Doug Spoors is currently the EEO Education/ADR Manager for the Department of the Navy, Navy Exchange Service Command in Virginia Beach, Virginia, designing and providing EEO training and ADR services to over 16,000 civilian associates world-wide.
He is an attorney, mediator, trainer, and the founder of the Institute for Mixed Method Mediation. He is the author of the book Mixed Method Mediation: A Hybrid Approach to Conflict Resolution, now in its 2nd Edition. He has mediated conflicts involving EEO complaints, workplace disputes, employment discrimination, wrongful termination, family law, consumer debt, landlord/tenant, and real estate. He a member of the Mediators Beyond Borders International, Climate Change Project (CCP).
In March, 2019, he received the Ambassador for Peace in Conflict Resolution Award for his contribution in the field of mediation.
He received his J.D. and L.LM. in Transnational Business Practices from the McGeorge School of Law, the latter in conjunction with the University of Salzburg, Austria. He received his facilitative mediation training from the Loyola Law School/Los Angeles, a Certificate in Transformative Mediation from Dan Simon Mediation, a Certificate in Negotiation Mastery from Harvard Business School, a Certificate in Mediation and Conflict Resolution from Harvard Law School, and a Certificate in Neuro Design Engineering from the Academy of Wealth and Achievement. He has most recently completed a Certificate program on Conflict, Rule of Law, and Local Security at the Hague Academy for Local Governance, the Netherlands.
He is also an international photographer. His library of works displays photos from throughout the United States and around the world.
Favorite Quote: It’s not about who is right or wrong, it’s about problem solving and finding meaningful solutions.
Next Favorite Quote: You are only as brilliant as your last stupid mistake.
Doug joined the VMN Board in 2021. He serves as President as of January 2024.
John C. Cook obtained his Virginia General District Court mediator certification in 2021. He formerly served as a mediator with the Multi-Door Division of the District of Columbia Superior Court from 2001 to 2013. His first mediation as a solo mediator on September 11, 2001, was interrupted when the courthouse was evacuated during the 9-11 attacks. He is the founding partner of Cook Craig & Francuzenko, PLLC, a Fairfax full-service law firm established in 2007. Mr. Cook’s practice emphasizes the representation of executives, employees, and small businesses in employment law matters. Mr. Cook is a past chair and co-chair of the Fairfax Bar Association’s Employment Law Section (2003-04, 2020-21) and is a former member of the Section Council for the Virginia Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section (2009-14). He is a former motions conciliator with the Fairfax County Circuit Court. He is a frequent presenter of continuing legal education programs and has been named a Virginia SuperLawyer® over a dozen times. Mr. Cook is a former member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (2009-2019). He currently serves the community as the Chair of the Fairfax County Diversion First Stakeholders’ Group. He is a member (and former Chair) of the Fairfax County Council to End Domestic Violence, where he chairs the Accountability Workgroup. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. Mr. Cook is a 1988 graduate of the George Washington University Law School. Born in upstate New York, he is a 1985 graduate of Gettysburg College, where he majored in political science and was named to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
John joined the VMN Board of Directors in 2022. He is President-Elect as of February 2024, and he co-chairs the Bylaws/Legislative Committee and serves on the Outreach Committee.
Pamela K. Struss, PhD, is a scholar practitioner with expertise in development (housing, poverty & growth), judicial mediation, community engagement, local governance, and religious organizations. She has an MS from the Institute of Conflict Anaylsis and Resolution (predecessor of the Carter School at GMU) and received her Doctorate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from NOVA Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale FL. She practices domestically and internationally, and has worked with the Ecuadorian and Suriname governments, and Prince William, Lancaster, Northumberland, and Westmoreland Counties in Virginia. Her mediation certifications include MC3 Mediation Certification, Virginia Association of Realtors, Prince William Association of Realtors, the Virginia Supreme Court. She is the liaison to Prince William County General District Court’s mediation program.
Pam enjoys a full academic life, teaching a variety of undergraduate and graduate practice-based courses. She teaches the basics of conflict resolution from a religious perspective and has conducted trainings with Ecuadorian and Suriname government leaders, and the leadership of development NGOs. She conducts research on mediation’s success in the judicial setting and presents her findings through a variety of mediums, including domestic and international conferences.
Her professional associations and positions include the American Bar Association-Dispute Resolution; Joint Civilian Military Institute Member; International Association of Conflict Management; Society of International Development; Mediators Beyond Borders; Virginia Mediation Network President and board member and the MC3 Mediation Certification board.
Pam lives with her husband Rick of 41 years in Petersburg, VA. They have two daughters, Nicolle and Adrienne, and one granddaughter, Nourah. They have four fur children- three dogs and one cat (2 were inherited). They enjoy boating, cooking in their outdoor kitchen and connecting with family in Florida and Texas. Pam is an avid quilter and needlework enthusiast and enjoys relaxing in her garden during her infrequent spare time.
Pam has served on the VMN board since 2018, and served two terms as President, from 2020-2022. She chairs the Nominating and Conference Planning committees, and the Scholars & Young Professionals Sector.
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, LLC, also located in Leesburg. In addition to a thriving law practice, Kristen has built a mediation practice where she does all areas of family law cases, as well as JDRDC custody, visitation and support mediations in Clarke and Frederick County and Winchester city.
Kristen has a Bachelors 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 200 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 also Supreme Court certified Mediator Mentor. Kristen 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 daughters, 3 dogs and 2 horses and lives in Hamilton, Virginia.
Kristen is in her third term on the VMN Board where she has served since 2019, and she became Secretary in 2022. She also serves on the Conference Planning and Communications committees.
Joseph Boisineau has 28 years of experience as a mediator, arbitrator, and ombudsman. He was certified as a mediator and mediator mentor by the Supreme Court of Virginia and has served in that capacity for the past 28 years. His experience also includes the following: Dispute Resolution Specialist / Investigator Unit Manager, Commonwealth of Virginia, Office of Consumer Affairs; Mediated, Arbitrated, Conciliated over 10,000 cases; Over 600 hours of Mediation, Arbitration, Negotiation, Ombudsman, and Investigation training; and, 35 years of experience in private Industry. He was educated at the University of Detroit, Henry Ford College, University of Michigan, Merchandising and Management Institute, J Sargent Reynolds Community College. He also attended The Office of Public Policy Training, The Center for Public Policy, L. Douglas Wilder School of Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University. He has served previously on the Virginia Mediation Network Board of Directors as Vice President. He has also served on the Commonwealth Catholic Charities Board of Directors as Treasurer, Vice President, President, Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the Finance Committee, Chairman of the Board Development and Governance Committee, and on the Commonwealth Catholic Charities Housing Corporation as Vice Chairman.
He has served on the VMN Board of Directors since 2023. He serves as Treasurer and on the Outreach Committee.
Lisa Brook is a lawyer who has dedicated nearly thirty years in the law to civil dispute resolution with empathy and understanding. The vision for her business, Good Counsel Group, grew out of a desire to create opportunities for people and businesses to work through conflict together.
Meaningful connection with clients, co-workers, judges, clerks, and attorneys on both sides of the aisle has defined Lisa's career. She held the hand of a mesothelioma victim struggling to breathe as she explained how his family would be taken care of after his death. She witnessed the stories of people in debt and tenants who could not make the rent as they explored ways to move forward after legal proceedings. She discovered kinship with jurors performing their civic duty to balance the scales of justice in trial.
As a leader in the bar and in the community, Lisa's goal Is to bring connection, collaboration and respect to every level of dispute resolution. In the words of Helen Keller, "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."
Lisa has received a Certificate In Mediating Disputes from the Harvard Law School Executive Education Program on Negotiation. She has training in mediation and dispute resolution through the Supreme Court of Virginia certification program. She has been a member of VMN since September 2022.
Lisa has served on the board since 2023, and chairs the Webinars Committee. She also serves on the Conference Planning Committee.
Ayçe Bükülmeyen Özerdem
Ayçe Bükülmeyen Özerdem started her media career presenting programs on the state’s flagship TURKISH RADIO TELEVISION (TRT) corporation while she was a university student in Izmir, Turkey. She worked as an anchor and co-producer in many TRT talk shows and daily live programs, focusing primarily on environmental issues, disability concerns, and women empowerment matters for 15 years. She has also been a columnist for over 15 years at HÜRRİYET Newspaper which has the largest circulation in Turkey. She currently has an interview column on Sundays as well as an article column on Thursdays in the Ege Supplement of Hürriyet.
She completed her Masters’ Degree in Conflict Resolution Program with a final dissertation entitled ‘The Role of Media in Conflict Resolution, Culture of Conciliation and Peace Journalism’ at Dokuz Eylül University in Izmir in 2018, leading to a wide range of peace journalism activities over the last few years.
Ayçe is also the author of several books and produced documentaries, based on women empowerment issues such as ‘The Pioneer Women of the Aegean’ in 2016 and climate issues such as ‘Innovative Solutions for Climate Change, Cycle of Flax in 2022’. During the pandemic, she focused on mental health and well-being research and completed a 2-year Sophrology Practitioner Course program from Energy Centre Sârl in Geneva-Switzerland. She is a member of International Sophrology Federation as a Sophrologist.
After moving to the United States, she completed a Mediation in the VA Courts and Judicial Overview Course and certified as a Mediator for Commonwealth of Virginia Courts at George Mason University. She is a member of Virginia Mediation Network as well as Conflict Resolution Professionals.
She is also a founding member of Döngü Cooperative which is an R&D cooperative, aiming to support and boost agricultural production, and set up solutions and models for female farmers to continue cultivating their lands despite the challenges of climate change.
Ayçe joined the VMN Board of Directors in 2022. She serves as the Communications Committee Chair. She also serves on the Outreach and Conference Planning Committees.