On March 5, 2014, the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) announced its first ever recipient of its newly established Outstanding Volunteer Award Program. However, it was in January of 2014 that the program was announced publically and shortly after there was an outpouring of nominations from community mediation centers across the nation. There are over 20,000 volunteer mediators in the United States and this award was created as a way to show appreciation for the positive change they bring to their community mediation centers and their communities.
As part of the new program, NAFCM facilitating the creation of a committee that was comprised of national experts in the community mediation field. The committee’s challenging task was to analyze the applications and select the volunteer that brought the most outstanding package of skills and abilities to strengthen their respective community mediation center.
The first recipient of the award is Raymond “Bud” Baker who volunteers with the Center for Resolution and Justice in Buffalo, New York. NAFCM Board member and Ad-hoc committee chair D.G. Mawn commented, “Our committee was not only very impressed with the almost 500 cases Bud mediated but the extreme dedication and passion that he brings. Bud’s nomination noted several outstanding examples as to how Bud contributes the center’s success.”
Bud’s nomination noted, “Bud’s strengths include his vast knowledge and experience base, his passion for the process, his calming demeanor and thoughtful, logical approach to help mediation parties communicate and problem solve. As a former researcher, he brings sharp observation and analytical skills to the table. He truly listens to the parties as they speak and he is persistent yet patient. In addition, he invests many hours each year in Continuing Education offerings and personal study to continuously hone his skills.”
Every quarter, NAFCM will announce a new Outstanding Volunteer Award winner. Nominations for future awards can be made through NAFCM’s website at www.nafcm.org.
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