As we have heard from many of you, one of the things SCMA can do for you is to continue to provide lost cost and high-quality programming to help nurture your minds and to continue to build your practices. Judging from the attendance at our workshops, webinars, town halls, and institutes this year, that is working for you. But our hard-working volunteers are not done yet! June 8-9 is our new Family Mediation Institute (FMI) titled “Essential Skills and Innovative Approaches for Family Mediation.” The keynote speaker, Dr. Sam Alibrando, will kick off the FMI with a Friday afternoon workshop on “The Emotionally Intelligent Mediator,” a relevant topic to all mediators. That workshop will be immediately followed by a reception, and then a full day of Family Law-only programming on Saturday. If you are not a family law mediator and just want to attend Friday, our easy registration makes it possible; all others can get combined pricing for the two-day event at the Doubletree Hotel in Santa Ana. There is still time to register for the event! You may register here.
June is also the time when many of you start making your plans for our Annual Conference, where hundreds of Southern California mediators come together for a variety of workshops and networking activities. Please save the date for this year’s conference, set for November 2 and 3 at the L.A. Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. We are delighted to welcome the American Arbitration Association and its “Mediation.org” as our Advanced Track program planner; look for us to post more details on that programming in the summer months.
As SCMA President, I often stand in the shadow of mediators who have dedicated much of their lives to helping the mediation community be a better place in which to work. Two of those luminaries have earned SCMA’s highest honors and have agreed to join us for the festivities in November. Our Cloke-Millen Peacemaker award goes to an individual who has inspired us for years through her passion and dedication to peacemaking. On November 3, Ken Cloke will introduce Avis Ridley-Thomas as our award winner and we are so honored to have her be our plenary speaker for our Annual Conference. The previous night, November 2, will be our dinner held to honor a mediator who has inspired us with her dedication and passion for education; we will be delighted to bestow the L. Randolph Lawry award upon Professor Lisa Klerman of USC Gould School of Law. We hope you will make plans to join us for all of the festivities and the learning that accompanies our Annual Conference.
I wish each and every one of you a safe and rejuvenating summer. If you have the opportunity to go to one of our programs, I hope you will take the time to thank one of our many volunteers who made that event happen. None of this is possible without the hard work of your colleagues on the SCMA Board and its various committees that so graciously volunteer countless hours to make our mediation workplace a better place. To all of them, I continue to give my thanks and accolades.