News and Events


Mary Jo Browning, long-time PDRC Board Member, received the L. B. Henretty Memorial Outstanding Citizen Award.  Congratulations Mary Jo!

PDRC started mediating at the Loudoun Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in Leesburg, Virginia.  In this capacity, our highly trained, professional and experienced mediators handle custody, visitation, child and spousal support cases. 

Once again, we participated in the annual Give Local Piedmont Campaign.  All monies raised will go toward helping PDRC continue its conflict resolution goals throughout the communities we serve. 

THINK, ACT AND SPREAD KINDNESS was the theme for a poster contest held at Fauquier County Public Elementary Schools and sponsored by Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center to celebrate PDRC’s service to the community and to honor long time PDRC volunteer and community activist, the late Mr. William Barr.  He was a man who was kind to everyone he met. There were a total of 378 entries so it was quite a task for the schools to narrow down the entries and for our judges to reach a decision. The theme of the posters were to show ways that we can be kind to our classmates, our siblings, our teachers and everyone we meet.  Why? Because kindness to others makes the world a better place for us all.  By being kind we make everyone feel happy, loved, and safe. It helps us all to get along with each other.

We had a spectacular fundraiser at our main celebratory event at Prince Michel Winery in Leon, VA on Saturday, July 25, 2015 from 6-8 pm. Many of PDRC’s longtime supporters, friends, volunteers, Board Members and employees came out to celebrate our 25th Year of Building Peace in Our Communities. Frank Bossio, retired Culpeper County Administrator was our guest of honor. Music was provided by the multitalented THEYCALLMEPIANO and the scrumptious food was catered by the one and only 3 Thrifty Chicks of Warrenton, VA.

We had a very successful fundraising campaign sponsored by Give Local Piedmont and helped to raise money to go toward helping those in need of mediation and restorative justice services in our communities.


We were delighted to add two new mediators to our growing list of capable and intelligent mediators: Kathy Kadilak and Wendy Gayle. Click here to view their bios.
Lawrie Parker and staff at Fauquier County Public Schools held a training seminar on Restorative Practices in Our Schools.  Educators and staff attended this informative session.

Dr. James Peal, Restorative Justice Coordinator for Prince William County was a featured workshop presenter at the International Conference on Conflict Resolution Education on June 14th at George Mason University in Fairfax. Mr. Peal and PDRC Executive Director Lawrie Parker spoke on “The Impact of Culture on Victim Impact and Restorative Justice Programs.”  

On May 25, Lawrie Parker, volunteered to help at the annual Delaplane Strawberry Festival held at Sky Meadows Park in Delaplane, VA. The festival is put on by Emmanuel Episcopal Church and proceeds fund outreach ministries within their church and grants to worthy organizations in the local community, state and beyond. 

PDRC and hundreds of other local non profits participated in Give Local Piedmont on May 6th. It was a successful 24-hour day of giving. Many thanks to Cole Johnson, Executive Director of Northern Piedmont Community Foundation for organizing this worthwhile event.

April was a busy month! Lawrie Parker, Executive Director, and Meryem Grammick, Assistant Services Director, taught a two-day class on how to become a peer mediator to 3rd and 4th grade students from H.M. Pearson Elementary, Catlett, VA and Claude Thompson Elementary in Marshall, VA. The students caught on very quickly and will no doubt be excellent peer mediators for their schools and will also be able to use the skills they learned throughout their lives. The ultimate goal was to teach them how to mediate conflicts in their schools. 

On April 3, 2014, PDRC in conjunction with Fauquier County Public Schools held a Restorative Practices Workshop. To prepare for this, PDRC’s Executive Director, Lawrie Parker, and Services Director, Marlene Hahn, met with nationally known restorative justice experts Ron and Roxanne Claassen on February 5, 2014 for an extensive consulting session.  

PDRC staff members also participated as facilitators in “All Walks of Life: A Fauquier County Community Dialogue on Mental Health” on April 29th at Fauquier Hospital. This dialogue was connected to Creating Community Solutions/The National Dialogue on Mental Health which came about after the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings on December 14, 2012. The main question was What needs to be done in our community to better prevent and respond to mental illness and substance use disorders.”  Approximately 60 participants from the community attended this important event. 

April is Volunteer Month and PDRC has some of the best volunteers around!  We’re honored and proud to state that early in the month, six of our volunteers were honored at The President’s Volunteer Service Award Ceremony in Culpeper, VA.  Karen Register and Sue Ballentine received Bronze awards; Edward Madden, Jon Trevathan and Lynette Parker received Silver awards and Jim Smith received a Gold award.  

The biggest news of all was that volunteer mediator extraordinaire, Jim George Smith, Jr., won the Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Award 2014 in the Senior Category for his tireless effort to peacefully mediate family issues in the state of Virginia. This is quite a prestigious honor! Jim was presented his award by Governor Terry McAuliffe at a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Richmond on April 10th. 

March is Mediation Month!  In honor of this, PDRC and The Mediation Center of Fredericksburg held a Mock Mediation Presentation at the Headquarters Library in Fredericksburg on March 20th from 7-:8:30 pm. This educational event gave the public an opportunity to see how mediation works and how it can work for you.

On February 20, we bid a sad farewell to our esteemed colleague Tara Surber Fedis.  Tara held the position of Coordinator of the Office of Dispute Resolution in Manassas, VA since 2012.  She did an outstanding job of managing all the family and general district court cases referred to us from the PW County Court System. Tara was an asset to PDRC and Prince William County and will be missed by all. 

Fauquier Schools’ Supervisor of Student Support Services Carolyn Lamm, PDRC Services Director Marlene Hahn and Executive Director Lawrie Parker met with nationally known restorative justice experts Ron and Roxanne Claassen on February 5th for an extensive consulting session. Fauquier Schools will be initiating Restorative Practices this Spring and PDRC will be providing the training. The Claaseens co-authored the highly acclaimed book Discipline that Restores: Strategies to Create Respect, Cooperation, and Responsibility in the Classroom. 

Roxanne Claassen M.A. taught for 20 years at Raisin City Elementary, a diverse K-8 school in rural Fresno County, California. Roxanne has served as a mentor, teacher, a beginning teacher support provider, and peer mediation coordinator. Roxanne and Ron co-authored a training book, Making Things Right, with 32 activities that teach conflict resolution and mediation skills. Roxanne has trained more than two hundred teachers to use Discipline that Restores in their classrooms and to initiate and administer student mediation programs in their schools.

Ron Claassen M.A., M.Div., D.Min., is the co-founder (1990) and Director Emeritus of the Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies at Fresno Pacific University. Ron teaches in the MA Peacemaking and Conflict Studies Program at Fresno Pacific University. Ron also provides training, consultation, and intervention services in the community. Ron was the founder and former director(1982-1999) of the Fresno County Victim Offender Reconciliation Program(VORP), the first in California. He has extensive experience in both civil and criminal mediation and has trained thousands in restorative justice, conflict resolution, peacemaking and mediation.

What does Mediation and Downton Abbey have in common?  Click here to read this informative and interesting article on how mediation and negotiation is used throughout this extremely successful Masterpiece Theater program.
PDRC is very proud of our many successes throughout the year.  We have helped thousands of people resolve their problems, taught hundreds of high school students the value of peer mediation and conflict-free problem resolution and helped numerous people involved in the criminal justice system “see” how their actions have impacted themselves, their community and most importantly, the victims of their crimes.  

Despite the frigid cold temperatures and gusty winds, we had a wonderful and successful fundraiser at Barrel Oak Winery. Brian Roeder, owner, was thoughtful enough to let us set up indoors so we stayed warm and toasty throughout the afternoon.  We also got to showcase our beautiful original note cards from the Peace by Piece Quilts Project. 

We had a very successful mediation training seminar “The Ins and Outs of a Successful Mediation” led by the Honorable Stan Klein (Retired). Attorneys and mediators were able to receive continuing education credits.  Thank you Judge Klein!

Shane Van Hoy, 17, a senior at Stafford Senior High School and the Commonwealth Governor School in Stafford recently presented his year-long research project on mediation and bullying to PDRC Executive Director Lawrie Parker. Shane was required to obtain expert guidance throughout the project and Ms. Parker has been working with him since last November. His research question was, “Why and how do people go about bullying others and is mediation the best way to solve this problem?” Shane presented his project at England Run Public Library in south Stafford.

PDRC staff, board members, volunteers and their families all pitched in to help at the Fauquier County Food Distribution Coalition (FCFDC) on May 17-18, at the Warrenton United Methodist Church.  This is one more way that PDRC is helping the community!

PDRC held a 20-Hour Basic Mediation Training Class from May 2-4.  The class was a great success!

Dedication of “Lake Dennie” took place at the Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility (WARF) in Warrenton on May 5, 2013.  Dennie was a huge advocate for parks and recreation in the Warrenton Community and was instrumental in helping to develop many of the amenities the area around the WARF.  He was also one of PDRC’s beloved mediators and the Restorative Justice Coordinator at the Prince William Office of Dispute Resolution in Manassas.  Dennie passed away suddenly in August  15, 2010 and is missed by all he knew him or knew of him.

On April 23, 2013, PDRC Executive Director, Lawrie Parker, Fauquier Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Parker and Fauquier Sheriff’s Sgt. Sal Torelli gave a presentation to Fauquier High School students about restorative justice. 

An informative essay on Mediation was written by 10th grade Fauquier High School student, Samantha C. Currier.

The Fauquier County Board of Supervisors has proclaimed March as Mediation Month in Fauquier County. Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center (PDRC), a Piedmont United Way agency and the county’s only non-profit dispute resolution center, received the proclamation at February’s Board meeting from Supervisor Holder Trumbo.  In presenting it to PDRC’s President Jim Lawrence, Secretary Sylvia McDevitt and Executive Director Lawrie Parker, Mr. Trumbo recognized the Center for its work in dispute resolution since 1990. The county’s proclamation parallels Governor Bob McDonnell’s statewide proclamation of March as Virginia Mediation Month.
Culpeper, Stafford and Prince William Counties have also proclaimed March as Mediation Month.  This is an exciting time for mediation and PDRC!  

PDRC went live, on WKCW Radio 1420AM  that is.  Listen to our radio commercials here:

December:  PDRC’s Restorative Justice Program volunteer Lynette Parker was a featured presenter in December in a webcast sponsored by the Do Peace Organization. Lynette is the Programme Manager at the Centre for Justice and Reconciliation at Prison Fellowship International where she has been involved in promoting and training Restorative Justice principles worldwide for over 11 years. You can hear the audio presentation by going to: and clicking on Restorative Justice on the horizontal menu.  Volunteering through PDRC, Lynette has been instrumental in the growth of restorative justice in Fauquier County.

Lawrie Parker, Executive Director of the Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center was a contributing author in a newly published textbook entitled Readings & Case Studies in Mediation for the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Ms. Parker wrote a chapter on victim-offender mediation, based on her experiences in developing the Center’s restorative justice program over the past 15 years.

Press Release: Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center (PDRC), a Piedmont United Way agency, was recently named a Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) organization for a third year by the Virginia Department of Social Services.  The purpose of NAP is to encourage businesses, trusts and individuals to make donations to approved non-profit organizations for the benefit of low-income persons.  

We had a going away reception for two people from the Prince William County Office of Dispute Resolution which PDRC manages. Christiane Eichmann left to pursue her master’s degree and Karen Fidler retired to spend time with her two new grandchildren.

Some of PDRC’s staff and Board Members had the honor to meet nationally-recognized storyteller and organizational consultant Kim Weitkamp.  She entertained us with her stories and helped us explore our own messaging and ways to develop “elevator speeches” to get the message out about the value of PDRC’s  services. Ms. Weitkamp is the dynamic storyteller who worked with us at P.B. Smith Elementary School in Warrenton two years ago for our 20th anniversary Peace by Piece quilting project.  Her upcoming work with PDRC and other community mediation centers is being funded by the Virginia Association for Community Conflict Resolution (VACCR).

We are honored and proud to announce the completion of a community collaborative quilt created by Fauquier County Public School students and the Fauquier County Quilters to honor and celebrate the Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center’s 20th Year Anniversary (1990-2010).  

Conflicts and Croissants, Donuts and Disputes: PDRC held a successful breakfast seminar on conflict resolution on March 29, 2012 at the Warrenton Visitor’s Center. Many people attended this informative learning session and now have a better idea of their conflict management style and how to handle future conflicts

Press Release: Lawrie Parker, Executive Director of the Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center has been reappointed to a three year term on the Supreme Court of Virginia’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Advisory Council. The Council advises the state supreme court’s Office of Executive Secretary on mediation issues as well as other forms of dispute resolution. Ms. Parker was also reappointed to the Supreme Court of Virginia’s Mediator Complaint Panel which reviews formal complaints made against mediators and recommends a course of action. She has served in both capacities for the past 11 years. 

PDRC Staff, Volunteers and Board Members assisted with the Fauquier County Food Distribution Coalition’s Food Distribution Drive on January 21, 2012.  Despite the icy road conditions, we had an excellent turnout and helped with this worthwhile cause to distribute food to the needy.

Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center (PDRC) is moving forward, following the needs of the community into the field of Elder Care Mediation.  As the baby boomer generation is steadily becoming the elder boomer population, it opens up many new needs.  Families are often strained and pulled in many directions while trying to take care of aging parents.  Elder Mediation provides an opportunity for the family to speak and be heard about key issues that arise from aging.  Some of these issues include care-giving responsibilities and support, independence and safety, guardianship, conflicts with service providers, medical treatment options, and estate planning and distribution.  Sometimes these concerns can create family feuds; meditation works on strengthening the family relationship.  It also decreases stress, arguments, it saves time and money, gives closure, and enhances relationship skills.


The Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center (PDRC) celebrated its 20th year of service to the community at Ballina Farm in Rectortown on Saturday, September 25th. The horse farm is the home of Lori and Sean Keenan McGuinness.  Ms. Keenan was a volunteer mediator with the Center.

Ms. Anita Sutherland accepted a special award on behalf of her husband, the late Dennie Sutherland. Mr. Sutherland was a volunteer with PDRC’s mediation and restorative justice programs. He also worked as Restorative Justice coordinator for PDRC’s program in Prince William County. Board President Ed Stinnett and Services Director and Mediator Marlene Hahn presented the plaque.

In addition, the Center recognized four people instrumental to its growth, particularly during the Center’s early years. They are retired Fauquier General District Court Judge Charles B. Foley, Mr. and Mrs. B.G. ‘Bob’ Sowder, Jack Garber of the Piedmont United Way, and Patricia Cloud. Sixty people attended the celebration.

Lawrie Parker, Executive Director of the Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center (PDRC), was reappointed to a two-year term on the Supreme Court of Virginia’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Advisory Council.  The Council advises the state Supreme Court’s Office of Executive Secretary on mediation issues as well as other forms of dispute resolution.  Ms. Parker was also reappointed to the Supreme Court of Virginia’s Mediator Complaint Panel which reviews formal complaints made against mediators and recommends a course of action.  She has served in both capacities for the past nine years.

The Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center, a Piedmont United Way agency, celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.  Located in historic Old Town Warrenton, PDRC serves the counties of Fauquier, Culpeper, Madison, Orange, Rappannock, Spotsylvania, Prince William and surrounding areas.  It provides mediation, restorative justice, multi-party facilitation services and training programs that are available to individuals, families, businesses, organizations and communities-at-large.