Mary Vradelis, M.A., M.B.A.
The core of Mary's work with individuals and organizations is her commitment to effective management, reflective leadership, and positive interpersonal communication. She works closely with clients to identify their strengths and areas of development to help them overcome their challenges and meet their goals. Through these partnerships she is able to bring new resources and ideas to help them develop their capacity.
Her training in the arts, therapy, and business gives her access to multiple modes of expression—encouraging self-reflection, and clear-headed analysis—as well as supporting positive group dynamics. Over the past 20 years, she has facilitated meetings and retreats, as well as coached employees, colleagues, and clients to hold more meaningful conversations—whether in individual conversations to confront a difficult topic, or in meetings that need a safe space and well-defined structure to allow the group to overcome interpersonal conflicts and focus on its priorities.
Her consulting practice also focuses on management and leadership coaching for individuals, executives, Board Members, and key management staff. Mary draws on her extensive experience as an Executive Director, and as a nonprofit Board Member.
Mary has acted as an Interim Executive Director for several different organizations—in varied fields ranging from health care to theatre to violence prevention. Through her Executive Transition Management services, she provides the stability and flexibility that organizations need during their leadership transitions. These short-term commitments (four to eight months) provide each organization with the leadership, coaching, and support it needs as it searches for its permanent Executive Director.
Mary's education includes a Master's in Expressive Arts Therapy, a B.F.A. in Theatre, and she graduated with Honors from the Executive M.B.A. program at St. Mary's College of California. To continue to hone her skills, she has participated in professional exchanges with the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership of Marin (CVNL), The Shannon Leadership Institute, Fabulous Facilitators (Fab Fac), and is a founding member of Consultants and Coaches for the Arts (C2Arts). She has also completed certified classes with The Grove, Community at Work, Compasspoint, and the National Community Development Institute.
Bruce B. Birkett, Ph.D.
Bruce holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley, and was a lecturer there for six years after receiving his degree. He began his work in process consulting after pondering why so many local and national educational initiatives have dramatically failed, despite substantial funding and the tremendous commitment of many dedicated individuals. His examination led him to enter the field of organization development. He was pulled in particular to "systems thinking," which emphasizes searching for underlying systemic problems, rather than attending to surface problems. A course on "Organizational Diagnosis," taught by Sam Kaner at Community at Work (San Francisco, California), later proved transformational: Bruce came to see the power of helping organizations help themselves.
Always the educator, Bruce is happiest when explicitly supporting group members to develop tools and processes they need to be able to address future challenges for themselves.
Amy Kweskin is a nationally recognized consultant, instructor and facilitator specializing in strategic planning for creative businesses and career development for innovators. Over the past 10 years she has worked with hundreds of arts managers, Board members and artists in developing the capacity of their creative ventures. Her non-profit expertise was honed as Director of Arts & Business Partnerships at the Business Arts Council, an in-house affiliate of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.
She has created strategic plans for Headlands Center for the Arts, Stern Grove Festival, New Century Chamber Orchestra, Pro Arts, and Theatre of Yugen. For the Center for Cultural Innovation Amy has presented strategic planning workshops and authored a chapter in their book Business of Art: An Artist’s Guide to Profitable Self-Employment.
Additionally, Amy is a faculty member at The Art Institute of California – San Francisco where she teaches in the Fashion Marketing & Management and Advertising Departments. Courses include: Human Resource Management, Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Public Relations, E-Commerce Strategies and Analytics, and Entrepreneurship. Amy took on the interim role of Fashion Program Coordinator for The Art Institute of California – Sunnyvale during the school’s teach-out.
Amy earned a Masters in Arts Administration from Golden Gate University and Bachelors degrees in Cinema/Photography and English from Ithaca College. While a resident of London, England she completed earned a diploma in Neurolinguistic Programming and certification in Life Coaching from the Coaching Academy. Additionally, she completed Leaders as Coaches Certification at the London Centre for Excellence in Leadership.
Believing in the balance of body-mind-breath, Amy brings a somatic holistic approach to her work by incorporating her expertise as a Restorative and Gentle Yoga Instructor, 500 hours RYT. Amy earned her Yoga and Pranayama Teacher Training at The Yoga Room in Berkeley, CA.