I am extremely excited for what 2017 has to offer for the members of the Southern California Mediation Association. There are several events and programs that will serve the mediation community in a variety of areas. The first opportunity is on February 11 at USC where we will provide a program on the latest updates regarding mediator confidentiality from the California Law Review Commission. In addition to that, please be on the lookout for events on cultural intelligence, mediator ethics, diversity in alternative dispute resolution, employment mediation, collaborative family mediation, and much more! In addition to all that, we will continue the tradition of honoring our past presidents at the breakfast held in April.
Before I go any further, I would like to acknowledge the amazing Board Of Directors that is helping to serve the membership of this great organization. President-Elect Jack Goetz has already become an invaluable resource to me personally and to the rest of the Board Of Directors. I am excited to see what is in store for the association during his term as President. He is serving as an advisor for the annual Conference committee and I have very high hopes for that impressive team. Leslie Kushner has agreed to serve as Secretary and I am very appreciative of her contributions while she is continuing to lead the Outreach committee with Bill Molfetta. Noah Stein has volunteered to serve as Treasurer in place of Stephane Maloney who served the association extremely well for so many years and we thank her for her service. Lee Blackman will continue leading the Communications committee and I appreciate the efforts he puts in to making the SCMA website the best it can be. John Irwin and Jim Cameron are leading our Membership committee and I am excited to see what they bring to our current and future members. A special thank you goes to David Levaton for continuing to lead the Mentorship program, which is one of the most important member benefits we have here at SCMA. Finally, Mark Lewis will continue to serve as Coordinator of Professional Development Groups, or PDG’s as we call them. His level of enthusiasm remains unmatched as he helps our members create new PDG’s in their geographic areas of residence or practice.
The people that were mentioned as leaders of the different aspects of the association are great, but what makes these committees work best is when we have members that are working with them. I encourage you all to consider joining a committee. In doing so, you are helping to further the association and the mediation community.
Finally, it is important to continue the tradition of accessibility that our past President, Floyd Siegal, began. With that in mind, I invite you reach out to me at any time – firstname.lastname@example.org/562-225-9958 – to let me know how we are doing, what we’re doing right, and what we could be doing better.
If I don’t see you at a PDG meeting, I look forward to seeing you at the next SCMA program.
Jason A. Harper, President
Southern California Mediation Association