Actors Use Theater Techniques to Teach Leadership--Win National Award The Ariel Group Named Business of the Year at ISA Annual Meeting

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The company was founded by a singer and an actress--with little business experience. But, over the past decade the company has trained nearly 50,000 executives in Leadership Presence by getting them to reflect on their core values, spout Shakespeare, and add emotion to their messages. Belle Halpern, co-founder, and Sean Kavanagh, CEO, of The Ariel Group of Boston, Massachusetts, accepted the Business of the Year Award yesterday at the annual meeting of ISA--The Association of Learning Providers.

The company was founded by a singer and an actress--with little business experience. Their vision statement read like a Buddhist prayer. They held staff "retreats"involving a combination of music, business and meditation. But, over the past decade the company has trained nearly 50,000 executives in Leadership Presence by getting them to reflect on their core values, spout Shakespeare, and add emotion to their messages. Their client list has grown to include some of the world's largest, most conservative companies, who fly them all over the US, Europe and Asia to deliver their workshops. They are a now multi-million-dollar business growing at 25% a year since 2000. And they have just received the Business of the Year award from a national trade association.

Belle Halpern, co-founder, and Sean Kavanagh, CEO, of The Ariel Group of Boston, Massachusetts, accepted the Business of the Year Award yesterday at the annual meeting of ISA--The Association of Learning Providers. The award was presented by Catherine Rezak, the president of ISA, and honors Ariel's rapid growth, creative client service and unique corporate culture. "This award caps a great year for both Ariel and ISA," said Halpern. "We are so pleased to be able to celebrate our success together."

Since 1992 The Ariel Group has helped thousands of executives become more effective leaders and communicators. "There is an increasing need for effective, inspiring leadership in our corporations, institutions and government." said Halpern, "Our novel approach, combining theater and business, has proven very successful in helping executives recognize, develop and project their individual authentic presence."

Over its 27 years ISA's member firms have evolved from predominantly instructor-led training to a blend that includes video-based, computer-based and web-based training. "With the award for Ariel, ISA returns to and honors its roots," said Rezak. "They put the 'leader' back into what is often called 'leader-led training'."

"Our membership was particularly well-informed in selecting Ariel for this year's award," said Pam Schmidt, ISA's executive director, "Ariel's principals managed several sessions at our 25th anniversary meeting. In addition to providing memorable leadership lessons, they had our members singing and dancing in the aisles."

"Our secret weapon is our company culture, which is built around community and quality," explained Kavanagh. "We care deeply about our people, which creates fierce loyalty and dedication. This translates directly into extremely high-quality work, which means we are a fulfilling, respectful and fun place to work, even when growing rapidly."

About The Ariel Group

Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar co-founded The Ariel Group in 1992. The company currently instructs about 5,000 executives a year through workshops and individual coaching. Halpern has performed worldwide as an actress and singer and taught music in workshops at Harvard University. Lubar has worked as a professional actress for many years and co-founded the New Repertory Theatre in 1984. Halpern and Lubar have set out their approach in the critically acclaimed book, Leadership Presence: Dramatic Techniques to Reach Out, Motivate and Inspire.

Ariel's unique programs apply theater-based techniques to solve critical organizational challenges including leadership development, communications, team building, change management, and coaching. To learn more about Ariel, visit http://www.arielgroup.com.

About ISA--The Association of Learning Providers

The Instructional Systems Association was founded 27 years ago by a group of training providers anxious to share information and build relationships in what was and remains an extremely diffuse and diverse industry. It has shortened its name, but its commitment to the entrepreneurial spirit of growing learning and performance businesses remains. To learn more about ISA, visit http://www.isaconnection.org.

For More Information Contact:

John Neely

Hawthorne Associates

Phone: 978-745-4878

Fax: 978-745-2553

john@hawthorneassociates.com

Sean Kavanagh

The Ariel Group

Phone: 800-235-7832, x 16

Fax: 781-648-5551

Skavanagh@arielgroup.com

This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.

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John Neely
Hawthorne Associates
978-745-4878
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