What Our Clients Are Saying

“Don Waisanen provided a hard-hitting, energizing and effective communications program for the IDA Emerging Leaders Fellowship. The perfect balance of technical and interpersonal skills were presented in an interactive environment. The memorable program empowered our fellows to return to their companies and immediately begin implementing all aspects of the week’s training. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect educator to close out the week.”

David Downey
President and CEO, International Downtown Association

“It’s easy to run out of superlatives when describing our day-long Strategic Storytelling session with Don. Not only did he engage a room of 50+ communication professionals for eight straight hours (by itself a small miracle), he inspired us to do better, be better, and even think better. Don gave us the tools to enhance our conversations, build more meaningful relationships, and enlarge our communication toolkit. Even after two months, my team STILL talks about how amazing Don’s training was, and I can’t recommend him highly enough to any group/organization looking to help their employees measurably improve.”

Andrew Fackrell
Director, Communication Consulting, Fidelity Investments

“Don Waisanen brings with him a breadth of evidence-based research, a passion for learning, and a genuine interest in people. Through seamless choreography, alternating discussion with embodied practice, he peppers in facts, stylistic approaches, compelling metaphors, and real-life examples so that we all walk away with a keen understanding of not only who we are as directors, but who we want to be. Working with Don is more than “management training.” It’s a process of building a tool kit for the road we are laying ahead of us. He sets us up for success by creating a space for learning that leans on history yet leaves time for reflection and critique alongside active skill building and compassion.”

Gina Gibney
Founder, CEO, and Artistic Director, Gibney

“We went through 3 workshops plus individual sessions over a 1-month period. What transpired over the course of the month was truly outstanding and exceeded all expectations. We elevated our skills as corporate communicators, learning how to be more engaging, break the mold and deliver communications that grab people (even the most mundane, informative comms). Most importantly, and very unexpectedly, we emerged from this time with Don much closer as a team, breaking through any barriers that may have existed between us. Don is incredible at ensuring that the learnings go beyond the surface – through a fast paced, engaging format, he manages to transform your mind to think differently when it comes to delivering any type of communication.”

Dana Sultan-Rothman
Head of Corporate Communications, Otsuka, Inc.

“When our growing digital agency requested communications training, I immediately turned to Don who facilitated yet another stellar interactive workshop. Don masterfully presented evidence-based techniques that our team still references months after the training. The activities that he designed into the workshop were highly relevant, fun, and memorable. Our team not only came away with a strong communications framework but we also had a positive team bonding experience thanks to Don.”

Ann Nguyen
Design Whaler and Head of New York, Whole Whale

“Our team’s day with Don was incredibly productive and informative. Everyone was engaged and active throughout the day, and were able to push their presentation comfort levels in a safe and fun (but not cheesy or forced) environment. Don arrived extremely prepared with a deep knowledge of our company and the challenges we face in our presentations – his advice and organization of the day was clearly custom to us. We walked away with things to think about as individuals and solid tools we can use as a team that will really push our presentations to the next level!”

Sam Raddatz
Founder and CEO, Logic Department

“Communication Upward was wonderful to collaborate with on our fundraiser. Don was able to perfectly help us capture our program stories, wrap them into the organization’s mission, and make a meaningful impact at our event.”

Rosemary Jorda
Senior Director, Marketing & Development, City Parks Foundation

“Our expectations were exceeded! Don provided our staff with an informative, engaging, and thought-provoking communications workshop at our staff retreat, and we all walked away feeling inspired and ready to step up our communications game. He tailored the workshop to really meet our needs and provided us with tangible next steps that we’re excited to employ back at the office. Thank you, Don!”

Kate McLetchie-Sheldon
Chief Operating Officer, Waterfront Alliance

“I was excited to have Don as the keynote speaker at the FPWA Center for Leadership Development graduation ceremony. Don came to the table with a collaborative spirit. His presentation relayed current communications trends and inspired our middle management graduates to lead with confidence as effective communicators in the workplace!”

Aleciah Anthony
Member Outreach Coordinator, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies

“Don is a skilled and engaging presenter who exudes great warmth and enthusiasm. His capacity to listen to and understand others allows him to adapt his content and teaching style to deliver maximum results. Because he connects so easily with others, there is always praise for his communications and leadership training from CEOs to supervisors in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors.”

Ron Redmond
Executive Director, Church Street Marketplace District

“Don’s style, approach, and knowledge creates a dynamic of positive energy, fun, and engagement. You are left just wanting more of what he has to offer! We are now running our meetings in more effective and engaging ways in our office and I’ve personally become more thoughtful and contemplative about managing my team (asking what they need, want, and overall being more deliberate about managing). One colleague shared how beneficial the lesson of micromanaging was for her and one of her team members because it worked out for both of them. Not only did she get what she needed, but the direct report also learned and was pleased with what she ended up delivering – genius! My biggest takeaway is that when we make more time for the needs of our team, it can yield a mutually beneficial experience – they can be inspired to not just do what was asked, but take it a step further, which can leave us all with a sense of accomplishment.”

Jana King
Program Manager, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.

“Once upon a time, I dreaded public speaking. I’m used to being in front of a computer, not in front of an audience. With Don’s guidance, I felt confident and prepared presenting to a room of 150+ for the first time. I enjoyed it so much that I now look forward to more public speaking opportunities. Don is a fantastic coach!”

Abbie Claflin
Senior Researcher, Center for Active Design

“We engaged Dr. Don Waisanen as our keynote speaker for our APRAGNY Fall Conference in New York City, where he spoke on ‘Cutting Edge Communication Tools for Researchers.’   He provided us with a solid framework and the resources to bring our work in nonprofit fundraising research to life for the various audiences we communicate with.  Our members were thrilled with his presentation!”

Bill Powers
President, APRA-GNY

“Dr. Waisanen delivered a stellar keynote presentation to our membership… He provided a plethora of tested communication tools for us to use and presented the information in a clear and concise format. With intelligence and humor, he engaged our audience with relevant tips and insight.”

Kristina Gropper
Research Manager, Pratt Institute