Laurie Macdonald, MS
Laurie has extensive experience working with a variety of non-profit organizations in the conservation, mediation, historic preservation and other fields. She has been a community mediator with Six Rivers since 2017. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of Oregon (1974), MS in Zoology from the University of South Florida (1986), and mediation certification in 2017. Laurie was Florida Director for the national nonprofit organization Defenders of Wildlife – combining science and advocacy to work for the protection of biological diversity, endangered species, wildlife habitat, and a network of land and water natural resources. She has served on a number of commissions composed of people with diverse perspectives from the private, public and governmental sectors, and has testified twice before US congressional committees. She is currently the board chair of Six Rivers.
Becci has extensive experience working in social services with at-risk youth and families as well as a natural curiosity about people and in what brings us together. One of Becci’s greatest strengths is to build relationships with people through mutual respect, compassion, and open communication. Becci has been a community mediator with Six Rivers since 2019 and is excited to serve as a member of Six River’s Board of Directors. Becci is proud of the expansion and growth in services of Six Rivers in recent years and she looks forward to continuing supporting her community with conflict resolution options. Becci received her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Cultural Anthropology from the University of North Dakota in 1990; her Masters in Legal Studies from Pepperdine Law School in 2019, and her Masters in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution in 2020.
Becci has live in the Gorge since 1991 and continues to be awed and inspired by the beauty that surrounds us. She loves time at the beach, watching competitive surfing, and hiking with her dogs.
Rachel has a background in nonprofit management, marketing and law. From her experiences throughout her varied career, Rachel has seen a great deal of conflict and the growing need for mediation. After moving to the Gorge, she was excited to take the Six Rivers Basic Mediation training and soon thereafter become a member of the Board of Directors. She is excited to be a part of such a dynamic organization and looks forward to helping support the community with its varied services.
Rachel revels in the beauty of the Gorge and playing outside with her husband and her black lab, Finn. She also loves adventuring overseas and lived in Cambodia and Thailand for eight years where she worked as a labor attorney with the International Labor Organization helping improve working conditions in factories and for a NGO that used soccer to teach children about the dangers of Cambodia. Rachel studied economics at the University of Virginia and received her Juris Doctorate at Lewis and Clark School of Law.
Ruth Berkowitz, JD
Ruth has been mediating in the Gorge since 2003, working privately, volunteering for Six Rivers, and serving as a mediator for the court system. After graduating from UC Davis Law School (1991), Ruth clerked for a judge in Alaska and then worked for a law firm in San Francisco. The case she is most proud of involved representing the National Organization for Women, in a Title IX lawsuit against all 19 campuses of the California State University for cutting women’s teams. Ruth also litigated some of the famous and tragic cases involving sexual abuse of altar boys in the San Francisco Diocese. Becoming a mother shifted Ruth’s urge to litigate and when she moved to Hood River in 2001, she focused on mediation rather than litigation. When not problem-solving, Ruth loves to kid around the Gorge and jump on her bike, hike with her dog Stormy, ski in the mountains, or write stories for The Gorge Magazine. She co-authored all three of the Kidding Around the Gorge Books — The Hood River Area’s Ultimate Guide for Family Fun. Ruth recently joined the 6-Rivers Board and is thrilled with the opportunity to promote mediation in our community.
Bill Lennox was raised in Venezuela and in 1960 moved to Washington D.C. where he was influenced by the strong activism of the civil rights movement and his own Quaker family background. His intercultural/bilingual experience and family’s involvement with humanitarian efforts developed Bill’s personal commitment to social justice concerns.
After studying in New York and Philadelphia Bill moved to Portland and began work with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office resolving neighbourhood disputes. It was during this time when he had a profound personal experience and recognized the power of the mediation process as an important tool for resolving conflict.
With an opportunity to move out of the city, he was offered a position with the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office where he received specialized training in conflict resolution and crisis intervention through the University of Virginia and Willamette University. Bill spent many years as a child abuse/major crimes investigator and as the Chief Deputy used mediation as an underlying process in an effort to deescalate conflicts outside and within the workplace.
In 2003 Bill received an opportunity to work overseas with the United Nations through the US State Department. In that capacity he worked with the resettlement of refugees and in mentoring Kosovo Police in the investigation of human trafficking and family abuse. He worked with a diverse international contingent represented by over 40 countries and helped facilitate communication training in resolving intercultural disputes.
After returning to Oregon he was elected and served as Wasco County Commissioner from 2007 through 2011 and is still active on government and non–profit boards.
Bill has been involved with Six Rivers Dispute Resolution Center since its inception and continues to volunteer as a mediator.
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