Pamela Struss, Ph.D. (Northern Neck) President 2020-2021
Pamela K. Struss, PhD, is a scholar practitioner and her expertise is in development (housing, poverty & growth) judicial mediation, community engagement, local governance and religious organizations. She is an MS Alumna of S-CAR and received her Doctoral Degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from NOVA Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale FL. She practices domestically and internationally and has worked with the governments in Ecuador and Suriname, Prince William, Lancaster, Northumberland, and Westmoreland Counties, VA and is a certified Mediator for the Virginia Association of Realtors, Prince William Association of Realtors, a Virginia Supreme Court certified mediator and liaison to Prince William County General District Court’s mediation program.
Pam enjoys a full academic life, she teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate practice based courses for several universities, has taught the Basics of Conflict Resolution to churches in the U.S., Ecuador’s and Suriname’s government leaders, and Development NGO’s leadership. She has conducted research on mediation’s success in the judicial setting and presented her findings at the VMN Fall 16 conference.
Her professional associations and positions include the Association of Conflict Resolution-Liaison to the Stone Soup Program Dispute Resolution at the University of Missouri Law School and Education, Research and Training Section-Diversity Officer; American Bar Association-Dispute Resolution, International Group’s Membership Committee Liaison and Review Committee Model Standards for Mediators; Joint Civilian Military Institute Member; International Association of Conflict Management; Society of International Development; Mediators Beyond Borders; and Virginia Mediation Network Board Member.
Pam lives with her husband Rick of 37.5 years with their Great Dane Merlin in the Northern Neck on the Chesapeake Bay. They have two daughters Nicolle and Adrienne, and one granddaughter Nourah. They enjoy sailing, cooking in their outdoor kitchen and connecting with family in Florida and Texas. Pam is an avid quilter and needlework enthusiast in her infrequent spare time and relaxing in her garden.
Dale Robinson (Glen Allen) President Elect 2020-2021, Conference Committee
Dale Robinson is a seasoned conflict resolution practitioner. He is a Virginia Certified mediator. He was instrumental in establishing mediation programs at several universities, as well as the Tennessee Human Rights Commission.
Working with several colleagues, in 1993, he established a workplace mediation program at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. In 1998, at the Tennessee Human Rights Commission he established the mediation program to address both employment discrimination and fair housing complaints filed with the Commission. He joined Virginia Tech in 2007 where he developed the workplace mediation program, established a conflict management coaching program and offered conflict resolution workshops to members of the university community. He was also actively involved in providing workshops on equal employment opportunity and compliance with Title IX.
Dale retired from the Office for Equity and Accessibility at Virginia Tech in 2017 and relocated to Glen Allen Virginia. Recently, he joined Virginia Commonwealth University on a part-time basis where conflict resolution and mediation involving civil rights concerns is once again a focal point of his role.
Dale began his professional career as a VISTA Volunteer with the Richmond Community Action Program. In addition to his extensive history with conflict resolution activities, he has significant experience in human resources management and civil rights compliance and complaint investigation. He has a long history of volunteer activities at the national, local and state level, including the Virginia Department of Human Resources Management mediation program.
Dale graduated from Northeastern University in Boston and is completing a Master of Public Administration degree through Virginia Tech.
Robert "Bob" Carpenter (Frederick County / Winchester City) Treasurer
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.
Vickie Williams (Hampton Roads) Immediate Past President 2018-2020, Nominations Chair
Vickie R. Wms- Cullins is the Executive Director of OPN-Door Communications, LLC. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Elizabeth City State University, Master’s in Public Administration from Old Dominion University, and four certifications in Mediation with the Virginia Supreme Court.
Vickie’s business, OPN- Door Communications was founded to meet the communication needs of families, private businesses and the public sector. Vickie meets these needs by providing training, facilitation, investigative, conflict coaching and dispute resolution services. Vickie’s vision is for OPN-Door Communications to be your global choice to resolve your communication challenges and strengthen relationships.
She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and subscribes heavily to their belief that we must all give back to the community. Vickie accomplished this with her many years of volunteer service with the city of Hampton, as an alumnae member of the celebrated Thomas C. Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership Fellowship program, Member of the Virginia Mediation Network Board of Directors, member of the City of Newport News Reentry Council, Gubernatorial Appointee with the Small Business Commission, the Hampton Mayor’s Business Roundtable and serving as a member Delta Sigma Theta Sorority , Inc’s South Atlantic Regional Social Action committee. Vickie is also a 9 year Breast Cancer survivor and is proof positive that early detection is the key to claiming victory over this dreaded disease.
Vickie has been recognized by such esteemed organizations as the Hampton Newport News Pan Hellenic Council and the Virginia Inclusive Communities as one of their 2014 Humanitarians of the Year for her work with returning citizens.
To learn more about how OPN-Door Communications can serve you, we invite you to visit us at our website: www.opndoor.com
In her spare time, Vickie enjoys spending time with her husband Terry and their miniature schnauzer, Sugafoot.
Brenda Booth Lowry (Chesterfield) Conference Committee Member
Brenda is the Executive Director of the CMG Foundation in Richmond, Virginia, and a Certified Mediator. Prior to becoming the appointment Executive Director of CMG, Brenda was a consultant to CMG Foundation providing strategic advice regarding organizational design, process analytics, and board development to set the stage for future growth. She is very interested in developing collaborative partnerships and relationships that can further enhance the visibility and good works of mediation.
Brenda has experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors, working for over thirty years in the financial services industry with Fortune 500 companies. She served as a manager and internal consultant to senior executives in the securities industry where her counsel centered around two key areas—maximize existing operations and, secondly, to help develop the roadmap for future growth. She also has strong experience in the development and execution of strategic initiatives. Brenda has been active in the nonprofit sector, receiving the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2009, and has served on the Board of Directors of Offender Aid & Restoration of Richmond since 2011.
Kristen Manos Kalina, Esq. (Leesburg) Membership Committee Member, Conference Committee Member
Kristen is a Partner at the law firm of Schwartz Kalina, PLLC in Leesburg, Virginia, as well as owner and principal at KMK Mediation Group, PLLC, also located in Leesburg. In addition to a thriving law practice, Kristen has built a mediation practice where she does private family cases, as well as court-appointed family mediations in Fairfax, Clarke and Frederick counties and Winchester city.
Kristen has a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Ohio State University in Political Science ('89) and a Juris Doctor from Capital University Law School ('92), where she was a member of the Law Review. Kristen has done in excess of 150 mediations, public and private combined and is certified by the Virginia Supreme Court to mediate Circuit Court Family cases, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court cases and General District Court cases. Kristen is currently a candidate for Mentor Mediator Status.
Kristen also serves as Chairman of the Loudoun County Board of Elections, appointed by the 20th Judicial Circuit Court for 3 consecutive terms. Kristen is married with 2 high school daughters, 2 dogs and 3 horses and lives in Hamilton, Virginia. More information can be found on her mediation website at http://www.novamediation.com/
Michael Schnurman (Henrico) Legislative Committee Member
C. Michael (Mike) Schnurman, Jr. is the Legislative Liaison for the County of Henrico in central Virginia. He develops and coordinates Henrico's annual legislative program and represents its interests at both the state and federal level. A decorated United States Marine Corps veteran of the Persian Gulf War, Mike has previously served as Legislative Assistant to the Virginia Senate Majority Leader and as Special Assistant to the Director for Government Relations at the National White Collar Crime Center.
Mike earned a Bachelor of Applied Studies degree from the University of Richmond and received a Masters of Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University . He is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond, and a 2012 graduate of the International Business Certificate Program at VCU.
Mike became a certified mediator by the Virginia Supreme Court, with focuses on family matters. He also assists the mediation community with government relations. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Jamestown 4-H Educational Center and the CMG Foundation, and is a member of the Resolution Virginia Advisory Council.
Regina Policano (Gina) (Richmond) Secretary
Ms. Policano is an attorney with Midkiff, Muncie & Ross, P.C., and began working for the firm upon its inception in 1987 when she was a first-year law student at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William and Mary. She is a 1983 graduate of the University of Virginia, where she received her B.A. in 1983. She worked for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for almost 18 years as staff counsel before returning to private practice at her firm in 2010.
Ms. Policano specializes in complex civil litigation defense, appellate practice, professional malpractice defense/risk management, Title VII/employment law, business, environmental and commercial law, and products liability defense. Her focus is on large, multimillion dollar cases. She has successfully litigated in multiple federal and state courts, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, and a multitude of federal and state agencies, including the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the Virginia Board of Accountancy. She is a Virginia Supreme Court certified civil mediator with an emphasis on business and consumer contracts and is an arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau. She is AV peer review rated (highest) in Martindale-Hubbell, endorsed for high ethical standing.
She is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the Richmond Bar Association, the Virginia Claims Association, and has been a member of the Virginia Mediation Network since 2016.
Ms. Policano joins with many of her mediator colleagues in her commitment to excellence in all aspects of mediation services.
Sara McAllister (Newport News) Communications Chair
I have been a certified General and Family Mediator since 2000. I have mentored prospective mediators in General and Family mediation for over 16 years. I enjoy the opportunity to work with new mediators as a mentor as well as in trainings that I facilitate. Yearly I co-facilitate the required Virginia Judicial Systems training as well as Mentoring Others in Mediation. I have also presented classes for recertification credit in the Hampton Roads area as well as at the Virginia Mediation Network Fall Conference.
I worked at the Virginia Conflict Resolution Center, a community mediation center, for 12 years. When the center closed my co-worker and I started Limitless Possibilities Mediation Services. We have been providing mediation services on the Peninsula (in Hampton Roads) for over eight years. We serve several JDR courts as well as our private clients in the community.
I appreciate your consideration for a position on the Virginia Mediation Network board. VMN provides excellent opportunities for training and networking and I would love to help maintain and grow the organization.
Kim Graham (Newport News) Finance Committee
Kim Graham served on the IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals) board in 1996 as both the Newsletter Editor and Treasurer.
Her experience on a board has allowed me to gain perspective of what it takes to be a board member. In addition, being a Certified Mediator has helped me develop strong skills in leadership, communication, and negotiation and the ability to come up with creative solutions.
She has worked at the Virginia Conflict Resolution Center in Norfolk, VA for 3 years before the center closed in 2012. After the center closed, she and a co-worker started Limitless Possibilities Mediation Services and has been doing so for the past 8 years. She currently provides mediation services on the Peninsula for both court-appointed and private cases.
Kim has also provided training for recertification for the Virginia Mediation Network Fall Conference, as well as some private businesses.
Demetrice A. Davis (Dee) (Chesterfield)
Demetrice A. Davis is currently with the Virginia Attorney General’s Office in the Consumer Protection Section of the Civil Litigation Division. She started as a dispute resolution specialist in December 2012, and became the Unit Manager in September 2016. In August of 2017 Demetrice took on the additional role of managing the Counseling, Intake and Referral Unit. She has twenty years of experience in various roles of the private and public sector providing alternative dispute resolution options. Demetrice has been certified by the Supreme Court of Virginia to provide general mediation services, and is a registered mediator with the Virginia Department of Human Resources Management’s Office of Employee Dispute Resolution. She has been a member of VMN since 2015.
Christine Poulson (Staunton) Membership Committee Chair
Christine Poulson is the Executive Director of Resolution Virginia www.resolutionvirginia.org where she advocates for the expanded use of community-based dispute resolution.
Christine earned a master’s degree in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University to prepare herself to more adequately assist with issue affecting communities at home and abroad. While earning that degree she worked with the Mountain Institute in Franklin, WV on a project linking people in mountain communities worldwide.
After serving as a private mediator in Blacksburg, VA, Christine became the Executive Director of the Conflict Resolution Center in Roanoke. There she mediated for all levels of court, for the United States Postal Service, and for the Department of Forestry. She trained hundreds of people in conflict resolution skills, including incarcerated women at the Virginia Correctional Center for Women, and taught leadership and conflict resolution at Virginia Tech. She has enjoyed designing and facilitating consensus-building processes in cities across the state.Christine currently resides and runs the statewide association of not-for-profit dispute resolution centers, Resolution Virginia, from the beautiful city of Staunton, VA. She has two children who attend Staunton City Schools and was elected to the school board where she has the opportunity to use her dispute resolution skills to assist with controversial issues. Christine also serves on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Waynesboro, Staunton and Augusta County.
Getting involved does not have to be time consuming. You can decide how much time you have to dedicate to YOUR organization!
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.
The Nominations Committee will nominate candidates for vacant board positions.