By Janel Shoun on 11/18/2010
The work of Lipscomb University’s Institute for Conflict Management (ICM), founded in 2006, and its founding director Larry Bridgesmith, now senior fellow, were recognized by the International Academy of Mediators (IAM) in October.
Bridgesmith was inducted as a member of the academy, a group of the world’s top 125 mediators, and the academy held its 2010 annual meeting in Nashville, thanks in part to the work of the Institute of Conflict Management.
The ICM, established in 2006 by university President L. Randolph Lowry, also a member of the academy, has provided conflict management training for groups such as Tennessee Supreme Court justices and at-risk middle schoolers and has facilitated collaborative discussions among various groups from health care, religious organizations and nonprofits among others.
Growing out of Lowry’s internationally recognized dispute resolution work, Lipscomb’s ICM provides degrees, seminars and research dedicated to the advancement of conflict management disciplines in all areas of business and society.
As the inaugural director, Bridgesmith established and grew the institute to become a leader in conflict resolution. Under his leadership, the ICM developed Lipscomb’s master’s degree in conflict management and built collaborative relationships with the University of Tennessee College of Law, Vanderbilt University Law School and Southern Methodist University Center for Dispute Resolution.
At the induction ceremony, Tracy Allen, a former president of IAM and an adjunct professor of mediation at Lipscomb’s ICM, referred to the groundbreaking work of the institute, saying that in the short time it has existed, it has become a strong force for shaping the face of mediation. She commended Lipscomb and ICM for changing the conversation and improving the dialogue about the future of the mediation field.
Before joining the ICM, Bridgesmith had more than 30 years of experience in dispute resolution and innovative workplace strategies for clients, students and businesses. He is the president of Creative Collaborations, a consulting and training organization, and of counsel with Miller & Martin, a Nashville law firm.
Bridgesmith is listed annually in notable attorney rating publications such as Chambers USA, Americas Leading Lawyers for Business and Woodward White’s America’s Leading Lawyers. He currently serves as the president of the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators.
The ICM partnered with the International Academy of Mediators to hold their annual meeting in Nashville in October. The ICM hosted several events for the academy, and Lowry addressed the group on the role of mediation in developing sound public policy.