talents!  Very on target and well received. 


Alan Wooten
Director, Mental Retardation Services
Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board


It was great having you with us yesterday. There were many positive comments and I believe everyone enjoyed your "style" of presentation. Hopefully, you can share your knowledge and insights with us again.
Thank you.

Workforce Technology Center/Division of Rehabilitation Services
[2 hour "Values- Based Teaming" Program for 125 attendees]

Good morning Mark, Sorry its taken so long but things are kicking into high gear with our Conference and the new state fiscal year coming around the corner.  We did thoroughly enjoy the training and appreciated your flexibility and creativity with infusing your teambuilding exercises into our Core Values program here at the Workforce and Technology Center.  Your ability to energize 125 staff in an auditorium and keep them focused while having fun and learning all at  the same time is truly remarkable and a reflection of your skills as a trainer and commitment to ongoing professional development.  Thank you again for all of the preparation you did to customize our event.

Melissa C. Pemberton,M.A.Ed.,CRC
Division of Rehabilitation Services
Staff Specialist, Human Resource Development
2301 Argonne Drive
Baltimore, Maryland 21218


National Institutes of Health Acquisitions Management Conference
[1.5 hour “Combat Strategies at the Burnout Battlefront” program for 200 attendees]

May 26, 2009

Dear Mark,

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your participation as a plenary speaker at the 2008 NIH AMC Symposium. Your presentation entitled “Combat Strategies at the Burnout Battlefront” was widely attended as it appears there is a great need for de-stressing within the acquisition community of NIH. The presentation was interactive and energetic and it kept the audience engaged at all times. It was easy to see through the active participation of the audience that many people feel stress in their work environment and are seeking ways to relieve that stress. Your timely advice and strategies for relieving stress were greatly appreciated by all. I highly recommend this training for supervisors and employees combined to ensure the best return on their time.

I hope that we have an opportunity to work together in the future. Thank you for all your efforts in making the 2008 NIH AMC Symposium a success!

Donna Perry-Lalley, M.S.
Co-Chair 2008 NIH AMC Symposium

Contracting Officer Representative
Office of Acquisitions
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health


Disclaimer -- These statements represent the opinions of the writer and/or participants in an NIH sponsored symposium and are not to be misconstrued as an endorsement of the StressDoc by the NIH or any other Government agency.

Forty + -- Greater Washington, DC (Career Transition Org.)
[1 hour "Managing Stress and Conflict through Interactive-Motivational Humor Program"]

May 6, 2009

Dear Mark,
I've written this recommendation of your work to share with other LinkedIn users.

"Mark is one of the most creative and effective speakers we have ever had. He is able to effectively combine his knowledge of people under stress with humor. This talent has had great positive impact on our members."

Joel Sarfati
Executive Director
Forty + -- Greater Washington, DC


INOVA Health System/Recruitment Dept.
[Stress and Team Building Program]

Mar 23, 2009

Thank you for coming to INOVA Health System and providing a well balanced, stress relieving workshop to our recruiters last week.  They thoroughly enjoyed it and were completely engaged.  Not only was your humor great, but also your content very appropriate.  In times like these, we feel it is important to not lose perspective and ensure that hope is present in our every day lives.  Thank you!


Sandra Martínez

EEO/Diversity Recruitment
Human Resources
8110 Gatehouse Road
Suite 200-West
Falls Church, VA  22042

Tel: 703 205 2272

Holiday Park Senior Center
["Still Crazy and Evolving After All These Years" program for sixty attendees/retirees]

Program Blurb
:  "The Stress Doc, Mark Gorkin, will encourage us to explore a new self-discovery.  We most often think of the senior years as crusing to the end.  Can we really set new sights and adventures at any age?  Gorkin believes all those trials and tribulations, flaws and foibles allow us to explore new landscapes and mindscapes.  In addition to being inspired, you will laugh!"

Mar 18, 2009

Hi Mark !

   Yes, yes, yes !  This was definitely an outstanding program and so much FUN !    It is -- to put it plainly -- an exciting experience listening to you and wonderfully uplifting!  I love the way you can get us all to laugh at ourselves (and at you !!) but then also motivate us to talk to each other and think about our good experiences and even not-so-good experiences; to explore and think positively about life -- all that good stuff !!  We do need people like you to put things in perspective!

   Thank you Mark, so very much, for being a wonderful part of Holiday Park life. We had a very large audience and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely.  It was a fantastic afternoon.

   Take care and enjoy the spring !!


PS:  I loved the (Shrink) rap !!!!

Betsy R. Graft
Program Assistant
Holiday Park Senior Center
3950 Ferrara Drive
Wheaton, Maryland   20906

Phone - 240-777-4999