Members,


We're thrilled to introduce a slate of candidates for your consideration for the ACR-GNY Board of Directors. These individuals were screened by the Nominations Committee and put forward to the Board of Directors for approval. This entire slate of candidates will be put forward to ACR-GNY membership at the Annual Meeting on Tuesday, January 15th, for a vote.


We gratefully acknowledge all who came forward and submitted self-nominations for the Board and additionally thank the members of the Nomination Committee, Nancy Kramer, Denise Shaw, and Robyn Weinstein, for their work on this process.  


Candidates for Director:

Melissa Appleton

Niki Borofsky

Rekha Rangachari 

Salman Ravala 

Regina Ritcey 

Gabrielle Vasquez 

 

Candidates for Officer:

President-Elect: Genesis Fisher

Treasurer: Justin Strock

Secretary: Leslie Funk


Click here to RSVP for the event.


CANDIDATE STATEMENTS


Melissa Appleton: I've been honoured to serve on the board of ACRGNY for the past 2 years, and hope to continue in service to the conflict resolution community. I bring to the board strong project management and nonprofit expertise, having worked as a project and program manager for over 10 years. In my past two years, I've focused my attention towards our communications, to bring our website and email up to standard of quality I expect from organizations. My other focus has been on internal board structures and direction, to help us more effectively run programs and provide services to our membership. I look forward to expanding our offerings in the coming few years and growing our membership to better serve our community.

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Niki Borofsky: When I first arrived in New York and was interested in getting to know the local dispute resolution community, everyone I bumped into recommended that I join ACR-GNY. They were right, and after attending a Breakfast Roundtable at John Jay, I was convinced. For the past four years, I have been reaping the benefits of my connection to this talented, diverse, friendly and helpful community, and I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to the future growth of this group through service as a Board Member.


The tumult and tension, hostility and histrionics of this particular moment—driving parties and policies to ever more extreme and entrenched positions—make the role of ACR-GNY more important than ever. Now is the time to bring to the Board a vision of growth through membership and business development. Based on my experience within the ADR community, I am eager to put my skills and relationships to work to help to build a stronger, more diverse and more sustainable network of conflict resolvers.


I understand the value of planning, raising money and producing successful and profitable events that attract and engage sponsors and stakeholders from corporate, law firm, academic, government and independent dispute resolution practitioners. My practical experience in these essential areas will benefit ACR-GNY. I look forward to the opportunity to become a flexible, fearless, creative and generous team member.

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Genesis Fisher: I’m writing to express my interest in the position of President-Elect of ACR-GNY. I am committed to the field of conflict resolution and confident that I can made a strong contribution to the Board in a leadership role. My background in public interest law keeps me connected to community based groups while my new skills as an entrepreneur help me spot and explore opportunities. All while staying focused on efficiency and getting tasks completed.


At ACR-GNY, we’re doing wonderful work with the monthly breakfast meetings and our core events. Even so, we could be doing more for our members. I envision quarterly (facilitated) gatherings where conflict resolvers can share challenges they’ve encountered in sessions and get feedback from the group; one meeting for those in the commercial field and one for those in community and family mediation. Our website should include more resources like video recordings from conference panels, tools for those starting out, and webinars. I’d like to bifurcate the membership to increase the rate for attorneys and commercial conflict resolvers. We could use the increased revenue to hire a part-time administrator to keep us on track and a tech person to professionally capture our events. Finally, I think we should have at least one intern per year to help us develop long-term projects.


I’m proud of ACR-GNY’s reputation and the value we add to the ADR community. I want to be President-Elect so that I can contribute even more to our mission.

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Leslie Funk: Thank you for the opportunity to apply for the position of ACR GNY Secretary. As a current board member coming up on the completion of the first of my two years, I look forward to being able to take on additional consistent responsibilities.


Building upon my previous work experience, I was very involved in programmatic aspects of the ACR GNY 2018 year. In my roles as co-chair of both the ACR GNY Annual Conference in June and the Mediation Settlement Day in October, I worked closely with our current president and president-elect (plus contributing board members) to develop and successfully run these events. Each event involved opportunities to work with different ADR communities and individuals, as well as gain additional insight that subsequently informed my work with the board. My involvement with these two prominent events built on my initial work with ACR GNY as a social media contributor and my work with the website/social media board team. I have enjoyed not only these varied roles on the board, but also my development of a more thorough understanding of the board from different perspectives of involvement.


Having changed jobs during this past calendar year, I am presently employed at the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding. My current role with Tanenbaum involves working with corporate members to manage religious diversity in their workplaces. I look forward to further connecting the less traditional components of conflict resolution that my company is involved in with my work on the board this coming year. Through my work at Tanenbaum, and in previous professional and educational opportunities, both attention to detail and strong writing skills have been critical to my success. Therefore, I am pleased to bring well-honed writing skills and attention to detail to the role of ACR GNY Secretary.


After experiencing primarily external facing responsibilities on the board during this past year, I am excited for the opportunity to delve further into the inner workings of the board by contributing on a regular basis as secretary. Through this role, I hope to continue to learn more about the nuances of the board and remain consistently involved in many aspects. Thank you again for this opportunity.

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Rekha Rangachari:  I am a woman, a daughter of immigrants, a sister. I am a leader, a lawyer, a diversity trailblazer. I am a teacher, a mentor, a dancer. I am an innovator …


I herald from Chicago by way of Chennai, South India, now calling New York my home. I am Executive Director of the New York International Arbitration Center (NYIAC). Prior to that, I was Director of ADR Services for the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and Case Counsel on the Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa desk of the AAA’s international arm – the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR). In all three positions, I have focused on building community and best practices as an attorney in arbitration, in parallel leading innovation and diversity teams, and spearheading initiatives for greater cross-cultural representation and collaboration. Juxtaposed with this, I also serve on various boards to guide diversity programming. Be it personally or professionally, I feel enlivened and fortunate to work with(in) global communities, and hope to parlay this as an engaged Board Member of ACRGYN.


My strategy is multi-fold to address the ongoing needs and emergent realities of the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) arena. I believe the more I connect with people, beyond the walls of our laptops, landlines, and cell phones, the greater my impact. There is a very real void of knowledge within the ADR space about the ways and means towards conflict resolution, and with the insight of fellow Board Members, we are together narrowing the intelligence gap as we reaffirm the constant need for crosscultural collaboration.


I believe change and personal growth sprout in a community akin to the ACR-GNY network. Change leaders create fluid, adaptable boundaries and push each other to be visionaries and to see the world in technicolor. In this vein, as a Board Member of ACR-GNY, I am most intrigued and excited to think critically in this magnetic, targeted, and thoughtful space – to find the common threads amidst communities in strife no matter the point of inception. In pleasure and pain, the human experience forges similar emotions. Beauty lies in linking the similarities – where a Google Hangout, an email, a telephone call, or a letter begins an introduction between one social change leader and another — and culminates in life-long connections and partnerships. We are, after all, in the business of building life-altering bridges. 

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Salman Ravala: I am writing to express my interest in serving on the Board of the Association for Conflict Resolution – Greater New York Chapter, Inc. (“ACR-GNY”). As Founding Partner of my law firm and Board Member of various non-profit organizations, I have regularly worked, separately, and with a team, on various aspects of improving and growing an organization. I have had deep experiences in operational management including but not limited to business and stakeholder development, budgeting, fundraising, and finance, marketing, including copywriting, editing, and speaking to broad and varied audiences.


My Alternative Dispute Resolution practice began just over three years ago but has been deeply enhanced by various local ADR organizations, including ACR-GNY. In fact, I have had the privilege of speaking at two previous ACRGNY annual conferences and otherwise enjoyed other events and meetings hosted by your group. I am committed to advancing diversity and inclusion efforts in the ADR space. To that end, I have recently been appointed as Co-Chair to the Diversity Committee of the Dispute Resolution Section of the New York State Bar Association, and as Co-Chair to the ADR Diversity Day 2019 Committee of the ADR Inclusion Network.


As an ADR user, advocate, and neutral, and as an entrepreneur and attorney in the New York community, I bring a multitude of experiences which I believe can benefit the Board at ACR-GNY. I am committed to assisting your team in various tasks and look forward to being more involved to better the organization for judges, litigants, attorneys, and all those that utilize the ACR-GNY for their dispute resolution needs. 

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Regina Ritcey: I am pleased to submit my statement of interest and resume to the ACR-GNY Board of Directors Nominating Committee. I am currently an ACR-GNY Board Member, having served since January 2017. In my first year on the Board I was the co-chair of the ACR-GNY Annual Conference (June 2017). The conference was a great introduction to board service. I had attended past ACR-GNY conferences as a member, but as a board member and co-chair I got to work closely with other board members, conference collaborators, and partners. Participating in that way made me truly invested in ACR-GNY and well connected to the board and the members.


This past year I had the pleasure of serving as secretary. I have appreciated this responsibility, and have endeavored to provide accurate record of each meeting, and to meet the requirements of the role. As I’ve shared with the current leadership, I’m available to stay on as secretary if needed, but also happy to have a new board member assume the role next term. In my professional capacity I serve as the Executive Director of the New York State Dispute Resolution Association (NYSDRA). The interests and mission of NYSDRA complement that of ACR-GNY. There’s much opportunity for capacity building and for shared membership, and potentially joint events or reciprocal training and networking opportunities for members. Although similar, the two organizations are distinct and not in competition with the other.


I hope to be re-elected to the ACR-GNY Board of Directors to continue working with the dedicated members of the board, to serve the members, and to strengthen ACR-GNY and advance the field of conflict resolution in all its many forms and forums. Thank you. 

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Justin Strock: For the past three years, I have served as Treasurer to ACR-GNY, as well as Conference Co-Chair in 2016, and as a member of various working groups and committees of the Board. During my tenure as Treasurer, we have increased our net operating income by over $27,000, despite increased costs in various areas such as technology and facility fees. I look forward to continuing to find new efficiencies and revenue streams for our organization, while keeping costs of membership and conference registrations affordable.


In addition to my fiscal responsibilities, I am eager to work with our Board and new President on making ACR-GNY an outstanding resource for our members and our broader ADR community. In my role as Manager of Mediation and Restorative Programs for the New York Center for Interpersonal Development, I work day-to-day with a broad spectrum of practices: from civil, criminal, and family court programs; to school and community based work; to arbitration coordination. This experience gives me great appreciation for the many ways in which our practitioners and communities work to resolve conflict and harm. My kind thanks to the Nominating Committee and Membership of ACR-GNY for your consideration of my continued role as a Board Member.

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Gabrielle Vasquez: I grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico in a 4 bedroom house with 6 adults, 5 kids, 2 dogs, 1 cat and plenty of opportunities to practice dispute resolution (mostly as a party). From there I trekked to Princeton University and then straight to Fordham Law School with one goal – to win in Court. What I realized on my quest to win is that it didn’t often happen in Court. And so I fell in love with negotiation and mediation. The first thing I did after attending mediation training, was to attend the ACR-GNY annual conference at the behest of a number of mediators who I trusted and looked up to. I’m glad I listened. The diversity and richness of the ACR-GNY membership and programming is refreshing, eye opening, and inspirational. Due in no small part to the influence of ACR-GNY members and programming, I have had the opportunity to hone my ADR skills in Federal, State Supreme, and Small Claims Courts across the New York Metro Area, to serve as a AAA Higginbotham Fellow, and to contribute my knowledge, skills, and leadership on a number of New York State Bar Association committees. While I have now been to countless ADR programs, I always look forward to the ACR-GNY conference for the diverse and innovative programming it delivers every year. I look forward to hopefully devoting my own time, energy, and ideas to continuing to develop excellent programming and networking on the Board of Directors of the ACR-GNY

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WHO CAN VOTE?


For voting purposes, you must be an active member of ACR-GNY as of
Tuesday, January 15, 2019 in order to be eligible to vote. You can join as a member at the Annual Meeting.


We look forward to your participation in this election process. Please contact current Board President Todd Drucker with any questions: Todd.Drucker@acrgny.org 

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