Meet Louise & Our Team

Louise Phipps Senft

Louise Phipps Senft

Entrepreneur, Trail Blazer, Author, Trainer, Mother, Wife and Attorney Mediator, Louise Phipps Senft founded the Baltimore Mediation Center in 1993, the first mediation and training firm in Maryland with a focus on relational approaches to negotiation and conflict resolution.  The firm is founded on a belief that people experiencing differences with each other have the capacity to engage in quality dialogue to breakthrough barriers when given a quality face to face dialogue process with a proactive neutral who believes in their capacity.  For 21 years Senft and her team have been sought after to facilitate difficult and sensitive interactions.  Ms. Senft, voted “Baltimore’s Best” Mediator by Baltimore Magazine 2002, named one of “Maryland’s Top 100 Women” for the years 2004 , 2007 and 2009 by The Daily Record, inducted into Maryland’s “Circle of Excellence” for outstanding leadership in Maryland in 2009, and honored by Smart CEO Magazine with a Brava Award as a top CEO in Maryland in 2012, has mediated over 4000 such dialogues in the last two decades of mediation work. In 2006, BMC was expanded and renamed Louise Phipps Senft and Associates/Baltimore Mediation.

In 2014 as well as in 2009, her firm was recognized as a “Top 100 MBE” minority owned enterprise in the Mid-Atlantic region. In 2007, Ms. Senft, also an attorney, was honored with one of the Baltimore Business Journal’s “Most Enterprising Woman” awards, and in May 2010, Ms. Senft was inducted into the Greater Baltimore Area’s YWCA’s Academy of Leaders with a “Special Leader of the Year” award for her work in the field of conflict resolution with outcomes to help eradicate racism. Ms. Senft was also a member of the Class of 2009 Leadership Maryland, and in 2012, Ms. Senft was invited into the Women Presidents Organization, Inc. for female founders of multi-million dollar companies.

Later this year, Ms. Senft and her husband of over 30 years, William Senft, will launch their book Being Relational: The Seven Ways to Quality Interaction and Lasting Change (Health Communications, Inc. Publishers, September 2015). The book details ways of being in relation to others that capture the heart and soul of all that is self-help. It is grounded in method, and is supported by relational conflict theory and brain science findings. The Seven Ways of being promote quality face to face interactions and positive transformation and are rooted in teachings from many sources—conflict transformation, negotiation ethics, neuroscience, multiple faith traditions and numerous popular self-help and business leadership books.  It is a unique collection of teachings that focuses on what happens in human interaction.  It is inspired by the experience of thousands of broken or strained relationships that the Senft’s and Baltimore Mediation have mediated and coached back to strength, ease and connectedness over the last two decades of their mediation work.

Ms Senft and her husband have founded the nonprofit, ORANS™: The Campaign for Relational Leadership, and Ms. Senft will launch in 2016 the ORANS Institute for Relational Leadership for corporate executives for Fortune 500 companies. Both were created for the purpose of developing leaders who will transform strained interactions with quality dialogue to create lasting positive change in their daily negotiations, organizations, families and communities.

Baltimore Mediation offers family and divorce and commercial and workplace mediation and facilitation for every variety of conflict, difficult situation or dispute.  The firm specializes in facilitating collaborative decision-making for closely held businesses, families, Fortune 100 and 500 executives, medical and health institutions, academic and religious institutions and those in litigation. Baltimore Mediation also offers nationally recognized negotiation and conflict resolution training, all from the transformative relational framework.  Ms. Senft is known nationally and internationally for her elicitive design and delivery of trainings rooted in a relational worldview, relational conflict theory and ways to approach difficult negotiations and conflicted situations which invite and foster, and never manipulate or force, change in the interaction dynamics. Senft and her team assist their clients with conflict breakthroughs, transforming the barriers into effective exchanges of meaningful dialogue and information. The outcomes are clarity and decisions that are practical and agreements that are sustainable. Working with people who desire to work out complicated or difficult situations but are not sure how, as well as consulting for those who know how but the other side is unwilling, Ms. Senft and her team have pioneered the Be Relational ™ approach.

Baltimore Mediation has designed interventions and trainings for professionals, executives, court systems, bar associations, government agencies, small and large companies, state and federal contractors, real estate and construction management firms, physicians and medical staff, long term care and assisted living facilities management, higher education faculty, religious and clergy as well as mental health and family law practitioners.  A hallmark of her training and teaching is a combination of transformative conflict theory and a focus on each negotiator’s and mediator’s self-awareness and self-observation of their emotional defense mechanisms and related somatic experiences. With a belief, supported by neuroscience, that when one has method to relax the three centers of intelligence, head, heart and body, they will be more open and authentic in response to conflict as it unfolds.

Ms. Senft has been a national leader for transformative mediation for separation and divorce and for Executive Leadership teams in the US.  She has provided mediation and facilitation services to thousands of individuals in family conflicts, trust and estate conflicts, post divorce disputes, employment and business contract disputes, closely held family businesses, organizations and foundations, and commercial and civil litigation matters. She is one of the originators of “marital mediation”, including pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, for couples in conflict wishing to preserve their marriages while making difficult decisions.  And she is the originator of  “little m” interventions for business executives and managers wishing to maintain productivity while working through stressful transitions.

In 2009, Ms. Senft was invited by the Nakwatsvewat Institute at the Hopi Indian Nation to begin work with Hopi clan elders and tribe leaders to design a mediation program to assist Hopis grappling with issues of family preservation and Hopi culture preservation by providing conflict transformation training “Hopi-ized” for and by Hopis. She continues her work with the Hopi making trips each year to their Reservation to continue with training and mediating issues of governance, land and property disputes and family and clan conflicts. Ms. Senft is also an international negotiation and mediation trainer, having trained attorneys, businessmen and women, and judges in Europe, speaking to the Roman Bar Association in Rome, and with the Italian national clerks and the Florence Mayor’s Office in Florence, as well as being invited to speak at the first European Transformative Mediation Congress which drew interest from across Europe in 2011, and training professionals in Germany, Portugal, Italy and Slovenia most recently.

She wrote a monthly column for The Daily Record, The Negotiating Table: Turning Problems into Opportunities for over ten years. Ms. Senft’s work with divorcing families has been featured in numerous media interviews. Ms. Senft’s work with family businesses is featured in the documentary, Resolutionary People (2002), produced by Emmy award winner Richard Chisolm. Ms. Senft’s work with corporate and public policy multiparty facilitation is featured in the book the Promise of Mediation (Jossey-Bass, 2004). Ms. Senft’s work in elder care mediation was the featured story on ABC World news with Charles Gibson in July 27, 2007.

She has been interviewed by NPR and has been a guest on NPR radio affiliates and other radio programs. She has provided keynote speeches throughout the US and Canada. Ms. Senft was asked to speak at the United Nations in 2008 to inspire young leaders worldwide to champion an elicitive and relational approach to cultural and economic differences and to use mediators to assist as “Communication Brokers”, so that they can have a “Beyond Win-win” experience, phrases she coined.  Ms. Senft has pioneered the value of self-awareness training and practices for conflict interveners teaching as adjunct faculty for Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation Insight Initiative for attorneys, CEO’s, professionals and executives worldwide, for Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, MBA Bio-technology Program and the Business of Medicine Program and as an adjunct law professor for 19 years at the University of Maryland School of Law.

Ms. Senft’s background in the family environment includes domestic mediation, separation and divorce, marital property and tax liability, domestic violence, high conflict, gay and lesbian partnerships, bankruptcy, religious annulment, parental rights, grandparents’ rights, adoption, cognitive- psychological- social child development, parenting plans, religious faith and doctrine on marriage, adultery, adult grief and traumatic incident reduction, loss of child, abortion, guardianship, addiction, alcoholism, estates and trusts, real estate and personal property asset division, estate planning, end of life issues, elder care decision-making, and closely held family business, shareholder disputes and every variety of partnership conflict.  She has been the chosen mediator for over 4000 marital, separation or divorce mediations both in the personal and in the business context and has been interviewed on the subject of divorce and family conflict by various media.   In 2009, the Administrative Office of the Courts of Maryland asked Ms. Senft to design an assessment program for court-rostered domestic mediators modeled on her Practitioner’s Institute, a formative and summative assessment based on actual real-time observed performance of the mediator. She has expanded this program for other mediators nationwide and for state bar associations.

Ms. Senft’s extensive experience in the business, corporate, organizational and litigation environment includes relational and interest-based negotiation and bargaining, insurance, insurance coverage disputes, personal injury, wrongful death, Medicare and medical disclosure concerns, medical malpractice, bankruptcy, business partnerships, alliance formations, succession planning, workplace discrimination and ADA issues, organizational visioning, congregational conflicts and business/workplace mediation including interdepartmental issues, sexual harassment and EEO complaints, condominium and real estate development, construction and commercial real property management and contracting, public dialogue, regulatory disputes, public policy process, environmental policy and regulation, city planning, Board of Directors management, executive leadership teams, c-suite conflicts and disputes and systems approaches.   She also has a background in insurance and complex commercial litigation and professional malpractice matters.  She was selected as one of six mediators by the American Arbitration Association to mediate complex personal injury cases and was selected by the EEOC to mediate litigated employment discrimination cases for the Mid-Atlantic Region for a decade of the 1990’s. In addition to mediating many hundreds of business, workplace, EEO and litigated disputes, she is called upon regularly to facilitate quality conversations over difficult issues and meaningful dialogue when there is complexity involving executives, managers and boards of directors.

In the international arena, Ms. Senft is one of the founding members of Mediators Beyond Borders™, a non-profit offering conflict resolution aid and training for initiatives such as the Child Soldier Project in Ghana, the Greek Immigration Dialogue initiative in Athens and the Katrina Mediation Project in New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi.  She served as Executive Chair of Training for MBB domestically and internationally for four years and speaks internationally on behalf of the MBB mission of dialogue. She is also an elected member of the Board of Trustees of Convergence: Center for Public Policy Resolution, a Washington, DC non-profit focused on bipartisan dialogue on pressing US political issues of the day, including US-Muslim relations, Re-imagining K-12 Education, and Health and Wellness Project on Obesity and Diabetes.

Ms. Senft has been an adjunct Law Professor at the University of Maryland School of Law since 1996 teaching various courses in Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution (ADR) for Lawyers, Negotiation and Mediation Theory and Practice. She designed and continues to teach what was the first certificated mediation training course offered by a Maryland law school.  Her first teaching appointment was at Villa Julie College, now Stevenson University, from 1994-1996. From the mid-1990’s to the present, she has also been an invited guest faculty to teach courses at Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation Insight Initiative, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, Johns Hopkins MBA Bio-technology Program, the Johns Hopkins Business of Medicine Program, and Loyola University’s Sellinger School of Business. All of her teaching focuses on conflict transformation theory and the incorporation of personal reactivity and self-awareness practices and methods for real-life application.

Ms. Senft is a certified Enneagram teacher in the Narrative Tradition and associated with the Trifold School for Enneagram Studies and the International Association of Enneagram Teachers in the Narrative Tradition. The Enneagram is an ancient and modern system for understanding personality and what motivates human beings. She offers Enneagram workshops on mindfulness, greater productivity and personal satisfaction, emotional intelligence and self-awareness for judges, lawyers, businesses executives, managers, parents and families. An area of focus that has brought Ms. Senft great joy over the years is using the Enneagram and the relational transformative approach to conflict to assist families and business co-workers in having healthier and more satisfying interactions. She has pioneered reliance on self-awareness and the Enneagram for the conflict resolution and mediation communities as a means of quality and ethical practice and personal and professional excellence.

Ms. Senft was the first mediation trainer nationally to be approved as an Accredited Continuing Education Trainer (ACET) by the Association for Conflict Resolution in 2010, providing her the distinction of approval for teaching on any subject in the conflict resolution field as an exceptional life-long teacher. Ms. Senft was one of the first elected Associates of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation. She is a nationally Certified Transformative Mediator™ and has also been certified by the Maryland Council on Dispute Resolution, the only two performance-based certifications of skill level in the US. She is the architect for Maryland’s Performance Based Assessment for Transformative Mediators—The Practitioner’s Institute—which served as an assessment model for a program for Maryland Family Court Appointed Family Mediators that launched in 2009, part of the statewide Maryland Program for Mediator Excellence, the first in the country. Ms. Senft is also the co-architect of the state of Maryland’s Mediation Ombuds Program, designed to handle consumer mediation complaints throughout Maryland with a restorative approach. Ms. Senft has earned the status of Advanced Practitioner in the Family Section’s Academy of Family Mediators as a member of the international Association of Conflict Resolution’s (ACR), formerly the Academy of Family Mediators.

Ms. Senft and Baltimore Mediation are best known nationally for their trainings on conflict transformation and their offerings of certificated training courses in General and Advanced Mediation and Conflict Resolution and Domestic and Workplace Mediation with a focus on the transformative approach. Ms. Senft was an early member of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation. She, Larry Hoover and her firm were chosen by the R. B. Bush and J. Folger team to pilot training for teaching transformative conflict theory and state of the art terms of Empowerment and Recognition with practical application in the early 1990’s. Baltimore Mediation’s training courses, with an added emphasis on mediator self-awareness, ethical practice, fostering quality interaction, empowerment, informed decision-making by the parties, and recognition were the trainings of choice for the Maryland Judiciary for over 15 years when Maryland became a national leader in the US for mediation use.  BMC’s trainings are tailored for three audiences: (1) professionals, including executives, attorneys, doctors, therapists, clergy, businessmen and women, human resources managers and educators; (2) families, youth and parents; and (3) staff working in courts and agencies and non-profits. She also designed and offers twice annually the Practitioner’s Institute for advanced mediators who desire an intense assessment for certification as well as a series of half day and one day workshops on the Enneagram and Conflict Transformation and continuing education short courses for various professional groups.

She is co-author of the final chapter of the ADR Handbook for Judges, ed. D. Stienstra & S. Yates, American Bar Association and Federal Judicial Center (2004), has her work facilitating public policy conflicts featured in Chapter 3 “Gaining Sight of the Goal of Transformation,” of the revised Promise of Mediation, 2d. ed., B. Bush & J. Folger, Jossey-Bass Publishers (2004) and is co-author of the chapter “Marital Mediation: Transforming Marital Conflict through Facilitated Dialogue—Reclaiming Personal Strength and Marital Connectedness”, with N. Good in Transformative Mediation: A Sourcebook, Resources for Conflict Intervention Practitioners and Programs, ed. J. Folger, B. Bush, and D. Della Noce, ISCT and Asso. Conflict Resolution Publishers (2010).  Ms. Senft is working on a book on self-observation methods for the negotiator and mediator to be published by the Enneagram Publishers. Her book Being Relational: The Seven Ways, co-authored with her husband, Bill Senft, will be published by HCI Publishers in 2015. In 2016, Ms. Senft will also be publishing a series of booklets: The Little Book for Couples: How to Transform Conflict Interaction with your Teenager; The Little Book for Managers: How to Transform Conflict Interaction with your Staff and Co-Workers.

In her field of conflict resolution and conflict transformation, throughout the 1990’s to the present, she has served continuously in various capacities for the Association for Conflict Resolution, on its Ethics Committee, Mediation News staff, Training Approval Committee and Family Section Advisory Council, where she served as Co-Chair. She also served as Co-Chair of the Baltimore City Bar Association’s first ADR Committee in the early 1990’s, and she was elected and served on the Maryland State Bar Association’s ADR Section Council in its early years of formation.  In 1998, she was appointed by Chief Judge Bell to the Maryland Court of Appeals’ ADR Commission and the task force on Professional Responsibility in ADR.  In 2000, Ms. Senft was appointed by the highest court to Chair the first statewide Family ADR Initiative. She was the co-architect of the state’s mediator grievance process, The MPME Ombudsman Program, and was subsequently appointed as Chair in 2003 of the Mediator Ombudsman Program for the Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office. During that time she also served in 2002 as President of the Maryland Council for Dispute Resolution with a focus on creating a strong internal infrastructure for the future and representing the views of the private practitioner on MACRO initiatives. She is a founding member of Mediators Beyond Borders, whose mission is to build sustainable conflict resolution capacity for a more peaceable world, where she served as Director of Training from 2007-2010 establishing protocols and quality control and the template for the current MBB training program. She also served as an elected board member of the Global Negotiation Insight Initiative, an auxiliary entity created in 2008 as a result of the work at Harvard’s Law School’s Program on Negotiation Insight Initiative. Since 2011 she has served as a Trustee on the Board for Convergence: Center for Policy Resolution in Washington, DC, where she served as co-chair of Development.

She has served as a Member of the corporate board for Saval Food Service and Deli Brand since 2009.  Ms. Senft also has served non-profit organizations whose mission she champions including acting in the role of Treasurer and on the executive board of Network 2000 whose mission is to place women on corporate boards and to mentor rising female executives; serving as elected board member for the Coalition of Geriatric Services in Maryland, whose mission is to expand compassionate alternative services to seniors at home and in residential living; and as Vice President of the Roland Park Civic League for six years, whose focus is on civic engagement and the preservation of historic green space in Baltimore City, the monitoring of other land developments and the creation of a 100 year Master Plan for the preservation and modernization of the historic garden community designed by the Olmsted Brothers. She was also a founding member of the Tuesday Girls whose mission was to provide networking opportunities for women executives and business owners; was a partner in Accelerent, a national platform for mid-sized corporate businesses in the Mid-Atlantic; served as a corporate mentor for the COMMIT Foundation, whose mission is to mentor mid-level female veterans to reach their full potential personally and professionally; and served for nine years on the board of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland with a focus on their capital campaign to expand services for inner-city girls.  She has also served Board positions in her children’s schools and her church, including six years on the National Catholic Review Board for Washington, DC/Arlington; many years on various committees for the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, where she was also the first woman President of the Parish Council; Grace Methodist Pre-School Board of Directors; the Cathedral School’s CASPA, the Parent’s Association for her Children’s grade school; the Gilman School Parents’ Association, the Bryn Mawr School Health and Wellness Committee, the McDonogh School Parents’ Association, and the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Catholic Community Foundation, where she is currently chair of Distributions and oversight of a Catholic community fund of Four Million Dollars for donor designated services. She also travels biennially with the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and a medical team to Lourdes, France, a place of spiritual healing, tending to the needs of “malades’ suffering from stage IV cancer and other debilitating and life-ending diseases.

Other highlights include that Ms. Senft was selected as part of the first national certified mediation training team for the United States Postal Service REDRESS Program for EEO/discrimination complaints and other workplace disputes. From 1998 through 2001, she trained mediators across the country as part of the USPS national rollout, which trained over 2500 outside neutrals from 32 states, as well as over 18,000 labor and management representatives.

Ms. Senft was the initiator, Co-Creator, Lead Trainer and Supervisor for the Baltimore City Circuit Court Family Mediation Services program from 1998-2005, which focuses on custody and visitation lawsuits providing transformative mediation services for their resolution, which continues to serve thousands of Baltimore families in the court system annually.

Ms. Senft was the co-founder of The Safe Haven Network:  a church, police, school, and community safety initiative for children in Baltimore City which has provided safe shelters before and after school for children and conflict intervention training and safety skills to community residents and school officials since from 1993 to 2013.

Ms. Senft served as Chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Youth Citizenship and Violence Prevention’s Out-of-Schools Committee in 1995-96, and provided technical assistance in programming, violence reduction education and evaluation for the Governor’s office on Crime Control and Prevention’s state and federal funded initiative for community after school programs for late elementary and middle school youth throughout Maryland, 1996-1999.

Ms. Senft has served on numerous Bar Association committees, including presidential appointments to the Special Committee which drafted the Guidelines for the Prevention of Sexual Harassment adopted by the Maryland State Bar for law firms throughout the State, and the Chair of the 1994 publication “Baltimore’s Children and Their Families.”   She was asked by television’s Arts and Entertainment to help script the TV pilot, The Mediator.  She is listed in the Worldwide Who’s Who and the International Who’s Who.

Prior to founding Baltimore Mediation, Ms. Senft was a litigator and trial lawyer engaged in practice at the Baltimore law firm, Whiteford, Taylor and Preston in the areas of insurance, commercial defense and family law. She is a Dame in the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta. She hails from Springfield, Illinois, was inducted into the Sacred Heart-Griffin High School Hall of Fame in 2010, attended the University of Virginia, where she was President of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and has served since graduation on the Class of 1983 Class Reunion Committee; attended Washington & Lee School of Law, where she was named Most Outstanding Woman Law Student, resurrected the Women Law Students Organization and was the first female Executive Committee representative for the honor system for both the undergraduate and graduate students since the founding in 1749. She is married to Bill Senft and is the mother of five wonderful children.



  • Certified Teacher, Trifold School for Enneagram Studies (2009-present)
  • Certified Teacher, Enneagram Professional Teaching Program (2002-2004)
  • Juris Doctorate, Washington & Lee School of Law, Lexington, VA (1985-1988)
  • Bachelors of Arts, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (1979-1983)
  • Sacred Heart Academy, Springfield, IL (1975-1979)

Professional Experience

  • Founder and CEO, Baltimore Mediation Center d/b/a Louise Phipps Senft & Assoc./Baltimore Mediation, Baltimore MD (1994-present)
  • Attorney, Whiteford, Taylor and Preston, LLP, Baltimore MD (1988-1994)
  • Co-Architect, Maryland State Mediator Ombudsman Program for the Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office and the Maryland Program for Mediator Excellence (2009-2011)
  • Co-Director, Lead Trainer, Supervisor, Baltimore City Circuit Court and Shepherd Pratt Community  Outreach Partnership, Family Mediation Services Program (1998-2005)
  • Consultant and Technical Assistant, Governor’s Office on Crime Control and Prevention, After Schools Programs (1996-1999)
  • Transformative Mediation National Training Team, United States Postal Service, Washington DC (1996- 1999)
  • Co-Founder, Baltimore City Public Schools, The Safe Haven Network, Baltimore, MD (1993-2013)
  • Co-Founder, Mediators Beyond Borders (national and international non-profit) Washington DC (2006)
  • Founding Director, Convergence: Center for Public Policy Resolution, Washington DC (2010-present)

Academic Teaching Experience

  • Adjunct Law Professor, University of Maryland School of Law, Baltimore, MD (1996-present)
  • Visiting Professor, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (2008)
  • Visiting Professor, Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business, Baltimore, MD (2006-2007)
  • Visiting Professor, Johns Hopkins University, Blumberg School of Public Policy, Baltimore, MD (2006)
  • Adjunct Professor, Loyola University Sellinger School of Business, Timonium, MD (1998-2000)
  • Adjunct Professor, Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation, Insight Initiative, Boston, MA (Summer Program)
  • Visiting Professor, University of Baltimore School of Law, Baltimore, MD (Summer 1999)
  • Adjunct Professor, Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University), Stevenson, MD (1994-1996)

Professional Collaborations/Projects

  • Mediators Beyond Borders, Greek Immigrant Initiative, Athens, Greece (2012)
  • Transformative Mediation Training Program and Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts, Lexington, KY (2010-13)
  • Conflict Transformation and Mediation Training Project with Growing Me Executive Coaching Association, Lisbon, Portugal (2012)
  • Conflict Transformation and MBB with Roman Bar Association, Rome, Italy (2012)
  • Conflict Transformation and MBB with Milan Mayor’s Cabinet, Milan, Italy (2012)
  • Conflict Transformation and Mediation Training Project with Hamburg Mediation, Hamburg, Germany (2011)
  • Conflict Transformation, Self-Awareness and Neuroscience Insights with Slovenian Conflict Transformation Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2011)
  • Illinois Department on Aging, Intra-agency Collaborative (2013-14)
  • Olmstead Brothers’ Roland Park in Baltimore City Master Plan with Mayor and City Council (2009-2012)
  • Nakwatsvewat Institute at the Hopi Indian Nation, Marital Mediation Project, Second Mesa, AZ (2009)
  • Domestic Mediator Performance Based Assessment Project “The Practitioner’s Institute” for the Maryland Family Court Appointed Family Mediators, Administrative Office of the Courts, Annapolis, MD (2009)
  • Gilchrist Hospice, Patient Family Collaborative (2008-2010)
  • Maryland Mediator and Conflict Resolution Office, “Mediator Excellence Program”, Annapolis (2008-2015)
  • Mediators Beyond Borders, Katrina Mediation Project, New Orleans, LA and Biloxi, MS (2008 -10)
  • Maryland Commission on Human Rights, Mediation Program for Discrimination in Public Accommodations (2008-09)
  • Roland Park Civic League and City of Baltimore Green Space Preservation in Roland Park (2006)
  • Maryland Governor’s Office of Children, Youth & Families, Interagency Collaboration for youth (2005)
  • Maryland’s Performance Based Assessment for Transformative Mediators—“The Practitioner’s Institute”  (2004-present)
  • Baltimore City Head Start Collaboration (2004)
  • Streuver Bros. Eccles & Rouse and H&S Development Corp. Harbor Point Project, Plan to develop Allied Chemical site and surrounding area/neighborhood into “green” buildings on waterfront,  honoring history preservation, land use preservation, and natural resource preservation, Baltimore Inner Harbor (2003-04)
  • Maryland Family ADR Initiative (2000-2004)
  • Maryland Environmental Service, State of the Union Collaboration (2000-2003)
  • Domestic Mediation Training Program for the Maryland Judiciary, Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts, Annapolis, MD (1999-2005)
  • United States Postal Service REDRESS Program (Lead trainer, nationwide, trained over 10,000 employees, 1998-2001)

Awards and Distinctions

  • “Top 100 MBE Award”, Minority Owned Business Enterprises for the Mid-Atlantic Region (2014)
  •  “Brava Award”, SmartCEO Magazine (Top 15 Maryland Female CEOs, 2012)
  • “Most Spirited Woman Award,” the American Red Cross, MyCity4Her and the Baltimore Business Journal (2011)
  • “Special Leader of the Year Award”, YWCA, for work in leadership and the eradication of racism (2010)
  • “ACET”, First Mediation Trainer Nationally Approved as an Accredited Continuing Education Trainer (ACET) by the National Association for Conflict Resolution, (2010)
  • “Hall of Fame”, Sacred Heart-Griffin High School Hall of Fame, Springfield, IL (2010)
  •  “Maryland Circle of Excellence,” The Daily Record (2009)
  • “Most Enterprising Woman Award”, Baltimore Business Journal  (2009)
  • “Top 100 MBE Award”, Minority Owned Business Enterprises for the Mid-Atlantic Region (2009)
  •  “Maryland’s Top 100 Women”, The Daily Record (2004, 2007, 2009)
  •  “Baltimore’s Best” Mediator, Baltimore Magazine (2002)
  • “Advanced Practitioner”, the Association of Conflict Resolution, Family Section (2001-present)
  • “Certified Transformative Mediator”, Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, only performance-based measure for national certification (1999)
  •  “Certified Mediator”, Maryland Council on Dispute Resolution, the only performance-based certification in the State of Maryland (1997)
  • “Advanced Practitioner”, Academy of Family Mediators (1992-2001)
  •  “Pro Bono Award”, Whiteford, Taylor and Preston, LLP (1990)
  •  “Most Outstanding Woman Law Student”, Washington & Lee School of Law (1988)

Corporate Director and Board Positions

  • Director, Saval Foods and Deli Brands, Board of Directors and Advisors, Elkridge, MD (2011 – present)

Civic Volunteer Director and Board Positions

  • Member, Membership Committee, Center Club, Baltimore (2014-present)
  • Tri-Chair, Association of Conflict Resolution, Family and Elder Mediation National Retreat (2013)
  • Mediator & Consultant, Athens Dialogue Initiative (2012-2013)
    • Director and Chair of Distributions, Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Catholic Community Foundation (2012 – present)
    • Trustee, Board of Trustees, Convergence: Center for Public Policy Resolution, Washington, DC (2011 – 2016)
  • Co-Chair, Family Section Advisory Council, national Association of Conflict Resolution (2011-2014)
  • Member, Roland Park Capital Campaign Committee for Green Space and Preservation (2011-present)
  • Publication Board, national Association of Conflict Resolution (2010)
  • Facilitator, Focus Groups, Cathedral of Mary Our Queen Clergy/Parishioner Collaboration (2010)
  • Member, Stewardship Committee, Cathedral of Mary Our Queen Church (2010-2013)
  • Steering Committee, Roland Park Master Plan, Baltimore, MD (2009-11)
  • Director and Treasurer, Network 2000, Baltimore, MD (2009–10)
  • Facilitator, Roland Park Civic League and Baltimore Country Club land dispute (2008-09)
  • Calvert County, St. Mary’s County Community Mediation Program (2008-2014)
  • Charles County Community Mediation Program (2008)
  • Vice President, Roland Park Civic League, Baltimore, MD (2007-2012)
  • Representative, Maryland’s Task Force on Mediation Definitions (2007-09)
  • Executive Training Chair, Mediators Beyond Borders (2007-2010)
  • Community Capacity Building Trainer, Hurricane Katrina Project, Mediators Beyond Borders (2006-07)
  • Group Creator, Maryland Program for Mediator Excellence (2006)
  • Elected Plat Representative, Roland Park Civic League, Baltimore, MD (2006-07)
  • Elected Representative, Maryland’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office, Task Force on Professional Responsibility in ADR (2006-2007)
  • Pilgrim, Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Annual Pilgrimage, Lourdes France (2005, 2007, 2010, 2012)
  • Independent Schools Liaison, Cathedral School Parents’ Association (2004-06)
  • Council Member, Maryland Mediator Excellence Council (2004-2006)
  • Director, National Catholic Review Board for sex offenses, Washington, DC and Arlington, VA (2004-10)
  • Representative for Private Mediator Practitioners, Maryland MACRO Future Search Conference, (2003)
  • Elected Representative, Maryland State Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Council (2000-01)
  • Elected Representative for Maryland Council on Dispute Resolution for state’s Mediator Quality Assurance Committee (2001-2003)
  • Appointed Chair, MACRO’s Maryland’s Family Mediation Initiative (2001-2008)
  • Appointed Member, Chief Judge Bell’s Court of Appeals ADR Advisory Cabinet (2001-2014)
  • Appointed Commissioner, Chief Judge Bell’s Maryland Court of Appeals’ Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission (1998-2000)
  • Co-Creator, Worcester County Circuit Court Family Mediation Program (1998-2003)
  • Director, Grace Methodist Pre-School Board of Directors, Baltimore (1996 – 1998)
  • Co-Chair, Baltimore City Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section (1996-97)
    • Director, Community Mediation Program Board of Directors, Baltimore, MD (1996-97)
    • Co-Creator, Sheppard Pratt and Baltimore City Circuit Court Family Mediation Program (1995-2001)
  • Chair, Governor’s Task Force on Youth Citizenship and Violence Prevention, Out-of-Schools Committee (1995-1997)
  • Appointee, Governor’s Task Force on Youth Citizenship and Violence Prevention (1995-96)
  • Appointee, Governor Glendenning’s Transition Team (1995)
  • President, Special Committee drafting Guidelines for the Prevention of Sexual Harassment adopted by the Maryland State Bar for Maryland law firms (1994-1995)
  • Publication Chair, Baltimore City Bar Association, Baltimore’s Children and Their Families  (1994)
  • Co-Founder and Chair, Safe Haven Network, Baltimore, MD (1993-2013)
  • First Female President, Parish Council, Cathedral of Mary Our Queen Catholic Church (1992-94)
  • Facilitator, Cathedral of Mary Our Queen School sexual education conflict (1992)
  • Vice President, Parish Council, Cathedral of Mary Our Queen (1991-92)
  • Director, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland Board of Directors, Baltimore, MD (1990-98)
  • Troop Leader, Boy Scouts of Central Maryland, Ellicott City, MD (1988-90)
  • First Female Honor Council, Executive Committee representative, Washington & Lee School of Law (1986-87)
  • Law School Representative, Committee for Admittance of Females to Washington and Lee University (1985-87)
  • President, Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, University of Virginia (1982-1983)
  • Sorority Rush Co-Chair, Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, University of Virginia (1981-82)
  • Sorority Rush Recommendations Chair, Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, University of Virginia (1980-81)
  • Pledge Class President, Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, University of Virginia (1980)

Professional Memberships

  • Catholic Business Network (2015-present)
  • XPX, Maryland Exit Planning Exchange (2014-present)
  • Women Presidents Organization (2013-present)
  • Maryland Chamber of Commerce (2012-present)
  • Women in Business, Center Club (2012-present)
  • Accelerant (2011-2014)
  • International Enneagram Association (2010-present)
  • Leadership Maryland, Class of 2009
  • Teachers of Trifold Studies in Enneagram Narrative Tradition (2008-present)
  • Family Section Advisory Council, Association of Conflict Resolution (2008-2014)
  • Maryland Program for Mediator Excellence (2006-present)
  • Mediators Beyond Borders (2006-present)
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Professional Mediators Group (2005-2009)
  • Network 2000 (2004-2013)
  • Association of Enneagram Teachers in the Narrative Tradition (2002-present)
  • Ethics Committee, Association of Conflict Resolution (2001-2010)
  • Training Committee, Association of Conflict Resolution (2001-2014)
  • Association of Conflict Resolution (2001-present)
  • American Arbitration Association, Mediation Section (1999-2001)
  • Associate and Affiliate, Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation (1997-2008)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Maryland State Bar Association (1994-2010)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Bar Association of Baltimore City (1988-1994)
  • Family Law Section, Bar Association of Baltimore City (1988-2004)
  • Young Lawyers Section, Bar Association of Baltimore City (1988-1994)
  • Women’s Law Center (1988-1994)

Other Memberships

  • Center Club, Baltimore, MD (2009-present)
  • Roland Park Women’s Club, Baltimore, MD (2008-present)
  • Parishioner, St Mary’s Star of the Sea, Cape May, NJ (2007-present)
  • Mt Vernon Women’s Club, Baltimore, MD (2006-present)
  • Dame, Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta (2006-present)
  • Roland Park Civic League (1995-present)
  • Parishioner, Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Baltimore, MD (1988-present)

Author, Books, Articles

Being Relational: The Seven Ways, Senft, Louise Phipps & W. Senft, Health Communication Inc. Books (2015)

“Transformative Mediation: Transforming the Adversarial Ethic”, Senft, Louise Phipps, Experience Magazine, American Bar Association (Winter 2015)

“Relational Approach”, blog (2013-present)

“Quality Dialogue”, twitter (2013-present)

“Mediation Changes People”, Senft, Louise Phipps, Translated into French (2010)

“Mediation Basics for Biotech: How to Transform Your Negotiation”, Senft, Louise Phipps, John’s Hopkins University, Medical Innovation and Business (Oct. 2010)

“Legal System Must Change to Help Families”, Senft, Louise Phipps, Unified Family Court Connection, Center for Families, Children and the Courts (2010)

“Lawyers in Mediation: Conflict or Opportunity?”, Senft, Louise Phipps, Roman Bar Association, Concilia, Rome, Italy (2010)

“Marital Mediation: Transforming Marital Conflict through Facilitated Dialogue—Reclaiming Personal Strength and Marital Connectedness”, Senft, Louise Phipps, Good, Nancy, Transformative Mediation: A sourcebook, Resources for Conflict Intervention Practitioners and Programs, Bush, B. & Folger, J. (eds.), Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and the Association for Conflict Resolution Publishers (2010)

“Vocational Truthfulness: Having the Courage to Love and Need Our Work”, Senft, Louise Phipps with Aloi, M.J., ACResolution (Spring 2009)

“Mediating End of Life Decisions with Quality Interaction”, Senft, Louise Phipps, Senft, William W., ACResolution (Summer 2009)

“Mediating End of Life Decisions: Meeting Basic Nutrition Needs and the Advanced Health Care Directive”, Senft, Louise Phipps, Senft, William W., MCDR Resolutions (Summer 2008)

“Mediation Changes People”, Senft, Louise Phipps, Community Mediation of St. Mary’s County News (Fall 2008)

“Quality Deliberation and Quality Decision Making: Mediation from a Transformative Approach”, Senft, Louise Phipps, ACResolution (Winter 2007)

“Conflict Transformation for Separating Couples”, Senft, Louise Phipps, ACResolution (Summer 2005)

“Katrina: Turning Problems into Opportunities,” Senft, Louise Phipps, ACResolution (Fall 2005)

“The Interrelationship of Ethics, Emotional Intelligence and Self-Awareness”, Senft, Louise Phipps, ACResolution (Spring 2004)

“ADR in the Courts: Progress, Problems and Possibilities”, Senft, Louise Phipps & Cynthia A. Savage, ADR Handbook for Judges, Stienstra D. & Yates S. (eds.), American Bar Association and Federal Judicial Center (2004)

“Gaining Sight of the Goal of Transformation”, Senft, Louise Phipps, Promise of Mediation, Bush B., Folger, J. & Della Noce,  D. (eds.), Jossey-Bass (2004)

“Portrait of a Good Mediator”, Senft, Louise Phipps, Maryland Bar Journal, 8, Vol. 36, No. 4 (2003)

“ADR in the Courts: Progress, Problems and Possibilities’, Senft, Louise Phipps, Cynthia Savage, 101 PENN ST. L. REV.l22 (2003)

“Preliminary Motion for Mediation: New Tool for Litigators,” Senft, Louise Phipps, Maryland State Bar Association, ADReport, Vol. 1, No. 2, (2002)

“Should a Mediator Draft Settlement Agreements?”, Senft, Louise Phipps, Academy of Family Mediators, 9, Mediation News, Vol. 19, No.3 (2000)

“When to Mediate Business Disputes”, Senft, Louise Phipps, Maryland Business Law Watch, 25 (Feb. 1998)

“Ten Times to Try Mediating Personal and Family Disputes,” Senft, Louise Phipps, Maryland Family Law Monthly, 5 (Apr.1998)


Author, Periodicals: The Negotiating Table: Turning Problems into Opportunities Monthly Column, The Daily Record (2004-13)


Author, Teaching and Training Manuals:

Senft, Louise Phipps (2014), Relational Negotiation Training Manual

Senft, Louise Phipps (2009-2015), Conflict Transformation and Self-Awareness: the Enneagram as Catalyst

Senft, Louise Phipps (2010), Family, Clan and Tribal Conflicts: A Relational Approach and Skills for the Hopi Indian Nation.

Senft, Louise Phipps (1997-2015), Conflict Transformation and Mediation Skills with a Focus on Third Party Intervention and Systems Training Manual, with Nancy Good

Senft, Louise Phipps (1996 – 2015), Conflict Transformation and Mediation Skills Manual for Domestic Disputes with a focus on Working with Family Systems, Child Custody, Parenting Plans, Domestic Violence and Child Support Training Manual, early editions with Nancy Good

Senft, Louise Phipps (1996 – 2015), Conflict Transformation and Mediation Skills with a focus on Self-Awareness Training Manual

Senft, Louise Phipps (1997 – 2015), Conflict Transformation and Mediation Skills with a focus on Legal Standards and Ethics Training Manual, early editions with Larry Hoover

Senft, Louise Phipps (1997 – 2013), Conflict Transformation and Mediation Skills for Divorcing Couples with a focus on Quality Decision-making for Marital Property Issues Training Manual

Senft, Louise Phipps (1997 – 2015), Conflict Transformation and Knowing Thyself: the Enneagram as Catalyst Training Manual

Senft, Louise Phipps (1998 – 2014), Conflict Transformation and Mediation Skills for the Workplace Training Manual

Senft, Louise Phipps (2008, 2004), Conflict Transformation Skills and Approaches for Families Training Manual

Senft, Louise Phipps (2005, 2002, 1996), Conflict Transformation and Mediation Skills for Working with Multiple Parties Training Manual

Senft, Louise Phipps (2005, 2000, 1994), Conflict Resolution Skills for Peer Mediators, Teachers and Peer Mediation   Programs Training Manual

Senft, Louise Phipps and Larry Hoover (1996, 1995, 1994), Basic Conflict Resolution and Mediation Skills Training Manual

Senft, Louise Phipps and Nancy Good (1996) Conflict Resolution and Intervention Skills for Organizational Conflict Training Manual

Senft, Louise Phipps (1994), Conflict Resolution Skills and Approaches for Families and Children Training Manual

Senft, Louise Phipps (1993), Conflict Resolution Skills for the Safe Haven Network Children at Risk Training Manual

Ms. Senft has also been featured on Radio, Film and Television, and she has been invited to give numerous Talks, Presentations, Speeches, and Keynotes across the US and on three continents.



Ms. Senft can be reached at

Beverly Hovmand

Beverly Hovmand

Beverly Hovmand has fourteen years of experience as a mediator with a focus on workplace, family, and eldercare mediation, the last twelve as an associate member of Baltimore Mediation. She also acts as a co-trainer with Louise Phipps Senft for Baltimore Mediation’s annual trainings including: Basic Mediation Skills, Mediation for Custody and Parenting Plans and Mediation for Workplace Issues.For the past twelve years Ms. Hovmand has been a mediator for the Baltimore City Circuit Court. Beverly helped design and is a trainer for SHAPE (Shared Parenting Experience), an educational parenting program provided by the Baltimore City Circuit Court for unmarried parents. Beverly is a volunteer mediator for the Commission on Civil Rights, Baltimore, Maryland.Prior to her training as a mediator, Beverly worked for fifteen years as a facilitator, trainer, and consultant within the Employee Assistance field conducting trainings for managers and supervisors on managing conflict in organizational settings. She had a private psychotherapy practice for ten years working with individuals and families to resolve conflict in their relationships and effectively manage life transitions and family change.Beverly completed her undergraduate work at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, graduate work at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, Baltimore, Maryland and is a licensed clinical social worker. She is also trained in online dispute resolution (ODR).

Ms. Hovmand is a responder with the Workplace Trauma Center, a national provider of crisis management for business industry and government, having conducted over one hundred fifty interventions including support services at Dulles Airport following the events of September 11, 2001.Beverly is a member of the Maryland Program for Mediator Excellence and the Association for Conflict Resolution.

Bill Senft

Bill Senft

Bill Senft, CPA and attorney, specializes in the mediation of business contract, partnership and workplace disputes including those giving rise to EEO complaints. He has served private, governmental and non-profit employers providing a neutral and confidential process for working through the difficult conflicts that arise in workplace relationships. Bill also provides mediation for corporations, partnerships, foundations and family businesses including financial planning, management and corporate control issues, business succession planning and other disputes in the family and business context – always practicing within the relational approach to mediation.For more than 20 years Bill has served as a finance consultant and legal advisor to entrepreneurs – with clients in many industries and the non-profit sector. Bill has vast experience in corporate transactions, fundraising, tax and finance planning for families and family business, debt workouts and numerous other legal and financial matters.Bill has served as Adjunct Faculty at the Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business and at Loyola University of Maryland Sellinger School of Business teaching courses in Negotiation and Negotiation Ethics. He is a graduate of the McIntire School of Business at the University of Virginia and began his career as an accountant with Price Waterhouse before attending law school at Washington and Lee University. He practiced bankruptcy and financial workout law at law firms in Baltimore and Washington DC.

Bill serves the community through involvement in community, educational and religious organizations. You can reach him at

Judge Ronald A. Karasic (Ret.)

Judge Ronald A. Karasic (Ret.)

Judge Ronald A. Karasic (Ret.) joined Baltimore Mediation in 2013 following his retirement from the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City. Throughout his law career, Judge Karasic used mediation as a practical forum for resolving conflict. He has extensive experience in workplace conflict including EEO, discrimination and employment claims, personnel matters related to discipline, hiring and promotions, and labor negotiations.Judge Karasic handled civil and criminal matters for nearly twelve years on the bench, where he presided over thousands of contract and tort cases. Such matters included auto repair and towing disputes, insurance claims involving tort and contract matters, debt collection cases, civil and criminal domestic violence cases, neighborhood land disputes, and property disputes between neighbors. During his tenure, he was specially assigned to Drug Treatment Court, Housing Court and Rent Court. While presiding in Rent Court, throughout his 12 year tenure, Judge Karasic developed expertise in landlord-tenant law and matters related to residential and commercial leases including rent escrow, housing code enforcement, lead paint regulations,, subleases and renewals, and condominium law. As a recalled judge, he has presided over the Pre-Trial Settlement docket in Baltimore County.Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Karasic was the Deputy Public Defender for the State of Maryland for eleven years. Included in his duties were the mediation of agency employment matters, EEO compliance, defense of discrimination and employment claims, personnel matters related to progressive discipline, hiring and promotions.

Judge Karasic also served as a Chief City Solicitor in the Baltimore City Law Department. There, he supervised attorneys responsible for a wide variety of cases for the Baltimore City Department of Public Works dealing with land-use issues, employment matters, tort litigation and environmental matters.

Judge Karasic also represented City agencies in various employment matters involving labor negotiations, employee terminations, and discrimination claims based upon age, gender, religion and race. He was Chief Counsel to the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners and the Superintendent of Schools.

From 1981-1990, Judge Karasic was in private practice where he concentrated on small business matters, personal injury litigation, employment disputes, and contract disputes. From 1998-2010, Judge Karasic taught courses in Legal Analysis, Research and Writing and Introduction to Advocacy at University of Baltimore School of Law.

Judge Karasic, a graduate of the University of Delaware and the University of Baltimore School of Law, is a former member of the Attorney Grievance Commission, the State of Maryland Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission, the State of Maryland Critical Areas Commission, the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drugs, and the District Court Commissioners Education Committee.

Vicki Rhoades

Vicki Rhoades

Vicki joined Baltimore Mediation in 2009, after years of working together with her husband, Dusty Rhoades, founding and providing mediation and facilitation services for community mediation centers in Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties. Vicki and Dusty have been partners in life for over 40 years and co-mediators in the transformative framework since 2001. Vicki specializes in mediation cases around family and community issues, She is a member of the Maryland Program for Mediator Excellence and the Association for Conflict Resolution. Together with Dusty, she offers professional mediation training and coaching services.

Dusty Rhoades

Dusty Rhoades

Dusty joined Baltimore Mediation in 2009, after many years in which Baltimore Mediation provided training for 32 community centers which he helped found, namely the Community Mediation Centers of Calvert and St. Mary’s County, Maryland. He is past president of the Board of Directors of the Community Mediation Center of St. Mary’s County. He has mediation experience with hundreds of cases involving family, community, District and Circuit Court, discrimination and foster care cases. He is a member of the Maryland Program for Mediator Excellence and the Association for Conflict Resolution. Dusty has trained with leaders in the field of transformative mediation, including Baruch Bush, Joe Folger, Louise Phipps Senft, Nancy Good, Tom Wahlrab and Irv Foster. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and the Defense Systems Management College, Program Manager’s Course. He is an Associate Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

Ann Crowley

Ann Crowley

Ann Crowley is a mediator specializing in commercial mediation and negotiation with a focus on real estate, development and construction.  With over 20 years of commercial real estate experience primarily with General Growth Properties, negotiating business terms with local, regional and national tenants for leases and land sales including development, construction, and economic terms.  She has experience with projects ranging from renovations to expansions to ground up developments. Ann has a graduate degree from Johns Hopkins University in Applied Behavioral Science and an undergraduate degree in Communications from Elizabethtown College. Ann’s early career as a Marketing Manager for The Rouse Company provided solid training in critical thought.  She marketed real estate projects that included The Village of Cross Keys and The Shops at National Place in Washington D.C.




Andrew Fontanella

Andrew Fontanella

Andrew Fontanella is a mediator and attorney who practices in the Greater Baltimore and Washington DC Metropolitan area. His practice focuses on family law and consumer bankruptcy. Since 2009, Andrew has enhanced his practice by offering a range of alternative dispute resolution options to clients to deal with their conflict. In addition to mediation, Andrew is trained in conflict-coaching, and collaborative practice. In conflict-coaching a party can come to a robust understanding of the nature of a conflict when the other party does not engage or cooperate. Collaborative practice is a team approach to conflict, where parties prefer to avoid litigation and instead, create a durable agreement that focuses on their common goals and interest.In addition to Baltimore Mediation, Andrew is a contract mediator with the Circuit Court for Baltimore City in their Family Law Division, a roster mediator with Baltimore CountyCivil Division, a roster mediator for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, the District Court of Maryland, and the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights.

Andrew is dedicated to and has a gift for intercultural communication. He is highly proficient in both Spanish and American Sign Language. He is a continuing student in the interpreter training program for American Sign Language at Baltimore County Community College. Many of his clients speak Spanish and sign American Sign Language (ASL).

Since 2009, Andrew has trained with Baltimore Mediation to become a skilled and intuitive mediator from the transformative framework. He is committed to fostering dialogue over everyday legal issues that arise in his practice and brings that experience to his mediation practice.

Andrew lives with his partner of 15 years near the cultural arts section of Baltimore City. In addition to taking care of his family, which includes 2 beautiful dogs, Andrew is part of a community group that maintains Fitzgerald Park, in the historic Bolton Hill neighborhood. He continues to participate in making Baltimore city a great place to live.

Nancy Good

Nancy Good

Mediation Consultant for Organizations and Churches

Conflict Transformation Assistant Professor, Conflict Transformation Masters Degree Program, Eastern Mennonite University

Senior Mediator & Trainer, Community Mediation Center, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Partner, Newman Avenue Associates Family Therapists

Former Director, National Coalition Building Institute for prejudice reduction, Virginia Chapter

Larry Hoover

Larry Hoover

Larry serves of counsel in the law firm of Hoover Penrod PLC in Harrisonburg, Virginia and has been working with Baltimore Mediation since its creation in 1993. An Order of the Coif graduate of University of Virginia Law School, Larry is a Fellow of the American Bar Association and Virginia Bar Association. In 2005 he received the Tradition of Excellence award from the General Practice Section of the Virginia State Bar.One of the founders of the first community mediation center in Virginia, he began mediating cases in l982. He is still connected to the Harrisonburg Center as senior mediator and mentor, and is a founding member of the McCammon Group, a Richmond, Virginia-based dispute resolution service. Larry has been teaching negotiation and mediation at Washington and Lee Law School in Lexington, Virginia since 1985.Larry served three years as chair of the Joint Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution of the Virginia State Bar and the Virginia Bar Association. He has served on various committees of the State Bar and the Supreme Court’s Department of Dispute Resolution, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Department’s ten-year anniversary celebration in May 2001.

Larry has been a mediation trainer for twenty years and serves as adjunct trainer for the Community Mediation Center in Harrisonburg and the Baltimore Mediation Center. He has several published articles and has made numerous presentations on mediation and collaborative lawyering.

Larry is a member of the Dispute Resolution Section of the ABA, the Virginia State Bar/Bar Association Joint Committee on ADR, the Virginia Mediation Network, the Association of Enneagram Teachers in the Narrative Tradition, and the International Association of Collaborative Practice.

Monica Koski

Monica Koski

Monica Koski is a dispute resolution professional with over 20 years experience with public and private litigation as a court reporter. She is a seasoned mediator having mediated hundreds of court referred and private matters over the last seven years. Monica has joined Baltimore Mediation with a commitment to educating people in the workplace on the relational approach to conflict transformation and the mediation process, and to providing third party neutral services, conflict resolution skills training, and consulting.Prior to her mediation career, Monica was entrenched in the litigation arena for 13 years in the State of Maryland, in DC, and Virginia, has seen thousands of people in conflict and has witnessed first-hand the effects of parties involved in a rigid, fact-finding process that alienated the concept and importance of relating and relationship with one human being to another.Ms. Koski was trained as a mediator through Baltimore Mediation, The Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Community Mediation Maryland. She has experience handling complex situations ranging from 2-10 parties.She has mediated cases involving issues on elder care, parent-teen, neighbors, local churches, the State’s Attorneys Office, multiple school districts, HOAs and local private companies.Monica has committed herself to the field of conflict transformation with a dedication to relieve crises in human interaction and an intention to empower people to live authentically while working through their differences.

Ms. Koski is a member of the Maryland Program for Mediator Excellence, Association for Conflict Resolution Workplace Division and is also trained through the International Ombuds Association. She is also an elected member of the Board of Community Mediation Maryland, and chairs their Development Committee. Her depth of commitment to her mediation practice is shown in her ability to follow parties through their difficult dialogue and conflict interactions, and to facilitate meaningful conversations that result in overall party satisfaction.

Ms. Koski’s training includes employee engagement work, teambuilding, dealing with difficult people, and handling high emotions. She is also a grant writer collaborating with Baltimore Mediation clients including various federal agencies such as USDA and FSIS.Ms. Koski can be reached at

Nan Waller Burnett

Nan Waller Burnett

Nan has been working with Baltimore Mediation and Louise Phipps Senft, Esq. for over 15 years, as an international co-trainer, co-presenter, coach, and mediator.Nan is a dynamic facilitator, author, transformative high conflict mediator, psychotherapist, conflict systems design consultant, executive conflict coach, educator and a founding partner in Dispute Resolution Professionals, LLC, established in 1997 in the Denver metropolitan area.An expert in high conflict family systems and multiparty complex workplace disputes; she was trained as a mediator at Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation in 1995, as well as USPS Redress training in 1998. She received specialized Divorce and Child Custody training at CDR in Boulder, CO. She has mediated over 2800 cases and was a grievance mediator for United Airlines for 25 years.Nan holds the Advanced Practitioner status in the Workplace, Training and Family Sections of the Association for Conflict Resolution.Nan is considered a national expert in high conflict family systems and mediates protracted familial disputes in 19 states. Over 40 percent of her caseload is in federal mediation, and specializes in the areas of employment, EEOC, ADA, and workplace violence, hostile work environment, public dialoging, crisis management, post-traumatic stress disorder, and critical incident debriefing.

In response to the international geo-political crisis, she became part of the founding team to develop the non-profit organization, Mediators Beyond Borders International and has served on the Board of Directors for 6 years. Over the last three years she helped to develop the Training & Research, and Events Divisions. She was also a member of the Hurricane Katrina Project for MBB in New Orleans and Biloxi.

In 2009, Nan developed the International Ambassadors Program, the worked on the Internship Program and was instrumental in launching the first Professional Country Chapter outside the US, MBB Italy. She is now working on the MBB Greek Dialogues to be held in Athens in 2013.

In 2004, she designed and remains the lead facilitator for the Rocky Mountain Retreat, teaching holistic and reflective practice to Judges, lawyers, mediators, conflict practitioners and peace-builders from over 21 countries and 45 states. The retreat was gifted to ACR for 2010 and beyond. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Global Negotiation Insight Institute; formerly the Harvard Negotiation Insight Initiative. In 1997, Nan was part of a 14 member professional delegation to Russia and Poland as a Citizens’ Ambassador for Mediation and she presented at the Moscow State University College of Law. In 2009 she was the 6th Kaplan Lecturer at the Pittsburgh Bar Association Spring Legal Forum, presenting on Spiritual Intelligence in Intractable Conflict, and facilitated the MBB Congress.

Nan has presented nationally at the ABA/DR, AFCC, and ACR conferences and has been a guest lecturer at Hamline Law School in St. Paul, MN. She led a Mediators Beyond Borders Ambassador’s Mission to China, Mongolia, and Korea in April of 2009, and presented on behalf of MBB in Germany and Italy in September 2009. In 2010, she led a delegation of 20 Mediators to Europe to present in Florence, Italy to the Mayor’s Council and University of Rome for MBB.

She presented in Slovenia and Germany in 2011 and Italy and Portugal on her Master Practitioner Series. She will present in Athens, Greece and Budapest, Hungary in 2013.

Nan has been adjunct faculty at Regis University since 1999 where she teaches Conflict Theory, Theories of Collaborative Negotiation, Advanced Mediation, and Persuasion in the graduate and undergraduate programs. Nan founded the Regis University Mediation Project, active from 1995-1998.

She serves as one of the faculty advisors to the Regis University/Colorado Professional Chapter of Mediators Beyond Borders. She has done post graduate work at Harvard University Law School Program on Negotiation in Advanced Mediation, and at Duke University and UCLA in Neuroscience and Conflict.

Nan co-authored and has taught the co-parenting education seminar “In the Best Interest of the Children” for 14 years. She authored and developed the level two high conflict classes “Growing through Conflict” in 2001, and has served thousands of bi-nuclear families statewide and in the Denver metro area. Nan is recognized as an expert in divorced family systems and specializes in high conflict marital mediation, and divorce mediation.

Nan is also an award winning author of a daily spiritual practice book entitled Calm in the Face of the Storm: Spiritual Daily Practice for the Peacemaker, the winner of the 2008 Gold Medal for Spirituality/Inspiration at the National Independent Book Publishers Awards, [IPPY], presented in Los Angeles.; or You can contact Nan at

Richard Alper

Richard Alper

Richard Alper joined Baltimore Mediation in 2012 as a trainer, conflict transformation coach and part of the consulting team. He is co-founder and past chair of the Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County and served as co-chair of the Community and Public Affairs Section of the Maryland State Dispute Resolution Commission.Mr. Alper was appointed by the Montgomery County Council to serve on the Task Force on Religious Institutions and Neighborhood Associations. Currently, he also serves as a trustee of Embrace Northern Colorado and as an elected Trustee to the Board of Kenyon College. Together with Louise Phipps Senft, Esq., he serves as a Trustee on the Board of Convergence, Center for Policy Resolution – a bi-partisan non-profit organization based in Washington DC, dedicated to bi-partisan dialogue and policy reform in pressing issues of the day, such as K-12 education reform, healthcare and nutrition, and US-Pakistan relations.He is a past member of the Leadership Council of the Environment and Public Policy Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution, the ADR Section Council for the Maryland State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association Committee on Use of Collaborative Processes by Federal Agencies to Improve Citizen Participation.

Mr. Alper served as an adjunct faculty member at the Carey School of Business of the Johns Hopkins University and as a member of Academy for Excellence in Local Governance at the University of Maryland. He has previously taught at the University of Maryland Law School, the University of Baltimore Graduate School in Legal, Ethical and Historical Studies and the College of Southern Maryland’s Center for Environmental Training. He has guest lectured at Colorado State University, the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, the Catholic University of America Law School and the George Washington University Law School.Mr. Alper earned his law degree with a concentration in real estate and local government from the Georgetown University Law Center. He did post-graduate work in environmental law at the George Washington University Law School.

He has mediated, facilitated, and arbitrated over 175 cases and has designed and taught more than 500 hours of conflict resolution, arbitration, negotiation, commercial real estate, land use and environmental law courses.

Sharon Sampson Ball

Sharon Sampson Ball

Sharon focuses on providing mediation services relevant to the challenges of human resource management and was employed by the State of Maryland in the area of human resources for over 36 years — in both the Executive and Judicial branches.She says, “As a senior executive human resources professional, I (along with my team) was frequently the first responder to workplace conflicts. It has been my professional philosophy that because interrelationships between individuals and work units within the workplace often remain after a conflict has been addressed, it is critical to the good health of the larger organization that damages to these relationships be minimized and, ideally, enhanced. Given this perspective, I would attempt to facilitate discussions between individuals and/or work units as well as coach the respective administrator, director, manager, supervisor, etc. in order to resolve a conflict at the lowest possible level.In the human resources sub-discipline of employer-employee relations, matters involving disputes are generally handled through a formal grievance or disciplinary appeal process that results in a decision imposed on the parties by an arbiter. By contrast and in hindsight, I now realize that my approach to conflict resolution mirrored the transformative mediation model. It is a highly valuable and effective alternative to the formal fact-finding method because of its reliance on getting to the underlying nature of a conflict and it provides several sustainable benefits, including the empowerment of the respective parties, enhanced understanding of the other side, clarity by all parties about the underlying causes of the disagreement and the opportunity for disputants to solve their conflict.”

Heather Buerger

Heather Buerger

Heather Buerger is a mediator, attorney, and executive conflict coach. She specializes in the mediation of family disputes including divorce, separation, parenting plans, child support, child custody and other high conflict family systems. Heather practices within the relational approach to mediation and provides a neutral, informal and confidential process for working through the challenges that arise in complex family relationships. She also offers mediation for family businesses including management and corporate control issues, and multiparty complex disputes.

With over 20 years of mediation and legal experience, Heather has helped thousands of individuals, families, and businesses in times of conflict.

She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law and manages The Law Office of Heather S. Buerger, LLC which provides legal services to local and international businesses.  She began her career managing her own law office, Witherspoon & Buerger, LLC (one of the largest consumer bankruptcy practices in Maryland) and additionally, started her own title company.


Professional Experience

Mediator and executive conflict coach, Baltimore Mediation Center

Mediation of family disputes including divorce, separation, parenting plans, child support, child custody and other high conflict family systems. Also provide mediation for family businesses including management and corporate control issues, and multiparty complex disputes. (present)

Managing Partner, Owner, The Law Office of Heather S. Buerger, LLC

Representation of local and international businesses includes general counsel services, immigration representation for corporate executives, restructuring of assets, liabilities, and corporate structures. Federal Court litigation in multiple states.  (present)

Managing Partner, Owner, Witherspoon & Buerger, LLC                                                

Started and managed one of the largest consumer bankruptcy practices in Maryland for over 10 years. Annual billings were in excess of $500,000. Filed nearly 4,000 cases in Federal Court and developed extensive Federal Court litigation experience. (1996-2007)

Principal, Bristol Title Company

As an agent for Chicago Title I developed a thorough knowledge of the title industry with hands on experience in all aspects of real estate closings including complex real estate transactions. (1998-2001)



Bachelors of Arts,  Sweet Briar College  (Amherst, VA 1988)

Juris Doctorate,   The University of Maryland School of Law (Baltimore, MD 1991)


Board Membership

Vestry, St. Thomas Episcopal Church (Owings Mills, MD)


Heather S. Buerger, Esq.





Chris Rubacky

Chris Rubacky

Chris Rubacky is an entrepreneur, mediator, and trainer.  He has led trainings in mediation, conflict resolution, interest-based negotiations, special education mediation, stress reduction, and emotional literacy/anger management for schools, parent groups, non-profit organizations and men’s jails.  He is proud to have partnered with and led workshops for a number of established training organizations on both coasts including Peer Mediation Programs (New Jersey), Bucks County Peace Center (Pennsylvania), Baltimore Mediation, Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (PCRC, San Mateo County, California), and Community Boards of San Francisco, where he was fortunate to have traveled throughout California, Nevada and as far as Alaska in leading peer and community mediation trainings.

Chris first became interested in the study of Conflict Resolution while earning his Master’s Degree from American University in Washington, DC in Special Education, with a focus on working with emotionally disturbed children.    His Bachelor’s degree is from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

He is proud to have been a Community Mediator/Panel Member for Community Boards of San Francisco (CBSF), where he lived for close to a decade.  The enormously diverse population and fantastic training tradition of CBSF provided excellent experience in working with a wide range of civil disputes, as well as in cross-cultural communication and transformative mediation.

Originally trained in Mediation by the New Mexico Center for Dispute Resolution, in the mid-1990’s Chris earned his certification as a trainer in mediation and collaborative negotiation by now retired mediator Bill Lincoln. He benefited from Mr. Lincoln’s reputation as both a pioneer in interest-based bargaining (ala the Harvard Negotiation Project) and as a seasoned international mediator.

In 2002, Chris formed his own legal staffing agency, CVR Search.  In 2014, Chris was moved to go back to his roots in dispute resolution, when he received his certificate in Workplace Mediation from Louise Phipps-Senft and Baltimore Mediation.   Baltimore Mediation’s transformative model and emphasis on improving relationships through quality dialogue has felt like home ever since.  In late 2015, Chris began helping with select consulting and coaching for Baltimore Mediation.

In addition to his consulting work for Louise and Baltimore Mediation, Chris recently opened his own mediation practice, Relate and  He helps resolve disputes primarily relating to workplace matters and in support of the families of U.S. Veterans, with particular emphasis on communities surrounding veterans with PTSD/Moral Injury.

As an avid fan of the mystic poet Rumi, fiction, and the great outdoors, Chris lives in the Boulder, Colorado area with his fabulous wife Jennifer and wonder-filled daughter, Gabriella.  A daily meditation practice strongly informs his relational mediation practice.  Along with Jennifer, he also runs monthly groups on meditation and relationships for area couples.

Harvey Okun

Harvey Okun

A University of Maryland alumnus, Harvey L. Okun has been in private general practice for more than 20 years. Harvey L. Okun was admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of the United States and the Court of Appeals of Maryland, as well as Baltimore City and all counties in every jurisdiction in the State of Maryland. His areas of focus are domestic and family law, and he is a divorce lawyer, child custody lawyer, small business lawyer, collections and personal injury lawyer and certified mediator.

· President of John Marshall Law Society of Univ of MD

· Former counsel to the US Army Corps of Engineers

· Former counsel for the School Board of Baltimore City and the Community College of Baltimore.

· Current or former board member for Save a Heart, Beth Tfiloh School Board, and Casey Cares Foundation, a non-profit that assists children and their families in dealing with life threatening medical conditions.