2009 Testimonials --
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.
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
Rita Quinton, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President
Organizational Facilty & Development
Leadership Development Institute
Daytona State College
1200 West Intl. Speedway Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL
Assn. of Legal Administrators
Regions 1 & 2 Educational Conference &
Exposition, Savannah, GA
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
The content was interesting to me...6.72
demonstrated mastery of the topic...6.70; presenter made good use of allotted
I gained new insight relevant to my work...6.35
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
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.
Professional Development Program Manager
Alameda Pediatric Dentistry
(One-day Team Building Retreat for 25-person Office; Carmel Valley, CA)
November 16, 2009
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
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.
A. Lisk, President/CEO
Professional Speakers Bureau
Dept. of Homeland
Security/Personnel Security Division
[Three-Part Stress and Team Building Series for 50+ attendees]
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
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
LCDR "JB" Baluyot
Assistant Supply Officer
Aviation Supply Department
(619)545-3246 cmml, 735-3246 dsn
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
Division/National Science Foundation
(Three-day Team Building Retreat to Build Communication and Coordination Bridges
Between and Among 30 Scientific and Administrative Staff)
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.
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!
Management Operations Assistant
Division of Earth Sciences
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Blvd., Room 785
Arlington, VA 22207
(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
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
Wentz, Paul BG (Brigadier General) MIL USA FORSCOM
13th Expeditionary (HQ) Support Command, Ft. Hood, TX
Homeland Security/Federal Women Employees Month
["Creatively Dealing with Change and Conflict" -- 1.5 hour Keynote for 150
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!"
Federal Women's Program Manager
Department of Homeland Security
Headquarters Equal Employment Opportunity Office
County of Fairfax, Virginia
[Ten-Part Series on "Creatively Managing Stress, Conflict and Team Building
through Humor" for Govt. Employees]
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
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
Sent: Friday, May 29, 2009 1:30 PM
To: Emerson, Barbara; Stocks, Judith R.
Cc: Wooten, Alan D.
Subject: 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
Thanks again for your time and talents! Very on target and well received.
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.
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
Institutes of Health Acquisitions Management Conference
[1.5 hour “Combat Strategies at the Burnout Battlefront” program for 200
May 26, 2009
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.
(Career Transition Org.)
[1 hour "Managing Stress and Conflict through Interactive-Motivational Humor
May 6, 2009
I've written this recommendation of your work to share with other LinkedIn
"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."
Forty + -- Greater Washington, DC
[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
8110 Gatehouse Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
Tel: 703 205 2272
["Still Crazy and Evolving After All These Years" program for sixty
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
Holiday Park Senior Center
3950 Ferrara Drive
Wheaton, Maryland 20906
Phone - 240-777-4999