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.

Maggie Feinstein

Building Vicarious Resilience In Trauma Impacted Communities Through Connection And Shared Experiences

Maggie Feinstein is the current director of the 10.27 Healing Partnership which provides support,
connection, and opportunities for reflection for individuals and their loved ones impacted by the
October 2018 attack on three Pittsburgh Synagogues and others who experience hate-induced
trauma. Included in her role is both the facilitation and organization of the annual Commemoration
events and helping to convene and facilitate the Memorialization Working Group as they navigate
the process of creating a Memorial to remember their loved ones.

Feinstein is a master’s level professional counselor who has distinguished herself in the field of
integrated mental health. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin Madison in International Relations and received her master’s degree from the University of San
Francisco in Counseling Psychology. She worked in San Francisco and Anchorage before returning
to Pittsburgh.
Maggie has presented at professional conferences on topics of juvenile justice reform, collaborative
health care, and now the impacts of violent extremism.
She currently resides in Squirrel Hill with her husband and two children.

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.

Wendy Verba

Consultant, educator and thought leader driving culture change for greater belonging in organizations and communities.

Wendy Verba is the founder and principal of Belonging by Design, providing coaching, tools and a design framework to help organizational leaders infuse belonging throughout their culture, so that:

  • Individuals feel valued, connected to each other and energized to pour their talents into the greater mission;
  • Teams can recruit and retain diverse talent (in-person/remote; professional/volunteer);
  • Organizations and communities can accomplish more and solve big problems with greater initiative, trust, collaboration.

Wendy has been transforming teams and communities for as long as she can remember, forging cohesive groups that achieve shared goals. She blends her unique experience in philanthropy, workforce policy, campaign politics, and business journalism with deep expertise in belonging and team development.

Wendy worked nationally as a senior consultant for the Varda Institute for Community building, and led a flourishing culture of belonging movement through the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, helping hundreds of organizational leaders create systemic approaches to belonging for diverse populations. As Managing Director of Community Impact, Wendy led the Federation’s engagement strategy along with a multi-million-dollar grantmaking portfolio and an international team of twenty-five.

Wendy has designed and led hundreds of trainings for thousands of people, and facilitated numerous teams working to improve organizational alignment, engagement and performance. She was a Wexner Heritage Fellow, an M2 Relational Engagement Cohort participant, and served on the boards of UpStart and the Peninsula Jewish Community Center. She and her husband live in Northern California, where they’ve found meaning raising their three children, dancing and cycling with friends, and participating in Burning Man.

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.

Tina Patterson

Principal of Jade Solutions, Dispute resolution, Advocacy, Education and Outreach, Human and Women's Rights

 Ms. Tina Patterson is the Principal of Jade Solutions, a woman-owned, MBE/DBE/SBE, SWaM, WOSB and WBE certified small business with more than 20 years’ experience providing management consulting services in the areas of alternative dispute resolution and community engagement, proposal management and grants management support, and project management and training to a wide range of clients. She has supported local and national public engagement efforts via organizations such as America Speaks, RESOLVE, the National Institute for Civil Discourse and the Kellogg Foundation. She is in on the panels/rosters of CPR, AAA, FINRA, and Dispute Resolution Boards. 

For more than two decades, Ms. Patterson has been involved in advocacy, education and outreach on issues dealing with human and women’s rights. She has been a speaker and guest lecturer on various topics, including human trafficking, minority leadership, landmine removal, mediation and women’s rights. Ms. Patterson has been featured in several publications including the Association for Conflict Resolution‘s ACResolution magazine, the United Nations Association of United States Interdependent magazine, Rolling Out magazine, the US Geospatial Foundation’s Trajectory magazine, the George Washington University’s Center for Excellence in Public Leadership newsletter as well as the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution Just Resolutions newsletter. 

Ms. Patterson is a graduate of Brown University and Southern Methodist University. Ms. Patterson’s civic engagement includes completing Leadership America (2003), Leadership Texas (2004), the White House Project’s ‘Go Run’ program (2007), Leadership Montgomery (Maryland) (2011), Montgomery County Maryland Police Citizen’s Academy (2012) and Montgomery County Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) (2015), Walker’s Legacy (2017), and Project 500 / Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority Small Business University (2018), FBI Baltimore Citizens Academy (2019). 

Ms. Patterson is the recipient of the Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem’s (NAWRB) 2018 Roaring Thirty Prodigy Award. In 2019 Jade Solutions was recognized as Top100 Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) by the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (CRMSDC). In 2020 Ms. Patterson received an award from the Maryland Transportation Authority recognizing for her efforts and contributions in outreach concerning with human and women’s rights. 

Ms. Patterson is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) North America Branch (NAB)where she is the Vice Chair Communications., ArbitalWomen, the Mid-Atlantic Facilitators Network (MAFN), the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) and the United States Geo-Spatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF). 

Ms. Patterson serves on the board of Leadership Montgomery and serves on the Leadership Advisory Council of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP). She is a former Commissioner with the Montgomery County Maryland Human Rights Commission and currently is a Commissioner with Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) where she serves as an adviser to the Commission’s Diversity Council and the Information Technology (IT) Council. In 2019, Ms. Patterson was appointed to the Montgomery County Remembrance and Reconciliation Commission. 

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.

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.