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Finger Lakes Mediation BY MICHAELE C. GANTZ

I have always been a “people person” and enjoy individuals from varied backgrounds and experiences. I was a transplant from the west coast to New York State as a small child, and grew up on my family’s horse farm in Williamson. Music and horses were always my passion and summers were often spent showing my beautiful Arabian horses. I studied flute at the Eastman and while in high school started the beginning flute students prior to their forth grade year. My daughter is carrying on my love of both horses and the flute. My work involvement has offered me the opportunity to assist people often in times of their greatest need or crisis. My degree in Psychology certainly was put to use in my first job after graduation a s a Ps yc h i a t r i c Technician in an inpatient psych facility. In facilitating group therapies, flexibility and compassion was always necessary. My responsibilities also included working with the doctors in establishing treatment plans for the patients. My sincere concern for people was put to the test on a number of occasions as at times the setting could became quite volatile. My love of horses grew into a business and ownership of my own horse farm. I studied dressage and was blessed to have found and purchased a phenomenal Morgan stallion, Master Suite. For 16 years I managed a Morgan breeding program, a training barn and taught beginner through advanced riding students. The farm was always 356


well represented at Morgan horse shows throughout the Northeast and it gave me great joy and fulfillment to see my students excel in the show ring and fulfill their dreams. I served as president of the Newark Rotary, was on the board of Newark Fest and was a campaign coordinator for United Way. I taught Anger Management for the courts and was asked for two years to teach Conflict Resolution at the regional level for Rotary. These experiences gave me the opportunity

to “give back” to the community which I have always felt was an important thing to do. It gave me an even greater desire to make a difference in the lives of others. In 2010 I established Finger Lakes Mediation after making the difficult decision to sell the farm. All my experiences dealing with people from all avenues made helping others through mediation a natural fit. I firmly believed in the mediation concept and I found that there was a need in the

tri-county area for more mediators. During the training process, I realized that this was a tremendous way to assist people to resolve conflicts without their going through litigation and the lengthy court process. I received training in divorce, custody and visitation and community mediation in 2010, and am available for any family, business or divorce issues. I’m certified to mediate for any court in the 7th Judicial District and also have a private practice with offices in Victor and Brighton. The mediation process usually takes 4 to 5 sessions during which the clients arrive at agreements on all aspects of their divorce or dispute. It is definitely a kinder and less threatening method than litigation. I guide my clients through the decision making process and make sure they have access to the legal information they may need. My clients feel empowered because they are the ones making the final decisions. I have developed a range of acceptable and appropriate compromises while negotiating which eases my client’s experience and saved them valuable resources. I focus the discussions to define the issues and then explore fair settlement options. I remain neutral throughout the resolution and have true compassion for the emotional turmoil the clients may be experiencing. When a divorcing couple have children, especially young children, I go over the “Children’s Bill of Rights” with them. The Custody and Visitation agreements must