SCMA’s Annual Family Institute 2018 Was A Success!
The inaugural 2018 SCMA Family Mediation Institute – “Essential Skills and Innovative Approaches for Family Mediators” was held this past weekend at the Doubletree OC Airport location. Family mediators from Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego Counties gathered together for the 2-day event and participated in workshops, networking activities, an Exhibitor Hall and Book Fair.
The event kicked off with Friday’s workshop “The Emotionally Intelligent Mediator” presented by Keynote Speaker, Dr. Sam Alibrando and was followed by a Mixer and Reception on the Lakeside Patio where attendees were able to socialize and network.
On Saturday, institute attendees chose from 6 workshops on topics that included the business aspect of establishing, managing and growing a mediation practice, new technologies for delivering mediation services, parenting plans and co-parenting issues in divorce, and how mediators can collaborate effectively with mental health professionals. In the afternoon workshop attendees learned new skills to competently address financial issues, including support, division of marital property and the challenges that come with real estate and retirement assets.
The luncheon Keynote, “Lessons from the Yellow Brick Road – Helping Clients Navigate Divorce” was an enjoyable presentation by Dr. Sam Alibrando based on his book, Follow the Yellow Brick Road – How to Change for the Better When Life Gives You its Worst. Dr. Alibrando’s keynote entertained attendees with his creative and whimsical metaphor that demonstrates how the adventures of Dorothy in the land of Oz, can be used to instruct us all on how we can use our heart, minds and courage to positively change through life’s challenges.
SCMA’s Annual Employment Institute 2018 Was A Success!
I would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to everyone who made this year’s Employment Mediation Institute possible. The Institute was a great success, with 70 total members and nonmembers in attendance. One attendee even flew from Vancouver, British Columbia to join us for the program! The University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law generously hosted and helped sponsor the program, and we were fortunate to have Prof. Lisa Klerman join us to deliver opening remarks. The first panel presented different perspectives and new ideas for managing and resolving workplace disputes. The second panel featured litigators discussing recent developments in employment law.
Our sponsors for the Institute this year were: ACT Mediation; EXTTI, Incorporated; Finn Financial Group; Reddock Law Group; and USC Gould School of Law. Our partners were Mediate.com and the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of African-Americans in Human Resources. The individuals who contributed to the program’s development include Dr. Jack R. Goetz, SCMA President; Angela Reddock-Wright, SCMA President-Elect and Employment Mediation Institute Co-Chair; Anne Sawyer, SCMA Executive Director; our panelists, Sabrina Beldner, Christina Coleman, Harold Coleman, Cherry-Marie Destura, and Nikki Tolt; and our roleplay actors, Teri Levin, Kathryn Marshall, Andy Shelby, and Therese White.
Thank you again to everyone!
On May 3, the SCMA held their 6th Annual Peer Mediation Celebration at the USC Galen Center. The Founders Room was packed with almost 80 attendees and students from more than 8 different schools. Most notably, University High School In Los Angeles received a certificate for Best Practices in Peer Mediation by Kids Managing Conflict (KMC), SCMA’s Education Foundation.
The evening started with a heartwarming panel discussion with high school peer mediators where they discussed their experience as a mediator and how the skills they’ve acquired transformed their lives and the environment of the school. The evening ended with honoring University High School Dean and Peer Mediation Coordinator Karen Crowley as she is embarking on her retirement.
We would like to thank USC, INVLA, and KMC for their co-sponsorship of the event and we look forward to next year.
We had a wonderful turnout of members, including many current and past Board Members, to honor our current President, Jack Goetz, our President-Elect, Angela Reddock-Wright and many of our illustrious past Presidents on April 21, 2018. The beautiful setting provided by the Del Ray Yacht Club was emphasized by glorious weather and the champagne breakfast to make for a truly special event. The highlight by far was hearing from each Past President in attendance who recounted some of the highlights and challenges that they faced during their terms. Attendees heard many of the inside stories and histories of the SCMA told by those who worked so hard over the years to build our organization into the mediation leader that it is.
Thanks to our many volunteers, February was another good month for SCMA and its members. The Professional Development Groups (PDGs) continue to thrive under the leadership of President-elect Angela Reddock-Wright and Stacey Lisk (Westside), and continued support from leaders such as James Cameron (San Fernando Valley), John Irwin (Pasadena), and Andy Shelby, Marvin Whistler, and Mark Sarni (South Bay). Sayre McNeil has taken the lead in re-forming our Santa Barbara/Ventura group, and Ed Palotta has done the same with Orange County. Plans are under way now to initiate a San Diego group. We hope as a member you have taken advantage of the opportunity to attend these valuable networking sessions.
Our SCMA Education Foundation, Kids Managing Conflict, initiated their plans for 2018. One of their upcoming events include a trip for peer mediators to the Museum of Tolerance. In addition, they are making plans for their first conference of peer mediation programs. Kids Managing Conflict’s website is replete with information about its plans and initiatives; see https://www.kidsmanagingconflict.org/.
February also saw 65 mediators attend a dialogue on voluntary mediator certification at USC Gould School of Law. Presentations by Angela Reddock-Wright, Jason Harper, Barbara Brown, Chris Welch, Adam Ravitch and myself led to a dialogue session with those in attendance. This opportunity for community dialogue and feedback on such an important issue for our field continues to strengthen the initiative. MC3’s efforts will continue to be chronicled on the SCMA website under mediator certification; see https://www.scmediation.org/for-the-public/mediator-certification-program/.
Our friends at the National Conflict Resolution Center (San Diego) hosted our SCMA panel, led by Ana Sambold and Jason Harper, on Non-Traditional and Unexplored Career Paths for Mediators on February 24. Participants attending were excited to meet representatives from fields such as Ombuds and learn about entry paths into those fields. SCMA hopes to announce soon another panel presentation for the Los Angeles area soon.
March continues to be a busy month for SCMA. Another webinar that promises to assist your career, “Using Linkedin to Build Your Mediation Practice,” will feature Board member Mark Lemke. You can register for the webinar at Using Linkedin to Build Your Mediation Practice. The attendees to the February webinar presented by former SCMA President Nikki Tolt appreciated her tips on “Building your Mediation Skills and Practice.” If you missed Nikki’s presentation, but would like to review it, we will be announcing details shortly about how you can access that through the SCMA site.
We appreciate your continued patronage and membership in SCMA and want to continue to provide you with resources and opportunities that help you in your careers. We welcome your continued ideas and suggestions. Have a great month and we will look forward to seeing you at a PDG or other SCMA sponsored event!
The SCMA is excited to announce our new Facebook Group! In an ongoing effort to create a positive community and foster open communication among members, we have a new forum in which members can ask questions, share ideas, post important updates, and network with member colleagues. We will also use it to keep everyone informed of news, announcements, events and more.
This is a “Closed Group” meaning people on Facebook can find and see who’s in it, but only members can see posts.
Because our goal is to create an environment of Mediation and Conflict Resolution Professionals, you will be asked to answer a couple of questions upon requesting to join.
We are delighted to tell you about our launch of new webinar series starting with two new webinars to assist you with building your mediation network and practice. Each webinar will be an hour-long interactive session hosted by an SCMA Special Guest Presenter.
Though all of our sessions will be available to watch on-demand, we hope you’ll join us live. If you do, you’ll have a chance to ask questions of the presenters.
Sign up using the links below. We look forward to talking to you! If you miss these webinars live, you can always watch them on-demand by clicking on the same links and registering.
Building your Skills and Mediation Practice with Nikki Tolt