Karen Richards (Virginia Beach)
Karen Richards has worked as a mediator and conflict resolution and communication trainer since 1993. A Virginia Supreme Court Certified general and family mediator (all levels), mentor, and trainer, she has trained more than 1,500 people from across the country and the world in conflict resolution and communication skills. She also has provided more than 1,400 hours of mediation and facilitation services to hundreds of individuals, families, and organizations. Recently she was appointed as a Workplace Mediator for the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management Office of Employment Dispute Resolution’s statewide workplace mediation program. Karen served the Hampton Roads community for many years as a staff member, trainer and volunteer for the former Virginia Conflict Resolution Center where she was honored in 2011 for “Advancing the Profession of Mediation”. She received a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Maryland - College Park, and an M.A. in Transpersonal Studies from Atlantic University where she is a member of the faculty.
Moné Rowan-Ardura (Loudoun County)
Immediate Past President, 2017 Fall Conference Committee Co-Chair
Moné Ardura is a mediator with Resolution Point LLC (www.resolutionpoint.com) in Northern Virginia. She has been a member of Virginia Mediation Network for the past several years. Moné is Virginia Supreme Court certified in the General District, J&DR, Circuit-Civil, and Circuit-Family Courts She regularly mediates at the Loudoun County Court. She received her mediation training from Northern Virginia Mediation Service. Moné is also a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) and is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and Maryland. Prior to moving to Virginia with her husband and two sons, she practiced family law, personal injury law and insurance law in Massachusetts. She is a graduate of George Washington University and Massachusetts School of Law.
Walter "Skip" Mertz (Fort Valley)
Skip has been mediating civil, family, and workplace cases for over 20 years following a career in Human Resources in technology, manufacturing and financial corporations. He is also a certified mentor and mediation instructor. Although retired from the corporate world and having co-owned a mediation center for seven years, Skip continues to mediate for the courts in four northwestern counties. Skip has a BS in Economics and Business Administration from Park University in Missouri. He currently serves on the Board’s task force reviewing Mediator Compensation.
Galloway Beck (Charlottesville)
Galloway Beck is certified to mediate cases in the General District and Juvenile & Domestic Relations Courts, and he is a volunteer mediator and member of the board of directors for the Mediation Center of Charlottesville. Galloway has been Director of the Department of Human Resources for the City of Charlottesville since 1998 where he is currently responsible for development and administration of the City’s human resources policies, procedures and programs. He has an MA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. He is also certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources. Galloway will also be joining the Marketing Committee.
Theresa Merkel (Winchester)
By Laws Committee Chair
Theresa has undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and English with a minor in French. Her master’s degree is in Higher Education Counseling. An avid traveler, Theresa has visited all seven continents, including Antarctica. .
In her spare time, Theresa loves to read and cook. Her greatest joy is being with her four granddaughters.
Lawrie Parker (Sumerduck)
Legislative Committee Co-Chair
Betty Russo (Virginia Beach)
Secretary & Legislative Committee Co-Chair
Betty is a Member at Betty Russo Law, P.C. which includes a Mediation Division. She is a Virginia Certified Mediator in General District Court and J&DR Court. She served as Committee Clerk for Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee in the Virginia House of Delegates for the 2012 session.
Betty is a former teacher, realtor, and currently volunteers for CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocate) with Portsmouth Friends of the Court. She received her Juris Doctorate from Regent University School of Law, her Master’s in Education from the College of William & Mary and a Bachelor of Administration in Political Science from Virginia Tech.
Sue Faulkner (Chesapeake)
Membership Committee Chair
Sue Faulkner is a retired High School Psychology Teacher. She also served as a Custody Mediator for the State of North Carolina for more than five years. She currently is most active as a Truancy Mediator in the City of Richmond, Virginia.
Otis Jarvis (Chesterfield)
Education and Training Committee Co -Chair, President Elect
Otis is currently a PhD candidate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution in the school of Graduate Studies and Humanities, at Nova Southeastern University and Owner of The Jarvis Group a conflict resolution services organization. In (2014) he was inducted into the Leadership Metro Richmond class (LMR), a premier community leadership development program. Otis served as an intern and researcher with the Virginia General Assembly (2013). Otis received master’s degree in business (MBA), with concentration in management at the Huizenga School of Business at Nova Southeastern University, and his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in management from Averett University. He holds a certificate from the Preparing Future Faculty Program at Virginia Commonwealth University and several Commonwealth of Virginia professional license and certifications. Otis lectures on Conflict Management, Small Business Management, Strategic Management, International business, Organizational Behavior, and Real Estate. Otis also has international experience conducting conflict analysis fieldwork in Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, the USVI and the Virginia General Assembly. Otis possesses a superior business acumen, interdisciplinary training in conflict analysis, mediation, negotiations, arbitration, interpersonal conflicts, organizational leadership.
Susan Klimek Buckley (Loudoun County)
Education and Training Committee, 2017 Fall Conference Committee Co- Chair
Susan Buckley is the owner of Center Mark Mediation, LLC, a mediation firm in Loudoun County. She is certified by the Virginia Supreme Court to mediate cases in General District Court, Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court and Circuit Court /Family. In addition to her own practice, Susan mediates for non-profit and for profit mediation organizations in northern Virginia and regularly mediates in Loudoun County Courts.
Susan obtained her B.B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Texas/Austin and is licensed to practice law in Virginia and the District of Columbia. Prior to establishing her mediation firm, Susan practiced law with the firm of Hunton & Williams and the Office of the Fairfax County Attorney, and she served on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. She lives in Loudoun County with her husband and two sons.
Charis Sherman (Fairfax County)
Education and Training Committee
Robert "Bob" Carpenter (Frederick County / Winchester City)
Audit Committee Chair
Bob is the principal of Vantage Mediation, LLC, which he formed in 2008 after retiring as the chief executive officer with a local Farm Credit System cooperative association. Bob is certified in J & DR, General District and Circuit Court Family Mediation by the Supreme Court of Virginia. He has served as the coordinator for the Frederick County/Winchester City General District Court. He regularly accepts court referrals and conducts private mediation for couples as well as corporate clients. Bob has facilitated strategic planning sessions for non-profits, cooperatives and corporate clients.
Bob is a graduate of Virginia Tech and operated the family farm which he and his wife purchased in 1981. The farm has been in his family since 1925 and was operated as a cattle and hay farm until 2016.
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The Conference Planning Committee plans and provides intellectually stimulating and practice-based educational and networking programs to exchange information on a broad spectrum of mediation and ADR issues and related topics.
The Membership Committee focuses on increasing VMN membership and ensuring the satisfaction of current members with VMN’s services and identifies product and service discounts exclusively for members. The Committee will find ways for VMN members to leverage the “VMN” brand name in marketing their practices.
The Communications Committee provides frequent communications from committees and the board to membership and among members.
The Legislative Committee will track Virginia legislative developments, and keep the membership regularly informed of new laws relating to mediation. Specifically, the Committee will track newly proposed bills as they make their way through the Virginia General Assembly, and will report to VMN members on the status of such legislation.
Standards of Practice Committee:
The Standards of Practice Committee will focus on three areas: skill-building, quality, and standards of ethical practice. The Committee will facilitate the dialogue of what constitutes “quality”, “quality assurance” and “best practices”.
Virginia Bar Liaison Committee:
The Virginia Bar Liaison Committee objectives are to (1) get more VMN members, including members of the bar to participate in the work of VMN; (2) to provide ideas and programs suggestions which might appeal to attorneys who are also mediators, as a function of membership development, and (3) to interact with the Virginia Bar Joint ADR Committee and other ADR organizations to develop partner-ships for joint programs, of interest to attorney and non- attorney mediators.
The Nominations Committee will nominate candidates for vacant board positions.
The Sponsorship Committee will focus on seeking corporate sponsors and underwriters to provide financial payment to further VMN's mission and assist in meeting VMN's revenue needs.