Conference Speakers


Hesha Abrams
Hesha Abrams Mediation LLC

Hesha Abrams, a nationally acclaimed attorney mediator for over 30 years, is known for crafting highly creative settlements in very difficult cases. She has produced settlements worth over $700 million in the past year alone. Hesha 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 was appointed as a delegate to the Fifth Circuit Judicial Conference in 1988, 1990, and 2002, and was a speaker in 2005. Hesha was elected as a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation in 2006 and received the Brutsch Award for Excellence in Mediation from the Association of Attorney Mediators.

Hesha Abrams will be presenting the following session:
Tricks of Master Negotiators and Problem Solvers: Positioning Yourself for Maximum Negotiating Leverage and Defusing Jerks, Liars, and Saboteurs
Saturday, February 24 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM
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Rehan Alimohammad
Wong Fleming

Rehan Alimohammad is a Partner in the national firm of Wong Fleming in the Sugar Land, Texas office in charge of Immigration Law, and Tax Law. He is a CPA since 1999 and Attorney since 2001 and was listed as one of the Top Attorneys in Houston, Texas by Houstonia Magazine from 2013-2015, has a 10.0 Superb rating on AVVO, and an AV rating on Martindale Hubbell. He also was named one of the Five Outstanding Young Texans by the Texas Junior Chamber of Commerce in 2011 for outstanding legal pro bono service.

He is currently Chair of the Board for the State Bar of Texas (1st Asian to hold this position), Minority Director of the State Bar of Texas, and member of the Executive Committee for the State Bar of Texas; Legal counsel, Board Member, member of the Diversity Action Team for the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce; Board member for the Katy Bar Association and the Houston Bar Association; on the Leadership Task Force for the Katy Economic Development Council; Co-chair for Houston Bar Association’s Minority Opportunities in the Legal Profession committee; and on the Steering Committee for the Texas Minority Counsel Program.

Rehan Alimohammad will be presenting the following session:
What a Mediator Should Know About the Overlap of Immigration Law with Other Areas of Law, and Implications for the Parties
Friday, February 23 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
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Sean Banks
Shell Oil Company

Sean Banks is the Director of Ombuds Services and Corporate Ombuds for Shell Oil Company. He is in his 20th year as an ombuds practitioner. Prior to Shell he served as Director and Campus Ombudsperson at UCLA and California Polytechnic State University. Sean has extensive experience cultivating and maintaining cooperative working relationships with organizational leadership, compliance functions, and employees to effectively address a myriad of internal problematic issues and matters of concern. His professional background, expertise, and interests are primarily in the areas of conflict and dispute management, career and dilemma counseling and coaching, diversity and inclusion enhancement program development and implementation, and governmental and organizational policy analysis. Sean holds a BA in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego, and M.Ed. in Counseling and Juris Doctorate from the University of San Diego.

Sean Banks will be presenting the following session:
The Role of Ombudsman Programs in Organizational Conflict Resolution Systems
Friday, February 23 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
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Rishi Batra
Texas Tech University School of Law

Professor Batra is an Associate Professor of Law at Texas Tech University School of Law, teaching in the areas of alternative dispute resolution/negotiation, property law, and intellectual property. He also directs the Academy for Leadership in the Legal Profession. He focuses on alternative dispute resolution and in applying dispute resolution perspectives to novel fields such as election law and criminal procedure. He was previously the Langdon Fellow in Dispute Resolution at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and was the co-founder and first director of the Ohio State Student Mediation Program. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as training director for the Harvard Mediation Program and as a teaching assistant in Harvard's Program on Negotiation. Professor Batra did his undergraduate work at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to law school, he worked at the Microsoft Corporation, focusing on software and user design as well as engineering excellence.

Rishi Batra will be presenting the following session:
Non-verbal Communication in ADR in an International World
Saturday, February 24 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM
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Sharon Bayus
Innovative Alternatives, Inc.

Sharon Bayus is the founder, President and CEO of, Innovative Alternatives, Inc. a nonprofit agency located just one mile from the Johnson Space Center in the Clear Lake Area of Houston. IA’s mission is “Serving our community through mediation, counseling and training, since 1989. We find solutions to life’s most difficult people problems!” Sharon holds a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake graduating Magna Cum Laude and is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Clinical Supervisor. She is a member of many mediation, psychological and community associations; and recipient of numerous academic and community awards. Sharon is a frequent speaker and trainer throughout the state of Texas and the country on mental health, mediation and business-related topics. The Victim/Offender Reconciliation program of IA was the first mediation service of this type for the adult criminal court system in Harris County, Texas.
Sharon and Innovative Alternatives, Inc. are continually developing new applications of the mediation process for the therapeutic setting at Innovative Alternatives, Inc., such as Family Reconciliation and Intervention Mediation to save marriages and families embroiled in conflict or unhealthy patterns of behavior. She has also developed innovations in applications of mediation and conflict resolution for the corporate sector toward reducing conflict and developing positive work culture through Mediation of Team Norms in the workplace. Sharon was the first in the United States to develop an application of the mediation process as a model for experiential diversity training in large groups called Multicultural Mediation, allowing every participant to serve simultaneously as a teacher regarding various aspects of their own cultural background as well as a student of all the different cultures represented by others in the seminar.
Sharon was a founding Board member and President of the College of Texas Mediators and a founding Board member and Treasurer of the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association and is credentialed by this organization as a Distinguished Mediator—the highest level possible in Texas. IA has impacted more than 375 schools in Texas with comprehensive training and implementation programs for establishing Violence Prevention Programs in Schools including Peer Mediation and Bully-Proofing Programs which obtain extraordinary results.

Sharon spends as much time as possible with her three grand-children, introducing them to the fun and precious things of life! Sharon and Michael Bayus have been married for almost 40 very blessed years and Sharon credits Mike with tremendous support as she fulfills her calling to serve others.

Sharon Bayus will be presenting the following session:
Family Reconciliation and Intervention Mediation
Friday, February 23 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
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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 session:
Everybody Does It: Dealing with Diversity Issues in Mediation
Friday, February 23 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
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Nancy K. Ferrell
Professional Services and Education

Dr. Nancy K. Ferrell has provided conflict resolution and mediation services to individuals, agencies, and communities since 1985. Nancy believes that conflict resolution and mediation skills are 21st Century life skills. Her professional objective is to provide effective and affordable services to the largest number of people possible. She started her career as a civil rights mediator for the U. S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service for 12 years and has been in private practice since 1997. Nancy mediates cases dealing with a wide variety of issues, including civil rights, family, employment, contract, real estate, community, and faith community disputes. She has provided Basic, Family, Transformative, and other advanced mediation trainings annually since 1985. To find out more about Nancy, go to

Nancy K. Ferrell will be presenting the following session:
The Intersection of Mediator Ethics, Disputant Ethics, and Self-Determination
Friday, February 23 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
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Pam Friedman
Divorce Planning of Austin

Pam Friedman has over 20 years of financial planning and investment experience. Prior to partnering with Silicon Hills Wealth Management, LLC, Ms. Friedman was on Wall Street in both New York and London structuring and raising capital for both public and private companies. Upon her return to Texas, Ms. Friedman spent six years on the faculty of the Finance Department in the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.

As a financial planner and analyst, Ms. Friedman educates clients who may be unfamiliar with financial issues and investing, particularly during and after divorce. In her book “I Now Pronounce You Financially Fit: How to Protect Your Money in Marriage and Divorce” available on Amazon, Ms. Friedman uses stories from her practice to explain how to plan for the risk of divorce and what can go wrong when you don’t.

In divorce, Ms. Friedman assists men and women in identifying all the assets of the marriage, including those that potentially may be hidden or under-reported. She also provides detailed budgets and projections that demonstrate how different financial settlements will impact the client’s family for the short and long term. Lastly, Ms. Friedman helps ensure that other financial areas are addressed such as life insurance, beneficiaries, and estate and college planning.

Ms. Friedman has been featured in national publications and on-air with New York Times, NY Daily News, Elle Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Self Magazine, Estate Planning Magazine, ABC News Radio, Daily Finance (AOL), and the Divorce Financial Analyst Journal. She is a founding member of The Center for Integrated Divorce, an Austin, Texas-based network of mediators and other consultative professionals in divorce. Ms. Friedman is a trained financial neutral for collaborative divorce cases and a member of Collaborative Divorce Texas. Pam is also a trained family law mediator.

Ms. Friedman earned the designation CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) in 2006 and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™) in 2011. Pam holds an MBA, BBA, and BA in Finance and Economics from The University of Texas at Austin.

Pam Friedman will be presenting the following session:
Financial Decisions in Divorce
Friday, February 23 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
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Eric Galton
Lakeside Mediation Center

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 7,500 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 Fair Labor Standards Act (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, Mr. 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, he was a shareholder at Wright & Greenhill. Mr. Galton 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, Mr. 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:
Advanced Training on Effective Joint Sessions
Friday, February 23 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
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Jim Guinn
RRG Consulting

Dr. Guinn is CEO of RRG Consulting, a conflict resolution training company that specializes in equipping leaders with conflict resolution skills in fields of business and education.

As a private mediator, he specializes in real estate and insurance cases, while also doing pro bono family mediation for the Brazos Valley Dispute Resolution Center in Brazos County. He is a professor of leadership and conflict resolution at Texas A&M University and is a facilitator for classes in the Masters of Arts in Conflict Resolution program through Abilene Christian University.

Dr. Guinn received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and his Masters in Conflict Resolution from Abilene Christian University in four years. He earned his doctorate in Organizational Leadership at Abilene Christian University.

Jim is a currently serving as a board member of the Texas Association of Mediators.

Jim Guinn will be presenting the following session:
Multidisciplinary Co-Mediation
Saturday, February 24 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM
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Aron Hutchins
Banks & Banks Attorneys at Law, P.C.

Aron D. Hutchins is an attorney in Bryan, Texas. Aron practices criminal law, family law, and various other civil litigation with Banks & Banks Attorneys at Law, P.C. Aron received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and a law degree from South Texas College of Law Houston.

In 2013 Aron clerked for the Honorable Judge Debra Ibarra Mayfield who is now the presiding Judge of the 190th Judicial District Court in Harris County. From 2014-2015 Aron clerked for a firm with offices in Houston and Austin specializing in eminent domain work.

Since he has been back in Bryan-College Station Aron has tried both criminal and civil cases. Aron has represented defendants in felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile cases. He has also tried divorces, child custody cases, and termination of parental rights cases. His various civil practice includes personal injury, real estate, estate planning and various other civil litigation representing both plaintiffs and defendants. Aron understands litigation and understands the importance and necessity of quality mediation, which is why he joined Resolution Resource Group. Aron is a member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Brazos County Bar Association, and Texas Young Lawyers Association, and Texas Association of Mediators.

Aron Hutchins will be presenting the following session:
Multidisciplinary Co-Mediation
Saturday, February 24 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM
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Jeff Jury
Burns Anderson Jury & Brenner, LLP

Jeff Jury is a nationally-recognized mediator and arbitrator, whose experience as a neutral is supported by significant trial, appellate, and administrative practice. He is a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Texas Law School, and Southern Methodist University, teaching classes in negotiation, dispute resolution, mediation, and arbitration.

Jeff has authored chapters for books on mediation and construction law, and has created numerous articles and presentations on mediation, arbitration, negotiation, trial advocacy, construction law, ethics, and other topics.

Jeff Jury will be presenting the following session:
The Critical Conversation: Building Bridges Through Conflict in this Polarized Society
Saturday, February 24 10:15 AM to 11:30 AM
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Kimberlee Kovach

Kimberlee Kovach has been a leader and visionary in the modern mediation and alternative dispute resolution movement for over thirty-five years. She is a leading teacher, trainer, scholar and practitioner in the field of mediation and other dispute resolution processes. Kovach was a founding officer and served as Chair of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution. She also served as Chair of the ADR Sections of both the Texas and Houston Bar Associations.

Professor Kovach created and conducted the first mediation training in the state of Texas, and has continued to teach and train mediators around the globe. She has taught a variety of ADR courses in legal education for nearly twenty-five years, and was a leader in the creation of mediation clinics. She authored the first widely adopted mediation textbook as well as "Mediation in a Nutshell" (3rd ed. 2014). Kovach has published numerous articles and book chapters on a variety of ADR related topics, several of which are cited by scholars, courts and practitioners.

Kovach was the first recipient of the Evans Award for contributions to ADR in Texas. She was also awarded the Cloke-Millen Peacemaker Award by the Southern California Mediation Association and was recently honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Academy of Mediators in recognition of her longtime work in the field of mediation and ADR.

Kimberlee Kovach will be presenting the following session:
The Art of Recognizing Transformative Moments in Mediation
Friday, February 23 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
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Amy Lieberman
Insight Employment Mediation LLC

Individuals and organizations challenged with resolving high stakes conflict fortunate enough to enlist Amy Lieberman’s assistance will attest that Amy’s mediation skills were the secret to their success.

Among the “Best Lawyers in America” in ADR for more than ten year’s running, this experienced and sought-after mediator, trainer, and speaker enlightens, inspires and brings opposing parties together to ease tensions, protect capital, and restore balance.

Amy has mediated and resolved over 1500 conflicts. She is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, "Mediation Success: Get It Out, Get It Over, Get Back to Business", is a regular contributing writer for various legal, HR, and business publications, and has appeared as a featured guest on nationally-syndicated radio programs.

Amy is in high demand as a speaker and mediator. Her conference presentations have motivated and influenced thousands internationally to peacefully resolve their conflicts and enjoy the high-value benefits that flow from successful closure.

Amy’s niche expertise and rare ability to handle both legal and interpersonal disputes sets her apart, enabling her to provide peace of mind, and enhanced business, personal, and community relationships.

Resolving tensions, preserving dignity and enabling people to move on with their lives and businesses is her highest priority. Amy’s worldwide goal is to change the paradigm of conflict resolution, one person at a time, so that no one is afraid to facilitate the most challenging disputes, and no one fears participating in the process.

Amy Lieberman will be presenting the following session:
The Great 8: Conflict Currencies and the Resolution Ratio
Friday, February 23 9:15 AM to 10:45 AM
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Barbara Sunderland Manousso
Manousso Mediation and Arbitration, LLC. / International Mediation Resource Center.

Dr. Barbara Sunderland Manousso is the founder of Manousso Mediation and Arbitration, LLC. / International Mediation Resource Center. She is a TMCA Credentialed Distinguished Mediator and has been training mediators, practicing mediation, coaching clients, arbitrating civil cases, and lecturing internationally in an active alternative dispute resolution practice since 1993. Dr. Manousso is the current Chair of the Education, Research, and Training Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution International as well as the President of the Houston Gerontology Association. Dr. Manousso was the former president of the Association of Conflict Resolution (ACR) Houston Chapter and is a current board member, has served as a co-chair of the Training Committee of the International ACR Workplace Section, is a Founding Member of the Elder Mediation Section Standards Committee, and is Immediate Past Chair of the International ACR HealthCare Section. Dr. Manousso has specialized in elder mediation for over 20 years and has been influential in shaping the practice of elder mediation through the World Symposium on Elder Mediation as well as the ACR International, Care for Elders, Federal and Texas Arbitrator for Long-term Care Facilities, and UT Department of Gerontology. In 2008 she was appointed by Governor Perry as Commissioner on the Nursing Facility Administrators Advisory Committee and continues to serve in this role. Dr. Manousso received a bachelor's degree from Brown University; a Master of Public Health from The University of Texas School of Public Health; and a doctorate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University. Her dissertation research focused on conflict management skills in long-term care facilities and their administrators. She also holds a certificate as a collaborative law mediator. She serves on many boards and works on various professional and political committees in support of aging projects. In December 2010, she was recognized as one of Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women by Houston Woman’s Magazine.

Barbara Sunderland Manousso will be presenting the following session:
Elder Mediation Workshop
Saturday, February 24 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM
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Cecilia Morgan

Cecilia H. Morgan, Esq. is adept at reconciling the irreconcilable and a highly sought after neutral. Her cases are often hotly contested, multi-party matters pending in multiple courts. Known for her follow-up, one client describes her as a "tireless worker who intuitively knows when and how to apply pressure to obtain the deal." She has conducted more than 2,200 sessions of civil cases and arbitrated over 900 cases throughout Texas and 31 other states. Ms. Morgan was named one of Texas' Best Alternative Dispute Resolution Lawyers by The Best Lawyers in America in 2008 through 2017. Ms. Morgan also has over 38 years of experience as an attorney and ADR professional and is a respected member of the JAMS employment, energy, health care, and financial services practice groups.

Cecilia Morgan will be presenting the following session:
Why Mediations Fail
Friday, February 23 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
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Belinda K. Newman
University of North Texas

Belinda K. Newman, Ph.D. currently serves as the University Ombuds for the University of North Texas. She has enjoyed 35 plus years of higher education administration and policy analysis work including roles at Texas A&M University, University of South Carolina, Collin College, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Senate. Dr. Newman has provided leadership development, coaching, conflict resolution, mediation, and peacemaking resources within her various roles in higher education and community leadership. She has taught courses as an adjunct professor for Southern Methodist University, University of North Texas, Amberton University, and Collin College. She developed and taught the first graduate “Ombuds” course in SMU's Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management program. She is an active member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and served on the Board of Directors. In addition, she teaches IOA advanced courses, chaired the IOA Membership Categories Task Force, formerly served on the Professional Development Committee and the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee. Dr. Newman is also member of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), the Alliance of Texas Organizational Ombuds Practitioners (ATOOP).

Dr. Newman earned her bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees from Texas A&M University. Her doctoral research was on the topic of organizational politics, (so it is natural that she would eventually work in the Organizational Ombudsman profession). She completed the Executive Coaching certificate from SMU Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management program. She has completed numerous other training programs through the University of Texas Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution, the International Ombudsman Association, CDR Associates, Association for Conflict Resolution, the Boss Whisperer Institute, and CINERGY® Conflict Coaching.
Belinda is an avid golfer and believes many of life’s lessons are practiced on the course. She is also a passionate collegiate sports fan and loves reading and listening to music.

Belinda K. Newman will be presenting the following session:
The Role of Ombudsman Programs in Organizational Conflict Resolution Systems
Friday, February 23 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
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Jennifer Ortiz Prather
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Houston District

Jennifer Ortiz Prather is a Supervisory Attorney and ADR Program Manager for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) Houston District Office. She mediates private sector employment discrimination disputes and oversees the ADR/Mediation program for Houston and New Orleans.

Under her leadership, the mediation program has conducted over 3,000 mediations, with an average settlement rate over 74% and achieved over $34 million dollars in monetary settlement benefits for charging parties. In 2014, Ms. Prather received the prestigious EEOC Chair’s Award for her work creating a Pro Bono Mediation Program, which has conducted over 230 mediations and accomplished over $1.5 million in monetary benefits through settlement agreements. Since she joined the EEOC in 2010, Ms. Prather has been active the ADR professional community. She is a Board Member for LERA Houston, the Texas Labor Management Board, and previously for ACRHouston. Currently, she serves as the Past-President of the Texas Association of Mediators (TAM) and as a Co-Chair for Diversity in the ABA’s Dispute Resolution Section.
Prior to joining the EEOC in Houston, Ms. Prather served as a Commissioner with the U.S. Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service (FMCS) in Washington, DC. For 9 years, she worked in the Office of International & Dispute Resolution Services. In addition to private and public sector workplace dispute mediations, Ms. Prather provided ADR consultations, systems design, conflict training and mediation/facilitation for both domestic and international clients.

Ms. Prather has mediated hundreds of labor, EEO, and workplace disputes involving multi-national corporations and various Federal government agencies, including NASA, FBI, Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the Small Business Administration. In addition, she has conducted hundreds of workshops, trainings, and conflict intervention programs for domestic and international audiences. Her international travel as a US representative includes projects with the 21 pacific-rim economies of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the International Labor Affairs Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, and work with the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados, the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia and mediation training in Beijing and Shenyang, China in 2009.

Ms. Prather received her B.A. at the University of Southern California in International Relations with a minor in Environmental Studies and her J.D. from Vermont Law.

Jennifer Ortiz Prather will be presenting the following session:
Everybody Does It: Dealing with Diversity Issues in Mediation
Friday, February 23 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
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Anamaris Cousins Price
Halliburton Ombuds Office Dispute Resolution Program

Anamaris has been with the Halliburton Dispute Resolution Program since 2004, and is currently focused on providing ombuds services to employees around the globe. She completed her business studies in her native country, Panama, and has worked in the energy and engineering industries since taking residence in Houston, Texas. Anamaris has combined her business experience, strong bilingual communication skills and her passion for ADR services and put them to work towards making the Halliburton Ombuds Office more visible and accessible within the organization.

She continues to grow in her role and is gaining recognition among other organizational ombudsmen as a team player and someone passionate about the value and impact of ADR programs in corporate organizations. Anamaris is a member of various ombudsman organizations and served two terms on the Board of Directors, including two years as President, of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA). She is also a member of the oversight committee for the Corporate Organizational Ombuds Roundtable (COOR). She has been certified as a mediator in the state of Texas and to develop and facilitate training in workplace conflict management.

Anamaris Cousins Price will be presenting the following session:
The Role of Ombudsman Programs in Organizational Conflict Resolution Systems
Friday, February 23 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
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Anna Rappaport
Excelleration Coaching

Anna Rappaport, JD, PCC, is a former lawyer with 15 years experience coaching attorneys and 11 years experience mentoring and training other coaches. As an executive coach, Anna serves as a sounding board, focusing partner and strategic resource. She assists clients to create strategic, business and career plans suited to their strengths and preferences; find the time and energy to implement these plans, and enhance business communications. Anna has spoken at numerous conferences and provided workshops to law firms both in the U.S. and abroad. She is a contributor to "The National Law Review" and "Law Practice Today".

Anna has a strong international background, having lived abroad for over 9 years, in total, including in Japan, Thailand, Canada and most recently Turkey, where she where she coached Turkish lawyers on business development and taught corporate law at Yeditepe University. She has also worked in Trinidad and Tobago and the country of Georgia.

Prior to becoming a professional coach, Anna had a varied career. As a lawyer, Anna’s main focus was litigation, though she also managed international nonproliferation programs for the U.S. Department of Commerce, coordinated with foreign governments, worked as a consultant analyzing U.S. policy, and was a snowboarding instructor in Tahoe.

Anna received a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, a B.A. in Political Science from Tufts University and is a member of the Maryland and Washington, D.C. bars. Anna is located in Washington, D.C. but coaches lawyers, neutrals and other professionals around the U.S. and abroad.

Anna Rappaport will be presenting the following session:
Eleven Common Mistakes Mediators Make When Developing Business
Friday, February 23 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
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Vicki Read
Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution

Vicki Read is the Sr. Program Coordinator at the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution at Texas Law.

Vicki began working for the Center in October 2001. She has worked in various aspects of the Center’s services, with her primary focus on customized alternative dispute resolution (ADR) training programs for governmental entities, both state and local, and non-profit agencies. The Center also offers generalized ADR trainings for the public at large. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is trained in mediation, interest-based negotiation and public policy dispute resolution. Vicki is a certified facilitator for the Conflict Dynamics Profile®.

Prior to her work at the Center, Vicki served as the Director of Operations and Special Projects at the North Louisiana Area Health Education Center. She was active in designing and implementing trainings, workshops and rural preceptorships for medical students in twenty-one parishes of north Louisiana.

Vicki is the former Secretary of the Texas Mediation Trainers Roundtable and is a member of the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section. She received her B.A. in Mass Communications/Public Relations from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and her M.A. in Counseling from St. Edward's University.

Vicki Read will be presenting the following session:
The Critical Conversation: Building Bridges Through Conflict in this Polarized Society
Saturday, February 24 10:15 AM to 11:30 AM
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Lori Anne Shaw
Duncum Center Solutions

Lori Anne Shaw has served at Duncum Center Solutions at Abilene Christian University (ACU) since 2007. As executive director, she provides strategy and partnership for the ACU’s continuing education, professional development, and corporate learning programs. Lori Anne is also the organization’s lead trainer with experience providing training and leadership retreats around the U.S. for Fortune 500 companies, small non-profits, and across the globe in Kenya and Rwanda. Previously, Lori Anne served as a mediator specializing in workplace disputes and as Director of Training and Development for the Duncum Center.

Lori Anne has served ACU’s Master of Arts in Conflict Management and Resolution program as a course developer, 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. She also served as co-trainer for program’s Conflict Resolution Residency Session – a five day, practice-based negotiation and mediation training, and the 40-Hour Basic Mediation Training.

Lori Anne is the Social Media Chair for TAM.

Lori Anne Shaw will be presenting the following session:
The Critical Conversation: Building Bridges Through Conflict in this Polarized Society
Saturday, February 24 10:15 AM to 11:30 AM
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Shelly Skeen
BFS Law Group

Shelly L. Skeen of BFS Law Group practices complex commercial litigation, representing businesses across the country in commercial litigation disputes in state and federal trial courts, appellate courts and in arbitrations. After graduating magna cum laude from law school, Shelly began her law practice as a Briefing Attorney for a Texas State Appellate Court of Appeals. Shelly has been a certified mediator since 2001, earned a Diploma in International Arbitration, and achieved a “Fellow” designation from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in London (CIArb), making her one of less than 475 lawyers in the U.S. holding the Fellow designation. Shelly also handles online free speech, business disparagement and defamation cases as well as probate, guardianship and estate planning for individuals and families, including LGBT individuals and families.

Shelly employs a practical, problem-solving approach to her practice. Shelly believes her client and her client’s priorities come first, and that her first job is to listen to her clients and then provide cost-effective legal advice to resolve their disputes quickly and efficiently.

Shelly has appeared before the United States Supreme Court, appeared and argued successfully before the Texas Supreme Court, appeared and argued before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana, appeared before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Illinois, United States District Courts in Texas, Michigan and Illinois, and several Texas State Appellate Courts.

Shelly has served a Council Member, Vice President, and Chair of a LGBT Law Section for the State Bar of Texas, is the President of the Dallas LGBT Bar Association, and is a former member and board member of nonprofits, including the Legal Aid of Northwest Texas and the Coalition for Aging, LGBT, where she served as the Co-Chair of the Policy & Legislative Advocacy Committee.

Shelly was appointed by the President of the State Bar of Texas to serve a three (3) year term on the State Bar of Texas’ CLE Committee. Shelly is also frequent speaker and author and is adjunct faculty for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy where she teaches trial skills to lawyers. She also teaches the Members program for CIArb.

Shelly is the recipient of the State Bar of Texas’ 2016 Franklin Jones Award for the Best Continuing Legal Education Article as voted by her peers.

Shelly is active in the local community where she performs volunteer work, has taught as an adjunct instructor, mentors for night time law students and high school students and serves as an assistant city prosecutor. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, hiking, and reading.

Shelly has been accepted into an LL.M. program in law and sexuality at UCLA School of Law where she hopes to graduate by May 2018.

Shelly Skeen will be presenting the following session:
Cutting Edge Issues in Mediations with LGBT Parties
Friday, February 23 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM
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Victor Voloshin
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Victor Voloshin is the Chief Mediation Officer at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In this capacity, Victor helps federal agencies design and improve their internal workplace programs using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

Victor also directs EEOC’s internal ADR program that addresses individual concerns and systemic workplace problems by mediating complaints, offering informal dispute resolution, designing climate assessments, conducting group facilitations, and providing conflict-resolution training.

Prior to EEOC, Victor served as the ADR Director and EEO Officer for the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, an independent mayoral agency responsible for handling complaints against the New York City Police Department.

Victor holds MBA and JD degrees from the College of William and Mary, and is licensed to practice law in New York State. He can be reached at or 202-663-4095.

Victor Voloshin will be presenting the following session:
Addressing Power Imbalances and Bias in Employment Mediation
Friday, February 23 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
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