Conference Speakers

 

Hesha Abrams
Hesha Abrams Mediation LLC

http://www.HeshaAbramsMediation.com.

Hesha Abrams, Esq., a nationally acclaimed attorney mediator for over 30 years, is known for crafting highly creative settlements in very difficult cases. She has created settlements worth over $700 million in the past year alone. She
specializes in creating innovative solutions for complex or difficult matters in Commercial,Intellectual Property and “Deal Mediation”,which is driving a complex business deal to successful signing. She has the unique ability to
work with big egos and strong personalities. Hesha has successfully mediated for thousands of parties and was an innovator in the mediation field serving on the legislative task force that drafted the landmark Texas ADR law. She mediates, consults, and negotiates on behalf of private parties throughout the country and internationally. She has worked in London, Hong Kong, Mexico,
Thailand and India and with parties from all over the globe in complex patent licensing deals. She taught mediation and negotiation at the 2001 International Symposium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in The Hague. She was on the national panel for Dow Corning Implant cases and was the Chair of the Texas Bar
Intellectual Property ADR Committee. She has been appointed Delegate to the Fifth Circuit Judicial Conference, 1988, 1990, 2002, speaker 2005, elected as a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation in 2006 and received the Brutsché Award for Excellence in Mediation from the Association of Attorney Mediators. For further information,see www.HeshaAbramsMediation.com.

Hesha Abrams will be presenting the following sessions:
Tricks of Master Negotiators and Problem Solvers: Positioning Yourself for Maximum Negotiating Leverage and Defusing Jerks, Liars, and Saboteurs
Friday, February 24 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
View Session Description
Tricks of Master Negotiators and Problem Solvers: Positioning Yourself for Maximum Negotiating Leverage and Defusing Jerks, Liars, and Saboteurs
Friday, February 24 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
View Session Description
 

Jeff Aresty
InternetBar.org

http://www.internetbar.org/board-of-directors/jeff-aresty/   http://jeffaresty.com/

Jeffrey M. Aresty, Esq. is a lawyer originally from Boston, Massachusetts and currently living in Houston, TX. He has been involved in international business law and the role of technology in the transformation of the practice of law for almost three decades. He is a past chair of the American Bar Association Section of International Law’s Information Services, Technology, and Data Protection Committee and currently the deputy program chair; and has volunteered in other capacities for the ABA and the Massachusetts Bar Association.

Mr. Aresty is the founder and current President of Internetbar.org, Inc. which leads the technology and rule of law project, PeaceTones, for the World Justice Forum. The initial focus of The PeaceTones Project was designed to create sustainable income opportunities for individuals from developing areas and conflict zones; The Project selects artists from target areas around the world, and digitalizes their work (creating audio files, and cover art). The resulting files are then organized into albums and sold online. Then 90% of the revenues are returned to the artists with a portion of the money going towards a community project (updating utilities, providing internet facilities, creating artist’s co-ops).

Additionally, Mr. Aresty is a Fellow at the Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution at the University of Massachusetts. His involvement in the Center centers on promoting the use of online dispute resolution technology as an alternate to traditional methods. His ongoing law-technology activities concern (1) e-lawyering training, including ODR and (2) initiating global law reform in online communities.

Among Mr. Aresty’s accomplishments are initiating and directing the “ Computer College” program (1983-1987) that assisted lawyers in bringing computers into law practice and co-founding the ABA’s TECHShow in 1987. He co-edited three books on cross cultural influence in international business and e-commerce for the ABA, titled “The ABA Guide to International Business Negotiations”. In his position as the Reporter of the ABA’s e-lawyering Task Force (www.elawyering.org), Mr. Aresty wrote several articles on the technical, legal and practical implications of the practice of law in Cyberspace.

Jeff Aresty will be presenting the following session:
Access to Justice in the Digital Age
Friday, February 24 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
View Session Description
 

Joe Bontke
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Joe Bontke is the outreach manager and ombudsman for the Houston District office of U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Joe has been in the field of Human Resources & Civil Rights for the past 27 years and has experience in employment law and adult education. With a Bachelor's in Philosophy and a Masters in Education, he has been a Human Resources Director, a Training Coordinator for the American Disabilities Act (ADA) Technical Assistance Center for Federal Region VI, was appointed as Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine and recently has been named Chair of the Governors’ Committee for People with Disabilities by Governor Rick Perry. Using his entertaining style, Joe has educated groups throughout the country and most recently, his work at the EEOC has enabled him to empower employers and employees with the understanding they need to work effectively at their jobs. Joe's philosophy of education is - that 90% is knowing where to find the information ... when you need it.

Joe Bontke will be presenting the following sessions:
Mediating EEO Matters
Friday, February 24 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
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Mediating EEO Matters
Friday, February 24 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
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Joe L. "Joey" Cope
Duncum Center for Conflict Resolution and Solutions

http://duncumcentersolutions.com/our-firm/executive-team/

A mediator for more than 15 years and a practicing attorney for 30 years, Joey leads the Duncum Center at Abilene Christian University as executive director, casting vision for the organization while serving as the center’s lead trainer and consultant.

Joey is responsible for building and expanding the Duncum Center for Conflict Resolution and Duncum Center Solutions. He serves as an associate professor in Abilene Christian University’s graduate programs in conflict resolution and has served as an adjunct professor for the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law, the William H. Bowen Law School at the University of Arkansas – Little Rock, and the Southern Methodist University Center for Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management.

Joey is the co-author of the Texas Practice Guide: Alternative Dispute Resolution by Thomson Reuters/West Publishing. He has served as co-convener (2010) for the Texas Mediation Trainers Roundtable, as chair (2011) and past chair (2012) of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section, State Bar of Texas, and is currently a board member for the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association. He was awarded the Justice Frank Evans Award in 2017 by the ADR Section, State Bar of Texas.

Joe L. "Joey" Cope will be presenting the following session:
Taking the Mediation Message Worldwide: Lessons Learned and Future International Opportunities
Friday, February 24 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
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Al Cortez
Bexar County DRC

Al Cortez is a graduate of the George Washington University and St. Mary’s University School of Law. He has been a member of the Bexar County Dispute Resolution Center (BCDRC) for over 15 years. Al has certificates in Basic, Family Law, Multi-Party and CPS Mediations. Al served as a volunteer mediator, a member of the BCDRC Advisory Board, and as a presenter and role play coach for Basic and Family Mediation Training. He also served as the treasurer of the Alamo Area Mediators Association. Al joined the BCDRC in 2007 and served as a Mediation Coordinator for five years, and as the Intake/Mediation Manager for the next two years. On January 9, 2015, Al was selected as the BCDRC Director.

Al Cortez will be presenting the following session:
News from the Dispute Resolution Centers
Friday, February 24 1:00 PM to 1:45 PM
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James Scott Creighton
James Scott Creighton PsyD

Dr. James Scott Creighton graduated in 1990 with his Doctorate (Psy.D.) and Masters in Clinical Psychology (MS) from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, and then completed (1990 – 1992) his Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology at the prestigious McLean Hospital, an internationally renowned psychiatric hospital in Massachusetts; and appointed Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School (1990 – 1994). He served as adjunct faculty at Wheelock College and Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, while transitioning from Coordinator of Training to Director of Training and eventually Clinical Director with Institute for Child and Adolescent Development also in the Boston area. He began working part-time as an independent psychologist in 1994, moving into full-time practice from 2004 – 2012. At that time, he worked individually/collectively with families, schools, youth, parents, educators, prominent public officials and international celebrity figures to help address matters solely related to psychological functioning (assessment, treatment and aspects of prevention). His career shifted in 2012 toward ADR, where he is quickly developing a strong reputation for his professional experiences and knowledge with families, strong commitment to effective resolution of high conflict divorce, and talent in collaborating with colleagues and those whom he serves. He has completed certificates in Basic Mediation, Advanced: Family-Divorce-Child Custody Mediation, Arbitration and Parent Coordination/Facilitation, all through Manousso Mediation and Arbitration. He works alongside Dr. Manousso on some occasions as co-mediator, and offers course instruction in family dynamics and the influence of certain personality styles on parent coordination as part of Dr. Manousso’s training programs. He serves as mediator and arbitrator for BBB in Greater Houston, and is completing coursework in Criminal Justice around court procedure and criminal law. He is committed to facilitating effective resolution of most areas of conflict, providing excellent insights and new ideas where useful, and a wonderful compassion for those with whom he works.

James Scott Creighton will be presenting the following session:
Mental Health Issues in Mediation
Friday, February 24 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
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William A. Eddy, LCSW, Esq., CFLS
High Conflict Institute, San Diego, CA

http://www.HighConflictInstitute.com

Bill Eddy has been a mediator for over 30 years, as well as a therapist and family lawyer. He is based in San Diego, California, where he is the Senior Family Mediator for the National Conflict Resolution Center and the President of the High Conflict Institute. He has written several books, including High Conflict People in Legal Disputes and So, What’s Your Proposal. He has trained professionals worldwide on managing high-conflict disputes. He has developed a new method for high-conflict mediation called New Ways for Mediation. His website is www.HighConflictInstitute.com.

William A. Eddy, LCSW, Esq., CFLS will be presenting the following sessions:
Managing High-Conflict People in Family Mediation
Friday, February 24 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
View Session Description
Managing High-Conflict People in Workplace Mediation
Friday, February 24 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
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It’s All Your Fault! Ethically Managing High-Conflict People in Mediation
Saturday, February 25 9:15 AM to 10:45 AM
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Eric Galton
Lakeside Mediation Center

http://www.LakesideMediation.com

Eric Galton is considered by many to be a pioneer and defining force in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Since 1989 he has mediated over seventy-five hundred cases, employing a variety of mediation styles, and consistently maintains a 91% settlement rate. Over the past five years, Galton has mediated over 100 complex FLSA cases throughout Texas and has resolved 85% of those cases. Galton is Past President and Knight of the International Academy of Mediators and has published five books about mediation. Mr. Galton is highly versatile; he mediates disputes ranging from a half day to two weeks in length, in cities all over Texas and elsewhere in the country, involving anywhere from two to 125 parties from a broad spectrum of ethnic, socioeconomic, political, and business backgrounds. He mediates disputes in over 17 areas of law. In addition to his wealth of practical experience, Eric Galton inspires and motivates participants through his uncompromising ethics, incisiveness, compassion, and genuine love of the mediation process.

Eric Galton practiced law from 1976-1985 with Hancock, Piedfort, Galton & McGill. From 1985-1997, Eric Galton was a shareholder at Wright & Greenhill. Eric became a partner with the firm of Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody in 1997 until leaving the firm to establish Galton, Cunningham & Bourgeois, P.L.L.C.
Prior to becoming a full-time mediator, Eric Galton was a litigator in the areas of personal injury, commercial, and consumer litigation. He represented both plaintiffs and defendants and handled in excess of 80 trials before the court and more than 40 jury trials.

Mr. Galton has mediated disputes in all of the following areas: medical negligence, construction disputes, intellectual property disputes, legal malpractice, employment disputes, personal injury, environmental disputes, products liability, consumer disputes, complex and class FLSA actions, Deceptive Trade Practice Act disputes, labor disputes, race/sex/age discrimination, Americans with Disabilities Act disputes, family law, suits involving government entities, international commercial disputes, and oil & gas disputes.

Eric Galton will be presenting the following session:
The Unfortunate Demise of the Joint Session and the Preventable Death of Mediation. A Call for Action
Friday, February 24 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
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Melanie Grimes
Melanie E. Grimes, Mediator

http://www.mgmediation.com/

Melanie E. Grimes is blessed with a private mediation practice in Dallas which encompasses primarily family law matters. She has mediated 1000+ cases, is a TMCA Credentialed Distinguished Mediator and was honored with the Louis Weber Award as “Outstanding Mediator of the Year.” Melanie currently serves as the Texas Association of Mediators’ representative to TMCA and as Chair of the TMCA Board of Directors. Prior to becoming a mediator, she spent 15 years in senior- and executive-level corporate management. Her degrees include an M.L.A. from Southern Methodist University and a B.B.A. from Baylor University.

Melanie Grimes will be presenting the following session:
What’s Trending in Family Law Mediation: Let the Games Begin!
Friday, February 24 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
View Session Description
 

Kara Hawthorn
Dispute Resolution Center of Jefferson County

Kara Hawthorn is the Executive Director of the Dispute Resolution Center of Jefferson County in Beaumont. The DRC is a department of Jefferson County and provides mediation for cases filed in County Court, District Court, and Federal Court, as well as community cases in Jefferson County and fourteen additional counties.

Kara mediates civil, family, juvenile victim-offender, and Child Protective Services cases. She serves as an Independent Individualized Education Program Facilitator. Kara also served as a certified Ombudsman through the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services as an Advocate for Long-Term Care Residents.

Kara is a mediation trainer focusing on Basic, Family, and Juvenile Victim-Offender education. She is a member of the Texas Association of Mediators, the Texas DRC Directors Council, the Texas Mediation Trainers Roundtable, and is a Credentialed Mediator with the Texas Mediation Credentialing Association.

Kara Hawthorn will be presenting the following session:
News from the Dispute Resolution Centers
Friday, February 24 1:00 PM to 1:45 PM
View Session Description
 

Mark Hollas
Dispute Resolution Center - Central Brazos Valley

Mark Hollas grew up in Bryan College Station Texas. Graduated with a BBA from Sam Houston State University in 1975. Retired in 2008 after a 33-year career in various management positions with the City of Bryan. Experience in real estate appraisals, investments and debt collection, and agricultural ventures. Operated small business with my wife for the past 17 years. Currently, I own and operate a cow/calf operation on our ranch where we make our home.
Began my introduction to Mediation at Dispute Resolution of the Central Brazos Valley in 2010 by being elected as Vice-Chair and gaining certification in Basic and Family Mediation that same year and gaining advanced certification in Child Protective Services Mediation the following year. I have participated as a trainer for the annual training sessions sponsored by our local DRC. In 2011 I began my position as Board Chair for the DRC and still serve in this capacity. Upon my initial certification as a Mediator, I began volunteering at the DRC and I have mediated over 1669 volunteer hours in doing 495 mediations over the past 6 years. I am currently a Credentialed Distinguished Mediator through TMCA and I am a Friend of TAM as a volunteer mediator.

Mark Hollas will be presenting the following session:
News from the Dispute Resolution Centers
Friday, February 24 1:00 PM to 1:45 PM
View Session Description
 

Mike McMillion
The McMillion Group

http://themcmilliongroup.com/

Michael R. McMillion is President of The McMillion Group home office in San Antonio. From 2000-2015 he was a Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Commissioner in San Antonio, responsible for the facilitation and mediation of labor contract disputes in the private, public and federal sectors, and assisting in the resolution of employees' grievances and EEO complaints. In addition, he provided training in the areas of team building, consensus decision-making, confict management, organizational effectiveness, effective meetings, and interest-based problem solving to labor leaders, city leaders, employees and supervisors in a wide range of national and international organizations as well as local, state, and federal agencies. In the international arena, Commissioner McMillion headed two international training teams: one that trained government officials, business leaders and union leaders in the Republic of Mozambique, Africa, in interest-based bargaining, multi-party negotiations and mediation techniques; and the other that trained the senior leadership of the U.S. Air Force Chaplain Service in Japan, Germany and the U.S. in conflict management and interest-based problem solving. Mr.McMillion is a graduate of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution where he completed the course in Designing Dispute Resolution Systems in the Workplace at Pepperdine University School of Law. He is a visiting instructor for the Masters Program in Organizational Development at St .Edwards University in Austin. Mr. McMillion served as a JAG Officer in the United States Army for 22 years: as Chief of Legal Assistance, Defense Counsel, and Administrative Law Officer at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri (1978-1982); Command Judge Advocate, Corpus Christi Army Depot (1982-1986); and Instructor at The Army Judge Advocate General’s School in Labor and Employment Law, Charlottesville, Virginia (1987-1990). He went on to serve on the Judge Advocate General’s Staff at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. as an Assignments Officer (1990-1993); as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, Fort Bliss, Texas (1993-1996); and ended his military career as the Staff Judge Advocate, Fifth United States Army, Fort Sam Houston, Texas (1996-2000). He is a graduate of the Army’s Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

 

Celestin Musekura
African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM, Inc.)

http://alarm-inc.org/who_we_are/celestin

Dr. Celestin Musekura is the President and Founder of African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM, Inc.). He is an ordained Baptist minister who was born and raised in Rwanda. He received a Bachelor of Theology at Kenya Highlands Evangelical University in Kenya, a Master of Divinity at the Africa International university (AIU), formerly Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (NEGST) in Kenya, a Master of Sacred Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, a Master of Science in Justice Administration and Leadership at the University of Texas at Dallas, and a Ph.D. in theological studies at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas. His doctoral research is on Contemporary Models of Forgiveness. He specializes in communal forgiveness and servant leadership and justice administration.

In addition to his theological studies, Celestin has done more studies in Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Reconciliation at the Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia (USA) and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas (USA). His pastoral and Christian leadership ministries include six years of pastoring in Rwanda and serving in administration with the Association des Eglises Baptistes du Rwanda (AEBR). He served on the international and continental level as the Africa Regional Director for MAP International (Nairobi, Kenya), the Director for MAP-Reconciliation Ministries, and the Associate Director for SIM-Urban Ministries Support Group (Nairobi, Kenya). He co-founded the Sudan Evangelical Alliance (SEA) to help the persecuted churches in the southern Sudan to stand united in their suffering and in their outreach to their nation. Celestin has served as an Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary and Criswell College in Dallas, Texas.

Dr. Musekura is an international speaker and author. His published works include “The Rwanda Martyrs: A New Definition of Persecution and Martyrdom,” in Sorrow & Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution, and Martyrdom, 251-258, edited by William D. Taylor, Antonia van der Meer, and Reg Reimer (Pasadena, CA: World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission, 2012).Célestin Musekura and Andy Alo, eds., Restoring the Beauty and Blessing of Ethnic Diversity: A Training Manual on Ethnicity (Nairobi, Kenya: Africa International University and African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries, 2011). L. Gregory Jones and Célestin Musekura, Forgiving As We’ve Been Forgiven: Community Practices for Peace (Intervarsity Press, 2010). Célestin Musekura, Assessment of Contemporary Models of Forgiveness (New York: Peter Lang Publishers, Inc., 2010). Célestin Musekura, “Refugee Ministries,” in Africa Bible Commentary: A One-Volume Commentary Written by 70 African Scholars, edited by Tokunboh Adeyemo (Nairobi, Kenya: Word Alive Publishers, 2006).

Celestin is married to Bernadette and they have four children. They make their home in Dallas, Texas where Celestin serves in the ALARM U.S. office for part of his time while spending the rest of the time in East and Central Africa training leaders in servant leaders and reconciliation and forgiveness.

Celestin Musekura will be presenting the following session:
Taking the Mediation Message Worldwide: Lessons Learned and Future International Opportunities
Friday, February 24 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
View Session Description
 

Daniel Rainey
Holistic Solutions, Inc. (HSI) and Fourth Party Solutions (4PS)

http://www.danielrainey.us

Daniel Rainey is a principal in both Holistic Solutions, Inc. (HSI) and Fourth Party Solutions (4PS), an adjunct faculty member in the dispute resolution programs at Creighton University, Dominican University, and Southern Methodist University, and Chief of Staff at the National Mediation Board.

From 1978 through 1990, he was a faculty member and administrative faculty member at George Mason University. He is currently a Fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, a member of the Board of Directors for the InternetBar.Org, an NGO dedicated to the use of technology to enhance access to justice, Co-Chair of the Ombuds Committee of the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, a member of the Advisory Board for Modria, a for-profit Online Dispute Resolution company, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Northern Virginia Mediation Service.

He was one of the instructors for the first university ODR course, and he has developed graduate level ODR courses for several universities and dispute resolution centers. He is a member of the editorial board for Conflict Resolution Quarterly, and he is one of the Editors-in-Chief of the International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution. He is an author/editor of the award-winning book, Online Dispute Resolution Theory and Practice, and numerous other book chapters and articles about ODR and ADR. He recently joined the International Mediation Institute’s Task Force on ODR.

Daniel Rainey will be presenting the following sessions:
Mediation and Technology: Evolution, not Revolution
Friday, February 24 9:15 AM to 10:45 AM
View Session Description
Access to Justice in the Digital Age
Friday, February 24 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
View Session Description
 

Elaine Roberts
Dispute Resolution Center of Montgomery County, Inc.

Elaine B. Roberts has served as the Executive Director of the Dispute Resolution Center of Montgomery County, Inc. (DRC-MC) in Conroe, Texas since April 2014. Prior to this position, Elaine served as the Division Manager for the Houston Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) where she oversaw the development and implementation of programs and services offered to over 160,000 individuals with disabilities in the Greater Houston Metropolitan Area.

Before her appointment as MOPD Division Manager, Elaine had over twenty (20) years of experience as an attorney and mediator in private and non-profit practice. She served as Managing Attorney and Legal Director for the federally designated Protection and Advocacy agency for Texas and was admitted to and practiced before the U.S. Supreme Court, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Western Districts and all Texas courts. Elaine is also a former adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center, instructor for the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center, guest instructor at the Houston Police Academy and a volunteer mediator, board member and trainer for the Dispute Resolution Center of Harris County.
Elaine is currently a member of the State Bar of Texas Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Pro Bono College and State Bar College, as well as a member of Houston ADR Section, Woodlands Bar Association, Montgomery County Bar Association and the Association for Conflict Resolution- Houston, Employment First Task Force, LoneStar LEND Community Advisory Board, LMC Alumni organization; DRC Directors’ Council and Texas Association of Mediators. She also serves on the Woodlands Chamber of Commerce Community Relations Team and the Employment Law Update Committee and the Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit Director’s Roundtable. Elaine is a 2013 recipient of the HFD Neighborhood Heroes Award and a 2016 graduate of Leadership Montgomery County. She mediates ADA complaints filed with the Department of Justice through the Keybridge Foundation.
Elaine feels particularly lucky to be working with the outstanding volunteer mediators at the DRC-MC in Conroe which has been “helping people with difficult conversations since 1988”.

Elaine Roberts will be presenting the following session:
News from the Dispute Resolution Centers
Friday, February 24 1:00 PM to 1:45 PM
View Session Description
 

Celina Shariff
Aga Khan Conciliation & Arbitration Board for United States

Ms. Celina Charania Shariff, Esq. has worked for years in a pro bono capacity with the Aga Khan Conciliation and Arbitration Board (CAB) to further the cause of peace-making. A Houston-based attorney and entrepreneur, Ms. Shariff has held various positions within CAB, including her current role as Chairman of CAB USA. She has directly mediated or otherwise assisted parties and mediators in numerous family and commercial disputes. Beyond CAB, Ms. Shariff has served in several non-profit organizations including as a Charter Member of OPEN Houston, President of the South Asian Chamber of Commerce of Houston, and Board Member of Focus Humanitarian Assistance. In 2015, Ms. Shariff participated on behalf of CAB in a working group conference hosted by the International Social Service in Switzerland to help draft a Charter on International Family Mediations.
Ms. Shariff received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a Graduate Certificate in Public Policy and Management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Celina Shariff will be presenting the following session:
Bandaging Wounds: Healing through Mediation
Friday, February 24 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
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Lori Anne Shaw
Director of Training & Development, Duncum Center Solutions

http://duncumcentersolutions.com/

Lori Anne Shaw has served at the Duncum Center for Conflict Resolution at Abilene Christian University (ACU) since 2007. Lori Anne is a mediator specializing in workplace disputes. Her present focus is on offering training and services through Duncum Center Solutions.

Lori Anne has served ACU’s Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation Program as the practicum coordinator, and as a course facilitator in Negotiation and Mediation, Managing Conflict in Schools, Managing Conflict in the Workplace, Communication and Conflict Theory, and Advanced Mediation courses. Currently, she serves as assistant director of the program’s Conflict Resolution Residency Session – a five day, practice-based negotiation and mediation training.

Lori Anne Shaw will be presenting the following session:
Taking the Mediation Message Worldwide: Lessons Learned and Future International Opportunities
Friday, February 24 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
View Session Description
 

Mark Sims
Austin Mediation, PLLC

http://www.austinmediation.com/

Mark W. Sims is an attorney-mediator with offices in in the Arboretum corridor of Austin, Texas. Mr. Sims has practiced family law and other areas of general civil litigation in Travis and Williamson Counties and in Central Texas for twenty years.

It is Mr. Sims' belief that by breaking down areas of conflict into distinct, easy to manage pieces (often by incorporating visual aids and computer models that provide quick and accurate calculations), parties to any conflict can identify and understand each of the variables necessary to achieve a complete agreement. Mr. Sims works to empower mediation participants to make informed decisions in negotiating those variables so that they can work together to arrive at a fair and satisfactory result.

Mr. Sims is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and has Finance and Marketing degrees from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Credentialed Distinguished Mediator with the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association, a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, and a Fellow in the Austin Bar Foundation. Mr. Sims, a CV Peer Review Rated Attorney, is a member of the Texas Association of Mediator and of the College of the State Bar of Texas.

Mr. Sims has facilitated over three thousand mediations in family law cases and in matters involving other areas of civil litigation. He has completed the requisite training in basic mediation and family law mediation to facilitate court-ordered family law mediations in the State of Texas. Mr. Sims regularly attends continuing education seminars in mediation, family law, and collaborative law and he significantly exceeds the annual, continuing legal education training required for practicing attorneys in the State of Texas.

Mr. Sims has given numerous lectures on family law topics, mediation issues, and Collaborative Law at training seminars for attorneys, at other public events, and in the local media. Mr. Sims has also spoken in mediation training seminars for attorney and non-attorney mediators. He is a former chair of the Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas and volunteers regularly for Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas leading a pro se clinic regarding family law matters.

Mr. Sims was awarded the 2013 J. Chrys Dougherty Award by the Austin Bar Association in recognition of his volunteer efforts. Mr. Sims is proud of his work to establish an Endowed Presidential Scholarship at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin to honor his close friend and mentor, Joseph H. Culver.

Mark Sims will be presenting the following session:
What’s Trending in Family Law Mediation: Let the Games Begin!
Friday, February 24 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
View Session Description
 

Walter Wright
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Texas State University, San Marcos

http://www.polisci.txstate.edu/people/faculty/wright.html

Walter A. Wright is an associate professor in the Legal Studies Program in the Department of Political Science at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He teaches courses in law and alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and his primary research interest is mediation. He is a published author in the United States and several Latin American countries. He received B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Houston and an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from New York University.

Professor Wright has been an attorney since 1977 and a mediator since 1986. As an attorney, he has practiced in the areas of domestic and international commercial transactions, commercial litigation, real estate, and business organizations. As a mediator, he practices in the areas of employment, commercial, family, and community disputes. He is also a contract mediator for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (employment-discrimination charges) and the Key Bridge Foundation (disability-discrimination charges). While English is his native language, he is fluent in written and spoken Spanish, and he often mediates disputes in which the parties speak Spanish.

Professor Wright has received a Presidential Distinction Award for Excellence in Teaching from Texas State University, and he has received recognition as a Favorite Professor from the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society every year since 2010. He has mentored over 350 Applied Research Projects and eighty student publications. Professional organizations, universities and judicial agencies in the United States and Latin America often ask him to speak and conduct workshops on legal and ADR topics.

Professor Wright has a strong record of service to the ADR profession. Currently, he is co-Chair of the International Expansion Work Group of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), an organization that promotes peaceful conflict resolution; a director of the Chantal Paydar Foundation, which works towards many of the same goals as ACR; and editor-in-chief of El Acuerdo, an ADR newsletter published in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is former president of the Texas Association of Mediators and the Association of Attorney-Mediators, as well as former Chair of ACR’s International Section. For six years, he was Chair of the Newsletter Editorial Board of Alternative Resolutions, the newsletter of the ADR Section of the State Bar of Texas. He has received several awards for service, including the Steve Brutsché Award from the Association of Attorney-Mediators, the Frank G. Evans Award from the ADR Section of the State Bar of Texas, and the Susanne C. Adams Award from the Texas Association of Mediators. Texas State University has also awarded him two Golden Apple awards for his service to the university, the ADR and legal professions, and the community.

Walter Wright will be presenting the following session:
Taking the Mediation Message Worldwide: Lessons Learned and Future International Opportunities
Friday, February 24 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
View Session Description