We welcome and thank the Conference Speakers.
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.
Mark B. Baer
Mark B. Baer, Esq., Mediator and Attorney, Mark B. Baer, Inc., APLC and President, Family Dynamics Assistance Center, LLC. Mark Baer has become rather outspoken on a great many social issues and has used his blog on the Huffington Post and the social media to raise public awareness, educate people, and advocate for change. He has published a number of articles on issues pertaining to the LGBT community and has shared a great many articles on such topics that have been written by others.
Lee Jay Berman
Robin Blair has served as a Director of Planning or Planning Manager for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) since 1989, and continues his involvement in the development of the regional transportation system. He experiences include managing and negotiating public private partnerships in tandem with the developing rail and bus infrastructure. The public-private partnerships have resulted in the construction of over 2,000 housing units near rail or transit centers. Mr. Blair has a long history of research and policy development through his 20 year affiliation with the National Research Council’s Transportation Research Board (TRB). He has written numerous papers chronicling Los Angeles’ changing cityscape following the implementation of the regional rail network. He also worked extensively in Central America on behalf of non-profits and has served as a member of the TRB’s Committee on Transportation in Developing Counties. Prior to his work for Metro he served as an asset manager for a private real estate trust with a portfolio of over one billion dollars of multi-family and commercial real estate. He continues to lecture on and has written on how non-motorized transport policy influences urban form and economic development.
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.
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.
Rebecca Callahan, Esq. is a 30-year, AV-rated attorney who acts as a mediator, arbitrator, referee, consultant and ADR trainer. Her area of expertise is complex business disputes. Rebecca is a full-time neutral with the Orange County Office of ADR Services, Inc. She is also a member of the mediation and commercial arbitration panels of the American Arbitration Association. Rebecca earned a master’s degree in dispute resolution from the Straus Institute where she is an adjunct professor. She earned her law degree from UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) and her undergraduate degree from USC.
Ms. Clark, Founder & President of Where There’s a Will Foundation, is a dynamic educator in the field of law, and spiritual and social transformation. Ms. Clark engages audiences with participatory keynotes and workshops. Known as a coalition builder and connector, she is invited by organizations seeking broader support for their legal social justice and coalition building goals. Her work emerges from years of engagement with spiritual communities and practices, and her commitment to social justice. Kim Clark invites her audience to grapple with both the intellectual and emotional complexities of injustice. She conveys the human rights and multidimensional Intersectionality of race, sexual orientation, gender, and class along with ways of assessing the possibility and design of critical coalitions.
Kenneth Cloke is Director of the Center for Dispute Resolution and a mediator, arbitrator, attorney, coach, consultant, and trainer, specializing in communication, negotiation, and resolving complex multi-party conflicts, including community, grievance and workplace disputes, collective bargaining negotiations, organizational and school conflicts, sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits, and public policy disputes, and in designing preventative conflict resolution systems for organizations. He has done work in conflict resolution in Austria, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, England, Georgia, India, Ireland, Japan, Latin America, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Ukraine, the former USSR, United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe. Mr. Cloke is President and co-founder of Mediators Beyond Borders. He is a nationally recognized speaker and a prolific author of many journal articles and books, including Mediation: Revenge and the Magic of Forgiveness; Mediating Dangerously: The Frontiers of Conflict Resolution; The Crossroads of Conflict: A Journey into the Heart of Dispute Resolution; and Conflict Revolution: Mediating Evil, War, Injustice, and Terrorism. He is co-author with Joan Goldsmith of several books, including Resolving Conflicts at Work: 8 Strategies for Everyone on the Job (2nd Edition), and The Art of Waking People Up: Cultivating Awareness and Authenticity at Work.
Craig Collins has been active in landscape conservation advocacy and creative strategy for over thirty-five years. He is the Past President of Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy, and is Interim Director of Silver Lake Forward, a new organization working to help build a comprehensive, sustainable water and public space solution at Silver Lake Reservoirs. He was a founding member of Friends of the Columbia Gorge in Oregon, along with other non-profits working for a new National Park in the Pacific Northwest. Over the years, he has contributed creative services to a variety of national and regional groups and causes, including The Trust for Public Land, American Land Conservancy, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority, Baldwin Hills Conservancy, People for Parks, Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, Community Conservancy International, Audubon, and others. He is a photographer, writer and graphic designer, and has had many institutional, health care, religious and other non-profit clients. He lives in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Michelle Dickson is an internal Executive Coach with a Fortune 100 company and leads a team of coaches across 5 states. Her coaching focuses primarily on mindset and behavior changes for effective leadership. Michelle’s background is an unusual combination of experiences ranging from Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine to Federal Grant Writer for the Texas Education Agency, to Arabic Interrogator in the US Army. Michelle served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and received the Knowlton Award for significant contributions in Military Intelligence. After her service, as a civilian, she developed advanced interrogation courses for the DoD. The link in every step has been her passion for communication. She has Master’s degrees is in Applied Theoretical Linguistics from LSU and Dispute Resolution & Conflict Management from SMU. Michelle is a certified Conflict Management Coach, Executive Coach, and Mediator.
Debra L. Dupree
Jan Frankel Schau, Esq
Dave Fleischer, Director of the Leadership LAB of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Dave Fleischer directs the Leadership LAB at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. The LAB—the acronym stands for learn act build—helps emerging leaders develop the skills they need to recruit and motivate a large team of volunteers and to create, launch and evaluate experiments to change voters' minds and to reduce prejudice.
Simon J. K. Fox
Executive Director of the Adventures in Caring Foundation in Santa Barbara, California. Simon, with his wife Karen who founded the nonprofit, has built Adventures in Caring into a leader in teaching the art and practice of communicating compassion to those who are sick or injured. For 30 years they have cultivated compassion in health care, and have produced a replicable, skill-based model for teaching compassion, which is now used in hundreds of hospitals, hospices, and nursing schools. At a local level, undergraduate students pursuing careers in health care, volunteer through their service-learning program, The Medicine of Compassion, and have made more than one million visits to befriend patients in hospitals in skilled nursing facilities, so that people did not have to face their illness or injury alone. President H.W. Bush recognized these efforts with his Point of Light Award in 1991. Simon is co-author of the book, What Can I Say? A Guide To Visiting Friends and Family Who Are Ill and co-producer of five video-based training programs on compassion, including The Medicine of Compassion which won the 2004 International Health & Medical Media’s Award for the best video in patient care. Simon has served on the National Advisory Committee for the American Trauma Society and he produced its Second Trauma train-the-trainer program. His latest production addresses the topic of compassion fatigue. Oxygen for Caregivers is a toolkit for health care and emergency services professionals to guard against burnout, build resilience, and sustain compassion. Simon is a native of Great Britain where he earned an honors degree in physics and geophysics from the University of Bath. He now lives in Santa Barbara with his wife, Karen.
Veronica Hahni is the Executive Director of Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI), an innovative nonprofit organization that implements neighborhood-scale transportation improvement projects in economically challenged communities throughout Los Angeles County. Veronica oversees the organization’s community engagement process as well as conceptual planning, design, and construction projects that successfully reshape the built environment and make transit use, pedestrian, and cyclist activity safer, user-friendly, and convenient. Prior to joining LANI, Veronica served as the Manager of Legal Services at AIDS Service Center in Pasadena, California, providing legal services to the low-income, HIV-infected population of Los Angeles County. She also served on the Judicial Appointments Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association from 2002 - 2008, evaluating Superior Court candidates for the Governor of California. She received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University, Los Angeles.
Jason Harper has used his diverse skills in facilitating discussions to help bring resolution in all types of disputes, be they litigated or non-litigated. Jason received his mediation training from Loyola Law School and completed advanced mediation training through the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
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.
Toni Jaramilla believes in creating positive social change through dedicated and compassionate advocacy for the rights of workers. Since 1994, she has been practicing exclusively employment law, and has litigated hundreds of cases of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and unpaid overtime wages resulting in millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. She represents individuals from all walks of life, from minimum wage workers to executives and professionals from a wide variety of industries and fields. Ms. Jaramilla was the past Chair of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA) from 2011-2013, California's largest and strongest employee rights advocate group. She is a past Chair and of CELA's Diversity Committee which establishes scholarships and fellowships to encourage women and those of multi-cultural backgrounds to practice employment law. Early in her career in 1998, Ms. Jaramilla was selected to serve on the Executive Board of the California State Bar, Labor and Employment Law Section. She then served as its Chair in 2004-2005 and is currently an Advisor.
Professor Jewel teaches Entertainment Law, Torts, Legal Writing, and supervises students in the Appellate Litigation Clinic at the University of Tennessee College of Law. She came to teach at Tennessee from Atlanta's John Marshall Law School, where, in addition to teaching Entertainment Law, she taught legal writing and legal skills courses and served as Director of Legal Writing. Her teaching is informed by several years of practice experience as a commercial litigator with the New York City firm of Wachtel, Masyr, & Missry, LLP. Professor Jewel's scholarship focuses on the intersections between culture, law, technology, and rhetoric, with a particular interest in unmasking how rhetorical choices and cultural forces impact legal and social outcomes. Her articles have appeared journals such as the Yale Journal of Law & Technology, University of Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, Buffalo Law Review, and the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science, and Technology. She is an appointed member of the Executive Committee for the AALS Section on Legal Writing, an elected board member of the Association of Legal Writing Directors, and is a founding board member of ClassCrits, an organization of legal scholars dedicated to uncovering the connections between law and inequality.
After years of mediating part-time while practicing law, Laurel Kaufer transitioned to full-time neutral practice in 1995. Mediating disputes successfully through panels across Southern California, Kaufer was quickly able to gain strong credibility, serving as a neutral in over 1000 disputes. After a decade resolving litigated cases, Kaufer makes every effort to address conflict prior to litigation wherever and whenever possible. Specializing in the resolution of construction, real estate and commercial disputes, Kaufer has been instrumental in the restructuring of a public mediation panel through the Southland Regional Association of Realtors and regularly speaks throughout Southern California on Real Estate mediation. Kaufer, a Diplomat and Advisory Committee Member of the California Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, also arbitrates Contractors State Licensing Board disputes and mediates through both the Santa Barbara CADRe program and the Ventura County Superior Court. A leader in any profession is expected not only to practice with credibility and expertise, but also enhance the profession through a consistent exchange of knowledge and experience, as well as open up new frontiers of practice. Kaufer’s commitment to public service is a natural part of her career as a neutral. Kaufer served for years on the Board of the Southern California Mediation Association and is a past Board Member of Ventura County Dispute Services. In 2007, Kaufer co-founded the “SCMA Salons,” warm home-based events, presenting guest speakers from outside the local community who engage mediators in intellectual discussions of issues which push the envelope of the profession.
Arezou Kohan, Esq., CPCC is a former civil litigator turned author, coach and mediator. She is passionate about raising consciousness through facilitating workshops on advanced communication skills and self-care. She earned her J.D. from Southwestern. She received her mediation training from the Straus Institute of Conflict Resolution and her life-coaching training and certification from The Coaches Training Institute. Her book, Coaching Your Client, A Lawyer's Guide for Improving Communication and Client Outcomes was recently published by the American Bar Association.
Leonard S. Levy
Leonard S. Levy, Esq., Mediator, ADR Services, Inc.; CEO, Family Dynamics Assistance Center, LLC, Former SCMA Board Member. Leonard Levy had to deal with his and his wife’s own preconceived notions, after his son, Joseph came out to him. In order to work through those issues, Joseph suggested that the entire family attend PFLAG meetings. PFLAG stands for Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians. Among other things, “PFLAG supports people who are LGBTQ, their families, friends and allies both locally and nationally, providing PFLAG chapter support group meetings and resources.” Not only did PFLAG help the entire family work through their issues, but Len and his wife also volunteered to assist other families dealing with similar problems.
2010 SCMA Peacemaker of the Year, Prison of Peace Mediator
I didn't know it at the time, but making the decision in 2010 to complete a questionnaire, writing a few paragraphs about peace, conflict resolution and personal change would be the catalyst for my own truth. Since starting my training and insightful relationship with my Prison of PEACE family, I have successfully utilized my communication and mediation skills to navigate my way toward freedom in many more ways than just my release from prison. Having successfully completed the six-month Crossroads transitional living program, and Reintegration Academy (a twelve week program sponsored by Pomona Parole and Professor Renford Reese of Cal Poly Pomona), I now work with my family and am living a safe and productive life.
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.
Doug Noll is a full time peacemaker and mediator, specializing in difficult, complex, and intractable conflicts. He is an adjunct professor of law and has a Masters Degree in Peacemaking and Conflict Studies. Mr. Noll is AV-rated and was a business and commercial trial lawyer for 22 years before turning to peacemaking. He is also a Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators, a Fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators and on the American Arbitration Association panel of mediators and arbitrators. Noll is an author of three books, including Elusive Peace, Sex, Politics & Religion at the Office: The New Competitive Advantage, with John Boogaert, and Peacemaking: Practicing at the Intersection of Law and Human Conflict. Mr. Noll is also the host of the radio show The Doug Noll Show that streams live on wsRadio.com Thursday evenings at 7 pm Pacific.
Katherine Aguilar Perez-Estolano
Katherine Aguilar Perez-Estolano is an expert in urban planning, transportation, and stakeholder engagement. As co-founder of ELP Advisors, she has managed numerous transportation planning and community engagement projects. She has also co-led complex multi-stakeholder processes, including the creation of economic development implementation plans and the LA 2050 visioning project for the Goldhirsh Foundation. With her diverse background in private real estate development, transportation policy and urban planning, she has emerged as one of the most articulate and credible advocates promoting the responsible use of land and transportation. Prior to co-founding ELP Advisors, she was the Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute, Los Angeles District Council (ULI LA), and was formerly the Vice President of Development for Forest City Development where she focused on transit-oriented development and mixed-use projects in emerging markets. Before joining Forest City, Ms. Perez-Estolano was the co-founder and Executive Director of the Transportation and Land Use Collaborative (TLUC) of Southern California, a nationally recognized non-profit that promotes greater civic involvement in planning and development. Previously, she worked as Deputy to Pasadena Mayor William Bogaard on transportation, planning and Latino constituent issues. In 2013, she was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the Board of Directors of the California High Speed Rail Authority. Ms. Perez-Estolano previously served on the California Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission, which assisted the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and regional transportation agencies in developing public-private financing agreements for high-priority infrastructure projects throughout the state. Ms. Perez-Estolano is an Adjunct Professor at the USC School of Planning and Development. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor at the UCLA School of Policy and was honored to be recognized as a 2009-2010 Senior Fellow of the UCLA School of Public Affairs. Ms. Perez-Estolano received her Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Transportation from UCLA and her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from California State University Northridge.
Shanae Polk is a Peacemaker, Mediator and Trainer with Prison of Peace, a non-profit organization providing enhanced conflict resolution skills to incarcerated populations and a licensed substance abuse counselor. Until early 2015, when she was released from prison, she was the lead trainer of Peacemaking at California Institution for Women. In addition to numerous appearances as a Keynote speaker and her continuing involvement with Prison of Peace, Shanae is involved with 2nd Call Organization, in advocating on behalf of the formerly incarcerated, provides guidance to other formerly incarcerated women as a life skills facilitator and works as a Case manager at the Southern California Alcohol and Drug Program.
Professor Robinson's humor, energy and ability to articulate lessons from his mediation experiences have made him a popular lecturer and trainer; he has presented advanced negotiation and mediation skills courses in more than thirty states and in Argentina, Canada, England, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, France, and Rwanda. Prior to joining the Pepperdine community, he served as the director of the Christian Conciliation Service of Los Angeles (CCS), a non-profit dispute resolution center, and a staff attorney for a U.S. Government agency that insures pension benefits pursuant to ERISA. He has served on the board of CCS, Ventura Center for Dispute Settlement, Dispute Resolution Services of the LACBA, the Southern California Mediation Association (SMCA), and the California Dispute Resolution Council. The SCMA recognized him as Peacemaker of the Year in 1999. He is an honorary fellow of the International Academy of Mediators. The Los Angeles Magazine has recognized Professor Robinson as a Southern California Super Lawyer in the area of mediation, intermittently since 2006.
Craig E. Runde
Craig E. Runde is Director of the Center for Conflict Dynamics. He oversees product development, training programs, and alliances. Craig is the coauthor of Building Conflict Competent Teams (Jossey-Bass 2008), Developing Your Conflict Competence (Jossey-Bass 2010), and Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader - Second Edition (Jossey-Bass,2012). He is a frequent speaker and commentator on workplace conflict issues and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Conflict Management. Before joining Eckerd College, he was the director of the International Center for Computer Enhanced Learning at Wake Forest University. Craig received his B.A. from Harvard University, M.L.L. from the University of Denver, and J.D. from Duke University. He has practiced law in Colorado and has taught at the University of Minnesota Law School and Wake Forest University.
Dr Schneider received his Undergraduate degree with honors in Microbiology at UCLA and his MD from USC. He did a medicine residency at the West Los Angeles VAMC '90-93 and stayed on for a chief resident year in '94. After a brief stint in private practice Dr. Schneider returned to the VA where he became Assistant Chief of Medicine after 1 year and Associate Director of the Internal Medicine Residency 2 years later. Dr. Schneider's area of interest is in clinical ethics consultation and education. He is currently President of the Southern California Bioethics Committee Consortium (SCBCC) and directs efforts to coordinate POLST implementation in the West Los Angeles area through 6 member hospitals of SCBCC (UCLA – Ronald Reagan, UCLA- Santa Monica, St. John’s, VA, Torrance Memorial, and Cedars Sinai.) He regularly lectures to house staff, attending physicians and others on the fields of ethics consultation, informed consent and capacity.
Maria Simpson, Ph.D. works as an executive coach and consultant to senior executives and leadership teams to bring mediation skills and approaches into the workplace. She has coached CEOs and city managers as well as conducted leadership retreats. Her considerable experience in organizations includes senior management positions at The Conference Board, the New York Academy of Sciences, and TIAA-CREF, and she has also served on the boards of directors of the South Bay Center for Dispute Resolution and the International Society for Performance Management-LA, as well as the SCMA. She currently serves on the boards of Empathia Pacific, a national EAP provider, and is now Chairman of the SCMA Education Foundation Board. In addition she is a founding member of the SCMA Committee on Mediator Certification. Maria has taught in the graduate program on Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peace-building at CSUDH and was a mediator for the Los Angeles County Superior Court for over 15 years. Since 2003 she has written a weekly email on management communications and conflict resolution called Two Minute Training and published a collection called “Leading Unstoppable Teams!” Maria is a graduate of William Smith College and New York University where she did her graduate work in cinema studies and media ecology. She is proud to have received the SCMA President’s Award in 2012 “in recognition and appreciation for extraordinary service and unfaltering dedication to the Southern California Mediation Association” and was recognized for her “dedicated service as Editor of the SCMA Newsletter” in 1999.
Professor Smith received her Ph.D. in History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz in 2002 and her J.D. at UC Irvine School of Law in 2013. Her publications include: Native Americans and the Christian Right: The Gendered Politics of Unlikely Alliances and Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide. She is also the editor of The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Nonprofit Industrial Complex, and co-editor of The Color of Violence, The Incite! Anthology; Theorizing Native Studies, and Native Studies Keywords.
Dennis C. Smith
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Economics and Political Studies, Pitzer College 1984. Professional: A full service financial professional, Dennis has the necessary licenses and registrations to assist individuals and families with mortgages, financial planning, investments for retirement, college savings or other long term goals, insurance products including life, long term care and annuities. Having received a combined degree in Economics and Political Studies from Pitzer College in Claremont, California in 1984, Dennis has spent his time since in the finance and real estate industries. This background provides him with tremendous experience with which to provide solutions to his clients’ lending needs. Well known throughout the Southern California real estate community for his honesty and communication skills, Dennis has built a very strong business base of professionals and past clients. A detailed conversation with every client ensures that a comprehensive plan can be presented to help achieve goals, from purchasing a new home to confidence in a comfortable retirement. Developing a relationship for the long term and not a one-time transaction per client has resulted in Dennis have many long term and repeat clients due to excellent service and client satisfaction. Pledge to Clients: Dennis will conduct all business with integrity, honesty and a commitment to continually learn and improve. This results in all parties being happy with the experience and a positive long term relationship.
Mott Smith is co-founder of Civic Enterprise, an L.A. firm that builds innovative, socially-conscious projects in emerging neighborhoods and provides innovative parking and economic development solutions for cities and communities. CE’s most recent project is L.A. Prep, the first-of-its-kind wholesale food production complex for 54 small business tenants. He is very active in local, regional and state legislative issues. His built work has been honored by the Urban Land Institute, the L.A. Conservancy, and Architectural Record Magazine. He is a founding board member of the California Infill Builders Federation, teaches in USC’s Master of Real Estate Development Program and Planning Program in the USC Price School of Public Policy. Earlier, he was as Acting Director of Planning for the L.A. Unified School District after serving as founding Executive Director of New Schools-Better Neighborhoods. He also worked as editor/business manager of The Planning Report. Mott is past president of the Westside Urban Forum. He received a Master of Real Estate Development from USC and a BA in Linguistics from UCLA.
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.
Ms. Torrey is experienced in all aspects of employment law, with an emphasis on defending employers in single plaintiff and class action cases in state and federal court. Ms. Torrey regularly advises employers in the full range of employment matters, including wage and hour issues; protecting trade secrets and the use of nondisclosure agreements; unlawful harassment prevention; EEO and affirmative action compliance (including regression and adverse impact analysis); leaves of absence; background and drug screening; employment agreements; the use of independent contractors; hiring and termination decisions; personnel practices and policies; employee counseling and discipline; reductions in force and layoffs; and, generally, compliance with state and federal laws. Ms. Torrey represents large national companies, middle-market businesses and start-ups in most industries, including healthcare, technology, manufacturing and distribution, professional and financial services, entertainment, PEO and staffing services, background investigations, real estate and property management, advertising, and tax exempt organizations. Ms. Torrey frequently presents seminars to employers and professionals on various topics, including wage and hour issues, the prevention of unlawful harassment, EEO and affirmative action, compliance with Fair Credit Reporting laws and litigation prevention. Prior to her law firm practice, Ms. Torrey served as a Law Clerk for Chief Judge Deanell Reece Tacha for the Tenth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals.
Julaine Waggoner is a Real Estate Broker and a GRI (Graduate, Realtor Institute). She holds certificates in sales of Short Sale, Foreclosure, and Probate Properties. She took the 40-hour class in Mediation from the L.A. County Bar Association, and continues to train in Collaborative Divorce trainings with the Collaborative Divorce Professionals of Orange County. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Post-Graduate work was completed at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to her Real Estate career, she was involved in public education, not only teaching children, but in curriculum development and teacher training, as well. Julaine comes from four generations of Real Estate Brokers. Her family owned Sturdevant Realty in Hawaii and Pasadena from 1892 until 1976. Her mother was the top-selling agent at the Real Estaters in Costa Mesa. Now, Julaine continues the tradition by being one of the top-selling agents in her office. Julaine loves the outdoors, athletics of all kinds, including rollerblading and many racquet sports. She enjoys hiking and camping as well as visits to concerts and museums.
Barbara Weir has worked in the employee assistance program field for over twenty-five years. She has been the Chief Executive Officer of Empathia Pacific, Inc., a behavioral health care (EAP) service plan, since 2006 and was COO for fourteen years before becoming CEO. She received her M.S. in Counseling in Business, Industry and Government from the California State University at Northridge and her B.A. from UCLA. As CEO she also serves as a member of the board of directors for Empathia Pacific and has previously served on boards for non-profit professional and theater organizations. As a long-term resident of Ventura County, Barbara is involved in addressing critical issues in the County and is a member of the Ventura County Leadership Academy and the Outstanding Professionals Employment Network.
Christine J. Wilson
Christine J. Wilson received her nursing degree from the Los Angeles County Medical Center School of Nursing and her Juris Doctorate from Whittier College, School of Law. Before completing her law degree, Ms. Wilson held various positions in both acute and skilled nursing facilities as a registered nurse, with a special emphasis on the health care needs of elderly and disabled individuals. Ms. Wilson is a member of several local and national bar associations, including the Los Angeles County Bar Association where she has served as Co-Chair of the Bioethics Committee; she was appointed as an attorney member to the Joint Bioethics Committee of the LA County Bar and LA County Medical Association and has previously served on the Board of Governors of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. A partner in the law firm of Tyler & Wilson, Ms. Wilson advises health care providers, practitioners and individuals regarding legal and bioethics issues. She has mediated cases as a member of the LA County Superior Court panel and is a member of the Section on Conflict Resolution of the Beverly Hills Bar Association.