n each issue of the Airpark News, we get up close and personal with Airpark business owners to learn more about their particular operating environment and how they see the future of their business shaping up. Airpark businesses come in a variety of shapes and sizes. This feature is designed to present a cross section of those companies, meet the key people involved and help you get to know the Airpark business community better.
Scottsdale Airpark News: How is business going relative to last year? Michael Aurit: Every month, we see higher numbers of spouses retaining our divorce mediation services. As more people become aware that they can avoid a divorce court war, and the high financial and emotional costs that come with it, more are choosing the divorce mediation process instead of litigation. High-profile celebrities choosing divorce mediation—most recently Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck—have helped create awareness that spouses can choose to have a healthier and more respectful divorce. SAN: What kinds of plans for growth can you share that might give insight into some of the other things happening in your industry? Aurit: Many people believe that mediation must take place at the beginning of the divorce process. However, The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation understands the trend of spouses wanting to enter mediation after their divorce to resolve later disputes regarding their children. We now offer “child custody mediation,” also known as “parenting mediation.” After divorce, when disputes arise over the parenting issues, parents can resolve them without court and more affordably in postdivorce modification mediation. Parents are far more satisfied with mediated results and the process is better for children’s psychological health. SAN: Are you planning to do any hiring in the next six months? Aurit: We work with many professionals who become essential resources for our clients in mediation. Financial advisers, accountants, attorneys business appraisers and therapists are professionals we routinely connect our clients with and
64 | Scottsdale Airpark News October 2015
MICHAEL AURIT, JD, MDR Co-owner, The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation • • • •
ear company was founded: 2014 Y Years in the Scottsdale Airpark: 1 Number of employees: 2 Industry: Divorce Mediation, Child Custody Mediation • Annual revenue: Less than $1 million
engage in the mediation process to help support fair and full divorce agreements. For example, we maintain a list of preferred attorneys who act as legal advisers for our clients in between mediation sessions. They do not charge a retainer to give legal advice, so it is an incredible resource. We also maintain a list of preferred therapists to connect clients with for marriage closure, individual, or child counseling. We are now looking to expand our professional referral network beyond Scottsdale, so that our resources for clients are equally robust in the East and West Valley. We are also always looking to continue partnering with Scottsdale professionals and businesses. SAN: How optimistic are you about the economy getting better in the next year? Aurit: As a mediator, I am always very optimistic. SAN: What is one thing about your business you believe other businesspeople in the Airpark would be surprised to know? Aurit: When spouses choose to enter divorce mediation before filing for divorce, chances are overwhelmingly high that they will become divorced without ever entering a courtroom. In mediation, a neutral mediator helps spouses reach agreements on all divorce issues. Our firm will then draft and file the divorce judgment, which contains terms that spouses retained complete control over. That way, spouses remain out of court, and reach satisfactory, sometimes creative agreements that meet their needs. People are also surprised to learn that unlike litigation, mediation is entirely confidential and private— protected by Arizona law. It makes sense that celebrities entering divorce mediation. More spouses are choosing mediation for the privacy protections.
SAN: What are some of the challenges faced by your industry and how is your company working to overcome them? Aurit: The biggest obstacle for the mediation industry is that people aren’t aware that mediation exists as a better alternative to litigation in court. When spouses hear about it, most believe it is the best way forward. Our greatest challenge is to educate Arizona communities about the great benefits of mediation so that more people take advantage of it. We are taking the concept of divorce mediation to the people of Arizona. Though various media platforms we are directly reaching those who need our services. We are also engaging financial experts, mental health professionals, religious clergy and business leaders to put mediation on their radar. Those in a position to refer clients to mediation can become heroes by relaying the information, and will make a positive impact on families facing divorce. We offer a free workshop for local businesses that explains the process of mediation and conflict resolution techniques. Workshops are conducted at your place of business, or at our Scottsdale Center offices located at the Scottsdale Fairmont Princess. Who is a role model in business whom you look up to? Aurit: I look up to my dad, Ira Aurit, whose website development and hosting company has called the Scottsdale Airpark home for more than 25 years. He has always been creative, resourceful and willing to try new things in business. Glad to have him rooting us on. SAN: What are your business goals over the next 12 months? Aurit: Our goals are to keep growing and stay focused on the work we care deeply about.