Alexandria Skinner, J.D.
My passion is to use my legal training, skill as a mediator, professional training in ethics, and mature perspective on life to help divorcing couples, families, and closely held groups address challenging conflict in ways that are healing, holistic, and realistic.
Unlike traditional methods of addressing conflict which seek to “resolve” conflict by coming up with and applying band-aid “solution” from the top down, my goal will be to uncover all the interests leading to the conflict and to guide a process through which divorcing couples, families, and groups find their own solutions that reflect their own values and which address the root causes of conflict. This results in agreements which meet the needs of the parties and which will be more likely to stand the test of time.
As an IACP certified collaborative professional, I also have the capability to incorporate use of other professional experts in the mediation process. Some of these professionals include neutral accountants and financial experts, child psychologists and child specialists, vocational experts, appraisers, geriatric care managers for elder issues, tax or other subject matter attorney advisors, and individual therapists for times when an individual needs a bit of emotional support. These professionals help parties understand their options and reach their own conclusions. Reaching agreement this way results in excellent remedies which are authentic to the parties, not just a court ordered edict which may or may not reflect the most significant needs of the parties.
While mediation skill works on any conflict at any level, I love helping people in the affairs that are most personal to them and thus affect quality of life most deeply. I therefore focus on helping divorcing couples, extended families, family-run businesses, churches, and school IEP teams – all cases where people ideally will seek to “tackle problems without tackling each other”.™
Mark Buchan, M.A.
Mark first experienced the healing power of mediation as a participant in a mediation for a church congregation. This experience was so overwhelmingly positive for him and for the congregation he was leading that he decided to pursue training to be a mediator for church congregations.
Mark is a graduate of the Mediation Skills Training Institute of the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center and received his certification in 2003. Since then he has served as a faith-based mediator for churches on the congregational level, in situations calling for conflict transformation between individuals, and in multi-party disputes.
Mark Buchan is a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and a minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Since his ordination in 1994 Mark has served parishes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and South Carolina, both as a called pastor and an interim pastor.
Since 2001 Mark has been a participant in the Advanced Clergy Clinic in Family Emotional Process, a seminar which applies Bowen Systems Theory to the management of conflict in communal settings such as congregations, businesses and families. In 2003 he became a consultant and began offering training and workshops in conflict transformation and the dynamics of emotional systems for church leaders and congregations.
Mark currently serves as a stated supply pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Johnston, SC and a volunteer at the Community Mediation Center in Columbia, SC. He lives in Columbia, with his spouse, Nancy, and their two children, Ross – 14, and Emi – 12.
Beth Padgett, M.A.
Beth Padgett has worked for years as a professional civil and family mediator. She is presently the (part time) Executive Director of the Community Mediation Center in Columbia, which serves families and community agencies on a sliding fee scale.
Beth earned two degrees from the University of South Carolina: a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Masters of Education. She also earned a Master of Arts in Human Behavior and Conflict Management from Columbia College. Beth has a background in education, mental health and addiction treatment services, domestic violence counseling, as well as curriculum and program development in these disciplines.
Other mediators may be engaged by Just Mediation, LLC, in particular cases, with care to match up client needs with particular skills and personalities of the mediators. Every mediator associated with Just Mediation, LLC, will have the skill and training to mediate your case effectively and efficiently. With the exception of interns who may be working under supervision, each has an advanced degree related to his or her field of expertise as well as at least 100 hours of training in mediation and significant experience mediating cases. Additionally, mediators bring other skills to the table. We will put together whatever team is needed to make a mediation successful, including translators or mediators or experts with significant subject matter expertise when needed.