Helping others develop their own answers to resolve disputes began when I was the only woman on a county board of supervisors. By request, I served on the mental health, drug and alcohol committee, the social services, and personnel committees. The latter is where I negotiated labor contracts. All of the committees’ disagreements convinced me that “there has to be a better way.” 30 years ago, mediation training and mediating my 1st case for a Wisconsin court showed me that indeed there was. 1,000s of mediated cases since attest that more often than not, given sufficient time, information, and support, people can mediate their way to resolution.
I mediate with people who never married, are married but want a change, are past the marriage, are of the same gender, in what is called Elder Mediation, with those having elder issues or family members in transition, struggles with family business issues, are in wills or trust conflict, or are struggling with post-death issues. I also consult for non-profit and for profit businesses, and with individuals. Although I practiced family and juvenile law along with mediation for years, I now focus my practice on mediation and consulting regarding conflict, change, and transformation.
In addition to my honors psychology and law degrees, I graduated from a 2-year training at the Gestalt Institute of Phoenix, their 1-year systems and couples training, plus have 1,000s of hours of continuing education in psychology, law, mediation, communication, and spirituality. I co-led a weekly growth group with a Phoenix psychologist and am the principal in Center 4 Joy, a space for encouragement, exploration, and practice of life.
Always open to working with clients’ lawyers, financial and mental health experts, I tailor the dispute resolution experience to each situation. Having graduated from a Trial Advocacy course at the University of New Mexico, practicing law, and being a former labor negotiator, I mediate along a continuum from facilitative to evaluative, depending on the situation, clients’ needs, and the moment. Lawyers, their clients, and referrals are all welcome and treated as we all deserve to be treated.
I co-chaired committees that drafted Arizona’s first training curriculum for mediators, and 1st Standards of Conduct, and co-drafted a mediation course for the University of Phoenix. Long ranked at the top of professional mediator classifications, I’m an Advanced Practitioner Member of the Academy of Family Mediators, Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) and of their Spirituality Section, a member of the State, County, and Scottsdale Bar Associations, being a former board member of the latter. I’m also a member of the Elder Law or Mediation Sections of ACR’s, Mediate.com, and the State Bar. I am a MEDIATE.COM Certified Mediator and am certified in Elder Mediation at Pepperdine University. I’m a member of the Arizona Women Lawyers Association and of the Arizona Interfaith Movement. Having served on several Superior Court committees, I’m also a former judge pro tem, parenting coordinator, a former board member of AzAFCC, a graduate of Scottsdale Leadership, Arizona Town Hall Panel Chair, and a present member of the Fusion Foundation’s Advisory Council, and frequent presenter of CLEs and CEUs, and at local, statewide, and national conferences.
I was the Director of the nation’s 2nd domestic and sexual abuse counseling, prevention, and education center and shelter, an automobile dealer, an educator in the chemical dependency field, was an emergency and foster home parent, and served on political and arts boards. I also had a live, public access television talk show. I was the only female county board supervisor, first female member of the Scottsdale Papago Rotary Club, co-led consciousness raising groups, and taught assertiveness training in a community college.
I’m a partial caregiver for a family member, am re-married for 37 years, I have 6 children, and 14 grandchildren. Since 1980, I’ve been a stepmother though we took “his” three and “my” three, bought the biggest house we could afford, and built a loving family. I’m a critter, bird, reading, and movie lover, + a member of MENSA.
Family Mediation Center - 480.949.9511
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