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 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.
- Studied at Casco Bay College
- Experienced Farm industry Mediator and Facilitator
Mediator, Associate Professor at Western Carolina University.
- J.D., University of South Carolina in 1998
- BM from Furman University in 1985
- North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission (Or NCDRC) Certified District Criminal Court Mediator
Mediator, Credit Counselor
Aaron Thompson, M.A., certified to conduct mediated settlement conferences in NC Superior Courts. Former Director of Mediation Services of the Center for Dialogue, Brevard, NC. NCAMP mediator since its inception in 2007.
M.A. Philosophy, University of South Carolina
- 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
- North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission (Or NCDRC) Certified Superior Court Mediator since 2007
- Married (Linda), 2 sons, 5 grandchildren.
- MA In Conflict Resolution, University of NC Greensboro
- Experienced Farm Industry 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 North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission (or NCDRC) Certified Family Financial Mediator
- Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from Columbia College, Columbia SC (1999).
- His website features other credentials and certifications at ResolutionExperts.com
- Previously, five years as a Human Resources generalist for the Charlotte DuPont organization
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.