Michelle Zaremba“I work at the Dayton Mediation Center because I believe that the Center creates a unique opportunity for people in conflict to have meaningful conversations.”
Michelle is the Coordinator of the Center and has been central in leading its expansion by increasing the visibility and utilization of Center programs and services. Michelle is taking the Center to the next level of its development through her accomplishments since assuming leadership in 2009. She has secured funding to support the addition of one (1) full-time staff for the Center, developed multiple sources of new revenue including funding support from the Dayton Municipal Court, the Dayton Police Department, and the Montgomery County (Ohio) Sheriff’s Department, and won multiple grant awards from the Department of Justice Edward Bryne Memorial Justice Assistance (JAG) program grant.
Prior to being promoted to Coordinator, Michelle worked professionally as a full-time Mediation Specialist with the Center for 10 years. Michelle earned a Master of Public Administration from the Department of Urban Affairs and Geography at Wright State University, Fairborn, OH and a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Conflict Management from Kent State University, Kent, OH. Michelle is a “Certified Transformative Mediator”© and an Associate of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, Inc., a think tank created and led by Robert A. Baruch Bush and Joseph Folger, authors of the seminal text in the field of Conflict Resolution, The Promise of Mediation (1994, 2005) and has been a professional transformative mediator for the past 14 years.
Michelle is currently on the Board of Directors for the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM), the leading conflict resolution organization for community mediation globally. Michelle has extensive training experience in Transformative Mediation Theory and Practice and extensive professional experience as a conflict management systems designer, organizational/team-building consultant, program development, facilitator, and mediation researcher. Michelle is a highly decorated Staff Sergeant with the United States National Guard and was awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart for her leadership, valor, and bravery in the Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004. Michelle is a published author who has written about her experiences as a female soldier in the Iraqi war, Wheels on Fire: My Year of Driving (and surviving) in Iraq, Hellsgate Press, which was published in 2008.
Cherise D. Hairston
Cherise D. Hairston“Acting as a mediator is radically simple and revolutionary: I put aside my troubles, opinions, and agendas and listen carefully and compassionately to people in conflict. I stay present with them as they work through their difficult situation and I do not judge them. People have what it takes to work through their conflicts, and for a good majority of people, this is the most powerful form of help and support one can give to another person.”
Cherise is the program manager for 3 Center programs including the: Community Program and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Harrison Township program. She is the Center’s Volunteer Coordinator, managing all aspects of Volunteer recruitment, skills development, the apprenticeship process, the “Master Mediator”© program, Continuing Education programming, and mediation training curriculum development. Cherise has been a professional “Certified Transformative Mediator”© for the past 13 years and is an Associate of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, Inc.
Cherise has extensive professional experience as a conflict management systems designer, an organizational/team-building consultant, a program developer, facilitator, and a mediation researcher for the Center. Cherise completed doctoral level studies (all but dissertation) from Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, in the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Science , Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution. She earned a Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution from Antioch University McGregor, Yellow Springs, Ohio, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Women’s Studies from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
Cherise is a published author and has written an academic journal article and an academic book chapter on African-American issues in the field of Conflict Resolution, including publication in the leading peer-reviewed academic and professional journal for the field of Conflict Resolution, Mediation Quarterly (now Conflict Resolution Quarterly): “African-Americans in Mediation Literature: A Neglected Population”, Mediation Quarterly, 1999, Volume 16, Number 4, pp. 357-375, and “Reflections on “African-Americans in Mediation Literature: A Neglected Population” in Re-centering: Culture and Knowledge in Conflict Resolution Practice , Syracuse University Press, 2008. Cherise was a research assistant for a published research study on underrepresented racial and ethnic groups’ barriers to participation in the Conflict Resolution field: “Barriers to Participation: Challenges Faced by Members of Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Groups Entering, Remaining, and Advancing in the ADR Field”, Fordham Urban Law Journal, 2008, authored by Maria R. Volpe and Robert A.B. Bush and associates. She has also conducted workshops and presentations for the Association of Conflict Resolution, National Association for Community Mediation, National Conference on Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution, and the National Conference for Minority Professionals in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Capital University Law School (Columbus, Ohio).
She is currently conducting original exploratory research with Janet Mueller for the Center exploring issues of difference and their impact on the mediator, the parties, and the mediation process. Cherise has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the areas of Mediation Conflict Resolution, Women’s Studies, and Political Science at Antioch University Midwest, Department of Conflict Analysis and Engagement, Wright State University, Department of Women’s Studies and Political Science, and Miami University (Middletown, OH), Department of Communications.
Trisha Werts“In such a short time many people are able to feel better about their situation after just having a conversation. I love watching people walk out of their mediations looking like they feel lighter. Then as the mediator, I get to sit in mediations and see people become less defensive and the conversation turn deeper and quieter. I am inspired every time we train a new class. It reminds me of how excited I was when I first learned transformative mediation.”
Trisha began as a Volunteer Mediator with the Center in 2001 and has worked professionally with the Center since 2002 as a Mediation Specialist Contractor. Trisha is the Juvenile court liaison and oversees the Montgomery County (Ohio) Juvenile Court program contract, one of the Center’s primary funding sources in addition to managing the Parenting/Visitation Program. Trisha is a Dayton Mediation Center “Master Mediator”©, which exemplifies more than 400 hours of theoretical and practice-based experience as a mediator.
Trisha earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Indiana University East, Richmond, Indiana. With more than 10 years of professional experience in Transformative Mediation Theory and Practice, she is an experienced mediator and trainer. Trisha has been central to developing training curriculum for both youth and adult training for the Center. Trisha has trained Center volunteer mediators extensively in basic mediation training and in transformative skills building training. Trisha has been a pioneer Transformative Mediation Theory and Practice curriculum development for youth peer mediation training and has worked with numerous schools systems to create, develop, and implement peer mediation training programs for both middle schools and high schools in numerous counties throughout Ohio.
Janet Mueller“As a mediator I support people having difficult and important conversations. Seeing people become clearer and better understand each other is powerful and a big part of why I do this work. I also enjoy helping young people and adults learn about conflict and mediation. It is amazing to see people find out so much about themselves as they progress through the training.”
Janet began as a volunteer with the Center in1995 and has been a contract staff at the Center since 1997. Janet is the Center’s program manager for the Police Mediation Project, working on cases referred by Dayton Police Officers. She also is a lead trainer for the Center, training new volunteer mediators and peer mediators in area schools as well as teaching our “Responding Effectively to Conflict” training.
She has practiced as a professional transformative mediator for the past 14 years and, along with Tom Wahlrab, former Coordinator of the Dayton Mediation, was central in bringing the Transformative Approach to Mediation to the Dayton Mediation Center. She helped lead the Center’s transition to practicing mediation solely from the Transformative Approach. She has 14 years of Transformative Mediation Theory and Practice mediation, training, and curriculum development experience and has been a pioneer in the field Transformative Mediation by adapting the basic Transformative Mediation training for adults to a youth audience.
Along with Trisha B. Werts, she has helped pioneer Transformative Mediation Theory and Practice curriculum development for youth peer mediation training and has worked with numerous schools systems to create, develop, and implement peer mediation training programs for both middle schools and high schools in Ohio and New York. Janet is a published author and writes about conflict management systems design and peer mediation training for youth, most notably, “Breaking New Ground: Can Adolescents Practice Transformative Mediation?” (2004). She is currently conducting original exploratory research with Cherise D. Hairston for the Center exploring issues of difference and their impact on the mediator, the parties, and the mediation process.
Lisa Singh“I work with the Dayton Mediation Center because I believe in the power of others to solve their own problems. I also believe that being a mediator present in the moment of conflict provides a unique opportunity for people to see a different perspective that opens the door towards a decision — a decision that can transform everything!”
Lisa began as a Volunteer Mediator with the Center 15 years ago and currently is a Mediation Specialist Contractor for the Center. Lisa serves in a number of program areas including: the Elder Care Mediation Program, the Montgomery County (Ohio) Juvenile Court Visitation/Custody Program, the Community Impact Panel Program, and the Adult Victim-Offender Mediation program, along with providing facilitation services.
Lisa is a Dayton Mediation Center “Master Mediator”©, which exemplifies her more than 600 hours of theoretical and practice-based experience as a mediator Lisa has also been instrumental in developing programs and writing successful grants for the Center totaling more than $750,000 in grant awards to the Center.
She served as Program Director in 1998 for the Dayton Municipal Courts adult Victim-Offender Mediation Pilot Program which continues to be an active Center program. She also worked as a Contractor and Case Manager for the Montgomery County (Ohio) Juvenile Court Visitation/Custody program. Lisa has been trained by the National Institute of Corrections and the Balanced and Restorative Justice Program as a Trainer of Restorative Justice. During her time at the Center she has also been instrumental in developing continuing education training programs to enhance the skills of Center volunteer mediators.
Lisa worked with Tom Wahlrab and the Ohio Commission for Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management to start the Ohio Community Mediation Association. Lisa also provided support and assistance to the Center and Commission to introduce the Uniform Mediation Act to mediators across the State of Ohio. Lisa studied for her Bachelor’s in Psychology at University of Illinois and took continuing education through Antioch University McGregor’s Intercultural Communication program.
Lisa has a number of advanced training certifications through the Ohio Supreme Court, the Nebraska Community Mediation Association, and the Association for Conflict Resolution. Lisa worked as the Regional Director of the Center for Conflict Resolution in Nebraska. Lisa works independently as a professional trainer and consultant specializing in Intercultural Communication, facilitation, and conflict resolution. Lisa is also a professional facilitator leading teams in creative problem solving in a facilitated environment.
She works with Idea Connection to help provide creative, innovative solutions to clients, including Fortune 500 companies. Recently, Lisa was hired by ThinkTank as the Circle Coordinator for the National Circle Campaign in Dayton, Ohio. Lisa has served as Chair of the Restorative Justice Committee and Crisis Intervention Committee for the Association of Conflict Resolution. Lisa is also on the Board of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research as Organizational Development and Fundraising Chair.
Joseph Koch“The Dayton Mediation Center allows me to serve the Dayton community by providing family and domestic relations mediation services. It’s a small but powerful way to contribute to world peace, one family at a time, and to improve the lives of children experiencing family conflict.”
Joseph began as a Volunteer Mediator with the Center 7 years ago and currently is a Mediation Specialist Contractor for the Center. Joseph is a Dayton Mediation Center Master Mediator©, which exemplifies more than 200 hours of theoretical and practice-based experience as a mediator. During his time at the Center he was mentored by the late Deborah Taylor, a Court Mediator for the Montgomery County (Ohio) Juvenile Court Custody/Visitation Mediation Program, and a Center Volunteer Mediator for more than 10 years. For the past 2 years, Joseph has been central in conducting visitation mediation for the Center as well as developing mediation training curriculum for attorneys interested in mediation.
Jarling began as a Volunteer Mediator with the Center 8 years ago and currently is a Mediation Specialist Contractor for the Center. She assists with training new volunteers and other training programs the Center provides. Jarling helped the Center create the Dayton Mediation Center Master Mediator© program. In addition to her training experience, she has worked with the Center to facilitate the Community Engagement sessions the City of Dayton undertook to develop ways for the City to increase citizen participation.
Jarling first discovered mediation as a law student in Portland, Oregon when she took an Alternative Dispute Resolution course as an elective. Interested in the success of mediation in resolving conflict, she began volunteering at Resolutions Northwest, a non-profit organization focused on providing constructive conflict resolution through mediation and facilitation. Upon moving back to Ohio, she contacted the Dayton Mediation Center to volunteer and has been involved ever since.
Jarling earned a Juris Doctorate from Lewis & Clark Law School and a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from The Ohio State University. She is a licensed attorney in Ohio and Illinois.
Gloria has been with the Center since 2000 as a Volunteer Mediator and transitioned to a Mediation Specialist Contractor in 2011. She is a professionally trained “Master Mediator” with more than 450 hours of theoretical and practice-based experience as a mediator. With over 25 years as a professional Alternative Dispute Resolutions Specialist (ADR) Gloria earned a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management from Wilberforce University (Wilberforce, OH) and an Associates degree in Paralegal Studies from Sinclair Community College (Dayton, OH) and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling.
She earned certification as an advanced arbitrator with the George Meaning Center, National Labor College (Silver Springs, MD), and certification as an Arbitration Advocate with The Ohio State University, Labor Leadership School (Columbus, OH). She earned certification as an Employment Mediator with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Advanced Mediator, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Specialist from Capital University Law School (Columbus, OH). She is certified through the Ohio Supreme Court as a Foreclosure Mediator and Public Arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Gloria was also a Senior Union Counselor for the AFL-CIO Central Labor Council (Dayton, OH).
She has previously and continues to provide a range of services for the City of Dayton Mediation Center including mediation and facilitation services, new volunteer training, conflict coaching, case management and program development. Additionally, Gloria supports the Center’s Community Mediation programs including Harrison Township and Dayton Police Department and has assisted with the Small Claims and Eviction Court mediations programs. She has supported the Montgomery County (Ohio) Juvenile Court programming including truancy mediation, visitation/custody mediation, and peer mediation programs in various school systems throughout Montgomery County. She was a former Court Appointed Special Advocate, Guardian ad Litem for the Montgomery County Juvenile Courts.
Gloria is a Contracted Special Education Mediator for the State of Ohio, Department of Education. She recently became lead project manager at the Center to develop a conflict management system and to provide mediation training for the Department of Administrative Services, Ohio Employee Assistance Program for the State of Ohio.
Gloria is the owner and CEO of Speaklife on Purpose, LLC where her company provides an array of services in the Alternative Dispute Resolution field, including mediation, facilitation, training, coaching, arbitration and paralegal, services.
Jessica came to the center in 2012 for an internship through Wright State University. She has since graduated from Wright State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Urban Affairs focusing in Criminal Justice. Jessica completed her training to be a mediator in the fall of 2012. She is currently a contractor with the Mediation Center as a Case Manager. She is in charge of the youth Community Impact Panel (CIP), Juvenile Diversion Program, and the Truancy Program. Jessica also assists with various projects, such as New Volunteer Trainings, Community & Business Meeting, the Dayton Police Department Outreach program, and is part of the Safety Committee.