Meet our team
Founder and Principal
For me, Connecting Differences isn’t just a company name--it is my life passion. I believe in exploring every situation from different viewpoints and embracing the complexity of multiple perspectives. I whole-heartedly agree with F. Scott Fitzgerald, who said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function”.
My own life has presented me with many conflicting perspectives. I grew up in the Soviet Union and came to the United States as a refugee. Many years of working with refugees and training professionals in refugee services enriched me with stories of human struggle and resilience. Going back to school and becoming a mental health counselor taught me to step into somebody else’s inner world with empathy and compassion. My personal experience of living in between cultures and languages lead me on a path to intercultural and diversity work.
I see myself as a facilitator first and foremost. I facilitate trainings, meetings, and complex processes, and give trainees the skills to continue that work themselves. Most importantly, I facilitate changes and deep shifts for individuals and teams I work with. To facilitate means to make things easier, and that is what I do: I make it easier for teams and organizations to work through complex issues. Some of my colleagues and clients refer to me as “Chief Clarity Officer.” In the words attributed to Albert Einstein, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
As kids, when my sister and I would have a fight, my mom always used to say, “Stop it! Even between two fools one has to be smarter.” Here, in a nutshell, is my approach to conflict transformation work.