Leslie Ann Grove – Executive Director
After a BA in Music Education, graduate study in both education and philosophy, and law school at Gonzaga University, Leslie began practicing law in 1985 and mediating in 1987. Her very first mediation training was from Community Boards of Spokane, the predecessor to what has evolved into Northwest Mediation Center. Certified as a mediator through Washington Mediation Association, Leslie is a highly experienced mediator, trainer, and conflict resolution facilitator. Leslie is passionate about the crucial role of alternative dispute resolution and restorative practices in the 21st century. She is excited to work with Northwest Mediation Center, whose board is committed to providing affordable mediation and conflict management education to the community with integrity and creative energy. Leslie’s other passion is music, singing, and playing trumpet professionally. “It’s all about harmony” in music and in peaceful problem solving.
Deb Nielsen – Mediation Director
Deb completed her BA in Sociology at Gonzaga University in 2015. Following her interest in social justice-related topics and volunteer possibilities, along with a long-time focus on effective communication, she decided to take the Basic Mediation Training from NMC in April 2016, and completed the practicum program to become a certified mediator in December 2018. After serving as a volunteer in the office as part of her practicum experience she began working for the center part-time, and now directs our mediation and intake activities as Mediation Director.
Monica Bertucci – Finance Manager
Monica joined NMC in late 2018 to provide bookkeeping and financial support services. She has an undergraduate degree from The Evergreen State College and a Masters in Business Administration from Eastern Washington University. She has a diverse professional history, including in retail and business ownership, and currently serves as the Executive Director of Blueprints for Learning. Having used mediation services herself in both business and family matters, Monica is a firm believer in mediation as an essential resource for people working through any type of negotiation, and is very happy to be part of the NMC team.
Wendy Schatz – Eviction Resolution Manager
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Wendy became a volunteer mediator with NMC after moving to Spokane five years ago. A certified mediator for nearly a decade, Wendy has mediated family, small claims, neighborhood, landlord/tenant, and elder disputes as well as conducting group facilitation. In her spare time she travels, reads, and spends as much time as possible with her husband, daughter and grand kids.
Olivia Brownlee – Administrative Assistant
Born in LA and raised in Spokane, after short stints all over the world Olivia moved back to the Inland NW in 2018. She holds a Master of Arts in Theatre for Social Change from Emerson College. When she isn't helping at NW Mediation, she can be found writing, arranging, and performing music for herself, for local vintage bands, and for original musicians across the nation.
Devin F.P. Biviano – Operations Specialist
Devin began his affiliation with NMC as a 'Program Producer' on a one-year, grant-funded contract. He fell in love with the center and its mission, and has stayed on as a volunteer certified mediator and outreach/'random tasks' guy. Previously Devin served as a Rotary Peace Fellow in Brisbane, Australia, where he completed a graduate degree in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution at the University of Queensland. He is passionate about the potential of mediation to make the world a better place, and enjoys yoga, camping, performing arts and spending time with his large extended family.
Stephanie Thomas – Graduate Intern
Stephanie N. Thomas (Whaley) was born and raised in Missoula, MT. She earned her B.A. from Seattle University and M.A. from Michigan State University and is currently working towards her J.D. at Gonzaga University. Prior to coming to Spokane, Stephanie spent six years in Anchorage, Alaska working for the University of Alaska in various capacities. Currently, Stephanie is serving as an intern with NMC while completing her law degree, and concurrently serves as the Director of Harassment and Discrimination Prevention and Title IX Coordinator at Gonzaga University. She is a mother of two babies (under 2!) and hopes to become a certified mediator to assist the Center and Higher Education in utilizing alternative forms of dispute resolution.
Melkam Tesfaye – Education Coordinator
*This Staff Bio is 'Under Construction' :)*