Announcing the Academy of Professional Family Mediators - a New International Organization

This spring, a new organization was born: the Academy of Professional Family Mediators. We are seeking founding members. I am on the board of APFM, along with a dozen other highly experienced family mediators (several with nearly 30 years in the field). You may be familiar with many of the board members’ names (see “Letter” below). I believe the Academy of Professional Family Mediators will quickly become the leading Family Mediation organization for promoting family mediation to the public, providing top-quality conferences and training in family mediation and setting standards for the field. For the past few years, family mediation has not had a leading organization to promote this method to the public, yet family mediation is used more widely than ever before. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the Academy of Family Mediators led the field as it became established and accepted by the judicial system as an important alternative to litigation of family disputes. But in the 2000’s, a lot of momentum was lost when family mediators joined with other mediators of all types in joint organizations and lost our own identity and focus.

The Academy of Professional Family Mediators has just started signing up founding members and is having its founding conference on September 27-30 at Cape Cod in Massachusetts. The Letter below explains the purpose and ambitious goals of APFM and a notice about the conference.

I believe we are at a turning point in the history of handling family disputes – divorce, parenting, elder issues, probate problems, family business and other sources of family conflict. Family mediators have skills that help families, rather than pull them further apart as litigation does. There is a need for a strong family mediation organization at this time and I am very hopeful that APFM will be able to make a difference in promoting this work worldwide. Join us!

Bill Eddy


Academy of Professional Family Mediators 3600 American Blvd West, Suite 105 Minneapolis, MN 55431

March 26, 2012

Dear Professional Family Mediation Colleagues,

Returning to our roots, Family Mediators have come together and have chosen to form a new organization of our own, the Academy of Professional Family Mediators.

As a national organization, APFM will be in an excellent position to cast wide-reaching and aggressive marketing strategies designed to enhance our members’ mediation practices and client bases.  No longer will Family Mediation be the best kept secret in the world!  APFM will embrace current media marketing methods that include effective social media strategies, actively utilizing radio, internet and focused television advertising opportunities and seeking NPR underwriting to encourage those involved in family conflict to choose mediation. Additional resources will be provided for disseminating pertinent information to referral sources and potential mediation clients.

Our vision extends far beyond the initial arena of divorce mediation. This includes the mediation of a range of conflicts within intact families, involving all levels of intergenerational conflicts, such as elder-care and family business disputes. It also includes other types of family disputes, such as those in real estate transactions, home renovation and construction, and conflicts involving non-traditional families, such as same sex couples and grandparent adoptions.

In the spirit of our passion for the field and with the credibility of our leadership positions in other organizations, we intend to promote a professional venue where efficiency and support operate at the highest of standards.

The Academy of Professional Family Mediators is formed as a professional membership organization of practicing family and divorce mediators. The membership brings together the collective wisdom of advanced mediation practitioners, researchers and educators. There will be various levels of membership, ranging from levels for new mediators to levels for those who have practiced for twenty-five years or more, and we are developing a competency-based certification process for Family Mediators that will guide a member from entry into the field through certification.

To achieve wide-ranging credibility and respect, we will establish a premier family and divorce mediation-accredited certification designation. This program will include a full curriculum, along with a practicum series for family and divorce mediation practice, and will delineate the experience and continuing education requirements and ethical standards needed for accreditation.

To lead the field as an educational organization, the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) will serve as a repository and source for a complete mediation education curriculum, including a professional quality newsletter, a professional journal developed in partnership with a college or university, a digital library of innovative process developments, research papers, and articles.  Educational programs and opportunities will be provided through pre-conference and conference workshops, partnering with colleges, universities, mediation trainers, on-line distance learning, member-only collegial bulletin boards, webcasts, teleconferences, and a LISTSERV.

A well-trained, knowledgeable mediator is an educated consumer’s best friend, and the vibrant resources of APFM will serve as the gold standard for family and divorce mediator training.

We welcome all practicing family mediators to join us. We promote quality work in our field and we intend to increase the credibility of mediation as a better option for consumers confronting family conflicts. If you are interested in joining these leaders and pioneers in the Family Mediation field and becoming a member of the new Academy of Professional Family Mediators, please let us know by going to: to enroll as a member.

And, SAVE THE DATES of  September 27-30, 2012  for our Founding Conference—our first national conference to launch our organization and, in spirit, to launch a new Family Mediation Movement!  Our Conference will include the sharing and developing of our vision, as well as the sharing of advanced mediation concepts, skills, friendship and lots of fun. It will take place at the family-friendly Sea Crest Beach Resort in Cape Cod, North Falmouth, Massachusetts, the infamous site of the most well-attended conference of AFM!

Please help us plan for the needs of our Founding Conference by replying at our website to the question regarding your intentions for attending our Founding Conference:

a) Definitely Will Attend; b) Not Sure If I Will Attend; c) Won't Be Able To Attend.

We will soon send out information about opportunities to volunteer and serve on various Academy committees.

Please feel free to spread the word and forward this letter on to other mediation colleagues and students as well as to local and regional mediation organizations that you think might have members interested in joining us in our new venture.

We look forward to your joining us and helping us launch this exciting, new and fresh professional venture. Please feel free to contact any of us for any additional information.


Bill Eddy: Steve Erickson: Ada Hasloecher: June Jacobson: Martin Kranitz: Marilyn McKnight: Diane Neumann: Ken Neumann: Chip Rose: Don Saposnek: Rod Wells:




Founding Conference of the new


Academy of Professional Family Mediators


Build It and They will Come! . . .


A Visionary Gathering & Reunion of Family Mediators


  • The Most Comprehensive Family Conference since 2006
  • Top Presenters in the Field (2 dozen sessions)
  • Lunch Discussion groups
  • Three Great Plenaries
  • Fantastic Pre-Conference Institutes


September 27 – 30, 2012


At the Sea Crest Beach Hotel


Falmouth, Cape Cod, MA


For more information go to:




Contact co-chairs Ken Neumann (212) 799-4302 or Rod Wells (914) 213-4665