CoRe Conflict Resolution Society is extremely proud to congratulate CoRe founder and longtime board member and Clinic Supervisor, Sharon Sutherland, on her selection by Mediate BC as the 2011 recipient of the Susanna Jani Prize for Excellence in Mediation. As Mediate BC’s Executive Director, Kari Boyle, said in presenting the award to Sharon, the Prize recognizes a person who:
1. has made a significant contribution to the field of mediation BC,
2. is ethically and socially responsible,
3. is devoted to the public interest, mediators and mediation generally,
4. is open and generous, and
5. represents the mission, vision and values of Mediate BC.
Sharon’s many years of generous service to CoRe were recognized during the award ceremony at the offices of Charest Reporting Services on September 30, 2011. Sharon was a founding member of CoRe and its first President in 2002. She has been a member of the Board of Directors, serving in a variety of capacities ever since. She has acted as a mentor in CoRe mediations, has provided training and ongoing mentorship to CoRe clinicians for 10 years, and continues to act as the primary contact for all student learning in mediation and client counselling. Many members of the community will remember Sharon’s energy and commitment in both planning and hosting two CoRe Challenge fundraising events. For the past two years, Sharon has planned and coordinated the very popular CoRe Speaker Series, and continues to add new means of sharing knowledge about mediation and innovative research and practice developments to the entire dispute resolution community.
Of course, Sharon’s work with CoRe is just a small part of the reason that she was honoured with this Prize. Since 1997, Sharon has been a leader in the design and development of collaborative decision-making processes and training programs in BC. Amongst other contributions to the field, Sharon, with Leanne Turnbull, was one of the original Program Managers of the Court Mediation Program. Following that success, Sharon then took the primary role in designing and implementing the Child Protection Mediation Practicum Program. Her expertise in these fields has been sought out by other jurisdictions, and she has been called on to consult and assist in providing training and program design in other provinces seeking to develop or expand similar programs. Sharon’s innovative teaching and learning projects at the University of British Columbia have inspired many students to examine and reflect upon legal practice, and to bring reflective and effective negotiation, mediation advocacy and mediation work to a wide range of practice areas.
In presenting the award, Mediate BC’s Kari Boyle emphasized Sharon’s “creativity, depth of knowledge, communication skills, tireless energy and amazing dispute resolution and mentoring skills.” We at CoRe are grateful to have been the recipients of many of these gifts, and congratulate Sharon on this much deserved tribute.