Our guests at the 2017 edition of The Toast on April 23rd:
- Sampled vintages from local winemakers and sweet treats from our participating chocolatiers and bakeries
- Joined us in honoring Glen Anderson, recipient of the 2017 Evan Ferber Peacemaker Leadership Award
- Heard Executive Director Jody Suhrbier reflect on "Bravery in the Face of Conflict"
- Learned about the DRC's efforts to nurture and mentor the next generation of peacemakers through our Youth Empowerment Services (YES!) and Peacemaker Clubs
- Gave generously to support the DRC's mission to build a more civil and peaceful community
... and a good time was had by all, as you can see below:
Emily Gray has joined the Dispute Resolution Center’s staff as our new Volunteer Manager. In her new role, she will lead volunteer recruitment, retention and coordination activities, as well as manage the DRC’s mediator practicum program.
Emily comes to the DRC from The Evergreen State College, where she most recently served as Assistant to the Director of the Writing Center. She hold a B.A. from Evergreen, with a focus on writing and Spanish, and is a graduate of the DRC’s Professional Mediation and Multi-Party Mediation trainings. Emily has strong community connections, including serving on the Board of Directors of Interfaith Works, and has been involved for a number of years with the Olympia Food Co-op.
“The Volunteer Manager is a vital position, responsible for building and maintaining a vibrant community of practice and service delivery among the paid and unpaid staff,” stresses DRC Executive Director Jody Suhrbier. “We had a robust candidate pool with several strong applicants with connections to the DRC, each with unique talents and strengths, so it was a difficult decision. Ultimately, we made our selection based on the current culture and team, and our vision for the future of the DRC. Emily brings with her an impressive blend of communication and conflict resolution experience; a collaborative, team mentality; and positive, focused energy. We are delighted to welcome her more fully into the DRC family.”
Emily succeeds Carly Thornburg, the DRC’s Volunteer Manager since 2015, who is stepping away from her staff role but will remain involved as a volunteer mediator. “Carly is a talented communicator with a strong passion for community building,” notes Suhrbier. “We all wish her the very best in her next venture.”
Emily can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the age-old tradition each of us undergoes in our own way, this time of year leads to reflection on the year ending, and anticipation of the days and months ahead.
As you know, the Dispute Resolution Center has entered a new organizational chapter with the retirement of Founding Director Evan Ferber. This next chapter builds upon a solid foundation - twenty-five years of commitment and dedication to conflict resolution, effective collaboration and relationship restoration.
The DRC's impact on the greater Thurston County region is immense and has created fertile ground in which to continue to expand this vital work. I am delighted to say that I see so much evidence of new opportunities to serve our community.
Earlier this month, community members came together at a free DRC workshop - "Having Tough Conversations in Challenging Times" - to learn how to move through conflict with confidence, integrity, and respect. I heard so many meaningful dialogues that day about how we - as individuals and as a community - can work to get beyond divisiveness, and to build bridges, person to person.
There is an important truth that I have seen proven again and again. It is that there is much to gain when we engage in true conversation in our families, our neighborhoods, our communities, our country and our world. There is always something to gain when we enter into dialogue - seeking to understand. Conversely, there is much to lose when we don't.
Every one of us has capacity to learn how to manage conflict in our lives more effectively. We must all consider what we can do to deepen our understanding of one another and identify all that we share in common.
You can make a meaningful difference in our community through your donations and volunteer service, and by seeking to understand those around you, one conversation at a time.
I look forward to moving into this shared future together, with you.
Dear DRC Community,
The Dispute Resolution Center has entered a new chapter in our evolution: Evan's retirement and the appointment of his successor, Jody Suhrbier. The organization was founded and nurtured with Evan's commitment to community-based conflict resolution work and will continue to thrive with Jody's energy and commitment. The DRC's impact on the greater Thurston County region has been immense and leaves fertile ground for continued growth and expansion.
For the past two years, the Board of Directors has been working strategically to secure the organization's future. The Reserve Fund has been bolstered and a Legacy Fund has been established to support future growth and enable the DRC to respond to changing community needs. Jody has been selected to shepherd our future growth, building on the solid sustainable foundation established over the last 25 years.
The DRC has a solid track record, and we're poised for future growth and success. Our team of staff and volunteers are a creative force for innovative service. Our community remains steadfast in its support. Thank you for your collaboration, your contributions, your service, and your unflagging goodwill on behalf of the DRC.
With warmest regards,
Evan Ferber Jody Suhrbier
Founding Director Executive Director
To support the community in building positive relationships, the Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County (DRC) will offer a free communication and conflict resolution workshop:
Having Tough Conversations in Challenging Times
Sunday, December 18th, 2016, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
at United Churches of Olympia, 110 - 11th Ave. SE in downtown Olympia
The workshop will focus on communication tools to help participants deepen their understanding of, and identify common ground with, those who have different perspectives, opinions, and experiences of the state of our community, nation and world.
Adults and children ages 9 and up are welcome to attend. Members of the DRC’s Youth Empowerment Services (YES!) team will be on hand to work with kids ages 9-13 in skill-building activities and talking circles, apart from the adults.
The workshop is free, but donations are welcome. Registration closes on December 14th.
Please register by calling 360/956-1155.
Joe Sanders joined the DRC staff in October as the new Community Engagement Manager. He brings to our organization 35 years' experience in marketing, public relations and fund-raising in a variety of non-profit human services, healthcare and higher education settings. Most recently he served as Director of Marketing and Communications for Lutheran Community Services Northwest for 15 years. A native of Northwest Montana, Joe holds a degree in Television Production from Montana State University. He and his wife, Diane, lived and worked in Seattle, the Tri-Cities, New Zealand and, most recently, India, before moving to Olympia earlier this year.
Elaine Vradenburgh, the DRC's Community Engagement Manager for the past five years, has founded Window Seat Media, a non-profit that nurtures "stories that build resilience, identity, and connection."
"Elaine spearheaded tremendous growth in our fundraising and marketing activities in her time here," notes Evan Ferber, the DRC's retiring Executive Director. "Besides coordinating the annual Toast event, she broadened our use of social media, was instrumental in grant writing, updated the DRC's branding, and so much more. We're very grateful for her many contributions to our mission and wish her all the best in her new venture."
"As we say farewell to Elaine, we're excited to welcome Joe as a new member of the DRC family. He and our new executive director, Jody Suhrbier (who starts her job on December 1st), will be part of a dynamic team leading the DRC into our next 25 years!"
Well-wishers filled the Woman's Club of Olympia on the evening of Saturday, November 5th, to honor Evan Ferber, the DRC's founder and guiding light, who is retiring at the end of December. Memories, songs, poems, hugs and laughs were shared - and copious amounts of delicious pie and ice cream were consumed.
Thank You, Evan, for your tireless efforts to spread the seeds of
peace-making and your legacy of service to our community!
Jody is currently the Engagement Manager with the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra where her special focus was development and marketing as well as developing and managing the organization’s budget and revenue forecast. She holds a Master of Nonprofit Management degree from Regis University and a Bachelor Degree from the University of Washington. She has strong affiliation with planned giving and philanthropic organizations in the South Sound.
Jody is a resident of Olympia and was a key player in the capital campaign that built the highly successful Hands on Children’s Museum in Olympia. She has strong community ties in the greater Olympia area.
Jody’s appointment concludes an extensive effort by the DRC Board that affirmed the organization’s mission, vision, core values and core competencies. Mary Barrett, incoming President of the Board, observed: “Evan Ferber has built an extraordinary organization that models civility and respect in our community. He has much to be proud of as he retires from his position of Executive Director. The Board could not be more pleased that Jody Suhrbier will step in where Evan leaves off to take the next step in realizing a South Sound community that has and uses healthy and respectful conflict resolution skills.”
Plans are underway to schedule events for the community to meet Jody and celebrate the beginning of a new era for the DRC.
DATE: August 16, 2016
Contact: Terry Teale (360) 459-8270, email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DISPUTE RESOLUTION CENTER INVITES APPLICATIONS FOR
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR POSITION
The Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County is an Olympia-based non-profit organization whose mission is to empower people to resolve issues through mediation services and conflict resolution training. Evan Ferber, Founding Director of the Thurston County Dispute Resolution Center will retire on December 30, 2016 after more than twenty-five years of leadership and service.
The Board of Directors of the DRC is inviting applications to fill the Executive Director position that Evan will vacate at the end of 2016. The Board is looking for a dynamic leader who shares the core values of the DRC community and who has the vision and experience to build on the organization’s strong foundation of service delivery, volunteer participation and community outreach. The Board encourages interested applicants to apply by September 1, 2016 – though the position will remain open until filled.
Application information and the position description may be found on the Dispute Resolution Center’s website: www.mediatethurston.org/job-opportunities.
Recognition given by Elaine Vradenburgh at the annual picnic in July
I met Mary five years ago at one of the first DRC meetings I attended shortly after I was hired. Our database vendor was introducing our new donor database to a small group of staff and volunteers. Mary was a new volunteer and was eager to use her background and skills in nonprofit development and database administration to help us take this big technological leap. Little did she know at that time that she would ‘co’ facilitate a project that has helped us to raise a little over $700,000 in the past five years.
We, at the DRC, share a strong value of collaboration. We practice this value every day at the mediation table, when we invite people to sit across from each other to find a path through conflict together, and by providing ‘co’ facilitators for that process. Our value of collaboration, and by extension the ‘co’ model, acknowledges and normalizes that no one person has all the answers, tools or skills to tackle every problem. And, it celebrates the power and promise of community.
Mary embodied this value of collaboration by bringing the ‘co’ model to her database work. It was rare to see her without another person at the computer trouble shooting the latest issue or building a new function or producing a report. Thank goodness, for me, that Mary embraced the ‘co’ model from day one! You see, in the fundraising world, donor databases serve as both the memory and the party planning part of the organization’s brain. I happen to have a brain that is equal parts savvy and impatient when it comes to such technology. I love to be efficient and organized. Yet I absolutely hate to read instruction manuals and troubleshoot when technology isn’t working. In true DRC style Mary gave strength-based feedback and celebrated with me when I figured something out on my own. She was always there to problem-solve and to share her expertise. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I wouldn’t have been able to do my job without Mary by my side.
One of Mary’s many skills is an incredible ability to connect the details to the big picture. I notice and value this skill because it is essential for good fundraising. She quickly and masterfully understood how small adjustments to our systems of tracking data would enhance relationships and build our mission. Those “small adjustments” however, sometimes took months to operationalize in the imperfect product we inherited. Mary’s tireless dedication to this singular project was utterly impressive. She, alongside fellow volunteers Bonnie Rose, Kitty Parker, and Pauline Houx, have spent hundreds of hours trouble shooting, repairing, refining and building outputs that help me do my job better and strengthen the organization.
I can’t think of a more fitting time to recognize Mary. Mary’s most recent accomplishment has been in helping us transition to our next database iteration. Again, in the ‘co’ model, she worked with other database volunteers to research new products and to prepare our data for the transition. It was a huge step and we’re excited to see where this new software will take us!
Mary has been a gift to our organization. We cannot thank her enough for the hours and hours and hours she has poured into this project.
312 4th Ave E
Olympia WA 98501
PO Box 6184
Olympia WA 98507
Contact US (360) 956-1155
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