WMA Awards 2012

WMA Awards 2012

WMA Awards 2012 for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Mediation

It is fun and an honor for us to develop the process of the recognition of our peers for outstanding work.  WMA puts considerable effort into encouraging participation from throughout the state. Based on your input, we recognized 14 people this year in 6 categories.

The State of the Art award

The State of the Art Award is presented to those who have broadened the scope of mediation, exemplifying the application of thought that is at the forefront of our field.  As we are all too aware, the impact of home foreclosures has been devastating statewide. No one is spared.  It affects everyone in Washington, those who are displaced, many of whom are our friends, family, and neighbors and by creating uncertainty and distress among the remaining who are either on the brink of losing their homes or have seen their futures diminish along with the value of their primary nest egg.  Our communities, schools, religious, civic, philanthropic organizations have been weakened, and essential government services reduced just when they are needed the most.  WMA honors 3 people, who responded to this crisis with creativity, courage, open minds, and a lot of hard work in collaboration with the alternative dispute resolution community to make the Foreclosure Fairness Act a reality and to recognize their contribution to the advancement of mediation by choosing it as the designated foreclosure resolution process:

*Senator Adam Kline,
*Representative Tina Orwall
*Mr. Bruce Neas

We also want to acknowledge that many mediators and DRCs that spent an extraordinary amount of time and devotion to get Washington State Foreclosure programs up and running.  Honorable mention goes to the  DRCs in Kitsap, Yakima, Snohomish and King County for their training efforts of the state’s foreclosure mediators.  The WMA wishes to honor and appreciate all the people at these DRCs who worked to make this happen.

Jumping In With Both Feet Award

Vivian Scott receives the Jumped in With Both Feet Award. This award is given to those who exemplify excitement, generosity of time, resources and talent. When the Fairness Foreclosure Act went into action, so did Vivian Scott.  She enthusiastically attended every training, actively participated in study groups outside the realm of formal training, and never missed an opportunity to learn more.  Vivian enjoys sharing what she is learning, while bringing her already accomplished mediation skills to this new arena.  Her fearless approach to foreclosure mediations has established her as a solid resource for other mediators.  With 40 foreclosure mediations (and hundreds of non-foreclosure mediations) under her belt she is working with the staff at the DRC of Snohomish County to create new guidelines based on her experience and the ever-changing opinions of the entities involved in the FFA.  Vivian has become a “go-to” resource for the DRC as well as her contemporaries.  Finally, she has established collegial working relationships with lenders, their representatives, and borrower advocates, which benefit both the program and its processes.  WMA honors and appreciates Vivian Scott.

Technology Integration Award

Jeff Bean is awarded the Technology Integration Award. This award is presented in recognition of leadership in the use of technology into the field of mediation.  Jeff’s technical skill came to our attention at the Foreclosure Mediation training.  He quickly created the online Mediation Foreclosure forum on the WA State ADR Section of the BAR website (which Jeff also had a strong hand in creating) and made it open and free to anyone, attorney or not.  He launched it before the first mediation foreclosure training was completed and announced it then, back in June. It continues to be a gathering point for getting questions answered and sharing information for foreclosure mediation.  Jeff’s inclusive approach does a great job of forming bridges in the mediation world.  His technical acumen inspired him to curate a social media presence for WMA, ADR section of the WSBA , and for the NW Dispute Resolution conference.  There were presenters at the NWDR conference because Jeff met them via social media!  Besides connecting practitioners, he helps organizations archive digitally so that they can maintain an institutional memory.  Jeff electronically connects professionals with professionals and professionals with clients. WMA honors and appreciates Jeff Bean.

The Pioneering Resilience Award 

The Pioneering Resilience Award goes to Alan Alhadeff.  This award is presented to a person who has been contributing to the field of mediation in Washington State continually for 20 or more years in ways that exemplify adaptation to change, perseverance and passion.   Alan is a member of WMA’s 20 Year Club but has probably been at it for closer to 30 years.  He has been described as relentless in his study of mediation and its practice. He is truly a scholar who makes every case a laboratory for the exploration of ideas, an occasion for exploring the subtleties of technique, and a window into understanding the inner work involved. Over the years he has learned a lot and he is passionate in sharing what he has learned with everyone whom he trains and mentors.  Alan is not afraid of change. When his practice as a sole practitioner was flourishing he took on the experiment of co-mediating cases. At that time co-mediation was exclusively a DRC practice and fit into their model of mediating. Alan took co-mediating out of its box and pushed it into a new arena with his commercial clients. The lessons of that practice led him to further expand the idea of mediating beyond the sole practitioner model into mediators working within a network of affiliated practitioners who could support, encourage and collaborate in the thick of the work itself. In the last few years, Alan has also been pushing further at the boundaries he perceives are in the way of what mediation can offer. So, he has been engaged in extensive outreach to other parts of the legal profession. He has been encouraging lawyers to learn how these skills can be their friends in representing their clients and become a significant part of their own best practices. He sees that progress toward a world finding alternative resolutions to its disputes comes from individuals taking these skills out into the world and improvising with them. No one instills more inspiration and confidence in the idea that good and creative solutions are out there for the taking than Alan on a roll.  WMA honors and appreciates Alan Alhadeff.

Diversity Development Award

The City of Seattle ADR Program’s Race and Social Justice Steering Committee has earned the Diversity Development Award.  Members are:  Dane Keehn, Vivien Sharples, Charlie Cox, Paula Harris-White, Marcella Wilson, Henri McClenney, and Michael Chin. This award is in recognition of those who make the most comprehensive and effective efforts in reaching out to diverse communities.  The City of Seattle ADR Program Steering Committee, made up of City of Seattle, King County, and community mediators of diverse backgrounds, works to raise public sector mediators’ and facilitators’ skills in recognizing, articulating, and where appropriate, resolving issues involving race, social justice and racial equity. Every year for the past several years, steering committee members have helped local mediators better understand how race, institutional history, and personal history all affect the mediator, disputing parties and the mediation process.  They do this by collaborating with other local mediation programs, by providing mediation training, and by mentoring other mediators. In addition for the past several years Committee members have facilitated public dialogues on matters that involve race, gender, sexual orientation and social justice.  WMA honors and appreciates Michael Chin, Henri McClenney, Marcella, Wilson, Paula Harris-White, Vivian Sharples, and Dane Keehn.

The Public Education and Promotion Award

The Public Education and Promotion Award is presented to Sarah Bergdahl.  The award is in recognition of efforts made to educate the general public about the existence and benefits of mediation.  I will open with a quote from the nominator,”…she inspires us all to work to advance public awareness of conflict resolution possibilities, including cross-cultural understanding and competence.  I’ve personally watched her devote countless hours, skill and patience to WMA and to mediation in Washington.  She is a heck of a lot of fun to work with.”  Many people first learn of the WMA when Sarah pops up and begs a few minutes at the beginning of trainings, classes and public gatherings to talk about mediation, hand out brochures, buttons and window decals.  Most recently she informed 90 Master Gardeners about the WMA!  She led the Board through the creation of the new WMA website so that both mediators and the public have a colorful, easy –to- navigate way of finding information.  She has organized WMA members to walk in the MLK Day Parade under a giant banner proclaiming Mediators Honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King which was pictured in the Seattle Times, and, with the help of former board member, Lars Watson, convinced over 25 mediators around the state to approach over 200 random people on the street to learn what they knew about mediation and to help them learn about the WMA!  When Senator Patty Murray sent out an online challenge to come up with ways to support our returning soldiers Sarah suggested mediation services through local DRCs and was in the top 5 vote getters nationally. She has worked to increase understanding and appreciation of our own community through the formation of the 20 Year Club, a way of documenting the history of the development of mediation in WA State.  This is all documented in the monthly WMA newsletter which can be found on the WMA website.  WMA honors and appreciates Sarah Bergdahl.