2016 Pathways Award

Concord Mediation Center’s annual ‘Pathways Award’

Stephen Center Founders, State Probation Leader Honored

Concord Mediation Center held its annual “Pathways Award” Luncheon on Friday, June 24, at Field Club of Omaha. The 2016 Pathways Award Luncheon honored Sharon and Dick McNeil, founders of the Stephen Center and Ellen Fabian Brokofsky, Nebraska State Probation Administrator.

Pictured are, left to right: Tom Warren, Concord Mediation Center Board Member and Executive Director, Urban League of Nebraska; Cindy Tierney, Executive Director, Concord Mediation Center; Pat McNeil, representing his parents the late Sharon and the late Dick McNeil, founders of The Stephen Center and 2016 Pathways Award recipients; Cindy Ellis, M.D., Concord Mediation Center Board Member and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, University of Nebraska Medical Center; Ron Volkmer, Concord Mediation Center Board Treasurer and retired Professor of Law, Creighton University School of Law; Ellen Fabian Brokofsky, Nebraska State Probation Administrator, 2016 Ron Volkmer Practitioner Award recipient; and Tom Richards, Concord Mediation Center Board Member and Manager-Governmental and Community Relations, OPPD. (All photos courtesy of Abe Jackson.)

The McNeils demonstrate the qualities of the Pathways Award. Honoring those who have courageously opened their minds and hearts to processes of conflict resolution involving healing, forgiveness, empathy, open communication and/or the ability to bring disparate communities together for the betterment of all. The McNeils were upset at how the area’s homeless were treated, and in the winter of 1983 were compelled to act when they learned of an unidentified man who burned to death trying to stay warm in a dumpster. Today, the Stephen Center provides emergency shelter, transitional living and a substance abuse treatment program, serving tens of thousands of men, women and children each year.

Previous Pathways Award recipients include: Mike Kelly, Omaha World-Herald columnist; Fred Wilson, Von Maur shooting survivor and inspirational model of grace and forgiveness; and Heidi and Jeff Wilke, founders of The Heidi Wilke SANE/SART Survivor Program at Methodist Hospital.

Ellen Fabian Brokofsky received the Ron Volkmer Practitioner Award. With four decades of experience in juvenile and adult probation, she has been instrumental in the creation of innovative, community-based approaches for juveniles and adults engaged in the probation system, assisting them in becoming productive citizens. Brokofsky credits her team at the Administrative Office of Probation for their efforts to enhance safe communities by providing quality, ethical services in the face of economic challenges. The Ron Volkmer Practitioner Award, named for Creighton law professor and long-time Concord Mediation Center board member, honors practitioners who apply Concord Mediation Center’s mission to their professional or volunteer conflict resolution efforts.

Former award honorees are Creighton University Law Professor Ronald Volkmer, for whom the award is named; Concord Mediation Center’s Lori McKeon, Child Welfare Facilitation Coordinator; and Kerri Davis, Permanency Specialist for Nebraska Families Collaborative.

Fred Wilson, left, visits with Dr. Suzi Busby, during the annual Concord Mediation Center’s Pathways Award Luncheon on Friday, June 24, at Field Club of Omaha. Wilson, a Von Maur shooting survivor and inspirational model of grace and forgiveness, was the 2014 Pathways Award honoree. Dr. Busby is a counselor at Blackburn Alternative High School, within Omaha Public Schools. Concord Mediation Center has worked with teachers at Blackburn on topics such as conflict resolution skills and how to give and receive feedback.

Guests and staff gather at Concord Mediation Center’s annual Pathways Award Luncheon, held on Friday, June 24, at Field Club of Omaha. Pictured, from left to right, are: Jay Wilson, Director of Operations for Concord Mediation Center; Jim Dorsey, grandson of Pathways Award honorees Dick and Sharon McNeil; Lori McKeon, Child Welfare Facilitation Coordinator for Concord Mediation Center and recipient of the 2014 Ron Volkmer Practitioner Award; and Katie Welsh, affiliated mediator with Concord Mediation Center and attorney for the WCA.

Concord Mediation Center’s Executive Director Cindy Tierney enjoys the floral centerpieces featured at the annual Pathways Award Luncheon on Friday, June 24, at Field Club of Omaha. The centerpieces represent pathways each of us take in our lives, and the pathways Concord Mediation Center provides when we’re faced with conflict. The centerpieces were designed by Lisa Zulkoski, Floral Manager at Hy-Vee at 88th and West Center Road.