44 AWI Institute Students Take Certificate Tests in Baltimore

Forty four students of the AWI Training Institute took the AWI certificate tests in Baltimore, Maryland, USA on May 5, 2017.

The students were internal and external impartial workplace investigators from twelve US states, Canada, and New Zealand. The nine faculty members were from six US states and Canada.

The Training Institute consists of four days of intensive training on the core knowledge and skills required to conduct impartial workplace investigations, followed by one day of testing the knowledge and skills learned during the training. The tests consist of a one hour and forty-five minute multiple choice knowledge test, a one and one-half hour written analysis and report writing assessment, and a twenty minute oral interviewing assessment.

The Baltimore Institute was AWI's second public Institute of 2017. The first was in Monterey, California, USA in February, and the third will be in Austin, Texas, USA in September.

AWI has three public Training Institutes scheduled in 2018--in January in Santa Barbara, California, USA, in May in Altanta, Georgia, USA, and in July in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.


June 28, 2017: Webinar 
A Trauma-Informed Approach to Violence Investigations

 A Presentation by the Canadian Association of Workplace Investigators

Speakers: Lisa Corrente and Alana Sharpe

Free for AWI / CAWI / AAWI Members ♦ $50 for Non-Members
Register Now
1 hour HRPA, HRCI and SHRM Recertification credit pending

June 28, 2017

  • 9:00 am PDT 
  • 10:00 am MDT 
  • 11:00 am CDT 
  • 12:00 pm EDT



Reported incidents of workplace violence are on the rise.  Throughout Canada, provincial legislatures are beginning to require more significant responses to violence in the workplace and on university and college campuses.   However, understanding the effects of trauma on a complainant and the implications for the investigation can be complicated.  Therefore, in order to conduct effective investigations into alleged violence, it is crucial that investigators are trained on and employ principles and practices that are trauma-informed. Whether you are an internal or external investigator, this webinar will provide insight on how to incorporate principles of a trauma-informed approach into your investigative practices.

This webinar will give an overview of:

  • The concept of trauma and its effects on complainants;
  • Principles and procedures of a trauma-informed process;
  • Best practices of a trauma-informed intake and investigation, including interviewing parties and witnesses, analyzing evidence and report writing; and
  • How to avoid trauma-inducing practices. 

This is the second of a regular series of webinars presented by CAWI which will address issues specific to Canadian investigators.


Lisa Corrente is a partner at Torkin Manes LLP where she practices employment law and health law.  She acts extensively for clients in wrongful dismissal litigation and human rights complaints. Ms. Corrente also advises and represents health care facilities and health professionals with respect to Ministry compliance matters, professional complaints and discipline proceedings, privacy, and issues concerning residents and their family members. Within both her practice areas, she conducts neutral workplace investigations into matters such as policy violations and employee misconduct, resident abuse and neglect, discrimination and harassment, failure to accommodate and reprisals. Ms. Corrente is a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators, and the Canadian Association of Workplace Investigators.  She is also the Chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Health Law Section. Ms.Corrente obtained her JD from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law.   



Alana Sharpe is an internal workplace investigator at Walmart Canada. Ms. Sharpe previously managed the Human Rights & Equity office at Brock University where she developed the Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy with a particular focus on a survivor-centric approach to addressing sexual violence on campus. She has extensive experience developing human rights policies and resolving and investigating human rights complaints. Ms. Sharpe holds a BA in Sociology and English from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a JD from the University of Ottawa and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Association of Workplace investigators, and the Canadian Association of Workplace Investigators. She is a graduate of the 2016 AWI Institute in Niagara on the Lake.




Last Updated on Friday, May 26, 2017 10:25 AM

AWI Retains Ewald Consulting as its Association Management Company

The Association of Workplace Investigators, Inc. (AWI) has retained Ewald Consulting Group, Inc. (Ewald), as its association management company (AMC), effective May 1, 2017.

AWI is an eight-year-old 800-member international professional association for impartial workplace investigators, with members in 37 US states, and chapters in Australasia (AAWI) and Canada (CAWI). Ewald is a 35-year-old 80-employee association management and government relations firm headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota.

For most of AWI’s existence, it has been managed by its own small staff. With the rapid growth of its membership, programs, and geographic scope, AWI has outgrown the capacity of its own staff to manage the association and all of its activities.

For the past six months, an AWI task force, with the assistance of Tecker International, L.L.C., has conducted a nationwide search for an AMC to assume management of AWI. The search included submitting a request for proposal through the Association Management Companies Institute, in response to which AWI received proposals from 21 AMCs.

After reviewing the proposals and personally meeting with the finalists, the task force unanimously recommended to AWI’s Board of Directors that AWI select Ewald as its AMC. Ewald’s President, David C. Ewald, CAE, and Laurie Krueger, CAE, the Executive Director designated by Ewald to manage AWI, met with the AWI Board of Directors at length at the Board’s meeting on April 24, 2017.

At that meeting the Board adopted the task force’s recommendation and selected Ewald as AWI’s AMC, effective today. There will be a two-month transition period during which AWI’s current staff and Ewald will work together to handle AWI’s day-to-day activities until Ewald has fully assumed management of AWI.


2017 Public Sector Investigation Seminars: California 

Costa Mesa and Oakland are SOLD OUT! Sign up for Sacramento below.

June 20 in Costa Mesa

9 am to 1 pm
Donna Evans and Donna Peter
For more info on Costa Mesa |REGISTER FOR COSTA MESA

 June 27 in SacramentoJune 29 in Oakland 

9 am to 1 pm
Karen Kramer, Mary Egan Lisa Sullivan 
For more info on Sacramento |REGISTER FOR SACRAMENTO
For more info on Oakland |REGISTER FOR OAKLAND

 Investigating allegations of misconduct by public sector employees involves both procedural and substantive issues not present in other types of investigations. In this seminar, experienced internal and external public sector investigators discuss the issues unique to public sector investigations, along with general investigative planning, interviewing and reporting techniques.

Among other things, you will learn how to identify public sector issues, give the proper notifications and admonishments, conduct a defensible interview, follow-up without violating state or federal laws, and issue a report that will meet the client's needs while maintaining any applicable privileges. Attendees will receive program materials containing tips, forms and templates that will assist them in their investigations. Space is limited so register early to secure your attendance.

Includes complimentary breakfast and break.

California MCLE credit pending
HRCI and SHRM credit pending

Members $200
Sustaining Members $100
Non-Members $350

Donna Evans (Costa Mesa, CA) specializes in conducting timely, confidential and neutral third-party investigations into allegations of workplace misconduct, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, violence, bullying, dishonesty, ethical violations, violation of employer's policies and whistleblowing allegations. Ms. Evans effectively leverages legal expertise in labor and employment law with actual Director-level experience with a Fortune 200 company. She is a renowned trainer and educator on a variety of workplace and leadership topics.

Donna Peter (Costa Mesa, CA) is currently the Director of Human Resources for the City of Santa Monica. She was previously the Director of Human Resources for the City of Manhattan Beach and has served as a human resources consultant to the City of Lynwood and Santa Monica City College. Ms. Peter received two Bachelor of Arts degrees from California State University, Chico and her MBA from California State University, Fresno. She has conducted numerous training sessions on a variety of workplace issues and has participated in roundtable discussions regarding various Human Resources topics. Ms. Peter has conducted internal investigations herself and has years of experience working with outside investigators.

Mary Egan (Sacramento and Oakland, CA) is a human resource practice manager, a licensed investigator, and an expert witness. She assists local government agencies with human resources, labor relations and organizational effectiveness challenges. As a licensed private investigator, Ms. Egan regularly conducts independent workplace investigations concerning misconduct, harassment, and poor management practices, and serves as an expert witness in human resources and investigation related matters. She uses her negotiation and investigation skills to facilitate strategic planning and interest-based problem resolution. Ms. Egan also assists agencies with problems and deficiencies, and recommends remedial procedures. She is a frequent presenter and trainer for IPMA, CSAC and CSAC HR, the League of California Cities, and other professional organizations. Ms. Egan was on the AWI Board of Directors from 2010 to 2012. 

Karen Kramer (Sacramento and Oakland, CA)  is an employment law attorney specializing in workplace investigations. Since forming Kramer-Wiese in 2000, Ms. Kramer's practice has focused primarily on conducting personnel investigations involving allegations of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, as well as misconduct and disciplinary matters. She previously litigated employment law matters with Porter Scott and worked as an Employment Law Attorney with LexisNexis. Ms. Kramer's experience includes testifying during administrative and judicial proceedings regarding completed investigations. Ms. Kramer has conducted hundreds of workplace investigations for public agencies, and is well versed in the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights and the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights. She has also conducted many complex and high profile investigations involving high level public employees and elected officials. Ms. Kramer is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine (1989) and University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (1992). 

Lisa Sullivan's (Sacramento and Oakland, CA)  diverse experiences during her exceptional 33-year public sector career honed her ability to see across traditional roles and responsibilities and develop innovative yet practical recommendations. Ms. Sullivan has held pivotal positions with the City of Santa Cruz (six years as the Human Resources and Administrative Services Director), Santa Cruz Regional 9-1-1 (12 years in a variety of key leadership roles), and the City and County of San Francisco (10 years in a variety of upper and operational management positions). She has significant experience in Public Safety and specializes in civilian functions and roles in Police and Fire departments. Ms. Sullivan is also a talented private investigator (State of California license #28436). She conducts all manner of workplace investigations: employee misconduct, discrimination/harassment complaints, executive reference checks, and law enforcement background investigations. Lisa's investigations are professional, independent, efficient, and thorough.

Last Updated on Friday, May 26, 2017 02:33 PM

AWI Journal Publishes First 2017 Issue


By Susan Woolley, Editor

Welcome to the latest edition of the AWI Journal. AWI continues to be on a wonderful adventure, and I’m so glad we are traveling together.

Kicking off this edition, Marguerite Malloy introduces us to Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance Service, Inc. In this case, the Second Circuit adopted the “cat’s paw” theory of liability. The term cat’s paw comes from a fable by Aesop, in which a hungry and devious monkey cajoles a gullible cat to reach into a fire to retrieve some roasting nuts. The cat ends up with singed paws and no snack—cats don’t eat nuts, but monkeys sure do. In employment cases, a cat’s paw theory allows an employer to be held responsible when a supervisor who has no discriminatory intent does the bidding of an employee who harbors such animus toward the target employee. The twist in Vasquez is the role played by a deficient investigation. Lest you think this is a case only a law professor could love, Marguerite brings it down to earth and ties the lessons of Vasquez directly to AWI’s Guiding Principles.

Moving from case law to the trenches of internal investigations, Angela Reddock-Wright, Camille Townsend, and I present “Inside Out: Challenges and Innovations in Handling Internal Workplace Complaints.” The idea for this article (and the 2016 AWI conference presentation of the same name) grew out of our work together with the Los Angeles County Equity Oversight Panel. We hope our pooled experience and insights are useful to internal and external investigators alike.

As many of you know, the California Court of Appeal last year upheld the privileged nature of a neutral workplace investigation in Petaluma v. Superior Court (Waters). In her article on this case, Gabrielle Handler Marks walks us through the pertinent facts and findings. Lawyers and nonlawyers alike will want to keep her clear explanation close at hand.

Beth Gramigna has done a deep dive into the 2016 EEOC Task Force recommendations. Her article, “Harassment in the Workplace,” is a streamlined and practical look at the latest from the EEOC (as of this writing).

Lastly, Associate Justice Mary-Jane Ierodiaconou has written about statutes in Victoria, Australia, that govern private security work and might affect the conduct of workplace investigations. The question of who can conduct investigations when such statutes are in place is one that the Journal has addressed in the past and that continues to inspire lively debate among investigators. We can now have that conversation internationally!

Many thanks to our volunteers, who provide the articles you are about to enjoy. And special thanks to Chuleenan Svetvilas, who keeps this ship on course.

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