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Retired Veteran, Community Volunteer John Tolliver Recognized by National Organization for Service

Volunteer mediator John Tolliver has been recognized by the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) for helping Dutchess residents with the conflicts of their lives. NAFCM is regarded as a leading resource for mediation and alternative dispute resolution centers. For more than 12 years, Mr. Tolliver has volunteered with the Poughkeepsie-based Mediation Center of Dutchess County. Throughout that time, he has mediated cases ranging from small claims and surrogate’s court to family visitation and custody arrangements. 

“The Mediation Center of Dutchess County is proud to be a resource within the community, that is resourced by the community,” said Leanne Lawson MSW, Executive Director of MCDC. “Our volunteer mediators facilitate nearly all of the cases we take on each year. Each of these generous individuals undergo rigorous training before guiding people through challenging conflicts. John Tolliver is among the exemplary volunteers we have, regularly helping neighbors through their most difficult times. His skills and passion for this work inspire us all, and we are pleased that he is being honored by such an esteemed group.”

Prior to volunteering as a mediator, Mr. Tolliver served in the US Navy, worked as an engineer and gemstone seller. He has also volunteered in the Medical Reserve Corps.

Mediation Center of Dutchess County Begins 40th Year With Grants from Local Foundations

With new and expanded funding from local foundations, the Mediation Center of Dutchess County (MCDC) will begin its 40th year serving the community. MCDC provides no- or low-cost dispute resolution services to individuals, families, organizations, and communities throughout the county. In late 2022, the nonprofit organization received a combined $40,000 in operating support from Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley and the Dyson Foundation.

“As a small, volunteer-based nonprofit, we work hard to help neighbors navigate the conflicts of their lives,” said Leanne Lawson MSW, Executive Director. “Whether someone is dealing with small claims cases, workplace disputes, or personal matters like custody arrangements or divorce, we can help them explore solutions. With grant support from these community leaders, MCDC can continue providing accessible, confidential services. ”

2023 marks the organization’s 40th year helping individuals, and in turn, strengthening community resilience. Each year volunteers facilitate more than 97% of mediation cases, guiding thousands of individuals through conflict resolution.