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Who are we?

For more than 55 years, the Potomac Chapter of International Society for Performance Improvement has been on the leading edge of evidence-based professional development in the fields of Human Performance Innovation and Organizational Health & Effectiveness in the Washington DC metropolitan area.  We focus on performance innovation that accelerates organizational health and agility, cultivates high performing teams, and liberates the superpowers of our members.

About you:

You believe that being better matters. As consultants, educators, and leaders in Federal, State, and Local Government, Education, Non-Government Organizations, Non-Profits, and Commercial Businesses you want to make our world of work a better place. You want to make a bigger impact in your world of work and want to learn, practice, and share evidence-based, "best-of-the-best" tools and mindset shaping performance innovation practices.


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  • Tuesday, March 20, 2018 12:44 PM | Peter Baverso (Administrator)

    Greetings friends,

    The March Session is rescheduled due to weather. The new date is March 27th.

    Thank you and stay warm and safe!

    With appreciation,

    Peter Baverso, President

  • Friday, February 09, 2018 10:22 PM | Peter Baverso (Administrator)

    Clarity Consultants is looking for a Leadership Development consultant with strong experience designing and developing training. The client organization is going through a cultural realignment that includes the development of new core values. The client is looking for a consultant who can take these new values and create Instructor-led training for management level employees. The goal is for the training to be very activity based and show the managers how to embody the new values. 

    Start Date: ASAP
    Duration: 2 months (estimate)
    Location: Virtual with the ability to be onsite in McLean, VA for meetings.
    Experience Required:

    • 10+ years of Leadership Development experience
    • Experience creating effective Instructor-led Training workshops
    • Experience creating engaging activities and get the participants excited about change

    To be considered for this project, please reply to Lindsey Gacanovic with your resume and a few sentences on how your experience is a match for this project.

    Lindsey Gacanovic, Direct line: 1 (408) 426-8724

  • Monday, January 22, 2018 7:15 PM | Peter Baverso (Administrator)

    Emotional Intelligence: Foundations for Performance Excellence

    Each registrant will receive a 'free' EI assessment as well. A great opportunity.

    Please distribute this full message to all your members to enable 'free' access.

    ISPI Bay Area/Boise State Chapter Upcoming Events

    Our Next Webinar:

    Date: January 25, 2018, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM PST 


    Emotional Intelligence: Foundations for Performance Excellence


    Presenters:  Gary Low, Ph.D and Richard Hammett, Ph.D.




    Please feel free to use the information on registration page at this link --


    Please make sure you include the following important registration information:

    1.     When registering, select "Other ISPI Chapter Members"

    2.     Registration code required: 8FUKX6AT    --- there would be one unique code for each webinar, in order to help us verify registrants from other chapters

    3.     Follow the registration wizard to fill in contact information till the last step "confirm registration"

    4. Registered participants will receive a link to the online EI assessment.


    See below for more details on the presentation and the presenters.  



    Stay in touch for more details later! Follow us for events & news updates on twitter @ISPIBABS! 


    Grayley McWatters


    ISPI BABS / Boise Chapter


    cell: 705-321-9927

    Skype Id: grayley11




    Gary R. Low, Ph.D.

    Gary Low, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Education, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Consulting Psychologist, Patron and Life Member, Forum for EI Learning (FEIL) in India, and Principal, EI Learning Systems, Inc. He is Founder and faculty member, Emotional Intelligence Training & Research Institute (EITRI) and has served as professor, department chair, director of major programs, and dean at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.  He has developed and taught EI courses for first-generation college students, graduate, and doctoral students, and has provided workshops and seminars on the development of affective skills for over thirty years.

    Richard D. Hammett, Ed.D.

    In 2008 Dr. Rick Hammett helped start and remains a principal in Emotional Intelligence Learning Systems, Inc. with Dr. Gary Low.  In addition to his work in EI Learning Systems and the Emotional Intelligence Training and Research Institute® (EITRI®), Rick teaches graduate research courses and supervises doctoral research for Walden University, where he serves as chair, methodologist, and university research reviewer. He also teaches online graduate courses in adult education for the University of Houston-Victoria and Texas A&M University-Kingsville.  Rick has co-authored articles, books, and a book chapter on EI-centric transformative approaches for education and is a co-creator of the Personal Excellence Map® (PEM®, Nelson, Low, & Hammett, 2007).   Rick is a founding faculty member of EITRI (see and executive editor of EITRI’s journal, The International Journal of Transformative Emotional Intelligence.


    Thank you for your interest and consideration of our transformative approach to emotional intelligence as a learning resource for performance improvement. From the very beginning of our research and work with personal and emotional skills in 1977, our approach has been positive and grounded in the belief that individuals have the capability to be and become healthy and highly successful in their career and life.  

    The Skills for Career And Life Effectiveness® (SCALE®) is one in a family of proprietary positive self-assessment instruments we have developed to quantify the essential skills of personal, academic, and career excellence.  Used by 2018 ISPI Geary Rummler Awardee Margo Murray, the SCALE® is the positive assessment process that we have developed to quantify and operationalize a structure for teaching an EI-centric approach for developing performance excellence. The extensive interpretation content included with your SCALE® profile are based on Margo’s 30+ years of experience working with our positive assessment products.

    Emotional Intelligence (EI), as briefly defined in our transformative educational theory, is the learned and developed ability to think constructively and behave wisely.  Our book,Emotional Intelligence: Achieving Academic and Career Excellence, identifies and teaches the skills essential to high levels of academic achievement, career effectiveness, and personal well being.  We developed our positive assessments and learning tools as valid and reliable measures of the higher-order cognitive, affective, and behavioral skills that learners need to be successful in the global economy of the 21st Century. 

    Goals for the webinar include:

    •      Provide a positive working/learning environment with the opportunity to teach and learn from one another.

    •      Present our transformative approach to EI within the larger context. Answer the question, why do we need a transformative approach to EI?

    •      Introduce an EI leadership theory that can be used through action learning to develop performance in positive ways.

    •      Introduce an EI-centric and research-derived, positive assessment process (the SCALE®) for performance improvement.

    •      Present an education process based on our Emotional Learning System© for integrating the SCALE® (or other positive assessment process) to develop self and others in personally meaningful ways. 

    Objectives for the webinar.  Interested participants shall leave the webinar with the following:

    •      Your own personally meaningful EI profile of SCALE® skills and skill sets which means you will get one free EI assessment!.Registered attendees will receive an email with a link to the EI assessment a few days in advance of the event.

    •      Provide a fluid and systematic process for developing EI skills based on the Emotional Learning System©.

    •      A practical process for developing a personal vision that is congruent with your personal and organizational goals.

    •      A practical example and process for selecting EI skills based on HR challenges in order to develop both individuals and the organization in positive ways.

    •      Share methods for continued learning.

    We look forward to spending time with you sharing and learning about performance improvement applications for transformative EI.  

    Note: Registered attendees will receive an email with a link to the webinar. If the link is not included in the initial registration confirmation, it will be sent a few days in advance of the event.



    Grayley McWatters




    Skype:  grayley11

  • Tuesday, January 16, 2018 9:12 PM | Peter Baverso (Administrator)
    Thank you Tim and Enderson for an insightful presentation!

    Big data technologies are changing the human capital value proposition. Executives expect performance improvement professionals to deliver insights using big data, but only a small percentage of executives believe that they possess strong human capital analytics capabilities.

    View the presentation materials here:

    ISPI Potomac Chapter Presentation.pdf


    Data Analytics and Evidence-Based Education Article - 2017.pdf

    With gratitude,

    Peter Baverso

  • Saturday, September 23, 2017 6:20 AM | Anonymous

    The presentation "Agile Government is Not An Oxymoron: Helping Agencies Sense and Respond in Today's Environment"  presented at the September 19, 2017 chapter session is now available for download here:  GOAA Presentation for ISPI Potomac 9 12 17.pptx

  • Tuesday, July 25, 2017 2:11 PM | Anonymous

    The deadline for submitting proposals is August 11, 2017.  Click HERE to submit your proposal.

    Educational sessions are the backbone of the ISPI Conference. The theme for the 2018 conference is Meaningful Work by Design. We will be exploring the application of design thinking to performance improvement as well as how to create and sustain meaning at work. For 2018, you will have the option of either a Roundtable, 1-hour, 2-hour, or 3-hour format. Roundtable is our classic session of three 20-minute rounds where you present the same topic and content to groups that rotate to your table every 20-minutes. The 1-hour format is our traditional “short”, focused presentations that give attendees a quick overview and synopsis of your topic. In a 2-hour format, you will have more time to fully “spotlight” your topic, share greater detail and impact of your practice, and create more space for attendees to practice and interact. Finally, our new 3-hour “deep dives” give you the greatest flexibility, engagement, and time to completely get into your topic, have attendees practice and create meaning together, and develop transferrable skills.
    NEW THIS YEAR...we will have a track specifically dedicated to developing and growing your professional network. Not a true educational track, the focus of these 1-hour or 2-hour sessions will be on connecting attendees with each other for meaningful learning and development at, throughout, and after the conference. Proposals should describe activities that attendees will engage in during the session to develop connections and expand their network. These should be HIGHLY interactive.

    ADDITIONALLY…we are excited to announce dedicated sessions for student research presentations. These stand alone 20-minutes sessions will incorporate 3 or 4 academic presentations during a 1-hour session. Students will be lead presenters and can be supported by faculty for development of the proposal and conference presentation.

    Conference Areas
    Your session topic must align with one of these tracks. Choose the ONE track you think BEST fits your proposal, and then select the session format you wish to present in. Note that not all tracks support all three session formats. If a format is not listed for a specific track, then it is not available.

    ROUNDTABLE: Dedicated to attendees coming away with a functional understanding of a model, approach, concept, or tool that they can use tomorrow in their performance improvement practice. Participants rotate to a new “roundtable” every 20-minutes for a total of three rounds. Presenters deliver their 20-minute sessions three consecutive times to a new audience each round.

    YOUR PROFESSIONAL NETWORK: Dedicated exclusively to making connections and building your professional network and circle of influence. The focus is on making new personal and business connections that will extend beyond the conference with the intent of continued support, mentoring, partnerships, and collaboration. This includes events like ice breakers, affinity groups, resume building, speed mentoring, elevator speeches, job searches, etc.    

    1. Short (1-hour)
    2. Spotlight (2-hours) 

     MEANINGFUL WORK: LEADERSHIP & CHANGE: Dedicated to two focuses: 1) models/methods/tools for leadership, change, and strategy; and/or 2) principles and processes for making people better humans and making them whole so that they can effectively lead themselves, others, and organizations (e.g., topics may center around mindfulness, positive psychology, etc).

    1. Short (1-hour)
    2. Spotlight (2-hours)
    3. Deep Dive (3-hours) 

    DESIGNING THINKING: INNOVATION & TRANSFORMATION: Dedicated to the impact of design thinking on innovation and transformation as well as its application to performance improvement. The focus is on the fundamentals of design thinking and its use to make individual, teams, and organizations better.

    1. Short (1-hour)
    2. Spotlight (2-hours)
    3. Deep Dive (3-hours)

    BROADENING YOUR APERTURE: Dedicated to bringing in content from outside the performance improvement community. The focus is exposing attendees to complimentary and supportive principles and practices from related disciplines that will enhance their overall performance improvement skillset and knowledge. This includes emerging performance improvement practices, the future of work and technology, theories/models/principles from business, management, engineering, etc.    

    1. Short (1-hour)
    2. Spotlight (2-hours) 

    LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES: Dedicated solely to skills/knowledge improvement and instructional design. The focus is on theories, models, tools, technologies, best practices, and lessons learned for developing and supporting individual performance. This includes classroom instruction, e-learning, electronic performance support, job aids, modeling and simulation, and mobile learning.

    1. Short (1-hour)
    2. Spotlight (2-hours)
    3. Deep Dive (3-hours) 

    TRIED & TRUE PRACTICES: Dedicated to core performance improvement and systems thinking models, theories, and practices at all levels of performance (individuals, teams, units, organization, communities, countries). The focus is on principles and practices that identify, distinguish, and define the field of performance improvement. This includes best practices and lessons learned from applying performance improvement fundamentals to make individuals, teams, units, organizations, communities, and countries better.

    1. Short (1-hour)
    2. Spotlight (2-hours)
    3. Deep Dive (3-hours) 

    SPEAKING OF RESEARCH: Dedicated to the sharing and application of research. The focus is on empirical research, action research, literature reviews, poster sessions, and research agenda building. These sessions can be delivery of research content to attendees and/or facilitated discussions regarding research in performance improvement and related fields.

    1. Short (1-hour)
    2. Spotlight (2-hours) 

    STUDENT ACADEMIC RESEARCH: Dedicated to student presentations of no more than 20-minutes on research findings, updates on current research projects, research-in-design projects, new theory or conceptual model formation, applied research methodologies, or theory building methodologies. Students are encouraged to form teams of 2-3 plus an academic advisor/faculty. At least one student and/or the advisor/faculty must attend the conference. In addition to the online application, applicants will submit a 3-page (all inclusive) short abstract (APA format) describing their research in the Presentation Design and Format section. All abstracts will be peer-reviewed with accepted applicants listed in the conference proceedings. No one researcher/applicant can be the lead presenter for more than 3 presentations during the conference.  

  • Friday, June 23, 2017 12:47 PM | Anonymous

    Mrs. Gabrielle Vetter-Taaffe is an organizational development and human resources management specialist with 25+ years of experience in the private and public sector, primarily with international organizations. Her career began in NYC with one of the leading “headhunting” firms. Thereafter, she moved to Baltimore, MD to work in human resources with a retail and commercial bank where she emphasized the importance of addressing the issues of employees and supervisors alike proactively and expediently. Her focus then shifted to conceptualizing and implementing leadership development programs at all levels of the organization for a geographically dispersed target audience at a development bank in Washington, D.C. Most recently Gabrielle worked as Program Manager for a consulting firm in the same area of leadership development. She is currently a freelance consultant where she is applying her combined skill-set on projects with the Inter-American Development Bank, The World Bank Group, USAID, the Pan-American Health Organization, and small non-profits.

    Gabrielle has also been an active volunteer with CornerStone Montgomery in their Vocational Services group for youth and young adults.    

    Her undergraduate degree is in Psychology from Drew University in NJ, her graduate degree is in organizational psychology from Columbia University in NY, and she received here ISPI CTP designation in 2011.

    Gabrielle has lived and travelled extensively in Europe and South America. She is bi-lingual in English and Spanish, and conversational in German and French.

    Please join me in congratulating Gabrielle as she continues her journey with ISPI Potomac!

    Bill Yeager, CPT

    President, ISPI Potomac Chapter 

  • Tuesday, June 20, 2017 9:32 AM | Anonymous

    Collaborate with ISPI and the ISPI Potomac Chapter! 

    Wouldn’t it be great if managers and supervisors were familiar with the Behavioral Engineering Model and could use a simple cause analysis tool to solve nagging performance issues in the workplace?  “Improving Workplace Performance”, a one-day workshop from the International Society for Performance Improvement, is now available nationwide.  The workshop is based on the work of Dr. Roger Chevalier, recent recipient of ISPI’s Honorary Life Award for lifetime professional achievement.  Roger has selected 16 CPTs in the US and four in Canada to facilitate the workshop.  

    Workshop participants will discover:

    A systematic, systemic approach to tough performance problems

    • New skills in defining and eliminating gaps in performance
    • A fresh approach to performance issues that is effective on any scale
    • A user-friendly cause analysis tool that they can use immediately
    • A way to provide additional value to their organization

    Earn a referral!

    If you know of an organization that has an interest in improving performance on the job and has a facility to host a workshop for 15 to 30 people, ISPI Potomac can arrange complementary seats in return for hosting a workshop. ISPI members who make a referral that results in a workshop receive a referral fee!

    Contact Jim Morrison, CPT or Bill Yeager, CPT for further information!

  • Thursday, April 20, 2017 9:16 AM | Anonymous

    Based on the results of our member elections, It is my esteem pleasure to introduce you to ISPI Potomac Chapter’s leadership for 2017-2018.  These fine professionals represent the best of our field and I am extremely confident that under these leaders the Chapter will continue its momentum and succeed in every way.  

    President Peter Baverso

    Peter Baverso is an experienced coach and trainer, active in the Performance Improvement community since 1996.  Peter leads the human performance practice for Marine Corps Acquisition; serves as Adjunct Faculty for the University of Phoenix, John Sperling School of Management; and is Vice Dean/International Director for Organizational Transcendence for the International Organizational Change Management Institute.

    President-Elect & Session Chair David Rudd, CPT

    David Rudd is the Director, Training & Development for the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General.  Currently, he is the Vice President of Membership for the Potomac Chapter. After retiring from the Navy in 2006, Dave held various government positions in Adult Education and Development.  He is an Adjunct Professor at UMBC teaching a course in Human Performance Technology in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Master's Program.   Dave earned a MEd in Adult Education and Development from Strayer University and a MEd in Training and Performance Improvement from Capella University.  He also has a Masters Certificate in Return on Investment Methodology (ROI).  In addition to being a Certified Performance Technologist (CPT), he is also a Certified ROI Professional (CRP) through the ROI Institute and Certified Trainer/Human Resource Development Consultant (CT/HRDC) through the International Board of Certified Trainers. 

    Vice-President of Administration Lenz Bayas

    Lenz currently works as an Instructional Design Consultant and developer of courses across a variety of domain areas, including Financial Management, Program & Project Management, and Leadership & Management. He has design courses for instructor-led, virtual, and blended training deliveries.

    Vice-President for Finance Jim Govoni

    James K. Govoni is General Manager Hardesty Funeral Home, P.A. Annapolis-Galesville-Gambrills.  Jim joined the firm as general manager in 2000.  He started his career in funeral service after a four year tour of duty in the United States Navy.  While stationed at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, he worked part time for the Robert A. Pumphrey Funeral Home, P.A., Bethesda, MD where he became an apprentice mortician in 1982.  He attended the Catonsville Community College, graduating in 1984 and obtained his morticians license in 1985.  In 1987 he joined the then Beall Funeral Home in Bowie, MD where he and his partner Jeffrey Jorney reside.  The firm was sold in 1989 and became the Beall-Evans Funeral Home, changing in 1993 to the Robert E. Evans Funeral Home.  He became manager in 1997.  Jim is a member of St. Pius X Catholic Church, Dignity USA/Washington, and West Annapolis Business Association where he was treasurer for seven years.

    The new officers will take over on July 1.  In the interim, lots of things are happening highlighted by the International Conference in Montréal in late April and Potomac Chapter sessions in May and June.  Looking beyond, we are still seeking additional members who would like to volunteer some time in support of Chapter programs such as membership, marketing, and session planning.  For those who left their names on the ballot—thank you!  For others who wish to volunteer an hour or two a month, please let me know by email.  Volunteering at ISPI Potomac is a great way to give back to our HPT community.  For those of you not yet and/or considering a membership with the ISPI Potomac Chapter, I recommend you take a look at all the great professional benefits the Chapter has to offer.  Navigate to: and take a look.

    As I look back on my tenure as President, I took over the Chapter from Storm's very capable hands and certainly hope I leave incoming President Peter Baverso with a Chapter that is on par (if not better than) what was given to me.  I am committed personally and professionally to the success of the Chapter and will continue to support our mission into the future.  That said, there are two members I would like to thank for helping me through my tenure as President:  Molly Wankel, who is our foundational rock and the gatekeeper of our Chapter history; and Storm Freeman, who as Past-President met with me periodically to be of great assistance and a sounding board for current and new initiatives. 

    I would also like to extend a hearty thank you to all of our Chapter members who contribute to our collective successes.  You all made my tenure a breeze. 

    Yours, in performance.  

    Bill Yeager, CPT

    President, ISPI Potomac Chapter


  • Tuesday, April 18, 2017 8:30 AM | Anonymous

    It is election season for the ISPI Potomac Chapter.  We are currently in the process of selecting our 2017-2018 slate of officers and soliciting volunteers to help in various aspects of Chapter management.  The new board will take over on July 1, 2017.

    Chapter members received a ballot via email; however, all those interested in volunteering can email me direct at: and we can discuss how one or two hours a month can go far in contributing to our community. 

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ISPI Potomac is a multi-year recipient of both the ISPI Chapter of Excellence and Chapter of Merit Awards.


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