Our People

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David Sibbet

Founder and CEO

David Sibbet has been an organizational consultant and information designer since 1977. He is the author of John Wiley & Sons' four-volume Visual Facilitation Series as well as many of The Grove's leading-edge group-process tools and models for facilitation, team leadership and organizational transformation. David is a master facilitator of large-scale group processes, strategic visioning and creative, future-oriented symposia. He frequently lends his coaching and design expertise to Grove project teams. His practice is informed by eight years of public affairs leadership development with the Coro Northern California Center for Civic Leadership. He holds a master's degree from Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a B.A. in literature from Occidental College.

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Bobby Pardini


Bobby Pardini supports clients in leveraging The Grove’s service and training options to meet their objectives. He has worn many hats in his 30+ years in the organization, including project manager, communications-designer, product-developer and writer/editor. He has a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia and a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined The Grove Consultants International in 1990.

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Laurie Durnell

Principal Consultant

Laurie Durnell has worked in organizational consulting, team development and management since 1993. A seasoned graphic facilitator and trainer, she has designed and delivered numerous programs incorporating Grove Storymaps and experience-based training for corporations and public-benefit organizations. In entrepreneurial and turn-around situations she has successfully managed rapidly changing organizations. Laurie has an M.B.A from Simmons Graduate School of Management, with an emphasis on organizational development, and a B.S. in natural resource conservation from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Gisela Wendling

Vice-President of Global Learning

Gisela Wendling, Ph.D. is The Grove's vice-president of global learning, a senior consultant and co-author (with David Sibbet) of Visual Consulting: Designing & Leading Change. Her expertise is based on 30 years of working and consulting with a wide range of private and public organizations. Pairing a systems perspective with process-oriented and dialogic approaches, Gisela creates unique opportunities for interactive, content-rich and transformative change for organizations. As a coach, Gisela works with senior executives wishing to develop their competence as transformational leaders. She supports them learning to lead change processes more effectively, connect to their own vision, grow their self-awareness and relational skills and increase their capacity to stay centered through turbulent times. Gisela received a doctorate from the School of Human and Organization Development at Fielding Graduate University.

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Ronita Johnson


Ronita Johnson has worked in the area of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for over 35 years. She began her DEI career as Manager of Diversity for Pacific, Gas & Electric Company where she was responsible for training and development of the company’s 20,000 employees. She began consulting externally in 1993 with a focus on cultural assessments, awareness training & development, strategic planning, diversity dialogue and coaching.  With a belief that humans must do their own unique personal diversity work, Ronita currently convenes circles of diversity & inclusion that focus on race, culture, intersectionality, trauma, forgiveness and healing. She invites inquiry and reflection, storytelling and creative art into each process of truth telling focused on building relationship, liberation and transformation. She has a B.S. in Psychology from Cal State, Hayward and is a certified coach from New Ventures West.  Ronita brings her lived experience, her VOICE and her passion regarding DEI to The Grove. 

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Megan Hinchliffe

Chief Administrative Officer

Megan Hinchliffe brings more than sixteen years of administration experience to her role managing all facets of administration and accounting at The Grove. She has a bachelor's degree in American studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz and holds a certificate in human resource management from San Francisco State University. 

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Anne Merkelson

Marketing Manager

Anne brings over 17 years of marketing and communications experience to the Grove, in such varied industries as performing arts, higher education, alumni relations and tech. She is endlessly curious about what makes people tick and channels that curiosity into her messaging-strategy work. She has a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a teaching credential from San Francisco State University.

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