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Timm Lawson, President

Timm has worked in the behavioral health field for over 22 years, and is a Retired United States Navy Senior Chief. Since 2005, he has owned and operated Kharma Behavior Management, Inc., first in California, and now in Washington, as well. He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and holds a BA in Sociology, MA in Conflict Resolution and M.Ed. in Applied Behavior Analysis. A certified mediator, Timm is passionate about creating restorative practices in the community and helping empower individuals with special needs to be as independent as they possibly can, by creating strategies to foster behavior that will achieve their goals. 

Laura Garcia-Bohnet, Vice President

Laura Garcia Bohnet joined the Board of NMC in 2018. With her she brought a background in psychology; her doctoral research focused on the relationship between restorative practices and human wellbeing. She values NMC’s mission to promote peaceful problem solving and the way NMC carries out its mission - with commitment and integrity. Laura is trained as a mediator and currently works as an outpatient psychotherapist in the greater Seattle area. She is also a member of the American Psychological Association.

James Layman, Secretary

James Layman (He/Him) joined the AWSL staff in the summer of 2017 and currently serves as the Director of the Association of Washington Student Leaders (AWSL), as well as Director of Mission Peak Leadership Camp. James is a graduate of Central Valley High School and attended Eastern Washington University, focusing on Music Education, Psychology, and African-American History. James taught band and marching band throughout the Spokane area and is still an active marching band show designer. James currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association for Student Activities (NA4SA).

Through AWSL, James is a keynote speaker, curriculum writer, equity consultant, and program facilitator throughout Washington State. James has been a presenter at the Washington Activity Coordinators Association, National Conference for Student Activities, and the NatStuCo National Conference. James lives and works out of Spokane, WA.

What I love about mediation: Mediation is the way in which communities, cultures, and people come together through our shared humanity. It is a process where healing, listening, and truth-telling are woven together. 

Tom McArthur, Treasurer

Tom started with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and Business Administration from Pacific Lutheran University.  His eclectic path has led from broadcasting on radio in Tacoma and television in Spokane, to being press secretary for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, being communications director for a local hotel, later for state university and now, for a non-profit realtors organization - not to mention lots of other fun things along the way. Through his firm, McArthur Consulting, LLC, Tom has provided marketing and communications assistance for various businesses and organizations in the region, while continuing to produce documentary and special projects for KSPS-TV.  His former board affiliations include Northwest Society of Professional Journalists, Spokane Youth Symphony and Transitions Family Programs. He joined NMC’s board in October, 2015.

Dennis C. Cronin, JD

Dennis joined the Board of Directors in the summer of 2015, after serving as a member of the NMC Advisory Council for two years. He has practiced law in Spokane, Washington since 1986, and is admitted to practice before numerous courts, including the US Supreme Court. He is also an avid and respected legal scholar. While his legal practice focuses on family, criminal and appellate matters, he is also a trained mediator (through the Strauss Institute at Pepperdine University) and supporter of party-driven conflict resolution. Dennis is a former member of the Spokane Human Rights Commission and a former court commissioner pro tem for the Spokane County Superior Court.  He is 2017-18 president-elect of the Washington State Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, an interdisciplinary, international association of professionals dedicated to improving the lives of children and families through the resolution of family conflict.

Melanie Nelson

Melanie has much mediation training under her belt, including the following:

  • Two 40-hour basic mediation trainings at NMC (formerly Northwest Conflict Management Center when she trained there in 2005)

  • 20 hour Elder mediation training at Snohomish County (2014)

  • 20-hour family law mediation in Thurston County (2008)

  • 20-hour family law mediation training w/ Bob Collins (2010 & 1012)

  • Foreclosure Mediation Training at Washington State Dept. of Commerce in King County (2013)

Melanie became involved at NMC in 2005 when she became certified as a mediator and began mediating small claims cases. She worked as the program director and foreclosure mediator for several years, and eventually became the Executive Director of NMC. Melanie resigned when she started her own business in 2015, and she has been on the board since 2017.

Melanie loves that NMC has a big heart for Spokane and is always seeking out ways to reach out to the community to teach peaceful problem solving. 

Wendy Schatz

Wendy was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. After 2 years of college back East, she graduated from University of Oregon with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a secondary teaching certificate. She and her husband raised their daughter in Portland, and Wendy worked part time throughout their daughter's school years in bookstores and with a book wholesaler. When Wendy and her husband moved back to Portland after a time away, she worked in the University of Portland’s library. The state of the world was very upsetting, and she wanted a way to bring peace to conversations instead of guns. She took a mediation training course at Portland State University and loved it. She later took another mediation training through Portland Community College. When a new program in Clackamas County brought small claims mediation to the area, she was accepted to the program and trained in small claims mediation. She then volunteered with that program for about a year and a half. Not too long after that, Wendy and her husband moved to Spokane to be near their daughter and her family. That is when she met with Leslie and Northwest Mediation Center. She has been mediating with NMC for about 7 years now. She loves NMC for its commitment to bring peaceful resolution and conversation to the community. To her, mediation is the way to finding peace in a very conflicted world.

Jerry Caniglia


Jerry has been a member of the NMC board since December 2022. Raised in Phoenix, AZ, and a graduate of the University of Arizona with a BA in Social Sciences and Pre-Law minor, Jerry has called Spokane home since 1991. He graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1994 and began his legal career. After briefly working in the private legal sector, Jerry went on to work for the City of Spokane, with the first 13 years as a City Prosecutor, and now nearing 14 years of service on the bench as a Municipal Court Commissioner. Witnessing first-hand the need for dispute resolution alternatives to litigation, Jerry has felt drawn to the art of mediation as a method to settle matters outside the walls of the courtroom. He completed both the Basic Mediation Training and the Advanced Family and Divorce Mediation Training offered by Northwest Mediation Center. He looks forward to working in the future as a mediator, helping people work through conflict and serving those seeking relief and in need of restoration and closure. The opportunity to contribute as a member of the NMC board is an honor for Jerry, and he is proud to work with his fellow board members to further its mission, which is to foster, provide, and teach peaceful problem solving. Jerry calls family his first priority, and he and his wife Cyndi have three wonderful daughters, which they consider their greatest blessing.

Board Statement

NMC stands for this principle: Transparent, respectful dialogue can turn a destructive, or potentially destructive, conflict into productive collaboration toward peaceful problem-solving.  We urge you who are passionately engaged in the active pursuit of “liberty and justice for all” (regardless of your position on how to get there) to seek timely, strategic engagement in dialogue.  Seek dialogue before emotions have become so raw that intimidation, retribution and violence seem to be the only way to be heard.  

The trained mediators at NMC continue to offer our fellow citizens non-judgmental, impartial facilitation, for individuals or groups, to initiate and sustain respectful dialogue and peaceful problem-solving. 

Be well . . . 

Board members on the value and importance of NMC's work

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