To meet your personal or professional needs, we can tailor and customize any of our programs, workshops, or trainings. We invite you to directly inquire about which specific opportunities would be best suited for you or your organization.

Workforce Development

Having served the Vermont Judiciary for 20 years, The Vermont Department of Health for 16 years and conducting hundreds of relevant, meaningful, and useful consultation and training design and deliveries in Vermont and Nationally, Jo Romano targets the unique specific needs of forward-moving organizations and individuals.

Our trainings and consultations are strength-based and best practices based on research to help organizations and new and seasoned professionals align with the mission, gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to perform with excellence in the following areas:

  • Design and Deliver tailored in house and online workforce development trainings, such as The Art and Science of Facilitating Useful Meetings, How to Work Well with Difficult People, and 9 Steps to Managing a Learning Organization and Culture.
  • Assess the current workforce needs and culture. 
  • Address Hot Topics and find solutions to dilemmas and challenges for individuals, teams, and the organization as a whole.
  • Facilitate high-stake meetings, events, and retreats of 10 to 500.
  • Design and deliver training of trainers resulting in inhouse trainings conducted by employees themselves.

Trainings and Workshops

Do you encounter power struggles, taboo topics, disagreement, and conflict with difficult people that at times are hostile, downers, ‘better thans’, passive, and bossy? Most of us encounter unreasonable people in our lives. We may be “stuck” with a difficult individual at work or at home. Often, we ourselves, become the difficult one. It’s easy to let a challenging person affect us and ruin our day. Learning to deal with difficult people is like learning a foreign language. This one day highly interactive and fun workshop will offer concise models on how to deal and dialogue with difficult people and offer the skills for communication when the stakes are high, opinions vary and emotions run strong at all levels of your organization. You will practice the skills that will help you to determine when and how to communicate to reach alignment and agreement on important matters, how to influence behavior change to improve productivity, and how to build trusting and respectful relationships. You will leave with communication models and a Guidance Document.

Boost your facilitation skills and practices to create and deliver relevant, immediate, and useful meetings that will have your meeting participants saying, “Wow. Finally, a meeting I can stay fully engaged in!” You will be introduced to the value of dialogue, safety, and respect in a meeting environment. You will learn the 8 Steps to Design an interactive, engaging, and powerful meeting and leave this workshop with 20 advanced facilitation skills to put to use immediately resulting in highly purposeful, positive engagement and participation and well thought out agendas. Learn how to work together to make clear decisions at meetings. This workshop provides a Facilitation Guidebook to use back at work.

Too many colleagues and managers are seen as untrustworthy, unreliable, and downright disrespectful. As non-management, we feel powerless to effect change. This workshop will build your confidence and power of influence. Coaching is the quickest and most effective method for peers to effect change with others and yes even your managers and supervisors.

Coaching is a co-creative process, steeped in relationship building and positive reinforcement while also requiring guidance and limit-setting and is key to a productive, collegial, and a pleasant work environment. You will come away with the knowledge, tools, and methods to coach yourself and others to make a change and get what you want. You will leave with the tools and highest thinking to be a strong leader on your team who coaches your peers, clients, and communities to untapped potential in ways that may have seemed previously unavailable.

The outcomes for using coaching principles and practices include greater self-awareness, new skills for communicating, personal fulfillment, and improved professional performance. These tools are transformative. To do this work effectively it is helpful to revisit our approaches; examining what is working well and how we know it; what needs improvement and the intent of our work; assessing our approach to effective communication while.

David Cooperrider, Founder of Appreciative Inquiry (AI), tell us

It is a time for re-thinking human organization and change. Deficit based modalities are increasingly falling short. “And cynicism, about the very idea of planned change, is rampant.”

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a change management approach that focuses on identifying what is working well, analyzing why it is working well, and then doing more of that. This one-day workshop will provide an overview of Appreciative Inquiry, what it is, and how it works. It will guide prevention, treatment, and recovery professionals and all working along the Continuum of Care to consciously and deliberately shift your way of being and seeing to an appreciative approach to focus on what’s right in their organization, group or community, rather than on what’s wrong so that they can deeply inquire into what best looks like and do more of that.

Life is like a combination lock. If you know the combination to the lock, it doesn’t matter who you are, the lock has to open. Orrin Hudson
Learn how to go further and faster with less effort. If you use these principles and strategies, you can easily… double your results, double the amount of your free time, and have more balance and fun at work and home.

Whatever you think about, talk about, fantasize about, or give your attention to, you are going to attract more of into your life.
This workshop is based on the best selling book. 60 Principles of Success by Jack Canfield. The principles discovered are transformative.

Now more than ever, both women and men are exercising more economic control over their lives in the family and the workplace. Entrepreneurs are leading the way in business and doing it holistically. Striking that elusive balance of family, work, and community is a top priority.

Let’s face it. You know you are excellent at what you do, but you also want to celebrate and plan your family, careers, and business with intention and focus. In short, you want to live and work yourself happy!

Coaching allows for those positive, lasting changes to happen both at home and in the meeting room. This powerful collaborative process will help to engineer holistic and strength-based solutions and to clarify, set, and achieve personal and professional goals while nimbly balancing career, family, and business.

Participants will discover the advanced and key coaching principles, practices, and tools to self-coach, and will leave with a Blueprint for Success template to guide their personal and professional endeavors to succeed. This workshop is hands-on, highly interactive, fun, and highlights a balanced life for success.

Are you a manager responsible for the development of others?

Do you have team leaders and supervisors who want to get the best out of their people?

As a Line manager, do you want a structured and effective system to hold short, respectful, and powerful weekly and monthly meetings with staff?

Are you ready to transform the way you work as a manager and have your staff asking for more of your expertise?

If you answered yes to even one of these questions, then I invite you to a fun, highly participative and practical 1-day workshop designed to provide you with the tools and skills necessary to become an outstanding coach.

Coaching is the quickest and most effective method of developing your staff.

Here’s What Will You Gain From the Course:

  • A thorough understanding of coaching and top management styles
  • A meaningful and relevant coaching model to immediately put into action
  • A greater understanding of the importance of serving and finding your employee happiness factor
  • Knowledge of “What to say” and “How to say it” when having those difficult conversations and providing feedback

You will also discover:

  • The importance of non-verbal and non-violent communication when supervising staff
  • How to prepare, deliver and review coaching sessions so that they continually improve
  • All the secrets and sure-fire techniques I have learned from the masters
  • How to keep your employees loyal and performing with excellence and enthusiasm.

You’ll have a good time with like-minded professionals sharing their expertise in a powerful learning community. This is a must-attend workshop for anyone who wants to inject the power of coaching into his or her management style!

This workshop will assist the supervisor, manager, director, and team leader to celebrate and build on what they do well and create a plan for fostering a coaching culture in their organization.

Coaching is a leading management style that keeps employees motivated, happy, and producing successful outcomes. Corporations and private and non-profit organizations are utilizing coaching principles, competencies, and tools for meaningful, relevant, and helpful communication, preserving the integrity and creativity of the individual and the team.

We are in the midst of one of the most exciting yet turbulent times in history. The leaders in companies and agencies who can keep talent from jumping ship will be those who take the time to respect, trust, and develop their employees. It’s just that simple! 

This workshop will address solid strategies to 7 common questions and challenges on leaders’ minds and plates today. From decision-making, risk-taking, innovation, change to relevancy, retaining talent, staying current, keeping to the mission.

This workshop is for top, middle, and front line managers who see that success in their company requires a new way to lead, one that works in tandem with employees and promotes truth, accountability, and respect in the workplace. Calling all leaders who want to make a difference in their personal and professional lives and the lives of those they serve as a leader!

Learning Objective: Determine strategies to the modern-day leaders’ top 7 challenges, including:

Challenge 1: Decision Making: How do leaders avoid analysis by paralysis and make timely and quick decisions in a chaotic work environment and trust that the decision they have made can be trusted?

Challenge 2: Innovation: How do leaders master risk-taking and innovation and move the company forward without losing the shirts off their backs?

Challenge 3: How do you get employees engaged, motivated, and staying true to the mission you are trying to accomplish?

Challenge 4: How do you stay an authentic leader without destroying your credibility?

Challenge 5:  Change: How do leaders navigate the rocky roads of change without destroying the team and the company?

Challenge 6: Knowledge and skills: How do leaders prevent employees from getting recruited and jumping ship with the knowledge they have invested in and empowered them with?

Challenge 7:  Relevance: How do leaders create an environment so that their top employees’ contributions are keeping the company relevant in today’s world?

Today’s workplace is dynamic, jam-packed with ‘hot spots’ that can either make or break the success of your organization–and your sanity.
Now more than ever it’s time to sharpen your management vision and skills identify your leadership challenges and become the Coach that your employees have been waiting for.

In this workshop, you will learn how to create instant rapport with your employees, clients, and customers and not only keep them loyal, but wanting to contribute to your success.

Organizational Development

  • People
  • Systems
  • Strategy

We deliver a strength based, best practice approach to leadership and management. We work with businesses, non-profits, and governmental organizations to find efficient, practical, and cost effective ways to ensure excellence in the workplace.

Our Objectives:

Develop system wide approaches to what works in your organization.

Preserve the dignity and integrity of each individual and the organization as a whole. 

Find solutions to your challenges.

Who are we to each other? 

How do we treat each other? 

How do we communicate about difficult and uncomfortable conversations while preserving the integrity of each and every person?

What is our mission?  Why do we have it?

What does “best” look like?

What’s getting in the way of realizing our outcomes?

How can we create policies and procedures that inspire our staff and customers? 

Who is doing what?

How do we know we are making a difference?

What are customers, clients, and staff saying about how things work?

What organizational behavior change do we seek in our organization?

 What are our options, strengths, passions, and interests?

What does our SWOT analysis reveal?

What are the best strategies to reduce our threats and increase our opportunities?

 Who will do what by when? How do we track and measure our progress?

  Is this the change we want?

  1. Assess: Conduct a needs assessment on “What is” in the areas of individual, team, and organizational performance and desired results.
  2. Build capacity: Guide collaborative and meaningful team connections and communication styles that preserve the integrity and respect for every person.
  3. Plan: Develop a comprehensive strategic model to identify mission, objectives, goals, strategies, short and long term outcomes.
  4. Implement. Create an implementation plan to achieve desired change setting forth who will do what by when. The focus is on time, energy, money, knowledge, skills, and resources to ensure success and follow-through.
  5. Evaluate: Determine what’s going well and what’s not quite right yet. Show evidence of results with 360 evaluations, organizational assessments, focus groups, and statistical data. 
  6. Cultural Competency: Ensure a diverse and dynamic culture.
  7. SustainabilityKeep what is “Best” strong over the long term.
How we do it

Coach: Work with Individuals to write and be accountable to their Personalized Work Plans

Train with follow up mentoring and coaching:  Provide webinars, on line and in-house workshops on topics identified by the individuals in the organization to improve their performance and “get things done” on time and efficiently.

Troubleshoot:  Intervene in a caring and timely manner to reset the course.

Client Testimonials

Jo Romano served the Vermont Judiciary in an exemplary fashion!

Honorable Stephen B. Martin

Chief Trial Administrative Judge

"You look at problems as opportunities not as something to be avoided. You are realistic, and generally hopeful. You have a strong commitment/passion for what you are doing. You are very good at getting at what is important and ignoring that which is unimportant. Not to mention that you are good at what you do. You are also resourceful and have lots of connections."

Craig Comstock

VT State Economic Services Director

"Jo Romano is an excellent coach, trainer, and consultant. Her ability to organize information and her calm step-by-step demeanor provides for top-shelf training. Jo helped me to learn a strategic design process that I use not only for my own company but have used as a facilitator for my client companies. One month later, the investment in Jo's coaching and training resulted in two strategic planning contracts making Jo's coaching an excellent return on investment. Not only do I have a refined focus for my own company but also I am able to better serve my clients by using a system of design that makes it easy to organize any meeting, teleclass, workshop, or program. The skills I learned from Jo will be used again and again and her personal support was remarkable."

Debora McLaughln

Leadership Institute, New Hampshire

"Your Motivational Interviewing training was fabulous. Seriously, my only regret is that we didn’t book 2 days for the training. All of the Care Coordinators have had very positive comments, and are really looking forward to the follow-up consultation and coaching conference calls that you all scheduled."

Anny Cain

Office of Vt Health Access Supervisor VT

"I know of no way to put this that would be as descriptive.  I found the Motivational Interviewing training experience to have been one that was not just another “bullshit” training.  It dealt with concepts and skills that can be directly and immediately put into practice as we do the work we do."

Mark Nash

Health Care Coordinator

"I liked the atmosphere that you created and the way that you afford equal value to each person's input…The training was very encouraging to me; it made me want to go back to work. I like the teaming concept that calls for non-hierarchically oriented decision-making, and this formalized how to build and maintain that process. The workshop wasn't "fluff and stuff"; it was real appraisal and suggestions about how to develop an effective workplace atmosphere in a collegial and congenial manner. Also, and very importantly, it was a wake-up call to refrain from scapegoating; something to which I fall prey from time to time, and which I know can demoralize and undermine a team."

Kathy Aiken

Developmental Disability Coordinator, Human Services

"Managers as Leaders and Coaches.  I thought this was an excellent training, something I can use in every area of my life. What I liked was learning how important it is to find the positive in every situation.  Also learning to respond to others in a non-judgmental way and truly listening to others.  I have a lot of practicing to do to get it right, but I'm sure I will learn a lot along the way. Thanks for your time. I hope we have the opportunity to have a refresher course in the near future."

J. Hawkins

Managing Supervisor, Northeast Kingdom Human Services

Substance Abuse Prevention

Jo Romano offers learning opportunities to state agencies, local community coalitions, and others to develop the knowledge, skills, community resources, and supports necessary to promote best practice in Substance Abuse Prevention. Our training and workshops are custom designed to meet the needs of our training recipients. We offer interactive and participatory trainings that utilize adult learning models of training. We typically limit our workshops to 25 participants to enhance the learning experience.

Below we have listed several trainings that we offer. Again, these can be tailored to meet the needs of the participants.


A Guide and Step-by-step Process for Community Prevention Planning and Evaluation.

This one-day training is designed to be an introduction to the basic, fundamental, and critical principles, theories and practices based on current research to date. Participants will examine the current culture of drug use, explore attitudes toward substance use, review the public health and community development models of prevention, examine a comprehensive substance abuse prevention plan using risk and protective factors and become familiar with substance abuse prevention

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this 1-day training, participants will have:

Explored the 5 Steps to CSAP’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF)

Created a framework for Community Partnership/Coalition prevention planning

Examined 8 ways to mobilize community and keep them mobilized

Discovered effective ways to involve diverse communities in prevention planning

Reviewed the History of Substance Abuse Prevention

Identified partnership’s guiding principles, values and visioning process

Defined risk and protective factors in the individual/peer, family, school, and community domains

Named universal principles of prevention, the CSAP 6 strategies for prevention, and activities under each strategy

Identified access to Research-based programs and promising approaches

Practiced writing an implementation plan

In this workshop, participants will learn an effective approach to coalition development and sustainability. They will also explore tools used to assess current strengths and weaknesses of the coalition and how to better set goals to improve the overall capacity of the coalition.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this 1-day training, participants will have:

Explored Step 2 Capacity Building of CSAP’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF)

Identified the 6 developmental tasks from initial mobilization to institutionalization and the 16 core elements used to build and sustain a coalition. 

Reviewed a comprehensive “Coalition Sustainability Checklist” to use in your coalition work

Explored the habits and patterns that will move a coalition forward and those that will strand the coalition and become barriers to sustainability.

Discovered through sharing, strategies to overcome barriers and increase sustainability

Practiced using various tools that can be applied to your own coalition planning process. Named the 8 elements of sustainability.

This workshop will examine the impact of substance abuse on the family and how it affects the members both individually and as a system. We will also examine the roles that family members play and how these roles get carried into work, school and other personal dimensions. A discussion of resources and possible helping interventions will be identified.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this training, participants will have:

Explored the Biological, Psychological, Social, Spiritual frame of addiction

Discovered how to identify signs and symptoms

Determined the helping role, where it begins and ends

Participated in a family sculpture role play

Identified 3 messages given to the child of an alcoholic or addict in the home

Examined 4 messages to give to the child of an alcoholic or addict

Listed available resources for families and classroom


There are a number of models and approaches and theories to prevention.   A few rise to the top of “what works” and makes a difference.  Come learn about cutting edge, research based, promising approach models to implement in your communities and coalitions.

Everyone is a leader in a Coalition. Community Partnership/Coalition members will learn about Leadership styles that compliment the vision and mission and recognize and celebrate the leader in themselves.


The purpose of this workshop is to build strong community prevention teams and partnerships.

Each member in a community partnership brings a diverse and valuable perspective when finding solutions and creating conditions that promote well-being. Cultural competence asks each member of a coalition working in prevention to learn about culture and find ways to communicate respectfully, build trust, and cooperation.   What results is a wide range of inclusion that leads to new ideas, perspectives, strategies and solutions for a more comprehensive approach to program planning and coalition development. This workshop will distinguish between Cultural Competency, sensitivity and diversity and provide a self-assessment, a coalition assessment, and tips on building a diverse representation on your coalition.  We will also explore challenges with cultural inclusion, what can be done to increase and ensure cultural diversity and how to shape and evaluate prevention programs to be culturally appropriate.

For anyone wanting to make a difference in women’s, children and families’ lives

As a society we blame violence on drinking and drugging, when the truth is,  there are a lot of batterers who do not drink and a lot of alcoholics who do not batter.  The purpose of this workshop is to examine the relationship between domestic violence and substance abuse, dispel the myths, and find out what to do about breaking the cycles of addictions and violence.

Mentoring can be a very powerful tool in prevention programming. It is a role-modeling process that can be applied between youth and adults, youth and older youth, or adults to adults. Whether a mentoring program is research-based or not, there needs to be sufficient training of the mentors to make the alcohol and other drug abuse connection and respond to issues of substance abuse. It is also important for them to understand the influence of “teachable moments’ and positive role-modeling in the work of mentoring.

This workshop will examine the role of mentoring in prevention and name common “teachable moments” and how to respond.  We will also learn   activities that can be done with mentors to help them understand their own attitudes and behavior and how this might impact the “mentee”.  This workshop is a must for all wanting to make a difference in a child’s life.

No matter who you are or what you do with your time on the job, there are some clear ways for you to help make a difference in someone’s life. We may be trusted with confidential information, including disclosures about substance abuse and the effects it has on family members. By educating yourself, you can become more sensitive to the issues and learn how to create an atmosphere of caring and openness for those who are dealing with substance abuse in their lives.

Come learn about where your helping role begins and ends, how to open up the conversation in a caring and non-judgmental way, and messages to send to those affected by someone else’s use.

This workshop is for prevention professionals, coalition members, social service workers, and all who want to know how to do their part in helping others struggling with addictions.

When we think about talking to our children or teens about drugs, we may feel confused because we’re not sure they’ll listen.  Maybe we wonder whether experimenting with alcohol is a rite of passage, something teens will do regardless of what we say or do.

We may also feel unsure about talking about our own past experiences or current use.

For Parents and Families

Learn effective parent and family prevention and intervention methods and strategies that work and a well-tested set of coaching skills to support parents in loving who they are and what they do as parents. This series is for any parent, caregiver or coach who wants to work with parents deal more effectively with life’s challenges and celebrations.

Move from enabling to empowering behavior, how to set limits and boundaries that children respond well to and how to enforce immediate relevant and useful consequences, communicating with your children, how to listen to them and have them listen to you, anger without violence, girls and bullying and what to do about it, highly sensitive children, blessings in disguise, trauma and how it affects families and how to start the journey of healing, sexual expression and identity, living with children, with disabilities and much, much more!

These skills are not a quick fix, not a magic formula, not a one-minute-a-day program that promises effortless, painless solutions to the complex challenges of parenting in an alcohol and other drug and violent prone culture.

Are you a substance abuse, mental health and health care professional, social worker, parent, supervisor, and community member who wants maintain a respectful rapport while providing services to women and adolescents with co-occurring disorders?

People, organizations, and communities are turning to coaching to make positive and lasting change when providing services.  Coaching is a powerful set of competencies and tools to add to your professional toolkit when treating and serving women and adolescents. 

Co-create holistic and strength-based solutions with your clients.  Clarify, set, and achieve personal and professional goals. Participants will discover the advanced and key coaching principles and practices to immediately transfer in their work. 

Jo’s workshops are acclaimed to be interactive, highly participatory, practical, and fun.