Meet Our Mediators

Our mediators are all familiar with farming and rural issues. They are experienced and attend yearly training to maintain their skills.

Debra Burke

Debra Burke

Executive Director

Debra Burke is a Professor of Business Administration & Law in the College of Business at Western Carolina University.

  • Master’s degree in Public Affairs
  • Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas.
  • Professor Burke’s research interests include contract law, employment law and pedagogical studies.
  • She was licensed to practice law in Texas.

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Wanda Braithwaite-Baril

Wanda Braithwaite-Baril

Mediator

  • Studied at Casco Bay College
  • Experienced Farm industry Mediator and Facilitator

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H. Bernetta Brown

H. Bernetta Brown

Mediator

  • J.D. degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law (1988)
  • B.A. degree in Political Science from North Carolina State University (1983).
  • She is a member of the North Carolina State Bar, the North Carolina Bar Association and the 1st Judicial District Bar.
  • In September 2016, she created Mobile Mediation, Inc. Home – Mobile Mediation, Inc. (mobilemediationinc.com)
  • She has practiced primarily in the areas of personal injury and education law.
Janet Ford

Janet Ford

Mediator, Associate Professor at Western Carolina University.

  • J.D., University of South Carolina in 1998
  • BM from Furman University in 1985
  • District Court Mediation Certification from NC Dispute Resolution Commission
Bob Holbert

Bob Holbert

Mediator

  • Lifelong resident of Polk County, NC
  • BS in Social Sciences Appalachian State University
  • 30 years with USDA’s Farm Service Agency
  • Currently employed with Polk County Clerk of Court
  • Mediator with NCAMP since program inception in 2007
  • Superior Court Mediator since 2008
  • Married (Linda), 2 sons, 5 grandchildren.

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Joan Kimmel

Joan Kimmel

Mediator

  • MA In Conflict Resolution, University of NC Greensboro
  • Experienced Farm Industry Mediator
Andy Silver

Andy Silver

Mediator

A 21-year mediator having started mediating NCAMP disputes at the program’s inception

  • Mediates for other state and federal agencies and is a certified divorce mediator through the NC Dispute Resolution Commission
  • Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from Columbia College, Columbia SC (1999).
  • His website features other credentials and certifications at ResolutionExperts.com
  • His cell is 704-375-1124.
  • Previously, five years as a Human Resources generalist for the Charlotte DuPont organization
Aaron Thompson

Aaron Thompson

Mediator

Detective Sergeant, City of Brevard Police Department

  • B.A. in Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Asheville
  • M.A. in Philosophy, University of South Carolina-Columbia
  • Certified to conduct mediated settlement conferences by NC Dispute Resolution Commission

Mediation Director: Judith Stilz Ogden

Judith Stilz Ogden received her law degree from Duquesne University School of Law, her LL.M. from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law, and an M.S. in Taxation from Robert Morris College.

She has spent over thirty years in higher education and is a Fulbright Scholar. She is an Emeritus Associate Professor of Business Law at Clayton State University in Georgia.

In addition to teaching at Clayton State, she was the Assistant Dean for the MBA Graduate Program, the Director of the Center for Business and International Negotiation, the Coach for the award-winning Mediation Team, and she also conducted faculty mediations.

She is a member of the Sierra Leone Program of Mediators Beyond Borders, Inc., providing training in Leadership and Conflict Resolution in that country. She is the author of over 18 articles dealing primarily with conflict resolution and employment law.

Contact Us

Judith Stilz Ogden, Mediation Director
404-277-8515 or 770-262-2814
jogden@wcu.edu