David Zalkind, Interim Executive Director
Contact David at: firstname.lastname@example.org
David formally developed his mediation skills in Los Angeles, CA attaining mediation certificates from Pepperdine University, University of California, Santa Barbara, and Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. David graduated from Tulane University with B.A in History. He has lived in New Orleans off and on since the 1970's. He has served on the Mediator Panel for the Los Angeles Superior Court and the State of California Appellate Court. He has mediated and facilitated complex real estate and environmental agreements. In addition, he mediated community disputes through DRS/ Center for Civic Mediation, a program of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. David is currently a board member of the Urban Conservancy in New Orleans.
Lou Furman, Restorative Justice Program Director
Contact Lou at: email@example.com
Lou is a Trainer Associate for the Victim Offender Mediation Association and a certified practitioner in Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (developed at Eastern Mennonite University) and Global Facilitators Service Corps. In addition, he is a Registered Drama Therapist and Professor Emeritus at Washington State University. Mr. Furman has established programs in alternative and charter schools, and he works extensively with incarcerated youth and special populations. He leads trainings in Mindful Communication, Restorative Justice, and Restorative Discipline for schools, courts and the general public.
Board of Directors
A native of New Orleans, Sherdren Burnside served as Director of Education K-16 Initiative at the Urban League of Greater New Orleans. Prior to returning to New Orleans, Burnside served on the design and implementation team for the Castlemont Business and Information Technology School in Oakland, CA. As an instructional leader, Burnside mentored teachers in the conversion process from a large comprehensive high school to a small autonomous school, and steered initiatives in technology integration through her work with the Urban Dreams Technology Grant and the New Technology Foundation. Ms. Burnside received her BA in English and Political Science from Loyola University, New Orleans, and her Masters degree in English Instruction from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Betty DiMarco retired as the Human Resource Manager in United States District Court, Eastern District of LA, where she worked for thirty years. She is a founding member of Turning Point Partners Louisiana, the restorative practice entity that merged with Community Mediation Services, and past board member of the Metropolitan Area Committee and the Center for Development and Learning. She is a promoter and practitioner of Restorative philosophy in schools, community and business. Ms. DiMarco is Secretary for CMS.
Marc Florman immigrated to Louisiana in 2007, and has worked in education, tourism, and now as a civil rights lawyer (JD, Loyola, 2013). Marc is trained in community mediation, general civil mediation, and family, divorce, and child custody mediation (listing on the Louisiana Child Custody and Visitation Mediator Register). He has collaborated with renowned mediators from Louisiana, Maryland, and Oklahoma, and has presented on transformative and community mediation to international visitors through the U.S. Department of State. Marc is an active mediator in the New Orleans Community-Police Mediation Program through the Office of the Independent Police Monitor. He joined the CMS Board in 2015.
Nancy Freeman serves as Treasurer of CMS.
Albert "Al" Grandoit is a native of the Northeast who has made New Orleans his home. He is the founder and director of Brics & Wes L3C, a low profit Civil and Criminal Law Investigation and Mediation Office. He has worked as a mitigation specialist and investigator with the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, a non-profit law firm representing indigent defendants in capital cases and previously with at-risk youth and families. Al served on the committee developing the New Orleans Community Mediation/Police Mediation Project and recently served as Interim Executive Director of Community Mediation Services. Al is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a degree in Political Science and minor in Public Administration, later receiving a Masters in Government at Harvard University. While in Massachusetts, Al received mediation training at Mediation Works, Inc. and trained as a volunteer community court mediator. Al has mediated small-claims, family disputes/CINS (parent and child disputes), summary process, landlord-tenant cases, and has co-conducted family divorce & participated in juvenile co-mediator training. As a CMS board member, Al has assisted in mediations and training activities for CMS.
Judge Calvin Johnson served four years in the United States Air Force receiving an honorable discharge in 1973. He received his Jurisdoctorate from Loyola Law School in 1978. In 1981, he became a faculty member at Loyola Law School. He became a full professor serving as the Director of the Loyola Law Clinic Criminal Clinic in 1985. Judge Johnson was elected to the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court in 1990, the first African American elected to the Criminal District Court bench. In 2004, Judge Johnson became the first African American Chief Judge of that court. Judge Johnson established the first Mental Health Treatment Court in the State of Louisiana In 2002. Recipient of the La. Supreme Court Justice Albert Tate Award for Judicial Excellence, the Louis A. Martinet Award for Judicial Excellence, the ACLU Ben Smith Award for Community Service, and the Loyola Law School Alumni of the Year award, he currently serves as the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Human Service District.
Susan Norwood is a mediator, consultant and trainer active in educational and community settings. She has conducted trainings for public and private schools, agencies, truancy officers, child protection workers, probation officers and others interested in restorative practices. Ms. Norwood is a founding board member of Community Mediation Services and has served on the board of Capitol Area Community Mediation Center in Baton Rouge. She received her Bachelor's degree from Cornell University and her Master's degree from Tulane University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Louisiana, a National Board Certified Counselor and a qualified Juvenile and Child Custody Mediator in Louisiana. She has been a practicing family mediator since 1993.
Julianna D. Padgett, Ph.D., LCSW is Assistant Dean, Tulane School of Social Work. She has taught classes in conflict transformation and in dialogue and deliberation and served as a facilitator and trainer within neighborhoods, nonprofits and community networks. Dr. Padgett is President of Community Mediation Services and also President of the Alliance for Affordable Energy.
Lisa Richardson, Ph.D. as Director of Research & Evaluation, Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, Richardson rejoined the IWES staff in July 2013. Prior to this, she served as the National Director of Southern Access Project for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, a consultant, program director, and evaluator for a variety of organizations including Emory University, the Carter Presidential Center, and the New Orleans-based education program, Students at the Center. Lisa was a Visiting Professor at Florida State University in the Urban and Regional Planning department, and an Assistant Professor at California State University Northridge in the Urban Studies and Pan-African Studies Departments. She received her Ph.D. in 2002 at the University of New Orleans as a Board of Regents Fellow, and her Master of Science in 1996 from Georgia State University. Her interests include community development, analyzing social determinants of health, sexual health education and advocacy (particularly for women of color and youth), and participatory action research. After leaving New Orleans for academia, Lisa returned to her adopted home in 2005 to serve as the Interim Executive Director of IWES in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Oliver M. Thomas Jr., owner of OTOUTREACH , Motivational Speaker, Public Policy Consultant, Professional Actor, member Screen Actors Guild (appearing in the HBO Series Treme), Actor and Co-Writer Hit Play Reflections, Lead Actor Hit Play Fishers of Men, Member of Peace Keepers, Regional Board Member LACare, Consultant CCRA Black Men and Boys Fellows Initiative, Consultant Supreme Intervention at risk youth Mentoring Program, Host Black Cat Productions Smooth Jazz Concert Series, Graduate College of Santa Fe, completed Harvard Executive Program, and Aspen Institute for Leadership. A New Orleans native, Mr. Thomas has one Daughter, Leah J. Thomas.