About Us

We strive to strengthen communities peace by peace.

Our Mission

Our mission is to promote and provide collaborative problem solving processes throughout Montgomery County.

Our History

In 1999, a group of Montgomery County citizens came together to create a nonprofit that would enable people having neighborhood or community disputes to talk it out rather than fight it out, without the need to go to court. The Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County (CRCMC) officially opened on July 1, 2001, in the Executive Director‘s home. Since then, CRCMC has grown to include programs in the public schools, the district court, local correctional facilities, and more. We continue to look for new opportunities to strengthen our communities peace by peace.

Board of Directors

CRCMC’s Board of Directors include a group of passionate professionals dedicated to addressing the needs of Montgomery County residents.

Rick Buccheri

Co-President

Rick is the director of programs at ADR Vantage, an organizational development and conflict resolution consulting firm headquartered in Washington, DC. He oversees a national roster of over 135 ADR practitioners, and provides direct consultation, mediation, facilitation, conflict coaching, and training for a number of federal agencies. He formerly served as the mediation specialist at the office of the State’s Attorney in Rockville, the mediation manager at CRCMC, as the volunteer coordinator at Community Mediation in Baltimore City. He holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Development from American University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Studies and Civic Engagement from the University of Baltimore. Rick is also a seasoned mediator, and has served as a performance-based evaluator for Community Mediation Maryland. Rick is frequently a public speaker at universities and conferences on topics of conflict engagement, mediation, and organizational development. Rick is a risk taker and enjoys bold experiences. His most recent adventures involved bungee jumping and great white shark diving in South Africa.

Neva W. Ikner

Co-President

Neva traded the scenic Rocky Mountains of her native state of Colorado for the blue shell crabs of Maryland. Prior to moving in 2000, Neva obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice (specializing in Criminology), and a minor in Sociology from the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Since leaving the Mile High City of Denver, she has been working as a Senior Analyst for the Criminal Division within the Internal Revenue Service. Aside from facilitating groups at work, she is also an Agency Grievance Examiner with the Treasury Department. She is a mediator within the State of Maryland and has been an active mediator with CRCMC since January 2013. She is also trained in Re-entry mediation. Currently, she is affiliated with Association for Conflict Resolution (ADR), Maryland program for Mediator Excellence (MPME), Association for the Improvements of Minorities (AIM), and National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ). When not working or mediating she likes to travel and attend wine and music festivals. She is also passionate about bike riding and other outdoor activities.

Jody Reitzes

Past President

Jody owns and operates her own business, T. J. Meier & Associates, Inc., a company that imports frozen seafood (including octopus, squid, snapper and kingfish) from overseas and sells it to wholesalers and distributors primarily in the Mid-Atlantic region and the Northeast. The business was founded by Jody’s father over 35 years ago, and she has been working in the business for over 20 years. Jody has been the owner and President of the company since 2010. Prior to that, Jody was an environmental attorney with Dickstein, Shapiro in Washington, DC. She holds a B.A. from Tufts University and a J.D. from Georgetown Law Center. She spent a year after college as a Fulbright Scholar in Brussels, Belgium studying the European Union. In addition to her Board work, Jody volunteers as a mediator for CRCMC primarily doing in-school mediations and parenting plans. Jody resides in Potomac, Maryland with her husband, Jim and their two dogs.

     

Gerald T. Charles, Jr.

Board Member

With past roles as VP/General Manager, Executive Advisor, and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Gerald is a trusted advisor to the “C”-suite delivering thought leadership, visionary roadmaps, and innovative (multi-$B) business models. Mr. Charles has earned a Congressional medal for outstanding service and achievement. Prior to becoming Cisco’s Director for Strategy, Operations, and Strategic Customer Engagement for their $5B+ U.S. Public Sector business, Mr. Charles was vice president for TRW and BDM, and was a key architect for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR system – considered one of the government’s first e-Commerce systems. Mr. Charles served as Chairman of the Board for one of the industry’s first automated, interactive media marketing companies for video in retail locations, on various advisory boards for technology conferences and for senior executives and officials in civilian, defense, and commercial organizations - developing and implementing their strategic, operational, and financial goals, including mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Charles, a speaker on radio, video, and at conferences, is a McGraw-Hill published author, and has written various magazine pieces and Cisco global industry points of view, including the 21st century workforce and workspace, innovation in the Public Sector, transportation, and security. Mr. Charles holds a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Brent Croghan

Treasurer

Brent is a director and shareholder of Dembo Jones, P.C., a mid-size CPA firm with offices in Columbia and Rockville Maryland. With more than 18 years of experience in public accounting, Brent has significant experience in conducting and reporting on audits of non-profit organizations and preparing 990 tax returns. Brent is a highly trained auditor, whose experiences include successful audits of large and small not-for-profit entities throughout the Greater Washington Metropolitan Area. Brent holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Maryland, University College and is a Certified Public Accountant in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Brent resides in Frederick, Maryland with his wife, Jenny, and daughters Lillian and Lindsey. Brent’s favorite pastimes include watching his daughters swim and play tennis.

Theresa Hyatte

Board Member

As co-president and co-founder of MorganHyatte LLC, Theresa teaches communication skills to corporate executives, attorneys and scientists, including seminars on effective communication during conflict and negotiation. She also assists clients with preparation for on-camera interviews and public speaking using her background in research as a corporate and securities law attorney to tailor her coaching to each client. Theresa is a trained mediator and volunteers with the Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County focusing largely on parenting plans in addition to other types of mediation. Theresa also volunteers as an attorney with DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, providing pro bono legal services to survivors of domestic abuse. Prior to starting MorganHyatte, Theresa was an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP beginning in 2000, where she honed her skills as a corporate and securities law attorney focusing on disclosure compliance, financial regulation and corporate governance. She went part time in 2006 in order to spend more time with her family. She began her career as an attorney in 1997 in the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission as an attorney advisor and then as special counsel in the Office of Chief Counsel in the Division of Corporation Finance. Theresa received her J.D. from the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis (1997) and a B.A. from the University of Kansas (1990). She is also a graduate of the Honors Conservatory at The Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts.

Wendell Smoot

Co-Secratary

Wendell currently serves as a Program Management Specialist with the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control. Wendell is originally from Fort Worth, Texas, and a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan. He joined the Air Force after graduating from high school and spent twenty-two years serving in the Air Force with tours in Thailand, England, Florida and Germany. He achieved his Bachelors in Administrative Management with the University of Maryland, European Division, and his Master’s degree in Administrative Management with Bowie State University through the G.I. Bill education program. He has many interests and hobbies, including volunteering as a mediator for Conflict Resolution Center Montgomery County, District Court of MD and the Department of the Treasury, and recruiting for the Workforce Recruitment Program, a government program sponsored by the Department of Labor and Department of Defense that recruits disabled college students for government summer and permanent jobs. Wendell is also a former marathon runner, with two marathons under his belt, along with a number of 10 milers, 10ks and other races and he recently took up learning to play the piano. Wendell has been an Airbnb host since 2011 and a part-time tax preparer for the past sixteen years with H&R Block (Block Advisors). Wendell resides with his wife, Johanna, a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, and they have two adult daughters, Cassandra and Sarah-Amina. Wendell and his wife travel frequently to Texas to visit his mother and family, also to Germany to visit their daughter, Sarah-Amina and his wife’s family and friends.

      

Hannah Ho

Student Board Member

Hannah is currently a junior at Thomas S. Wootton High School. She was born and raised in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where she lives with her parents and younger brother. Hannah is passionate about conflict resolution and creating solutions that can help make an impact on the community. To gather more people and make a bigger difference, she founded Art With A Heart, a club that donates art and cards to children in hospitals locally in hopes of bettering their recovery. Beyond conflict resolution, she enjoys writing and entrepreneurship. She is an editor on Wootton’s Common Sense newspaper. Hannah is also involved in FBLA and the Humanities and Arts Signature Program at Wootton.

Catherine 'Kate' McQueen, Esq.

Board Member

Kate is a principal at Offit Kurman, P.A., where she focuses her practice on all matters of family law. She guides clients through emotional issues with a calm and reasoned approach. Kate received her Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School in 2001 and her B.A., cum laude, from Clemson University in 1997. She is admitted to practice in Maryland, Virginia, and DC. Kate is an active participate in the Montgomery County Bar Association, where she co-chairs the committee on membership benefits. She is also a member of the Peer Review Commission, an arm of the Attorney Grievance Commission, which reviews the conduct of Maryland lawyers and provides recommendations regarding their discipline. Kate is an active member of her church, where she teaches Sunday School and is a parish representative for Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington, which helps homeless and other residents of the metropolitan D.C. area find homes, jobs, and otherwise take significant steps toward improving their lives. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Kate now lives in Rockville with her husband and son. When she is not working, she enjoys outdoor activities with her family and cheering on the Clemson Tigers.

Diana Milena Ortiz

Board Member

Diana was born and raised in Colombia, South America. She has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and is currently a student at the George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Diana is also an intern at the Inter-American Development Bank at the office of Mediation. In Columbia, Diana had the opportunity of serving in different areas related to conflict resolution, focusing her work in social groups such as dysfunctional families, abused children and women, and communities struggling with issues of power, economy, and survival. Having lived in a country where individuals struggle for survival urged Diana to think and act proactively to become an asset to communities desperate to resolve their social and psychological conflicts. That was the reason that motivated her to enroll in the Master of Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Diana has been a mediator and a CRCMC volunteer since the Spring of 2014, volunteering as a mediator in adult and school mediations, and providing bilingual skills.

Daniel Philipose

Student Board Member

Daniel Philipose is currently a senior at Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, MD. He was born and raised in Maryland, and has been an MCPS student throughout his academic career. He is a member of various after-school clubs and partakes in several extracurricular activities. He plans to attend the University of Maryland, College Park as an undergraduate student in the near future, as he hopes to continue to serve the local community. He hopes to attend law school and become an attorney in the near future.

Mike Pina

Board Member

Mike has more than 20 years of experience in travel and transportation, public relations and communications. He currently serves as a program manager for communications and outreach at the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, DC. Mike grew up outside of New York City, went to college at Syracuse University and worked as an intern for Governor Richard F. Celeste of Ohio, before moving to Washington, DC in 1986. He spent 10 years as an editor for two travel trade magazines where he covered Congress and traveled to six continents before joining the Travel Industry Assn. of America. Later he worked as Director of Public Relations for AAA where he was in charge of AAA’s nationally recognized holiday weekend forecasts. He has been interviewed on all of the national morning TV shows as well as CNN, CNBC, MSNBC Fox News and NPR. He is a former member of the Montgomery County Taxicab Services Advisory Committee. Mike lives in Silver Spring with his wife, Donna, an administrator at Montgomery College, his son Lawrence (18) daughter, Lauren (15) and Blossom, the family’s Bichon Frise. He has worked as a CRCMC mediator since 2012 and is secretary to CRCMC’s Volunteer Circle.

Wendy S. Swire, MA, PCC

Board Member

Ms. Swire is the founding principal of Swire Solutions, LLC a leadership consulting firm based in Bethesda with a focus on training, teambuilding, conflict resolution and executive coaching services. Her firm evaluates, designs and teaches leadership courses, facilitates large and small group strategy sessions and conducts multi-party facilitations. She served as an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins Carey Graduate School of Business teaching negotiation and conflict resolution. Since 1989, Ms. Swire has mediated a wide variety of employment (EEOC) and family disputes for federal agencies and Prince George’s Circuit Court. She is the co- author of Anytime Coaching: Unleashing Employee Performance (published by Management Concepts, available on Amazon and Kindle). Ms. Swire is a graduate of the Georgetown University Leadership Coaching Program and a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation since 2006. Ms. Swire is the first head of the Washington, DC local chapter of the Neuroleadership Institute. Prior to forming Swire Solutions, Ms. Swire worked as a banker at JP Morgan and as an US Government economist. Ms. Swire received her MA from the Fletcher School (Tufts/Harvard Universities) and her BA degree from Mount Holyoke College.

Laurie Wilner

Board Member

Laurie has spent most of her professional life in finance and board-development, mostly with not-for-profits. Back in the 80’s, after nearly a decade working for a national land conservation organization, Laurie left her role of Controller to strike out on her own. Her first consulting work was to help non-profits move from hand-kept books to computers. It was during this time that she realized the help many non-profits needed to succeed as they grew from founder-directed to board-directed organizations; she began helping her clients both learn best-practices and consider the likely challenges their organization would face as they grew so they would address these as they developed their new organizational structure. Her life-long commitment to community service began in college when she worked as a volunteer juvenile probation counselor in New Jersey. Focusing on family responsibilities, Laurie semi-retired. In the ensuing years, she worked with family businesses and became an active volunteer in numerous organizations including her church, her son’s schools, homeowners association boards, in two D.C. public schools (helping with conflict resolution and prejudice awareness programs) and with organizations such as CRCMC. She currently serves on the Board of Friendly Gardens, which provides low-income family housing in Montgomery County. Laurie’s first mediation training was in the late 90’s; since then she has applied her mediation and facilitation skills in many arenas, especially when she worked with adolescents and in her work training adults to communicate and work well with teens. She joined CRCMC’s volunteer group over eight years ago and, in 2011, CRCMC recognized her many hours of volunteer work by honoring her as the 2011 Volunteer of the Year. She enjoys scuba, and is dedicated to exploring new things to add to her eclectic mix of skills that range from artistic expression to flying.

Adam E. Moskowitz

Board Member

Adam E. Moskowitz, a Junior Partner with the Bethesda law firm of Bauersfeld, Burton, Hendricks & Vanderhoof, LLC, has been with the firm for five years, beginning as a law clerk. Adam received his political science degree cum laude with departmental honors from the University of Miami and his law degree from The George Washington University Law School. He is a member of the Maryland Bar and the District of Columbia Bar.