Sarah Augustine joined the DRC in 2017. She remains adjunct professor of Sociology at Heritage University, where she served on the full time faculty for six years.
Sarah received a BA in Sociology and Psychology and an MA in Whole Systems Design with an emphasis in group conflict transformation. She is the co-founder of Suriname Indigenous Health Fund (SIHF), where she has advocated for vulnerable Indigenous Peoples since 2004. She has represented the interests of Indigenous community partners to their own governments, the Inter-American development bank, the United Nations, the Organization of American States Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the World Health Organization, and a host of other international actors including corporate interests. She employs shuttle diplomacy and group decision-making strategies to de-escalate conflict and establish common ground between communities and external interests. In addition to her work with SIHF, Sarah has worked as an organizational consultant in strategic planning, facilitation, and mediation. Sarah has been a mediator for 15 years.
Mrs. Bailey joined the DRC staff in 2016. She manages the daily operation of the office as well as the bookkeeping. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, kids, and grandkids. Ms. Bailey has completed basic mediation training and family mediation training.
Director of Training and Outreach
Ms. Alviso joined the DRC staff in August 2017 as a VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America). She is now our Director of Training and Outreach. She coordinates the DRC Trainings and Workshops as well as our Community Communication Program and its two Community Response Teams.
She graduated from The Evergreen State College with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with dual emphases in Multicultural Studies and Juvenile Justice; and from Heritage University with a Master’s degree in Teaching. She has worked as an educator in public and private schools, as well as in maximum security juvenile detention facilities. For fun, Vanessa enjoys reading, painting, cooking, and spending time with her husband, four cats, and dog. Ms. Alviso is a bilingual mediator.
Esmeralda Joined the DRC staff in August 2018 as a VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America). She is our Heritage University Liaison and the Coordinator for Community Communication Program for the DRC.
She graduated from Heritage University with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice. She also is licensed as a nursing assistant in high school through Yakima Valley Technical School.
For fun, Esmeralda enjoys reading, cooking, spending time with her family, and four dogs. Esmeralda is bilingual.
Esmeralda Barocio Gonzalez
Heritage University Liaison
Coordinator for Community Communication Program
receptionist and assistant intake specialist
Ms. Bryan joined the DRC as a volunteer in 2017, and joined our staff in 2018. She advocates for the interests of all DRC clients, and works tirelessly to assist clients as they move through the mediation process. Ms. Bryan has completed basic mediation training and family mediation training.
kittitas county victim offender meeting coordinator and outreach worker
Ms. Heflen has been with the DRC since 2004. She coordinates the DRC’s outreach work in Kittitas County, helping to inform the community and referring agencies about the DRC’s work and how to refer people to it. She also brings youthful offenders together to meet with the people victimized by their crimes. Ms. Heflen is a family, small-claims and VOM mediator.
intake coordinator and yakima county victim offender meeting coordinator
Ms. Urbina has been with the Dispute Resolution Center since summer 2010. She has more than 18 years of case management experience in job training and social service programs. She has lived in the Yakima Valley for most of her adult life. Ms. Urbina is a bilingual family, small claims and VOM mediator.
Board of Directors
Troy is the Director of Human Resources for Underwood Fruit and Warehouse, Mt. Adams Orchards, and
The Dalles Fruit Company as well as the Manager of Mid-Columbia AG SVS, LLC a farm labor contracting
company. He has served in multiple production operations management roles and was the Director of
Quality Assurance at Independent Foods until January of 2013. Prior to Underwood Fruit, Troy worked
eight years for Con Agra Foods in Production, Operations Management and Quality Assurance. He is a
member of the National Council of Ag employers H2A Strategy Committee and is a United States Air
Force veteran having served in combat roles during Operation Desert Storm. Troy is also a certified
mediator and trainer at Dispute Resolution Center in Yakima, WA.
DJ Henn (President)
DJ graduated from Gonzaga University, where he earned a MBA in business administration, BBA in
business management, and a BA in Psychology. He loves helping other people achieve their goals.
Whether it is through his property management firm or business consulting company, DJ searches for
“win-win” opportunities for mutual gain. He has been married for over 20 years, with four children, and
a small farm with a variety of pets.
Melissa was born and raised in the Yakima Valley and lives in Yakima with her family. She earned her
Bachelor’s degree in Education from Eastern Washington University, her Master’s degree from the
University of Alaska Anchorage, and her Ph.D. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Melissa is
currently the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at Heritage University.
Dary is the founding member and primary Personal Effectiveness Coach as well as one of the personal
trainers at Assets LLC. He has been successful in the corporate world for over 43 years leading
corporations, sales teams, and developing leaders. He is a gifted speaker and teacher as well as a sought
after personal coach. Dary, a graduate of the National Academy of Sports Medicine has devoted years of
his life to the study of human behavior. His intense interest and research into high level human
performance has helped him to uncover, apply, and teach the principles and disciplines required to
achieve high levels of effectiveness and success.
Originally from Southeastern Idaho, Jamon Rivera has spent the last 13 years in Eastern Washington
transitioning between Yakima and the Tri-Cities. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Brigham
Young University and a Master’s of Business Administration Degree from Washington State University.
He has been married to his wife, Stacy for 15 years and together they have four children, three
daughters, and one son. Jamon is currently the Senior Director of Revenue Cycle Operations at Virginia
Mason Memorial Hospital, where he has worked since March of 2014. When he is not working, Jamon
enjoys spending time with his family, snowboarding, fly-fishing, golfing, and playing basketball.
Lani-Kai Swanhart received her undergraduate and law degree from the University of Washington. After
serving as an Assistant Attorney General for 8 years, she was appointed as a Superior Court
Commissioner. She retired in 2013, having spent 22 years hearing domestic cases. She lives in Yakima
with her husband and enjoys hiking, skiing, cycling and reading.
Tony Swartz is an attorney in Ellensburg, WA who specializes in criminal law and business law. In
addition to contracting with multiple cities and acting as Special Assistant Attorney General, he teaches
laws classes at Yakima Valley College and Central Washington University.
Carolyn Thurston is the Central Washington University Director of Academic Success and a Law and Justice adjunct faculty member at CWU.
Lorintha was born in Yakima and raised in Toppenish. She obtained her degree from Central Washington
University. Lorintha has served as an appellate and associate judge as well as a pro tem judge for many
tribes throughout the United States, and worked for the Yakama Nation for over twenty-five years.