History of EPP Section
Chairs and Co-Chairs
- Gail Bingham 1983-1989
- Suzanne Orenstein 1990-1992
- Greg Bourne 1992
- Elaine Hallmark 1993
- John Folk-Williams 1994-96
- Chris Carlson 1995-97
- Bob Jones 1996-1998
- Sylvia McMechan 1997-1999
- Mary Margaret Golten 1998-2000
- Rafael Montalvo 1999-2001
- Rosemary Romero 2000-2002 (dates uncertain)
- Donna Silverberg 2000-02
- Frank Dukes 2001-2003
- Tom Fee 2002-2004
- Mary Skelton Roberts 2003-05
- John Stephens 2004-06
- Cindy Cook 2005-07
- Michael Elliott 2006-08
- Carolyn Penny 2007-09
- Harry Manasewich 2008-10
- John Jostes 2009-11
- Brad Spangler 2010-12
- Suzanne Schwartz 2011-13
- Turner Odell 2012-2014
An Informal, Thoroughly Unauthorized History of
the ACR Environment & Public Policy Section
by Robert M. Jones, March 2004 1
“What’s past is prologue.”- Shakespeare, The Tempest
“Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.” -- Cherokee Indian Proverb
“Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.” -- Cherokee Indian Proverb
When the Society for Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPIDR) was created in the early 1970’s there were two categories of membership: labor and “other.” A decade later, then SPIDR President, Tom Colosi, suggested the creation of ”SECTIONS” to acknowledge the growth of the “other” category of SPIDR members. 29 years ago, in 1983, Gail Bingham, a SPIDR board member, was asked to help form and chair a new environmental sector. 3 Initially, the sector didn’t meet at SPIDR annual meetings but held meetings at user conferences and one free standing conference of environmental mediators at Florissant, Colorado in 1982 (organized completely outside of SPIDR). In late 1990, following the first SPIDR Qualifications Commission Report (1989) on which Gail Bingham served, the sector initiated an effort as a follow on response to that report to develop consensus on a set of competencies and tasks for environmental and public policy mediation. That effort was led by Susan Carpenter and Suzanne Orenstein. This was the first such policy document initiated by a SPIDR sector and was adopted by both the sector and by the SPIDR Board in 1991.
In 1992, Gail Bingham, Abby Arnold, Rich Collins, Frank Dukes and Bruce Dotson organized a 10 year follow up meeting to the Florrisant conference in Charlottesville, Virginia. 75 seasoned and newer practitioners met and distilled lessons learned over the past decade. It was at the Charlottesville meeting that the Sector debated several models for helping the field build intellectual capital, whether to form a separate association a la the American Arbitration Association or other professional associations such as those of planners and psychologists, or seek better support within SPIDR as a sector. This resulted in the publication of "The Cutting Edge" conference report and the creation of a steering committee led by Greg Bourne, the Section Chair, which brought forth a new negotiated contract with SPIDR addressing the Sector’s needs. In 1993-95 Elaine Hallmark and John Folk-Williams served as section co-chairs and the Sector published a membership directory for the first time as a service to members. Larry Susskind also agreed to cover Sector issues and initiatives through his newspaper, Consensus and continued to do so until Consensus ceased publication in 1998.
In 1995-96 John Folk-Williams and Elaine Hallmark Chris served staggered terms as the section’s first co-chairs and brought about the first successful, revenue-generating mid-year meeting at University of California, Santa Cruz 2 with over 90 practitioners attending and participating. An informal poll of those practitioners attending revealed that 90% served as neutral facilitators while less than 10% attending made their living solely as mediators. The subsequent sessions took place in informal retreat settings in Minnesota (95), New Hampshire (96), Seattle (97), Chapel Hill, North Carolina (98), Keystone, Colorado (99); Chicago (2000), Tucson (02), Washington D.C. (03), Portland (04), Boston (06), Florida (07), Tucson (08), Denver (09), Tucson (10), Portland (11), and Tucson (12).
In 1995 Chris Carlson got support from the Hewlett Foundation and co-chaired with Greg Bourne a best practices/critical issues committee with Jim Arthur and other sector practitioners in a joint venture with the Georgia Tech Hewlett Center. This led to another Sector publication, “Best Practices for Government Agencies.” Between 1995-99 co-chairs Chris Carlson, Bob Jones, Sylvia McMechan and Mary Margaret Golten developed a sector structure with task groups and standing committees, a strategic planning function, initiated a website, published a Sector newsletter (Sector Update) and adopted as the Sector’s motto, “informality, energy, quality and results.” Mary Margaret Golten and Rafael Montalvo facilitated a sector diversity initiative and developed themes.
Co-chairs Frank Dukes and Donna Silverberg (2000-02) helped to secure Hewlett Funding to support the development of a series of “white papers” by sector members reflecting on key aspects of our practice today on the future of the sector topics. The Tuscon mid-year conference in 2002 was devoted to presentation of these papers and brought together leadership from the 1982 and 1992 conferences to examine growth and current issues.
In the past 30 years, many leaders from the Environment/Public Policy Sector played leadership roles for the overall SPIDR/ACR organization including SPIDR presidents Liz Neumeier, Glen Sigurdsen, Peter Adler and ACR President Rosemary Romero. Gail Bingham, Bob Jones, Bob Barrett, Mary Margaret Golten and Rosemary Romero, and Cindy Cook (currently serving) served as SPIDR board members and officers.
In 2001 Association for Conflict Resolution was formed out of the merger of SPIDR, AFM and CREnet. The SPIDR Environment/Public Policy Sector became the ACR Environment & Public Policy (EPP) Section and continued to function in much the same way. In 2006, EPP transitioned to a Permanent Leadership Council, following two years using an Interim Leadership Council that assisted the Section Co-Chairs in the leadership and operation of the EPP Section.
The structure of the Permanent Leadership Council (LC) was established in a document dated July 10, 2006, entitled “ACR Environment and Public Policy Section Transition from Interim to Permanent Leadership Council”. In November 2011, the LC adopted changes to the standing committee structure outlined in the 2006 document, following notice and receipt of member comments. In February 2012, the LC adopted an updated governance protocols document to reflect the new committee structure and to allow flexibility in making modifications in the future.
The goals of the EPP Section Leadership Council are to:
- Support EPP members’ interests and energy to contribute to the section and the profession in a collaborative and effective manner,
- Support Co-Chairs, seeking ways to involve more EPP members in order to manage the workload of the Co-Chairs and to capitalize on the energy of members,
- Provide guidance, develop policy transparently, and respond to ACR policies and needs,
- Be a core leadership team that is the policy-making body of the Section and helps coordinate activities and distribute the workload, and
- Allow committee chairs to work on substance and minimize time on EPP-wide or ACR-wide matters.
Please contact Brad Spangler (bspangler(at)merid.org) if you would like to edit or contribute to this tome.
- This history has been updated multiple times since Robert Jones' original version. In June 2009, by Frank Dukes and Harry Manasewich. In April 2012, by Brad Spangler.
- Please see "Chairs and Co-Chairs" above for a complete listing.
- This conference was nearly canceled because of a last minute labor strike at the hotel site in Monterrey and SPIDR’s policy of not crossing picket lines. UC Santa Cruz was secured as the alternate site.