As founder of Converge Consulting, Research and Training, Deb specializes in facilitating collaborative action to create healthier and more equitable communities. Since 2006, her growing portfolio includes 60+ nonprofit, government, education and philanthropic clients working on projects that focus on issues ranging from regional equity, poverty alleviation, and climate change to mental health innovation, youth development, food systems and prevention of obesity, violence, substance abuse and other disease.
Since 1994, Deb’s trained and coached hundreds of government and nonprofit staff, health and human service professionals, educators, advocates, youth, faith-based and neighborhood leaders to work collaboratively and lead change. Through Converge, she provides strategic planning, public engagement, evaluation, team building, and grant writing services. Her skillful facilitation guides groups to create shared goals, implement outcome-driven plans, and achieve collective impact.
Raised in upstate NY, Deb migrated to California where she spent 25 years building healthy communities before relocating to Hawai‘i in 2019. She earned a Master’s of Science in Community Development at UC Davis and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology at the SUNY Plattsburgh. In 2017, Deb completed a 2-year teacher training program in Open Floor, a mindfulness practice that uses movement, music and inquiry to cultivate presence, emotional resiliency, and embodied leadership.
In these polarized and divisive times, it is vitally important to bring people together for productive problem-solving. Change begins when our hearts are touched, and our imaginations are sparked. Working together across disciplines, geographic areas, cultures and other potential “dividing lines” enables groups to better understand issues, resources, opportunities, and priorities so they can develop creative solutions to pressing concerns. By using an asset-based, participatory approach, Deb facilitates collaborative action by designing culturally-responsive group processes, research, and capacity building that:
- Engages diverse stakeholders in crucial conversations, giving voice to untold perspectives and stories
- Focuses on identifying strengths and data to scale what’s currently working
- Makes new connections and expand beliefs about what is possible
- Results in a common vision and action plans to achieve priority goals
Creating change requires courage to face the uncomfortable and skill to navigate it productively. To foster this experience for clients, Deb innovatively draws upon a variety of powerful community and organizational development frameworks to surface shared values, build consensus, and resolve conflict. She offers expertise in facilitating complex community change initiatives; public engagement; participatory action research; program development; and evaluation.
Phone: (916) 502-1827
City, State, Zip: Makawao, HI 96768