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                             NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEMBERSvolunteer 2.0 images

The Mediation Center of Greater Green Bay is currently recruiting new Directors for our Board. Below is a description of our needs and a history of our organization. If you are interested, please contact Steve Vickman at 920-438-7067 or at: svickman.mediationggb@yahoo.com

Directors of the Mediation Center of Greater Green Bay, Inc.

  1. Board Attendance, Committee Work, and Sharing of Expertise: Our board is a governance board dealing with issues central to the Mediation Center of Greater Green Bay’s long term success.

Consistent board meeting attendance helps provide critical governance oversight by the board and is required.  Meeting dates and times for the year are provided in January at the Annual Meeting.

Much of the work of the board is accomplished in committees.  Directors are encouraged to join and attend meetings of at least one committee.  Committee membership is rotated.  The list of standing  board committees includes: Marketing, Financial Sustainability and Programming.

In addition to board and committee work, directors contribute significantly to the Mediation Center through their work on special projects or by making themselves available on a regular basis for consultation with management or the board on issues on which they have special knowledge, experience, or expertise.

Directors may also help arrange for donation of resources or management time from their companies or their network to assist management on particular issues or problems.

  1. Annual Giving: All directors are expected to give generously to the Mediation Center. While not all directors will be able to give at the same level, it is expected that whatever contribution is made will be a stretch gift for the director.
  2. Fundraisers: Directors are expected to attend and contribute to the Mediation Center’s fundraisers.
  3. Donor Cultivation and Solicitation of Others: All directors should be prepared to identify and/or solicit contributions on behalf of the Mediation Center from various community sources identified. Fundraising is critical to the organization and is a board responsibility.
  4. Advocacy and Networking: Directors are expected to be strong advocates for the Mediation Center within the community.
  5. 6. Showcasing the Mediation Center in the Community. The Mediation Center needs to showcase its’ programs as widely as possible.  Directors are expected to help with this effort by identifying groups and events at which Mediation Center representatives might speak on behalf of the organization.
  6. Building Support. Directors are expected to help identify potential new donors and to help build support for the Mediation Center in the community, especially the corporate giving community.
  7. Building the Board: Building the board is a continual process. Directors are expected to help the Mediation Center find new directors who support our mission, are willing to advocate on our behalf, who will work well with other members of the board, and who will contribute generously of their time, talent and treasure. Helping to build the board is everyone’s responsibility.

Board Member Length of Term

  1. Board members may serve a maximum of three two-year terms.

(B). Time Commitment Required

  1. The board of directors meets every month for 2 hours per meeting.
  2. Committees of the board may meet monthly or as needed, depending on the committee.
  3. Board members are encouraged to attend the fundraising events.

(C). General Qualifications

Each board member should have each of the skills or attributes described below:

Organizational History and Mission; Ethics

  1. Possess an understanding and appreciation of, or a willingness to learn, the history and mission of the organization.
  2. Demonstrate high ethical standards and integrity in his or her personal and public conduct.

Knowledge and Experience

  1. Possess experience in and knowledge of the local non-profit environment sufficient to enable the individual to be an effective board member, including the ability to comprehend and ask relevant questions regarding materials routinely provided to the board on our operations and plans.
  2. Possess experience in mission, business, professional, or volunteer positions that will enable him or her to provide useful insights into various matters addressed by the board.
  3. Have current or recent prior service on other nonprofit or for-profit boards; service in a management position of an organization of comparable size or with other characteristics similar to the Mediation Center; other comparable experience; or the willingness and ability to quickly learn and apply principles and practices of corporate governance as required to be an effective board member.

(D). General Expectations and Responsibilities

Each board member is expected to:

  1. Have the ability to participate effectively in board meetings, including articulating and responding to alternative viewpoints through effective communication.
  2. Be willing and have the ability to devote the time required to be an effective board member, including serving on one or more board committees; preparing for board and committee meetings through advance review of meeting materials; and attending at least 75 percent of all board and committee meetings, in person or by phone (if necessary).
  3. Commit to attend annual events and social functions designed to integrate the board and acquaint board members with one another, and other special functions as requested.
  4. Be willing to participate in periodic board member self-evaluations and annual board evaluations, and be open to constructive criticism on performance as a board member.
  5. Adhere to the Mediation Center’s policies applicable to board members, including maintaining the confidentiality of information and conflict of interest disclosure procedures.
  6. Support the philanthropic goals of the Mediation Center.
  7. Possess the ability to make independent decisions, unencumbered by material conflicts of interest.

History of the Mediation Center of Greater Green Bay, Inc.

The Mediation Center began as a research project of the League of Women Voters of Greater Green Bay.  The League study determined that there was a strong need for such a Center in Brown County. The Center was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to conduct mediations in the community and was originally incorporated as “The Brown County Community Mediation Center”.  In 1999, the Center received funding and began receiving small claims/evictions referrals from the Brown County Circuit Court.  The name was subsequently changed to the Mediation Center of Greater Green Bay, Inc. as there was confusion that the Center operated under the auspices of Brown County government. In 2002, the Mediation Center moved into its current location in the Bellin Building at 100 S. Washington St.

Dr. Diane Legomsky was hired as the first Executive Director of the Center and retired in December 2011. Dr. Laura Smythe replaced her in January 2012 and served through September 2015. Steve Vickman was hired as the Executive Director in December 2015. The Center’s Program Manager is Ms. Amy Kocha who directs all mediation activities including our Homelessness Prevention Program at the Brown County Court House each Tuesday afternoon.

The Center continues to carry out its mission to assist and educate individuals and groups to resolve their disputes peacefully and effectively. The unique genius of the mediation process is that parties who reach their own resolution are much more likely to fulfill their agreement than are parties who have been ordered to do something by a judge or jury which results in greater compliance and more harmony within the community and these services significantly below the market rate.  The Mediation Center provides a viable, low-cost alternative to going to court as a means of resolving conflict for people with very few resources. In addition to the Homelessness Prevention Program every Tuesday at the Brown County Court House, mediation sessions are typically scheduled at the Mediation Center on alternating Tuesday evenings, alternating Tuesday mornings and Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

Along with our relationships with the Brown County Circuit Court system, we have collaborative agreements to provide mediation services for organizations like the ADRC (which provides information on all aspects of life related to aging or living with a disability) and the Brown County Home Builders Association.

The Mediation Center works to support people in conflict by providing trained and experienced mediators who facilitate conversations to help people reach a resolution.  The Center currently has 45 volunteers who mediate approximately 700 disputes each year with a resolution rate of more than 80%. The Center offers an annual mediation training program that consists of 40 hours of classroom training, and approximately 20 hours of observation and co-mediations.  Our training process follows the guidelines established by WAM (the Wisconsin Association of Mediators).

The Center has continued to expand its services since its inception. In response to community requests and needs, in 2001 the Center offered programming beyond our mediations of Small Claims/Evictions referred by the Brown County Circuit Court to include mediation programs in Neighborhood, Racial and Ethnic Differences and Family Disputes.  The types of mediation services provided by the Center include not only the small claims cases referred by the Brown County Circuit Courts, the Mediation Center but the following types of cases as well:

1.Workplace / Employment / Commercial – these types of mediations typically involve one of the following:

*Disputes involving a vendor contract for goods or services;

* Disputes involving a verbal employment agreement; or

* Disputes among employees or between an employee and a manager causing loss of productivity

  1. Elder – these types of mediations are typically family-oriented and involve concerns unique to the elder population such as where the elder will live, what physical care the elder needs and who should provide it , whether or not the elder needs assistance with finances, etc.
  2. Insurance/Accidents – these types of mediations often involve car accidents when one of the parties is uninsured.
  3. Neighborhood– these types of mediations involve neighbors and are about matters such as a fence that may or may not infringe on a non-owner’s property line, or trees that drop a lot of yard waste on a neighbor’s yard or in a neighbor’s gutter, or neighbors who yell at one another and so don’t feel comfortable being in their own yards, etc.
  4. Civil Litigation – these types of mediations include two different categories. They include disputes that are in the litigation process but are not small claims matters. They may be court-referred but be about a family dispute, a divorce dispute or harassment claims.  These types also include self-referred disputes that may or may not have been filed with the court but are either inter-personal disputes or business-business disputes or individual-business disputes.
  5. Diversity – these types of mediations typically occur within the context of a workplace but involve, specifically, frustrated communications between individuals or discrimination claims that stem from misunderstandings between people of diverse cultures.
  6. Non-Profit – these types of mediations involve disagreements that take place in the non-profit workplace among board members, between board members and staff and between staff and clients.
  7. Family – these types of mediations are differentiated from Elder mediations because the crux of the issue is not the care/welfare of an elder family member. These types of mediations typically involve disputes between divorced parents who are arguing about who is responsible for particular bills or they involve parties who are in the process of divorce who need help dividing property or they may involve loans made between family members, etc. What distinguishes these cases is that the parties are related to one another.
  8. Landlord/Tenant – these types of mediations usually involve either unpaid rent or issues about damages that occurred in the rental unit. The Center mediates a large number of these types of disputes.
  9. Evictions – these types of mediations also involve the relationship between a landlord and tenant but are the specific result of a landlord filing in court to evict a tenant (almost always because of unpaid rent but also because of “waste” – damage to property and neglect of property and because of nuisance” behaviors by tenants). On Tuesday afternoons the Center works with Brown County Circuit Court to offer landlords and tenants an opportunity to mediate their dispute immediately after appearing in front of a Court Commissioner.

Social Media Volunteer

Role:  Responsible for developing and posting appropriate information to the Center’s Facebook page, Website and LinkedIn page

Accountability:  Individual works under the supervision of the Executive Director who approves all content for all of our media.

Schedule:  Can work from home with regularly scheduled meetings with the supervisor or can work on site at mutually agreeable and regular times.  Expect a time commitment of approximately 2 hours per week.

Skills:  Knowledge and awareness of importance of communication to an organization’s image and success.  Ability to write and willingness to improve writing skills.  Comfortable with doing research on a computer.  If necessary, will train to use social media sites provided volunteer has basic competence with a computer.

Homelessness Prevention Mediator

Hours:  Tuesday afternoon 1 – 4or 4:30 p.m.  (at least two Tuesdays per month)

Be part of a team of 2 – 4 people mediating eviction actions. This involves working with landlords and tenants in an impartial manner to help them reach a resolution that prevents the tenant from being evicted from her/his residence. We average a 90% resolution rate in these types of disputes.  The mediations take place at the courthouse.

Requirements:  Complete the Center’s mediator training.   See Announcements page for details on the training.

Mediator

Training for Mediators is generally offered once each year. See “Announcements” page to watch for upcoming training dates.

Volunteers: After completing the 40 hours of instruction, the observation of 5 mediations, co-mediating 4 mediations with experienced Mediation Center mediators, and receiving approval from the Executive Director to begin mediating, the volunteers commit to serving as mediators for the Mediation Center of Greater Green Bay by mediating a minimum of two mediations per month for one year.  Only those who can commit to being available during our regularly-scheduled mediations will be considered as volunteers.  Please also note on the application the requirement for availability during at least one morning or afternoon mediation per month. The training fee for volunteers is $95.

 This training program meets the Wisconsin Association of Mediators recommended Mediator Training Curriculum.

 Training Program:  The program will include the following components:

1.       Theories of Conflict and Conflict Management

2.       Overview of the Mediation Process and a Mediation Demonstration

3.       Understanding of Individual Responses to Conflict

4.       Mediation Step-by-Step

5.       Ethical Practice of Mediation

6.       Coached Role Plays

7.       Understanding the Sources of our Mediation Referrals

8.       Ensuring Quality of Process and Understanding Procedures

9.       Exploring Specific Types of Mediation  (including elder, evictions, small claims, business and family mediations)

10.    Community Resources Available

Translator – Spanish/English

Serve as translator in a mediation.  Needed Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday morning for 9 a.m to no later than Noon.  As-needed basis with appointments being made at least two weeks in advance.  Call or e-mail if you can help.

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