Key-note Addresses

 “Journey of Inclusion…...or Assimilation?”

Russell B. Mirasty, Assistant Commissioner RCMP (Retired), will share a story that describes a personal and professional journey that begins on a First Nation in northern Saskatchewan and eventually leads to the Senior Management Team of the RCMP.  A journey that spans Canada and ventures into the Northern Territory of Australia.  A journey that includes personal reflections on the meaning of inclusion and diversity in our country.

Russ resides in La Ronge where he retired to after serving 36 years in the RCMP.  

He joined the RCMP in 1976 and served in Saskatchewan for several years.  This was followed by postings to six other provinces including RCMP National Headquarters in Ottawa where he was the Officer in Charge for National Aboriginal Policing Services and National Crime Prevention Services.  His work took him to every province and territory and included an exchange with the Northern Territory Police Service in Australia.  In 2010 he was appointed as the Commanding Officer for “F” Division (Saskatchewan) at the rank of Assistant Commissioner. 

Shortly after retiring, Russ was appointed as an advisor for the Student First Engagement process for the Ministry of Education.   Following this work Russ was appointed to the Advisory Group on Poverty Reduction for the province.  Russ was also a board member of the Community Safety Knowledge Alliance as well as the public representative for the League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents in Saskatchewan.   

Russ is the recipient of the RCMP Long Service Medal, the Queens Jubilee Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.

Key-note Addresses

“Balancing Indigenous consultation with natural resources projects”

By Douglas White III Kwul’a’sul’tunmember and former Chief of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, and director of VIU’s Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation, on June 10, 9:00AM.

After completing his B.A. in First Nations Studies (with distinction) from Malaspina University-College, he graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria in 2006. He was called to the Bar of British Columbia in January 2008. He has been a director of the Indigenous Bar Association of Canada and an associate lawyer at Mandell Pinder.

He was the elected Chief of the Snuneymuxw First Nation from December 2009 to February 2014 where a major focus of his work was in relation to the implementation of the Snuneymuxw Treaty of 1854.

From June of 2010 to June 2013, he was elected by Chiefs of British Columbia to lead the First Nations Summit as a member of the FNS Task Group. In that capacity, he advocated for First Nations seeking resolution of outstanding issues with the Crown. In that role, he was also a member of the BC First Nations Leadership Council working on common issues with BC First Nations, particularly the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate, and advocated on their behalf with the governments of British Columbia, Canada and internationally at the United Nations.

Doug was appointed to the BC Aboriginal Justice Council by the First Nations Summit in April, 2016. He is currently the Director of the Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation at Vancouver Island University and practices as a lawyer and negotiator across the country for First Nations governments. He is an also legal counsel for First Nations across the country. He lectures frequently at universities on Indigenous legal issues.

Maureen Armstrong

While working in the Vernon, British Columbia School District in student resources, an interest developed in conflict and my CUPE Union and School District assisted in grant funding to complete the Family Mediation Certificate from the Justice Institute of British Columbia. Working in criminal justice has been my main professional interest I am a a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Calgary. She is a full member of Family Mediation Canada.

Laraine Ashpole, Q Med.

Laraine Ashpole is an Employers' Adviser with the Ministry of Labour and designated Q. Med. She is developing a labour and civil mediation practice to serve the Central Vancouver Island area. She is a member of MediateBC and ADRBC. Laraine has a diverse background that includes working in public service, private business and non-profit organizations. She has a Masters in Leadership & Training from Royal Roads University. Laraine completed certification in Mediation and Negotiation at the Justice Institute of BC. Laraine has a passion for dispute resolution and looks forward to another informative and inspiring ADRBC Symposium.

Marie-Claude Asselin, CEO, Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada

Marie-Claude Asselin is the Chief Executive Officer of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada since April 2007. She holds bachelor and master’s degrees in Physical Activity Sciences from Université Laval, pursued doctoral studies in Sociology and recently obtained an Executive Certificate in Conflict Management from the University of Windsor Law School. She possesses a multi-faceted perspective of amateur sport with over 40 years of experience as athlete, coach, official, administrator, and volunteer.

Before joining the SDRCC, Marie-Claude was Manager of Education at the World Anti-Doping Agency, where she was responsible for developing doping prevention and education programs. From 1997 to 2002, while employed by the Canadian Olympic Committee, she held responsibilities in Games management, in high performance services and in athlete services.

In addition to having taught undergraduate courses at the university level, Marie-Claude is an experienced public speaker. She presented at numerous symposia, workshops and conferences in Canada, the United States, Australia, Europe and Africa. She is a member of the Council of Europe’s Ad hoc group on Human Rights and Athletes in Doping.

She coached ice hockey, basketball and soccer at different age categories from toddlers to elite, including three years as assistant coach in women’s interuniversity basketball, and she acted as learning facilitator with the National Coaching Certification Program for 7 years. Parallel to her coaching career, Marie-Claude was also a basketball referee for 13 years and held positions of assignor, instructor, supervisor, and administrator in various local officiating organizations. She still volunteers in the organization of an annual fundraiser for a local swimming and triathlon club and as a Board member of Excellence sportive de l’île de Montréal. She is married and the proud mother of three teenagers and she speaks French, English and Spanish.

Trish Balcaen

Trish Balcaen is the Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for negotiations and regional operations with the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. She joined MIRR in 2015 as a chief negotiator and had success developing innovative arrangements with First Nations such as the Tahltan - Klappan Land Use Plan and the Lake Babine Foundation Pathway Agreement.

Trish began work with BC Government in 2004 and has held a variety of senior management positions in the Ministry of Forests, the Integrated Land Management Bureau, Environmental Assessment Office, and the LNG Project Board before joining MIRR. She has also been the general manager of a medium-sized log harvesting and road building company in Vernon, BC where she was also active in ranching and land development businesses.

Sheriden Barnett, B.A. (Indig. Stud.), LLM (ADR)

Sheriden Barnett, BA (Indig. Studies), LLM (ADR) is the Founder and Principal of The Boreal Centre for Dispute Resolution. Sheriden has been working with indigenous peoples and Canadian governments for more than 20 years in order to advance issues that relate to indigenous rights, including: modern land claims, historic treaty disputes, the duty to consult, and resource development conflicts.

Sheriden earned a distinguished Master of Laws (LLM) degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, in Alternative Dispute Resolution, focusing on the duty to consult and accommodate, and the meaningful resolution of Indigenous land and resource disputes recognizing the colonial framework that suppresses indigenous history, laws, languages, resulting in fundamental power imbalances in legal and negotiation processes.

In keeping with her interest in deep-rooted cultural conflict and peacebuilding, Sheriden studied Management of Peacebuilding Processes at the internationally recognized INCORE, University of Ulster ( in Northern Ireland. Sheriden is a also graduate of Carleton University in Ottawa, where she obtained a B.A. in Interdisciplinary (Indigenous Studies) including graduate studies in Northern and Native Studies and Anthropology. Sheriden has been awarded Certificates in Alternative Dispute Resolution from the Canadian International Institute of Applied Negotiation (Ottawa), and the University of Alberta Law School (Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society), which included Mediation, Principled Negotiation and Multi-Party Consensus Building. Sheriden is recognized by the Association for Conflict Resolution as an ADR practitioner, educator, and researcher., and is a current member of the ADR Institute of Canada. She was a mediator, coach and trainer with the Carleton University Mediation Centre from 1995-1996 and 2000-2002. Sheriden has acted as the sole Mediator to the Nunavut Human Rights Tribunal, since its inception in 2005, developing a mediation process that reflect both traditional Inuit approaches to conflict resolution and Canadian Human Rights Law, as well as providing training, mentorship to Tribunal members.

Sheriden facilitated/mediated complex Treaty discussions between Canada and Anishinawbe Aski Nation, an organization representing 51 Anishinawbe and Cree First Nations. She has provided research analysis expertise on more than 35 Treaty and Indian Act based land claims cases, utilizing her ADR training to promote a joint problem-solving approach to facilitate agreement and resolution. She facilitated collaborative processes for the Whitefeather Forest Initiative, bringing together the province of Ontario, environmental NGO's, First Nations, and scientists to discuss forestry, the environment and economic opportunities, which involved deep dialogue and resolution based on mutual interests. Sheriden facilitated/mediated complex Treaty discussions between Canada and Nishinawbe-Aski Nation, an organization representing 51 Anishinawbe and Cree First Nations. She has provided research analysis expertise on more than 35 Treaty and Indian Act based land claims cases, utilizing her ADR training to promote a joint problem-solving approach to facilitate agreement and resolution. She facilitated collaborative processes for the Whitefeather Forest Initiative, bringing together the province of Ontario, environmental NGO's, First Nations, and scientists to discuss forestry, the environment and economic opportunities, which involved deep dialogue and resolution based on mutual interests. Sheriden has written academic publications, presented at conferences, and developed a model for the resolution of Indigenous land disputes in Canada based on deep-rooted and inter-cultural conflict

Carolina Barrocas, ADRBC Operations Manager

Carolina Barrocas belongs to a family of great tradition in the legal field in Brazil, among Brazilian Supreme Court Justices, public and private lawyers. She practices tax law and has a Masters Degree in Human Rights. For over ten years Carolina has coordinated three major graduate programs. She has been responsible for the development of all pedagogical material and content of the disciplines on Tax Law and Tax Planning for of one of the largest universities in the world, based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Carolina is a tax legal consultant for large institutions in the Brazilian real estate market, and a member of the Permanent Commission of Right to Education for the Brazilian Bar Association. She participated in organizing committees for dozens of symposiums and congresses in Brazil. Carolina has been a volunteer with ADRBC’s Symposium Organizing Team since 2018. She recently accepted an appointment as ADRBC’s Operations Manager, where she continues to act as a critical administrative and educational hub to our membership across the Province. She has completed full-spectrum Arbitration and Mediation training courses with ADRBC, and plans to become a dispute resolution practitioner in British Columbia.

Kathleen Bellamano BSW, RSW, FMC Cert. CFM

Kat has been a dispute resolution practitioner for 15 years. Most of her work is with families and she specializes in working with participants with multiple challenges including high conflict, trauma, health or mental health issues, substance use or addiction challenges, child protection involvement, a history of violence or anger issues, or intercultural issues.

Kat provides mediation, parenting coordination, arbitration, facilitation, individual coaching and child interviewing. She practices a collaborative and integrative approach by facilitating transparency among all the professionals and supports working with a family whenever appropriate. Kat uses a trauma informed approach and promotes learning and self-efficacy in all aspects of her practice.

She is a certified as a Comprehensive Family Mediator by Family Mediation Canada, is a Chartered Mediator and Arbitrator certified by ADR Canada, is an instructor for ADR Canada and ADRBC, coaches for The Justice Institute and Continuing Legal Education is on the family and civil rosters of Mediate BC, the Hear the Child and Parenting Coordinator rosters, is a Restorative Justice Facilitator and Mentor, and a Senior Mediator with the Mediate BC Family Mediation Program. She has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Victoria and is currently completing a Master of Social Work with a Clinical Specialization and a Certificate in Adult Education. Kat received her Certificate in Conflict Analysis and Management and her Certificate in Family Mediation from The Institute of Conflict Analysis and Management and her Certificate in Arbitration from the BC Arbitration & Mediation Institute. She is also on the Board of Directors of Family Mediation Canada and the University of Victoria Alumni Association.

Vivienne Beisel

Vivienne is a mediator, arbitrator, and adjudicator. She is an adjudicator with the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat and has employed the principles of mediation and alternative dispute resolution in her role as an adjudicator. Since her appointment in 2010, she conducted over 350 hearings in many remote and urban locations throughout Western Canada. Prior to this appointment she acted as legal counsel to several First Nations in Alberta on a number of issues including membership codes, elections, land and water rights, consultation, and environmental impacts. She facilitated multi-stakeholder meetings regarding water resources and the sharing of traditional ecological knowledge. Vivienne has also practiced family law and resolved numerous high conflict family matters through mediation and negotiation.

Tina-Marie Bradford

She is a lawyer who works as a Staff Representative in Advocacy at the British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU), a union with 77,000 members in 550 bargaining units. She represents the BCGEU and union bargaining associations in both public service and private sectors in various types of proceedings including arbitrations, labour relations board proceedings, employment insurance hearings, and court proceedings.

After her call to the Bar in 2000, she practiced law in Vancouver with McGrady, Baugh & Whyte, specializing in labour and administrative law and civil litigation until 2003, when she moved in-house with the BCGEU. Tina-Marie holds an LL.B. from the University of Victoria, and a B.A. (Honours) from Simon Fraser University.

Colleen Cattell, Q.C., C. Med.

Colleen was called to the Bar in 1986 and practised in Vancouver with a focus on commercial and construction litigation and professional negligence claims, including three years as in house Claims Counsel with the Lawyers Insurance Fund. She started mediating in 1998 and was appointed Queens Counsel in 2006. Colleen has worked exclusively as a mediator, arbitrator and trainer since 2011.

Colleen is a Chartered Mediator of the ADR Institute of Canada and a member of the B.C. Arbitration and Mediation Institute, Mediate B.C., the Law Society of British Columbia (Retired Member), and the Canadian Bar Association. She is on both the mediation and arbitration panels of the B.C. International Commercial Arbitration Centre.

From 2003 to 2007 Colleen served as President of Mediate B.C. and taught Mediation Advocacy as an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law. A frequent presenter, Colleen has written and spoken extensively on litigation and alternate dispute resolution and teaches the annual Fundamentals of Mediation course for CLE. Since 2003 she has provided negotiation consulting and training to clients around the world with ENS International based in Sydney, Australia, a global consulting network in over 48 countries and 10 languages.

Lori Charvat

Lori Charvat is an experienced organizational consultant, with a focus on the people side of organizations. Her expertise lies in conflict resolution, employee engagement, leadership development, and change management. She also has extensive knowledge in human rights and employment law. Lori is the Principal of Sandbox Consulting, which specializes in team development, facilitation, strategic planning, and executive coaching. Previously, Lori was the Corporate Director of People Strategies and Recruitment at Providence Health Care, where she was responsible for engagement strategies, performance management, and Respect at work. From 2006-2009, Lori served as the Associate Dean, Equity, at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine, where she was responsible for informal investigations of complaints related to harassment and unprofessional behaviour, dispute resolution, ensuring fair process reviews and decision-making, and developing and delivering education related to professionalism and conflict resolution. Before moving to Vancouver in 2000, Lori was the Executive Director of a community justice centre in Connecticut, which provided mediation services to the State of Connecticut.

Since 2011, Lori has served as a government appointed board member to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, which licenses and regulates physicians and surgeons in the Province. Lori sits on the Executive, Human Resources and Governance, Ethics, Communications, and an Inquiry Panel that adjudicates complaints against physicians.

Lori earned her J.D. (Juris Doctor) from American University in Washington, D.C., and an LL.M (Master of Laws), with a focus on corporate and employment law, administrative process and dispute resolution from the University of British Columbia.

Corrina Chase

Corrina Chase is Metis from the Algonquin Territory. She has been employed in the public sector for the past two decades. While working in different organizations she realized conflict management was her passion. Humanitarian work includes thinking about rooted conflict and developing the solutions for resolution. Currently, she is completing an MA in Conflict Analysis and Management at Royal Roads University. Currently she holds a BA in Justice Studies and takes great interest in the practices of mindful mediation. As a yoga instructor and meditation practitioner she plans to facilitate Restorative Justice utilizing a contemporary mindful practice. Her passion is supporting marginalized people with cultural understanding.

Joan Cotie, C.Med, C.Arb, ADRBC Board Director

Joan is a mediator, arbitrator, parenting coordinator, and writes Views of/Hear the Child Reports. Joan has worked with families for over 35 years in Ontario, the Northwest Territories (Nunavut) and British Columbia. Joan has education in Child & Youth Care, Law, Women’s Studies, Social Work and Conflict Resolution. She is a Chartered Mediator and a member of ADRBC, Mediate BC’s Civil, Family & Child Protection Rosters, Family Mediation Canada, the BC Parent Coordinator Roster, the Hear the Child Society, and the BC Association of Social Workers.

Joan continues to work mostly with families but also practices employment, community and elder mediation. Joan has served on the BC Employment Appeals Tribunal and continues to sit on the Property Assessment Review Panel. Joan lives with her partner and animals in the country on Vancouver Island.

Laura Cundari, FCIArb, Partner, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Laura is an experienced advocate, appearing as lead counsel at all levels of court in British Columbia and the federal courts, as well as before administrative tribunals. She has significant expertise in the arbitration of complex disputes and regularly advises clients on all aspects of arbitration proceedings, including drafting arbitration clauses, interim orders, hearing processes and the enforcement of arbitral awards. Her arbitration experience includes both international and domestic institutional and ad hoc arbitrations.

Laura is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and sits on the board of the Vancouver Chapter of the Canadian Branch of the CIArb. Laura also has substantial experience in the area of Aboriginal Law and maintains an advisory and risk management practice that involves counseling clients on First Nations issues that impact their resource and other development projects.

Karen Dales

With a professional background in legal services and human resources and a management certificate from SFU, Karen excels at coordinating and continuously improving office administration and project management. She is a strong relationship-based communicator who consistently demonstrates influence and leadership. Karen’s role requires the utmost ethical standards; as such, she ensures highly confidential information is handled with diplomacy and discretion. Karen has a keen interest in mediation and dispute resolution and is looking forward to contributing to the upcoming 2019 ADRBC Symposium.

Julie Daum

Julie Daum is a mediator, facilitator, conflict resolution coach and instructor. She is a member of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, belongs to the Frog Clan, and resides on the Stellaquo Reserve in the central interior of BC. Julie is a BC Child Protection Roster Mediator and Canadian Human Rights Commission Roster Mediator. She has mentored new mediators with Mediate BC's Child Protection Mediation Practicum, and has coached for multiple conflict resolution programs (including Continuing Legal Education Society Family Mediation training, University of British Columbia Law, Justice Institute of BC, University of Northern BC, and most recently Thompson Rivers University Law School). Julie has developed and delivered workshops for The College of New Caledonia on culturally appropriate practices for working with First Nation families and communities.

Isabelle Deguise, Lead, Regulatory and Environment, Bluearth Renewables Inc.

Isabelle Deguise has nearly 10 years of experience in BC’s renewable energy sector and has been a key player in the development, construction and operation of over 20 renewable energy projects. She has played a large role in successfully permitting and constructing five hydro-electric projects in the past six years. Isabelle is responsible for regulatory and environmental aspects of projects under development, construction and operation for BluEarth Renewables, Canada’s most experienced pure-play renewable developer. With three offices across Canada including one in Vancouver, Isabelle collaborates with a team that has a national perspective, as well as a depth of experience in BC. She brings this significant experience to the Board role as well as relationships with all levels of government and with First Nation partners and other stakeholders.

She is an experienced, passionate advocate for the clean energy sector, and has a robust understanding of the myriad of issues that face us in the province, including growth challenges the industry faces around the completion of Site C and positioning for new export opportunities. Isabelle has been serving with CEBC as a co-chair for the Hydro Committee for the past two years and plans to work on improving operational aspects of the more than 100+ operating projects in BC.

Raj Dhasi, M.A., B.A.

Raj Dhasi, M.A., B.A., is the Owner and Lead Consultant at Turning Point Resolutions Inc., a full service conflict management firm in Vancouver, BC. Raj is a skilled practitioner who encompasses a blend of empathy, spirit and strategic thinking. A leading expert in conflict management, Raj has been providing valuable intervention services to organizations across Canada, specializing in assessing and resolving complex multi-layer conflict situations. She holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Conflict Analysis and Management, a Specialized Degree in Adult Education and continues Post Graduate Studies in Neuroscience. In addition, Raj is a Faculty Member at the Centre for Conflict Resolution.

Brenda Gaertner, Managing Partner, Mandell Pinder LLP

Brenda Gaertner advises first nation governments on aboriginal title and rights, modern (self) government, natural resource management and economic development. She was called in 1984 and has been with Mandell Pinder LLP since 1986. She is committed to the path of respect and reconciliation.

Brenda has assisted in various types of negotiated agreements and settlements, including on and off reserve projects and developments, modern self-governance and resource management, impact-benefit agreements, economic development, government to government agreements and specific claim settlements. In 2011, after decades of hard work and negotiations, Brenda assisted the St’at’imc Chiefs Council reach their historic agreement with BC Hydro and the Province of BC regarding the footprint and ongoing impacts of hydroelectric projects in their Territory. She provides legal, policy and negotiating advice to First Nations on small and large scale projects, including assisting in environmental assessments, consultation and regulatory processes. Brenda was senior counsel for the First Nations Coalition in the Cohen Inquiry on Fraser River Sockeye and has represented First Nation clients before the National Energy Board and Joint Federal and Provincial Review Panels.

Brenda promotes the formation of improved working relationships between First Nations, Crown governments and business partners in a variety of ways. Brenda offers facilitation and mediation services to First Nation governments and organizations, and to those interested in pursuing common goals and/or resolving disputes outside the courts. She has assisted in the formation of shared territory agreements and First Nation to First Nation protocols. Her work has included assisting developers, First Nation governments and First Nation corporate entities understand their respective roles and responsibilities.

Throughout her career, Brenda has worked with Aboriginal people in their pursuit of the recognition of aboriginal title and rights to healthy fisheries and aquatic resources, helping to find ways to ensure that those fisheries and resources are sustained for present and future generations. She has a long history of working with First Nation communities along the migratory route of Fraser Salmon, including both the coastal and in-river fisheries. She cares about these fisheries and the ecosystems upon which they rely, and is excited to be working with First Nations who are actively pursuing land and marine use plans within their territories.

Brenda’s experience and expertise allow her to contribute to many types of teams, be they corporate-commercial, governance or resource management. Her years of on the ground experience have offered her the opportunity to develop effective communication skills and efficient team management practices. She is currently the lead negotiator for the Fraser Salmon Management Council, a First Nations organization working on behalf of 71 First Nations along the migratory route of Fraser Salmon. In addition to being the Managing Partner of Mandell Pinder LLP, Brenda is a board member of the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

Jessica Gregory

Jessica Gregory is a Vancouver Arbitrator, Mediator and Investigator specializing in the workplace sector. She has extensive experience in labour dispute resolution. She has mediated, arbitrated and/or investigated a number of disputes in both the private and public sector. Due to her extensive prior hearing experience as counsel, she has proven to be efficient in assessing the real substance of the dispute and assisting parties in a variety of industries and service sectors to reach meaningful and conclusive resolutions. As counsel, Jessica prepared and presented numerous arbitration cases in addition to her hearing and mediation work as counsel before the Human Rights Tribunal and the Labour Relations Board. She brings these skills to her neutral role. Jessica has extensive training and education in the conduct of hearings/tribunals and therefore, is committed to efficient case management that provides a fair hearing consistent with the rules of natural justice and procedural fairness.

Jessica has instructed Civil and Administrative Law at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, and has mentored and trained young lawyers and advocates in mediation and arbitration preparation and advocacy. Jessica holds a J.D. from the University of British Columbia and a B.A. in Economics from Simon Fraser University. She was called to the Bar in British Columbia in 1998. Jessica has over 20 years experience in counsel work for both Labour and Management. She has spent an equal amount of time representing both trade unions and employers She served as the In House Counsel for the United Steelworkers of America for over 7 years, representing trade union in litigation of all legal issues. This included Arbitration hearings, Labour Relations Board and tribunal hearings.

She served as the Executive Director, HRLR & Legal Services for the CSSEA for 10 years - generating and implementing sector wide legal strategies as well as providing legal representation for legislated bargaining agents and individual members. In 2010, Jessica became an Instructor of Law for the Justice Institute of British Columbia, teaching Civil and Administrative Law to students in the Law Enforcement Studies program. In 2015 Jessica was one of the first to be recognized by the CAAB Joint Advisory Committee for completing a year long approved Mentorship under Arbitrators Stan Lanyon, Wayne Moore and Vince Ready. During this prestigious Mentorship, Jessica gained further experience in mediation, negotiation, drafting of settlements, hearing practices and procedures, decision writing and practice management.

Brin Hamilton, B Comm, MA, CPHR, Q. Arb, Q. Med, Vice President, ADRBC

Brin is an ADR professional with a B.Comm specializing in human resources and marketing, an MA in Conflict Analysis and Management, and a CPHR designation. She has completed formalized training in negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Brin is the Principal Consultant at Ahimsa Mediation and Consulting, a private company focusing on ADR, facilitation, and human resources management. Additionally, Brin is associate faculty at Royal Roads University in the School of Humanitarian Studies and is actively conducting research in the fields of conflict management, leadership, and workplace health and safety.

Yeda Hong, Q.Med

Yeda is passionate about helping her clients to resolve disputes through mediation. She is a Qualified Mediator, a full member of ADR Institute of Canada and ADR Institute of BC and a Mediator of the Associate Civil Roster of Mediate BC. Yeda is also an Accredited Mediator under the General Panel of Mediators of Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and Hong Kong Mediation Accreditation Association Limited.

Yeda practised as a real estate and litigation lawyer in one of the leading law firms in Hong Kong for 15 years before her family was relocated to Vancouver. She has extensive experience in handling property transactions, land acquisition and court proceedings relating to land compulsory sale applications in Hong Kong. She acted for major developers in the region and the land value of projects involved ranged from hundreds to thousands million US dollars. Yeda also gave lectures and workshops on land compulsory sale proceedings and mediation to different parties including members of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors, law students of the University of Hong Kong and Chinese communities in Vancouver. She speaks English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Azool Jaffer-Jeraj

Azool Jaffer-Jeraj received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Victoria. He is a partner in the Vancouver firm of Dohm, Jaffer & Jeraj where he practices in the areas of Plaintiff's Personal Injury Law, Family Law and Wills and Estates. Azool has seventeen years of combined professional experience and training and has successfully argued at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Azool is an extremely active member of the legal profession, having served on the executive of a number of legal associations, as well as volunteering extensively within the community and with Access Pro Bono. Azool served as the President for the Trial Lawyers Association of BC, and is currently a member of their Board of Governors.

He is regularly asked to speak at Continuing Legal Education and Trial Lawyers Association Seminars, as well as within the community at large. When not in trial, he makes use of mediation as a way to resolve his clients' legal disputes. Azool is an accredited mediator both with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution in the United Kingdom and the Law Society of British Columbia. As a member of the Ismaili Conciliation and Arbitration Board for British Columbia he regularly mediates commercial, matrimonial and estate matters locally and internationally. As a mediation trainer for the International Conciliation and Arbitration Board, he has trained mediators in Canada, the United States, Australia, France, Madagascar and Tanzania. Azool speaks four languages, including Kaachi, Spanish and French.

Dillon Johnson, Temixw Planning

Dillon’s experience includes: community outreach, work plans, business planning, policy development, economic development strategies, financial modeling, project management, corporate plans, communication materials, annual reports and research papers. Prior to joining Temixw, Dillon was a commercial banker with HSBC Bank Canada. Dillon is a Councillor and a member of the Sliammon First Nation. Dillon is the Chair of the Finance Committee for Sliammon, and is also a Director of the Sliammon Development Corporation. Dillon also serves as a Director for the First Nation Employment Society.


Richard Ivey School of Business (Ivey), University of Western Ontario, London, ON — Master of Business Administration
Aboriginal Finance Officers Association, Ottawa, ON – Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager
University of Victoria, Victoria, BC — Bachelor of Commerce

Roy Johnson, MA, C.Arb, C.Med

Roy is co-author of the top-selling "Turning Conflict into Profit" and a founder and Principal of The Neutral Zone Coaching and Consulting Services Inc. Having appeared on television and radio, Roy is a mediator, trainer and psychotherapist who works with communities, families and public and private-sector organizations. He is a national conference speaker on topics including communication, organizational change, leadership, teamwork and conflict resolution. For over 20 years, Roy has mediated and resolved dozens of disputes annually, ranging from interpersonal complaints to complex multi-issue conflicts. In keynotes he presents insights gleaned from years of work in the trenches, and balances this with humour and a passion for healing broken relationships.

Roy holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Alberta and an MA from Simon Fraser University. He also holds a post-graduate diploma in Adult Education from the University of BC along with a Certificate of Conflict Resolution from the Justice Institute of BC. Roy is ProSci® certified, and is an ADRIC certified mediator and qualified arbitrator. Roy has been a member of the Police Complaints Resolution Roster, a Governor of the Justice Institute of BC, a Panel Chair of the BC Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal, and a Director of the Board of Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of BC, and is currently involved in strata governance in Canada and the United States. Roy specializes in keynote addresses and training on communication and teamwork; leadership development; organizational conflict and dispute resolution and mediation; management consulting and executive coaching; bully rehabilitation; human rights and respectful workplace investigation.

Fisnik Kumnova

Fisnik Kumnova is a Project Manager with more than 8 years of experience in non-for profit area and Conflict Management. He works with SFU Finances responsible for budget, finances and expenditures for Specific Purpose projects and administration. Currently he is pursuing his MA in Justice and Interdisciplinary Studies at Royal Roads University in Victoria BC. Prior of joining SFU, he has been working as a consultant for BC Hydro, Asset and Investment Department and worked as Business Development Advisor for a local company in Burnaby, BC.

Some of the projects he managed are: ADR Mediation Centre Mitrovica, which he managed for more than 4 years together with CSSP, in Kosovo; Bridging the Divide,M-M@G Project - an online web magazine which reported stories from conflicting areas in Balkans, in three languages; Business Advisory Center Mitrovica, which helped create more than 50 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); Support for Kosovo Young Leaders Program, where he trained youth from 7 municipalities in Basic Negotiation Skills.

He is an Alumni of International Institute for Political and Economic Studies 2008, organized by George Washington University, Washington DC and The Fund for American Studies. He is a volunteer for ADR Institute of BC where he assists in organizing ADRBC Symposium 2019. He is passionate reader and likes sightseeing.

Jonathan Lazar

Jon is a Partner, and head of the Family Law Group, at Watson Goepel LLP. He assists clients in all areas of family law, from issues arising from divorce or separation, to specific areas related to property division, children (guardianship, parenting time, residency and child protection), and pre or post-marriage style agreements.

His practice is exclusively focused on assisting clients with out-of-court settlement procedures including Collaborative Family Law, Integrative Mediation, and other settlement based approaches. Jon is a Certified Family Law Mediator and works with couples or with multi-party family law disputes. Jon is the past Co-Chair of the Collaborative Divorce Vancouver Society, has guest lectured at UBC Law School, and has served as a panelist at various CLE functions. He speaks French and enjoys spending time with his family and both coaching and playing hockey. Education: LL.B., University of New Brunswick, 1996; B.A. in Psychology and Sociology, University of New Brunswick, 1992

Doe Lee

Doe Lee is a Qualified Arbitrator and a law student at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. She is interested in all stages of conflict resolution including mediation, arbitration and litigation, and plans to incorporate DR into her practice after graduation.

Joanna Ludlow

Joanna is a graduate from the Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis program with Royal Roads University with a goal of working in conflict management initiatives in British Columbia. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in History and French Language from the University of British Columbia in 2010, Joanna worked abroad for a number of years first in England then in France. Joanna currently works in the financial aid office at the University of British Columbia where she manage the Indigenous student financial advising team. Joanna also sits on the board for Community Integrated Services Society and mentors young athletes through the Climb and Conquer organization.

Originally from Vancouver Island, Joanna and her partner now live in Vancouver where we they full advantage of the outdoors by skiing, cycling and rock climbing.

Dr. Eva Malisius, PhD, Board Director at ADRBC

Dr. Eva Malisius is a conflict engagement specialist with a wide range of international experience. Over the last 15 years she has worked with stakeholders at all levels of decision-making, always advocating constructive conflict engagement approaches. Her research focuses on decision-making in complex and diverse settings, as well as transformative learning and teaching.

Malisius is passionate about bringing people together and focuses on increasing conflict competence by working with individuals, teams, and communities. She shares her innovative approach to constructive conflict engagement by providing transformative learning spaces for graduate students, peace professionals, government and aid agency officials, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international organisations.

Malisius’ professional experience as a scholar-practitioner includes working as an international staff member at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters in Brussels and co-founding an NGO using mediation as a tool for dialogue in post-conflict societies. The tool is based on a tailor-made methodology. Malisius joined Royal Roads University’s School of Humanitarian Studies in 2012. She has been the program head for the Conflict Analysis and Management program and currently serves as program head for the School of Humanitarian Studies graduate pathways.

Malisius holds a PhD (2011) and Master of Arts (2000) in International Relations from the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (1999) in Political Science, History and Law at the University of Freiburg with an exchange year at Michigan State University. She is certified in mediation, cultural intelligence and is working on further credentials related to conflict engagement and coaching. In 2015, Malisius was honoured with Royal Roads’ Kelly Outstanding Teaching Award.

Michelle T. Maniago, Partner, BLG

Michelle Maniago is a partner in our Corporate Commercial Litigation Department in our Vancouver office. She is currently a regional lead of BLG's Appellate Advocacy Group and is also a member of our Class Action and International Trade and Arbitration Groups. Michelle practices in the area of civil litigation, class actions, and arbitration, with an emphasis on commercial and corporate disputes. She also routinely provides strategic and statutory compliance advice to individuals and corporations. Michelle has extensive experience with class action proceedings in Canada, particularly in the areas of consumer protection claims, competition claims and banking-related claims. Her class action defense practice has covered a wide range of industries and she has represented retailers, financial institutions, aviation companies, manufacturers, and telecommunication companies. She has acted as arbitral counsel both domestically and internationally in several commercial arbitrations in a wide range of industries, including complex contractual disputes and commercial lease disputes. She also has specialized experience with complex commercial litigation, corporate governance, advertising / competition law, plans of arrangement, privacy law (including access to information requests), and inter-jurisdictional evidentiary matters (including obtaining and enforcing Letters Rogatory or Letters of Request).

Michelle has appeared as counsel before the Court of Appeal for British Columbia, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and the Youth Justice (Criminal) Court. She also has appeared as counsel before both domestic and international arbitration tribunals. Prior to beginning her articles at BLG, Michelle completed a one-year judicial clerkship with the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. During law school, she completed Osgoode Hall's Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Government. As part of that program, Michelle spent two months in New Zealand developing a legally focused rehabilitation program for maximum-security prisoners who were about to be released from custody. She also received Osgoode Hall's class prize for constitutional litigation.

Stephen McPhee. Q.C.

Stephen McPhee. Q.C is a LSBC accredited Family Mediator and Arbitrator and senior family law and civil litigation counsel with Ramsay Lampman Rhodes in Nanaimo, BC. He is a sought after Mediator and Med-Arbitrator, who has also assisted parties as counsel through a number of successful Mediation-Arbitrations, and is continually searching for better dispute resolution options for his litigation clients as well as his mediation and arbitration clients. Stephen is the CBA Nanaimo-ADR Section Chair and has been involved in the coordination of joint meetings and CPD sessions between lawyer and non-lawyer ADR professionals on Vancouver Island for over 15 years.

Bruce McIvor, First Peoples Law Solicitors and Barristers

For me, advocacy is bred in the bone.

My ancestors experienced the disloyalty of the French and British, the Acadian Explusion, the conquest of New France, the dispossession at Red River and government's refusal to honour the numbered Treaties. I was focused on working for social justice through an academic career in history until I began working in the law with Louise Mandell, Q.C. (Mandell Pinder) and Stuart Rush, Q.C. (Rush Crane Guenther) on what I expected to be a temporary basis. That was over 15 years ago. Louise and Stuart introduced me to a world of principled, high quality legal advocacy that led me back to university for a law degree.

First Peoples Law combines my passions for law, history and social justice. Most importantly, it allows me to work with other committed professionals in supporting Indigenous Peoples' ongoing struggle for respect and justice.

Viola Neufeld, M.S.W, R.S.W

As a coach, educator, therapist and facilitator, Vi champions the use of conflict for personal change, fulfilled relationships and dynamic organization. With thirty years of experience in conflict, Vi is known for turning fractured relationships and broken trust into restored hope with new beginnings. She helps those stuck in conflict to get going again by facilitating necessary and often difficult conversations with sensitivity and care.

Vi is specialized in using conflict to build sustainable change from the inside out. As a practitioner and writer, Vi is creating an international precedent in the use of self in conflict, focusing on the interplay between external and internal conflict to transform lives. Vi works with leaders to design and facilitate processes which breakthrough entrenched barriers to transition. She helps leaders go beyond resolving conflict to leveraging conflict for proactive change, with a focus on realistic outcomes and practical solutions. Her engagement is enlivening, challenging and life-changing.

As business partners and co-owners of Transpectives Consulting Inc., John Radford and Vi are often called in when other attempts to mediate conflict have failed. They understand what it takes to rebuild relationships and restore trust, helping leaders build a work culture that delivers sustainable competitive advantage. They believe that conflict can be utilized to creative and innovative ends, resulting in a workplace that thrives and flourishes in the midst of diversity.

Vi has been a business owner of several companies, has worked as a Couple and Family Therapist and taught at several graduate institutes. She is an Associate faculty member in the School of Peace and Conflict Management at Royal Roads University. Vi is a Registered Couple and Family Therapist with the British Columbia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy which is a division of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She is also a Registered Social Worker with the British Columbia College of Social Workers and graduated from California State University with a Masters in Social Work. Vi is a member of Mediate BC. Vi enjoys being active in Vancouver’s limitless playground. She is grateful to her husband and four children for being the valuable life-teachers they are.

Craig Neville, Associate Counsel, Watson Goepel LLP

“As a mediator, collaborative professional, arbitrator, and parenting coordinator, my passion is to help families find tailor made solutions to their unique challenges.”

Craig is Associate Counsel in the Family Law Group at Watson Goepel LLP, and is widely recognized in British Columbia as a leading certified Parenting Coordinator and Family Law Mediator. For over 35 years, Craig has advocated for families in all areas of family law. He has a deep appreciation for the long term co-parenting responsibilities and challenges faced by separating families. His focus on alternate dispute resolution arises from years of experience with the court system, and his resulting view that litigation ought to be an option of last resort for families striving to solve their challenges. Craig’s passions extend beyond the practice of law. He is an avid traveler, having visited more than 50 countries around the world. He runs, bikes, skis, ballroom dances, and has a keen interest in photography.

Alex Ning

Alex Ning is an experienced Notary Public and mediator. He has mediated since 1999, holds his C.Med through ADRBC and has served for many years as a small claims mediator and mentor in the Court Mediation Program administered by Mediate BC. His notary practice focuses on immigration and refugee matters and he was named BC Notary of the Year in 2010.

The Honourable Wally Oppal, Q.C., Senior Counsel, Boughton Law

Wally is an experienced counsel and strategic advisor. His practice focuses on alternative and traditional dispute resolution as well as Aboriginal law.

After graduation from the University of British Columbia Law School, Wally went into private practice for a number of years. During this time he was appointed as a Special Prosecutor on many high profile criminal and commercial cases. In 2005, he was appointed as Attorney General of British Columbia and served as Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism until 2009. Wally was involved in many significant reforms of the justice system, including the establishment of Canada’s first community court to deal with chronic offenders, developing new Rules of Court in order to promote quicker resolution of disputes and developing new initiatives in dealing with violence against women.

A lifetime resident of British Columbia, Wally has dedicated his entire working life to the pursuit of social justice and community safety. His landmark report on policing in British Columbia led to many policing reforms after its publication in 1994. Wally’s service to the public of this province, most recently as Commissioner of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, is of special significance.

Alison Paine

I have been working in the public sector for the past 20 years, starting in Communications, moving to Human Resources as a senior executive, and ending as a mediator and conflict resolution consultant. In this capacity I introduced interest-based conflict resolution skills and interventions to the public service workplace, establishing a Conflict Management Office where public servants can access alternative dispute resolution and conflict coaching. During my public sector career, I facilitated many conflict resolution dialogues and coached executives and employees through workplace conflict situations. I am a trained Lumina Learning practitioner, and use this excellent psychometric tool to help people improve their communication with others allowing them to work through conflict more freely and to function more effectively with their teams. I teach courses designed to help people in the workplace communicate better and I was a mediator in the small claims court system in B.C. I began my career as a broadcast journalist with CBC Radio and TV. Always interested in seeking the story beneath the surface, I started as a news reporter and on air interviewer. In news conflict is paramount. But I found after some years that the conflict people were experiencing often stemmed from misunderstanding and miscommunication. I noticed that there were often some common interests between the combatants, and I became more interested in assisting people to find those common interests and resolve their conflict rather than reporting on it. I earned a certificate in Mediation through the Justice Institute of BC, and I am on the Mediator Roster for British Columbia. I have a Masters Degree in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario and an undergraduate degree from the University of Victoria. In 2005, I received the Woman of Distinction Award for Leadership from the YM/YWCA.

Jasmine Paul, Rights and Title Director, Golden Eagle Rising Society

Jasmine Paul, Rights and Title Director, married to a shíshálh member has a deep family connection and strong commitment to the success and prosperity of the Nation. Jasmine began working for the Nation in 2007 as a researcher in the Department. She was promoted to the position as Director; a role she has filled since 2008.

The Rights and Title Department employs four staff including researchers and GIS technicians. The Department works closely with the Resource Management Department as well as various consultants such as archeologists, foresters, and biologists. Jasmine oversees the implementation of the Nation's lands and resources decision-making process and litigation preparation. Jasmine works with the Chief and Council and Chief Administrative Officer to implement the Nation's strategic plan. The Rights and Title team works diligently to protect the shíshálh title and rights through the review of proposed developments (land, air, and water...etc.) throughout the territory. They work collaboratively and proactively with various industries and assist the Council in negotiations of agreements with residents, industry, federal, provincial, and local governments. Jasmine also works collaboratively with leadership and colleagues to ensure the objectives of the Nation including the protection of rights and title of the shíshálh Nation territory are achieved.

The Honourable Steven L. Point (Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl)

The Honourable Steven L. Point (Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl) is one of Canada's few First Nations judges and was appointed British Columbia's lieutenant-governor in September 2007. The Chilliwack-born judge was appointed to the provincial bench in 1999 and most recently was working in Abbotsford. When he was just 23 years old, he was elected chief of Skowdale First Nation, a job he held for 15 years.

Point graduated with a law degree from the University of British Columbia in 1985 and set up his own firm where he practiced criminal and Native law for local Sto:lo bands in Chilliwack. He later worked for the federal government and then took over as director of the Native Law program at UBC, a position he held from 1991 until 1994.

In 2005, Point was appointed Chief Commissioner of the British Columbia Treaty Commission, the body that facilitates treaty negotiations between the provincial and federal governments and First Nations. He is a recipient of a National Aboriginal Achievement Award.

Kendelle Pollitt LLB, Q.Med.

Kendelle Pollitt graduated with a law degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 2005. After focusing her career primarily on family law litigation for approximately a decade, Kendelle began her training to become a family law mediator in 2015 and was accredited to act as a family law mediator by the Law Society of British Columbia in June, 2016. Today, Kendelle continues her practice as both a family law litigator and mediator with South Coast Law Group.

Dr. John Radford

John Radford is a conflict consultant, a conflict coach and co-owner of Vancouver-based Transpectives Consulting. He has been an associate faculty member in Royal Roads’ Conflict Analysis and Management program since 1998. His research interests include psychology of conflict, peace and reconciliation; how identity impacts deep-rooted conflict resolution; building capacity for conflict in relationally fragile communities; and utilizing internal conflict in conflict systems design. Radford has set international precedent in conflict systems design in areas such as relationship mapping for conflict systems analysis and the relationships by objectives (RBO) process for organizational conflict. He sits on the boards of African Enterprise Canada, Oasis Retreats and B.C. Olympics Volleyball.

Since establishing Transpectives Consulting, along with fellow RRU associate faculty member Vi Neufeld, in 2001, Radford has built capacity for conflict in leaders, organizations, families and communities through training, conflict coaching, facilitation/mediation and conflict process design. Radford was previously involved in conflict resolution and mediation in South Africa. In 1983, he was a founding member of the Independent Mediation Service of South Africa and was a professor and chair in the School of Management Studies at the University of Cape Town from 1993 to 2002.

Radford holds a PhD in organizational psychology, a BSc Honours in psychology and a BSc in psychology and chemistry from the University of Natal in South Africa. He has also received international training in deep-rooted conflict mediation through Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service of Britain, John Hopkins Institute for Peace and the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Radford is a certified mediator with Independent Mediation Service of South Africa on the Labour, Commercial, Community and Relationship Building Initiative panels.

Kathryn Sainty, QC, MCIArb

Called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1986 Kathryn practised with a variety of firms in the Vancouver area. In 1997 she become Legal Counsel to the Chief Justice and Associate Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. In 2001, she was appointed a District Registrar of the Court and in 2010 she became the Registrar of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, serving until 2014.

Kathryn has a long-standing interest in consensual dispute resolution, obtaining her mediation training at Harvard Law School (Program on Negotiation) in 2012 and through the American Arbitration Association University in 2013. She is a member of both the Mediate BC Civil and Family Rosters and is accredited as a "family dispute resolution professional" (mediator and arbitrator) by the Law Society of British Columbia. She is a member of the domestic and mediation panels of the British Columbia International Commercial Centre and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. She was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2015.

Dr. Judith Sayers, Board Director, Clean Energy BC

Kekinusuqs, Dr. Judith Sayers is a member of the Hupacasath First Nation and mother of two. Currently she works as a Strategic Adviser to First Nations and corporations and is an adjunct professor with the Peter Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria.

Judith was the elected Chief of the Hupacasath First Nation that is located in Port Alberni, BC for 14 years and the Chief Negotiator for 15 years. In her role as Chief, she focused on capacity building, sustainable development and restoring and rehabilitating Hupacasath territory. As Chief of her Nation, Judith was instrumental in the development of the China Creek Run of the River Project which operates in Hupacasath territory. Judith was the President and Chair of Upnit Power Ltd which operates the China Creek project for 6 years. Hupacasath is the majority owner in the China Creek project. China Creek project has received environmental awards from the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation, and in June of 2008, Judith received a silver award from the Canadian Environmental Awards in the Climate Change category for her role in developing the project.

Currently Judith remains involved in Energy issues through advising First Nations and corporations on clean energy projects. Judith speaks at many conferences, think tanks and strategic sessions concerning issues affecting energy including developing, transmitting and selling power, climate change, capacity needs, negotiating agreements, regulatory requirements and export of power. Judith has a passion and commitment to ensuring that energy is produced in a sustainable way with minimal impact on the environment and strongly believes that alternative energies can be developed within First Nations values. Judith’s educational background includes a business and law degree and an honourary Doctor of Laws from Queen’s University. Judith has an extensive background of practicing law for 18 years in both Alberta and British Columbia, working in international forums, lobbying governments and other agencies for the promotion and protection of First Nations rights and title.

Judith was on the political executive of the First Nations Summit for a two-year term in 2006. Judith serves on the boards of the New Relationship Trust Foundation, Clean Energy BC, the Island Corridor Foundation, and Chairs the Joint Working Group on Heritage Conservation. In February 2009, the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business inducted Judith in the Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame. Further accomplishments include being the recipient of the Bora Laskin Fellowship on Human Rights, a Finalist for the Buffet Award for Indigenous Leadership and twice awarded the Woman of Distinction from the Alberni Chamber of Commerce. She has been honoured by Atira Women’s Resource Society as an Inspirational Women.

Elton Simoes, C. Med, Q. Arb, President ADRBC and Vice-President and President-Elect ADRIC

Elton Simoes is an accomplished, Arbitrator, Mediator, Negotiator, Consultant, Non-executive Director, and Business Executive. He practices arbitration, mediation and Med-Arb in complex, confidential, time sensitive, commercial disputes involving shareholders, consumers, intellectual property, technology, media, entertainment and sports.

Mr. Simoes lived, worked and studied in Canada, U.S., Latin America, and Europe, where he held senior leadership positions, such as Vice President at Disney TV International (U.S.); Board Director at HBO Latin America (U.S.); Managing Director Sports/PPV, at Globosat (BR); CEO and Chair of the Board at Playboy do Brazil (BR); International Business Development at Nethold B.V. (NL). He currently serves as President and Chair of the Board of Directors at the BCAMI – British Columbia Arbitration and Mediation Institute; and as Senior Business Advisors at Osborne Business Advisors.

Elton Simoes possesses strong academic background in Business, Law, Corporate Governance, and Dispute Resolution. He is a graduated from INSEAD (MBA, IDP-C); University of Victoria BC (MDR); NYU (IBP); FGV (BA); and PUC (Law). Elton Simoes is an accomplished, Arbitrator, Mediator, Negotiator, Consultant, Non-executive Director, and Business Executive.

He practices arbitration, mediation and Med-Arb in complex, confidential, time sensitive, commercial disputes involving shareholders, consumers, intellectual property, technology, media, entertainment and sports. Mr. Simoes lived, worked and studied in Canada, U.S., Latin America, and Europe, where he held senior leadership positions, such as Vice President at Disney TV International (U.S.); Board Director at HBO Latin America (U.S.); Managing Director Sports/PPV, at Globosat (BR); CEO and Chair of the Board at Playboy do Brazil (BR); International Business Development at Nethold B.V. (NL). He currently serves as President and Chair of the Board of Directors at the ADRBC; and as Vice-President and President-Elect at ADRIC.

Elton Simoes possesses strong academic background in Business, Law, Corporate Governance, and Dispute Resolution. He is a graduated from INSEAD (MBA, IDP-C); University of Victoria BC (MDR); NYU (IBP); FGV (BA); and PUC (Law).

Gabriel Somjen, Q.C.

A listed arbitrator for both the Collective Agreement Arbitration Bureau for British Columbia and The British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre, as well as a mediator with Mediate BC, Gabriel often presides as chair in labour arbitrations and mediations. He has appeared before the BC Labour Relations Board, Canada Industrial Relations Board, BC Supreme Court and BC Court of Appeal, labour arbitration boards, and other administrative tribunals.

Matt Thorpe

I am a First Nation person, from the school of “Hard Knocks” driven by commitment, integrity and authenticity to ensure the success of all the work that I facilitate. With over twenty-five years of experience in the world of training, entrepreneurship, mediation, workplace learning/facilitation and coaching. My dynamic “Bad Ass” approach, skills, experience and ability shifts individuals quickly into the space of authentic resolution and profound self-awareness. I am a strong front-line leader with a win-win attitude. My rigorous commitment, discipline and reliability, combined with my dynamic and inclusive style of communication, have allowed me to work very successfully with diverse groups, their communities and organizations Internationally. My most powerful learning is from the non-traditional teachings I have acquired over the years. In addition, my life experiences, intuition and ability to deeply connect with people from different walks of life have served my clients well in getting to the root-causes in all the facilitation and mediation work. I am consistently in touch with who I am, why I do what I do and why it matters. As one of my mentors once said to me: “if you are in the job of service you want to make sure you are doing your own work” – something I have been committed to for over 29 years.

I am the Founder and Senior Director of M. Thorpe & Associates Inc., a company committed to conflict resolution, learning circles and coaching services. I am acutely aware of the need for cultural sensitivity whenever disputes occur between members of different cultures, communities and organizations. In mediation/facilitation, I place true value on humanness, which allows all participants not only to be heard, but also to gain a deeper awareness of fairness, honesty and interpersonal responsibility. My work has involved working with victims and offenders, unions and management, human rights complainants, federal and provincial courts, hospital staff and management, teachers and students, family and Aboriginal community members; each case posing specific, and in some ways, unique challenges.

I am frequently invited as a special advisor and keynote speaker at various forums and national conferences. Some of the topics include Positive Lifestyle Choices, Embracing and Celebrating Diversity, Power and Freedom Through Story and Stress Management. One of my most exciting keynotes was the very first World Summit of Indigenous Entrepreneurs and the World Mediation Summit in Madrid, Spain.

Melissa VanderHouwen

Melissa practices in all areas of labour, employment, human rights, and administrative law. She has represented clients in matters before the BC Court of Appeal, the BC Supreme Court, the BC Human Rights Tribunal, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the BC Labour Relations Board, and in federal and provincial grievance arbitrations.

Prior to her call to the Bar, Melissa obtained her JD from the University of Ottawa, during which time she served as an editor for the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, a clinician at a legal clinic, and as a workshop facilitator for LEAF. She received the Regional Senior Justice Prize for achievement in Appellate Advocacy, and the Mark MacGuigan Prize for oral advocacy at the Laskin Moot.

Melissa was a varsity athlete and captain of the women's rowing team during law school and her undergraduate studies, and she continues to row with the Deep Cove Rowing Club. Melissa also serves on the executive of the CBA BC Women Lawyers Forum, and on the Board of Directors of the Muddbunnies Riding Club, a non-profit that promotes and encourages women in mountain biking. In her spare time, she can usually be found exploring the mountains and waterways of the west coast with her dog, Toby.

Dr. Patricia Vickers, Director of Mental Wellness of FNHA

Dr. Patricia Vickers, Director of Mental Wellness of FNHA, has experience as a trainer, consultant, instructor, facilitator, program developer, director and clinical counsellor for Indigenous communities along the coast of British Columbia. She is no stranger to public speaking, being published, and engaging families, professionals, youth and the greater community. She has ancestral roots in Tsimshian and Heiltsuk nations on her father’s side and English on her mother’s side. Her Interdisciplinary doctorate included researching through Tsmsyen language, smalgyax, the transformative aspects of ancestral law which hold many answers to our queries about life, purpose, healing and positive change. Her Master’s degree in Educational Psychology gave her an opportunity to study healing through Indigenous cultural teachings and ceremony. When there were no words to express the hope and truth in studies and experience, she feels that her painting became a necessity.

Michael F. Welsh, Q.Arb., C.Med., Cert.Fam.Arb.m Board Director, ADRBC

Michael was called to the British Columbia bar in 1981 and practices as a mediator and arbitrator in family, commercial and civil law matters. He has been a mediator since 1997. Based in Penticton, he works primarily in the southern BC interior region including the Thompson-Okanagan and Kootenays, but is happy to travel elsewhere in BC where his services are sought. He is a Law Society Certified Family Law Mediator and Family Law Arbitrator and is a civil mediator and arbitrator, He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a member of the Mediate BC Family Roster and Med/Arb Roster, the ADRBC Civil Roster and acts as a mediator for the Law Society in fee disputes between lawyers and clients. Michael is a Bencher of the Law Society of BC, and immediate Past President of both ADRBC and the BC Branch of the CBA. He is an executive committee member of the CBA National ADR Section. He is appointed by the BC government as a Tribunal Member of the Civil Resolution Tribunal. He writes regularly for the Advocate, a legal magazine in BC, both legal articles and as its wine columnist, and has also published several articles in BarTalk magazine and the Canadian Arbitration & Mediation Journal. He is periodically asked to talk on ADR, legal and wine-related topics for various legal groups and at continuing legal education programs.

Gordon White, Associate Faculty, School of Communication and Culture at Royal Roads

Gordon White has maintained a general mediation practice for 20 years that encompasses court files, harassment and bullying, divorce, restorative justice, multigenerational family dynamics, and natural resource utilization issues in relation to indigenous communities. In the past decade Gordon has expanded the context of his work to include team and organizational development initiatives. Gordon has instructed at the Justice Institute of BC for 14 years and has been teaching a course on Conflict Analysis and Management at Royal Roads University for eight years. Gordon blogs at where he provides insightful perspectives and practical advice on topics relevant to conflict engagement.

Kent Woodruff, C.Arb., C.Med.

Kent Woodruff, C.Arb., C.Med. practises out of Kamloops. For the last 29 years he has restricted his law practice to ADR – commercial arbitration and mediation. He sits as a BC Crop Insurance Arbitrator, a CAMVAP Arbitrator and has arbitrated over 300 commercial disputes. As a mediator he mediates a wide range of non-family disputes. He regularly organizes seminars for businesses on the power of consensus, mediation and coaching. He uses Med-Arb. and Arb-Med in resolving business disputes when requested and when appropriate.

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The office is located in Vancouver.

ADR Institute of British Columbia

(formerly the BCAMI)
300 - 1275 West 6th Avenue
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V6H 1A6

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