SAVI Communications

Certified SAVI Trainers

Developers of SAVI

Anita Simon, Ed.D.
Co-developer of SAVI with Yvonne Agazarian in 1965, Anita is a continuing member of the SAVI Development Group.  She creates and leads SAVI basic and intermediate workshops and develops SAVI materials for application in specific contexts: education, corporate, clinical.  Previously, Director of the Humanizing Learning Program, a government funded national major curriculum development effort, she also co-founded an experimental School for entrepreneurs in Philadelphia. Currently, she is a psychologist in private practice in Philadelphia with a specialty in working with SAVI with couples and individuals.

Yvonne Agazarian, Ed.D.
Yvonne was the developer of the Theory of Living Human Systems and founder of the Systems-Centered® Training and Research Institute.  She was co-author of SAVI - Sequential Analysis of Verbal Interaction, 1965, and developed and applied the theory of SAVI in trainings, workshops, and writings. SAVI is a core construct in Systems-Centered® approach to consultation and training for organizations, educational and clinical settings.

Senior Certified Trainers

Claudia Byram, Ph.D.
SAVI Communications
Claudia began her long acquaintance with SAVI in 1975, when she apprenticed herself to Yvonne Agazarian and Anita Simon, who were launching the first open workshops training professionals in the SAVI model.  Intrigued and convinced that SAVI had something unique to offer, she has continued to work with and teach about it ever since.  She has brought SAVI into educational and organization settings, has been bringing SAVI into the annual conference of the American Group Psychotherapy Association for many years and teaches both basic and advanced SAVI workshops.

Claudia co-authored the SAVI Coding Manual with Anita Simon, the handbook for researchers who are using SAVI to organize data about the systems they are studying.  She is a principal of SAVI Communications, along with Fran Carter and Ben Benjamin. Claudia is a senior trainer in the SAVI Certification program, contributes to its development and works with Fran Carter to make the program available to people who want to develop sufficient skill to train others in SAVI.

Claudia is also a founding member of the Systems-Centered® Training and Research Institute, a current member of the Board of Directors and a System Mentor.  Her work in developing the SCT training curriculum, the SCTRI web site and the organizational structure itself reaches back to the emergence of SCT in the early 1990s.  She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and an active clinician in her Philadelphia psychotherapy practice.
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Fran Carter, LSW
SAVI Communications
Fran has been working with SAVI, and its developers – Yvonne Agazarian and Anita Simon, since 1981 in both a research and training contexts. She is currently a principal in SAVI Communications and SAVI Consulting Group, a company that provides training, coaching, consultation and counseling using SAVI. She is one of the developers and senior trainers in the SAVI Certification Program, a program designed for professionals who would like to be able to teach SAVI in their work contexts. She is a founding member of the SAVI Network where she collaborates with others to develop training in SAVI for application to business, educational and clinical contexts.

Fran is also a founding member of the Systems-Centered® Training and Research Institute, a current Board Member and System Mentor. She continues to be interested in the development of training, curriculum and research and has contributed her time to these workgroups within SCT®RI. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner and a senior trainer, leading workshops, ongoing training and consultation groups and intensive training blocks throughout the US and Europe. She brings to all her work the energy and creativity of her early background as artist.
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Ben E. Benjamin, Ph.D.
Catalyst Communication Partners
For over 35 years, Ben has taught communication skills as both a corporate trainer and an executive coach. As a senior certified SAVI® trainer, Ben has been teaching SAVI since the early 2000s. Recently he has developed new applications of SAVI courses focused on health care, educational, multicultural, and non-profit organizations. Ben previously developed materials for yearlong courses in applying SAVI to meeting management, performance evaluations, and giving and receiving feedback. In 1979 he earned a Ph.D. in Sports Medicine and maintains a private practice as a business coach and organizational consultant. He is also an author and a regular contributor to publications on business, coaching, and health issues.

A principal of Catalyst Communication Partners, Ben has conducted SAVI-based training throughout the United States and Sweden, and integrates SAVI as an invaluable tool in executive coaching and consulting work. Ben co-authored Conversation Transformation to make this sophisticated framework accessible to a wider audience and enable any individual, team, or organization to use SAVI-based strategies to improve their relationships and results.
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Amy Yeager
Director of Product Development, Corentus
Amy Yeager is a consultant and ICF-certified coach with a focus on communication and team development. Her clients have ranged from nursing staffs to school faculties to corporate executive teams. She is a certified Senior Trainer in SAVI® and co-author of the first book to be published on the system: Conversation Transformation (McGraw-Hill, 2012). She has a particular expertise in analyzing and transforming habitual patterns of behavior, which she has applied therapeutically as a certified practitioner of the Alexander Technique and Self-Regulation Therapy, as well as in her work with executives. Her professional development has included intensive training in systems theory and the neuropsychological effects of trauma. She is certified in the Group Development Questionnaire (GDQ), the only scientifically validated instrument for assessing a team’s stage of development.

Prior to her current work, Amy worked for eight years in the publishing industry, gaining experience in all areas of the field—from acquisition and publicity to developmental editing, design, and production. She received her AB in Psychology from Harvard University. Outside of work, her greatest learning and inspiration come from her twin toddlers.
Contact Amy: 617.968.6373

Certified Trainers

Eva Birgerson, M.Sc.
Eva is a licensed psychologist and Organization Development consultant with Sandahl Partners in Stockholm, Sweden. She holds a Master degree in Psychology from Stockholm University and has trained in SAVI and systems-oriented work for the past 15 years. In her work Eva has used SAVI in a great variety of organizations, mainly as a tool to strengthen and develop communication skills in management teams and other groups. She has transalted SAVI into Swedish together with a group of colleagues at Sandahl Partners, and is now together with Chris McIlroy the first Certified SAVI trainer in Sweden. Eva works both in Swedish and English and has a strong belief in communication as a prerequisite to improve work life.
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Dayna Burnett, Ph.D.
Dayna is a licensed psychologist and Certified SAVI trainer in Austin, Texas.  She works with individuals and couples to develop deeper relationships, solve problems in their private and professional lives, resolve conflicts, and make career transitions.  She began her training in Systems-Centerd Therapy in 2004 and began working with SAVI in 2009 in her private practice.  In 2013, she expanded her work with communication as a consultant to organizational teams.   Before developing her second career as a psychologist she worked as a business consultant developing organizational training and developing strategic planning methodology for information systems.
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Rowena Davis, MSc
Rowena is an organisational consultant based in London, UK. Rowena has over 30 years' experience of facilitating change, strategic planning and marketing, working with individuals, teams and organisations in the private, public and third sectors internationally. She is passionate about bringing out people's problem solving and creative abilities and implementing practical solutions people can work with. She has been using SAVI since 2002 in her professional and personal life. She is a Certified SAVI trainer and Licensed Systems Centered® Practitioner and finds the combination of the two very powerful.
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Web site:

Wayne L. Dorris, Ph.D.
Wayne is a Senior Organization Development consultant with People-People in Houston, Texas. He works primarily with individuals and teams who have leadership responsibilities. He has worked with SAVI since 2007, and began conducting SAVI workshops in 2010. He uses SAVI as a coaching and team development tool, together with ideas from System Centered Training (SCT), in his practice. He also offers SAVI to the general public, and develops customized SAVI workshops tailored to specific group and organizational issues or problems to meet his clientsí goals and objectives. Wayne has been a consultant in Organization Development since 1991. Prior to his OD work, he practiced in mental health care settings.
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Web site:

Juli Fellows, Ph.D.
Juli is an independent organizational consultant in Austin Texas. She has worked with SAVI since 1994, and began conducting SAVI workshops in1998. She uses SAVI as a coaching and organizational development tool to help individuals and workgroups, and offers SAVI to the general public. Juli also develops customized SAVI workshops tailored to specific organizational issues or problems.
Web site:

Scott Ford
Scott is currently a public school administrator in Austin, Texas, working within a lower socio-economic neighborhood establishing teams of teachers focused on school improvement. His teaching background includes instructing in Great Britain, Kenya and Japan, as well as the United States. He has taught in adult basic education and public school special education settings, and holds masters degrees in the areas of Special Education Reading and Education Administration. Scott uses SAVI to coach teachers in the development of instructional practice and to guide teachers as they interact on various campus teams.
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Eileen Jones
Eileen has been working with SAVI since 1994. She develops and delivers workshops for general audiences, with a specialty in combining and integrating movement as a method of communicating with the self and others. She has helped produce SAVI skill training videos.  Eileen has used SAVI in coaching in corporate settings and in personal growth applications, and has delivered SAVI workshops for the Systems-Centered® Training and Research Institute's annual conferences.
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Michelle Lynskey, Ph.D.
Michelle is an Organization Development consultant with People-People in Houston, TX. She focuses primarily on team and leader effectiveness. Michelle began working with SAVI in 2007, when she introduced it successfully to a new leadership team in a "merger of equals" situation. Since this initial work with SAVI, Michelle has used SAVI extensively in her approach to leadership coaching and team development. She also offers SAVI workshops tailored to specific organization issues, or to the general public. Prior to her work with People-People, Michelle was Director of Culture and Engagement for Exterran, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Arthur Andersen, Change Management consultant for Arthur Andersen Business Consulting, and Managing Principal for Aon Consulting's Houston-based practice.
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Irene McHenry, Ph.D.
Irene McHenry, Licensed Psychologist, is a consultant and senior advisor for Vector Group Consulting and a psychologist in private practice in the Philadelphia area. She was formerly the Executive Director of the Friends Council on Education, the founding Head of Delaware Valley Friends School, a co-founder of Greenwood Friends School, and a founding faculty member of Fielding Graduate University’s doctoral program in Educational Leadership. She served as Board President for the Council for American Private Education, a member of the Board of Managers of Haverford College, and is currently a member of the SCTRI Board. She uses SAVI for consulting and leadership development in her work with schools, hospital systems, and coaching programs.
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Chris McIlroy, M.Sc.
Chris is a licensed psychologist, University lecturer and consultant in change management, leadership and group development. He has worked extensively with senior management groups and work groups for over 20 years throughout Europe and Asia focussing specifically on meetings and problem solving as a common denominator. Thinking in terms of systems rather than people and using SAVI as a resource has been a huge benefit in this work. Chris has just recently been working on the Swedish translation of the SAVI definitions to be used for the first time in Sweden. Together with Eva Birgerson, Chris is the first Certified SAVI Trainer in Sweden.
Email Chris
Website: Vector Group Consulting

Verena Murphy, Ph.D.
Verena has been training in SAVI since 1998. 
Professionally, she has been introducing SAVI as an organizational behavior consultant in the academic, management, and business sector. She also has devised a curriculum that includes SAVI in her Dynamics of Leadership classes at Kent State University, where she is Assistant Professor of Management & Information Systems. She uses it personally in her own family and every other context in which clear information transfer is a goal.
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Keith Espenshade, M.Div.
Keith is a certified Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor through the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., and an ordained member in the Mennonite Church USA. He uses SAVI in his work with students and colleagues to enrich their pastoral care and leadership at Lancaster General Hospital, PA, where he has educated seminarians, clergy and lay persons in the art of pastoral care since 1998. Keith has also served as a chaplain in healthcare and police settings, pastored churches in Pennsylvania and Illinois, and taught in seminary as an adjunct professor. Beyond formal education, he uses SAVI in consulting with healthcare staff and congregational leaders to improve communication, productivity, and morale.
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Cunera van Hal, MSc.
Cunera is a Certified SAVI trainer based in the Netherlands, Europe. She has over 25 years of experience in the field of organizational development as trainer, coach and consultant. Working from a systems perspective with leaders, professionals and (management) teams on team development, leadership and effective communication.  She has been using SAVI since the first workshop in 2011 in her professional and personal life. She is fascinated by the clarity and depth of SAVI and keeps discovering new applications for herself and clients. Cunera conducts the SAVI Introductory Workshop and develops SAVI workshops tailored to specific organizational problems, like malfunctioning meetings, or specific professionals, like team coaches.  She works with clients in the private and public sector.  She conducts SAVI workshops both in English and Dutch.
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Hella Ritz, MA
Hella has 10 years of experience in management roles and 20 years of experience as consultant and executive team coach for a wide range of public and private organizations. She holds a Masters degree in Business Communication. She uses SAVI in team development to foster productive and collaborative meetings and to solve conflicts. She also offers SAVI training tailored to specific organizational issues, or as an introductory open workshop (in Dutch and English). Hella combines SAVI with systems-oriented methods (she is currently in the process of training as a licensed Systems Centered® practitioner). This combination offers powerful tools for problem solving and context awareness. Hella is passionate about SAVI's potential to increase information transfer in groups, using it in her work and private life since 2011. She speaks Dutch and English fluently and German reasonably. Her work style is clear, joyful, intimate and precise.
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Mike Maher
Mike Maher has 30 years' experience working in and with the public, voluntary and private sectors, particularly in high-risk and volatile settings, previously as a senior manager and now as a consultant. His focus is in helping individuals, teams and services to overcome problems and develop, using both SAVI and Systems-Centered perspectives to have more effective communications with colleagues and clients and via this process, to achieve better outcomes. Mike is a psychotherapist in private practice and trainer as well as an organization consultant. Before he worked in these roles, he worked for many years in social care, educational and mental health settings with client groups characterized by their challenging natures. He is Associate Director of the Systems-Centered Training and Research Institute and a Licensed Systems-Centered practitioner.
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Ian Macnaughton
Ian Macnaughton MBA, PhD, FEA, SEP, has been a teacher and practitioner of mind body and family systems psychotherapy for 45 years and is a Bodynamic Analyst and trainer. He is an associate faculty member of City University (Vancouver site) and has taught at numerous universities and colleges, both undergraduate and graduate levels in psychology and in business. His publications include Embodying the Mind and Minding the Body, Breath and Consciousness: A Somatic Anthology, The Role of Breathing in The Handbook of Mind-Body Psychotherapy. His latest work, Self, Other, and the System, will be included in a book on Contemplative Education (SUNY in press). Ian also has owned a number of businesses and advises families in business, families of wealth, and various organizations. He is a fellow of the Family Firm Institute, and his clients include many government ministries and corporations. His other writings on family business have been published in a number of venues as well as his work in Systems Science published in Comprehensive Systems Design: A New Educational Technology: NATO Workshop on Systemic Educational Design.

Yolanda van der Poel
Yolanda is working in the field of employee empowerment and participation in company policy & decision making processes. She also facilitates meetings between boards of directors and delegations of employees from all levels of the organization hierarchy. She uses SAVI to create a more effective communication process, increasing the probability that different perspectives are integrated to achieve better and, above all, supported outcomes. Yolanda conducts the SAVI Introductory Workshop in both English and Dutch.
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Alida Zweidler-McKay
Alida has been coaching executives, entrepreneurs, and teams from small businesses to Fortune 10 companies for over 20 years. She helps clients delegate effectively, lead authentically, and build productive teams through one-on-one coaching, team coaching and workshops. She uses SAVI with teams to improve communications and problem-solving. In addition to being a certified SAVI trainer, Alida is also a SAVI Master Coder, reflecting her experience using SAVI to code conversations for research purposes. She has a BA from Swarthmore College and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
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SAVI® was developed by Yvonne Agazarian and Anita Simon.
SAVI® is a registered trademark of SAVI® Communications LLC.
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