Pre-Conference Workshops

 Pre-Conference Workshops will be offered on Saturday, 16 March, and Sunday, 17 March. During registration you will have the opportunity to register and pay for these sessions. There will be breaks for lunch each day where attendees will be able to dine on their own at one of the nearby locations.

Saturday | 16 March

8:30 AM – 5:00 PM 

Pre-Conference Workshop: 3Practice Circles | Room 101-2

3Practice Circles are a simple, powerful new tool in the Ombuds’ toolkit — a framework for supportive, productive engagements with people whose different lived experiences… different perceptions, and relationships to status and power … have them fighting like cats and dogs. 

3Practice Circles operationalize listening as a team sport with rules that are intentionally simple because the work is hard. Ombuds keep the game safe and fair while the players practice listening wholeheartedly, withholding judgment, and staying in the game even when it’s difficult.

This nine-hour intensive is followed by a two-circle Zoom practicum, leading to certification as a 3Practice Circle Referee.

Jim Henderson’s innovative work in crossing the difference divide has been reported by The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and featured on This American Life with Ira Glass. Jim is a serial entrepreneur, a producer of films and live events, an organizational leadership coach, and the author of eight books. He makes his home on an island north of Seattle. 



Jim Hancock designs content that helps folks create safe places to talk about unsafe things. After a 1st career as a youth worker, he finished the 20th century in a commercial film house. Since then, he’s focused on boutique creative services, digital movies, and learning designs — which is what threw him together with Jim Henderson. These days, if you think you see him around Seattle, you may be right. 



Sunday | 17 March

8:30 AM – 5:00 PM 

Pre-Conference Workshop: Adult Mental Health First Aid | Room 103-4

The MHFA Course will cover common signs and symptoms of mental health challenges. Common signs and symptoms of substance use challenges. How to interact with a person in crisis. How to connect a person with help. Expanded content on trauma, substance use, and self-care. 

LaToya Burdiss is a dedicated mental health advocate and a seasoned Mental Health First Aid Instructor with over six years of experience. Currently serving as the Associate Director of Programs at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), LaToya is also in the final stages of completing a doctorate in Higher Education. With an academic journey that combines both practical expertise and research acumen, LaToya brings a unique perspective to the field of higher education and mental health. Her dissertation work focuses on understanding and addressing the complex issue of student suicides, aiming to shed light on effective strategies that faculty and staff can implement to support students in times of crisis.LaToya combines her practical experience as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor with her scholarly expertise on student mental health to deliver engaging, informative, and thought-provoking presentations. These trainings provide attendees with valuable knowledge and practical tools to address mental health challenges.

8:30 AM – 12:00 PM 

 Pre-Conference Workshop: 3Practice Circles Continued | Room 101-2

Jim Henderson and Jim Hancock

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM 

Pre-Conference Workshop: Play, Simulate, Reflect: A Guide for Deep Group Facilitation | Room 101-2

Play-Simulate-Reflect is a formula for eliciting deep group engagement, creating safety through the indirect examination of difficult issues, and for centering effective reflection and conversation about present group concerns. It is a process of building community and robust engagement that fosters innovation, vulnerability and insight, and shared perspective. Over the course of four hours, we will understand the value of play and how this creates the space for effective group facilitation; the importance of simulation, particularly when there are process, communication, and effectiveness concerns; and how to move from abstract to present concerns through a guided reflection process. In this highly engaged workshop, participants will learn multiple group facilitation techniques and exercises by experiencing them firsthand and will leave with tools to use in their own practice. 

Jennifer Mahony has 20 years of group facilitation experience of all sizes of groups. She enjoys group facilitation, as it can be a wonderful way to harmonize multiple perspectives, create shared understanding in a complex environment, and build a real sense of community. Jennifer has facilitated groups as an ombuds, as an ADR practitioner, and as a community and capacity builder in the telecommunications and financial sectors. She loves opening up space for people in unique and interesting ways!

 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM 

Pre-Conference Workshop: The Value of Contextualizing Case Categorization to Elevate Your Ombuds Program | White River I-J

IOA’s Uniform Reporting Categories provide a framework for Ombuds to do research and analysis about their programs. Learn from two seasoned Ombuds how they have contextualized the IOA’s framework to better capture the issues their organization is experiencing. Learn how they use this data to tell their story and provide data-driven insights. Learning outcomes include a reporting rubric contextualized for your respective organization you can use for a more data-driven program analysis.

Alicia Booker, Ph.D. is the Principal Ombuds for Baylor College of Medicine and former University Ombudsperson for the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Alicia received her Ph.D. from Nova Southeastern University’s Conflict Analysis and Resolution program. Her dissertation project focused on Competencies for Ombuds practicing in Higher Education. She has a passion for helping people explore their options when faced with conflict and they feel stuck. She has more than 15 years of experience in public speaking, executive coaching, conflict management, conflict resolution, and conflict reduction techniques training. Alicia earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution from Southern Methodist University (SMU). She is an Adjunct Faculty at SMU and has served as a guest lecturer at Lipscomb University, Nova Southeastern University, and the University of Texas. Alicia has received graduate certificates in executive coaching, conflict coaching, mediation, and advanced training on workplace collaboration from SMU and a qualitative research graduate certificate from NSU. In addition to dispute resolution, Alicia’s roots in investigative journalism and private investigation have equipped her with critical interview and question-asking skills that are key to her role as an ombuds.

Wayne Blair is the Ombudsperson of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He brings with him a broad spectrum of experience and skills in conflict resolution, negotiation, and mediation. Consistent with the guiding principles of the ADB Office of the Ombudsperson, Wayne strives to continuously innovate to provide meaningful ombuds services to members of the ADB community. He nurtures analytical and creative thinking to encourage transformational change in the organization’s culture. Prior to ADB, Wayne worked in the role of ombuds in higher education in the United States. He is certified by the New York State Bar as a Mediator. He is originally from Jamaica.