2014 Fall Conference Speaker Biographies*
We welcome and thank the Conference Speakers.
*See advanced track page for biographies of advanced track speakers.
Fahad is the Interim CEO of Soliya, an international non-profit that empowers young adults from around the world to establish more cooperative and compassionate relations between their societies by combining the power of dialogue with innovative use of new media technologies. Prior to becoming Interim CEO, Fahad was the COO of Soliya. Fahad holds an MBA with a specialization in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the Schulich School of Business at York University, Canada. He has a BS and MS in Computer Engineering and brings with him a diverse professional background from the high-tech sector. Fahad’s commitment to global justice and peace-building has seen him engage with several organizations in the US and Canada focusing on promoting social justice and diffusing identity conflicts. Fahad continues consulting work for Canadian social and cultural sector organizations on various projects including strategic planning, board restructuring, and revenue model development. He has lived and worked in the Middle East, India, Canada, and the US.
Maurice J. Attie
Maurice J. Attie is a Los Angeles based Mediator. With a background as a realtor and in accounting, he has been a bar member for over 49 years starting as a L.A. Deputy City Attorney and closing out his civil practice (real estate matters, business, photography, motion picture, record industry and other civil litigation, probate, corporate and business transactions, contracts, etc.). Along the way, he joined the New York and Israel Bar Associations, became a circuit presenter instructing on alternatives to conventional legal solutions (including 23 cities around the world), published numerous articles and has been interviewed extensively by the printed and broadcast media. He became a full time neutral at the end of 2001. He has conducted upwards of 1,100 mediations, is a long-time member of the SCMA, was associate member of both ACR and ABA’s DRS and Executive Committee member of the IAHL. He has twice received Mediator of the Year Awards by the LASC ADR.
After practicing as a litigator for over 28 years, Barbara turned her practice to mediation full time in 2006, focusing on business and employment matters. She has trained extensively in different styles of mediation and successfully mediated hundreds of cases in the areas of employment, wage and hour, harassment, lemon law, business partnership, collection, real estate, breach of contract, and civil rights. She is an independent mediator, who, in addition to her private practice, serves on mediator panels for the USDC, the Court of Appeal, and the United States Postal Service. During her years as a litigator Barbara represented individuals and companies both large and small on both plaintiff and defense sides. She had her own firm, The Brown Law Firm, for over 10 years. Before that she spent five years as Senior Counsel at First Interstate Bank and 12 years in private practice. Barbara currently serves as co-chair of the SCMA Committee on Voluntary Mediator Certification. She is also past president of SCMA. Barbara received her B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University, her M.A. from Michigan State University, and her J.D. from UCLA.
Runa Bouius is an entrepreneur, thought leader, advisor and mentor to entrepreneurs and senior business leaders, speaker, and author. She brings humanity to the world of business and law by supporting her clients and audience with inner calm and outer skills for success. She designs and facilitates programs and retreats for business professionals, mediators, and lawyers in the cultivation of mindfulness and well- being practices, people skills, emotional intelligence, purpose, compassion, and collaboration. Runa is a certified mediator from Kenneth Cloke’s Center for Dispute Resolution.
Dr. John Bowling is an accomplished business leader, consultant, psychologist, educator, and coach. He is passionate about helping individuals, teams, and organizations optimize performance through a process of creating clarity around focus, strategy, structure, and desired outcomes, and then enhancing awareness of self and others in interactions. This blend of structural and process work helps remove barriers to performance while reinforcing development of new strategic and interpersonal skills. John’s approach includes a strong focus on emotional skills and competencies which enhance decision-making and contribute to accurate evaluation of truthfulness and credibility.
Michael E. Cobo
A founding member of DecisionQuest, Mr. Cobo has over 25 years of experience in trial consulting and has been involved in over 800 cases worldwide. In addition to his administrative responsibilities at the firm, he typically involves himself in complex financial disputes, securities matters and cases involving emerging technologies. In the last ten years, he has worked on over 60 engagements specifically assisting clients with preparation for arbitration matters. This experience has yielded data from over 200 arbitrator interviews, and has allowed Mr. Cobo to forge strong relationships with senior arbitrators and retired judges.
Harold Coleman, Jr., Esq., is senior vice president for mediation at the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and executive director/mediator for MEDIATION.org, a division of the AAA. Coleman also trains new AAA arbitrators and aspiring mediators in basic/advanced arbitration case management techniques and basic/advanced mediation skills. A former multi-disciplinary project manager and complex litigation attorney, Coleman has mediated and arbitrated multiplied hundreds of litigated and non-litigated disputes during a 26-year legal and ADR career. He is a Fellow and director of the College of Commercial Arbitrators (CCA) and board member of the International Mediation Institute (IMI). Coleman works from the Association’s Los Angeles and New York offices.
Mary B. Culbert
Professor Mary B. Culbert is the Director of The Center For Conflict Resolution, where she previously served as a Senior Mediator supervising students. She is a bilingual certified mediator and a 1984 graduate of Loyola Law School. In 1993, Ms. Culbert began serving as a community and court mediator and received the “Rookie of the Year Award” from the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Services. She returned to Loyola in 1994 as an adjunct professor of law and founding director of the Disability Mediation Center of the Western Law Center for Disability Rights (currently the Disability Rights Legal Center). After practicing law for several years, Ms. Culbert became a bilingual certified mediator and has mediated extensively since 1992 in numerous community, government agency and court programs. She served as a resource to local, state and federal agencies regarding the design and implementation of mediation programs. She sat on the California State Bar ADR Committee and chaired its Ethics Subcommittee since its inception in 1997 until September 2001, and still sits as an advisor to that Committee today. Ms. Culbert has served on numerous boards, committees and mediation panels over the past 22 years. She has trained and lectured extensively on mediation skills, advanced mediation techniques, disability mediation and legal issues in mediation. More recently, she served an appointment to the Judicial Council, Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee, ADR Subcommittee Working Group on Uniform Procedures for Addressing Complaints about Court-Program Mediators. She was recognized in the “TOP NEUTRALS” Supplement to the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals and to the Sacramento Recorder, in the section on “Community Mediators: taking it to the streets” in 2007. In 2009, she received the Ester Soriano Peacemaker of the Year Award from Los Angeles County DRPA Program Community Mediators, and in 2010, the Ester Soriano Award for Excellence in Community Mediation from the California Dispute Resolution Council. In the summer of 2011, Professor Culbert provided mediation training to a group of high-ranking judges, attorneys and law professors in Bangladesh. In 2012-13, she created a new model, and clinic, for providing Collaborative Mediation Divorce Services in conjunction with the Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association
Dorit Cypis isan award winning artist, innovative professional mediator and educator. Her work exploring identity and social relations has been presented at major museums in the North America and Europe. Through her art practice Dorit came to the study of Conflict Resolution and in 2007 founded Foreign Exchanges to offer conflict transformation services, including mediation, training, coaching and consulting. With a belief that conflict between people is also within people, Dorit innovatively draws skills from art, communication and mediation to build bridges across personal and cultural differences. Her clients come from business, culture and education. Dorit is a founding member of Mediators Beyond Borders, served as Chair of the Middle East Initiative to partner with Neve Shalom Wahat al Salam/Israel 2009, was past Leader of the MBB Los Angeles Chapter where she has initiated Jewish/Arab Public Dialogues and has worked with Occupy LA as roving mediator. Dorit founded the public program Kulture Klub Collaborative, connecting professional artists with homeless teens to bridge survival and inspiration, impacting life choices of homeless youth. Dorit is a published writer and has taught on the complexity of cultural and personal difference throughout the USA, Canada, Israel, Holland and France. She earned a Masters of Fine Art, California Institute for the Arts, and Masters of Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University.
Speaking in spiritual communities throughout the world, Rev. Sunshine Daye, Co-Minister, inspires audiences to be more of their true selves through authentic living. Rev. Sunshine was awarded the 2009 Gene Lentzner Human Relations Awards from the California Conference for Equality and Justice, and was honored by Long Beach Pride in May 2009 as the Female Community Grand Marshal. Sunshine was also the Editor & Publisher of the Seasonal Magazine “Authentic Voices”. Sunshine is adjunct staff at CCEJ and is trained in Restorative Justice Practices.
Sunshine grew up in a diverse part of the Bronx where White, Blacks, Latinos, Jews, drug and numbers runners, and gangsters co-existed. From a young age Sunshine appreciated our humanness and valued the life of everyone she encountered. Born to Puerto Rican parents she spoke Spanish at home and learned English in school.
Training under Dr. Michael Beckwith of Agapé International Spiritual Center, Rev. Sunshine has a Masters of Consciousness Studies from Holmes Institute, and is a licensed Minister. A lover of life and a hiker of spiritual unfoldment, Rev. Sunshine is available for spiritual travel, retreats, conferences, counseling, workshops, speaking engagements and ceremonies. When you experience her energy and the joy that radiates from her you will understand why Rev. Sunshine’s motto is:” By means of your spiritual practice you live your Genuine Life ”
Debra L. Dupree
Debra L. Dupree, PsyD, L.M.F.T. is a mediator, conflict coach, and relationship therapist at work and at home, based in San Diego, CA where she has been in private practice for 25 years. Throughout her career, Debra has long been fascinated with the differences between people that lead to conflict and committed to facilitating change as a relationship turnaround specialist. Debra combines her family and workplace background by specializing in family-owned business entities as well as the dynamics of work team functioning and leader-follower relationships, shifting bad bosses into great leaders. Debra has long given back to the profession by serving in leadership and training capacities and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this panel. Debra’s online CV is available on LinkedIn.
Victoria Gray is a Mediator with the National Mediation Board She earned her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from California State University at Northridge; has a certificate in Industrial Relations from the University of California at Los Angeles and a certificate in Alternate Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute at the Pepperdine University School of Law. She was a member of the County of Los Angeles Community and Senior Citizens Services Voluntary Mediation Services program and is a member of the Pro Bono Panel of Mediators for the Los Angeles County Superior Court. She is a certified Conflict Coach, teaches and conducts facilitation and mediation and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Southern California Mediation Board and Mediators Beyond Borders.
Jack R. Goetz
Dr. Goetz was the Academic Lead for the California State University at Northridge (CSUN) certificate program in Mediation and Conflict Resolution that he founded in 2009, and assisted in transferring that program to California State University at Dominguez Hills in 2014. Prior to developing the mediation certificate program, Dr. Goetz was the founding Dean and President of Concord Law School (1997-2004), the first nationally accredited online law school. He currently serves as the co-chair for the SCMA Committee on Voluntary Mediator Certification. Dr. Goetz additionally serves as a member of the California State Bar Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution. As a neutral, Dr. Goetz serves the public privately as well as serving on various public panels, including serving as an arbitrator and mediator and now Vice-Chair for the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) Attorney-Client Mediation and Arbitration Services, an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Association (FINRA), and a mediator for the Ventura County Superior Court. Dr. Goetz is a Board member for the California Academy of Mediation Professionals, and has also served on the Southern California Mediation Association (SCMA) Education Foundation Board. The Los Angeles Superior Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Program honored him as the 2011 “Outstanding Volunteer” for his service to the courts. Dr. Goetz received his Ph.D. in Education at Capella University (2006), his J.D. at Boston University (1979), his M.B.A. at Pepperdine University (1990), and his B.A. in Economics at San Diego State University (1976). He is a member of the LACBA, has been a member of SCMA since 2007, and a member of the State Bar of California since 1979.
Dr. Barry Goldstein has been blazing an innovative trail in the world of Clinical Psychology since 1990. Since formally dedicating himself to mediation, he has facilitated hundreds of broad based cases for the Department of Consumer Affairs and in Los Angeles County Superior Court. He has extensive experience as a post-divorce family mediator. His consulting has brought him around the world, helping develop and identify high potential leaders in business. His clinical work has focused on psychological measurement and evaluation. For the last fifteen years, he has established a new industry to negotiate the tense conflicts inherent in the entertainment industry as president of his own risk management firm for reality television productions.
James Gottfurcht, Ph. D., is an internationally recognized clinical psychologist and money coach in Brentwood specializing in challenges with money, relationships, anxiety, depression and life transitions. He is President of Psychology of Money Consultants and developed The Psychology of Money Profile. It is a standard in the industry and is used with individuals, couples and families to assess seven psychological money skills associated with attaining financial success. He is a popular media guest who has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, Anderson Cooper, BBC, CNBC and in Time, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, etc. He is on the faculty of UCLA Extension where he conducts experiential workshops in his original work on Psychology of Money and Empathy Training.
Christine Harwell, a California lawyer since 1978, founded Harwell Institute, LLC, in May, 2014. She served as hearing and settlement officer, and litigator for the State of California Department of Industrial Relations, Office of the Director, Legal Unit in Los Angeles. She also mediated employment harassment cases brought through the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. For nearly a year Ms. Harwell served as Administrative Law Judge for the State of California Office of Administrative Hearings in the area of special education, an area of the law that mandates that the judges conduct both hearings and mediations. She spent an extensive internship conducting co-mediations for the EEOC in 2012. She has conducted many high-stakes mediations of public works prevailing wage matters and applies her settlement and negotiation talents to the various employment related issues in workers’ compensation matters involving insurers, bond holders, bankruptcy and collection issues. In Ms. Harwell’s private practice she handled both plaintiff and defendant civil litigation in state and federal courts. In 2013 and 2014, Ms. Harwell served as one of the ABA judges of lawyer/mediator competitions of the ABA Conference Section on Dispute Resolution. She holds a Masters’ degree from Pepperdine Law School’s Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution and is firmly committed to the ever growing professional status of neutrals, particularly mediators, in our justice system. Recognizing that our society has changed with its advances in business, technology, industry and social circumstances; our traditional institutions must also change to address the new community needs beyond traditional roles and the paradigms they carry. By elevating our great collective talents, she believes SCMA can attain wide-ranging acclaim by fostering effective and advantageous mechanisms that address the legal and community needs. Her innovative business has reformatted the volunteer mediator panel terminated by the Los Angeles Superior Court last year.
Denise Hedges, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Southern Methodist University, is a certified conflict coach, and achieved a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution from Dominican University in River Forest, IL. As Senior Mediator (ADR), Denise directs the National Mediation Board’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) training programs, designs the training curriculum, delivers training to interested parties, and conducts facilitation and grievance mediation. In this position, Denise manages ADR services and activities. As one of two designated NMB Ombudsmen, Denise addresses as appropriate, problems presented by agency employees or contractors regarding actions of the NMB or its managers and employees.
The creator of Held2gether, Improv for Life – Darren Held is an instructor, improviser and corporate trainer. He received a B.F.A. in Acting from New York University in 1992 From there he went on to perform in several stage, film and TV productions on both coasts. He graduated at the renowned Groundlings Improv School in Los Angeles. He has also performed with Upright Citizens’ Brigade and Second City Chicago. He enjoys working with dozens of for businesses, non-profits and governmental agencies to reach their team goals. In addition, Held2gether is a full-time comedy school and has a professional troupe that performs throughout Southern California. He hopes to share the gift of improv with as many people as possible.
Viet has been in training and development for over twelve years and has direct industry experience in entertainment, business services, manufacturing, agriculture, non-profit, and municipal government. Viet is designated as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and has been a member of ASTD since 2007. He is certified as a Career Development Facilitator and holds a certificate in professional coaching and mentoring. He has utilized these skills, along with extensive improvisational training, to assist organizations in brand strategy, marketing and negotiation techniques.
Carol Hughes, Ph.D., is a California licensed psychotherapist and board-certified hypnotherapist, whohas been in private practice in Laguna Hills, CA, since 1983. As one of the founding members of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County (CDSOC), since 2003 she has provided services as a Divorce Coach, Child Specialist and Team/Case Manager. Since 2007 Carol has served on the Board of Directors of CDSOC and is currently serving as President. She has extensive training in mediation and in the interdisciplinary team model of collaborative practice. She frequently trains and mentors collaborative practitioners, has appeared on the Time Warner Public television series “How to Get a Divorce” and has been a presenter at California’s annual statewide conference for collaborative professionals. Carol is also a co-founder of the Collaborative Divorce Education Institute, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to educate the public about Collaborative Divorce, as well as to provide quality training for collaborative divorce professionals in the Southern California area. In April 2011 Collaborative Practice California (CP CAL), California’s statewide collaborative practice organization, awarded Carol the Eureka Award, which recognizes those who have made significant contributions and demonstrated an abiding dedication to establishing and sustaining Collaborative Practice in California. Please visit her website at www.DivorcePeacemaking.com.
Dr. Wiley Johnson is a licensed psychologist, certified divorce coach and trained mediator with over 30 years of experience helping individuals, couples, and families overcome the conflicts and challenges they face before, during, and after divorce. Dr. Johnson received his PhD. from the University of Southern California. He is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Register of Health Care Providers in Psychology, the International Association of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), and serves on the board of Collaborative Divorce Solutions. His extensive experience provides the insight necessary to assist clients in the way that best meets their unique situation. He strongly believes that helping individuals and their families develop and maintain positive relationships is essential for the successful adjustment of all family members. To that end, he is dedicated to helping his clients develop healthy communication skills and effective ways to resolve issue of separation, child custody and joint parenting. Pain, anger and loss frequently go unresolved in a divorce. Dr. Johnson’s approach helps people successfully engage in these issues and move through them. His promise to clients is that they will develop new skills to help them move successfully into a new realm of relationships and life.
Joan B. Kessler
With a law career spanning over 25 years and a Ph.D. in communications, Joan Kessler, Esq. is a uniquely qualified mediator and arbitrator whose training and education allow her to communicate effectively with attorneys and all parties involved in her mediations. She has the legal experience and knowledge to understand even the most complex of legal issues, as well as a background in communication which helps her to develop a rapport with even the most challenging, combative and high profile personalities. Ms. Kessler has recently partnered with the American Arbitration Association and DecisionQuest, the largest jury consulting company in the United States, to develop a new online analytical tool to evaluate arbitrators’ reactions to cases. She is also, working with DecisionQuest on CaseXplorer Mediation to be used to assist mediators in mediations. The tools Ms. Kessler is working on, CaseXplorer Mediation and CaseXplorer Arbitration, will be used to help encourage settlement of matters before costly trials and arbitrations.
Delilah Knox Rios
Delilah Knox Rios of Diamond Bar, an advocate of Collaborative Practice and Family Law Mediation, is a Certified Family Law Specialist, State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization and is admitted to the Sourthern, Eastern and Central Districts of the U.S. District Court of California. While having practiced family law and probate for 34 years, she has spent the last 20 years providing mediation and alternative dispute resolution services throughout California, including the courts of San Bernardino, Riverside, and Los Angeles Counties. She has been designated at Super Lawyer by LA Magazine 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. She has served as volunteer Temporary Judge in the courts of Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties, and served as Special Master, Referee and as Minor’s Counsel in Los Angeles County. She is President of Collaborative Divorce Professionals of the Inland Empire (CDPIE), a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution committee of the State Bar, a delegate to Collaborative Practice California, and on the Advisory Board of the Paralegal Program for Mount San Antonio College.
She is Past President of the Regional Chamber of Commerce, San Gabriel Valley and Past President of the Diamond Bar Chamber of Commerce. She has been named Woman on the year by the American Business Women’s Association, Woman of Influence by Inland Empire magazine, Woman of Achievement by the YWCA, and Professional Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women.
Geoffrey D. Kramer
Mr. Kramer started in the practice of public accounting while an undergraduate student at California State University, Fullerton in 1989. Most recently, as a partner at McMenomy & Richmond, CPAs, LLP he is responsible for the growth of the firm through work with business owners to achieve their financial goals. During his career in public accounting, he has had the opportunity to work with companies just starting out to companies with revenue of $100 million dollars.
Mr. Kramer serves as treasurer for Collaborative Divorce Professionals of the Inland Empire which provides for peaceful resolution of separating and divorcing families. He has also served on the board of directors as treasurer of Southern California Catholic Home Educator, an organization that provides guidance and support to Catholic home schooling families residing in southern California, and Mr. Kramer resides in Chino with his wife and children, enjoying various activities with them, including soccer, hiking and swimming.
Terri Lubaroff, Esq. specializes in disputes in the business, legal and entertainment communities. Terri received her J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law, and also has a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Florida. She started her career in the entertainment industry at International Creative Management (ICM) in 1997, and ran various film and TV production companies, culminating with an overall deal at Paramount Studios and the sale of nine pilots to networks such as NBS, FOX and CBS. Burnt out and ready for a change, Terri pursued mediation training at Pepperdine’s Straus Institute in 2009 and has been a full-time mediator ever since. Terri is a member of the California Bar, the Florida Bar, the ABA, the Southern California Mediation Association, the Beverly Hills Bar Association, the Institute for Preparing Heirs, the Arts, Arbitration and Mediation Services panel for California Lawyers for the Arts, Women in Film, and the Hollywood Radio & Television Society. Terri chairs the Entertainment Mediation and Arbitration practice at The Agency for Dispute Resolution.
Kathryn Marshall has over a decade of experience handling all aspects of civil and commercial disputes with a particular focus on settlement strategies. She is both an attorney and mediator who fully understands the perils participants face in litigation, not only because it is expensive, uncertain, and public, but because it often takes a terrible and frequently irreparable human toll on all involved. She specializes in mediating clients in pre-litigation and litigation contexts to craft goal-oriented, value-driven solutions through a structured problem solving, non-adversarial process in order to arrive at meaningful and successful resolutions beyond the limitations the court may impose. While pursuing her law degree at Southwestern School of Law, she became interested in conflict resolution and was initially certified as a mediator through the Straus Institute for Conflict Resolution at Pepperdine University. She has over 400 hours of advanced studies in non-litigious conflict resolution, served as a LASC Paid Panel member since 2003 and is presently serving as a Panel Attorney for California Lawyers for the Arts in addition to her mediation practice at Westside Mediator.
Leslee Newman, an attorney in Orange, specializes in amicable family transitions and is a Certified Family Law Specialist by the California bar. Thirty-one years ago Leslee learned about mediation and began working with divorcing couples out of court. Realizing that she had a knack for settling disputes, she added cooperative and collaborative divorce to her practice. In 2002, Leslee became the founding President of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County (CDSOC). She also served for several years on the Executive Boards of Collaborative Practice California, and the Orange County Bar Family Law Section. Presently Leslee continues on the CDSOC Board and the OCBA’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Board. She has been named a “Super Lawyer” by L. A. Magazine, a contributing author for California Education of the Bar (CEB), and a winner of “The Eureka Award” for her significant contributions to collaborative practice in California. Leslee is also a member of the Orange County Judge Pro Tempore panel as a volunteer settlement officer.
Wendelyn “Wende” Nichols-Julien is the President of the California Conference for Equality and Justice (CCEJ), a human relations organization dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry and racism through education, conflict resolution and advocacy. CCEJ’s work focuses on dismantling racism and bias by training youth and adults to build and value inclusive communities. Wende formerly facilitated youth and police programs for the organization when it was known as the National Conference for Christians and Jews (NCCJ). An attorney, Wende practiced real estate and land use law at the firm of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips in Los Angeles. She also worked and volunteered with Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, specializing in representing victims of domestic violence in their immigration cases.
Wende started her career as a community organizer in Phoenix, Arizona and later in Long Beach, California, working to improve the quality of life in vulnerable, low-income communities. Wende has a law degree from the University of Southern California, a Masters in Public Administration and Certificate of Nonprofit Management from Arizona State University, and Bachelor degrees in Regional Development and Political Science from the University of Arizona.
Wende is originally from Flagstaff, Arizona where she grew up hiking the Grand Canyon and spending summers on the Hopi and Navajo Reservations with her parents. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Rolando Nichols, who is now the national news anchor for MundoFox. Rolando and Wende have four children.
Mike is managing partner of People Intell Institute and is also a Certified Executive Coach, Leadership Consultant and Facilitator who partners with senior executives, managers and leaders to inspire and enhance individual’s attitudes, behaviors and performance resulting in increased employee engagement and retention. These shifts ultimately contribute to successfully reaching desired goals and exceeding individual and organizational expectations. Mike combines more than 28 years of practical Fortune 500 business leadership experience with more than 350 hours of accredited coaching, emotional awareness and non-verbal communications training.
Michael R. Powell
Michael R. Powell is the Vice President of the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) Los Angeles office. He is primarily responsible for expanding the use of AAA construction, real estate and environmental ADR services in the Western Pacific and Pacific Northwest states. In this capacity, he assists the corporate, legal and public sector communities on dispute avoidance and resolution techniques, and in designing dispute resolution systems to meet their specific needs. Mr. Powell is a graduate of California State University, San Bernardino and is a frequent trainer, speaker and writer on the subject of alternative dispute resolution. In addition to his AAA duties, he is on the board of directors of the California Dispute Resolution Council (CDRC), and is currently serving as its Interim President.
Scheilla Raffaelli is a certified mediator by CSUN and I have learned that what mediators do to guide disputants into a satisfactory resolution for their conflicts can and should be used by project managers. Mediation is not rocket science but common sense communication skills that facilitates conversation and transform relationships. She is also a PMP, IT Project Manager, Public Speaker, Toastmasters active member since 2010. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband.
Hass M Sadeghi
Hass Sadeghi is a legal strategist and negotiation counsel practicing throughout Southern California. He is inspired by his father, who always imparted the philosophy of honestly brokering business deals and empowering others in the role of attorney. Hass optimizes and promotes business growth by providing business-minded legal solutions. He is focused on proactive business legal planning and healing business relationships in conflict. Hass has an extensive technical background with many years of practical experience solving legal problems for businesses in the healthcare/wellness, technology and real estate sectors. Hass’ online CV is available on LinkedIn.
Nance L. Schick
Nance L. Schick, Esq. is a litigator, mediator and conflict resolution coach based in New York City, where she has been in private practice for 11 years. Her clients include high-risk entities in building materials, elevator construction and maintenance, entertainment, and funeral services. Whether she is litigating, mediating or coaching, she seeks innovative solutions to leave each party a bit more empowered to move on with their lives quickly and to resolve future conflicts more effectively. Ideally, this saves them valuable resources of time, energy and money. Nance’s online CV is available on LinkedIn.
Jan presently serves as an Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisor for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and has 23 years experience as an Ombudsman at AllianceBernstein LP, the University of California Irvine, and the California Institute of Technology. She teaches classes on conflict resolution and listening skills, has published articles about ombudsman effectiveness, spoken at numerous conferences, and was instrumental in establishing certification for Organizational Ombudsman by the International Ombudsman Association (IOA). She served as a Board Member and President of both the University and College Ombuds Association (UCOA) and the International Ombudsman Association. Jan has a BA in Psychology from Michigan State University and a Masters in Public Administration from California State University, Fullerton.
Carl H. Shubs
Carl H. Shubs, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice in Beverly Hills. With over thirty years of experience, he works with adults, adolescents, and children. He has published in peer reviewed professional journals and presented at international conferences on the topic of transference and countertransference in working with trauma. He has also presented on how those factors present themselves in mediation or collaborative divorce. In addition to working with depression and anxiety, he has particular specialties in working with trauma, addictions (substances and/or behaviors), and people who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual. He is a member LACFLA and of Affordable Collaborative Divorce Solutions.
Maria Simpson, Ph.D. is an expert on organizational conflict resolution. She is an executive coach and consultant to senior executives and leadership teams on improving team effectiveness and building conflict resolution skills. She is consulted regularly on issues where organizations face potential liability related to management behavior and organizational culture. Since 2003 she has written a weekly column on conflict resolution and management communications, is the author of “Leading Unstoppable Teams!” and “Is This a Good Fit?” on organizational culture and conflict styles. For the last ten years she has taught in the graduate program on Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding. She is currently President of the Board of the SCMA Education Foundation, has served on the SCMA Board of Directors, and serves on the boards of the South Bay Center for Dispute Resolution and Empathia Pacific, a national provider of EAP services. She was a volunteer mediator for the LA County Superior Court for 15 years and speaks often on issues of conflict management for conferences and private clients.
Patricia Sims joined the NMB in 1997. Patricia was promoted to the position of Senior Mediator in 2000. During the last 16 years at the NMB, Patricia has worked with airlines, railroads, and their unions to settle their collective bargaining disputes. Additionally, Ms. Sims has mediated major disputes with all of the legacy airlines and their unions along with regional carriers and their unions. In the rail industry she has mediated National Handling which includes the 5 Class I railroads and unions. She also mediated the first interest-based contract in the rail industry at CSX with their yardmasters. This was precedent setting, as the rail industry previously preferred a more traditional/confrontational style of negotiating. Ms. Sims has been instrumental in promoting and facilitating new processes in both industries, and has produced and presented NMB training programs and workshops for 16 years. Ms. Sims earned a BA in Education from Virginia Tech. Additionally, Patricia received her mediation training at Harvard Law School, and at the Private Adjudication Program at Duke University Law School.
Milan Slama is a co-founder and the secretary of the Valley Bar Mediation Center (VBMC). He is a practicing mediator and arbitrator in the Los Angeles area with an extensive experience in a variety of litigated and community disputes. He is the recipient of multiple awards from the Los Angeles Superior Court and the State of California. He specializes in high-intensity disputes and conflicts and in cross cultural matters. Working in the corporate environment for many years, he is well versed in work place and employment issues. His numerous publications can be found on www.mediate.com website, in Daily Journal, and in San Fernando Valley Business Journal. His past and present affiliations have been with The Los Angeles Superior Court, The Santa Barbara Superior Court (CADRe Program), US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, The City Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles County Bar Association, FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), and San Fernando Valley Bar Association. His educational background is in mathematics and philosophy.
Rebecca Storrow, Ph.D., Vice President in the Commercial Division of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), is in charge of the AAA Miami Regional Office, managing large commercial cases, arbitrators, and mediators in Florida. She is the AAA’s Director of a Florida Court Mortgage Mediation Program, holds Florida Supreme Court certification in family, child dependency, circuit, and county mediation, and was a Florida Court ADR Program Director. Rebecca holds a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University and M.S in Organizational Leadership, specializing in facilitated group processes and systems design. Rebecca is a qualified restorative justice trainer through the University of Minnesota, conducting indigenous and circle processes, and an adjunct professor at Nova Southeastern University.
Robert M. Sowell
Robert serves as a Project Supervisor for the Human Relations Branch of the Los Angeles County Department of Community and Senior Services. In this role he is a member of the Branch Management Team, and is Team Lead and Supervisor for agency coordination, promotion, and support of state Dispute Resolution Programs Act-funded dispute resolution services in Los Angeles County. A California DRPA-trained mediator, Robert led the design of the Los Angeles County 2014-19 Dispute Resolution Program. He designs and delivers training for organizations serving all ages in mediation, collaboration, cultural competence, conflict management, school peer mediation, communication, leadership, prejudice, diversity, power, relationships, and peacebuilding. He also currently supervises a UCLA Graduate Fellow in the Branch’s Domestic Sex-Exploited Minors Initiative. Previous to his current role, Robert served as a member of the Branch’s Schools Team, the Hate Crime Report Team, and the Strategic Planning Team. Robert earned a Master of Science of Social Work degree from the University of Texas at Arlington Graduate School of Social Work. He also completed post-graduate studies at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Public and Urban Affairs, and has completed training in Restorative Practices from the International Institute for Restorative Practices in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Scott Van Soye
Scott Van Soye is a panel mediator with the Agency for Dispute Resolution in Beverly Hills, and a member of the California and Federal bars, whose career spans over twenty-five years. Scott has successfully mediated hundreds of private real estate, personal injury, disability and business disputes. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of Settlement Insights, a newsletter focused on corporate ADR, and Managing Editor of the ADR Times, an online ADR news and information resource. He serves on the faculty of the Negotiation Nexus training program.
Mr. Van Soye holds a Master of Laws from Pepperdine University’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, a law degree from UCLA, and two Bachelor of Arts degrees from UC Irvine. He benefits from more than 1,000 hours of conflict resolution training. In addition to his professional efforts, Scott has mediated pro bono for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the San Bernardino County Superior Court, and the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Two. His pro bono efforts have been recognized by California’s Chief Justice.
Mr. Van Soye previously litigated disability rights, public law, and employment law cases. He spent eight years as a staff attorney the San Bernardino County Superior Court, where he served as a judge pro tem. He often speaks on dispute resolution, disability rights, and emotional decision-making. He also has been a guest lecturer on the overlap between the Americans with Disabilities Act and workers’ compensation at the John Greenleaf Whittier School of Law.
Mr. Van Soye also served as an adjunct professor of law at Pepperdine University, teaching Alternative Dispute Resolution. He is the author of almost 30 published academic and popular articles, including “The True Cost of Unresolved Litigation,” “Mediating Accommodation Issues in Disability Rights Disputes,” “The Price of Beauty in the Game of Trust” (with Max Factor III),“Responding to the Nibble in a Wage and Hour Context” (with Max Factor III), “Illusory Ethics: Legal Barriers to an Ombudsman’s Compliance with Accepted Ethical Standards,” in the Dispute Resolution Law Journal and a four-part series on the impact of emotion in negotiation. He welcomes invitations to speak and write on dispute resolution, disability rights, and the psychology of decision-making.
Ron Supancic is a Certified Family Law Specialist who travels around Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley presenting Conflict Solutions Workshops to small businesses willing to address, embrace, and resolve disputes. His work is the remarkable culmination of 43 years practicing law and considerable time spent dealing with angry, upset individuals in divorce. His innovative strategy is used to assist and support emotional individuals who are caught up in the moment and have forgotten their better selves. Ron is a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and an invited participant to the Harvard Negotiation Insight Initiative. He was one of the first Certified Family Law Specialists in the State of California and he is a long-time advocate of both Mediation and Collaborative Law.
Caroline M. Torosis
Caroline Torosis is the Program Manager for the Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DCA) Day of Court and Community mediation programs, where the department conducts over 300 court and community mediations monthly. She also serves as the Department’s legislative analyst working to pass county sponsored consumer protection legislation. Caroline has personally conducted over 1000 mediations focusing on personal injury, landlord tenant, breach of contract, and creditor debtor disputes. In addition to her experience training new mediators in accordance with the California Dispute Resolution Programs Act, Caroline has trained elected officials and community leaders in St. Louis on the principles of mediation to promote civility across political parties sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Caroline has worked at United States Arbitration and Mediation and the Better Business Bureau as a mediator. Prior to her mediation practice, Caroline was a trial attorney specializing in employment litigation, and brings mediation experience from an advocate’s perspective. Caroline received her mediation training at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law and through the Department of Consumer Affairs. Caroline has completed over 300 hours of mediation training and has taken over courses in mediation, negotiation, advanced mediation, and advanced negotiation through Washington University. In addition, she holds a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law and B.A. from UCLA.
Kristin S. Walle
Dr. Kristin S. Walle is currently Vice President, Global Money Movement & Compliance for ADP, a Fortune 500 company. In this role, she is responsible for global money movement and compliance for over $1 trillion of ADP’s Client funds, ensuring operational excellence through business process innovation, and oversight of key banking and agency relationships. In her role with ADP, Kristin has honed her skills at evaluating truthfulness and credibility and furthered expertise in emotional skills and competencies. She is also a trained and certified internal coach working with executives to increase their ability to achieve and connect with those they lead.
Katrina has been a professional liaison for the OurFamilyWizard® website for three years. Her role includes educating Judges, lawyers, and other family law professionals on the online tools that can be utilized to benefit and monitor the parental communication process in high conflict cases. Recent speaking engagements include the Ontario Court of Justice, West LegalEdcenter, Kalamazoo County Bar and Bench, Yolo County Bar and Bench, and Tacoma County Bar and Bench. She graduated Cum Lade from the College of St. Catherine receiving a BS in Entrepreneurship and Marketing/Management. She earned her MAOL with an emphasis in Strategic Management from St. Catherine University.