Our OMA 2019 Conference was a great success! We hosted our 33rd annual conference back in Portland after spending 2018 in Eugene. We had great turnout – long-time practitioners, volunteer mediators, community members, students, and some new friendly faces to the profession. Our theme was “Managing Conflict: Bridging the Gap through Mediation and Beyond.” Back in 2018, our committee decided to begin providing “tracks” throughout the conference, or certain strings of workshops to attend that would be dedicated to topics such as family, business, or diversity and inclusion. Based on the positive feedback in 2018, we decided to continue expanding upon those “tracks” to develop networking within conference participants. We grew our list to six tracks, and will continue to create robust opportunities for more specialized education throughout the year. OMA also created a new award for 2019, or the “Spirit of Mediation” award. The committee awarded four practitioners who embody the “spirit” of mediation through one or more luminaries. The award winners were: Bryan Egan, Rene Bove, Stuart Watson, and Jack Bevilaqua. The board also shared initiatives each committee is working on during our annual open meeting, including a Mediators of Color network across Oregon. Finally, we introduced our new mentorship program during the conference. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you are interested in learning more.
Please join us in welcoming Gene Tish, Chuck Pattishall, Taren Nader and John Lalla to the OMA Board! Each new member brings a wealth of experience and professional expertise to the table and we are excited for 2020.
In their own words…
I am a full-time domestic relations mediator in Lane County, I am reminded daily of the increasing need for public awareness and cultural acceptance of mediation as an alternative to litigation. Accordingly, my interest in serving on OMA’s board is largely motivated by my desire to foster OMA developed community outreach and promotional programs across the state.
I presently provide domestic relations mediation through Angeletti Law & Mediation in Eugene. In addition, I serve as a volunteer mediator for the small claims docket at the Lane County Circuit Court.
Guided by a resolute commitment to promoting the future of our vocation, my overarching goal as an OMA board member will be to increase public awareness of the many opportunities and benefits inherent to alternative dispute resolution practices. Accordingly, my principal goals will be to collaboratively develop outreach opportunities through which to inform and serve our communities, while normalizing and expanding our services in the private and public sectors alike.
I am interested in serving on the OMA Board of Directors because I am passionate about mediation and facilitation as integral tools to conflict resolution. As a lawyer and past mediator I found mediation to be an essential (often missing) element in sustainably resolving conflicts. Now, as a frequent facilitator I would love the opportunity to reengage with the Oregon mediator community and help in its development and promotion.
I am currently the Quality Assurance Coordinator for Multnomah County Aging and Disability Adult Protective Services, and have participated in the Multnomah County Small Claims Court Volunteer Mediators program for over a year.
I have a variety of experience with non-project organizations including legal internships at National Law Center for Homeless and Poverty and Al-Haq, and volunteer work for Rogue Climate, 350 PDX, and XR PDX. I am also an avid photographer.
After retiring from a 45-year career in law and commerce, I began searching for an avenue to remain relevant and to give back to my community. Through a Continuing Legal education course in 2018, I was introduced to the potential of mediation.
Taking a 40 hour basic mediation course from Dr. Clare Fowler in Eugene followed soon thereafter. I was hooked. I have since taken a 40 hr course in Restorative Justice and Victim Offender Dialogue in Beaverton from Carley Adams and Amy Watts-Padilla, an 8 hr course in Facilitation Skills For Mediators in Beaverton presented by Mary Forst, a six hour course in Employment Mediation from Dr. Clare Fowler, as well as shorter training courses offered in both Beaverton and at Clackamas County Resolution services. Mediation and Restorative Justice are now my passions.
Along the way I became aware that OMA is in need of Board Members with knowledge and proven skills in leadership, organizational development and management, non-profit operations, as well as potentially in marketing. In addition to private practice, my career also included serving as in-house general counsel in private sector companies, and migration into Executive management positions including General Marketing Manager, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer.
My interest in serving on the OMA Board actually began after I learned about the reduction in funding for the CDRC’s in the state. I had always been interested in OMA, as I feel it is an important organization for promoting mediation in the state. The reduction in funding has made me become interested in the politics involved with funding and how much the citizens of this state need the services of CDRC’s and mediation in their communities.
I have become involved with local politicians and have been invited to deliver a presentation to the House Committee on Human Services and Housing this November. As part of OMA, I would like to focus on building relationships in Salem regarding local and state politicians.
I am also the Executive Director of Your Community Mediation of Tillamook and Yamhill Counties. This is the first time I have been in charge of a non-profit organization. I have served as president of the board of a 501(c)(3) in the past. I have also owned and operated three businesses and hold an MBA in International Management.
If you have questions, give us a call at 503.872.9775 or email OMA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to give me a call 503.872.9775 or email me at OMA@ORmediation.org, if you’d like to connect– I want you to reach out to me to talk about ways we can improve OMA together! Meagan Lawler
Please meet Meagan Lawler, OMA’s new Executive Director. Meagan earned her undergraduate degree in philosophy after which she received a scholarship from the German Academic Cultural Exchange program to study at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Meagan was a research assistant and translator for the Institute of Family Therapy Research at University of Heidelberg School of Medicine for five years where she completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
Meagan returned to the states where she was Director of Family Reconciliation Services for King county (Seattle), an innovative program providing free intensive conflict resolution services to families in their homes for over a decade. Since that time, she has held leadership positions in both the nonprofit and for profit organizations.
Meagan became a student at Marylhurst University in the field of Gerontology (2007), and then went on to teach psychology and later gerontology at Marylhurst for over 10 years. Meagan has a particular interest in workplace mediation “as I have observed that individuals bring their family of origin perspectives into the workplace and then enact these family roles in the work setting leading often, to confusion and conflict in ways that are subliminal and persistent.”
Meagan currently mediates for Clackamas County Dispute Resolution Services mediating small claims and community cases.
Meagan specifically took on this position to support OMA membership with customer service at the forefront and looks forward to being of service to the members because, “we all as mediators endeavor to bring some peace to society, each in our own individual way, in these unparalleled times of division and polarization of our country.”
By Tera Cleland:
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the OMA Board. As I near the end of my fourth year and second year serving as President, I reflect on the achievements and the people who have made those achievements possible.
Like any nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization, OMA has had its share of ups and downs. I feel lucky that I’ve had the opportunity to see both when times are fruitful and when not. During difficult times for OMA, I witnessed supporters open their own checkbooks, open their own homes and most importantly contribute countless hours of their own time because of the commitment they have to OMA and the conflict resolution field. This was inspirational to me to see so much dedication that it motivated me to take on leadership positions with OMA.
OMA’s volunteers, members, lifetime members and friends of OMA make OMA the resilient organization it is today. Today, to name a few accomplishments, OMA has: hired an Executive Director, created a mentorship program, achieved financial stability, been a vocal supporter of restoring funding for the Community Dispute Resolution Centers, supported the Mediators of Color Network, strengthened relationships with the human relations and legal field, and welcomed four impressive new board members who bring much needed skill-sets into the 2020 board.
I wondered how I got so lucky to work with so many talented and dedicated conflict resolution practitioners. I truly believe people who have the calling to this field, share many of the same characteristics; they are kind, compassionate and wholeheartedly want to make their communities and the people around them better.
It has been a privileged serving OMA. I am so grateful for all I’ve gained from my experience serving OMA and I’ll be a better person because of it. I’m leaving the OMA board with new networks and life-long friendships and am joining those, who came before me, in a supporting role with OMA where I can be called on to provide support when needed so others can take leadership positions with OMA and gain new achievements.
I encourage those of you reading this, who have maybe not been involved with OMA, or have been distant, to get involved. Be engaged because you too can gain more than you contribute by being surrounded with these incredible people who are OMA.
This time of year is often viewed as a time for reflection, and I find myself in that mode as I near the end of my three-year term on the OMA board. I have benefited greatly from the camaraderie and connections afforded me as a result of my board service. I’ve enjoyed time at board meetings and retreats, where I’ve been able to foster closer connections with colleagues, and think strategically about this important work in beautiful settings. I’ve continued to expand my professional skillset at the OMA annual conferences. I was particularly pleased to serve as co-convener for the 2018 conference held at the University of Oregon in Eugene. Perhaps the most gratifying aspect of my time on the board has been the opportunity to engage with the practitioners of tomorrow—whether it be providing OMA conference scholarships for high school students, introducing newcomers to the organization, or moderating graduate student research panels. Never before has our collective work been so critical, and I’m hopeful that our collective tools and knowledge will become a standard for tomorrow’s leaders. I know that OMA will continue to play an important role in this regard, and I’m pleased to stand in support of the 2020 board as OMA moves forward.
I wish you all a peaceful new year!