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In Nov. 2021 after ten years of our evolving mission and impact, we changed our name to Gathering Ground. You may still find reference to our old name Creative New Jersey in posts created prior to Nov. 2021.

Welcome New Board Member: Debra Sabatini Hennelly!

We are delighted to welcome three new board members to Gathering Ground, among them, Debra Sabatini Hennelly.  Read below to learn more about Debra.

Debra Sabatini Hennelly

Debra Sabatini Hennelly is founder and president of Resiliti, providing advisory services and experiential learning to help organizations create cultures of candor, inclusion, integrity, and innovation.

She helps leaders and teams—from boardrooms to breakrooms—address obstacles to ethical decision-making and psychological safety, increasing trust, collaboration, wellbeing, and productivity. Her innovative approaches to fostering ethical leadership and holistic risk management are grounded in her engineering and legal background and decades of corporate leadership.

Debbie is an adjunct professor in Fordham University Law School’s Program on Corporate Ethics & Compliance, a Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.) program. She also advises and coaches ethics and compliance professionals, helping them lead effectively and develop strategies for personal resilience. She holds a Certificate in Wellness Counseling from Cornell University. She is also a certified “Elephant Rider” Practitioner, using Riders&Elephants’ Emotional Culture facilitation techniques to help inspire emotional awareness, candor, and connection with leaders and teams.

She frequently speaks at conferences, has been interviewed on several podcasts, and writes on several platforms. Most recently, she co-authored two articles for Harvard Business Review: “Resilient Organizations Make Psychological Safety a Strategic Priority” and “Bridging Generational Divides in Your Workplace.” She is also the author of the book, “Presence in Chaos – 365 Mindful Moments.”

Prior to her corporate experience, Debbie practiced environmental law with firms in Washington, DC, and New Jersey. Before practicing law, she was a civil/environmental engineer and supervised construction in the oil and gas industry.

She earned her B.S.E. In Civil/Environmental Engineering from Duke University and her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Read Debra’s latest article in the Harvard Business Review:

Fun Facts About Debra

  • Doing something creative is her favorite way to relax – gardening, cooking, photography, watercolors, sewing
  • She’s been singing in chorales and choirs since high school
  • She’s mom to three grown daughters and grandma of two toddler boys, and is passionate about exploring genealogy and documenting family history

Learn more about Debra at


“The convening in Orange of 80+ people last March under the banner of the Orange Call to Collaboration allowed us the opportunity to expand our arts-as-the-engine-of-urban-revitalization movement from 15 blocks to the whole city of 33,000 people. The Orange Call to Collaboration is becoming an umbrella for public and private initiatives to innovatively confront our urban challenges and to celebrate our culture and diversity.”

– Patrick Morrissy, Former Executive Director, HANDS, Inc. (Orange)