Meet the Team

Wayne Jacobsen
President, BridgeBuilders

As the founder and President of BridgeBuilders Wayne Jacobsen is a nationally recognized specialist in disarming cultural conflicts, especially those that involve church/state issues. His workshops have been used at state and national education conventions as well as at local school districts across the United States. He has mediated conflicts to near-unanimous consensus and has written on these issues for a host of education journals.  He was called to testify before the United States Commission on Civil Rights and was on the drafting team of The American Assembly’s consensus document on Religion in American Public Life. He also helped the First Amendment Center facilitate the new Sexual Orientation and Public Schools guidelines

Through his mediation and ability to facilitate dialogue in the most divisive issues, Wayne has brought broad-based consensus to conflicted groups that had been paralyzed for months previous. He also presents a briefer presentation for community groups, service clubs and education conferences entitled, "Disarming Controversy Through Common Ground Thinking."

Here are some of the articles Wayne has published on these cultural conflicts and how Common Ground Thinking can reshape the debate and turn dissent into constructive dialogue.


Phyllis Coletta
BridgeBuilders Consultant

Phyllis recently joined BridgeBuilders as an attorney and consultant .  Her sixteen years in litigation convinced her that the courtroom was the wrong venue to solve conflicts since it only resulted in greater animosity rather than reconciliation.  A certified teacher, Phyllis returned to the classroom to teach high school English and discovered first-hand the difficulties faced by schools in a fast-changing and diverse political, cultural, and religious environment. Now, trained as a mediator she combines those experiences as a peacemaker in helping school districts use a First Amendment model to resolve conflicts by helping opposing factions find lawful and fair resolutions without compromising their principles and values.

You can contact Phyllis directly at our Colorado Office:
401 S. 4th Street  •  Westcliffe, CO 81252 •  719-371-1158

For more information you can hear part of Wayne's Common Ground Presentation or read about his work in articles by the Ventura County Star and the Fresno Bee. You can also read What Others Are Saying about BridgeBuilders.