Sessions and Speakers

Summit Sessions and Speakers


 Track 1   

 Track 2


Begins at 8:15 AM


Welcome and Summit Overview  

Plenary Session

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM 


Craig Runde: Building Conflict Competent Organizations


Conflict is at the heart of some of our best ideas, as well as many of our worst failures.  Organizational conflict is inevitable, so the key question becomes, “how can we get the best out of our differences and at the same time reduce conflict’s harmful effects?” This presentation addresses the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral skills that individuals, teams, and organizations require to achieve the enhanced creativity, improved decision making, and superior implementation and productivity that comes when conflict is managed well.


Craig Runde is the Director of the Center for Conflict Dynamics at Eckerd College.  He is the co-author of three books on workplace conflict, Becoming a Conflict Competent Leader, Building Conflict Competent Teams, and Developing Your Conflict Competence from Jossey-Bass and the Center for Creative Leadership. Website:

Craig received his B.A. from Harvard University, M.L.L. from the University of Denver, and J.D. from Duke University. He has practiced law in Colorado and has taught at the University of Minnesota Law School and Wake Forest University.


For more information on this idea, see Craig’s article in Talent Management Magazine at




    10:00 AM – 10:15 AM



10:15 AM – 11:15 AM


Best Practices for the Design of Corporate Alternative Dispute Resolution Systems


Organizations big and small, public and private   are realizing they need to more explicitly incorporate programs, policies and trainings that enhance the abilities of employees and managers to collaborate successfully. This presentation will provide examples of problems commonly encountered in organizational settings, and then present various methods to address those problems in a systematic way. Examples from leaders in corporate Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) will be given to provide concrete models of successful programs.


Ansley B. Barton, J.D. was the first Director of the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution and the first Director of the Master of Science in Conflict Management program at Kennesaw State University.  She has worked with government and private entities in the areas of dispute resolution systems design and evaluation, training, and facilitation.  She can be reached at


Timothy Hedeen, Ph.D. is a researcher, trainer, and professor of conflict management at Kennesaw State University. He serves on the editorial boards of Conflict Resolution Quarterly and Family Court Review, and as Liaison to the Associates Committee from the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution council. He is a senior consultant to the Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education, a past board chair of the National Association for Community Mediation, and a visiting faculty member at Hamline University School of Law.


Susan S. Raines, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University and the Editor of Conflict Resolution Quarterly. She has worked with many public and private organizations to design, implement and evaluate programs that reduce unproductive conflict, minimize the resort to litigation, increase employee retention and morale, and enhance productivity and profitability. She can be reached at


Jennifer Victor, J.D. is the owner of The Victor Firm LLC and specializes in working with corporations and organizations in the areas of conflict management program design, training, early case assessment, and other areas of conflict prevention and management.  Ms. Victor also serves as the Program Director of a corporation’s employment dispute resolution program on an outsourced basis.  Additionally, she is an Executive Director of the Chief Litigation Counsel Association.  She is also an adjunct professor at The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University.  Her email is

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM


Building Blocks of Lasting Conflict Resolution for           Workplace Teams 


In the world of team development one the most significant hurdles is meaningful conflict resolution. Today's workplace is filled with growing responsibilities, shrinking resources and fewer people. As a nation of employees we are faced with less sleep, more anxiety and less patience than in decades let's throw some unbridled, heated conflicts into the mix! Hold on, there is some real hope of changing the way your teams are tackling conflict everyday; model, train, and coach.


In order for teams to approach conflict with healthy anticipation and a sense of opportunity there are key building blocks to that success. This workshop with open the door to 3 learning components that will take negative, escalating conflict to a place of mutual understanding, collaboration and higher productivity. As leaders you will also learn that these essential components must be exemplified in your words, actions and behaviors as you take your team to a new level of professionalism.


If you seek fewer workplace headaches, more empowered, self-sufficient employees and a brighter way to find solutions then this session is a must!


Sheri A. Callahan, M.A. is the owner and Chief Promoter of Possibilities for Horizon Consulting Group, LLC.,  As a speaker, trainer and mediator, Sheri takes on a wide array of workplace challenges for her clients throughout the US and abroad. Sheri's key areas of expertise are in assertive communication, proactive listening, emotional intelligence, team dynamics and conflict resolution. She holds a B.A. in Speech Communication and a M.A. in Human Behavior and Conflict Management. Sheri is also the founding and current South Carolina Chapter President of the Association for Conflict Resolution. Sheri can be contacted at


11:15 AM – 12:15 PM


Mediation Mastery for the Workplace:


~End Unhealthy Conflict                                        

~Strengthen Workplace Relationships                             

~Increase Productivity


 In today's challenging the impact of unhealthy workplace conflict scorched by silence, hostility and damaged relationships can be among the most difficult for leaders to manage.  On the contrary, a conflict between an employee and leader, between co-workers, or within a team can be activated as an opportunity to open the box of creative growth and professional development; mediation mastery is the foundation.


This session explores the proven effectiveness of mediation for the workplace. We will explain and discuss the function of mediation, the key tools to making it work and the skills that can be learned to overhaul those conflict roadblocks. If you want to team to raise the bar, proactively listen and get through conflicts with a swift resolve then this is the session to attend. You will leave this session with applicable tools that you can use tomorrow! Join our panel for a lively discussion!


Nathelia (Nicky) Davenport, M.S.N.C.M. is the Deputy Director of the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution, the regulatory agency that implements the policies of the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Commission on Dispute Resolution, A seasoned mediator, facilitator and trainer, she works with companies and organizations to develop the ability of people, groups and companies to manage conflict and to collaborate effectively. Nicky is a member of the Advisory Board of Kennesaw State University’s Center for Conflict Management, former President of the Association for Conflict Resolution-Georgia Chapter and a facilitator for AmericaSpeaks. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in Sociology, and completed her M.S. in Negotiations and Conflict Management at the University of Baltimore. To email Nicky,


Beth Padgett, M.Ed., M.A. is Executive Director of the Community Mediation Center in Columbia, SC. Beth Padgett is making progress establishing mediation as a viable alternative to disputes and litigation across the Midlands of South Carolina.  Beth and her staff have made their organization and alternative dispute practices known to previously unreachable segments of the population by strategic outreach.   Beth is putting considerable time and energy into building a first class training program for the corporate community with the goal of having the Midlands be a model of “Mediation First!”  Beth holds a B.A., M.Ed. from the University of SC, and an MA. in Human Behavior and Conflict Management from Columbia College. 


Kim Bunker RN, brings over 20 years of extensive clinical nursing experience to her specialized health care advocacy firm, Southern Cross Mediation, Inc. Kim also provides Legal Nurse Consulting case management and Collaborative Case Mediator facilitation for Medical Malpractice. Kim co-creates healthy clinical work environments with the team and serves as an advocate for patients and families through the application of multiple alternative dispute resolution tools and conflict management strategies. Kim’s process provides a safe foundation for stakeholders to engage the conflict and productively co-design a resolution for productive communication, professional satisfaction, and patient safety improvement. Kim is the Georgia Chapter President of the Association for Conflict Resolution.


 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM


Work Climate Studies: Assessing the Organization


Today’s organizations are challenged in their ability to build and maintain a workforce culture that is able to work through conflict while maintaining high standards of productivity and extraordinary customer service. Organizations are also challenged in their ability to ask difficult questions o itself when confronted with a changing marketplace and workforce dynamics, oftentimes outside of its control. Work Climate Studies provide insight into the heart of the organization by taking a look at what’s going on, what’s not happening, and what’s needed for ongoing business success. The objective is to provide a neutral, third party assessment of the organization, its people, its processes and its policies and procedures with the intent of identifying the sources of conflict that thrive internally, interpersonally and organizationally.


Debra Dupree and James Champion work with organizations to design practical strategies and tactics to get bottom-line results. By attending this workshop, participants will learn how to effectively use the Work Climate Assessment process to build business leaders, develop core business values, uncover the sources of conflict, create quality work environments, educate employees and promote customer service.


 Debra is an Advanced Practitioner in Workplace Mediation, a member of the San Diego Superior Court Mediation Panel an Adjunct Professor at California Western School of Law, and a former Chairperson of ACR’s Workplace Section. Debra is founder of Relationships That Matter, LLC – a training, coaching and mediation practice.


 James is a Florida Supreme Court Mediator, National Certified Fraud Examiner and an EEOC Certified Investigator. Jamis is President and CEO of The Champion Services Group, LLC – a full service human resources consulting firm.


12:15 PM – 1:15 PM

                                         Networking ~ Author’s Table ~ Meet with the Speakers ~ ACR and GODR info table


1:15 PM – 2:15 PM


What Organizations Can Learn: The Conflict Resolution Lessons and Strategies from Government Agencies 


Since a 1990 mandate, federal government agencies have developed pioneering solutions for addressing workplace conflict. In this workshop, representatives from different agencies will review several Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and conflict resolution strategies to address and manage workplace conflict effectively. Examine the results of several case studies including a multi year perspective of ADR’s impact on case management in an EEO setting, an interagency collaborative effort to provide high quality and low cost neutrals, and different approaches to training and providing ADR services to employees in health care and law enforcement.


Vern Best, J.D. is the EEO Director with the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency.  During his 24 years of federal service, he has also served as an appellate attorney with the EEOC, a Conciliation Specialist with the Department of Justice and a Supervisory Equal Employment Specialist with the Department of Commerce.  Vern has been a Mediator and Instructor in the ADR field for over 16 years. He is a graduate of George Washington University with a Bachelors Degree in psychology.  He also obtained a Masters degree in Social Work from Howard University and a Juris Doctor degree from Catholic University of America.

Rudolph (Rudy) Cadney is Alternative Dispute Resolution Program (ADRP) Manager at the UDSA Forest Service. He presently manages the Early Intervention Program established to offer the 7000 employees duty stationed in a thirty six state geographic area from Maine to Florida in the East and Minnesota to Texas in the West an alternative dispute resolution option for addressing internal employment disputes. In this capacity he supervises up to 12-25 collateral duty agency mediators conducting workplace interventions. Rudy has conducted mediations within the agency’s employment complaints program, the employee relations program, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program and the Atlanta FEB Shared Neutrals Program. Since being trained in February 1993, Rudy has conducted as either lead or solo mediator more than 100 mediations. He is a career civil servant with 35 years of civilian service with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Navy with primary experience in the areas of Human Resources, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Equal Employment Opportunity
Dana P. Williams, J.D. is Dispute Resolution Manager Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  She leads the Alternative Dispute Resolution Team, which conducts mediation, facilitation and training for CDC staff. Dana also coordinates mediations for the Atlanta Federal Executive Board Shared Neutrals Program, which is housed within the Office of Dispute Resolution and Equal Employment Opportunity at CDC.

Prior to joining to CDC in 2008, Dana completed 19 ½ years of service at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region 2, in New York, where she served as the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer/Diversity Program Manager.  Prior to holding that position, she was a Legal Advisor in EPA – Region 2’s Office of Regional Counsel. Dana has developed and conducted numerous training courses in the subject areas of ADR, Conflict Resolution; Effective Communication; Trust in the Workplace; Team Building; Career Development; Sexual Harassment Prevention; Diversity; Equal Employment Opportunity; and Environmental Justice. 

 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM


Using Technology to Defuse Conflict in Meetings



Any meeting is liable to include difficult people who want to dominate the discussion or who get involved in heated arguments, whether the meeting is about a contentious issue or not.  The use of computer technology can help mitigate this problem by giving everyone in the meeting an equal chance to express an opinion, and by allowing everyone to see the degree of consensus around an issue.   This presentation will involve the participants in a “meeting” using keypad voting to demonstrate the potential of using technology to structure an effective discussion of issues.  We will also describe another option using networked laptops.


The presenters are all on the faculty of the Fanning Institute at the University of Georgia.


Raytheon Rawls, Esq. has mediated and arbitrated thousands of cases in government institutions, court systems, corporations, and with private parties. Since 1983, she has traveled extensively throughout the United States offering courses in mediation (basic and advanced), arbitration, conflict management, designing conflict management systems, and valuing diversity. Her courses have been approved by various state bar associations, the National Association of Social Workers, and other professional organizations. She has facilitated numerous meetings on issues of diversity, public policy and strategic planning. In 2002, the Supreme Court of Georgia appointed her to the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution—the body responsible for establishing ADR policies and procedures in the courts of Georgia.


Leigh Askew Elkins managed the public input process of the Statewide Water Management Plan. She worked with and facilitated a diverse group of Basin Advisory Committee and State Advisory Committee members.  She led 22 town hall meetings where the Water Council received extensive public comment on the proposed plan. Other projects she has worked on include Project Riverway, addressing environmental and economic issues along the lower Chattahoochee River; brownfields redevelopment; and engaging stakeholders in the land use planning process. 


Jan Coyne manages the Fanning Institute meeting technology.  She “chauffeurs” meetings around the state for groups of three to 300 people using a portable wireless network and keypad voting system.  The technology has been effective in strategic planning processes for state agencies, academic departments and healthcare institutions; public meetings addressing recreation needs, education issues, urban and regional planning, and community improvement efforts; and stakeholder meetings addressing environmental issues. 



                              2:15 PM – 2:30 PM



2:30 PM – 3:30 PM


Inter-generational Conflict in Organizations: Can anything be done?


In this interactive session, explore alternatives to address inter-generational conflict in the workplace. Consider how each group interacts utilizing practical strategies to address productivity, recruiting and retention. Discover how to get results from people in different generations by understanding where they’re coming from and reducing conflict escalation. Identify ways some organizations improved working relationships across generations.


Dr. Rick Voyles is the President of Conflict Resolution Academy, a technology oriented company that employs Audio, Video, CD Rom and the Internet to train and certify conflict resolution and mediation skill sets both online and onsite. Dr. Voyles is a registered Neutral with the State of Georgia's Office of Dispute Resolution and is a professional mediator. As past Director of Training for The Justice Center of Atlanta, he has traveled the world, training people in conflict resolution and mediation skills. He is the author of Understanding Conflict, Perfect Paperback, 2009.


2:30 PM – 3:30 PM


Conflict Coaching – A Process for Building Conflict Competence

As executive coaching gains a strong foothold in organizations, coaching specialties are fast emerging to support leaders and others with their professional development.  Since leaders can spend over 30% of their time dealing with conflict, they want to add specific skills in addressing conflict constructively so they, and their staff, can identify and manage conflicts earlier and more confidently. Conflict coaching is a creative process that combines conflict management and coaching principles to help people become conflict competent and reach their individual and organizational goals.

In this session, you will consider case studies and explore how conflict coaching can reduce the stress of interpersonal conflicts, prevent conflicts from expensive escalation, and prepare managers for effective participation in other conflict processes. Conflict coaching helps organizations improve productivity and morale, and keep the focus on the business of the organization.

Pattie Porter, The Texas Conflict Coach™  and President of Conflict Connections(TM), Inc, is a CINERGY® certified advanced conflict coach, a mediator and licensed clinical social worker.  She hosts her own blog talk radio show focused on constructive conflict and has consulted with leaders and organizations for over 15 years. Pattie serves on the Advisory Board of the Workplace Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) and is one of its Advanced Practitioners.  

Cinnie Noble, LL.B., LL.M (ADR), ACC

 is a lawyer, mediator and certified coach. In 1999, she created the unique CINERGY® model of conflict coaching which combines conflict management, coaching and neuroscience principles. Cinnie uses this process to coach and train leaders, managers, HR professionals, mediators, and coaches in organizations. Cinnie consults with organizations in the U.S., Canada, Ireland and Australia, to develop conflict coaching programs. She is Chair of the Conflict Coaching Committee for the Association for Conflict Resolution and hosts the Conflict Coaching Special Interest Group for the International Coach Federation. Cinnie is currently writing a book on conflict coaching.  


Plenary Session

3:30 PM – 4:25 PM


Benchmarking Organizations: Case Studies and Current Results


Join representatives from Georgia-Pacific, the Weather Channel and ConEdison of New York to identify current practices from different organizations, different industries, and different approaches for managing conflict and disputes more effectively. Examine specific organizational results, lessons learned, and best practices that some pioneering organizations are developing.


Jan McKenzie is the Director of Training and Development for The Weather Channel Companies.  In this role she develops, oversees and implements company wide training and development initiatives for leaders and employees of both The Weather Channel cable network and She has been with TWC for 17 years in a series of HR related roles including HR Director, Continuous Improvement Coach, Director of Benefits and Compensation and for the past 8 years, training. In the past two years Jan has won the John O Wynne Leadership Award and the Cable and Telecommunications HR Best Practices Award, an industry wide acknowledgment of a leader training initiative with over $30M ROI. Jan has worked closely with Craig Runde, Director, Center for Conflict Dynamics, Eckerd College to create and implement company wide conflict management programs for The Weather Channel Companies. Her website,, was featured on NBC evening news in Atlanta.


Phillip Armstrong, Senior Counsel for ADR and Litigation at Georgia-Pacific LLC in Atlanta, GA, describes Georgia-Pacific's ADR and early case assessment program, including how the program was started and how it has evolved over the past 15 years--what worked, what didn't, what he'd do differently. In addition, Mr. Armstrong will discuss a variety of approaches employed by Georgia-Pacific to reduce costs and better manage the company's litigation. Mr. Armstrong is the former chair of the dispute resolution section of both the Atlanta Bar Association and the State Bar of Georgia; is currently Budget Officer for the American Bar Association's Dispute Resolution section; serves on the Executive Committee of the CPR Institute; and is on Pepperdine's Straus Institute Council of Distinguished Advisers. 

Dale C. Hetzler, MSCM, JD,  is Chief Legal Officer and SVP at Erlanger Health System. Erlanger is a Level One Trauma Center and academic medical center affiliated with the University Of Tennessee College Of Medicine located in Chattanooga, TN.   Prior to Erlanger, Mr. Hetzler served as general counsel to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  He was previously vice president for law, government and public affairs for Solvay Pharmaceuticals, and began his legal career in private practice in Fort Worth, Texas.  A graduate of Texas Christian University, Mr. Hetzler received his JD from Baylor University School of Law and obtained a Master of Science in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia.  He has been licensed as an attorney in TX, MO, IL, GA and TN, and is a registered neutral in Georgia.  Mr. Hetzler served as adjunct professor at Emory School of Law from 2004 – 2008 and is a frequent speaker on the topic of conflict resolution in healthcare.  He has affiliations with numerous organizations relating to law, healthcare and dispute resolution, is past chair of the Georgia State Bar Dispute Resolution Section and serves on the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution.


Rita Callahan, a Conflict Resolution Senior Specialist at Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., describes how the company responded to an Ombudsman’s recommendation to form a Conflict Resolution Section to now developing a conflict competent organization for over 14,000 employees. ConEdison has a broad approach to conflict management and provides services including mediation, conflict coaching, Conflict Resolution teams, conflict assessment, facilitation, training and other evolving processes. Rita is a Board member of the Association for Conflict Resolution and Chairs the Expanded Conflict Management Processes Committee of the American Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section.



                              Closing Comments

                              4:25 PM – 4:30 PM

Nicky Davenport,
Sep 1, 2009, 7:34 PM