Northern Community Mediation Staff


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

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
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Karen Cole has been a volunteer mediator with Northern Community Mediation for 14 years, having completed the initial 40 hour training in January 2005. Since then, Karen has completed trainings in Domestic Relations, Parenting Time, Domestic Violence Screening, Agriculture, Victim Offender Reconciliation, Child Protection, Guardianship, School Attendance and Special Education. Karen has mediated over 600 cases for NCM, and in 2012 was named Mediator of the Year.

Currently, Karen continues to mediate for NCM while also working full time as the case manager for Domestic and Probate cases and Educational programing.

Having earned Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Central Michigan University, Karen’s background is in teaching and social work.  She has taught fifth through seventh grades in area schools and has provided social services for Head Start and Lutheran Child and Family Services before “retiring” to work for NCM.

For Karen, the most rewarding aspect of mediation is in providing a pathway for others to find a solution.

Karen is a native of Charlevoix and lives in Petoskey with her husband Ed. Together, they have two adult sons.

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.

Myra Bryant
Restorative Practices Coordinator
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Myra Bryant has joined the Northern Community Mediation team as the Restorative Practices Coordinator at Boyne City High School. In that capacity, she will work with the students to help them resolve conflicts in their lives, whether it be with teachers or other students.


Myra graduated from Central Michigan University, where she majored in Exercise Physiology. For the past 15 plus years, she has been working with Boyne City students in various sports at all age levels. For the past five years, she has also been working with the public in general by coaching them in their health to instill lifelong healthy habits. She is passionate about getting to the root cause of behaviors and assisting people in making lifestyle changes.


Myra has been a part of the Boyne community since 2000. She is married to Andy Bryant, who is a high school science teacher at Boyne City High School. They have two sons whom they are raising in as Myra says “a great community.”