Christine Poulson and Lawrie Parker joined the Virginia Mediation Network’s Mediation Compensation Task Force (MCTF).  With help from the Virginia Bar Association, an initiative to increase compensation for mediators doing custody, visitation and support work was successful.  Starting July 1, 2016 compensation for mediating custody and/or visitation cases would increase to $120.  For cases involving child support, compensation would be a separate $120.

Christine Poulson was elected to the board of the National Association for Community Mediation and attended their conference in Reno, NV

VACCR received a $95,000 grant from the Department of Social Services to pay centers to provide mediation and co-parenting training through the federal Access and Visitation Program.

The Conflict Resolution Center in Roanoke merged to become a program of Children’s Trust.  The Conflict Resolution Center of Children’s Trust was approved as a VACCR member.


In October, VACCR held a retreat at the CMG Foundation in Richmond, during which the centers discussed data collection and current center needs and priorities.

VACCR worked with Dispute Resolution Services and the Virginia Mediation Network (VMN) to find ways to determine and demonstrate the value of mediation, and made presentations to the Pro Se Litigants/Court Access Committee and the Judicial Education Committee of the Court’s Access to Justice Commission on the benefits of mediation to the courts and its clients.  VACCR shared information it recently collected on the length of time it takes for cases to be heard in courts compared with the length of time it takes for cases to be mediated by member centers working with those courts.  The data suggests that, through mediation, Virginians can get access to justice and a settlement of their issues much quicker, (in some cases three times faster), when mediation is used as compared with traditional court processes.  A link to the table on settlement times can be found on VACCR’s website at http://www.vaccr.org/2014/12/access-justice-faster-mediation/    Christine Poulson and Lawrie Parker attended the fall VMN Conference.

VACCR was engaged in several outreach and public education efforts, including the following.  A customizable PowerPoint slide presentation was created on centers and their services.  VACCR began working with VMN and Mark Rubin of the Center for Consensus Building to find funding to hold a workshop for state legislators on the use of mediation for public policy issues.  VACCR members Morna Ellis and Carolyn Fitzpatrick educated a group of 200+ attendees of the Mid-Atlantic Housing Management Association about mediation and how it can assist with landlord/tenant issues.  With mediator support, VACCR sold over 250 “Keep Calm and Call a Mediator” shirts.


Brochures and postcards were printed along with “Got Peace” tee shirts for directors to wear to promote sales of the Peace license plate.

A small table-top display was created and used for VACCR’s participation in the 20th anniversary of the dispute resolution statutes at the University of Richmond.

VACCR co-sponsored the ABA Dispute Resolution Section’s Mediation Month event at the University of Richmond where VACCR was represented by Megan Johnston.

A request to the VA General Assembly for $750,000 to fund a grant program to support Virginia’s community dispute resolution centers was made by Delegates Scott Surovell, Delegate Chris Peace and Senator Tommy Norment.  VACCR members and center representatives met with many legislators to educate them about the work and needs of the centers.  The request was not funded.


Humorist and storyteller Kim Weitkamp held workshops for VACCR member centers across the state to help members “talk about what we do”.

Nine billboards were put up in the Lynchburg/ Roanoke/ SW VA area encouraging drivers to Fight Nice and Try Mediation.

Three 30-second PSAs describing the use of mediation for neighborhood disputes, divorce and landlord/tenant disputes were again sent to television stations surrounding VACCR member centers.

CMG Foundation in Richmond requested (and was granted) VACCR Full Membership

VACCR co-sponsored the ABA Dispute Resolution Section’s Mediation Month event at the University of Richmond where VACCR was represented by Leigh Trippe.

VACCR lent its name to the support of two legislative amendments for the Supreme Court of Virginia’s legislative packet.  The amendments harmonized the last paragraphs of Virginia Code Sections 8.01-576.10 and 8.01-581.22 in an effort to alleviate a practice in some juvenile courts that required mediators to turn the child support guidelines worksheets in to the court in cases where parties did not reach an agreement in mediation.

During VACCR’s retreat, the vision and mission were revised and subsequently adopted.

The vision statement:  Virginians solve conflict constructively.

VACCR’s mission:

The Association provides member centers with opportunities to:

  • share information;
  • network;
  • collaborate;
  • educate the public; and
  • develop and share resources.

The services of its member centers strengthen individuals, families, neighborhoods, organizations, public agencies, businesses, schools and the community-at-large.


VACCR purchased and began using the 1-888- VAPEACE telephone line which has extensions to each of its member centers.

Eight billboards were put up in the Lynchburg/ Roanoke/ SW VA area encouraging drivers to purchase Peace license plates as holiday gifts.

Three 30-second PSAs describing the use of mediation for neighborhood disputes, divorce and landlord/tenant disputes were sent to television stations surrounding VACCR member centers.

Sally Campbell, Melanie Rhinehults and from the Office of Dispute Resolution Services (Supreme Court of Virginia) met with the VACCR board in September to discuss initiatives of both organizations as well as possibilities for collaboration and mutual support.

VACCR co-sponsored the ABA Dispute Resolution Section’s Mediation Month event at the University of Richmond where VACCR was represented by Leigh Trippe.


VACCR’s first coordinator was hired to provide administrative and programmatic support to the organization. The website was redesigned and updated as the first step in VACCR’s next initiative, a public education campaign.

VACCR co-sponsored Mediation Month in October with the ABA Dispute Resolution Section and displayed VACCR materials, the Peace by Piece quilt and the Peace Plate at the T.C. Williams School of Law.


VACCR’s “Peace Plate” produced by the Department of Motor Vehicles, providing VACCR with a revenue source.


VACCR began the campaign for the Virginia “Peace Plate,” a specially designed license plate for community peacebuilders – like mediators – and others who want to see more peace in the world.

VACCR concluded the outreach portion of it’s Hewlett grant for Community Solutions. The outreach portion included presenting information about the program at conferences, getting the word out to potential users and conducting facilitations. A PowerPoint Report on the two year program has been prepared by the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia.

VACCR developed a new website to provide the public, potential Virginia Solutions clients and it’s members with up-to-date information about community conflict resolution in Virginia.


VACCR began to implement it’s Community Solutions program. During 2003 VACCR conducted eight regional training programs in public policy mediation and facilitation. About 200 mediators received the full training and another 300 local government, development and environmental organization staff were presented with a morning workshop on uses and best practices.


VACCR received grants from the Hewlett Foundation and from the National Association for Community Mediation to 1) develop the VACCR organization and 2) to create statewide capacity to facilitate large scale public policy, environmental, land use, etc. public disputes and decisions. That effort is now known as “Virginia Solutions.”


VACCR members worked throughout the year to identify and prepare grants for new projects that could benefit Virginians. Two projects which received the go-ahead for full grant applications included the Hewlett Foundation and the National Association for Community Mediation.


The center directors met for a retreat in Ashland, Virginia in December of 2000 and decided to form the Virginia Association for Community Conflict Resolution.

Center directors and volunteers worked with the Department of Dispute Resolution at the Supreme Court of Virginia to help persuade the Virginia General Assembly of the need for additional funding for mediation in the courts of Virginia. In the end the General Assembly provided an additional $500K annually to the Supreme Court for mediation in Virginia.

Members on hand at the December 13, 2000 VACCR retreat in Ashburn, VA
 were Frank Dukes, Lawrie Parker, Rob Scott, Tanya Denkla, Bob Glover, Beckie Riffe, [our facilitator], Christine Poulson and Carolyn Miller.


The Coalition was instrumental in helping to define the standards that would become the rules for Virginia mediator certification. Center directors worked with other mediation interests in Virginia to help craft the final rules and encourage the development of two pilot court mediation projects – one in Henrico County and one in Prince William County. One important area of influence was the implementation of a “substantial relevant experience” exception in the Certification Standards for the college degree requirement. Centers felt that one of the goals of mediation was to work with mediators who shared the demographic characteristics of their clients and thereby have a diverse corps of mediators.


Executive Directors of Virginia nonprofit community mediation centers began to meet together informally under the name of “Coalition of Community Mediation Centers.” The goals of the Coalition are to provide mutual support and encouragement for the growth of centers and share best practices and ideas.

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