The 2016 board members of Association of Conflict Resolution Houston Chapter (ACR Houston) have been working diligently to plan an ambitious, professionally important, informative, and exciting year for our members.
Our 2016 theme is “diversity,” important to our ADR practices. With Houston being such a culturally diverse community, mediators and ADR professionals need to be prepared to mediate for people from all over the world and to understand the dynamics of conflict management worldwide. Our events for the coming year will continue our ADR educations, as well as entertain our members and guests.
On January 31, 2016, we installed new officers and board members at Season’s 52 in the Uptown-Galleria area. We thanked Marilyn Myers, Dick Myers, and Judge Josefina Rendon for their years of service to the board as their terms ended. We welcomed Caroline Ankoma-Sey (Student Director), Rick Cagney, Denshia Maxey, Christine Garza Rayburn, and Jerry Rios to the board. Returning board members Jeff Aresty, Melissa Back Alpine, Andrea Cooper, H. Adil Gokturk, Dr. Barbara Sunderland Manousso, Victoria McClain, and Darcy Thompson were recognized. Highlight of the event was a presentation by San Antonio Attorney Matt Sossi, Executive Director of Kids First, Parents Second, an innovative program and tools for divorcing families.
On March 22, 2016, I hosted the fourth Wine and Whine, a free event at my office for family law mediators. The purpose of the evening was to share a story where “miscommunication” had been an issue in mediation and what was learned from the experience. Watch for more of these popular informal discussion groups in 2016.
On March 29, 2016, ACR Houston hosted a sold-out luncheon at the Junior League. Brennan Kraut, Community Relations Director of Colonial Oaks, presented a fun and informative talk on nuances of aging and Mona Khoueiry, visiting from Beirut, Lebanon, explained the dynamics of Spiritual Courts and how divorce worked in her country.
On April 24, 2016, from 1:30 PM to 3 PM, ACR Houston will present the famous, internationally recognized author and lecturer, Dr. Mohammed Keshavjee. He will discuss the roles of Sharia versus local law and ADR, The Place of Faith-Based Mediation in a Secular World, hosted by the Ismaili Center, 1700 First Colony Blvd., Sugar Land, Texas 77479. This is very special presentation will be followed by coffee and dessert. We are also invited to stay for his second lecture at 3:00 regarding his most recent book peace and conflict. This event is free, so bring your associates and family.
On May 20th, we will host an evening with the French Consul General Sujiro Seam, our 2016 Distinguished Diplomat. He will speak on France’s perspective on conflict in the face of cultural diversity. This event in his home will include an art exhibit currently on display there.
On September 22, 2016, ACR Houston is co-hosting with the University of St. Thomas, Dr. Sergei Khrushchev, the son of former Russian Premier, Nikita Khrushchev. He is the author of more than 250 articles and many books, and has been a Senior Fellow at the Watson International Studies at Brown University in Rhode Island.
If you have not renewed your membership for 2016, please do so now. If you have never joined ACR Houston, this is the time to take advantage of our annual dues of only $35 a year. Join or login and renew at Membership Application.
Thank you for the honor of leading this wonderful organization this year. I would also like to thank each board member for their commitment and hard work to insure that ACR Houston continues to remain the outstanding organization that it has become over the years.
And, as always, all members are urged to submit ideas and comments to any board member or me: Comments@acrhouston.org
I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events in 2016.
2016 President ACR-Houston