Our Board Members
The current board members of the Center for Understanding in Conflict are:
Katherine Eisold Miller, our President, is a Collaborative Lawyer and mediator with a practice located in Westchester County NY and New York City. Katherine is immediate past president of the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals. Katherine is author of the New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce (2015) and co-Author of the #1 Amazon bestseller A Cup of Coffee with 10 of the Top Divorce Attorneys in the United States (2014).
Catherine Conner, our Secretary and Treasurer, is a mediator and collaborative attorney. Her practice focuses on family law alternate dispute resolution, including mediation, collaborative practice and private judging. She co-authoredCollaborative Family Law Practice Materials. She was on the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals board of directors from 2008 through 2014 and was the President in 2013.
Randy Cheek, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been in private practice in Petaluma since 1983. His specialties have included family systems therapy, couples therapy and divorce related counseling. Additionally Randy specializes in co-parenting counseling, reunification counseling and mediation regarding children’s issues in divorce. Since 2001, he has been active in the Collaborative Process in Sonoma County. He is a past president of the Board of Directors of the Collaborative Council of the Redwood Empire (CCRE) and a member of the Board of Directors of CPCal, and Randy is a past president of CPCal.
Heba Nimr has worked in various capacities for more than 30 years with families and organizations challenging systemic barriers to equity, as well as navigating interpersonal conflicts and abuse. Heba brings and builds on those experiences in her current practice, based in Oakland for ten years and counting, as a lawyer and mediator focused primarily in the areas of family law, and life, legacy and death planning. She has particular strength and interest in conflict resolution in multicultural and multilingual settings.
Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton, principal at Hamilton Law and Mediation, practices and teaches an alternative means of resolving disagreements between people over animals. She works with pet owners, spouses, service providers, neighbors, rescues and governmental agencies to help them address misunderstandings, misstatements or oversights involving pets, enabling them to find a more peaceful and relationship saving solution which is in the best interest of all. Debra is the author of the bestselling book Nipped in the Bud-Not in the Butt-How to Use Mediation to Resolve Conflicts Over Animals.
Natalia Lopez Whitaker is a Family Law Mediator/Attorney with offices in San Francisco and Oakland. She is a bi-racial woman: Mexican and German; first woman in her family to attend a four year University; and first attorney in her family. She sits on the CUC Board of Trustees. She is focused on advocating for a more racially diverse community of Family Law practitioners (Attorneys, Mediators, and Mental Health Professionals) who will create and implement a new way to resolve conflict.
Melanie Rowen is a mediator and conflict coach who believes in the power of understanding-based conflict resolution to transform our world. She frequently trains individuals and groups on effective communication in conflict situations and on creating inclusive environments, particularly around gender, sexual orientation, and disability. Melanie previously litigated civil rights cases, including marriage equality, employment discrimination, issues involving transgender and gender non-conforming youth and their families, and issues facing LGBTQI elders, at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Before that, she worked in business litigation at Latham & Watkins LLP. Melanie serves on the Board of Directors of the Transgender Law Center and is the Associate Director for Public Interest Programs at UC Berkeley School of Law.
Lacey Wilson is a College Advising Associate at Oakland Promise. She worked for seven years as an educator then transitioned to the legal profession in legal support positions at Camille King Collaborative Law & Mediation and Disability Rights California, respectively. She believes at the core of change is solid relationship building and has a serious passion for restorative practices, particularly within marginalized communities, education, and law. Born and raised in the Austin, Texas area, Lacey made her way to the Bay in August 2015. She’s a published author and spends her free time working on creative writing and DIY projects or in the company of friends over coffee, boba tea, good food, or a hike in the redwoods! Lacey studied Special Education at Texas State University and received her mediation certifications at SEEDS and the Center for Understanding in Conflict in 2016. As a lifelong learner, she is continuously seeking out communities willing to have courageous conversations around cultural awareness and social change.
We appreciate their service!