Trainer Bios


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.


Linda Braun-Leibowitz hails from Johannesburg South Africa. She immigrated to the United States in 2009. She is an experienced Clinical Psychologist and an ICF accredited Executive and Life Coach, achieving her coaching certification through New Ventures West. She has over 24 years of coaching and training experience within the corporate and private sectors where she has focused primarily on interpersonal communication skills, conflict resolution, and diversity and inclusion. She is co-founder of GloCo Leadership Consulting, a San Diego based consulting company committed to helping leaders unleash their full potential within a diverse and rapidly changing global economy. She does conflict resolution and diversity trainings for the NCRC.


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. 


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.


Carol Brookins has more than twenty years of progressive human resources and employee relations experience.  She has partnered with management, legal counsel and others– conducting investigations of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discrimination complaints and resolving workplace issues.  In addition to her extensive career in human resources and employee relation, she has also worked as a staffing/recruitment manager, a trainer and instructional design specialist within the corporate sector.  At NCRC, Carol specializes in harassment prevention training and a variety of other programs.


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.


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.


Dr. Do has a doctorate and master's in psychology and a master’s in communication.  She has 20 years of experience teaching in college and rehabilitation schools.  She has provided psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and families of diverse cultural backgrounds for over 10 years.  She has provided diversity, leadership, and conflict management training to corporations and organizations throughout Southern California.  Dr. Do has published multiple book chapters discussing social justice issues and therapeutic treatment of people with diverse economic, social, and politic barriers.    

Dr. Do approaches her clients and students in an individualized and humanistic manner, using Eastern philosophies of mindfulness to enhance her techniques to help others to develop into the best individuals and leaders they can be.  She currently has a psychotherapy private practice and is a professor in San Diego.


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. 


Taylor Harrell, M.A. is a scholar, consultant, and coach with over a decade of experience in leadership and organizational development training. As a senior instructor in the Leadership Studies department at USD and the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, Taylor works with global organizations and community leaders in order to confront sensitive issues and generate lasting change. Her areas of expertise include organizational behavior, team dynamics, intergroup relations, and mindfulness-based interventions. She holds a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and is currently completing her doctorate in Organizational Leadership at the University of San Diego. 


 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.


Ana Sambold, Esq. ,is a bilingual mediator and attorney at law admitted in California, Federal Court Southern District and Colombia. As a mediator of the San Diego Superior Court Civil Mediation Panel and the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC), Ana has successfully conducted hundreds of mediations of litigated and non-litigated disputes involving highly contentious, complex matters and multicultural parties. She teaches in English and Spanish to community organizations, universities, nonprofits, refugees, and government agencies. Ana is originally a lawyer from Colombia and obtained her Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the University of San Diego School of Law. She received her training and credentials in dispute resolution from NCRC, the American Bar Association and Pepperdine University School of Law. 


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.

Shingler III

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.


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.