Visiting Experts

In addition to our regular faculty, a number of other organization development practitioners and educators provide a rich range of perspectives through short workshops, guest presentations in courses, internships, and participation in students' culminating project committees:

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Lisa Heft is a facilitator and interactive learning specialist known internationally for her resources, trainings, tools, and workshops on Open Space Technology and other dialogic and interactive methods for engaging deeper reflection, learning, and dialogue. Whether facilitating international conferences, consulting on conflict resolution processes for teams working in Northern Iraq and East Timor, engaging interdisciplinary thinking between housekeepers, hospitality managers, and CEOs for the future of a luxury resort facility, teaching interactive learning methods to health monitoring specialists from developing nations, or facilitating learning and dialogue with prison inmates--Ms. Heft is known for her thoughtful design, clarity of communication, and ability to bring diverse people together in dialogue and co-creation.

Clients on five continents include the International AIDS Conferences, U.S. Departments of Labor and Transportation, National Forum for Geosciences Information Technology, One Ocean Marine Forum, U.S. Scholar-Athlete Games, Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics, Inc., Family Health International, Bernardus Lodge and Winery, Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club, International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies, Canadian National Council for Tobacco Control, Heifer International, San Quentin State Prison, and Columbia University Center for International Conflict Resolution (with whom Ms. Heft is a Fellow).

Ms. Heft is Vice President of the U.S. Open Space Institute, author of The Open Space Idea Book, and chapter author for "Beyond Bullets and Bombs: Grassroots Peace Building Between Israelis and Palestinians" and many papers on facilitation, interactive learning, and community health. Ms. Heft's resources and papers for facilitators and educators--as well as more information about Open Space--are available at her website.


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Gary Hochman has worked in the development of organizations for over 25 years and has served in senior executive, line, and staff roles. As founder of The HR Matrix, his consulting business integrates strategy, work systems design, and team and individual performance to enhance organizational effectiveness.

Throughout his career, Gary has led numerous projects helping executives and managers rapidly achieve results in a wide variety of demanding situations. His facilitation and leadership skills coupled with his business acumen and understanding of organization culture and change, have made him successful in a wide variety of interventions and situations, including start-ups, mature organizations, non-profits, and a diverse range of complex work systems. Working in close partnership with his clients, Gary designs highly interactive processes to support desired outcomes while building accountability and commitment throughout the workplace.

Gary is the former vice president of HR at OCLI / JDSU and senior organization development consultant at Hewlett-Packard. He holds a B.A. in sociology and a M.A. degree - with a focus in organization development and training - from the Curtis L. Carlson School of Management. In addition to his commitments to his family and the local non-profit community, he previously served on the faculty of the Organization Department Program at SSU for 6 years and USF for 4 years.


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Lenny Lind is President of CoVision, which has supported organization development projects with appropriate technologies since 1985. In 1991, CoVision began fielding a portable groupware system for meetings--Council--through which anonymous feedback from participants allows the views of a whole group to be addressed while all are still convened. To date, 2500 meetings have been supported by the firm. In 1997, work began on WebCouncil--an online collaboration platform for dispersed teams. This was the system used to host a Delphi conference moderated by Saul Eisen, to consider future OD intervention strategies, and the continuing professional development of OD practitioners.

Lenny is Co-author of "Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making", 1996 (2nd ed., Jossey-Bass, 2004).

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Rosa Zubizarreta works with community and organizational leaders who want help in getting their well-intentioned people to be "on the same page". Her gifts include helping groups work skillfully with differences. Instead of simmering, festering, or boiling, those different perspectives can lead to an abundance of creative solutions, new understandings, and a deeper sense of teamwork.

As the owner and principal consultant of DiaPraxis (www.diapraxis.com), Rosa works with small businesses, non-profits, local government, and community groups. She also leads workshops in Dynamic Facilitation, a non-linear approach for transforming conflict into creativity. Rosa is the author of the forthcoming book, "From Conflict to Creative Collaboration: How Powerful Listening Brings Community into Being." In addition to completing the Master's program in Organization Development at Sonoma State (2002), Rosa also has professional degrees in multicultural education and in social work. At various times, she has worked as a teacher, translator, writer of educational materials, case manager, and psychotherapist.

Rosa's appreciation for the value of multiple perspectives began early on. Born in Peru to a Spanish-speaking family, she attended a German school for a few years before moving to the United States as a child. After living in California for several decades, she now lives with her husband in the Berkshires in Massachusetts.


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Melinda Stephenson is a coach and consultant with over 22 years of experience in human development on an individual, team and organization level. She provides an excellent balance of strategic vision, coaching and operational execution abilities.

Melinda provides in-depth coaching to senior teams and senior executives. She helps her clients see their patterns of behavior, identify their skill gaps, understand the root cause and then build the capacity to effectively manage their own development and improvement process. She draws on her knowledge of neuroscience, positive psychology, emotional intelligence and cognitive behavior change to help leaders and teams to improve their skills in areas such as strategic thinking, influence and persuasiveness, relationship and conflict management, and coaching others.

Melinda has also built human resource and change strategies for high-growth, global clients and she has completed extensive work in the creation of talent development strategies and leadership development program design. She is curriculum designer and co-founder of The Leadership Room - a one-year learning experience for high potential executives.

Recent clients include: Levi Strauss & Co., Applied Materials, BabyCenter, Adobe Systems, American Express, JCrew, Razorfish, Nike, ClifBar and Design Within Reach.

Prior to her career as an external coach and consultant, Melinda served as Gap, Inc. Sr. Director of Organization Development. She provided direct consulting support to the CEO and leadership team and helped to redefine the culture and implement large-scale change. Melinda managed a team of internal and contract organization development consultants focused on facilitating strategic change in product innovation, sourcing and inventory management, HR training strategy, brand marketing, and leadership development.

As Vice President of Human Resources for Gap Brand she led a product development life cycle improvement project that reduced cycle time by 20%. She supported the merger of the Gap Kids and Adult field organizations in the U.S. and reduced store operational costs by 12%. She also managed the design and execution of human capital strategies to expand the talent pipeline and build global general management skills.

Melinda holds a Bachelor's of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University. She is certified as an integral coach by New Ventures West and is a certified facilitator for MBTI, Lominger Voices & Career Architect, 5 Dynamics and PDI Profilor tools.