Virginia Colin

I am honored and excited to serve as your 2018 President of APFM. Building on our existing strong foundation, we have exciting things ahead. In Amanda Singer and Tami Krutz, we have smart, hard-working Vice Presidents. Our Treasurer, Stephen Evans, and our Secretary, Bob Horwitz, continue to serve APFM wisely and well. Our Immediate Past President, Stacey Langenbahn, remains active in charting our course, and is a valued advisor to me in my new role. With six additional Board members who are dedicated to advancing the profession of family mediation, we have a strong and vibrant Board of Directors.

We already do many important things well. We have a quality websitewith many resources for mediators and for the public; new articles are always welcome. We provide at least six new webinars each year, and members can view past webinars that have been recorded. We create educational conferences that are dynamic, motivating, and very supportive of our members.  We provide mentoring for our members; some opportunities are free, and some are low-cost. In our monthly, online conversations, which are free, we help members confer about how best to handle difficult cases and build their practices.

APFM is becoming the go-to resource for family mediators in need of training, mentoring, and support. APFM is also becoming the go-to resource for families that are in need of professional family mediation services. As we move toward those goals, I hope to see many more members of APFM get involved in mentoring, fundraising, and publicity.

What I hope to see happen during this year:
  • A sizeable increase in membership;
  • Development of more systematic ways to provide support, consultation, and mentoring to help new and mid-career mediators increase their skills and build successful practices;
  • Much more publicity for professional family mediation.

We are generating innovative ideas about attracting more members and providing strong support for them. Publicity is a bit tougher; getting the media to cover the absence of dramatic family conflicts (the effect of family mediation) is a big challenge. If you have some creative ideas about how to get media coverage for family mediators (including radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, or others), please contact our public education committee.

We are looking forward to an exciting conference in San Diego, October 18–20, 2018, and to great conversations online every month.

Together, let’s make 2018 a great year for Professional Family Mediators.

                                                             –Virginia Colin


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