Deb Marois, MS, Principal and Founder
Principal Deb Marois believes that change begins when our hearts are touched and our imaginations are sparked. Deb's real-world experience combined with theoretical rigor and strategic thinking helps clients convene diverse participants, create shared goals and advance toward a common vision. She offers expertise in asset-based community development and civic engagement; participatory strategic planning; facilitating consensus decision making; conflict resolution; program evaluation and qualitative research.
Through Converge CRT, Deb leads a variety of collaborative planning, implementation and research projects on issues ranging from mental health innovation, obesity prevention, and youth engagement to SB375 implementation, climate adaptation, and regional equity. Not one to walk a traditional path, she moves confidently into complex collaborative situations, sees beyond polarities, and listens deeply to clarify issues and discover desired outcomes. Deb meets people where they are with acceptance, curiosity and discernment to help clients and stakeholders:
After Deb completed a master’s degree in Community Development at UC Davis in 2005, she founded Marois Consulting & Research, the precursor to Converge. In addition to her own projects, she has a history of affiliation with the Center for Collaborative Policy at California State University Sacramento and the Public Health Institute’s Center for Collaborative Planning. Over the last 20 years, Deb has trained hundreds of government and nonprofit staff, health and human service professionals, educators, advocates, youth, faith-based and neighborhood leaders in asset-based community engagement, participatory strategic planning, collaborative leadership and group facilitation skills.
A life-long learner, Deb delights in having her own perspective expanded. She volunteers to support community improvement efforts such as the UC Davis Center for Regional Change, Movement As Medicine, and Skyline Harvest Eco-Contemplative Center. In her off-time, you can find Deb practicing Open Floor movement, dancing the 5 Rhythms, enjoying nature, creating and supporting art, and traveling to new places. View her LinkedIn profile.
Adele James, MA, CPC, Senior Associate
Adele James is a strategic partner with Converge CRT and the founder of Adele James Consulting & Coaching. She loves working with individuals, nonprofit professionals and teams to articulate values as the starting place for work and life that are nourishing, balanced and sustaining. Adele is particularly drawn to those who find themselves at a crossroads professionally and personally, and despite apprehensions and uncertainty, hunger for self-discovery and exploration of new possibilities.
Adele works with statewide, regional and local groups to conduct program planning, organizational capacity building, coaching, strategic planning and program evaluation. She has over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors, having commissioned and/or facilitated grant programs totaling $176 million throughout California as a program officer for The Women’s Foundation of California, The California Endowment, and The San Francisco Foundation. She is also adjunct faculty to the University of San Francisco Nonprofit Master’s Program. Adele holds a M.A. from Stanford University in International Development Education, and a B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University.
Kamaljeet Khaira, Associate
Kamaljeet Khaira is a strategic partner with Converge CRT with expertise in community engagement, youth development, community-based participatory research and health & wellness in the workplace. She is currently an independent consultant working with local, state and national non-profits and government agencies. Kamal offers clients and partners a uniquely practical perspective on the dynamics of implementing new ideas, leading and motivating community groups and activating strategic relationships. She was most recently the Program Director for Public Health Institute’s (PHI) Center for Wellness and Nutrition with responsibility for the delivery of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) funded public health programs, marketing, communications, partnerships and research & evaluation activities, in collaboration with the California Department of Public Health.
Prior to her work with PHI, Kamal held senior management roles with the American Heart Association (AHA), Western States Affiliate, and was the Senior Vice President for Youth Market. In June 2012, she was named the recipient of the Ted K. Bradshaw Memorial Alumnus Award which honors an University of California, Davis alumnus who exemplifies passion, humanity, and devotion for community empowerment. She holds a bachelor degree in exercise physiology and a minor in nutrition, and a master’s in community and regional development, both from the University of California, Davis.
Gwyn “Sage” Pasquale, MPH, Associate
Sage combines 15 years of public-sector policy and management experience with superb analytical, research and writing/presentation skills. A graduate of the U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health, she enjoys translating complex concepts and data into useful information. Her work with Converge includes data analysis and presentation, writing, and editing.
View her LinkedIn profile.
Norma Springsteen, Associate
Norma has 25 years of experience providing administrative support to individuals and teams in government, non profits and private industry. She excels at helping executives get and stay organized, editing/proofreading, meeting preparation including taking minutes and preparing presentations, research, and trouble-shooting.
View her LinkedIn profile.