In May, Northern Community Mediation (NCM) holds its annual Appreciation Gala. At that event, mediators, board members, volunteers and staff are thanked for their dedication to NCM. Additionally, special recognition is given to those mediators and advocates for mediation who “rise above and beyond the call of duty.” They are the individuals who make significant contributions of their time and energy for the advancement of NCM and the mediation process during the previous year.

Recipients of the awards for 2020 are listed below.

  • Veteran Mediator of the Year: Bill Cattin
  • Rookie Mediator of the Year: Jeanne Baranowski
  • Advocate of the Year: Which Wich Team
  • The Leah Award: Doug Van Epps

The 2020 recipients were recognized at the annual Appreciation Gala, which was to be held on Thursday, May 27, 2021 via Zoom

Descriptions of the awards along with previous individuals honored are shown below.

Veteran Mediator of the Year

The Veteran Mediator of the Year Award is presented to an established mediator who goes above and beyond. This is a person who does things such as re-arranging his/her schedule so that a last minute mediation can be scheduled. Past recipients of this award are:

  • Connie Saltonstall (2006)
  • Robert Harkness (2007)
  • Ron Moore (2008)
  • Polly Cheney (2009)
  • Jeff Higgs (2010)
  • Kendal Taylor (2011)
  • Karen Cole (2012)
  • Carolyn Belknap (2013)
  • Hugh Conklin (2014)
  • Mary Horan (2015)
  • Lou Diaz & Susan Hannah (2016)
  • Dick Hendrian (2017)
  • Amy Stikovich (2018)
  • Denise Drake (2019)
  • Bill Cattin (2020)

Rookie Mediator of the Year

The Rookie Mediator of the Year Award goes to a mediator who has completed the Forty-Hour Training or has come to Northern Community Mediation from another Citizen Dispute Resolution Center within the past two years. Past recipients include:

  • Karen Cole (2006)
  • Gary Barfknecht (2007)
  • Deb Eklund (2008)
  • Wayne Tri (2009)
  • Kendal Taylor (2010)
  • Lisa Hicklen (2011)
  • Tom North (2012)
  • Herb Carlson (2013)
  • Kristyn Balog (2014)
  • John Hoffman (2015)
  • Rob & Ruthie Brown (2016)
  • Ed Cole (2017)
  • Bill Malow (2018)
  • Steve Hall (2019)
  • Which Wich Team (2020)

NCM Advocate of the Year

To be supportive of NCM, it is not necessary to be a mediator or board member. Many members of the community are advocates of mediation and the Center. Consequently, NCM created the NCM Advocate of the Year Award. Past recipients include:

  • Steve Tresidder (2006)
  • The Honorable Richard Pajtas (2007)
  • The honorable Fred Mulhauser (2008)
  • Susan Capaldi (2009)
  • Marge Parish (2010)
  • Tom Schraw (2011)
  • Emmet-Charlevoix Bar Association (2012)
  • The Honorable James Erhart (2013)
  • Ray (posthumously) & Mary Jane Kiogima (2014)
  • John Marshall (2015)
  • Wendy Viles (2016)
  • Jim Raber (2017)
  • Brian Kasiborski (2018)
  • Cyndy Tonkavich (2019)
  • Which Wich Team (2020)

The Leah Award

In 2005, NCM established the Leah Award. The first recipient of this award was Leah Green. Professionally, Leah was an educator. As a member of the community, she volunteered as a mediator for NCM. She drew upon her knowledge of mediation and her expertise as an educator to become a trainer of mediators for NCM. In recognition of her twelve years of devoted service to NCM, Leah was awarded with the first Leah Award at the annual meeting. Leah died three months after receiving this award.

Since 2005, the Leah Award has been presented to an individual who holds the same degree of dedication to and advocacy of NCM and the mediation process. This award represents an individual who has been devoted to NCM over the years. It is not necessarily awarded every year. The recipients of the Leah Award are as follows:

  • Leah Green (2005)
  • Kathy Lame (2006)
  • Richard Hendrian (2007)
  • Bruce Herbert (2008)
  • The Honorable Richard May (2011)
  • The Honorable Richard Pajtas (2013)
  • The Honorable Fred Mulhauser (2016)
  • Steve Tresidder (2018)
  • Jenny Deegan (2019)
  • Doug Van Epps (2020)

Prior to 2006

Prior to 2006, Northern Community Mediation (NCM) presented the Mediator of the Year Award at the Annual Meeting. Past recipients of this award are:

  • Bill Shumaker (1997)
  • Murray Kilgour (1998)
  • Leah Green (1999)
  • Lou Fantini (2000)
  • Kathleen Lame (2001)
  • Richard Hendrian (2002)
  • Richard Hendrian (2003)
  • Bruce Herbert (2004)
  • Richard Hendrian (2005)