January 22, 2018

Ombuds Head to Virginia for 2018 IOA Conference

The International Ombudsman Association will hold its 13th annual conference April 23-25, 2018 at the Richmond Marriott in Virginia. The event follows a now familiar format of keynote events from Ombuds and others professionals, plenary and concurrent sessions, and opportunities to hear from association leaders. An agenda for the conference is now available and registration is open.

Monday, April 23

Continental Breakfast for All Attendees

Conference Welcome and Opening Remarks

Mary Rowe Honorary Keynote Address
It’s Not Just a Title – It’s a Calling
Presented by: Rita Franklin, CO-OP, PCC
Respectful Confrontation; Reframing Power and Leadership in the 21st Century
Presented by: Joe Weston
Session with the IOA Board

Volunteer Recognition Luncheon for All Conference Attendees

Concurrent Session 1
1. Ombudsing as a She: Intersection of Gender and Ombuds Practice
Presented by: Mindy Eaves
2. Experience: On Display
Presented by: Teresa RalickiCO-OP, and Adam Barak Kleinberger, CO-OP
3. Compassion Fatigue
Presented by: Sigal Shoham and Brian Bloch, CO-OP
4. Demonstrating Your Value (2018): How Ombuds Help to Manage Risk
Presented By: Timothy Hedeen, CO-OP, Mary Rowe, and Jennifer Schneider
5. Labor Relations: Just Cause for Conflict Resolvers
Presented by: Sarah Espinosa, CO-OP, and Homer LaRue
6. Systemic Dignity
Presented by: Camilo Azcarate
Concurrent Session 2
7. Tricksters and Heroes - How Mediators Redefine Conflict Boundaries
Presented by: Linda Brothers
8. Build Ombudsman Legacies by Listening Better So People Feel Heard
Presented by: Steffi Berkowitz and Joshua Berkowitz
9. The Space Before the Facilitated Conversation: Preparing Visitors
Presented by: David Micheal and Tyler Smith
10. Cyberbullying: What Does an Ombuds Need to Know?
Presented by: Michael Steinberg
11. What Would You Do? Navigating Ethical Principle Dilemmas
Presented by: The IOA Mentoring Committee: Lynne Chaillat; Melissa ConnellCO-OP, Donna Douglass-Williams, CO-OP, Dolores Gomez-Moran, CO-OPJon Lee; Shreya Trivedi, CO-OP, Ronnie Thomson, and Mary Beth StevensCO-OP
12. Ombuds Practice in the New Protest Era
Presented by: Amanda Dean
IOA Welcome Reception

Tuesday, April 24

Continental Breakfast for All Attendees

Keynote Address
Empowering Ombudsmen to Help Solve the Problem of Abrasive Leadership
Presented by: Laura Crawshaw, PhD, BCC
IOA Annual Business Meeting (IOA members only)


Concurrent Session 3
13. Strange Bedfellows: Negotiating Neutrality Through Institutional and Interpersonal Entanglements
Presented by: Julia Heck and Sean Woolf
14. Developing a Shield Law to Protect the Organizational Ombuds
Presented by: Jon Lee
15. Conversations with Leaders
Presented by: David Micheal and Maureen Brodie
16. Value Proposition for Ombuds Programs
Presented by: William Maurer, CO-OP, Patrick Holman, CO-OP, and Gareth Willatt
17. In the Room Where it Happens: Inside Ombuds Practices
Presented by: Chuck Sloane, Angela Dash, CO-OP, Andrew Larratt-SmithCO-OP, Shirley Nakata, and Ruthy Kohorn Rosenberg
18. Tough Choices: Reflecting on Decision Points in Challenging Cases
Presented by: Francine Montemurro, Nicholas Diehl, CO-OP, and Howard Gadlin
Concurrent Session 4
19. Establishing Trust in Groups: Lencioni and Google Models in Practice
Presented by: Rita Callahan, CO-OP, and Ellen Goldstein, CO-OP
20. Translating Mediation Theory and Practice to Ombuds Practice
Presented by: Roy Baroff, CO-OP
21. The Power of Data and Benchmarking in Ombuds Programs
Presented by: Jackie Osborne, CO-OP, Eric Mayo, CO-OP, Sana ManjeshwarCO-OP, Tiffani Neu, and Vickie Rose
22. Building Capacity: Demonstrating Our Worth in K-12 School Systems
Presented by: Edward Newsome, Jr., Consuela Robinson, and Carlesa Finney
23. Conducting a Conflict Resolution Student Academy
Presented by: Erica Hansen and Olga Moran
24. Popcorn Share: Discover New Resources to Enhance Your Ombuds Practice
Presented by: Vikram Kapoor, Carolyn Esposito, CO-OP, Doris Campos-Infantino, and Elizabeth Hill, CO-OP
Pecha Kucha Cocktail Hour

Wednesday, April 25

Plenary: Dealing with Sexual Misconduct in Organizations
Facilitator: Shereen Bingham
Panel: Linda Brothers, Lynne Chaillat, and Eric May
Plenary: Howard Gadlin Un-debate
Facilitator: Sana Manjeshwar, CO-OP
Panel: TBD
Networking Lunch

Concurrent Session 5
25. Fairytale Fishbowl
Presented by: Teresa Ralicki, CO-OP, and Adam Barak Kleinberger, CO-OP
26. Academic Writing for the Ombuds
Presented by: Shannon Lynn Burton
27. Breaking Into Tech: Growing the Industry Through the Contract Ombudsman
Presented by: Amanda Dean
28. Ombuds as a Conflict Resolution Trainer
Presented by: Diana Anderson
29. Validate Your Office and Create Sustainability with Your Annual Report
Presented by: Karey Barnes
30. What’s an Ombuds To Do...in a Conflict Management System?
Presented by: Brian Bloch, CO-OP, and Sigal Shoham
Concurrent Session 6
31. The Ombuds Role When Consultants are Hired by Your Institution
Presented by: Lisa Neale, CO-OP, and Hector Escalante
32. Assessing Your Data: What Compelling Stories are Hiding There?
Presented by: Timothy Hedeen, Ilene Butensky, CO-OP, Scott Deyo, CO-OPMary Rowe, and Jennifer Schneider
33. Politics and the Ombuds: Navigating the New Era
Presented by: Shannon Lynn Burton and Caitlan Hendrickson
34. When Visitors Speak: How to Manage Issues Relating to Confidentiality
Presented by: Joan Waters, CO-OP, and Ruth Kohorn Rosenberg
35. Neutrality: Our Ombuds Superpower
Presented by: Carolyn Esposito, CO-OP, and Sana Manjeshwar, CO-OP
36. T.E.A.C.H. Employees to Prevent Conflicts
Presented by: Clare Fowler
Final Remarks/Conclusion of Conference

(IOA 2018 Conf Info.)

Related posts: IOA Posts 2013 Conference Agenda, Opens RegistrationIOA Posts Agenda for 2014 Conference in DenverIOA Posts Agenda for Tenth Annual ConferenceIOA Posts Agenda, Opens Registration for 2016 Annual ConferenceCall for IOA 2017 Conference SpeakersIOA Announces Agenda for Minneapolis ConferenceCall for Submissions: International Ombudsman Association 2018 ConferenceIOA Opens 2018 Board Elections with Large Slate of Candidates


  1. Hi Tom, It was a great conference! Do you have the dates for the 2019 Conference in NOLA? Thanks.
    Laura Smythe

    1. My best recollection is: April 21-23, 2019 at the Marriott in the French Quarter.