We work with a talented team of trainers, coaches, mediators and activists, who help inform our work and advise us on leadership and cultural translation challenges in the public, private, non-profit sectors and the academia.

Dr. Leslie Ahmadi

Cultural Translation Educator and Coach

Dr. Leslie Ahmadi (PhD, foreign language and culture education, The Ohio State University) transitioned from being a Spanish and English as a Second Language professor to a cross-cultural and diversity trainer and coach after experiencing a life-changing four-year journey with her Iranian husband in post-revolutionary Iran (1992-1996). Where it comes to communicating effectively across differences and bridging cultural divides, Leslie’s background as a linguist and cultural educator draws heavily on the principle, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

Fluent in English, Spanish, and Persian, Leslie has worked on multicultural teams both domestically and abroad (including in Mexico, Spain, China, Russia, and Iran). Her work as a trainer, educator, and coach on language, culture, and communication issues spans academic, corporate, and nonprofit sectors.

Annabel Park

Political Consultant and Community Organizer

Annabel is a progressive activist, a social media consultant, and an award-winning documentary filmmaker (9500 Liberty, Story of America). Following the 2016 election, she launched a podcast called Democracy in America with Rich Tafel as the co-host. The goal to teach Americans how to reengage across the political divide.

She has founded and led several nonprofit organizations and media companies including Indigo Light, Coffee Party USA, The Talk on Main St, Count Me In To Win, and DIY Green. She studied philosophy and politics at Boston University and then at Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar. Her writings have been published on CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, Newsweek, and others.

Ryan Nakade

Professional Mediator and Facilitator

Ryan Nakade is a nationally recognized leader bridging conflict among the most diverse communities. Ryan is has joined Rich Tafel in providing the Cultural Translation training modules. A trained mediator and facilitator, he has worked with governments, non-profits, and civic leaders to bridge divides and make communities more resilient to conflict, primarily in the OR and WA region. He is a facilitator for the Department of Human Services family decision cases in OR. He is the Board Vice President of the Oregon Mediation Association and on the Beaverton Center for Mediation and Dialogue advisory committee.

Ryan works on the DHS grant with the CURE-PDX project, which seeks to counter violent extremism in the Pacific Northwest. He is a regular facilitator for Civic Synergy, which brings college students of diverging political views together to formulate bipartisan policy solutions proposed to Congress members. He lives in Toledo, WA, with his wife and nine goats.

Kateryna Pyatybratova

Director of Learning and Development

Kateryna Pyatybratova, PMP, is a marketing and business development professional passionate about helping mission-driven leaders and organizations reach the hearts and minds of their audiences by telling their stories.

Serving in various capacities at The George Washington University’s Center for Excellence in Public Leadership (GW CEPL) since 2011, she has been responsible for marketing, business development, and partnership-building efforts with U.S. and international government agencies, private foundations, and associations. During that time co-created several innovative new initiatives, including world-class women’s leadership programs for emerging and executive women leaders. Kateryna also directed the nationally-recognized Cafritz Awards Program, highlighting significant accomplishments by District of Columbia Government employees in improving the quality of life for all those who live, work, do business, and visit the nation’s capital.

Cheryl Robertson

Executive/Life Coach

Ms. Robertson has served in the Human Resources and Administrative fields for the past 30 years. After 14 years with the DC Department of Human Resources, she started her own Executive Coaching business, InnerGrow Integrated Coaching, LLC.

Ms. Robertson is certified in Integral Coaching by New Ventures West and the International Coach Federation. She is certified to administer The Leadership Circle Profile 360 Assessment, analyze results, provide feedback to clients, and coach for higher levels of performance. She is certified as an MBTI and DiSC Practitioner. Through her coaching and training, she provides leadership, job performance, and career coaching to executives, teams, and specialized leadership programs.

Ms. Robertson has also formed a non-profit, SoulFull Life University, with her partner Kateryna Pyatybratova. SoulFull Life University is an education pathway that integrates SOUL into traditional learning, supporting youth with life and leadership coaching, while providing just-in-time work readiness training, financial literacy education, and career advisory.