Fulcrum Institute | 211 West Augusta | Spokane, WA 99205 | 509-838-2799

Meet the staff

The Fulcrum Institute Dispute Resolution Clinic's staff members are professional trainers as well as experienced mediators, facilitators, and conflict managers who work on dispute resolution in both the public and private sectors.

John R. (Jack) Hebner – CPM, Member of WSBA

Mr. Hebner, Executive Director, has served in this capacity since the inception of the Fulcrum Institute in 1993. He received his basic mediation training from CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado and the Justice Center of Atlanta. Mr. Hebner is the primary trainer of all classes and over the last decade has completed more than 1000 successful mediations. Additionally, Mr. Hebner has provided training for the Idaho Mediation Association annual conference.

Gayle Cooper – CPM

Ms. Cooper, Associate Director, received her Certified Mediation Designation in 1997 having completed more than 1000 successful mediations. She is a member of the Academy of Family Mediators, Idaho Mediation Association, Washington Mediation Association and is current Treasurer for Resolution Washington. In addition to scheduling all classes, Ms. Cooper maintains the Clinic’s professional contacts with certifying corporations.

Corena Stretch - Fiscal Manager

Corena is a life time resident of Spokane, she earned her accounting degree from EWU and has been a certified public accountant for nearly 20 years. She has worked at multiple Spokane organizations in an accounting capacity.
Corena has served on the board of Transitions for over 10 years, including being the Treasurer for three years. Currently she volunteers on the Finance Committee.
She is a recent graduate of Leadership Spokane, class of 2016.

John Drexel - Human Resources Director/Facilities Manager

Mr. Drexel is the Human Resources Director, Program Documentation Auditor and Facilities Manager. Additional duties included oversight of the Ash Street Station project. Other duties include Human Resources and computer support. Prior to his employment with Fulcrum, Mr. Drexel volunteered for over 20 years as Secretary/Treasurer on Fulcrum's Board of Directors. Mr. Drexel has many years of experience working for not-for-profit organizations including over eleven years as the Chief Financial Officer for the Eastern Washington State Historical Society. In this capacity, he not only compiled the financial statements but he also was a member of the Management Team, attended meetings of the Board of Trustees, and participated in fund raising events. Mr. Drexel has been a resident of Spokane for over 31 years. He graduated from Washington State University in 1983 with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration.

Mary Schwartz - Interchange Administrative Auditor

Ms. Schwartz is a graduate of Eastern Washington University with a Bachelors in Social Work degree. She has provided program oversight for the last fifteen years.

Penny Bentley - Intake Specialist

Penny has lived in Spokane since 1969 and began working in 1981 after graduating from Rogers High School. Her career started by working for the City of Spokane. She worked for several offices in the Spokane Police Department, the City Treasurer’s Office and in the Municipal Court while advancing through Civil Service promotional testing.

After a break to be a stay at home Mom, she worked at the children’s school district part-time while they attended.In 2005 Penny re-entered the work force full-time. After a couple of positions, she came here to Fulcrum, first as a Visitation Supervisor and then moving into her current position as Office Coordinator/Intake Specialist.

Adriana Ortiz-Nicholson – Rise Case Manager

Adriana moved to Spokane from Omak, Washington to continue her education. Adriana grew up and was raised on the Colville Indian Reservation. She is an enrolled member of the Colville Confederated Tribes.

She studied at Washington State University and received her Bachelors in Social Sciences with concentrations in Human Development, Psychology and Women Studies in 2013.

Before Adriana came to Fulcrum she was a Housing Specialist working with homeless families and individuals in Spokane County providing outreach supportive services, case management, and assisting families and individuals with community housing programs.

Currently at Fulcrum she provides case management and outreach services for individuals who are participating in RISE services.

Adriana believes in employment and training services in communities. “There was a point in my life, in my employment history and educational journey that I had help with these services to help me get back on my feet.”

Elizabeth Lien - BFET Director

Elizabeth lien had spent 17 years working in the healthcare field as a certified Medical Technician, specializing in both Alzheimer and Dementia while working with the elderly within an in home setting. After winning a brief battle with cancer Elizabeth changed her career goals. Elizabeth started at the Ash Street Vintage and Beverage Bar and quickly progressed to becoming in charge of business management. She than acquired a new promotion as administration program specialist and is now currently the BFET Director in our Annex Office.

Jennifer Duncan – Business Outreach Coordinator

Jennie was born and raised in Spokane and graduated from EWU in 2015 with her BA Degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology. She is happily engaged to her fiancé and she has two teenage sons she raised in the Inland Northwest. Jennie has a passion for the outdoors and loves her Seattle Seahawks! Jennie started working at Fulcrum in February of 2016 as a visit supervisor and moved up to the BRT Outreach Coordinator allowing her to bring her passion for helping others achieve their goals and living out their dreams  by finding the right employment for the right individual.

Justin Van Elsberg - Education Director

Justin received his Bachelors of Science in Psychology and Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology at Washington State University (WSU) in 2013. Prior to graduation, he worked at the WSU Children’s Center as a lead teacher through the Evening Care program for low-income students. In addition to several independent research projects conducted under the Anthropology of Childhood heading, he received an in-house grant that took him to Chiang Mai, Thailand once, and co-wrote a grant through the National Science Foundation (NSF) that took him there again for a cross-cultural study of Mindfulness under the mentorship of Dr. Julia Cassaniti. During this time he also taught mathematics at a bi-lingual private institution, English through a low-income language school, and privately. He returned to Spokane in 2014, when he became a part of the Fulcrum team. He currently oversees the Education department, developing curriculum and teaching courses at Geiger Corrections Center that promote positive behavior and social reintegration.

Anthony Russell - Instructor

A graduate of Mead High School in the great city of Spokane Washington. Is an Air Force Veteran. Being stationed at the Air Force Special Operations Command From 2000 to 2005 was deployed to South America for the War on Drugs and the Middle East for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Tony is fairly decorated for his service.

2000-2005 Ran the international customer service department for Careerbuilder.com in Atlanta, GA. Was a team lead for the US customer service department, while also serving as a front end analyst.

2006-2008 Traveled from Hawaii, Florida, Washington, Oregon and the Cayman Islands studying and working as a chef.

2008-2012 Studied Sociology at Troy State University, Portland Community College and Portland State University.

2010-2014 Experience in group counseling Veterans at the VA in Portland, OR and Medford, OR. with PTSD, Drug and Alcohol addiction, job/life skills and Suicide prevention.

2011-2014 Has Volunteered at multiple homeless shelters/inpatient facilities working with mostly veterans and teens.
Co-writes a serial crime series with fiancé and local poet Devin Devine called Kiss the Messenger set in Spokane.
Has been writing and performing Comedy locally and the rest of the West Coast for the last 6 years.

Jennifer Poblete - Intake/Employment Specialist and Office/Education Coordinator

Jennifer was born in St. Maries, Idaho but raised in Spokane. She loves camping and being outdoors with her family. Jennifer received her Associates in Arts while working as a Preschool Lead Teacher for 5 years. In the future Jennifer plans on getting her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University. She started in the Interchange in September of 2014 and after a year and a half was promoted to the Intake/Employment Specialist and Office/Education Coordinator for the BFET program. Jennifer enjoys the work she does and the people she works with!



Copyright 2017
Fulcrum Institute 
211 West Augusta
Spokane, WA 99205
(509) 838.2799