Sharon Adams has over twenty years of experience in the California Community College System - serving as a Counselor and then as a Dean of Student Services. She holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and a Master’s degree in Counseling. She has travelled to several countries around the world studying and implementing forgiveness and reconciliation models in work environments. Sharon specializes in NCRC’s professional and campus conflict resolution and diversity workshops.
Aous Ameen is from Bagdad, Iraq, where he obtained degrees in Computer Systems and Law. He has worked in the Technology Field and in Sales. He currently works for NCRC in our trainings for the Arabic speaking refugee population.
Dhalia Balmir has worked in and brings perspectives from the corporate, public and nonprofit sectors. Having worked at a San Diego Fortune 500 tech company for 12 years, Dhalia led the women and African American employee networks and building diversity strategic partnership. Dhalia speaks French and translates Haitian Kreyol. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration and currently completing her second Masters in Nonpublic Leadership & Management at the University of San Diego. Dhalia has worked with NCRC as a trainer since 2019 and specializes in the ART of Inclusive Communication and The Bystander Challenge workshops.
Shelley Barajas-Leyva, MA, is a native San Diegan who has been a proud Exchange trainer since 2011. She teaches conflict resolution skills to youth and community leaders, both nationally and internationally, in English and Spanish. In addition to her work with NCRC, Shelley is Director of the USD TRiO McNair Scholars Program – a program dedicated to preparing first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students for doctoral study through involvement in research and scholarly activities. Shelley holds a Bachelor of Art in Spanish from San Diego State University, and a Master’s in Counseling from USD’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences.
Dr. Bob Berk is the founder of New Table Consulting, a group that focuses on building capacity in individuals and organizations. After earning his degree in biology from University of California - San Diego, Bob began teaching students with emotional and behavior struggles in the Cincinnati area. This work led to Bob's return to graduate school where he earned a PhD in Leadership and Policy Studies from Vanderbilt University. Over the next two decades, Bob worked as a school leader in both independent and public schools. His last position as a school leader was as the founding Head of School at Cypress Academy in New Orleans - a school that exemplified the best educational practices of a child-centered school, inclusive of a variety of learning styles and needs.
Currently, Bob focuses his work at New Table Consulting on helping mission-driven organizations improve their efficiency and success. He is particularly interested in helping organizations develop systems around talent recruitment and retention, onboarding, continuous feedback, employee morale, and conflict resolution. As a National Conflict Resolution Center trainer, Bob specializes in training employee teams, community groups, and the education sector.
Karla Broady holds a Master's Degree in International Educational Development with a concentration in Peace and Conflict studies from Colombia University. Karla has extensive experience working with families and young children. She is passionate about teaching parents positive ways to improve these relationships. Karla is certified as a trauma informed yoga instructor. She enjoys incorporating mindfulness & self-awareness strategies into her work. At NCRC, Karla specializes in community empowerment workshops, restorative justice dialogues in the community and with inmates, as well as the ART of Inclusive Communication. Bilingual, Karla has lived and taught abroad and strives to bring a global perspective to her teaching.
Carol Brookins has more than twenty years of progressive human resources and employee relations experience in the corporate financial/banking industry to include her primary roles as Vice President of Human Resources and Employee Relations at JPMorgan Chase.
She has conducted and managed investigations of discrimination complaints (filed with federal and state agencies) and partnered with legal counsel, among others, to mitigate workplace issues. Her coaching and consultative support to management and business partners has aided in the prevention and resolution of complex employee matters. Carol’s extensive career in human resources and employee relations include: EEO Case Manager, Employee Relations Manager, Staffing/Recruitment Manager, HR Business Partner, Trainer and Instructional Design Specialist.
At NCRC, Carol is a Lead Trainer specializing in professional and community based workshops that encompass conflict resolution, harassment prevention, diversity and inclusion.
Jessé Brookins holds a Master of Arts in Applied Sociology with an emphasis in Race and Ethnic Relations. He has held positions within Northern Arizona University’s Office of Inclusion & Diversity, Department of Ethnic Studies, and other roles within Student leadership/organization. Jessé is passionate about social equality and equity. As a NRCR Trainer for our college and workplace workshops, Jessé works towards creating safe spaces for open dialogue with the goal of contributing to more diverse and inclusive communities.
Emma Celeste, a San Diego native, graduated from Seattle University in 2019 with BA’s in both Strategic Communication and Spanish. She is the Project Coordinator with National Conflict Resolution Center and works closely with the LiveWell SD program as well as our university projects. Emma has a passion for teaching youth and uses her past experiences in working at schools and day-camps to help her better engage participants and facilitate workshops. Emma specializes in university workshops, as well as youth workshops on The Art of Inclusive Communication and The Bystander Challenge.
Dari DeSousa has 30-years of well-rounded HR experience and a strong professional knowledge. She is known for her passion, energy and work ethic. Her specialties include: California HR. Hospitality. Employee investigations, Labor Relations, Large scope project management, Employee morale/team building, Leadership training/development and wage & compensation design/execution. Working with hourly entry level teams. At NCRC, Dari has completed her Mediation certification and is a trainer for Exchange and other programs.
Steven P. Dinkin has been President of NCRC since 2003. He has also taught mediation and conflict resolution courses in the United States, Europe and Latin America. Prior to joining NCRC, Steven mediated workplace and employment cases under contract with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Federal Reserve System and the Office of Compliance, an independent office within the legislative branch of the federal government engaged in resolving workplace disputes within the House of Representatives, the Senate and other congressional offices. He received his law degree from George Washington University, where he taught a mediation clinic as an adjunct law professor.
Noushin Dunkelman, founder and president of MaxSynergy Consulting, graduated from UCSD with a degree in biomechanical engineering. She has over 30 years of product development, management, team building and coaching experience in small to midsize companies. After years of working on the technical side, 5 years ago she decided to refocus her career in helping companies with their organizational challenges.
In her role at MaxSynergy Consulting, she works with companies to find the root of their internal problems and provide custom practical solutions that meet each company’s needs. This includes helping clients improve communications, develop and implement new skills and tools to clarify expectations, and train them on actionable feedback to create accountability. She also coaches experienced executives and new managers to further develop their leadership skills.
Rola El-Kadi graduated from Ajman University with a degree in Mass Communications and Public Relations. She has spent the vast majority of her professional career in the Middle East, where she held several positions in the field of media. As a TV host and segment producer, Rola worked for the MBC Group and Charisma, where she hosted several live-on-air TV shows with the primary objective of educating, influencing and changing people’s lives in the Middle East. Having relocated to San Diego in 2012, Rola is currently a language translator for refugees in San Diego. She joined NCRC in early 2014 as a trainer for refugees in Arabic.
Dr. Toni Herndon is an enthusiastic corporate trainer and holistic leadership coach who brings over 10 years of experience generating transformative possibilities for both individuals and organizations. She has offered several years of service to NCRC in the capacity of mediator, and now enjoys making a difference in the community through various facilitated NCRC workshops.
She is also an adjunct professor at Point Loma Nazarene University offering courses in interpersonal communication, emotional intelligence, leadership, and cultural awareness. Additionally, Toni is an in-demand consultant working with many companies large and small to explore areas of respectful workplace behavior, personal development, DISC communication style assessment, conflict resolution, and even in the art of business storytelling. Her goal is to encourage leaders and organizations to guide from a more heart-centered and inclusive place while allowing each individual to shine their personal best.
William James, MA, has been a mediator with NCRC since 1995. He is retired from the U.S. Navy, where his assignments included human resources management, substance abuse counseling and submarine duty. He has served on NCRC’s Board of Directors, as well as EEO, Workplace, Parent-teen and Juvenile Court mediation panels for NCRC. William is an evaluator for NCRC’s Credentialing Program. He has a BA in business management from Christian Heritage College, an MS in project management from Keller School of Management and a Certificate in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University. As a trainer, he has represented NCRC in a variety of programs.
Edward T. Jones II is a career and life strategist that helps clients overcome fear and setbacks to love their career and live their best life. Having worked in collegiate athletics for 10 years, he transitioned to working as an internal ATD certified career coach for a Southern California telecommunications company. During his time working in college athletics, he also worked with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to facilitate leadership forums on self-awareness and emotional intelligence for elite athletes and athletic administrators from across the country. His current role involves developing and implementing self-development programs to clarify goals, improve communication, provide feedback, and create career plans for individuals and teams. Eddie focuses on college and workplace workshops for NCRC
Laura Kass-Moreno, Esq., began practicing law in 1982 and has been a credentialed mediator since 1999. Laura became an instructor for NCRC in 2002 on a broad range of topics to a variety of institutions, including the U.S. Military, various city and county agencies, healthcare facilities and hospitality locations. Additionally, she has served as the lead trainer for job corps, teaching skills for seeking and maintaining jobs. She has also conducted numerous trainings for diverse cultural groups, including Iraqi refugees, women of East Africa and several college organizations in the area of intercultural diversity conflict management. Laura brings vast experience and expertise to her role as a lead trainer for conflict prevention and conflict management, including managing intercultural diversity conflicts. She has been NCRC’s Credential Program mentor for the past four years.
Lisa Maxwell has been a mediator since 1985 and is Director of the Training Institute at NCRC. She has extensive experience mediating and resolving workplace disputes, interpersonal disputes and complex issues. Lisa has designed and implemented communication, conflict resolution and diversity trainings in Spanish and English locally and internationally for companies, universities and government agencies. She developed and is the lead trainer in The Exchange Training. Along with Barbara Filner and Steve Dinkin, Lisa wrote and published the book The Exchange: A Bold and Proven Approach to Resolving Workplace Conflict. She has a Master’s Degree from San Diego State University in postsecondary educational leadership.
Marc A. Meyer was a mediator and hearing officer for NCRC from 2004 to 2009 when he became a full-time staff member. Marc is currently the Associate Director of NCRC’s Training Institute, where he manages and implements NCRC’s Exchange training projects. He also provides coaching/training services for NCRC’s Credential Program, Training Institutes and Exchange trainings. He received his B.S. in international security and conflict resolution in 2007.
Veronica Mikho is the Director of Community Mediation at NCRC and has been mediating since 2005. She is a bilingual mediator and trainer who enjoys working community. Veronica received her B.S in Criminal Justice from San Diego State University.
Brittney Ochira is a conflict resolution professional and scholar. Brittney holds a Master’s degree in Peace and Justice from the University of San Diego and a Bachelor’s degree in International Security and Conflict Resolution from San Diego State University. She has worked extensively with refugees and immigrants, youth, people in recovery from substance misuse disorders, and in many community collaborative settings. Brittney is experienced in curriculum development and creating workshops designed for diverse audiences. She is a Restorative Practitioner who works to bridge divides and strengthen community bonds, and is actively involved in NCRC’s efforts to build a more civil and cohesive region. Brittney works in NCRC’s Training Institute as a Senior Project Manager and specializes in community and campus workshops.
For more than 16 years as a conflict resolution practitioner, facilitator and trainer, Daniel Orth has supported individuals and communities seeking to resolve conflict. He has done this by working with diverse stakeholders to analyze conflict dynamics, leading strategic planning processes, facilitating difficult conversations, and equipping individuals with skills, knowledge, and connections through training opportunities. Since October 2020 when he joined the National Conflict Resolution Center, Orth has worked with organizations, businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies to design conflict interventions including mediation, facilitated dialogues, and trainings to create more just and productive working environments. Orth holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in political science and economics from Tulane University.
Parwiz was born in Daikundi, Afghanistan. He holds two Master’s Degrees. His first MA is in Farsi Literature and Language and his second degree is in Educational Management. He has over ten years of work experience in the fields of administration, Educational Management and Training in public and private organizations and International Aid Agencies in Afghanistan. Parwiz currently works as training coordinator and trainer for the Farsi/Dari speakers community in San Diego, California.
Aurea Bolaños Perea holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science, with an emphasis in Gender in Politics and Survey Methods. She has held various positions as a community organizer, strategist, and data analyst within non-profits, youth-led campaigns, and political campaigns. Aurea is passionate about feminism, social justice and equity for all communities of color. Within NCRC, she works closely with the Training Institute to provide the most up-to-date data and context about the success of our work. As a trainer, she prefers to work with Spanish-speaking communities and youth in order to provide a personal and interactive experiences for the participants.
Nikita Sam is the Project Coordinator at the National Conflict Resolution Center, where she applies her experiences growing up as a daughter of refugees to support the needs of her community. A San Diego native, she received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Business from San Diego State University. Nikita has a passion for ensuring that the health, well-being, and quality of life of marginalized communities are protected. At NCRC, Nikita specializes in campus, youth, and community workshops.
Eric Sandy, MA, has a wide variety of experience in alternative dispute resolution. He has conducted hundreds of mediations and hearings for the Superior Court, Community Mediation Program, Parent-Teen, Elder Care, Navy, Small Claims Court and Employment Disputes. He worked for the City of Del Mar Community Services Department for 45 years. Since 2003, Eric has led over 1000 hours of dispute resolution training. Recently, he has worked extensively with veterans, inmates, homeless and their support groups. He is on NCRC’s POST training team for law enforcement. Eric serves on NCRC’s Board of Directors. He has an MA from San Diego State University in Social Science and an MS in Human Resources from Chapman University.
John A. Serrano has had a long career in public safety, beginning as a San Diego City Lifeguard. John worked for the San Diego Police Department as a Police Officer in many different capacities and different regions of the city: Training Officer, Beach Team Unit, Recruiting Unit and Academy Instructor. John was promoted to Detective and later worked with the SD County District Attorney’s Office as a District Attorney Investigator. John’s final law enforcement position was with the San Diego Unified School District as a School Resource Officer. As a School Resource Officer, John worked closely with the National Conflict Resolution Center implementing Restorative Justice Practices on his campus and throughout the School District. Currently, John is a consultant and trainer for the National Conflict Resolution Center, working with our Restorative Justice team and as a lead trainer with our work with Law Enforcement.
John has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration and a Master of Public Administration from San Diego State University. John is also a licensed State of California Private Investigator. John is a member of the San Diego Police Officers Association, San Diego County District Attorney’s Investigators Association, California Association of Licensed Investigators, San Diego Lifesaving Association, United States Lifesaving Association and California Surf Lifesaving Association. John is also on the San Diego Lifesaving Association Board of Directors.
Kathryn Shade has been with the National Conflict Resolution Center since May of 2017. As the Senior Program Manager of NCRC’s Center for Community Cohesion (CCC), Kathryn continues the work of community engagement through collaborations with local agencies, organizations and residents to promote a culture of inclusivity, community empowerment and cohesion. Dedicated to community advocacy, she most recently worked for the Alliance for African Assistance, a refugee resettlement agency, as Interim Program Manager and employment Case Manager. Prior to that she spent five years as the Finance & Administration Manager for the Coalition of Neighborhood Councils, an umbrella organization for San Diego’s 4th District neighborhood councils.
Arthur L. Shingler III, Esq., teaches Art & Practice of Mediation courses with NCRC’s Training Institute, as well as conflict management courses with NCRC’s Exchange program. He is an attorney and mediator, and aids litigants in resolving a full range of business and personal disputes. Art serves on the San Diego Superior Court’s Mediation Panel and on NCRC’s Commercial, Employment/Workplace and Insurance/Personal Injury/Property Damage panels. In addition, he has lectured and served on discussion panels on issues surrounding a number of subjects, including conflict management and corporate fiduciary duty law and ethics.
Jean Silveira works as the Human Resources Manager and a Trainer with NCRC. She has over a decade of experience in diverse Human Resources Management positions in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, working for the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy and other private organizations. Jean has also worked with organizations and community leaders to help understand and better serve our Veteran and Military Spouse communities. She has proven capabilities in directly impacting and improving systems around talent management, recruitment and retention, learning and development, employee relations and morale, all while helping shape workplace culture to ensure diversity and inclusivity. Jean specializes in corporate and other workplace trainings for NCRC.
Jessica Tena has over twenty years of experience in the California public school system serving as a teacher, coach, mentor, and now as a consultant. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis on teaching at the secondary level from San Diego State University as well as a Master’s degree in Education with a Cross-Cultural focus. She was honored as San Diego Unified School District’s Teacher of the Year for High School in 2013. That same year she also completed her training to become a Freedom Writer Teacher in Long Beach, California. Jessica specializes in anti-bias education and is passionate about promoting dialogue and understanding between diverse groups, especially with students and their communities. Her work with high school students has led her to serve as a facilitator and advisory member of the education committee with The Anti-Defamation League. She has worked with NCRC as a trainer since 2017.
Cuez Tlacuilo has a B.A. in Computer Arts and Science, and holds a teaching credential in California. He also has diplomas in Animation, studied Cultural Anthropology in Mexico, and applied Transdisciplinarity. He has vast experience in restorative practice and is certified by the National Compadres Network. Cuez is a Nahua cultural practitioner with a focus on language revitalization and indigenous ways of healing. He is trilingual ( English/Spanish/ Nahua).
At NCRC, Cuez facilitates the ART of Inclusive Communication training, Restorative Practice Circles, and circle training with inmates.
Jina Virtue is a career educator who brings over 30 years of professional skills as a trainer to NCRC. Her degrees include a master’s degree in Educational Administration and Tier 1 &2 Administrative Services Credentials. She has served as a state and local trainer for educational policies and initiatives, and coauthored policy documents related to textbook adoption, curriculum design, and literacy intervention. In addition to teaching, her professional roles have included Secondary Literacy Coordinator, Response to Intervention Coordinator, University Mentor Teacher, and Literacy Coach. She is also trained as a crises/trauma support provider. As a member of the NCRC training team, Jina specializes in conflict resolution, effective communication and Bystander intervention curriculum.
Ashley Virtue is the Director of External Relations for NCRC and has been with the organization since 2005. She has been instrumental in the development and promotion of multiple mainstay programs, and has focused much of her career expanding NCRC's work nationally and internationally. As a trainer, Ashley has traveled across the United States and internationally to deliver workshops to companies, non-profits and universities. In addition to training, Ashley also represents NCRC in the news and on social media. Since 2011 Ashley has appeared on hundreds of local, regional and national media outlets and developed a robust social media campaign across multiple platforms.
As often as you find Ashley working behind the camera on strategy, you will also find her in front of the camera most-days, representing NCRC in the news and on-line. Ashley has received a number of awards recognizing her commitment to the community, including being a finalist for San Diego Magazine’s Woman of the Year and being honored as a “KNX Hero” by Los Angeles’ KNX 1070 News Radio station. Most importantly, Ashley is committed to the idea that we can make the world a better place through civil dialogue.
Jennifer Winkler has a PhD in public health with a focus on conflict management as a strategy for health promotion. She provides training for the NCRC on communication and conflict management and restorative practices. Her doctoral work focused on school discipline and student well-being and on developing an approach called “kind discipline.” Her global public health work focused on Latin America, implementing and coordinating projects in breast and cervical cancer prevention and reproductive health. Jenny speaks Spanish and is a certified mediator.
Tsava Tuzolana Yanick attends Grossmont College where he's double majoring in Nursing and International Studies. Tsava arrived in the United States in 2010 unable to speak English. Since 2010, he has become an interpreter and works for several community based organizations. He specializes in youth, community college, and community based workshops for the National Conflict Resolution Center.
Mahealani Yoshida was born and raised in Kealakekua on the Island of Hawai'i. Coming to San Diego to attend SDSU, Mahealani had the opportunity to participate in an NCRC workshop as a student leader. She has been a trainer with NCRC since 2015. Mahealani is passionate about embracing individuality and helping others navigate multi-cultural landscapes. She has enjoyed working closely with many different people in the community and has personally grown from the skills that she teaches. With a Masters in Communication from San Diego State University, Mahealani specializes in college workshops as one of NCRC’s Lead Trainers.