March 6, 2012

2012 Board Elections

NAFCM has now released its Ballot for the 2012 Board Election! There is an impressive, diverse group of nine candidates on this year's Ballot. We encourage you to review the candidates (below the break) and cast your vote today! 

Helping to choose our Board of Directors is an important way you can shape the direction of not only NAFCM, but the broader community mediation movement.

NOTE: Voting in the annual election is open to current NAFCM members only. If you are not a current member, please join or renew your membership today. Once renewed, a link to the official ballot will be emailed to you. Be sure to act fast! Voting closes Friday, March 16th.

In community,
Executive Director, NAFCM


LOCATION: Washington D.C. 

I was trained as a mediator by the Center for Dispute Settlement in April of 1992, and was subsequently certified as a mediator in June of 1993. I am very familiar with the policies, procedures and ethical guidelines that guide the work of a dispute resolver. Over the years, I have served as a mediator in a variety of settings including community setting (D.C. Mediation Services), employment setting (Senior Mediator in the Shared Neutral’s Program for the past six years) and arts setting (Washington Area Mediation for the Arts). I have also served a detail with the Department of Justice as a Conciliation Specialist. In this capacity, I have facilitated discussions and resolved disputes between a Joint U.S. Military Task Force and migrant Cuban refugees who were interned in refugee camps in Guantanamo Bay Cuba. Over the years I have trained and mentored my share of junior mediators in the federal sector. I have also trained foreign political leaders in dispute resolution techniques on behalf of the Washington House. I have also received training as an Arbitrator from organizers of the Shared Neutral’s Program. I am currently a member of the pre-eminent international organization in Dispute Resolution, the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR). As a member of ACR, I am active in the Workplace and International sections. I've served as a member of ACR's Washington Chapter’s Community Outreach subcommittee. 

I've been involved in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution since 1992, when I was trained and functioned as a community mediator in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Over the past 19 years I've functioned in a number of capacities in the Dispute Resolution Community. I designed and implemented the first ADR program for the patent and Trademark Office in 1994. I've performed mediation services for DC Mediation Services with a specialty in multi-cultural conflict. I have facilitated workshops for the Center for Disease Control during their annual conferences for chronic illnesses. I have also been invited by the National Multi Cultural Institute and the Washington House Group to make bi-lingual presentations on the legal profession and on ADR to a varied international audience. I have always enjoyed the opportunity to engage an audience in discussion of my profession or my passion for conflict resolution. As an employment law attorney since 1987 I have seized every opportunity to promote ADR as an alternative mechanism for resolving disputes in the workplace and I've either organized or participated in conferences and symposiums which main aim was to promote dispute resolution. I bring to any organization I join my unique perspective as a trained social worker, lawyer and afro latin american native. 

  1. Strengthen the relationship between NAFCM and the ADR community in the Washington DC metropolitan area;
  2. Improve the marketing of NAFCM services to the DC community; and
  3. Strengthen the fund raising capacity of the NAFCM. 

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CANDIDATE: Karen Davis 
LOCATION: Fort Worth, TX 

I am very active within my community for the past 10 years. I am a formal City Councilwoman and Mayor Pro-Tem, I have served on several local, state and federal committees and boards. I have build a great community base support system from elected officials, Fortune 50-500 companies, to the Capital and Washington DC (formal Lobbyist). In 2010 I was the Presidential Obama Appointment under Schedule C of Intergovernmental US Board of Mediation. 

I know with my level of expert knowledge in the area of governmental affairs as well as my personal relationship with most of the Cabin and House official I can be the voice and hears for the NAFCM. 

  1. Professional Membership, 
  2. Diversity within the NAFCM Organization and Board, 
  3. Provide training, and 
  4. Community Base Board where people can post events, conf, training, etc... 

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CANDIDATE: Brad Heckman 

I serve as CEO of the New York Peace Institute – a paradoxical organization. We’re simultaneously old and young. We started in 1981 as a program of Safe Horizon – and since June 2011, we’re a new, independent organization. I can truly relate to the “new” NAFCM, which combines the wisdom of its impressive history with the energy of a creative start-up. 

Prior to promoting mediation in New York City, I helped set up the first community mediation centers in the former Soviet bloc, as International Director of Partners for Democratic Change. I’ve learned – and continue to learn – about such things as:
  • Advancing our field through traditional and new media outlets, and creative outreach strategies. 
  • Embracing entrepreneurial thinking, finding creative ways to sustain mediation centers in challenging financial times. 
  • Building a community of practice, whether among our 200+ mediators and the New York City ADR community, or across mediation centers throughout Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. 
  • Having lots of fun while doing all the above. 
The NAFCM community – its people, resources, RTI’s , and spirited e-mail exchanges – has been invaluable throughout it all. Now more than ever. 

PERSONAL STATEMENT: I feel this is one of the most exciting periods in our field in the nearly 20 years I’ve been involved in ADR. Mediation is increasingly represented in mass media and popular culture – to wit, "Confronting" on Oprah’s network, the award-winning documentary "The Interrupters", and an upcoming MTV youth mediation show. The Occupy movements have embraced and developed innovative consensus-building techniques. However, while our profession grows in the zeitgeist, the momentum we’re gaining is challenged by funding cuts, the need to increase our connectivity as the technological landscape changes, and the urgency to galvanize our field into the movement it deserves to be. 

NAFCM is at the center of this critical juncture in our history. NAFCM is honoring its venerable history while ushering in the next generation of peace leaders, coalescing our field while embracing its diversity, and passionately promoting community mediation while injecting much needed humor and levity. I would welcome the opportunity to throw myself into this creative cauldron, as these challenges and opportunities truly resonate with my experiences promoting community mediation in New York City and internationally. As a fan of NAFCM’s renewed vigor and energetic leadership, I would be delighted to serve on its board. 

  1. Increase NAFCM’s visibility among members, through enhancing the association’s internet and social media presence, raising awareness of member benefits, and further developing NAFCM’s brand and personality. 
  2. Develop on-site events (e.g. trainings, film screenings, discussions) in partnership with New York Peace Institute, in order to promote awareness of NAFCM, generate income, and recruit and retain members. This strategy might be replicated in other communities nationwide. 
  3. Build broad public awareness of the mediation field beyond our fellow-travelers, harnessing the NAFCM’s nationwide reach to explore mass media and social networking opportunities. 

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CANDIDATE: Laura Jeffords 
LOCATION: Asheville, NC 

I've been on the staff of the Mediation Center since 2006. I started working as a community mediation coordinator, and have been the executive director since 2008. 

I am trained in community, Medicaid, and superior court mediation. One of my favorite things to do is work with groups. Whether it's a facilitated planning meeting or a community conflict, it's fascinating to see how the mediation process works no matter what. 

I'm fascinated by all the ways that mediation is important in communities across the country and I'm glad to be part of the NAFCM community where we can call be connected. 

I am the Executive Director of the Mediation Center which serves four counties in the mountains of North Carolina. Since 2006, I've been on the staff of the Mediation Center as a mediator and trainer, and I've been the director since 2008. 

One of my favorite things about mediation is a match one of my own core beliefs - that most problems have a solution! We only need creative and effective processes to find those solutions. 

My strongest skills are in making strategy-based plans and bringing them to fruition. I enjoy helping groups plan together, and then watching those plans unfold - whether it's over a week or several years. I also have strong skills around grant seeking strategy, grant writing and financial management. 

I've enjoyed seeing NAFCM re-awaken over the past few years, and I've love to be part of the next steps. Mediation already has an important place in the US, and yet there is room to grow deeper roots and expand NAFCM's impact. I would like to help deepen NAFCM's connection to North Carolina and our 20+ community mediation agencies, as well as being part of a national strategy. 

  1. To deepen NAFCM's connection to North Carolina by helping NAFCM increase the membership in and around NC and increase the engagement of current NAFCM members. 
  2. To serve as a resource in grant seeking. I can help develop ideas about what kinds of grants are useful for NAFCM and provide support for developing compelling proposals. 
  3. To support support a planning process around how NAFCM can continue to support community mediation centers in sharing resources and knowledge. 

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LOCATION: Louisville, KY 

Field Involvement: My interest began in college as a cultural anthropology major studying and assessing the impact of different perspectives, experiences and communication expectations on relationships in church and community settings. Mediating conflict has been a function of my role as a Youth Minister, Attorney, Community Organizer and now as a community consultant focused on enhancing community outcomes. While I am certified as a mediator, I have never had that role formally. However, whether it is my present involvement as a member of my neighborhood association or professional experience working with state and communities to developed community lead solutions I have put my mediation knowledge to work following the maxim “nothing about us without us.” 

This consultation and coaching provided to state, public and community-based organizations on human services/system development and effectiveness, leadership development, strategic planning and communication, cultural intuitiveness, sustainability and evaluation within the areas of focus have been HIV/AIDs, early childhood development, cultural competency, substance abuse and sustainability within both community-based and governmental rubrics test the very core of my mediation skills. 

Through-out professional and personal endeavors the culture and systems of organizations and the communities they serve and the processes followed to raise and resolve conflict has been something I have been drawn to, not shied away from. My experience has continued to sharpen my communication, strategic planning and cultural competency skills. In my work I have been engaged in developing communication/awareness campaigns to raise interest in issues that either were taboo (AIDS) or not viewed as an issue (tobacco and alcohol use), while focusing on what the audience was ready and capable to hear and digest. I currently use a process, I helped to develop, called DABing™. Additionally, I have been a member of several successful grant writing teams which targeted federal, state and local community sources. I also engaged individuals and communities throughout Florida in a conversation about cultural competency, where I introduced Cultural Intuitiveness™. This process focuses on taking a paper measurement of organizational and system health, regarding cultural competency, to experienced, valued, reality. This past year I have continued my work in large urban communities in Florida, rural communities in Illinois, as well as, with the team at La FundaciĆ³n Abuelitos de la Calle in Quito Ecuador. 

  1. To expand the impact of the work of the association by expanding the reach and saturation of present communication mechanism that will increase the number and activity of champions and stakeholders. 
  2. To sustain the impact of the Board by embedding the IDEAL (inclusive, diverse, effective, action-oriented, leadership service) into the culture of the Board increasing the responsiveness and flexibility of the board to meet the needs of the association. 
  3. To provide support to the staff and members by creating access to additional outside expertise and expanded resources in order to enhancing their work. 

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CANDIDATE: Steffanie Medina 
LOCATION: San Luis Obispo, CA 

Nearly three years ago I was fortunate to become a staff member at Creative Mediation, the community mediation program in San Luis Obispo, CA. With a background in counseling, I quickly learned first-hand the unrivaled value of mediation as a unique and effective method for resolving issues and mending relationships. Through my work with Creative Mediation I have been involved in a wide variety of mediation service offerings including Small Claims, Elder, Parent-Teen, Civil Harassment, Unlawful Detainer, Juvenile Dependency, and Workplace. I have also become the lead trainer for both our basic and advanced mediation training courses as well as school-based Peer Mediation training. Finally, I am directing our team to develop programs to serve our community in the areas of child custody disputes and military family mediation. 

Creative Mediation has developed strong collaborative relationships with a number of other community mediation programs within the state of California. Connections made through conferences such as those put on by ACR or the Administrative Office of the Courts have reinforced the invaluable worth of community mediation programs working together to make the most of our limited resources. Through collaborating with other agencies, I have been continually challenged and inspired to strengthen the mediation and training programs offered by Creative Mediation. 

In my role as Program Director, I cannot avoid the harsh realities of the uphill struggle inherent to keeping community mediation programs afloat. In addition, given the current developmental state of the field of mediation as a whole, the call to deliver mediation services of the utmost ethical and professional quality has never been so important. In an effort to support the mission of my own organization as well as the broader field of community mediation, I believe it is my responsibility as a practitioner and leader to maintain awareness and presence within both my local mediation community and the national mediation community. As the field of mediation continues to grow the role of community mediation programs will continue to evolve and refine its mission, goals and practices. It is critical that professionals in the community mediation arena actively participate in the discussions surrounding certification and credentialing, training, and diversity of practice models in order to ensure that the value of the services we provide and the constituents we serve continue to be acknowledged as a vital element of the ADR tapestry. I would be honored to serve as a member of the NAFCM Board of Directors to support the further development of community mediation. 

  1. Promote Awareness of the History of Community Mediation –Each individual who joins the ranks of a community mediation program should have the opportunity to be exposed to the history of the field and understand how community mediation fits into the broader picture of ADR. 
  2. Contribute to the On-Going Discussion about Training, Credentialing and Certification - The unique conditions within which community mediation centers operate require dedicated advocacy during discussions concerning professional training, credentialing and certification. 
  3. Enhance Supportive Services – The enhancement of supportive services throughout the NAFCM network will allow for optimal leveraging of collaborative resources in a climate of limited funding. 

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CANDIDATE: Kelly Riley 

My involvement with community mediation began in 1998 when I was trained in basic mediation and also affiliated with The Mediation Center (TMC), a community mediation center in Lincoln, Nebraska. I am still affiliated with TMC though I currently do not mediate many cases because of time restraints due to my work with the Nebraska Mediation Association (NMA). In addition to basic, I have also been trained in family and facilitation. All of my mediation training has been through NMA (previously Nebraska Mediation Center Association [NMCA]) and my trainers were staff from the Nebraska community mediation centers. 

The Call for Nomination that NAFCM sent out was very intriguing to me because of the request for people with a background in collaborative technologies and association management, as well as representation from the state of Nebraska. As I was thinking about this opportunity, a member of the Nebraska Mediation Association (NMA) Board of Directors called and asked if I would consider being nominated to the NAFCM Board. I said yes. 

At the January NMA BOD meeting, she presented her request to the full board and there was consensus that they would encourage and support my nomination. 

I currently work with NMA and manage the following: member services; the training institute (we provide basic, family and advanced trainings including trainings specifically for staff and affiliates of the community mediation centers in the state); continuing education opportunities including monthly webinars; the website including design and maintenance; finances; and administrative work. 

A goal of NMA is to be accessible and make continuing education available to all mediators across the state. To accomplish this goal, we offer monthly webinars that I facilitate and record for our archive. I also submit every webinar for CME approval through the Nebraska Office of Dispute Resolution. 

  1. Membership, 
  2. Training opportunities for mediators and staff of community mediation centers, and 
  3. Growing NAFCM as a resource expander. 

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CANDIDATE: Peter Taillie 
NOTE: Peter is running for a second three-year term on the NAFCM Board of Directors. 

Director and founder of Mid Shore Community Mediation, Easton, MD for 7 years. Community Mediation Maryland board member for 6 years 2005 to 2011. Member Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO) Mediator Excellence Council 2012. Performance certified with Maryland Council on Dispute Resolution and performance certified with Community Mediation Maryland. I have conducted over 500 volunteer mediations in the past 7 years. 

I have served for 3 years on the Board of Directors of NAFCM and I am passionate about the organization's mission, excited about its potential and enthusiastic about the quality of the board as it develops. 

  1. Establish sustainable funding. 
  2. Expand the resources offered to member centers, especially the NAFCM Clearing House Project. 
  3. Help set standards of practice in the national community mediation arena. 

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CANDIDATE: Malcolm White 
LOCATION: Las Vegas, NV 
NOTE: Malcolm is running for a second three-year term on the NAFCM Board of Directors. 

I am currently a 12 year employee of the Justice Court Neighborhood Justice Center in the position of Senior Mediation Specialist. My duties include the development of court related mediation programs in Clark County Justice Court. I also oversee all outreach mediation programming, and community education. 

I believe I can make a difference in education and advancing the use of mediation as a first choice for those in the all communities. NAFCM is the leader in information and education for professionals looking to gain exposure to the practice of mediation. My experience working with both non-profit and government allows for a perspective that may be of value to those seeking to create or maintain a successful community mediation center. 

  1. Goal to increase market share and membership for NAFCM 10% over the next three years. This can be done buy working with current member centers to increase awareness of membership benefits for the volunteers. 
  2. Help to identify and establish partnerships with ADR organizations to increase funding to community mediation through collaborations. 
  3. Work to bring awareness to minority mediators and to educate minority groups to the benefits of mediation. 

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