Core Teachers

Lori Grace, M.A. has been an active member of the Sierra Club, NRDC, EDF and the Union of Concerned Scientists for over 20 years. Lori trained with Al Gore at the Climate Project in January of 2007. She is committed to sharing with people about global warming. She enjoys teaching people how they can make a significant contribution to our planet by substantially reducing their carbon output. She actively encourages others to do so as well; all while saving money and having fun! Lori is a leader in the alternative fuels movement (both ethanol & biodiesel), which she uses in her own cars.

Lori’s passion is to inspire people to live a greener life. She continues to research, and implement, the best solutions that she can find to reducing our carbon footprint.

Lori is the Founder and Director of Sunrise Center, a popular nonprofit organization that is over 20 years old. Lori has been studying and teaching approaches to communication and conflict resolution for over ten years. She is actively involved in practicing & teaching Compassionate Communication (also known as NVC, or Nonviolent Communication). This is an essential part of the skills she uses to connect compassionately with others and herself; to feel peaceful and inspired in daily life.

Phil Willcher, MH, CHT  is a gifted, certified hypnotherapist, N.L.P. practitioner and life coach.

He is passionate about offering tools for self-empowerment so that people can learn to be more response-able; i.e., make better conscious choices to life situations, instead of being reactive to them, or feeling like a victim.

Phil was one of the first Sylva Mind Control Instructors in the Sixties. Over the past thirty-five years, he has been been involved in human growth potential, Yoga, Martial Arts, and studying and teaching Meditation, NVC (aka Compassionate Communication), and other models of communication.

Phil has a private practice in Marin County and is available for groups, couples and singles. For an appointment with Phil call 415-203-8277.

Since 2000, Ritch Davidson, M.A.H. has been Sunrise Center’s Senior Junior Executive Assistant in Charge of Something Sometimes Office Guy. He absolutely relishes the daily opportunities to serve and to be in connection with the larger Sunrise Center community via his role there, be it answering phones, sending e-mail announcements, graphic designing flyers and newsletters, or creating pages and maintaining this Sunrise Center website.

Ritch has been studying Nonviolent Communication since 2002 and in 2005 completed the nine-day International Intensive Training (IIT) led by NVC founder, Marshall M. Rosenberg, PhD and other NVC certified trainers, including Robert Gonzales (see his bio in this section). In 2007 he completed Robert Gonzales’ week-long training on the Embodied Spirituality of NVC.

Ritch has been co-teaching Growing More Loving with Compassionate Communication with Lori Grace, co-facilitating Sunrise Center’s Practice Groups and Conflict Improv evenings with other SC Teachers since 2005.

Additionally, Ritch Davidson is the Senior Vice Emperor of Playfair, Inc., an international consulting company that offers keynote presentations, management seminars and playfulness trainings to over 100,000 people every year. He is an innovator in the design and presentation of programs that focus on the value and impact of humor in team building, stress management, and living a healthier worklife. Additionally, he helped conduct research for Playfair Emperor, Matt Weinstein’s, best selling business book, Managing to Have Fun (Simon & Schuster, 1997).

Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Ritch graduated from Kiddie Haven Nursery School in 1955. He has a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Humanities and completed a four-year training program in organizational development consulting. Ritch is a published photographer and, each summer since 1979 he travels to Oregon for a five-day river rafting trip to which he has pledged to continue every year for the rest of his life.

Ritch can be reached personally at: or through Sunrise Center at 415-924-7824 and Please also visit him at Playfair’s website: where you can send a friend a Standing Ovation!

Katrina Vaillancourt is a mother, an artist, a dancer, a raw desserts chef, and a teacher of compassionate communication.

She has been studying and practicing Compassionate Communication for more than 5 years. She is committed to keeping her communications clear with all other people in her life, including her teenage son.

Katrina is the creator of several tools to empower win/win ways of life. One is a 2-sided sheet called, “NVC in a Nutshell”. Another is  the Heart Centered Communication Card Set, a communication tool that supports and trains your emotional intelligence, ability to resolve conflict, and ability to transform any upset in to opportunity. These tools and guided exercises are based on the principles of Non-Violent Communication, transformation, and universal spirituality.

More on Katrina and her heart-based offerings can be viewed at

Simon Fentress is an entrepreneur and artist who’s passion includes optimal health and compassion for all beings. Raw food vegan for 12 years & father of five, Simon serves to inspire people to live healthy holistic lives that creates optimal health personally, interpersonally and globally. He holds a Masters Degree in Interdisciplinary studies in education, speech, and theater. He has owned businesses ranging in diversity from real estate development, raw food education to videography.



Donny Regal is a composer, musician and recording artist currently living in Marin. He owns and operates an audio/visual facility in Marin as well as Maui, where he draws upon nature for his musical inspiration. A devoted fan of Sacred music, Donny guides people through sound to experience profound levels of spiritual understanding and connection.




Francesca Gentillé has experienced profound loss, discovery, and recovery in her life including disownment, death in the family, adoption, job loss, and addiction. She has extensively studied many communication systems including Nonviolent Communication with its founder Marshall Rosenberg. She brings a deep compassion, passion, and understanding of divine paradox and the quest for meaning & purpose in all things.

Francesca can be reached at

See her website:


Ed Ellsworth creates and administers the websites for Sunrise Center, the Institute for Democracy and Election Integrity, Celebrations of Love, Hale Akua Garden Farm and Pali Uli. He also offers technical support with the Mac and PC for the Sunrise Center team. He videotapes and photographs performances and events, creates DVD discs and Audio CDs, and is the technical director at events. He teaches classes on How to Monetize Your Website.  Ed Ellsworth has been on the Sunrise Center board of directors.

His website is here:

We request that you sign up in advance for our classes and events. We require at least four people pre-registered, at least one day prior to the session in order to hold it. This also helps the presenter to better prepare for you. Thank you!