Dale Carnegie of Orange County

a certified Woman Owned Small Business, has been improving the performance of Orange County Businesses by improving the performance of their people for over a decade. Our focus is simple: “Deliver a Quality Customer Experience!”

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Meet Our Team and Trainers


Saretta Brown

Carnegie Master Trainer

Saretta is the founder of Holler Ink, a PR and marketing agency building positive brands and people. Known for her straight-forward, passionate approach, Saretta brings fun, focus and fresh ideas to every strategic engagement, earning her clients notoriety and recognition among peers, clients and media outlets. She encourages clients to speak up… and when they do, she is there to help them with how they say it, what they say and where they say it. She is a contributor for Inc Magazine and OC Metro. Saretta’s insight has also graced the pages of Better Homes & Gardens, AOL, SmartMoney.com and Pink Magazine.

Saretta is also Certified Trainer for Dale Carnegie, where she is ranked as one of the top trainers globally. She helps participants make a positive difference in their professional and personal lives by increasing self confidence, building people skills, sharpening communication, developing leadership, and improving their attitudes. Regardless of the industry – technology, arts, automotive, manufacturing, creative services, financial, etc. – she ultimately helps companies achieve desired results.

Saretta has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with an emphasis in public relations from San Diego State University and a Master’s in Multicultural Education and teaching credential from National University.

Sam Mattioli

Master Trainer

Sam is the founder of Graystone Corporation which has delivered consulting services across 7 different countries. Sam’s forte is being able to identify performance issues of companies and individuals, then through training, course design, development and delivery resolve them.

As a leader, Sam has an international history of success with Tyco Fire and Security/ADT.  He has trained candidates from many Fortune 500 companies such as Northrop Grumman, Kimberly-Clark, PG& E Corp, CBRE Group, Reliance Steel & Aluminum, and Boston Scientific.  As a Sales person, Manager and National Training Manager, Sam is known as a Performance Management architect.  He has created sales and leadership initiatives that have led to record numbers in growth as well as managed projects such as creating Corporate Universities both here and in the UK.  Sam’s success has generated over 2 million in sales in one quarter and increased company stock value by over 200% in one year through innovative company programs.

Over his career, Sam has designed and delivered more than 100 widely-recognized training programs internationally, including: Performance Based Instruction, Emotional Intelligence and Stress Management, D.I.S.C assessment, Myers Briggs, Resilience Testing, SPIN Selling and Situational Leadership, to name a few.

Sam has an international degree, MSc. in Performance Management and is a teacher at the University of Leicester U.K. and Cambridge College, Boston USA.

Lisa Bartley

Master Trainer

Lisa is an award-winning speaker, professional writer, and communications coach with over 20 years of experience. She has been published in magazines and has written speeches and articles for corporate officers, including executives at Turner Home Entertainment, Taco Bell Corp., and ICU Medical.

Her enthusiasm for developing others brought her to Dale Carnegie Training in 2010. With insight, heart, and courage, she does one-on-one executive coaching, develops and pre-certifies new trainers, and facilitates public and customized corporate programs focused on leadership, high-impact presentations, and “winning friends and influencing people.” She is passionate about empowering and inspiring her clients to get out of their own way so that they can become the best possible version of themselves, personally and professionally. In 2012, she ranked in the top 1% of trainers globally. Since then, she has consistently ranked in the top 5%.

Lisa graduated from Long Beach State with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and did her internship at Channel 2 News in Los Angeles. She enjoys entertaining, discovering new wines, hiking, meeting interesting people, and creating unforgettable memories with friends and family. Her most recent venture: Learning to speak Italian! Lisa’s motto (borrowed from T.S. Elliot) is, “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are.”

Brett Potts

Senior Corporate Trainer

Brett Potts is an Investment Banker and Business Owner, and previously was a Fortune 500 executive and U.S. Navy Officer.

Brett’s expertise lies in navigating organizations through challenging times, whether this means dramatic growth, a sale of the business itself, or a performance turnaround.

Brett has been a Dale Carnegie Corporate Trainer since 2008. He is Multi-Course Certified, specializing in helping companies and individuals within those companies develop and achieve their potential through improved Leadership, Executive Presentations and Sales.

Brett is the Founder of Coast Practical and is a Principal (Investment Banker) at NewCap Partners in Los Angeles.  Through this work, he has held multiple chief officer and board roles.   A recent example was his role as COO of the Coast Plating Holdings Group, which become the largest independent metal processor in the western U.S. through a series of acquisitions and organic growth efforts.

Previously, Brett was a turnaround General Manager at Cintas Corporation, an Officer in the United States Navy and a consultant to a many companies, including Intel Corporation.

Brett holds an International MBA from the University of Southern California (USC), an M.S. in Information Technology from the University of San Diego, and a B.S. in Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. He is an avid surfer and skier, remains active in alumni associations and church, and loves spending time with his young family.

Brenda Wells

Senior Corporate Trainer

Brenda is founder and Executive Director of the non-profit organization, i-5 Freedom Network: A Corporate Response to End Human Trafficking, developed to fight domestic human trafficking by providing customized awareness and response training at the corporate level.

In addition, Brenda is an Art Consultant with over 15 years of experience in gallery sales, concept development, adult education, and artist representation. With a BA in Art History and a MA in Humanities, Brenda brings strong communication skills and insight to the Dale Carnegie team.

Alejandra Baker

Bilingual Corporate Trainer

Alejandra Baker is a dynamic bilingual (English – Spanish) coach-facilitator with a demonstrated history of working in multicultural environments.

She co-founded with her father, Hector Vela, The Innovation Way, a Mexican company that specializes in Innovation. Developed a proprietary methodology called “Generating Break-through Ideas: How to Recognize and Seize Opportunities for Disruptive Innovation.”

Prior to co-founding The Innovation Way, Alejandra worked in Knowledge Management and Competency development projects for Glaxo Smithkline and Bovis LTD in London England; and as a Telemarketing Sales Manager for AT&T in Monterrey, Mexico.

In the US she lead the Hispanic division of Endow, a non profit organization that educates women in their value and dignity, achieving 35% higher performance within a year or launching the program.

She holds a Master of Science in Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science, with specialization in Knowledge Management; and a BS in International Business from the ITESM, in Mexico.

Alejandra is a strong advocate for human causes. She was nominated “Woman of the Year” of the Diocese of Orange for volunteerism activity in 2013. She lives in Dana Point, CA with her husband Steve and their three children.

Alison Matthey

Carnegie Trainer

Alison is the founder and president of Dynamic 365, a consulting company that specializes in Human Resources Training and Development. Supporting her clients most valuable resource—their people—is what drives her, and her mission is to support an organization’s ability to make great leaders by providing specialized leadership solutions specifically to meet their business goals. Her passion is touching the lives of the people she works with through facilitating learning workshops, small group and one-on-one coaching and designing customized training programs. One program that she delivered with a project team won Training and Development Magazine’s top 10 programs of the year in 2014-15.

She has had the opportunity to work with a wide range of industries including manufacturing, telecommunications, transportation, financial, automotive, retail, food and beverage, and fashion with fortune 500 companies like MCI, Alcatel-Lucent, Toyota, and Burlington Northern Santa Fe, along with many other small businesses.

For over 20 years in the business, Alison has certified in many training programs, most recently, the Dale Carnegie Course. In collaboration with Carnegie University, she has strengthened her ability to adapt and flex to the needs of her participants and offer in- the-moment coaching that builds confidence which is the foundation for their success. Participants say she is “engaging, knowledgeable, insightful, and impactful”.

Her passion project has been taking what she learned through corporate America to help women develop personally by holding weekend retreats and monthly coaching calls. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a Secondary Teaching Certificate from the University of Iowa.

Oscar Toscano

Vice President Sales, Channel Partners, Trainer

Oscar has 20 years of business development experience working closely together with his clients to ensure their business success. His attitude and commitment as a business partner, resource and consultant have delivered results oriented solutions to his clients.

Oscar has been involved with Dale Carnegie since 2009 where he’s played an active role in marketing, business development, sales management and training.  He is currently VP of Sales & Channel Partners and a Dale Carnegie certified Sales and Presentation Trainer.  During this time, he’s worked with Orange County companies in the creation of strategy and execution of team member development to achieve organization goals.  He’s worked with and trained individuals in Orange County from companies such as Irvine Company, Johnson & Johnson, Behr Paint, Allergan, Northgate Gonzalez Markets & Parker Aerospace.  Oscar has also been an active member of the Orange County Business Community participating in numerous Chambers and Associations.

Oscar received his BA from the University of California at Berkeley in 97. He understands the value of education and believes education should be ongoing. Oscar was first introduced to Dale Carnegie in 2001 when he took the Dale Carnegie Course: Effective Communications and Human Relations, since, it’s played a key role in the success of his professional career.

Steve Thomas

Regional VP, Trainer

Steve is passionate about adding value to others through coaching and mentoring, he is excited about the opportunity to impact the quality of life for others starting with their workplace performance. He brings 15+ years of leadership experience in the non-profit sector along with eight years of finance experience working for Citigroup.

Steve has recently graduated with high distinction obtaining a Masters Degree in Human Services Counseling with an Executive Leadership concentration from Liberty University. Having participated in multiple Dale Carnegie seminars (including the Dale Carnegie Immersion Seminar, Leadership Training for Managers and High Impact Presentations), he has seen both the professional and personal value of the courses. Described by a Dale Carnegie Master Trainer* as “extremely supportive, coupled with authenticity” and a “true leader”, Steve recognizes that ongoing education at Dale Carnegie has been invaluable in consulting with various individual clients and organizations.

Originally a New York City native, Steve recently moved to California from Tampa, FL. He enjoys travel (visited 10+ countries around the world), reading at a local coffee shop, volunteering and spending time with family.

Mandi Morgan

Regional VP

Mandi joins Dale Carnegie after an extensive career in finance with some of California’s most recognized lenders. Working in her previous position as an Associate VP of Auto Lending for a major Orange County credit union,  she played a pivotal role launching, building and growing an entirely new auto lending division—creating best practices, processes, procedures, lending  guidelines, and strategic business development partnerships.

Preparing for the next level in her career, Mandi enrolled at Concordia University, Irvine to build her resume with an Academic Certificate in Executive Leadership and Management, which combines targeted Dale Carnegie courses with upper division business courses. After experiencing, personally, the relevant, real world, result producing skill-sets the program develops, she had a significant paradigm shift and began to explore the vast potential of joining Dale Carnegie.

Mandi’s prior experience in a highly competitive industry brings a solid foundational understanding of the value of not only being technically proficient, but also being able to thrive competitively in the market by building complete, interactive, healthy teams, combined with continued individual development.

Mandi places a lot of value on her family and serving the community through her church, where she is actively involved in the Children’s Ministry and Missions program. She recently completed a missionary trip to Guatemala that involved being on a team that provided educational seminars and built homes from the ground up for homeless families. She finds her greatest joy in building her marriage and raising their son to be a champion of life. She says, “Family is always first–always.”

John Campbell

Regional VP

John joins the Dale Carnegie team with a passion to see lives changed and empowered and organizations transformed. He has over 20 years experience in the financial industry and human capital development. He is also a public speaker and teacher.

Prior to joining the team at Dale Carnegie, John traveled the world serving organizations and their staff. He was integral in rolling out new banking platforms and transitioning cash management systems, providing companies with needs based solutions. In his time, he helped bring efficiencies to organizations through analyzing processes and implementing best practices.

He holds a degree in Business Administration from Vanguard University of Southern California. He graduated High School in Quito, Ecuador. Growing up in multiple South American countries taught him the value of culture and diverse people groups. John is an avid audiobook listener, sports enthusiast, and Lego Systems proponent. He has 1 half-marathon and 3 Ragnar Relays under his belt.

Steve VerBurg

President of Dale Carnegie of Orange County

Steve as co-owner of Dale Carnegie of Orange County specializes in helping organizations plan and implement employee engagement programs that guide teams to increase profitability, production and performance.

Steve is an Author, Speaker, Consultant, Coach and Corporate Trainer.

Steve graduated Magna Cum Laude from National University in Costa Mesa, CA. He also received a High Impact Sales Management Certificate from the University of Central Missouri.

Steve has an extensive volunteer background with local YMCAs, Little League, SVUSD Recreation Department, AYSO, NJB and Cub Scouts.

Geri Cerkovnik

CEO of Dale Carnegie of Orange County

As a business entrepreneur, Geri has a proven track record of working with organizations of all sizes from Fortune 500 companies such as Nortel and Verizon to developing new strategic markets for startup companies.

Now, as CEO and owner of Dale Carnegie of Orange County, she utilizes Dale Carnegie’s training methods to sharpen professionals and transform companies into successful, profitable and focused organizations.

Geri serves on the following Boards: Girl Scouts of Orange County, Glennwood Foundation / Lighthouse Group, and i5 Freedom. Geri also serves on the Aliso Viejo Community Association.

  • Phone: 949.833.3253