October 18, 2011

ACR 2011 Annual Conference - Daily Recap #4

Saturday marked the final day of ACR's impressive 10th Annual Conference. Though an abbreviated day, they managed to pack in plenty of opportunities for professional development and personal connections. The following final day recap is far too brief to capture all that occurred, so I encourage those in attendance to supplement this and previous recaps (Pre-Conference, Day 1, Day 2 [1] & [2]) with their own take-aways using the comments section below.

Performance-Based Evaluation

The first session of the day was another exceptional Harmon/Ennis-Benn production, titled: "Performance-Based Evaluation [PBE] of Mediators: A Case Study." Maryland's impressively designed PBE system is "one part of a continuum of education offered statewide by Community Mediation Maryland and locally by its member community mediation centers." The system evaluates mediators using Maryland's own Inclusive Model of mediation, itself a newer construct drawing upon the field's best practices and input from many mediation stakeholders.  As use of this new evaluation system continues, CMM and related programs continue generously sharing their experiences and incorporating feedback into regular updates to the system.  For example, you can listen to Peter Taillie's (Executive Director, Mid Shore Community Mediation Center, Easton) recent teleseminar detailing his program's experience with PBE on NAFCM's teleseminar recordings webpage.

Presidential Luncheon

The day's final gathering, the Presidential Luncheon, treated attendees with a great lunch, brittle and fruit sorbet cocktails, and, again, plenty of time to continue strengthening connections. It also featured the final inspirational speech by outgoing ACR Board President Lou Gieszl, who took time to recap the Association's accomplishments under his leadership, including strengthened connections with institutions of higher education, the recently endorsed Model Standards of Mediator Certification Programs, continued advancements in diversity promotion, as well as much more. Lou has been an exceptional leader for ACR and will be surely missed. Thank you, Lou!

Following Lou was Perri E. Mayes, ACR's incoming President Elect, who will continue to champion the Association's recent successes and inspire us as we continue to advance and grow the field. Personally, I look forward to working with Perri, who herself has a strong history in community mediation and is committed to working with field partners in ACR's various initiatives. Welcome aboard, Perri!   

Renewed Connections

There were an impressive number of community mediation folks in San Diego this year. In fact, when Woody Mosten asked a packed Grande Ballroom audience how many attendees were connected in some way to community mediation, I was both shocked and strengthened to see at least a quarter of the hands quickly raised! Though I likely missed personally connecting with many of these exceptional colleagues, I am grateful for the renewed connections with which I've left the conference, including those with such marvelous people as: Lance Allen, Linda Baron, Anne Bers, Hubert L. Brown, Karmit Bulman, Suzanne Burnett, Ken Cloke, Louis Cohen, Geoffrey Corry, Margaret Crowley, Christy Cumberlander Walker, Teresa Cusma, Cheryl Cutrona, Lois Edmund, Michele Ennis-Benn, Clare Fowler, Lou Gieszl, Sarah Gonzales, Alan E. Gross, Mary Hancock, Caroline Harmon, Tim Hicks, Pyllis D. K. Hildreth, Megan Johnston, Dai Kato, Kay C. Kenyon, Marya Kolman, Juliana Konze, Carrie Landrum, Jim Lingl, Perri E. Mayes, Catherine McCracken, Mike McLeroy, Jim Melamed, Jody B. Miller, Mary N. Miller, Ron Nelson, Jennifer Noffke, Tamra Pearson d'Estree, Charlie Pillsbury, Tim Pownall, Sharon PressDonzell RobinsonJonathan Rosenthal, Colin Rule, Duane Ruth-Heffelbower, Bill Stempel, Terri Stokes, Jeanne Tarantino, Avis Ridley-Thomas, Angelia Tolbert, Hector Valdez, Linda Waters, Bill Warters, Chris Welsh, John Windmueller, Rachel Wohl, Patrick Wolff, Zena Zumeta, and many other warm colleagues whose names I'll remember immediately after this posts. 

New Orleans 2012

And thus closes ACR's 10th Annual Conference. We hope many of you are already penning in ACR's 11th Annual soiree, scheduled for September 12-15 in New Orleans. NAFCM is planning an even larger presence for New Orleans (more details to come...) and looks forward to connecting with so many of you in the Big Easy! Until then, hope you've enjoyed the daily updates and found some helpful resources linked throughout the last five (3,200+ word) posts!

In community,
Executive Director, NAFCM  

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