Volunteer Profiles

Alex Tillson

Alex Tillson went to college in Portland and moved back a few years after graduation. Since entering the world of mediation, he has come to recognize that mediation is a really engaging combination of his skills, experience and passions. Alex has a Master's in Psychology, which gives him the background knowledge he needs to succeed in interest-based mediation. He has worked in a family law firm for over a decade, which has provided him with enormous amounts of hands-on experience dealing with domestic relations disputes. Alex has been involved in athletic coaching for most of his adult life. He views coaching as an exercise in communication, dispute resolution and teamwork, as well as an opportunity to work with people to make the best out of whatever situation they're in. All of these bits of background - the coaching, the law firm and the Psychology experience are elements that help him be an effective mediator.

 

Joyce Ebbert
Joyce EbbertJoyce spent her working life as a teacher at the elementary level and small business owner.  She lived many years in Alaska where she taught in remote village schools and eventually owned a business which her family owned for almost twenty years.  Joyce became interested in mediation and took her initial training from Community Mediation Services in Vancouver in 1997.   She was certified as a mediator by CMS in 1998 and Washington Mediation Association (WMA) in 2004.  Joyce also served on the WMA Board for three years. 

Mrs. Ebbert became interested in mediation as a concept when a divorce in her extended family went very wrong.  She thought there must be a better way than to be so adversarial.  Joyce says that she especially enjoys facilitating and working with groups that are having trouble either with interpersonal relationships or structure.

 

Lori Loranger
Lori LorangerLori is trained in community mediation, meeting facilitation, foreclosure mediation, victim offender dialogue, and communication coaching.  She has served on various boards for the library, grocery cooperatives, and homeschooling organizations.  Fostering voluntary cooperation is her passion; creating cooperative structures to fulfill community needs is her goal.  By manifesting cooperation through action, individuals are empowered to satisfy a diversity of needs while building harmonious human relationships.

Lori’s experiences in the community have taught her that how we talk to one another matters.  The biggest challenge of working with groups to create social change is that many people have difficulty communicating effectively.  Lori became a student of Compassionate Communication many years ago, and has participated in and hosted NVC (nonviolent communication) practice groups.

Experiencing the destructive results of unresolved conflict in community groups inspired her to become a mediator.  It would be a great joy for Lori to use mediation skills to help cooperative groups accomplish their good works with respect and kindness toward all participants.

 

Rebecca Stonestreet JD
Rebecca StonestreetIt was Rebecca’s childhood dream to become a lawyer.  She received her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Utah in 1987. During her second year of law school, Rebecca had a change in consciousness, a change in consciousness which led her on a path less traveled by her fellow graduates.

Rebecca never practiced law, but instead, started her own business first assisting solo law practitioners in Washington as a part time legal assistant, and then becoming an Oregon Licensed Private Investigator in 1992, primarily working for public defenders until 2002.

Struggling through another personal growth period, Rebecca read books on more effective communication, and how to be a better listener. It was during this personal growth period that she happened upon the initial start-up stages of Six Rivers.  Her heart sang out that mediation was the next step to take with her path less traveled. So, Rebecca took the Six Rivers basic mediation course in 2003.

Mediation fit Rebecca like a glove. Instead of perpetuating and augmenting conflicts as litigation tends to do, she was now in a system which provided communication, healing and resolution for people. All aspects of mediation resonate with Rebecca.

One of Rebecca’s favorite mediations was between two 11 year old boys who were the best of friends, but had become bitter foes due to unrevealed circumstances. Rebecca says that she still thinks about the mediation between those two boys, because “it flowed so naturally, the boys were very mature and respectful to one another, and they both had an “ah-ha” about their conflict.  During the mediation, the boys became the best of friends again. Mediating between these two boys goes along with my theme of personal growth and changing consciousness. It was a wonderful experience for all three of them.  She is grateful and honored to be part of such a wonderful public service as Six Rivers.”

 

Ruth Berkowitz

I am a mediator, lawyer and writer. These three roles center around communication and I strive daily to be a better communicator. I find that mediation can be incredibly rewarding when the parties reach the "aha" moment and want to work together in resolving their conflict. Litigation can sometimes be appropriate, but there are so many times when it’s better to congregate at a table and come to a resolution. About 15 years ago, I was on the side of the Plaintiff in a sexual abuse case and I was deposing the perpetrator. I had to ask intrusive questions with all the parties around. I wished that I could have stopped the deposition and settled the case. It would have made everyone’s life so much better. It was at that moment that I decided I wanted to be a mediator. I mediate for the court system, Six Rivers, and also privately. Someday, I would like to mediate the Middle East crisis.

 

Emily Stranz
Emily StranzEmily has more than a decade of mediation experience, both as an interpersonal conflict mediator and small group facilitator for conflicts ranging from WA Department of Commerce Foreclosure Mediation and USDA Agricultural disputes to intergovernmental conflict resolution and consensus processes. From 2008 to 2013, Emily worked at Six Rivers as the Mediation Coordinator. Beginning in 2012, Emily started working with DS Consulting, contributing to a number of natural resource public policy facilitation processes, assisting with project planning, strategy, conflict resolution and consensus building, facilitation, communications and documentation. In 2013, Emily graduated from Portland State University with a Masters in Conflict Resolution, focusing on natural resource issues. Through professional and educational experiences, Emily brings a depth of knowledge and understanding about conflict, its effective management, and interest-based problem solving. Additionally, Emily has multiple years of experience working as a Watershed/Resource Technician for various watershed groups and an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon.

 

Mediators Rock!

Six Rivers Mediators:
Adrian Chaton
Andrea Pacheco
Alex Tillson
Bill Lennox
Dale Connell
Emily Stranz
Gary Linkous
Joyce Ebbert
Lori Loranger
Marty McGee
Rebecca Stonestreet
Ruth Berkowitz

“The wise person doesn’t give the right answers; she or he poses the right questions.”
~Claude Levi

“It is astonishing how elements which seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens.  How confusions which seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard.”
~ Carl Rogers