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“Communication Theory, Applying Academic Research to our Field,”
by Mike Reddington, CFI

This is the main event of the year in the interview and interrogation community. Leading experts from across the globe attend Elite Training Day for exclusive training and networking opportunities.

This is the only event with a dedicated focus on honing the skills of the interviewer. Developed by IAI, this event enables you to learn from interviewers and interrogators across multiple industries, and the agenda typically features expert speakers from various specialties.

Elite Training Day 2016 Recap


Elite Training Day Lives Up to its Name in Minneapolis

The industry’s only conference dedicated to the science of interviewing didn’t disappoint.  The 2016 Elite Training Day at Best Buy Headquarters in Minneapolis, MN hosted more than 150 professional interviewers and investigators from around the globe. Invaluable educational and networking opportunities highlighted the day and a half value-packed agenda. A diverse group of attendees from many backgrounds and professions and included Vice Presidents, Directors, Regional and District Managers.

 ‘CFI of the Year’ Award Winner Revealed

Each year, all of the Certified Forensic Interviewer’s (CFI) selects a recipient for the ‘CFI of the Year’ award. All nominees for this award are nominated by his or her peers. Winners of this award are revealed annually at the Elite Training Day event. This year’s winner is Hector Erazo, CFI, LPC from Walmart. Hector was recognized for going above and beyond the Certified Forensic Interviewer values. Hector also exhibits the highest level of professionalism while interviewing sources, victims, suspects, and witnesses.

2016 Elite Training Day Speakers Included:

Mike Yoder, Supervisory Special Agent

Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) Mike Yoder has handled investigations from prostitution, drug trafficking, to undercover during his 19 years with the FBI.  As a criminal profiler, SSA Yoder provides behavior analysis on single and serial homicides, serial sexual assault cases and adult kidnappings.  He shared the personality types he has encountered over the years as a criminal investigator and how to interview each type. Techniques for interviewing even the most challenging suspects were brought to light and shared with the attendees.

Dr. Andy Griffiths, Former Senior Detective and Senior Investigating Officer 

Dr. Andy Griffiths is a former Senior Detective and Senior Investigating Officer, having completed 30 years of police service with the UK police, where he specialized in interviewing and investigation.  He is now an Associate Tutor at the College of Policing (UK), Visiting Research Fellow in Criminal Investigation at the University of Derby, and Criminal Justice at the University of Portsmouth, as well as offering training and consultancy to commercial organizations internationally.  He has also contributed to miscarriage of justice investigations in the USA, New Zealand and the UK.  As a senior detective he led numerous major crime investigations and contributed to UK national policy on police interviewing for over 10 years.  Griffiths shared his interviewing and investigation global insights with the Elite group, helping to expand their interviewing and interrogation know-how regarding the PEACE Model of interviewing and Proper Preparation for a Case.

Steven Kaplan, Senior of Counsel, P. A.

Steve Kaplan is a senior of counsel at the Fredrikson & Byron, P. A. law firm in Minneapolis where he has represented individuals wrongly convicted of serious crimes as a result of coerced false confessions and false third-party witness statements. He explored the reasons why the Reid interrogation technique, both as designed and as it may actually be implemented, poses the serious risk of wrongful convictions of innocent persons. He also addressed possible reforms to reduce those risks. Kaplan provided valuable information designed to help attendees identify when a false confession may be taking shape within their own interviews and interrogations.

Dave Thompson, CFI 

Dave Thompson, CFI is Director of Investigations, Research and Innovation at Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates (WZ). He handles a variety of investigations and conducts interviews and interrogations across a wide spectrum of clients and diverse cases. As a speaker for WZ, Thompson has presented at seminars, hosted a variety of webinars as well as live broadcasts of training. Thompson is also an active member of the International Association of Interviewers (IAI) and has contributed blogs, video tips and webinars to support the continuing education of IAI members. Thompson reviewed the Brendan Dassey interrogations from Netflix’s Making a Murderer documentary, and used that case information to lead an interactive session with the attendees working through potential pitfalls to avoid during interviews and interrogations.

About The International Association of Interviewers (IAI)

Founded by the leaders in W-Z, The International Association of Interviewers (IAI) is the only association for CFI designees as well as those dedicated to the art of interviewing and interrogation.  IAI’s mission is to provide education, business and networking opportunities to interviewers from all disciplines through valuable resources such as instructive events, useful web content, exclusive webinars and much more.  To learn more about IAI membership and existing educational resources visit

About Certified Forensic Interviewer (CFI)

A CFI is a professional with the expertise to conduct a variety of investigative interviews with victims, witnesses, suspects or other sources to determine the facts regarding suspicions, allegations or specific incidents in either public or private sector settings.

The CFI designation is rightfully recognized as the premier designation to define those who have mastered the art of interviewing and interrogation.  A Certified Forensic Interviewer (CFI) is documented to be Elite and at the top of the field.  You can become part of this Elite fraternity through the resources of the International Association of Interviewers.

Past Elite Training Day Videos can be purchased as an IAI Member.

 CFI of the Year 2

Joe Davis, CFI accepting the CFI of the Year award from Shane Sturman, CFI and Dave Zulawski, CFI on behalf of Hector Erazo, CFI





Kellen McWhite, CFI and Nick Khalil






Networking Break

2016 CFI Scholarship Winners announced at Elite Training Day

Fred Wilson, CFI Private Sector Scholarship Winner- Ken Fiori
Public Sector Scholarship Winner- Carl Vigil
International Scholarship Winner- Ephantus Mbui Kathimba



Stats for Elite Training Day

Past Elite Training Day Presentations:


  • “Facial Expression Recognition, Smile Tests, and Microexpressions,” by Dr. David Matsumoto
  • “How Interviews Have Helped the FBI in a Famous International Kidnapping Case,” by Richard Manning
  • “Expanding on the Use of the Participatory Approach,” by David Zulawski, CFI, CFE


  • “False Confessions,” by Dr. Richard Ofshe
  • “Linguistics,” by Dr. Carol Chaski
  • “Gang Interviewing and Investigations,” by John Guzman, CFI
  • “Communication Theory, Applying Academic Research to our Field,” by Mike Reddington, CFI


  • “Top 10 Things You Need to Know When Investigating High Level Executives” by Allison West, Esq., SPHR
  • “The Exception You’re Missing: Investigating Disbursement Fraud. How to Monitor Risk and Best Practices,” by John Brocar, CFE, CFI
  • “Statement Analysis® Interviewing Techniques: Learn to Analyze a Verbal and Written Statement to Detect Deception,” by Mark McClish
  • “The Real Facts about Fact Finding Interviews” by Dave Zulawski, CFI, CFE
  • “The Biggest Secrets for being Completely Prepared for Court,” by Miranda Nickles Rapport, Esq.


  • “Good Reasons, but Wrong Decisions” – Harvin Moore
  • “Suspicion Indicators Recognition & Assessment (SIRA): Proactive Security System” – Michael Rozin
  • “Leadership; The Transition from Being an Expert Tactician to a Strategic Visionary” – Chris McDonald and Gary Moncur, CFI
  • “Status of Interviewing and Detection on Deception” – Ray Bull


  • “The Reid Technique, The Risk of False Confessions, and Some Suggested Remedies” – Steve Kaplan
  • “Behavioral-based Interviewing Techniques: Taking Criminal Personalities Into Account” – Special Agent Mike Yoder
  • “What Front Line Managers Really Want” – Dr. Ashley Lesko
  • “Dassey Interrogations Practical Review” – Dave Thompson, CFI
  • “The PEACE Model of Interviewing Explained” and “Hallmarks of a Good Investigation” – Dr. Andy Griffiths