Bernie Behrend, Esq

Training & Mediation

With over 30 years of mediation experience, Bernie Behrend is one of the most experienced mediators in the Pittsburgh area. Bernie is trained in all models of mediation and has mediated hundreds of divorces, employment disputes and other civil matters.

In addition to his private mediation practice, Bernie mediates for the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, the US Equal Opportunity Commission, the US Postal Service, the US District Court of Western District of PA, the US Bankruptcy Court, FINRA, and the Realtor’s Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh.

Bernie is a Past President of the Mediation Council of Western Pennsylvania and a founding member of Mediators Beyond Borders. Bernie is also a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution, The Pennsylvania Council of Mediators, and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committees of the Allegheny County Bar Association and the PA Bar Association. He currently sits on the Board of the Pennsylvania Counsel of Mediators.

A popular lecturer and trainer on mediation and conflict resolution for various state and local bar associations, Bernie is an adjunct faculty member at Duquesne University’s School of Leadership and Professional Advancement where he teaches: “Conflict Resolution”, “Mediating Organizational Disputes”, and a variety of courses for Duquesne’s Paralegal Institute including, “Alternative Dispute Resolution”.

In addition to a number of certifications, Bernie holds a BA in philosophy from Vassar College and earned his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

Robert Creo, Esq.

Training & Mediation

Robert A. Creo has over 40 years of practical experience in the dispute resolution field as an attorney, author, arbitrator, mediator, special master and educator.

He is the author of The Effective Lawyer blog ( and a principal of a website launched in 2017, The Happy! Effective Lawyer ( Both focus on core competencies and soft skills which result which in both lawyer contentment and peak performance.

He has been an Adjunct Professor at Duquesne University School of Law, serving from 1991 – 2003, 2014 to present and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law from 2001 – 2012.

He has served as a neutral in thousands of cases, (over 5,000 days) since 1979. He is a member of numerous professional organizations including the National Academy of Arbitrators (1986). He is on the roster of many appointing agencies such as the American Arbitration Association, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and the National Mediation Board. He was the founding President of the International Academy of Mediators (1997), and in 2006 was the co-founder with Ken Cloke and of Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI), a non-profit organization which brings together mediators and students to work in communities traumatized by civil war and violence.

He has authored numerous publications including Alternative Dispute Resolution: Law Procedure and Commentary for the Pennsylvania Practitioner (George T. Bisel Company, Inc., October 2006).

For many years he has authored a monthly column, The Master Mediator, in Alternatives published by the CPR International Institute for Conflict Resolution & Prevention. Since 2014 he has been featured as the author of The Effective Lawyer Department for the Pennsylvania Lawyer bi-monthly publication of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

He has served as a mediator for the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS-TAS) starting in 1998. He has served as an arbitrator for Major League Baseball and for the National Football League. He has served as an Independent Hearing Officer for the United States Senate Select Committee on Ethics.

His hobby is storytelling and he frequents The Moth StorySlams and has won the Pittsburgh chapter event on Love Hurts in February 2018, entitling him to compete in GrandSlam in Pittsburgh in October, 2018.

The Pennsylvania Bar Association Dispute Resolution Committee awarded him the 2018 Sir Francis Bacon Award for contributions to the field of dispute resolution. Best Lawyers in America named him mediator of the year for Western Pennsylvania in both 2017 and 2014.

Mr. Creo graduated from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis in 1977, where he was a senior editor of the law review, and Brandeis University in 1974.

Jennifer Crittenden

Executive Coaching, Training to Help Women & Men Work Well Together

Jennifer K. Crittenden is the founder and owner of The Discreet Guide(TM), a training and coaching company. She offers training programs on executive presence, interpersonal, communication, performance, presentation, and language skills.

She is the author of The Discreet Guide for Executive Women: How to Work Well with Men (and Other Difficulties), an Amazon bestseller and winner of the 2012 National Independent Excellence Award in the Business-Motivational Category. In 2014, she published her second book: You Not I: Exceptional Presence through the Eyes of Others. In 2018, she published What’s a Guy to Do? How to Work with Women.

She writes and speaks frequently on topics related to gender, communication, and work. She has appeared on CNBC Power Lunch and multiple radio and podcast shows. She is the host of the Dear Discreet Guide: Trouble at Work podcast, a write-in advice show about work-related issues. She publishes The Pergola, a bi-monthly digital gateway to career advice, gender issues, work facts and figures, movie and book reviews, and other interesting or funny stuff.

She earned a BA in Linguistics and French with high distinction from Indiana University, a Baccalaureate certificate in Film Studies, and an MBA in Finance and MIS from the Kelley School of Business. Before turning to writing and speaking, for over twenty years, she worked for big pharma and biotech companies in the U.S., U.K. and Europe, rising from financial analyst to CFO.

Jennifer serves on the board of directors of the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association, a non-profit intended to educate and inspire people about the Sierra Nevada public lands. She splits her time between San Diego and the Eastern Sierra. She is also the author of The Mammoth Letters: Running Away to a Mountain Town.

Laura Grisolano, Esq.

Hogan Assessments, Training, Mediation, Conflict Coaching & Leadership Development

Laura Grisolano is the founder and president of Bridge Mediation & Leadership Solutions, a Chicago-based firm providing an array of dispute resolution, conflict management, and leadership development services. Laura’s firm serves a broad array of clients, including global software firms, family businesses, law firms, startups, medical practices, families, non-profits, universities, and small businesses.

Nothing makes Laura happier than helping people and organizations get unstuck and move forward.

In addition to her work as an attorney mediator, Laura offers customized training and coaching programs designed around her clients’ needs. Her workshops often focus on strengthening empathy and communication skills, teambuilding around shared accountability and trust, and practice in collaborative problem-solving.

Laura’s mom was a neuropsychologist and passed on to Laura her deep interest in cognitive neuroscience and behavioral economics. Research developments in these fields now inform and strengthen Laura’s executive coaching and management consulting projects. For example, Laura often uses Hogan Personality Assessments with clients, who benefit from the rich data and customized reports around their professional competencies, over-used strengths, derailing behaviors, motivational drivers, and unconscious biases.

Empowering women in the professions has been another important component of Laura’s practice. She has conducted leadership workshops for organizations like the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, the AIPLA’s Women in IP Law Committee, the Women’s Club of Evanston, and regularly coaches individual women around stepping into their full potential.

A big fan of higher education, Laura serves on the Board of Trustees for her alma mater Claremont McKenna College. She served as an adjunct professor in the Leadership, Ethics, and Values program at North Central College, where she taught courses in Negotiation, Mediation, Conflict Resolution, and the Law of Higher Education, and worked to redesign the college’s MBA program. Laura has also offered workshops for students from the University of Chicago Law School and Pepperdine’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, among others, and regularly serves as a judge for national and international law student competitions in mediation, arbitration, negotiation, and client counseling.

Before launching Bridge Mediation, Laura practiced law with the Los Angeles office of Sidley Austin LLP, served as a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge James Moran in Chicago, and worked as a special assistant to then-Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt during and after his 1988 presidential campaign. She has been a champion of bipartisanship in politics and supports efforts to bring moderation and pragmatic solutions to address policy challenges. In 2014, she presented a workshop on The Incivility Epidemic for the Association for Conflict Resolution in Chicago, urging ADR professionals to play a larger part in the solution.

Laura earned her BA in American Studies from Claremont McKenna College in 1986 and her law degree from the University of Chicago in 1998, with two daughters in tow.

Jillian Bichsel, Ed.D.

Leadership Coaching & Leadership Workshops for Educators & Women

Jillian has been an educational leader for 17 of her 25 years in education. She holds a doctoral degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Educational Leadership and Administration.

Jillian is also a certified Professional Coach and a graduate of Duquesne University’s Professional Coaching Certification program, an International Coach Federation (ICF) accredited program. Jillian was a co-presenter on Executive Coaching for School Leaders at the Pennsylvania Principals Association in 2017, and recently became certified as a Compassionate Accountability facilitator.

In her research and experience working with a vast array of people (educators and non-educators alike), she has found a direct correlation between the fields of education and coaching, and combines these two guiding pillars in her work with groups and individuals.

As an educator, she strongly values professional learning and development and its impact on one’s ability to foster growth and rekindle passion for learning. As a building and district administrator, she engaged in countless coaching and conflict resolution experiences throughout her career, and it is through these personal interactions and growth opportunities that she developed a deep interest and affinity for Professional and Life Coaching.

She has coached clients, teachers and leaders from a variety of fields with an emphasis on educational leadership, and has facilitated women’s leadership workshops, tapping into the creative self as a means to explore strengths and opportunities for personal growth.

Through gentle and compassionate guidance, coupled with a genuine desire to help others recognize personal potential, Jillian is dedicated to helping individuals embrace their authentic selves and provide concrete steps towards reaching and exceeding personal and professional growth.

Joan Goldsmith, Ph.d.

Conflict Consulting, Training, & Leadership Workshops for Women

Joan Goldsmith, M.A. and Doctor of Humane Letters, has been an author, educator, facilitator, coach, mediator and organizational consultant with public and private sector organizations and governments for over forty-five years. She specializes in leadership development, organizational change, team building, strategic planning, and collaborative negotiation and conflict resolution.

As a member of the faculty at Harvard University, she directed the Masters of Arts in Teaching Program. In addition she has been a member of the faculty of Newton College of the Sacred Heart, Pepperdine University, University of Southern California, UCLA, Antioch University, Tokyo University Medical School and Southern Methodist University. She was one of the founders of Cambridge College, an undergraduate and graduate school for adult professionals.

As a family therapist, she was a founding member of the Society for Family Therapy and Research.

She is the founder of several programs to support the development of women: Women Writers: Finding Ones Voice; A Woman’s Renaissance: Coming into One’s Own; and Women Leaders: Creating Ourselves at the Crossroads. She is presently, Chair of the Board of Directors of Theatre Comique, an organization to present, perform and teach early American musical theater. She is a Life Trustee of Cambridge College, and a past member of the Board of Directors of Mediators Beyond Borders, the National Coro Foundation, the National Teachers Network, Mar Vista Family Center and Deaf Self-Help.

She has been a consultant coach and educator in leadership development for major global corporations. She has coached executives of corporate and non-profit organizations in skill development and advised them on programs, strategies and initiatives. Her most recent clients include Deutche Bank, Viacom, Morgan Stanley, Verizon, Showtime Television Networks, and Del Cabo Farms. From 1985-1990 she was a principal at Index Group consulting firm, and the managing director of Index China, advising U.S. corporations on business relations with the People’s Republic of China. She has advised government agencies and non-profits nationally, and has been an advisor and consultant to school districts and teachers unions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Newark, Albuquerque, Chicago, Santa Barbara County and New York City.

She is a mediator, specializing in workplace transformations, community conflict resolution dialogues. Most recently she led community-based dialogues in Athens, Greece; Santa Monica, California; and Bentonville, Arkansas. She was awarded the Sargent Shriver Excellence Community Service Award by National Head Start in 2017.

Gay Herrington, Ph.D

Psychotherapist, Women's Leadership Development, Consulting on Psychological Issues

Dr. Herrington is a licensed psychologist who has been in private practice for almost thirty years. She is thrilled to be moving her office to Lawrenceville and to be associated with The Conflict Lab.

Dr. Herrington received her undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Psychology from Grove City College in 1982. From there, she moved on to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she earned her Masters degree in Psychology, then Doctorate from the clinical psychology program.

Dr. Herrington’s first professional positions included working with children and families in the foster care system, and work in an Employees Assistant Program at Family Services of Western PA. Dr. Herrington also worked at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh. There, her work focused on the use of interpersonal psychotherapy in the treatment of major depression and bipolar disorders. During her years at Western Psychiatric, Dr. Herrington began her private practice, and has maintained it ever since.

Even as a child, Dr. Herrington wanted to be a psychologist, and through the years she has derived much satisfaction from her work as a psychotherapist. Her approach is primarily informed by her early studies at Duquesne with its unique emphasis on existential-phenomenology. Dr. Herrington has also received training in psychodynamic and object relations theory and practice, and has focused on attachment theory and family systems. Finally, various spiritual approaches, the study of yoga, time spent in nature and with animals, family and friends, humor, and life experience in general have all played a role in making Dr. Herrington the therapist she is today.

Nate Regier, Ph.d.

Co-developer of Next Element’s Leading Out of Drama® training and coaching system, Certifying Master trainer in Process Communication Model®

Nate Regier, Ph.D., is CEO and cofounding owner of Next Element, a global leadership training and certification firm specializing in communication and conflict skills.

He’s an expert in social-emotional intelligence and leadership, positive conflict, neuropsychology, group dynamics, interpersonal and leadership communication, executive assessment, and coaching. Regier is a co developer of Next Element’s Leading Out of Drama® training and coaching system, an LOD® master trainer, and Process Communication Model® certifying master trainer. Dr. Regier writes for numerous publications, authors two blogs and a podcast, and travels extensively consulting and delivering keynote presentations to organizations and associations around the world. He is co-author of Beyond Drama: Transcending Energy Vampires, and Next Element’s most recent book, Conflict Without Casualties: A Field Guide for Leading with Compassionate Accountability. He’s an enthusiastic dad and husband.