Meet the Team

Marc Purchin seated, wearing a suit jacket, smiling outdoors.

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.

Studio headshot of Gail Nugent.

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 outside in a park.

Debra 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.

Fran Goldfarb wearing a red top and blue glasses, smiling.

Fran Goldfarb

Fran Goldfarb, MA, MCHES, CSPS  is excited to be joining Purchin Consulting.  Fran recently retired as the Director of Community Education at the USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Research, Education and Service at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (USC UCEDD CHLA).  She served as the Family Support Discipline Director in LEND, their advanced level interdisciplinary training program. Ms. Goldfarb has a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and a master’s degree in Social Science. She is credentialed as a Master Certified Health Education Specialist.  She was also the first person in California credentialed as a Certified Family Peer Specialist.  Together with her husband, she founded and facilitates the Los Angeles Asperger Syndrome Parent Support Group.  Most importantly, she is the parent of an adult son with a developmental disability and other psychiatric disabilities.

Head shot of Kevin Higa with a background view of the beach sand and the Pacific Ocean.

Kevin Higa

Bringing a wide array of experience and skill from to the Purchasing 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 with long wavy hair, a white top and a beautiful smile.

Kelly Sayce

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. She is a certified mediator with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Dispute Resolution Program.