2013 turned out to be an exciting year for our organization, one so rich with challenges that we titled our fall conference “Crisis and Opportunity.” This coming year, I am looking forward to fresh challenges, and to building on the work many members have done over the last several years to create a stronger organization. If I had to choose a theme for the year, that theme would be growth. The idea of expanding our organization’s capabilities, size and focus to reach a broader community underlies all of our plans.
We are re-building our website to better communicate with our members, and assist the public in learning more about mediation. The new website will be more inviting to lawyers searching for mediators, and to the general public, providing introductory materials about the benefits of mediation, and improved access to SCMA’s Select a Mediator Directory.
We are carrying forward SCMA’s certification initiative to educational institutions, mediation organizations, and mediation service providers, to build interest in the idea of creating a credential recognized statewide, that will assist the public in finding qualified mediators, and assist trained mediators in marketing their services.
We are expanding a program SCMA initiated last year to address local bar associations about mediation, including tips on initiating conversations about mediation, finding an appropriate mediator, and preparing for mediation.
We have launched a new mentorship program under the direction of past President Wendy Kramer, sure to be valuable to assist people in building mediation practices.
We are growing our membership by creating programs and benefits of interest to experienced mediators, aspiring mediators, and students, as well as non-mediators who use conflict resolution skills in whatever their chosen field. We are also working to expand SCMA’s membership geographically.
We also plan to build on the advocacy training program created for SCMA’s 2013 conference by designing more programs for lawyers interested in learning negotiation and mediation advocacy skills, and by supporting the collaborative law movement in both family law and civil law.
Our energetic programs committee, under the leadership of incoming vice-president Robyn Weinstein, has already laid out an ambitious slate of programs for the coming year. Keep returning to this site for lots of news sure to be of interest to our members and well beyond.