Susan Mazer & Dallas Smith
Mary and John McDougall
Marsha Lang, MS, JD
Facilitator, mediator, healthcare professional, attorney; believes that a healthy life and productive workplace is not accidental. It is designable.
Founder and principal of Lang & Associates, Marsha incorporates her experience in the fields of research science, applied technology, health care and management systems, event coordination, medical malpractice defense law, risk management, and mediation to pursue a single vision and develop Healthy by DesignSM. This all-encompassing enrichment system is deeply rooted in the science, behavior and dynamics of how humans interact and evolve.
Specializing in custom strategies and programs for individuals, communities, business, government, and organizations, since 1992, Marsha oversees a diverse and accomplished pool of consultants in order to provide a wide variety of services and training directed toward the efficiency and vitality of any organization. Her active involvement as an officer and boarder member of non-profit organizations promoting health and wellness have both inspired and informed her personal and professional life journey. As a bridge-builder linking together people, concepts, and disciplines to improve quality of life, Marsha continues to dedicate herself to the enhancement of graciousness in our collective human experience.
Lora Barrett, MA
Facilitator, mediator, conflict coach, and trainer; interweaves principles of alternative dispute resolution and restorative justice practices as a construct for healing.
Lora holds a master’s degree in Negotiation and Conflict Management, and has led mediation programs at University of California Davis, Sacramento Superior Court - Civil Harassment Division, Siskiyou County Family and Dependency Courts, and Yolo Conflict Resolution Center. She has created and delivered multiple trainings for a variety of organizations and is inspired by those who go on to use new techniques and innovative methods to address conflict.
A mediator for over twenty-five years, Lora shares her experience, natural calm, and thoughtful focus with individuals in difficult co-working environments, co-housing and co-parenting situations, as well as families working through issues related to an aging parent or family reunification conflicts. Further, she has mediated multiple- party disputes involving, for instance, non-profit board members, inter-departmental employees, citizen groups and neighborhoods. She has also facilitated public meetings to discuss contentious topics such as police accountability. Committed to principles of restorative justice, Lora has volunteered in youth diversion mediation programs and currently teaches a foreign language class. She especially enjoys cooking with friends and all the excitement that comes with raising two sons.
Benisa Berry PhD, JD, MSW
Facilitator, mediator, trainer, attorney and strategist; brings passion and vision to the transformative power of human potential and true engagement.
As a seasoned trainer in a variety of disciplines, including “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” Benisa helps individuals, organizations and communities to think and work together creatively and productively for individual and collective success. She brings a multidisciplinary approach to aligning strategy, leadership and healthy organization cultures that are ethical, inclusive and innovative. In that capacity she has developed leaders and trained staff in cultural diversity, sexual harassment prevention, EEO non-discrimination policies and ethics to improve performance, workplace culture and compliance for clients such as IBM, Prism International, Anderson-Davis, BNP Paribas Bank, Chevron, US Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration, and US Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
Benisa’s expertise as a conflict resolution specialist includes having mediated civil rights disputes and negotiated settlement agreements, including affirmative relief, resolve formal complaints of discrimination (racial, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity), and harassment and retaliation in employment and housing. She has also participated on mediator panels for Alameda and Contra Costa County Superior Courts, served in Title IX and DEI Officer roles, and provided regional and statewide leadership for compliance, ethics and integrity at Kaiser Permanente.
Facilitator, trainer, executive coach, mentor, conference and retreat planner, and author; believes strong and trusting relationships plus the ability to have productive conversations are essential to a thriving society.
For twelve years as the Executive Director of the Sacramento chapter of the American Leadership Forum, Doni designed an evolving curriculum to create the trust, skills and relationships needed to bring members together to address pressing community issues. Her extensive experience in Leadership Program Development and Management showcases her skills as an innovator, change-maker, and thoughtful boundary-crosser. As a network builder with a wealth of experience and connections, Doni has organized local, state and national conferences and workshops related to public policy, governance reform, community development, volunteer management and other topics.
Author of The Community Collaboration Manual and Community Organizing for Prevention, Doni has a deep understanding of how to bring people together for shared purpose. Among her most impressive accomplishments is having been the director of a national initiative to address community youth issues. That effort resulted in 350 town meetings across the nation. Additionally, she has founded several organizations including the Coalition for a Drug Free Mobile County (Mobile, AL), the Contra Costa/Solano Food Bank, and five successful leadership programs.
Facilitator, mediator, trainer, and author; advances innovative perspectives that support building the capacity to communicate and evolve cultural norms.
Founder and former program manager for the Sacramento Mediation Center’s Multiple Party Dispute Resolution Program, Jackie’s appreciation for diverse perspectives, needs and expectations is well-reflected in nearly three decades of work with, for instance, private businesses, non-profit organizations, community groups, and a variety of city, county, state and federal agencies. With a keen eye for detail, Jackie’s lifelong philosophy embraces the notion that difficult things take time but impossible things just take a little longer.
Among many rewarding accomplishment for Jackie is “PeaceMoves,” an innovation program she co-designed with colleague Jeanette Sartain to provide dispute resolution training to county prosecutors and was later adapted as workshop for re-entry prison inmates to improve non-violent communication skills. In partnership with Carol Wright, they have facilitated numerous stakeholder dialogues, including the 2016 Sacramento Public Safety Best Practices Forums and the pioneering Lang & Associates' Can We CHAT series dedicated to supporting conversations about race. Jackie’s history of both living in and assisting with under-served communities brings an important perspective to her work as a current member of the Los Rios College District Administration of Justice Program Advisory Committee.
Diane Bush RN, MPH
Medical professional, facilitator, educator, trainer, and researcher; provides guidance in the strategic development of environments designed to maximize individual and organizational potential.
Multi-faceted in talent, experience, and what she can share with others, Diane believes personal and group health springs from processes that support inner growth as well as the thoughtful integration of people with technology. Her relaxed and informal consulting and teaching style is solidly reinforced by years of experience in Organizational and Community Development, Environmental Design, Integrated Health and Wellness, and Health Care Management.
As a sought-after consultant, Diane provides guidance in the thoughtful design environments that support health, balance, and productivity. More specifically, that work encompasses strategic/futures planning for small businesses and community groups, as well as health and wellness program development, and seminars in education, leadership, creativity, marketing, and operational effectiveness. From an organizational perspective, she has decades of experience assessing systemic issues and client relationships to inform how to develop a process for implementing change. Intrinsic to the work that has taken Diane around the world, is her dedication to the principles of wholeness, connection, and intention to create healthy work environments that blend science, art, culture, and technology.
Vinh Do, MS
Facilitator, mediator, conflict and change consultant; inspired by discovering what happens when conflict, change, and culture come together in dialogue.
Vinh immigrated to America from Vietnam in his youth. The experience of learning a new language and culture continues to inform his perceptions in an objective way, as does his international development work in the Republic of Mali, one of the world’s most impoverished countries. While there he was hosted by a Muslim family where he was involved in an initiative with village women to prevent malnutrition and malaria. His realization that poverty does not equal misery and that graciousness comes in many forms guides his thinking to this day.
In addition to a Master of Science in Human Resources Management from the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment, Vinh holds certificates from the Social Justice Mediation Institute, the College of Congregational Development, and NTL Institute. As a mediator, he readily recognizes the value of harnessing the energy generated by conflict, knows how to help individuals engage in constructive dialogue and help organizations make better informed decisions about change and capacity. Vinh is the founder of Brave Change Works, LLC, offering conflict management services, organizational development,data gathering and analysis,and strategic development. He is a licensed administrator, through IDI, LLC, of the Intercultural Development Inventory, an assessment to develop intercultural competence.In every storm, he maintains, there is serenity.
Leann Ferry, MPA, ACC
Executive, Leadership and Communication Coach, Trainer, Facilitator, Entrepreneur; places emphasis on human courage because the best path is often the one that is the most frightening.
As a cancer survivor, Leann brings a unique perspective to her work, often asking clients: “What would you do if you had all the courage you needed?" She helps people create balance, fulfillment and success through self-awareness, stronger mindsets, personal presence and more direct, compassionate and powerful communication. Her aptitude for motivating and guiding individuals served as the basis for developing a special program for business leaders and managers in 2015: Courageous Mindset ® Leadership.
Leann sees courage as a muscle and with a little determination, focus and practice, courageous fitness can be achieved. Confident in the transformational power of goal-setting, she has worked with a vast range of clients including leaders in U.S. government agencies, universities, energy, telecommunications, healthcare, banking and bio-pharmaceuticals. Prominent clients include Stanford University, Comcast, Chevron Corporation, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing United Family Healthcare, China Construction Bank and Women in Cable Telecommunications. Always a reminder to Leann of the value of reaching beyond what may seem impossible is doing her first technical mountain climb and summiting Mount Shasta six months after the end of her cancer surgeries.
Larry Geller, JD
Author, educator, trainer, former Presiding Administrative Law Judge; confronts prejudice and bias in the justice system and everyday life.
Informed by a judicial career and an intimate look at the justice system’s strengths and weaknesses, Larry’s expertise in the practice of law and his dedication to social justice has elevated his capacity to not only explain tough issues but skillfully explore possible solutions. His lifework remains devoted to helping individuals of all ages improve their work-life balance by developing realistic strategies for maximum results.
A frequent keynote speaker in his field, Larry has developed and conducted training for local and state agencies related to, for instance, the hearing process, arbitration, discrimination and diversity. His commitment to empowering jurors to function in a fair and deliberate way was the focus of a book he co-authored with Peter Hemenway, titled, Last Chance for Justice: The Juror’s Lonely Quest. For five years he hosted a Cable Access program on matters related to public safety and police-community relations. In recent years, Larry has especially enjoyed going to camp, but not just any camp. As an instructor at Camp Fiver in Poolville, NY, he spends every summer working with youth to improve their communications skills and teaching them how to swim.
Facilitator, mediator, trainer, author, researcher and jazz musician; engages vision and purpose as a consultant for developing innovative approaches to dispute resolution.
Kenneth Hawkins is widely recognized as an innovator in conflict resolution, organizational development, diversity management, and team building. For over 30 years, he has worked with hundreds of governmental entities and businesses to help them achieve maximum effectiveness, including mediating discrimination cases for the U.S. Postal Service, the Department of Agriculture, and the Forest Service. Ken has provided training and consultation to establish more than 350 conflict resolution programs throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Always a student of his craft, Ken has conducted studies on cultural assumptions underlying the North American mediation model, and his articles, training materials, and assessment instruments have been included in various multicultural and mediation publications. In 1999, Ken was honored by the Northern California Mediation Association for his outstanding contributions in the field of mediation and has continued to develop literary resources and training curriculum focused on, for instance, intercultural conflict resolution, preventing sexual harassment, and team building. another notable achievement was an assessment report he authored for the City of Chicago that became a model document for promoting desired organizational change.
Kris Lea, PsyD, MS
Facilitator, trainer, and coach; views the adult learning process as a critical contributor to individual and organizational success.
Kris brings years of experience and expertise to her work in a variety of industries and settings. Her specialties include Organization Development, Organizational Change Management, Training & Development, and Project Management. Central to her professional ethics and guiding philosophy is Kris’ commitment to helping clients’ organizations to be “more efficient, productive, and happier places to be!” That perspective serves as the foundation upon which she has designed numerous custom courses and webinars on leadership and change design for local, state-wide and global clients.
In addition to her direct client support and freelance training events, Kris works as adjunct faculty with both CPSHR and California State University of Sacramento, College of Continuing Education. Her guidance extends to a variety of leadership and professional development programs. Her doctoral dissertation, “An Applied Research Study Establishing the Working Definition of a Healthy Organization Through the Design and Delivery of a Two-Day Course,” explored the term “healthy organization” and the measurable factors that contribute to that term. Reflections of Kris’ personal journey on finding her father can be found in the book, “Coffee & Conversation Warm Cups of Love, Adventure and Positivity, Volume 2.”
Susan Mazer & Dallas Smith
Internationally known educators, musicians, authors and composers; advocate that the sound environment exerts a tangible influence over health and wellness.
Susan and Dallas pioneered the intentional use of music in institutional and healthcare environments. Acknowledging that the impacts of sound are the most oppressive, the most invasive, and the most relentless components of the institutional experience, Susan and Dallas, wife and husband, have developed accredited educational programs and implementation strategies to “treat” the healthcare setting.
Performing together since 1985, Susan and Dallas founded Healing Healthcare Systems in 1992 and now provide C.A.R.E. Channel programming in more than 1,000 hospitals, clinics, medical and residential care facilities in the U.S. and abroad. Their music and expertise have been featured in numerous mainstream publications and by broadcast media such as PBS, NPR, NOVA and the Discovery Channel. The essence of their talented work seeks to bring together nature and music to transform the patient’s experience of time and space during their illness. This experience can provide a powerful context for the healing and recovery process.
Mary and John McDougall, MD
Pioneers in empowering individuals to take charge of their well-being with proven principles of nutrition in the prevention and management of disease as researchers, authors of nationally best-selling books, educators, media personalities, and founders of the McDougall Program and Dr.McDougall’s Right Foods; believe that people should feel great for a lifetime.
John, a board-certified internist, is a graduate of Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine and performed his medical internship and residency at Queen’s Medical Center and the University of Hawaii. It was during those first years as a physician in Hawaii that John made the connection between diet and good health that formed the basis for The McDougall Program. Thousands of patients and five decades later, this program not only promotes a broad range of dramatic and lasting health benefits, it can also reverse serious illnesses including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and others, all without the use of drugs.
Mary, in addition to her formal training as a nurse, not only makes the McDougall Program possible, but also a pleasure by translating scientific information into delicious, practical, real-world recipes and meal tips that support health and healthy families.
Mary and John have touched and improved the lives of people around the world, and continue to do so.
Facilitator, mediator, trainer, and conflict coach; draws upon her Native American heritage to support respectful productive discussion.
Jeanette has long been dedicated to assisting people toward improving their quality of life through dialogue and discovering tools they can use to achieve their own positive outcomes. She deeply believes in the power of careful listening—whether to the travails of disputing parties or the pressing needs of a client—as critical to respecting different viewpoints and mapping a workable way forward. As a former program manager for the Sacramento Mediation Center, Jeanette is skilled in mediation models including Community, Facilitative, Multiple Party, Transformative, Interest-based, and Victim/Offender.
With an extensive background in assisting people with interpersonal communication, Jeanette has functioned as a counselor, victim advocate, educator and trainer, and served as head of the nation’s largest Tribal task Force dedicated to addressing violence prevention. Key clients include United States Department of the Interior, United States Department of Commerce, California Department of Housing & Economic Development, Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, Sacramento District Attorney’s office, and the City of Sacramento. In her work with Cal/Environmental Protection Agency she facilitated large group meetings with many state and federal agencies, trained EPA employees in managing conflict and moving forward, and facilitated auditorium-sized "Green Chemistry" meetings.
John Sibbet, CMT
Integrative body worker, instructor, trainer; explores the interconnectedness of mental and physical health in achieving and maintaining optimal health.
Above all, John strives to strengthen and refine the unique tapestries of individual lives. By concentrating on the interweave of environment and being human, he knows that better mental and physical health result from managing that inter-connectedness. He is especially mindful of how more satisfying living can be accomplished in learning balance through various modalities such as meditation, stretching, acupressure, massage, guided imagery, creative affirmation, and spirituality. Of supreme importance to the success of John’s work is realizing that health and well-being are not arbitrary occurrences; each person’s optimal health depends on learning to allow and relish the presence of love, joy, and comfort.
In private practice since 1976, John is a California State approved instructor of massage and hands-on therapies. Session work with clients focus on bringing healing, balance, and integration of the many interrelationships with the physical, emotional, mental, energetic and spiritual issues presented. As co-founder of the Integrative Therapy School, an American Massage Therapy Association affiliate, in Sacramento, he has taught such courses as “Polarity Therapy,” “Muscle Testing & Balancing,” and “Deep Bodywork.”