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 Intake Specialist
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 is now NMC's case manager.
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 - Mediation Coordinator
Wendy was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. After 2 years of college back East, she graduated from University of Oregon with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a secondary teaching certificate. She and her husband raised their daughter in Portland, and Wendy worked part time throughout their daughter's school years in bookstores and with a book wholesaler. When Wendy and her husband moved back to Portland after a time away, she worked in the University of Portland’s library. The state of the world was very upsetting, and she wanted a way to bring peace to conversations instead of guns. She took a mediation training course at Portland State University and loved it. She later took another mediation training through Portland Community College. When a new program in Clackamas County brought small claims mediation to the area, she was accepted to the program and trained in small claims mediation. She then volunteered with that program for about a year and a half. Not too long after that, Wendy and her husband moved to Spokane to be near their daughter and her family. That is when she met with Leslie and Northwest Mediation Center. She has been mediating with NMC for about 7 years now. She loves NMC for its commitment to bring peaceful resolution and conversation to the community. To her, mediation is the way to finding peace in a very conflicted world.
Meg Short - Public Relations and Outreach Coordinator
Meg earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (Social Services and Community Action) with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies from Whitworth in Spring of 2022. While at Whitworth, she gained experience leading multiple teams within the realm of Career Services as well as conducting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Research regarding the campus climate. Meg has experience working with multiple different non-profits in the Spokane area which included mental health counseling, child advocacy, housing case management, and neighborhood council research. She joined Northwest Mediation center in the fall of 2022. Meg’s favorite part of being involved with NMC is the ability to witness peaceful connections between two individuals or groups who may have not otherwise connected; this includes anything from a mediation outcome to the wonderful colleagues she gets to work with. "Connection is why we're here: it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives." -- Brene Brown.
In her spare time, Meg loves to read and write, spend time outdoors, travel, and try new recipes.
Angelica Romero - Data Entry and Scheduling Coordinator
After completing her BS in Psychology and Criminal Justice, Angelica decided to continue her education by obtaining a master's degree in counseling. She currently attends Gonzaga University's graduate program where she is learning how to be a counselor along with receiving hands-on experience at her internship site. She began her journey with Northwest Mediation Center in the fall of 2022 and is grateful to be part of an amazing team! Angelica’s favorite part about NMC is that we foster, provide, and teach peaceful problem solving. As a future counselor, she believes in NMC’s mission and the importance of having problem-solving skills. Outside of her job at NMC and graduate school, she enjoys being outdoors, spending time with family, and exploring new places.
Julianne Hammond – Education Coordinator and Administrative Assistant
Julianne graduated from North Idaho College in 2020 with an associate degree and played softball at NIC for two years as a catcher and outfielder. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics (with minors in sustainable business and environmental studies) from Gonzaga University. Julianne has a long-standing passion for learning, teaching and the collaborative approach of problem-solving, demonstrated by her participation within the Washington Angels Organization from 2014-2017 and coaching a 14U softball team in the Summer of 2020 as an assistant coach. She joined NMC in late 2022 and is now Administrative Assistant and Education Coordinator. She is currently enrolled in a course at Gonzaga University to earn a certificate in Climate Action Planning. She hopes to use this knowledge to continue her pursuit of environmental justice within the community and work toward attending law school next year. In her free time Julianne enjoys outdoor activities, writing, and crocheting.
“Every person you encounter, whom you interact with, is there to teach you something. Sometimes it may be years before you realize what each had to show you” -- Raymond E. Feist
Kate Matthews - Data and Documentation Specialist
Kate gained experience with data collection and documentation while working for the Environmental Studies department of her community college, acting as project manager for the department’s monarch butterfly garden. After obtaining an associate degree in wildlife science and cultivating an interest in process documentation, Kate graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor’s degree in professional and technical writing in 2019. During her time at SFSU, she interned with the Natural Resources Defense Council as a technical writer. She began working at NMC in early 2022. She loves NMC’s commitment to collaboration and openness to diverse opinions. In her free time, Kate enjoys hiking, making jewelry, and creating textile art.
Laurel Newnham - Program Producer
Laurel attended Cardiff University and pursued her Masters degree in cultural studies, after which she moved to Seattle and worked in both nonprofits and the arts. She credits exposure to many ways of thinking and creative problem solving to her new love for community mediation. Laurel joined Northwest Mediation Center in 2022. Her favorite thing about being involved with NMC is helping people find relief and empowerment when processing conflict in productive conversation. In her spare time, Laurel enjoys cooking with friends, making art, and learning Welsh.