Excellence in online learning since 2006

Meet the Team

The NVC Academy team is dedicated to making NVC accessible to as many people around the world as possible. Every person on our team is here because they feel a pull in their heart to spread NVC consciousness.

For us, this work is more than just a paycheck — it is a labor of love!

Emma Alvarez Gibson Emma Alvarez Gibson, Copywriter
Emma is a writer, editor, and brand architect with a passion for justice. She creates content and strategy for brands ranging from global corporations to one-person shops. Her work has helped companies re-brand, land big-ticket, multi-year contracts with renowned institutions, and restructure their internal culture to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. Fluently bilingual (English and Spanish) from the start, she is conversational in Italian, is studying German, and harbors a secret desire to speak every language in existence. She has been known to start things like online magazines, bands, and cultural anthologies at the drop of a hat. An L.A. native, Emma lives there still, with her husband, teenage son, and three troublesome dogs. She is currently writing a novel.
Kara Shepard Kara Shepard-Poat, Copywriter
Kara is a copywriter, editor, and life coach with a passion for words and a deep desire to see others live their dreams. She has been helping small businesses refine their messages, grow their audiences, and bring offers to market since 2017. As a student of NVC and facilitator of several practice groups over the years, joining the NVC Academy team in 2019 could only be described as a labor of love. In early 2022, she felt a new calling to step into life coaching — to help others navigate life’s hurdles with grace and show up as their best and most authentic selves. Everything she does is focused on supporting inspired individuals to answer their spirit’s call, find renewed confidence, and do things that make their heart sing!  
Kara Shepard Jaime Melendez, Graphic Designer
Passionate about design, Jaime has collaborated with businesses in building their brand presence since 2016. Experienced in print production, digital, and web design he has helped startups, local businesses, as well as large companies stand out. Forever a student of design, Jaime enjoys working on all types of design projects whether it is behind a computer or manually working with his hands. In his off time Jaime enjoys hiking, training jiu jitsu, or working on side projects.
lore-baur Lore Baur, Live Course Coordinator
As a Live Course Coordinator, Lore works to create a system that supports our participants in learning NVC. Lore is a certified trainer for the International Center for Nonviolent Communication.   She holds a master's degree in science education from the University of Iowa and has taught public school since 1993.  Her mornings are spent playing and learning with middle school students. Lore's interest in inquiry and curiosity lends itself to her practice of compassion and mindfulness. She finds inspiration in the ways that nature designs systems to meet needs through interdependent relationships.  And draws hope from research that suggests we are cooperative beings, seeking connection and belonging, and that our language influences our perceptions of the world.  She resides in Iowa City, Iowa with her loving husband Steve and the two of them hold dear their grown sons, Dan and Chris, and their sweet dog Togo.
Mark Schultz

Mark Schultz, Co-founder
Mark is cofounder of the NVC Academy. He was introduced to Nonviolent Communication in 1989, and has been enthusiastic about NVC ever since. Mark started a web design consultancy in 1995, and together with Mary, created the first online training site for Nonviolent Communication in 2006. 

In addition to NVC, Mark's interests include physics, astronomy, unusual phenomena, and pizza.

martha suarez

Martha Suarez, Live Course Coordinator
She has studied and practiced Nonviolent Communication, Mindfulness & Compassion and Somatic Consciousness, since 2013. She is interested in issues related to wellness. She is convinced that the integration and practice of NVC in our lives can give us a friendly and connected way of being with ourselves, with others and with the planet. Martha is a CNVC certification candidate. She shares NVC, workshops, practice groups, and one-on-one sessions. She is also a certified Mindfulness and Compassion Instructor.

Mary Mackenzie

Mary Mackenzie, CEO
Mary Mackenzie is a CNVC Certified Trainer, and CEO and co-founder of the NVC Academy. She is the author of "Peaceful Living: Daily Meditations for Living with Love, Healing and Compassion". Mary holds a master's degree in Human Relations and is a trained mediator.

Mary's first career was as a fundraiser in higher education, where her listening skills helped people realize their dreams and helped her raise millions of dollars for the universities where she worked. She ended this 15-year career to begin work with the newly formed Flagstaff Center for Compassionate Communication.

Mary's guiding vision is to help people fully connect to themselves and their world so that they may experience more joy. Toward this end, she teaches Nonviolent Communication to children, adults, families, couples and adolescents, and she works with organizations by offering individual or group workshops and facilitating organization-wide restructuring.

Melissa Pai Ling

Melissa Pai Ling, NVC Library Editor
With a talent for developing creative solutions and bringing a high level of attention to both "big picture" and detail in her work, Melissa's background includes:

  • Implementing over four years of NVC leadership, in various contexts
  • Honing her seven years of writing and editing experience
  • Applying collaboration and customer service in various organizations since 1996
  • Developing and running entrepreneurial ventures since 2001, and
  • Consistently incorporating NVC learning and practice since 2012

Besides deepening her NVC integration and questioning NVC culture, some things that bring Melissa joy dance flash mobs, improv games, mutual inspiration, empowerment, and daydreams of "being in a serene, cuddle-snuggle pile of chubby kitties and bunnies".

Rachel Garmon

Rachel Garmon, Audio Editor
Rachel and her husband Bob have held eclectic positions over the years. Their last grand adventure was to own and run a Health Food Store in Phoenix, Arizona. As such, Rachel brings an amazing amount of information about the science and spiritual aspects of physical health. While some have questioned her detail-oriented manner, her perfectionistic proclivities are perfectly matched as the NVC Academy Audio Editor. Rachel brings experience running her own business, as well as clarity and passion to her work.

Personally, Rachel and her husband Bob live in a home they built themselves in Cornville, a small rural town in northern Arizona. She has two grown sons who adore her. Rachel has a strong value for community and so she spends much of her time organizing and facilitating local NVC gatherings and trainings. Rachel is a deeply spiritual person who pursues many other avenues for deeper connection with herself and others in addition to her NVC passions; she shows devotion to them all. And if you are lucky enough to get even just one of Rachel's big smiles directed toward you, you would understand that spirituality is an inside-out experience.

Ranjitha Jeurkar, Social Media Manager

Ranjitha Jeurkar, Social Media Manager
Ranjitha Jeurkar manages NVC Academy's social media presence.

Ranjitha is a Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication. She lives in Bangalore, India, where she shares NVC with individuals and organizations.

Ranjitha began her career as a communications professional, and for the last six years worked in the non-profit sector, in the space of mental health awareness. She brings her skills from both of these spaces to the work she does now.

"For the last couple of years, I've been exploring ways in which I can make cooking extremely simple: how do you break down complicated-sounding recipes to clear instructions anyone can follow and apply? My approach to sharing Nonviolent Communication is similar; it's about how we can begin exploring and living these principles in our daily lives, starting from where we are now."

robin obrien Robin O'Brien, Operations Director
Robin's current life roles include wife/partner, mother, homeschool teacher, care taker, social activist, and student of life and love.  Her 20 year relationship with her husband, Pat, has been a tremendous source of motivation and support for healing and growth. She is passionate about creating social change and world harmony through compassion, parenting, and community.  Robin has worked with NVC Academy since 2014. Her role has evolved and grown and she is often heard saying, "It is amazing that I get to do what I love every day and get paid for it too!"
sofie de wulf Sofie De Wulf, Programs & Outreach Coordinator
Sofie runs the NVC Academy Affiliate and Outreach Program, coordinates live courses and does promotional work.

Sofie is a cultural manager, social change activist, art lover and internationalist from Belgium. In all her work she's been driven to combine two passions: art and social change. She worked as a producer in the Belgian theater company LOD and did voluntary work with several Belgian NGOs in Africa and Latin-America, executing photography and theater workshops. Since 2014 she's been living in Mexico-City, where she founded MasterPeace México, an NGO that promotes a culture of peace through art. Sofie is a CNVC certification candidate and is giving NVC workshops to youngsters, social entrepreneurs and enterprises in Mexico.
Vaneet Bajaj

Vaneet Bajaj, Publisher 
Vaneet is associated with NVC academy since 2019. He is an IT professional and has more than 12 years of experience playing different roles and helping multiple organizations worldwide. His core experience area is Online Marketing. He lives in New Delhi, India with his lovely wife, a 3 years old baby girl and a dog. Other than working for NVC Academy, Vaneet's interests include stock market, traveling, technology and movies:)