Meet the Team

Marc Purchin

Marc Purchin’s goals, education, experience, achievement, reputation and vision combined to prompt the establishment of Purchin Consulting in 1997.

Beginning some two decades before that, Marc has personally conducted more than 2,000 mediations, mostly through contracts with the California Special Education Hearing Office, the Department of Developmental Disabilities, several public school districts and numerous non-profit organizations. In addition to that work, he developed the Alternative Dispute Resolution program with the Southwest SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area), supporting more than 13,000 students who each have an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), as well as 12 school districts, the Los Angeles County Office of Education and approximately 20 charter schools, for which Marc served as Director for over 7 years, handling their early intervention conflict resolution needs.

Marc earned his bachelor’s degree at Southern Illinois University, majoring in Speech Communication with an emphasis in Interpersonal Communication and Theatre. He then completed the distinctive Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) program in Non-Profit Management offered by American Jewish University (formerly University of Judaism.) That program added him to its faculty in 1996 and he continues to teach AJU courses such as “Conflict Resolution and Negotiation” and “Organizational Development and Leadership”. Marc has also taught a “Collaboration” course in the School of Education at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Marc additionally attained certification as a mediator through the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.

Gail Nugent

Gail Nugent and Marc Purchin have collaborated on several training projects and mediation over the last decade. Gail has been a leader in conflict resolution for over 25 years, bringing a unique perspective and breadth of experience to any issue. She has worked with thousands of individuals in more than 100 governmental and non-governmental settings, serving as a mediator, facilitator, dispute resolution consultant, system designer, curriculum developer and trainer. Her extensive work with a variety of California agencies and school districts makes her exceptionally qualified to handle the most complex and emotionally charged issues.

Deborah Montoya

Debra (Debbie) Montoya worked in the field of special education for 37 years. While she had diverse experience across the field, she found that her greatest accomplishments came through facilitating IEP meetings that resulted in improved outcomes for students as well as in more productive relationships between families and school staff.

Kevin Higa

Bringing a wide array of experience and skills to the Purchin Consulting team, Kevin Higa has a degree from the Department of World Arts & Cultures at UCLA, has worked in the non-profit performing arts for many years, and has experience as a small business owner.  Kevin  manages the technical aspects of Purchin Consulting’s virtual trainings and website.  

Kelly Sayce

Kelly Sayce is excited to be collaborating with Purchin Consulting on a variety of projects, including Advocates for the Process. Kelly is principal and co-founder of Strategic Earth Consulting, a multi-disciplinary firm that specializes in facilitating open lines of communication and inclusive dialogue across multi-interest audiences. For over fifteen years, Kelly has designed and implemented public involvement and outreach programs, collaborative processes, and policy discussions in the field of environmental dispute resolution for such clients as the California Ocean Science Trust, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California State Coastal Conservancy, and California Ocean Protection Council.

While the majority of her career has focused on building relationships across disparate groups within the natural resource sector, the past three years have led Kelly to expand her alternative dispute resolution expertise into the field of education. Working with the Institute for Nonviolence in Los Angeles, Kelly has developed peer mediation programs aimed at building social-emotional skills in underserved youth to help transform community-based conflict into positive action. Kelly facilitates intensive meeting facilitation trainings for school district administrators, specifically in the area of running effective I.E.P. team meetings.

Kelly holds a B.Sc. in biology and environmental science from Trent University, Canada and a Masters of Applied Studies in marine biodiversity and conservation from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. She is a certified mediator with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Dispute Resolution Program.