About NMC


Our mission is to foster, provide and teach peaceful problem solving.


Northwest Mediation Center is a 501(c)(3), non-profit corporation, authorized under RCW 7.75, The Court Improvement Act of 1984, for the purpose of providing alternative dispute resolution services without regard to a participant’s ability to pay, mediator training and certification, and conflict resolution education to the community.


NMC and its mediators abide by stringent standards for performance and ethics, as set forth in the following:

  • Title 7.75 of the Revised Code of Washington – Dispute Resolution Centers;
  • Title 7.07 of the Revised Code of Washington – Uniform Mediation Act;
  • The Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators (prepared by the American Bar Association, American Arbitration Association, and Association for Conflict Resolution – adopted 2005);
  • Washington Mediation Association Standards of Practice for Mediators;
  • Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators – as amended 2009, by Resolution Washington; and
  • Minimum Standards for Certification of mediators – adopted 2011, by the membership of Resolution Washington, including training, practicum and continuing education requirements.


Northwest Mediation Center Board of Directors – as of January, 2017

Deborah J. Harper, MD, President
After serving for two years on the NMC Advisory Council, Deb agreed to become a Board Member in the summer of 2015, and was immediately tapped to be board president.  She graduated from the University of Illinois, Chicago College of Medicine in 1980 and was Chief Pediatric Resident at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. Having practiced pediatric medicine in Spokane, WA, since 1985, she now is a pediatrician for Providence Medical Group and is the Division Lead Physician for Providence Pediatrics.  Deb’s community activities have been numerous, most often focused on child health and welfare.

 Thomas Coleman Lloyd, JR., Vice-President
A graduate of Baylor University, Tom received his teaching certificate from Boise State and his Master’s degree from Sam Houston State.  He has worked extensively with adult offenders, focusing on addiction issues, educational opportunities for offenders and alternative programs for offender treatment and rehabilitation.  He completed Northwest Mediation Center’s mediation training in 2009 and joined the Board of Directors in 2011.  Tom and his wife, Ruth Wohlwend-Lloyd, teach NMC’s monthly, court-mandated “Sharing the Children” co-parenting classes for separated and divorcing parents.

Tom McArthur, Treasurer
Tom started with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and Business Administration from Pacific Lutheran University.  His eclectic path has led from broadcasting on radio in Tacoma and television in Spokane, to being press secretary for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and being communications director for a state university and for a local hotel (not to mention lots of other fun things along the way). Now, through his firm, MacArthur Consulting, LLC, Tom provides marketing and communications assistance for various businesses and organizations in the region, while continuing to produce documentary and special projects for KSPS-TV.  His former board affiliations include Northwest Society of Professional Journalists, Spokane Youth Symphony and Transitions Family Programs, and he joined NMC’s board in October, 2015.

Dennis C. Cronin, JD, Co-Secretary
Dennis joined the Board of Directors in the summer of 2015, after serving as a member of the NMC Advisory Council for two years. He has practiced law in Spokane, Washington since 1986, and is admitted to practice before numerous courts, including the US Supreme Court. He is also an avid and respected legal scholar. While his legal practice focuses on family, criminal and appellate matters, he is also a trained mediator and supporter of party-driven conflict resolution. Dennis is a former member of the Spokane Human Rights Commission and a former court commissioner pro tem for the Spokane County Superior Court.  He currently serves on the board of the Washington State Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, an interdisciplinary, international association of professionals dedicated to improving the lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict.

Melanie Nelson, Co-Secretary
Melanie completed Northwest Mediation Center’s Basic Mediation Training and Practicum in 2005, and served the staff in various roles, over the years, as Small Claims Manager, Executive Director, Mediation Director and Foreclosure Mediator.  After leaving the staff to pursue her own business in 2015, Melanie joined the Board of Directors in the fall of 2016.  Over 11 years with NMC and lots of hats–all worn with grace!


Leslie Ann Grove- Executive Director
After a BA in Music Education, graduate study in both education and philosophy, and law school at Gonzaga University, Leslie began practicing law in 1985 and mediating in 1987.  Her very first mediation training was from Community Boards of Spokane, the predecessor to what has evolved into Northwest Mediation Center. She is certified as a mediator through Washington Mediation Association. Leslie is passionate about the crucial role of alternative dispute resolution in the 21st century.  She is excited to work with Northwest Mediation Center, whose board is committed to providing affordable mediation and conflict management education to the community with integrity and creative energy.  Leslie’s other passion is  music, singing and playing trumpet professionally.  “It’s all about harmony” in music and in peaceful problem solving.

Jamila Peacock – Mediation Director
Jamila’s family and friends had been telling for her years that she is a “natural” mediator, so she decided to take Northwest Mediation Center’s spring basic mediation training in 2014.  She (and her colleagues) found out her family and friends are right.  She entered her practicum immediately, and received her certification through NMC in October 2014.  Jamila began volunteering as a mediator and filling in wherever needed.  In January, 2015, as NMC expanded, she stepped into the position of Mediation Director, responsible not only for mediating, but for scheduling and coordinating all of NMC’s mediators, sessions and classes and being case manager for Foreclosure Mediation.. Jamila continues to mediate all types of cases –naturally!

Cynthia Duren – Finance Manager
Cyndi joined NMC’s team in the summer of 2015. She keeps the books, supervises the budget process and counsels staff and board on financial management and best practices.  Cyndi is currently on the Hutton Settlement Board of Directors and is a CASA volunteer.


Northwest Mediation Center relies on the generosity of its volunteers for office assistance, marketing and promotion, public relations, teaching classes and for mediation.

All volunteer mediators complete, at minimum, a 40-hour, Basic Mediation Training course, an extensive practicum, and a rigorous evaluation. Mediators of family matters have received an additional 20-hour Family Mediation Training, and additional practicum activities.  Mediators are assigned on a rotating basis.  Many volunteer mediators have additional expertise in particular areas and can be called upon to mediate specific kinds of disputes. 


Northwest Mediation Center is a member of the following organizations:

Resolution Washington: a statewide association of Dispute Resolution Centers (DRCs).  “There are currently 21 Dispute Resolution Centers operating in the cities and counties of Washington State, with a coverage area of over 93% of all Washington residents. These DRCs provide low-cost and effective conflict resolution services, including mediation, facilitation, and training to individuals or organization in their communities.”

National Association for Community Mediation: NAFCM’s mission states “In communities around the globe, programs and volunteers share their expertise to help others constructively engage, transform, & resolve conflict. NAFCM supports these peacemakers by aggregating their wisdom, amplifying their voice, and advancing their critical work.”

Washington Mediation Association: whose mission is “to advance the use of mediation as an effective form of alternative dispute resolution; to foster high standards of mediator conduct, training and certification; and to be the voice of mediators in Washington State.”


Northwest Mediation Center’s history reaches back to the spring of 1985, when, at the instigation of Cris Currie and Nora Searing, the idea of an organization dedicated to neighborhood conciliation was born and nurtured by community leaders.

The non-profit, 501(c)(3),  Community Boards of Spokane was formed and began training volunteers and offering neighborhood conciliation in 1986. Upon official authorization from the Spokane County Commissioners, in 1988, to operate under RCW 7.75, Community Boards joined other visionary organizations across the state and became the Dispute Resolution Center of Spokane County.   In 1997,  the program joined the Volunteers of America umbrella and morphed into Inland Mediation Center.  In 2003, the program reorganized as an independent non-profit, the Northwest Conflict Management Center, changing its name once again, in 2008, to the less cumbersome Northwest Mediation Center.   Throughout its evolution, always a non-profit, state/county authorized dispute resolution center, the organization’s primary purpose has endured: to help members of the regional community resolve their differences without resorting to either litigation or violence.