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Merlin & Associates is a global provider of on-site management development seminars.


Merlin & Associates meets the training needs of the business world, from entry-level employees to top-level executives to self-employed professionals.


Trainers and Consultants in Performance Improvement

About Us

Merlin & Associates, Inc. enhances employee performance through self-development workshops, consulting, and counseling. Our training programs are tailored to meet the organization needs and are taught by professionals who are authors, speakers, trainers and consultants. We are a woman-owned small business.

Company History

The business was founded by Darlene T. Carver in 1981 as a private postsecondary school called Abbie Business Institute (Frederick, Maryland). After growing the school and attaining national accreditation, she sold it in 1989 and created Merlin & Associates, Inc. Today, Merlin has trained many thousands of people in organizations, government entities, academia and non-profits around the world.

The Associates

All the associates are seasoned professionals who have business savvy as well as platform expertise. Their backgrounds are as varied as their personalities, but the common factor is a passion for helping others succeed. Some of the Associates are listed below:

Darlene T. Carver - Founder of Merlin & Associates, Inc.
Ms. Carver has over 30 years experience working as a trainer in public and private organizations. She is a coauthor of The Masters of Success. She is qualified to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and is recognized as a Certified Professional Secretary (CPS). She has a BS in Business Education and an MBA. She is a member of the National Speakers Association.

Colin Dunn – Associate
Mr. Dunn’s career includes 30 years as a US Army officer, spending the last five years of his Army career training other leaders. His areas of expertise include strategic planning, leadership, performance management, teambuilding and communication skills. He has a BS in Engineering, 2 MAs and an MBA.

Edward Kaplan - Associate
Mr. Kaplan has extensive experience in training and facilitating in the government environment. His areas of expertise include communication skills and management. He has a BS in Government and MS in Public Administration.

Daniel Knight – Associate
Mr. Knight helps leaders develop their strategic thinking and create innovative improvement and growth strategies. He is an award-winning writer and a contributing editor for Strategy and Leadership (a business journal). He has a BS in Business Administration and an MA in International Relations.

Louise Makone - Associate
Ms. Mokone is a development consultant who presents management programs, coaches one-on-one and conducts needs assessments. She has appeared in TV commercials and coached others who were not professional actors. She has received the Best Teacher Award from the Buffalo School System. Ms. Mokone holds BS and MA degrees.

Virginia Nelson – Associate
Ms. Nelson has an extensive background in human resource development and is a former Senior Trainer at Booz, Allen, Hamilton. Her areas of expertise include presentation and facilitation skills, communications and management. She has a BS in Psychology and an MS in Human Resource Development.

What participants say:

"Gets thoughts across you can understand."

"Kept your attention and made learning seem fun."
"The instructor is very energetic, enthusiastic and fun."

"Very approachable. Interacts well with the class."

"Facilitator has done an excellent job."

"I learned a lot and feel a lot better about our leadership team."

"You are great!  It's nice to have had an instructor that has an interest in you and how you are using the things you learned."