For 10 years, Valerie was Deputy Director of an international psychotherapeutic research organization. When she reached the limit of what she could do there, she faced a decision: start the path to become a therapist or pursue her interest in helping organizations maximize their social impact.
Although mental health will always be dear to her heart, she chose to branch out and work on other pressing social and environmental issues.
Inspired by her past work with Jerry Hauser and Rebecca Epstein of The Management Center, she chose to study organizational development. Her personal vision is to help people who are making a difference in the world become more effective.
While gestating this idea, she also gestated (and birthed) two babies. This added a new urgency to her work to create a future for the next generations. She spent the next three years studying while her baby(s) napped. The Center for Creative Change granted her a Master's degree in Organizational Development. She now divides her time between caring for her two wonderful children (ages 3.5 and 0.5) and working with leaders in social change fields to help them become more effective.
In these changing times, we need the support to work at full capacity as we create the conditions for a just and environmentally responsible future.
Valerie practices a hands-on and interactive teaching style with adult learners. She believes in harnessing the experiences that are already in the room to create knowledge together. She peppers mini-lectures and hands-on activities between facilitating conversations between students. Valerie began her teaching career as an SAT instructor and has conducted trainings on a wide variety of topics while employed as Deputy Director of MAPS. She has taught as a TA at Hult International Business School. She currently teaches at Las Positas College and is actively seeking a new home(s) for her class series in Santa Cruz, CA and Gainesville, FL.
Valerie has over 2000 hours of experience facilitating groups. She is trained in mediation and conflict resolution from the Conflict Resolution Center of Santa Cruz. She has worked with content experts to facilitate conversations on a variety of subjects from psychotherapy practices to energy efficiency programs. She employs an eclectic blend of processes including SWOT analysis, strategic planning and developing SMART goals, World Cafe, Appreciative Inquiry, Art of Hosting, and Open Space Technologies.
The Writer & Editor
Valerie offers grant writing and editing services (government and foundation grants) in the fields of education, energy & water efficiency, environmental, and health/medicine. She is not the typical grant writer because she is able to offer perspectives on program design in addition to evaluating and distilling the essence of complex grant solicitations.
The Organizational Designer
Since people are at the heart of organizations, Valerie offers services in human resources. Valerie holds an MA in organizational development with a certificate in organizational dynamics. In addition, she has studied human resources management at UCSC Extension Silicon Valley. She successfully re-designed all employee benefits while Deputy Director at MAPS and wrote the organization's first employee manual. She believes in the power of cultivating leadership throughout an organization and will work with the designated leaders toward that goal.
Valerie holds an MA in Organizational Development from Antioch University Seattle's Center for Creative Change. She studied psychology and integral (systems) theory while earning her BA
at California Institute of Integral Studies. She also completed coursework toward her BA at New College of Florida, the honors college of the Florida state university system.
Specializations and Certifications
- Permaculture Design Certification with specialization in Social Permaculture
- Mediation and Conflict Resolution
- 2-Year Management & Leadership Mentorship from The Management Center of Washington, DC
- Human Resources Management Certificate (2/3 complete)
- Facilitative leadership
- World Café, Appreciative Inquiry, Open Space Technologies, and Similar Practices
- SWOT Analysis, SMART Goals, Strategic Planning for Social Change
C3 Community of Practice
Central Coast Energy Services
City of Capitola
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory
Young Nonprofit Professionals Network