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Mediation Services

Caucus: Fall 2023

Center for Conflict Resolution

Letter from Executive Director, Cassie Lively

Dear CCR Community:

Suddenly it’s almost the holiday season!

I am excited to share a number of updates with you about our work at CCR.

In the coming months, we’ll have detailed updates to share on the recommendations made by inQuest Consulting as they wrap up the Equity Audit of our Mediator Mentorship Program (MMP). Ensuring that CCR addresses barriers to participation in our volunteer training and mentorship program is of central importance to our services.

This year, CCR’s end of year appeal efforts are focused on raising money to support our training scholarship program. Your donation will not only support scholarships for individual participants in our 40-hour Mediation Skills Training, but will also help us

provide more conflict management and communication skills trainings to nonprofit organizations and schools. CCR’s training programs have a huge impact around our community, helping people develop skills they can use wherever they work and learn.

Click HERE to help support these efforts.

As always, you can read more about new CCR mediator volunteers, Board members and staff members below, and we are excited to welcome some new folks to our team.

Thank you for being a part of the CCR community!




Congratulations to volunteer mediator Annie Buth and Chris Oliver, in welcoming their summer solstice baby, Troi Min James Oliver on June 21, 2023.

Congratulations also to CCR Mediator Giordana Mahn and her partner, Justin Petersen, on the birth of their baby, Aliyah, born June 16, 2023.

Core Values

Volunteer Spotlights:

The Training Team recognizes Laura McNally for Striving for Personal Best. A skilled mediator and experienced litigator, Laura brought new energy and creativity to one of our most challenging simulations. Afterward, she was eager to hear how she could improve this role in the future. Thank you, Laura- we can’t wait to have you back!

The Mediation Services Team recognizes Katie Kolon for her commitment to serving the community. Katie has been a volunteer with CCR for over a decade. During the past few months, she has been mediating multiple times per week and is always open to taking on challenging cases. Thank you, Katie, for your ongoing support to CCR and our clients.


New Board Member!

Nandika Suri is a seasoned Marketing Executive and Transformation Leader who has over two decades of experience in Marketing, Brand Management and Loyalty Programs in industries ranging from Consumer-Packaged Goods, Travel to Retail. She currently serves as the Global Vice President of Loyalty, CRM and Personalization at Under Amour. Click HERE for a more in-depth bio.

Core Values Nomination

Have you seen a member of the CCR Community doing a great job demonstrating one of our Core Values? Nominate them to be featured in Caucus!


Do you have general thoughts/comments/ideas related to our Core Values initiative? Let us know! 

Share your thoughts HERE.

Ways to Give!!

We are excited to share that there are now more ways to support CCR! Visit the CCR website HERE to find information about making donations via:

  • Qualified Charitable Distributions
  • Donor Advised Funds
  • Matching Gifts
  • Beneficiary Designations
  • Bequests through Wills or Revocable (Living) Trusts


Please join us in welcoming Jonathan Kim as a Programs Manager on CCR's Early Resolution Program team! Jonathan joined CCR in 2023. Before coming to CCR, Jonathan was a software engineer and also worked as an immigration specialist with Afghan refugees. Jonathan graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in Classics and a MA in Digital Humanities. In college, Jonathan’s academic and professional experiences include working in the financial division of a national laboratory, studying manuscripts in Florence, and volunteering with youth organizations.

Congratulations MMP Graduates of 2023!

Sandra Chu is a Canadian lawyer and lives in Rockford, IL. She has her own mediation and arbitration practice in Rockford, focusing primarily on family and workplace mediation. She also serves as an arbitrator with FINRA and the American Arbitration Association Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist List. She enjoys traveling and the outdoors.

Elizabeth 'Lili' Duquette is an attorney and has focused her career on teaching and educational advocacy. She currently teaches at the University of Chicago Law School and is an Educational Surrogate Parent for the Illinois State Board of Education.

Sonia Neameyer

I am honored to have been a mentee in the Spring 2023 Mediator Mentorship Program (MMP) and now a CCR-certified mediator. This program is invaluable for anyone who wants to improve their mediation skills, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about applying. A little about me, I’ve been living in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago for 18 years, and I love it here. I’m following my passion in my career, which has me currently launching a matchmaking and coaching business in Chicago. My free time includes fun with friends, trips to visit my sister and family in MN, pickleball, and pool league.

Jennifer Rapoport became a certified mediator with Chicago’s Center for Conflict Resolution in Cook County in 2023. Jennifer is currently a trainer for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)’s Midwest Region A World of Difference ® Institute. Click HERE for a more in-depth bio.

For over four decades, Diane Redleaf has led class action and precedent-setting appellate legal challenges and spearheaded national and multi-state legislative reform efforts on behalf of children and families. She founded and led the Chicago-based Family Defense Center from 2005-2017 and now leads several national and multistate policy advocacy projects, including as the legal/legislative consultant to Let Grow (2018-present). Click HERE for a more in-depth bio.

Megan Villafuerte has years of experience in family law and mediation, education and restorative justice work. Her entire career – from her work and study in law school through her work and study today as a teacher and mediator – has been in service of children and families. Megan seeks to use her talents and experience to help individuals and families restore and maintain their dignity, happiness, and wholeness.

Join us for 

Reflective Practice Group! 

Every first Wednesday of the month at noon via Zoom. Discuss a recent mediation, trends in ADR, or anything mediation-related with CCR staff and your fellow volunteers.

Join the fun via the Zoom link here.

Password: Magic


Help Us Plan an Upcoming

Continuing Ed Program!


Do you have a great idea for

a speaker or topic for an upcoming Continuing Ed Program? If so, we would love to hear your thoughts.


Please email Israel to connect about your ideas.

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Learn more about CCR and our Core Values HERE!