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Our Story

The Step to Center Story

Betsy Ross noticed that many of the colleagues she was meeting as a divorce mediator and collaborative divorce coach were confident in their professional skills and knowledge, but puzzled about best practices for dealing with people. There were questions about how to talk with a difficult client, work better with a problematic peer, and bring up sensitive issues.  Betsy came to realize that the skills she employed as a group therapist could be utilized by professionals to improve their working lives through building better interpersonal skills.
At the time, other than stealing a few moments before or after a work meeting, there were no dedicated spaces to discuss these types of dilemmas and learn skills to better address them.
That’s when Betsy met Ellen Waldorf who was having a similar experience.  Professionals with no other options reached out to Ellen, an attorney focused on mediating divorces, for help resolving conflicts at work.  Ellen employed the skills she uses with divorcing spouses to help professionals clarify their concerns and employ strategies for engaging others.  Ellen, too, had realized that these professionals excelled in their fields yet at times lacked the skills to respond effectively to others.  Ellen recognized that the “people” skills that are helpful in the workplace are rarely part of professional training.
Betsy and Ellen saw an imbalance between professional expertise and the interpersonal skills needed to get the job done.  Betsy and Ellen founded Step to Center to teach professionals the missing pieces – the tools needed to overcome difficult human interactions, improve interpersonal communication, and flourish in the workplace.

Our Founders


Betsy Ross

For over 30 years, Betsy Ross has helped individuals, groups, families, and organizations talk to each other more, fight less, and improve their ability to address issues or challenges and problem solve together. Betsy draws on training in three different disciplines (psychotherapy, coaching, and mediation) to build her clients’ skills to improve their relationships (personal as well as professional) and successfully navigate the lumps and bumps of major life shifts such as a job/career change, partnership/marriage end, or other anticipated/unanticipated changes. Betsy is the principal of Betsy Ross Coaching and Divorce Mediation Strategies.

Betsy has designed and facilitated training programs for a variety of organizations including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Medical Center, daycare and child welfare organizations, and non-profits. She has presented customized workshops and seminars on a variety of topics, co-written a book, and served as a blogger for the Huffington Post Divorce Blog. Betsy’s writings and original points of view have appeared in the Boston Globe and on a variety of professional websites as well as on A Plus (Ashton Kutcher’s digital media outlet). Betsy has a B.A. from the University of Vermont and an M.S.W. from Fordham University.


Ellen Waldorf

Ellen helps individuals and families stymied by difficult conversations in their work or personal lives. Ellen is the principal of eWaldorf Mediation where she mediates divorces, facilitates family discussions among adult children and their siblings or parents, and consults with individuals who have run out of ideas for dealing with challenging interpersonal situations. 

Ellen is a frequent speaker, sharing mediation skills with fellow practitioners and bringing these skills to new audiences. Ellen co-leads Divorce Mediation Training Associates and sits on the board of the Community Dispute Settlement Center

Ellen draws on her prior professional experiences working for a private investor, practicing corporate law, clerking for a federal appellate court judge, teaching English in China, interning for “Late Night with David Letterman,” and summering at ESPN. Ellen has a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law.