AAM Leadership

Board of Directors

President of the Board

SHANA ELLISON is Associate Director at the University of Texas Conflict Resolution Center, promoting collaboration through communication trainings, meeting facilitation and focus groups. Shana is a TMCA Credentialed Mediator, a member of Texas Association of Mediators and an active mediator with the Austin Dispute Resolution Center, and Travis County and Williamson County Juvenile Centers. Earning a Masters in Industrial and Systems Engineering and an BS in Psychology, Ms. Ellison has broad business experience in communication, entrepreneurship, technology, project management, education and human resources.

STACY ALEXANDER has 20 years of experience practicing Civil Appeals Law, in both Houston and Austin. She has handled briefing, research and writing for complex, multi-party appeals in the areas of Toxic Tort, Product Liability, Personal Injury, Fraud and Breach of Contract, Insurance Defense. In Houston, she worked for the Law Offices of Russell H. McMains and Rothfelder & Falick, LLP. In Austin, she worked for Fulbright & Jaworski and Karen Burgess. She also has experience in litigation support in a variety of legal cases including Commercial Business, Construction and Trade Secrets. Her mediation practice is focused on family, elder, commercial, HOA, real estate, construction, and consumer issues. She is a volunteer at the Dispute Resolution Center of Austin for both Civil Litigation Mediation and Community Based.

THEODORE DANIELS has forty three plus years working with churches and families national, international and cross-culturally in leadership training, capacity building, planning retreats, and other areas of church related organizations and committees. He is a bilingual mediator (English/Spanish) with over one hundred hours of mediation experiences including contract disputes, and juvenile court pre-release agreements. He is also a trained and certified ombudsman.

Membership Coordinator

BILL FORBES is a TMCA Credentialed Advanced Mediator. He has conducted pro-bono mediations at the Austin DRC, the Central Texas DRC, Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center and Williamson County Juvenile Detention Center and has served as a group facilitator for the City of Austin. Bill is retired from a career in Software Engineering. In addition to his Software background, he has experience in monitoring of industrial air emissions and in Environmental Justice. Prior to 1984 Bill worked as a research psychologist.

LINDA GIBSON has been helping people resolve conflict for more than four decades. She is a retired teacher and guidance counselor, and is also a licensed attorney. She limits her practice to mediation, rather than litigation, because she firmly believes people can find their own best solutions to their problems, rather than trusting judges and juries to decide for them. Linda is a TMCA Credentialed Advance Mediator and is a member of the Association of Attorney Mediators. She has been very active in the Texas Association of Mediators (TAM) for many years, currently serving on the TAM board as the Newsletter Editor.


ELLY VAN LAAR specializes in helping couples in divorce maintain mutual respect. For 20 years, Elly has helped individuals, couples and organizations deepen compassion and empathy skills, bridge differences, and find solutions that benefit all parties. Elly is a speaker and blogger on Nonviolent Communication, mindfulness, and conflict resolution. Elly has a Masters in Political Science from Leiden University in the Netherlands. She has eight years of training with Nonviolent Communication teachers and five years of teaching Nonviolent Communication. She belongs to Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Blossom mindfulness community, volunteers at the Austin Dispute Resolution Center and is a member of Amnesty International since 1980.

LARRY OLIVER is retired after 27 years as a police officer in Austin, Texas. He has 12 years experience as a volunteer mediator at the Austin Dispute Resolution Center and currently serves on their board of directors. Larry has over 600 hours of mediation experience in over 180 mediations at the DRC, for the City of Austin, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Austin Independent School District. He holds a Master's degree in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from Creighton University and has been recognized by the Werner Institute at Creighton for Outstanding Service to the Community.

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