"The means is dialogue, the end is learning, the purpose is peace." ~ Founder Dr. Jane Vella
Bert is a Certified Dialogue Education Teacher with Global Learning Partners. She began her study and practice of Dialogue Education under the direction of GLP Partner Peter Perkins in 2001 and achieved certification in 2006. As Senior Vice President of Strategy with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA), she uses Dialogue Education extensively to design and facilitate strategic planning, project meetings and cultural initiatives for the 750+ people who make up the ASPCA.
Before joining the ASPCA, Bert was CEO of a regional humane society in New England that became well known under her leadership for its extraordinary vision and capacity to deliver on an aggressive strategic agenda. She is a popular speaker and trainer in the field, receiving the 2004 Dennis White Excellence in Teaching award from the American Humane Association. Bert authored the ASPCA/Petfinder shelter management page from 2000 – 2003 and co-authored the book Making Plans to Make a Difference – A Business Planning Guide for Shelters.
Prior to joining animal protection, Bert worked for ten years as a clinical social worker – treating individuals and families in community mental health settings. She has 30 years of experience in nonprofits, having served several very successful organizations in the capacities of senior manager, executive officer and Board officer. Bert has both led and facilitated successful long-range planning for individual organizations and large collaborations. She is particularly interested in the intersections of Dialogue Education (Vella), Appreciative Inquiry (Cooperrider) and Learning Organizations (Senge).
Bert has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Connecticut and post-graduate certificates in Psychotherapy, Family Therapy and Nonprofit Management.
Time and weather permitting, Bert enjoys a hiking, skiing, windsurfing and kayaking. She lives in Maine with her partner and their five wonderful animals. Her favorite bumper sticker: “If you can’t change your mind, are you sure you still have one?”