Joseph E. Shackford - Founder and Original Content Co-Trainer

Joe earned a B.S. in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University and an M.S. in engineering management from Northeastern. He was the first engineer in GE-Aircraft Engines to complete GE's Financial Management Program course of studies.

Joe began his professional career with Sikorsky Helicopter as a flight test engineer. After three years, he moved to GE-Aircraft Engines. Twenty-five years' experience as a functional manager in worldwide commercial sales and military aviation operations led to his being named the first National Executive - India – for all GE product lines. He managed all of GE's business development operations for India, living in New Delhi from 1986 to 1989.

During this time, he managed business-to-business and business-to-government joint venture, co-production and technology transfer activities involving aircraft and marine engines, power generation electrical energy production, medical imaging equipment, factory automation, plastics, and lighting. Some opportunities involved multi-country, multi-company agreements.

Upon return to the U.S. in 1989, he managed GE-Aircraft Engine's Military Product Support Operation in Lynn, Massachusetts, through the Desert Shield activities and Desert Storm preparation. He encouraged the implementation of customer-centered process management throughout his operation, along with intensive continuous improvement activities.

In January 1991, he joined the Mattford Group as senior partner. A manager who always built his own organizations' performance through relevant skills training, process consultation, and mentoring/modeling, he went on to share his worldwide business experience with TMG clients.

From 1988 through 2018, he served as the sole content co-trainer for the workshop. He kicked back by flying Cessnas, playing golf, dancing, and traveling the world with Kaye, as well as sharing time with four grown kids, six grandkids, and two American Eskimo dogs named Piper Super Cub and Lucas Skybear. Though Joe is no longer training the program, his love of aviation and his commitment to leave things better than he found them continue to infuse everything we do.

Kaye Shackford - Founder, Workshop Designer and Process Co-Trainer

Kaye attended Bennington College and graduated with an A.B. in English Education from the University of North Carolina. Her Masters in Adult Education was with Malcolm Knowles at Boston University. Her Diploma in Advanced Studies in Gestalt Psychology is from the New England Gestalt Institute.

Before joining GE, she worked for a National Laboratory for Higher Education in North Carolina. As associate director for an experimental urban ministry, she produced an issues-oriented TV series for Channel 38 in Durham, North Carolina.

During 12 years at GE-Aircraft Engines, she served as personnel manager for the sourcing and manufacturing technology organizations and as manager of marketplace education and professional development. She designed a Negotiation Skills workshop based on the work of Chester Karrass for GE-AE in 1978. She taught teams of functional managers inside GE to run it. She and they ran it domestically since 1978 and internationally from 1983-89 for over 3000 GE and Snecma people.

From 1986-89 she lived in India, working for GE International, designing and running training programs in Europe and South Asia. These programs included negotiation, communication skills, intensive interviewing skills, effective people management, person-job matching, and strategic account management.

She established the Mattford Group in 1988. When she discovered the work of Roger Fisher and the Harvard Project on Negotiation, she designed the Negotiating Solutions® workshop to help professionals steeped in and good at positional negotiation discover at a deep value and conceptual level the far superior results they could get, now and over time, through interest-based negotiation. As the designer of the workshop, she continues to hone the program to keep it current and useful.

Kaye has written a book addressed to the aviation industry. Its title is "Charting a Wiser Course: How Aviation Can Address the Human Side of Change." She is also the companion of two American Eskimo Dogs - Piper Super Cub and Lucas Skybear. She serves as the sole process co-trainer of every workshop.

Al Peterson - Content Co-Trainer

Al worked as a sales executive for Precision Castparts Corporation for 38 years. He retired at the end of June 2019. All 38 years were spent in the Airfoils Division where super alloy castings were manufactured for the turbine sections of commercial and military jet engines and land-based turbines.

His career at PCC began as an account manager at the plant level. He then moved into sales management - also at the plant level - where he mentored and managed sales professionals and developed and implemented strategic plans, resulting in substantial growth for two of the plants in the division. His customer base consisted of the engine primes, the risk revenue sharing partners, and machining houses.

He also served at the division level as the Director of Sales and as the Acting Vice President of Sales. In those positions he led key negotiations and worked with the plants to develop and implement strategic plans to grow the business.

Al attended the Negotiating Solutions® workshop in 1995. Over the years he was instrumental in sending several sales professionals from the Airfoils Division to the workshop. He joined the Mattford Group as a co-trainer in November 2019. He brings decades of aerospace experience to the group as well as a successful record of mentoring and coaching subordinates and peers to reach their maximum potential in the aerospace arena. Al used the principles he learned at the NSW throughout his career to negotiate many significant long-term agreements with both domestic and international engine primes.

Jim Croley - Content Co-Trainer

Jim started his 35-year career at AT&T changing magnetic tapes and giving commands to a room-size state-of-the-art computer. From there he was asked to create and deliver a three-month training course for new computer operators. This was the foundation for growing into every larger roles aimed at understanding business needs and translating those needs into computer systems to accomplish them.

In 1984, shortly after he arrived, AT&T was forced to break up into seven regional phone companies - who provided local calling - and a new AT&T - who provided long-distance calling. Over the next twenty-five years, one of those seven regionals successfully acquired three of the others and the long-distance company to become the new and current AT&T.

Jim spent the rest of his career dealing with AT&T's breakup and its aftermath, breaking a very large company into pieces, and then methodically figuring out how to put most of those pieces back together again.

Breaking up AT&T meant the regional companies where he worked had to figure out how to do things on their own. He was part of a small team of employees, leading a very large team of consultants, building a new billing system which went on to be sold world-wide. Then he was part of a small team which re-defined how their 2,500 person billing system staff could do their work better, faster, cheaper - changing everything from the physical space people worked in, to the steps they performed, to the documentation they created.

In 1996 Congress set out new rules that would let the seven regional phone companies get into the long distance business. Jim was one of the first twenty employees in the new long distance company, creating an entire company from scratch. He led the team to develop the software necessary to run that company, while merging four times. During this time, he was an Executive Director leading teams for customer care, business architecture, systems development, product development, program and project management.

Jim finished his career exploring new business opportunities that didn't fit within AT&T's normal business, but had the potential to grow big, business opportunities such as: satellite TV to the car, remote vehicle sensing, medical device monitoring, and a mobile wallet.

One of his key learnings is that marketplace success may be less about technology and more about people, and that the biggest determiner of success may be understanding people and valuing their different perspectives in order to build and maintain strong relationships.

Office Administration Staff

Susan Pennacchio – Office, Program, and Materials Manager

Susan started working with the Mattford Group in 1999. She began as our Materials Manager. It takes meticulous and continuing attention to detail to manage the materials for a program as complex as Negotiating Solutions®. Susan assured that all workshop materials were of high quality, ordered, shipped, and there when needed.

In August, 2003, she added Office and Program Management responsibilities to her role. She processed applications, got pre-work materials to applicants, and coordinated with the facility to make sure all aspects of the program ran smoothly.

Susan spent five years as a captain and nurse in the US Air Force. She is a wonderful singer who has performed with several community choirs. When she and her husband Mike can carve out a little time for themselves, they take off for the backcountry in the mountains around Lake Tahoe to camp and meditate as far off the beaten track as possible.

The coronavirus pandemic kept us from running the workshop for 2-1/2 years, and kept Susan from being with us. During that time, Susan and Mike moved to Reno. Now that we are starting to run workshops again, Susan is teaching us how to take her responsibilities back in house.

Mindy Tindle – Webmaster

Mindy moved to Incline Village in 1995 to establish her own secretarial services company. She brought ten years of secretarial and word processing experience with her. For almost four years, The Mattford Group contracted with her to provide program management, office management, and financial management support. She set up many of our systems, processes, and formats. In 2002, she designed our website. She continues to maintain it. She moved on to a variety of short-term executive secretarial and administrative support roles in Reno, Nevada, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, before returning to college to earn an in-depth certificate in desktop publishing. Upon completion of her studies, Mindy returned to Reno in the summer of 2003 with her children, Mollie and Adam. She completed a paralegal degree program, with high honors, at Charter College. She continues to serve as our consultant regarding computer-based program administration and as our overflow program administrator. Among other projects, she created the text design for and formatted 'Charting a Wiser Course.' She enjoys being in close proximity to the recreational and relaxational resources of Lake Tahoe.

Should you experience any difficulty with our website, please let us know at or contact Mindy directly at