My professional journey in collaborative conflict resolution began in 2001 when I transitioned from a legal practice to one focused on mediation.
Since then, I've been mediating disputes arising from commercial activities, employment, land use, divorce, and family matters. I've also been contracted for 13 years each with the Vermont Agency of Education (special education disputes), and with the Vermont Attorney General (employment discrimination complaints).
Along the way, I began teaching professional seminars and workshops in conflict resolution skills. And, for seven years, was visiting faculty at Bennington College’s Center for the Advancement of Public Action (CAPA) where I taught undergraduate courses of my own design in interpersonal conflict skills, mediation, negotiation, litigation, and multiparty dispute resolution process.
At Bennington, I was the lead author and designer of the CAPA Conflict Resolution Toolbox (2019, Bennington College). The Toolbox is an accessible, tactile resource that enables stakeholders (and others) to see the big picture of conflict resolution (from individual skills to process structure) all at once so they can rapidly learn, understand, make connections, and ultimately design effective processes to resolve small and large disputes. It will be available for purchase in late 2019.
My new launch is public speaking. “It’s What You Think” merges my professional experience with my personal interest in neuroscience, human behavior, and mindfulness. It’s how to use your brain to choose what and how you might think to confidently transform conflict and build connection. It’s conflict resolution—meets awareness—meets empathy—meets interpersonal success—all through a simple, replicable practice of thinking and doing.
Prior to mediating, I practiced law in Vermont and, before that, in New York, including service as an assistant district attorney. My law degree is from Boston College Law School, and my BA in economics is from Lafayette College.
In my community, I've enjoyed serving for more than 18 years in a variety of volunteer and elected positions including as Chair of both the Planning Commission, and the Policing Committee, and as a member of the Select Board. I also enjoy coaching youth lacrosse and have for many years.
Finally (regarding the photo on this page) with a mediator's passion for possibility, I enjoy a good puzzle—especially one that involves stacking Vermont fieldstone. Here, I’m with my son, the muscles of the operation. This is our favorite “inukshuk” (dry-stacked stones in human form used by Inuit people as a landmark or commemorative sign). Ours has a prominent heart, and stands in the Y of a footpath pointing toward both directions, encouraging multiple options and perspectives.