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2011 training retreat

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The 2011 members-only Advanced Mediation Training Retreat was held at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island FL, guest presenters included Lee Jay Berman (CA), Doug Noll (CA) and Don Philbin (TX) from Aug 11th to 13th.

Photos from the event are posted below (just click photos to pull up larger versions!)

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Attendee Testimonials 

The 2011 Retreat was attended by around 75 leading neutrals from 10 states - many Academy members kindly gave feedback for the course...

"Quite simply the single best ADR seminar I have attended. Period."
- John S. Freud, Miami, FL 

"This was truly the most interesting and valuable seminar I have attended in over 18 years of ADR practice. It introduced me to new concepts and techniques which have already been put to practical use in my sessions. In addition, it brought home the fact that techniques that I had already been using based on experience, instinct, trial and error were not simply aspects of the "art" of negotiation, but also the "science" of negotiation, bringing added structure and consistency in the use of those techniques. Not only were the presenters outstanding, but the interaction with other ADR professionals with levels of experience comparable to mine further enhanced the educational experience. Just one question.. When and where is the next one?"
- Simon M. Harrison, Miami, FL 

"Simply awesome. It is one of the best, truly advanced, ADR seminars I have attended in 20 years of practice and that includes the excellent advanced seminars at Harvard by Roger Fisher. I found the presenters to be top-flight experts in their fields. The neuro-psych presentation was particularly interesting and useful. I have kept the reference materials handy on my desktop and refer to them often. Recently I was dealing with a particularly difficult personality in a major multi-party commercial case who threatened to sink the process. Frustrated, I went into my office, got the seminar materials, and re-read the part on intervention techniques. I went back into the mediation, pulled the difficult party aside for a one-on-one meeting with his counsel's blessings, and managed to turn him around. The case finally settled a few evenings later with a call to my cell-phone  from the difficult party who completely changed his position and thanked me for my work. I cannot say enough good things about this seminar."
- J. Joaquin Fraxedas, Maitland, FL 

"Congratulations - I am writing to express my sincerest appreciation for a truly outstanding and extremely valuable conference. I can't wait to attend the encore next year!"
- Brian Spector, Esq. Miami, FL 

"The NADN Conference is really the only opportunity to spend a weekend with fellow professionals who are at the peak of the mediation world. A great way to elevate the level of your mediation practice while enjoying the company if like-minded mediators, some of whom are legends in our profession."
 - Mark E. Becker, Tallahassee, FL 

"What a worthwhile, cutting-edge program. Thank you to the NADN and your speakers for a Don’t Miss It event filled with new ideas, tools and strategies for us to move to the next level."
- Stephen G. Fischer, W. Palm Beach, FL 

"The NADN Advanced Training Seminar provided a refreshing look at new techniques and shared experiences from nationally acclaimed mediators respected as preeminent. With a unique blending of borrowed principles from neuro-linguistics and martial arts, it doesn't get any more 'high level' than this!"
 - Murray B. Silverstein, Tampa, FL

"The NADN’s advanced training retreat was well worth the investment in time and resources. As a mediator who has always relied on being intuitive in finding solutions to disputes, the advanced training introduced me to specific, strategic approaches to the mediation process. It also served as a reminder of the importance of self-mastery as a piece of the mediator’s skill set."
- Hon. Kenneth Simon, Birmingham, AL

"It doesn't get any better than this! How many times do we attend "advanced" mediation training courses, only to find out that they are not so "advanced"? The opportunity to be among the best and most experienced neutrals in the country for two days in gorgeous surroundings was really remarkable. I can't wait for next year's meeting!"
- Will Pryor, Dallas, TX

"After twenty five years of attending trainings in dispute resolution, the two days in Florida at the Ritz Carlton was a capstone. I was particularly anticipating Doug Noll's material as I am interested in persuasion, resistance and the neuroscience of conflict so bought his book. He sent me his bibliography too! The team of Lee Jay, Don Philbin and Doug Noll was inspired - they kept all of us engaged, intrigued and in awe! Thank you. "
- Kay Elliott, Esq. , Fort Worth, TX

"What makes training 'Advanced'? It has to be more than a refresher. These sessions taught us how to take principles of psychology and neurology and apply them to the art of mediation. Our training was not only about techniques that work, but about exactly why they work. Good stuff!"

- Robert L. Arrington, Kingsport, TN

"Hands down, the most useful and informative ADR seminar I have ever attended - I definitely look forward to coming back next year."
- Dana C. Holloway, Knoxville, TN

"Excellent program and outstanding faculty; interesting and congenial group of mediators in attendance. Most certainly worth the investment of time and energy required to be present. A premier event from beginning to end."
- Rookie Norton, Knoxville, TN

"The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals conference, in Amelia Island, Florida, was very informative and provided time for networking with other neutrals. The speakers presented cerebral concepts of human behavior, which they use to understand the verbal and physical language of parties for whom they mediate [and probably the participants in the program] to assist them, in increasing participation by recalcitrant parties and in resolving their mediations."
- Irene C. Warshauer, New York, NY

"...I really appreciated the fact that it was aimed more at more experienced mediators and was certainly very helpful in adding more arrows to my quiver to get cases settled. Thanks for your help with this - terrific seminar!"
 - Jim Stewart, Atlanta, GA

"The NADN Seminar was outstanding in every respect. Having advanced instruction coupled with learning from our peers provided a unique opportunity. Thanks for your efforts in organizing this, it really paid off!"
 - David M. Zacks, Atlanta, GA 

"This truly was an advanced mediation training program and FAR more advanced than any other so-called “advanced” program I have ever attended. Remarkable content, I look forward to next year!"
 - Richard T. Alexander, Duluth, GA 

"First, please let me send along my congratulations for an event well done! The seminar itself was quite outstanding and one of the best I have ever attended."
 - Herbert H. Gray III, Atlanta, GA 

"As experienced mediators, it becomes easy to fall into a routine way of handling cases. Some may describe this as a rut. This meeting forces us to think outside the box. Not only do you learn much from the experienced and talented speakers, but the process of interacting with and exchanging ideas with other experienced professionals makes this a very worthwhile experience"
 - Neal W. Dickert, Augusta, GA 

"Training beyond the initial Certification type course is really not so easy to find. This one was perfect. Highly recommended to experienced mediators, the AIM faculty members were excellent."
 - Reagan H. Weaver, Raleigh, NC 

"The program was innovative, insightful, and well matched to the expertise of the audience. An added benefit was the opportunity to learn from, and socialize with, mediators from across the country."
 - René Ellis, Durham, NC 

"This was an eye-opening seminar for experienced mediators. I have a new set of tools to solve seemingly intractable problems and settle the most difficult cases! The faculty members were superb."
 - Kenneth M. Byrum, Bakersfield, CA 

"I certainly recommend the NADN Advanced Training Seminar for upper level training by nationally known speakers and presenters. Strongly researched, experience proven techniques for overcoming collateral obstacles to fair and timely settlements. A great 2 days of nugget-laden advice and advanced settlement techniques coupled with the opportunity to trade practical tips and pointers with leading mediators."
 - Hon. Sidney S. Eagles, Raleigh, NC 

"My thanks to you and Darren for putting together another fantastic annual conference! The Ritz-Carlton at Amelia Island was breathtaking and by the way, their staff was exceptional throughout the facility. The reasonableness of prices was a very pleasant surprise. Lee Jay Berman and Doug Noll are superlative teachers, both in presentation and content. I am now reading Doug’s essay on the Neuroscience of Conflict and have ordered one of his books…to start. This is the kind of material I have been seeking everywhere, but could not find until NADN. I must tell you that after last years’ exceptional seminar, I was more than a little bit cynical that they’d be able to take their teaching to another level, but they sure did. Adding Don Philbin to the faculty brought in a new and humorous perspective. I truly appreciate that NADN recognizes the value of its members’ time away from their practices, and makes excellent use of that time."
 - Rodney Romano, West Palm Beach, FL

"The Retreat presented refreshing ways to look at techniques and methods to generate effective communications not only for the purpose of resolving conflicts in mediations but also for use in every day life. The faculty was excellent. It was a worthwhile experience." 
- Hon. Major Harding, Tallahassee, FL

"After two days of attendance at the Advanced Mediation Training Seminar I was so inspired as to immediately spend time organizing the wealth of information, suggestions and inspiration garnered over the course of the seminar. Invaluable and exceedingly efficacious."
 - Charles Carter, Gainesville, FL

"I thought the seminar was truly outstanding. Lee Jay, Doug, Mel, and Erica were all entertaining, interesting people in themselves, hugely enlightening, and down to earth and practical, all at the same time. And each of their presentations gave me lots of new things to think about regarding other people and myself that I hadn’t considered before in my 35-plus years of practice as a lawyer and 13-plus years as a mediator. I was so mind-boggled by the end that I drove the 2-1/2 hours home in silence while my inner voices jumped from one part of the seminar to another, disagreeing about or debating what they had each heard, felt or seen. I was totally exhausted by the time I got home. Sign me up for next year!"
 - Terrance E. Schmidt, Jacksonville, FL

 "Simply the most valuable seminar (CME or otherwise) I’ve attended in the last 25 years."
 - John Dorough, Ocala, FL

"The Advanced Mediation Training Seminar was the best program for experienced mediators that I have ever taken in my 21 years as a mediator. The outstanding trainers presented all-new techniques never revealed before in any other program I’ve attended. The new skills I learned will pay huge dividends in my future work. Thank you to the Academy for this great learning experience!."
 - Cary Singletary, Tampa, FL

"The presentations were both informative and entertaining. The techniques discussed provide the experienced mediator with an improved ability to resolve both routine and difficult cases."
 - David Luff, Orlando, FL 

"The 2 day NADN seminar was very worthwhile. Lee Jay Berman, Doug Noll, Mel Rubin and Erica Ariel Fox were all dynamic speakers who held your interest throughout the two days. Each was extremely knowledgeable in their respective fields. I have mediated cases since 2003; my background is as a civil trial lawyer primarily in the construction field. I feel I can put much of the information received in this seminar into immediate use to improve my techniques as a mediator."
 - William G. Christopher, Sarasota, FL 

"Please allow me to thank you for the excellent NADN event held in Orlando. The Academy surpassed my expectations in content, training, location and amenities. I would certainly recommend this training event to anyone interested in furthering their skills, and I look forward to attending the 2011 event when and where it is scheduled."
 - Michael J. Schofield, Pensacola, FL 

"The 2010 NADN Conference was very interesting and informative. I enjoyed the experience, particularly with regard to the practical application of the concepts presented."
 - Gary S. Salzman, Orlando, FL 

"The inaugural NADN conference was very well done! The instruction was of the highest quality and properly geared to the audience of experienced mediators. I will certainly plan on attending next year."
 - Justice Kenneth B. Bell, Pensacola, FL 

"Finally, a mediation conference geared towards advanced techniques to improve, enhance and affirm the skills of the full time mediators to help us better equip parties and lawyers to make wise, informed decisions in mediations. Sign me up for the next conference...whenever, wherever - I’ll be there!"
 - Michael D. Smith, Pensacola, FL

"The NADN Seminar was an outstanding presentation; truly for practitioners who think and work at a higher level. We are fortunate to have access to such exceptional trainers and be able to network with other mediators at the top of their game"
 - Kim W. Torres, Melbourne, FL

"Prior to the NADN Seminar, I cannot remember the last professional conference I attended where I received more than I gave. The seminar gave me incredible learning opportunities; I have already applied to my practice several of the techniques discussed by the fine speakers. I found the speakers to be knowledgeable, interesting and quite engaging. Additionally, the facility was above par. Well done!" 
 - Christopher M. Shulman, Tampa, FL

"I have attended just about every mediation program under the sun, and absolutely none have reached the level of our first annual NADN conference. The presenters as well as the content were absolutely first rate. I won't miss the chance to attend next year."
 - Hon. John P. Kuder, Gulf Breeze, FL

""For two years in a row, I can say unequivocally that this NADN seminar is incomparable to anything I have experienced in my career. I have already employed many of the techniques I learned at the 2011 conference and I am looking forward to the 2012 conference with much anticipation. If you want to experience interacting with distinguished neutrals from all over the country at the very height of their careers, led by a team of presenters unequalled anywhere, capped by being pampered at a five-star facility in an exotic location, this is the quintessential seminar that you simply cannot afford to miss!"
 - Michael W. Drye, Asheville, NC

"I have attended a number of negotiation training courses up at Harvard, and this compared very favorably. I'd certainly recommend it to colleagues and I hope to attend again next year..."
 - James F. Page, Jr., Orlando, FL

"The Academy Retreat was jam-packed with engaging demonstrations by elite instructors of innovative mediation techniques and interventions. More importantly, the underlying psychology and neuroscience was fully analyzed, to allow for the application of those approaches in real-world situations."
 - Hon. Bernard Harwood, Tuscaloosa, AL

"If neutrals wish to be challenged, get out of their comfort zone and increase their chances of resolving those most difficult of cases, then this conference is the place to be."
 - Samuel Ardery, Bloomington, IN

"I have been mediating since 1986 and also have been very involved in training ADR professionals in the Midwest over these years. The program presented at the 2011 NADN conference was one of the best that I have attended. Doug Noll, Lee Jay Berman, and Don Philbin gave me a notebook full of new ideas to improve my mediation skills! The NADN is where the top ADR professionals go for advanced training. I will definitely attend next year!"
 - Michael P. Bishop. Indianapolis, IN

[ For details and photos of the 2010 Orlando Retreat, click here ]


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