Conflict Resolution Services, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, began in 1990 when local Traverse City residents Tom and Darylene Shea trained the first group of volunteer mediators, many of whom still serve CRS today. The Shea’s mission was to promote peace and civility in our community through the use of mediator guided dialogue. In those early days, volunteers would meet in church basements and around kitchen tables to train, role play, and share experiences. They would go to the homes of people needing mediation, focusing their efforts on resolving family and neighborhood conflicts.

It is with a great deal of sadness that we post regarding the passing of Tom Shea (04/03/2019). Tom and Darylene continued to be great supporters of CRS and the other Center’s for Dispute Resolution around the state after their retirement and move to the state of Washington. Tom enjoyed receiving updates about CRS and getting copies of articles related to CRS or other Centers. He was particularly excited when we sent him copies of the local and state proclamations for CRS’ 30th anniversary. Rest in peace, dear Tom, knowing your work will continue to be carried on by the many lives you touched. Tom’s obituary can be found here:

By the mid-1990’s, CRS had increased its rank of volunteer mediators and built a reputation for delivering positive results. The local courts began to notice, and with the foresight of Judge Philip Rodgers, a collaboration formed that continues today. As the courts began to rely more and more on the invaluable services CRS offers, more and more attorneys became advocates for mediation. Since 2001, a large portion of CRS training classes continue to be filled by attorneys seeking state certification.

In 2010, with the support of Rotary Charities, CRS moved from its 12 year home at Third Level Crisis Center to the Traverse Area Association of Realtors complex complete with offices, meeting rooms, and a connected space available for training classes.  In 2017, CRS moved to the Boardman Highlands building at the corner of Airport and Wysong Roads.  The space not only provides us with the needed offices, meeting rooms, and training space, it is centrally located and easily accessible by car, bike, public transportation, and walking.

Today CRS continues to grow. In 2011, we served over 800 individuals in our community. Our volunteer mediators donated more than 500 hours of their time facilitating over 300 cases. We are one of 19 nonprofit mediation centers throughout the state of Michigan that work everyday to promote the Shea’s mission of bringing peace and civility to our communities.

Are you interested in being a part of our continuing growth? Visit our “Join Us” page to learn about our trainings, how to become a mediator, or to make a donation.