NVMS Conflict Resolution Center has created a new Advisory Council to advance the mission of the organization. The Council is comprised of community leaders who have had significant involvement with NVMS CRC and those who offer special expertise and experience to promote the organization’s goals of partnership creation and community engagement. The Board of Directors approved the Board charter establishing the Advisory Council during its December board meeting on December 17, 2020.
Those serving on the Advisory Council will help the organization use the lessons of the past to create a bold future for NVMS CRC. It is about continuity and change and the reality that this organization needs the assistance of many to achieve its mission of making communities whole, one resident at a time.
Among the founding members of the Advisory Council are the following:
Frank Blechman is a consultant helping businesses, community organizations, and public agencies increase their effectiveness though internal and external consensus building. He has assisted with process design, system design, facilitation, training, and motivation. From 1991-2002, he was a member of the graduate faculty at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution of George Mason University. In that capacity, he taught clinical courses, and directed fieldwork done by faculty and students. Frank plays a unique role in the history of NVMS, dissuading graduate students in 1989 from their brainchild of establishing an independent mediation nonprofit organization. Frank later joined the Board of Directors and served as a “resident contrarian” as he calls it.
John Bleiweis is a friend and supporter of NVMS CRC, continuing the legacy of his late wife Marge Bleiweis, for whom NVMS established the Bleiweis Community Education Fund. Marge was a long-time member of NVMS and served as a Board Member and Board President. Marge was committed to education and conflict resolution, helping NVMS serve families and youth through mediation and restorative justice. John is a retired satellite communication engineer and was a consultant working for such companies as COMSAT and Northrop Grumman. John volunteers with Fairfax County Public Schools doing mentoring and supporting STEM programs in elementary schools. He also volunteers at Fairfax County Senior Centers providing information technology assistance to residents.
Linda W. Hall is a Supreme Court of Virginia certified mentor mediator. Her company, L.HallAndCo., LLC, provides alternative dispute resolution services, including mediation, arbitration, and conflict resolution and diversity training. In addition to NVMS CRC, she is a lead mediator in the Federal Shared Neutrals Program and a mediator for the Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division of the District of Columbia Superior Court. Linda is a retired member of the Federal Senior Executive Service. She is a member of the Virginia Mediation Network. She is an associate member of the American Bar Association and Dispute Resolution Section. Ms. Hall received special training in EEO matters and is Safe Zone Trained.
Randy Jones Toll received her Virginia Supreme Court certification to mediate in 2011 and is a mediator mentor on the NVMS roster. She is the recent past president of NVMS’s Board of Directors. For over 20 years, Randy held leadership positions in sales strategy and high-profile projects with Marriott international and others. In 2012, Randy unexpectedly ran and sold her late husband’s large medical practice in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Subsequently, she joined Children’s National Hospital’s – Children’s Health Board, where she served as vice president of development until 2018; she is still an associate member. At present, Randy also serves as the NVMS AAP Liaison where she will work to expand and enhance the Restorative Justice Alternative Accountability Program.
James R. Meditz, as a Virginia court-certified mediator, has provided Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services at the General District Court (GDC), Juvenile & Domestic Relations (J&DR), and Circuit Court Family (CCF) levels under the auspices of NVMS CRC since 2001. He also is an independent practitioner. He is a Virginia-certified mentor, mediator, and instructor of several mediation classes. Jim is a past president and current member of the Virginia Mediation Network. He retired from his civilian federal career as a senior executive and from the US Navy as a Captain. Jim has an MA Degree in International Relations from Boston University and a BA in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is a graduate of the National Defense University/National War College and the OPM Federal Executive Institute.
Juliette Shedd, Ph.D. is currently the Associate Dean and Associate Professor at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University. She teaches both introductory and research methods courses and courses on terrorism, extremism, global conflicts, and ideologies. She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University and a BA in Political Science and Psychology from George Washington University. Her research includes work on the relationship of media to conflict, specifically focused on media coverage of terrorism and the role of women in political violence. Dr. Shedd has shepherded the Carter School’s efforts to increase distance education and overseen a wide range of innovations in experiential and service learning. She served as the academic project manager for the development of the school’s Point of View International Retreat and Research Center. Dr. Shedd’s practice engagements includes media literacy and dialogue training, conflict resolution in schools, police community engagement projects, and a series of community engagement processes for local government.
Dr. Regine Talleyrand is an Associate Professor for the Counseling Program in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. She completed her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Maryland and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Talleyrand has spent the past twenty years studying mental and physical health disparities in People of Color and developing culturally relevant counseling interventions for communities that have been underrepresented and underserved. She has published and presented extensively in the areas of eating disorders in People of Color, racial and ethnic identity development, acculturation stressors for immigrant populations, multicultural social justice counseling, career counseling and the importance of advising and mentoring relationships. Dr. Talleyrand served from 2005 to 2016 as an advisor and consultant to the Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless, a private, non-profit organization that provides transitional housing and support services for homeless individuals living in the Northern Virginia area. She served on the NVMS Conflict Resolution Center Board of Directors from 2017 to 2021. Based on her research and teaching expertise, she has also served in moderator and consultant roles for local and national organizations invested in increasing awareness of cultural diversity, race and privilege.
Jeannette Twomey is a mediator, facilitator, and conflict resolution trainer in private practice, who has contributed enormously to the development of Alternative Dispute Resolution services in the Commonwealth of Virginia. She has been certified by the Supreme Court of Virginia since 1993 to mediate court referred cases and to teach courses that are part of the statewide certification program. She is a designated Virginia mentor mediator. Most recently, Jeannette was adjunct professor at the Washington College of Law, American University (2006-2015) and served on the Advisory Council, Department of Dispute Resolution Services, Supreme Court of Virginia (2005- 2014). Jeannette served as president of the NVMS Board of Directors from 1996-98. She received the Distinguished Mediator Award from the Virginia Mediation Network in 2014, and Trainer of the Year Award (2009) and Mediator of the Year Award (1994) from NVMS.
For more information on the NVMS Advisory Council Charter,