Friends of FMCS History Foundation

The history of dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration

FRIENDS 2023 Meeting Phoenix, AZ

Friends of FMCS History Foundation Meeting 
Email sent to Friends mailing list

Not everyone knows that Roman Stoic Philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca is first credited with the adage: “Quality Over Quantity” in the first century AD, but that aptly describes the first reunion of retired and current mediators December 15th and 16th in Scottsdale, Arizona in many years.

Although small in number, the attendees brought their long experience, strong friendships, and mutual support for FMCS to bear as they renewed bonds and shared their vision for the future of the Agency.

In fact, a third of those who participated are still working full-time for the Agency. Participants traveled from both coasts and around the country to engage each other and build upon the trust forged through a love of mediation work, strong ties to FMCS, and shared experiences regarding our unique work in dispute resolution and conflict management.

Each recounted their individual narratives and what initially brought them the Agency. And, while every story had unique elements, shared features were easily identifiable throughout: a desire to assist parties in resolving their differences, utilizing skills they were born with and honed in myriad ways, and creating relationships that would draw from the parties’ contributions that would enable them to reach both personal and professional goals.

Javier Ramirez and Greg Goldstein both attended and expressed strong interest in exploring ways in which the “Friends of FMCS” group could support the Agency’s mission. Options included, but were not limited to, contributing position papers that might explore aspects pertinent to the Agency, helping to build and maintain the esprit de corps of mediators and support personnel emanating from our history, providing candid feedback as the Agency continues to evolve and adjust, all ranging from the impacts of the current Agency structure to mentoring opportunities.

The “Friends” party also had requests that would enable them to serve in a variety of capacities including an updated list of retirees, greater shared communications in anticipation of changes that would be helpful to the Agency, and appropriate occasions where “Friends” representation might be welcome, possibly at conferences, trainings or other forums.

Ultimately, the participants saw this foundation meeting to be a success. And, while a larger attendance would undoubtedly have brought additional good ideas and diversity of opinions and perspectives, the very intimacy of the small group dynamic permitted participants to be deeply engaged with the ability to fully express themselves with fewer time constraints and greater openness as well as the chance to be more candid in expressing their ideas and reactions to others’ contributions.

The Board of Friends of FMCS History Foundation will continue to explore new ways to collaborate with the Agency and build upon this strong start as it plans its next steps to support both FMCS now and in the future and keep providing a place for retirees to remain viable and engaged in the process.
I have attached the FMCS meeting report to show the interest the Agency has in continued collaboration.  I also attached a PowerPoint which was used at the event (it also offers a memorial page for deceased former FMCS employees).
We once again are accepting donations to the Friends of FMCS History Foundation.  You can send donations to Friends of FMCS History Foundation, PO Box 9517, Chesapeake VA 23321.  The donations will be used to pay non-profit fees, website maintenance, and hopefully the next Friends gathering.
Updated: January 28, 2024 — 7:40 pm
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