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 [email protected] or [email protected] if you are interested in learning more.
OMA 2020 New Board Members
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 [email protected]
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.
John Inglish, Parting Words
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!
Membership: What’s it Worth? A Committee Report
Rob Bearden reports:
The Membership Committee has been busy thinking about membership, from the ground up. In general, the Committee is focused on defining the value proposition members consider every time they pay annual dues. In other words, how do members value the benefits they receive as an OMA member? The answer to this question is different for every member.
Grad student, and volunteer, Dani Thompson has been analyzing OMA’s membership statistics to give the Committee a better idea of who members are, how long they’ve been members, and which benefits they find valuable. Past member surveys suggest networking and training opportunities are universally popular benefits and members are willing to pay to support these benefits, at least once, when they join the Association. When members renew their memberships, it suggests they are satisfied with the value proposition membership presents. They believe the value they receive is worth the price they pay for their membership. Alternatively, when members do not choose to renew, logic would suggest that they are not satisfied with the value they received. The cost of benefits received was too high.
Working with limited resources, the Committee is always looking at ways to expand and improve member benefits without exceeding OMA’s operating budget. Calculating this cost-to-benefit ratio is as much art, as it is science. Fortunately, the Committee consists of both scientists and artists. The objective is to provide the best benefits possible and offer them at a price that makes them accessible, yet sustainable.
In addition to its primary focus on defining the value proposition of OMA membership, the Committee is working with interested volunteers to launch a test mentorship program, support more local Ketchup Debriefs, and develop cross-training opportunities with other professional associations. More on these initiatives as they develop.
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