I'm so thrilled that you're here. I'm sure you want to know 'who is this person' who is asking for your trust in guiding you through your Customer Care and what can be the most difficult, frustrating and soul-sucking part of your work; dealing with conflicts. 

All of us are what I call 'combo platters' of talents and abilities.  Mine just happens to be guiding others through some really tough stuff. 


Here's why:


  • I have spent all of my career in training & coaching. What that really means is that I am a great observer of what is meaningful to people. I then convert those observations into useful tools towards action and motivation towards change.


  • I will teach you and your Staff how to use the power of language to both prevent conflict and for use in your most challenging situations.  How I know: as a Professional Speaker having performed seminars in 48 states, across Canada and Puerto Rico, I have learned how to use language to move people.  The right words delivered in the right order and with the right tone are EVERYTHING!  It was fun to deliver seminars and continue to refine my messages towards what best resonated with audiences. Now you get the benefit of my years of practice.


  • I'm a true ENFP with a Twist (Myers-Briggs: Extraverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving).  I am an observer, intuitive, listener, optimistic, and more.  As a 'mature' ENFP, I have overcome the one major drawback that ENFPs tend to have and that is the aversion to details and management of maintenance-type tasks. I had to work so hard on this that it has driven me to create unbreakable systems.


  • I love to empower others. Look, that's what this work is all about, I empower you and your teams to provide the best to your Volunteers, Members, Board Members, etc.  When you feel empowered, WooHoo! There's no stopping you!!


  • I followed my path.  Coming to this work didn't happen overnight. I use all of my skills as Human Development & Customer Care Trainer, Professional Speaker, Executive Coach, Team Dynamics Coach, & Workplace Mediator to develop you and your team. (Oh, and I have participated in a bunch of targeted and prestigious education and certificate programs along the way that have been pretty influential). 

  • Here is a sampling of my work history (WOW! I even impressed myself with this!!)

    • Training Manager at Latham & Watkins Law Firm

    • Director of Training & Development for eHarmony (topics: HR, Leadership & Customer Care)

    • Contracted seminar leader having delivered more than 800 seminars in 48 states, across Canada & Puerto Rico (topics: Leadership, Time Management, How to Handle Difficult People)

    • Microsoft contracted Trainer for nationwide project delivering 'Leading Without Authority'

    • Annual Customer Service Speaker for Anaheim Orange County Hotel & Lodging Association (18 years)

    • Disney Resorts Customer Service Training Consultant delivering '7 Seconds to Connect' to 1,000 Cast Members for opening of Grand Californian Hotel.

    • Also, 'Back to Basics of Hospitality' for staff of all 3 Anaheim Disney properties in preparation for Disneyland 50th Birthday Celebration.

    • Hoag Hospital - Contracted to consult with HR team to develop new employee performance management system. Then, conducted training to roll-out the new system to 400+ Managers and Directors.

  •  I live a lovely and peaceful life.  You wouldn't think that of someone who makes her livelihood in the world of conflict, but it's true.  I live in a national forest in Southern California with my husband and my dog, Joey (she's the real star in my animated videos). People often comment to me that I am a calming (yet, direct) force. Nice compliment.

  • Oh, and I am wickedly funny. Find out for yourself.

I am proud of and dedicated to the work I do and the outcomes we will achieve together, including:


  • Increased empathy that your team will develop for Volunteers, Customers and each other.

  • Increased decisiveness and confidence by the team when confronted with challenging situations.

  • Increased Trust from Staff and Volunteers through use of my systems:

Systems = Consistency

Consistency = Trust


All of my experiences combined are what make my systems highly successful.  Some clients have attempted what they believed to be the Volunteer Relations model on their own, only to find that they were in over their heads and causing more harm than good in relationships with Volunteers.  They ultimately came to me to clean things up and do it right. Here are my simple words of advice, 'kids, don't try this at home'.


I hope this is helpful to you and I look forward to hearing from you soon! And, don't forget to sign up for blogs and updates (using the form at the top of the screen).


Cheers to your success!!



Here's the other stuff that you want to know about me:


Marla Benson, Volunteer Relations℠ Consulting Group Founder and Principal Consultant, has always been aligned and connected to the best-of-the-best throughout her career history.  Always a leader and influencer, Marla's impact through executive leadership coaching/advising, consulting and training has been far-reaching over more than 25 years.


As former Chief Program Officer of Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, she is proud to count amongst her clients such organizations as GSSEM, Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, Girl Scouts San Diego, Microsoft, eHarmony.com, Disney Resorts, Hoag Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, University of Texas McCombs School of Business and many more admired and high-performing organizations.


Marla is focused on continuous improvement and best practices and integrates the most relevant and current education and certifications:


  • SPHR, Senior Professional in Human Resources, a certificate rating by the Human Resource Certification Institute

  • Purdue University Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Certificate

  • Certified Workplace Mediator (MTI - Mediation Training Institute)

  • Certified Workplace Mediation Trainer (MTI - Mediation Training Institute)

  • Cornell University Executive Leadership Certificate

  • Cornell University Change Leadership Certificate

  • Cornell University Project Leadership Certificate

  • Keirsey Temperament Profile Certified Professional