Northern Community Mediation (NCM) has three employees: the Executive Director and two Case Managers


Dr. Jane Millar
Executive Director
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Jane became the Executive Director of Northern Community Mediation (NCM) in July 2003. In addition to her responsibilities for NCM, she also facilitates mediation trainings for participants throughout the state and serves on the Development, Training and Funding Committees for the Michigan Community Mediation Association.

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. 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. 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. In 2016, she received the eddi Award from Crooked Tree Arts Center, and in 2018, the Nancy S. Klein Award from the ADR Section of the Michigan Bar Association.

Karen Cole
Case Manager
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Karen first joined Northern Community Mediation in 2005 after completing her 40 hour, general civil mediation training and joining NCM’s list of volunteer mediators. Karen continued to volunteer for NCM.  In 2007, she was awarded the Rookie Mediator of the Year and Mediator of the Year in 2012. Karen has completed trainings in all areas of mediation that include advanced general civil, domestic relations, child protection, guardianship, special education, mental health, victim offender, agriculture and schools.

In 2015, Karen joined NCM as a case manager and currently handles all domestic, child protection and special education cases. She also assists with mediator trainings and provides presentations on specific programs and general mediation services to local agencies and courts.

Karen is a native of Northern Michigan. She obtained her Masters and Bachelor degrees from Central Michigan University. Prior to joining NCM, she taught elementary and middle school. She has also worked in social services. Karen lives in Petoskey.

Laura Buckingham
Case Manager
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Laura received her Associates’ Degree in General Science, specializing in Aquatic Biology from Lansing Community College. Following that,  she studied Court and Conferencing Reporting. Her work experience includes being an Office Manager / Legal Assistant with a local law firm. In that capacity, she was involved in all aspects of the law. Laura has also worked in the medical field

Laura is also highly involved in the community. She has been committed to the Northern Michigan Women Who Care, Women’s Resource Center, Petoskey Band Boosters, and Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council. Additionally, she has served as a STRIVE mentor and a Petoskey Parks and Recreation soccer coach.

Laura is responsible for small claims, general civil and landlord / tenant cases. She also oversees the Victim-Offender, Reconciliation Program, as well as the First-Time, Offender Reconciliation Program.