Northern Community Mediation Staff


Northern Community Mediation (NCM) has five employees: The Executive Director, two Case Managers, and two Restorative Practices Coordinators.

Dr Jane Millar

Dr. Jane Millar
Executive Director
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Jane became the Executive Director of NCM in July 2003. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Albion College with a major in English and minors in Business & Economics, Psychology and Spanish. Her Master of Arts Degree is in Child Psychology from St. Lawrence University, and her doctorate degree is from Eastern Michigan University in the field of Leadership.

Jane is active in the community. As a Rotarian, she is a past district-governor of Rotary International, and has chaired the grants committees and in that capacity also served on the District Rotary Foundation Committee. She is a trainer for Rotary Leadership Institute, vision facilitation, and leadership sessions for the District Assembly and the president-elect training. She has also co-chaired the Training Institute, which is part of the Zone Institute. She is a past president of her local club and has been responsible for planning three district conferences.

Jane is a past president of the Women’s Resource Center, as well as Crooked Tree Arts Center. She has served on and chaired numerous committees and boards of directors in her local community. In 2005, she was the recipient of the prestigious Athena Award.

Karen Cole Case Manager

Karen Cole
Case Manager
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Karen is not new to Northern Community Mediation. In 2007 – 2008, she worked as an Intake Coordinator and was responsible for the Victim-Offender, Reconciliation Program, as well as the Permanency Planning Mediation Program, which is now referred to as the Child Protection Mediation Program. In her new role as Case Manager, she is responsible for cases involving divorce, guardianship, victim-offender reconciliation, child protection, and parenting time.

Karen is well known to the mediation community for her ten years of volunteer services to NCM. In 2006, she was the recipient of the Rookie Mediator of the Year Award, and in 2012, she received the Veteran Mediator of the Year Award.

Karen brings with her a broad range of experience in teaching, social work, and the retail community. She is a native of Charlevoix. She graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in education and has done extensive graduate work in the field of education.

Caroline Smith

Caroline Smith
Case Manager
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Caroline Smith has recently joined the Northern Community Mediation (NCM) staff. Prior to joining NCM, she attended The University of Michigan, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree with distinction in Political Science and in Sociology with a sub plan in Law, Justice and Social Change. She completed the individual Honors in the Liberal Arts Project through the Honors program with a focus on the Social and Cultural Dimension of Citizenship, and completed 15 credit hours in interdisciplinary graduate level courses. While at The University of Michigan, she received numerous honors and recognitions.

Caroline served as Head Counselor for the Michigan Mathematics and Science Scholar Summer Camp under The University of Michigan Math Department. She also was a Research Assistant for a PhD candidate in the School of Public Health, and was the Captain of The University of Michigan Women’s Club Ultimate Team.

With her interest in studying law, Caroline’s skills are well-matched as a Case Manager. In that capacity, she will handle small claims and general civil cases. Additionally, she will oversee the Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program and the First-Time, Offender Shoplifting Program. Her knowledge of all forms of social media are especially appreciated in that she will oversee NCM’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Jim Raber Restorative Practices Coordinator

Jim Raber
Restorative Practices Coordinator

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Jim was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and lived in New Jersey until his family moved to northern Michigan in 1974. He graduated from Boyne City High School in 1980 and married his high school sweetheart in 1983.

Jim was diagnosed with a rare genetic eye condition that over a period of 10 years caused him to become legally blind, but that has not stopped him from having a successful life and career. In 1994, Jim went back to college to pursue a Social Work degree. He graduated from Ferris State University in 1998 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a minor in intercultural relationships.

Jim was an intensive foster care worker and then became Friend of the Court in Charlevoix County from 2004 until early 2016, when he retired. He completed his State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) approved mediation training in May 2016.

In January 2017, Jim joined Northern Community Mediation as the Restorative Practices Coordinator at Boyne City High School. Jim and his wife Joy have three grown children and a baby grandson.