As I reach the midpoint of my term as President of SCMA, I can’t believe how quickly the first six months have flown by — nor how much we’ve been able to pack into those first six months!
On May 19th, SCMA added to the list with its annual Employment Mediation Institute — traditionally the most well-attended program of the year other than the Fall Conference, and this year’s program was no exception! Close to fifty people — several from as far away as San Diego — gathered at Pepperdine’s West Los Angeles campus for dinner, networking and an outstanding two-hour program. Kudos to Angela Reddock for coordinating the panel and moderating the program; Ann Kotlarski and Curt Surls for presenting the perspectives of defendant’s counsel and plaintiff’s counsel with such wisdom, practical insights and humor; John McDowell, who was originally scheduled to represent the mediator’s perspective but was unable to attend because of a death in the family, for his invaluable contributions; and especially Steve Paul, who so ably filled in for John on short notice!
Looking ahead to June and beyond:
On June 6th, the Pasadena Professional Development Group will hold its monthly meeting at John Irwin’s office, 70 S. Lake Ave, Suite 1000, in Pasadena.
On June 9th, the South Bay Professional Development Group will hold its inaugural meeting, at the law offices of Curt Surls, 1500 Rosecrans, Suite 500, in Manhattan Beach. Many thanks to Angela Reddock for spearheading the effort and to Curt for offering to host!
On June 11th, SCMA will be repeating another terrific program from last year’s Fall Conference — “Mediator Self Care.” Join moderator Maurice Attie and presenters Arezou Kohan and Simon Fox for an interactive workshop on the best ways to optimize your own health and well-being while doing the important work of a peacemaker. The program is from 10-12 at USC Gould School of Law.
On June 16th, the San Fernando Valley Professional Development Group will hold its monthly meeting at the home of Jim Cameron, 17605 Tarzana Street, in Encino.
For those interested in presenting a workshop at this year’s Fall Conference, June 24th is the deadline for submitting a response to the Request for Proposals. As I noted last month, the theme of this year’s Conference is “Discourse and Diplomacy: From Interpersonal Conflicts to International Relations.”
On June 28th, the Westside Professional Development Group will hold its regular meeting at the home of Wendy Kramer, 225 19th Street in Santa Monica.
In late July, the Santa Barbara Professional Development Group is hoping to present a marketing seminar, featuring Lee Jay Berman of AIM. More details to follow!
And don’t forget to save August 10th for SCMA’s Summer Soiree, at the USC Gould School of Law Faculty Lounge, honoring Forest Whitaker as the recipient of the 2015 Cloke-Millen Peacemaker of the Year Award!
Finally, as I noted last month, I hope many of you will consider becoming more involved in SCMA by volunteering to serve on a committee.
Anne Sawyer is an independent Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Consultant. In addition her private consultation practice, she is the Executive Director of the Southern California Mediation Association.
Her mission is to foster, support and promote mediators and other neutrals and to further increase peaceful resolution of conflicts. Raising public awareness as to the many values of mediation and increase its use to address a broad variety of public and private disputes in a confidential, safe and empowering process is her passion.