Is there an elephant in your office?
Workplace conflict and incivility are common in most organizations, but, too often, ignored or avoided. Unaddressed, they can have significant negative consequences for employers - emotional costs to you and your staff, and financial costs that impact your bottom line:
Join us for a special breakfast workshop to learn insights and skills to effectively address workplace conflict.
Thursday, October 19, 2017 7:15 – 9:00 a.m.
Lacey Community Center 6729 Pacific Avenue SE , Lacey, WA
Check-in, coffee and networking begin at 7:15, with breakfast served at 7:30.
The Dispute Resolution Center's new Community Impact Report, "Finding Common Ground", was recently published and distributed throughout Thurston and S. Mason Counties.
In this report we share a brief overview of the DRC's three primary areas of focus - Mediation, Training and Youth Services - along with statistics and testimonial quotes that help demonstrate the many ways our efforts contribute to the current and future well-being of our community.
We hope you will take a few moments to read the online version of our report by clicking here.
If you would like to receive printed copies of the report, please contact Joe Sanders, Community Engagement Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DRC Family came together on July 27th for our annual Volunteer Recognition Picnic at the Rose Garden at Priest Point Park. Organized by the DRC Board of Directors, this annual event celebrates the more than 100 volunteers whose commitment makes the DRC's work possible.
At this year's picnic, the DRC Board served a bountiful feast, energizing entertainment was provided by the Samba OlyWA drummers, and Vicki Martin was honored with the 2017 Volunteer of the Year award.
Thank You to all of our amazing volunteers for your dedication to promoting peace and civility in our community.
Earlier this year, the Dispute Resolution Center Board and staff committed to both expanding conflict resolution services in local schools and being responsive to community needs by offering high quality training resources. We are excited to announce an internal re-alignment that allows us to address these service objectives and meet growing community needs.
Carrie Stringer, who previously oversaw both training and youth services, will now focus solely on Restorative Practices and Youth Services. Former staff member Oriana Noël Lewis has returned to the DRC and will again be filling the role of Training Manager.
Restorative practices provide a framework for a fundamental shift in how schools respond to rule violations and misbehavior. The goal is to extend beyond addressing incidents themselves to fostering healthy school communities grounded in mutual respect, positive communication, and trust. Our Peacemaker Clubs have been an important element of this work and we are excited to deepen our partnerships with local schools in the coming academic year.
As this youth-focused area of service is so highly valued, so too is our robust Training Program. Building upon a solid history of providing conflict prevention and resolution training, we will continue to offer in-house training in the practice of mediation, both basic and advanced, as well as custom-designed training for the workplace and community.
When the community calls upon us to be of service in the ways that we are best equipped, it serves everyone well to say "Yes, we can help". By providing the opportunity for each of these talented, passionate, and highly-dedicated women to do what they each excel at, our organization is positioned to be responsive to both of these highly-valued areas of service.
Please join me in celebrating the contributions of both Carrie and Oriana to the DRC's mission.
Jody M. Suhrbier
Alice Sharrett has joined the Dispute Resolution Center's staff as our new Mediation Manager. In her new role, she will oversee the DRC's Call Center, train and supervise volunteer phone conciliators, and manage mediation client records, case scheduling and billing.
Alice brings an impressive, diverse set of skills and experience to our organization. She has worked in management information systems since 1998, and has served our community in a wide variety of volunteer roles, including as a rape crisis and domestic violence hot-line responder. Her involvement with the DRC dates back to 2012, when she completed her 40-hour Mediation Training and began volunteering as a phone conciliator. She has been serving as the DRC's Case Manager, in an interim capacity, since May.
"The entire team is delighted to welcome Alice into the role of Mediation Manager," notes DRC Executive Director Jody Suhrbier. "She has the perfect combination of data management, office organization, and systems analysis skills coupled with a warm, patient, and service-oriented manner. She shares with all of us a dedication to continuous quality improvement in our efforts to offer high-quality conciliation and mediation services to our community."
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 email@example.com.
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.
312 4th Ave E
Olympia WA 98501
PO Box 6184
Olympia WA 98507
Federal Tax ID: 94-3130662
Contact US (360) 956-1155
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The Toast, our annual fundraising event, wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our sponsors.
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