About

Athens Area Mediation Service has been serving our community since 1993. We are dedicated to solving conflict through cooperation.

Our Staff

Director | Bethany Luzny

Community Relations | John Schmeiding

Our Board of Trustees

Tori Swarm | President

Sarah Horne | Vice President

Isabel Graziani | Treasurer

Jim Sand | Secretary

Robin Muhammad | Board Member

Fred Weiner | Board Member

DeeDee Dransfield | Board Member

Trisha Lachman | Board Member

Kirsten Dransfield| Board Member

Our History

The Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management was established in 1989 to provide Ohioans with constructive, nonviolent forums, processes and techniques for resolving disputes. In 1991 a group of community members began to discuss the possibility of a mediation service to assist residents in Athens County with conflict resolution services. In June of 1991, letters of invitation were sent to a variety of community leaders, civic organizations, and local agencies announcing an informational meeting. At this meeting, the group was officially named the Athens Area Mediation Service, and a formal board and advisory group was established.

The Athens Area Mediation Service opened its door in the fall of 1993. Sue Smith served as the first director of AAMS. Under her direction, Claudia Hale, Professor Emerita with Ohio University’s School of Communication Studies used her personal and academic experiences to train the first group of Athens mediators. In its first two years, the group conducted five mediations. Since that time, our organization has grown dramatically. 

In January of 1997, John Schmieding became the first paid director of AAMS. We now conduct about forty mediations each year and continue to expand our services to Athens County each year, through trainings, mediations, and skill-building workshops in partnership with local organizations. Since 1997, over 900 area residents have completed mediation training. Our pool of potential mediators averages about 25 trained individuals. Nearly 1000 people in southeastern Ohio Have participated in mediations over the last ten years. About 87% of our mediations result in signed agreements between the parties involved.