May Volunteer Mediator Spotlight

How long have you been volunteering with UMC?
I think I have been volunteering as a mediator for about 15 years.

How did you become interested in mediation?
I first became interested in mediation when I was still working in Real Estate.  The National Association of Real Estate mandated that all Real Estate Contracts have an agreement to mediate added to all contracts, and the SC Association of Real Estate offered a training program for Realtors to become qualified to mediate contract disputes.  I took all the required training and started traveling around the state doing mediations.  As I approached retirement, I decided to look for volunteer opportunities to continue to use my mediation skills.

For which UMC program(s) do you currently volunteer?
While I primarily do family court mediations, I have also done civil court as well.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering with UMC?
I enjoy the opportunity to help people, particularly during a time in their lives that is very stressful.  I believe I have been able to make a positive difference in many lives.  I also enjoy working with the very professional staff at the center.  They are all very helpful.

What is your current occupation?
I am currently retired, but volunteer with my church and other organizations.

What advice would you give new mediators?
I would advise new mediators not to be intimidated by the process and to participate in training that the Center offers.  It is helpful to talk to other mediators about what works for them and observe mediations to determine how they are successful.  Your training, the excellent staff at the Center, and your desire to help will make you successful.

Who inspires you?
I have been inspired by many people who truly believe in helping others.

What is one thing – either mediation-related or not – you learned in the last month?
I have come to believe that Our Lord is always with us and sometimes you have to just let go and trust.

What is something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?  
I have always been interested in cars and know a bit about them.

What is the last book you read?
I generally read a wide range of books on my Kindle.  Currently, I am reading a book on the history of Venice.

What is the first concert you ever attended?
I don’t think I have attended 2 or 3 concerts in my entire life.

If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?  
My favorite food is Italian, but I just can’t imagine eating one type of food every day.