Mediators

Elder Decisions® and Agreement Resources, LLC offer a team of experienced mediators, facilitators, consultants, conflict coaches and trainers to ensure the best fit for your dispute resolution or training needs.

Crystal Thorpe

Crystal Thorpe

Crystal Thorpe is a mediator, trainer, co-founder, and the principal of Agreement Resources, LLC, and its division Elder Decisions® – that each specialize in “making hard conversations easier.”TM

Crystal creates space for people to talk about what matters most to them. She facilitates proactive meetings among family members, and she mediates disputes. Crystal has trained hundreds of mediators from around the world in the growing field of Elder and Adult Family Mediation. She has also mentored mediators, coached new mediators-in-training, and provided customized Conflict Resolution Skills Training for eldercare professionals and families.

READ MORE ABOUT CRYSTAL HERE

Crystal is the co-author, with Rikk Larsen, of “Elder Mediation: Optimizing Major Family Transitions” for Marquette Elder’s Advisor Law Journal.  She was the guest expert for The Washington Post online discussion, “Family Mediation for Elderly Care” and has been quoted in The New York Times and in other national press.  She and her colleagues co-authored the book Mom Always Liked You Best: A Guide for Resolving Family Feuds, Inheritance Battles & Eldercare Crises.  Crystal has presented seminars and workshops for the Academy of Professional Family Mediators, the Association for Conflict Resolution, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, and the Northeast Human Resources Association, among others. 

 

Crystal recently served on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation and is a member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators and the Association for Conflict Resolution.  She served on the Public Awareness Working Group and the Court Systems Working Group for the Massachusetts Trial Court’s Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution.

 

Prior to co-founding Agreement Resources and Elder Decisions® in late 2003, Crystal had over ten years of experience in the corporate and non-profit sectors in the areas of training, human resources, quality assurance and consulting.  Crystal holds an MSW and an MBA from Boston College and an undergraduate degree in Cognitive Science/Psycholinguistics, magna cum laude, from Brown University.

 

Entering the field of mediation felt like “coming home,” and she feels fortunate to work at what she loves – building connections, and helping people be seen, heard, and understood.  In her free time, Crystal enjoys singing with others, playing board games, and volunteering and connecting at the Norwood Food Pantry. 

Halee Burg

Halee Burg

Halee helps clients become unstuck. She supports clients in having the hard conversations – conversations to discuss the topics on which they disagree; conversations to share and better understand each other’s perspectives; conversations to identify the issues and goals most important to them; and conversations to brainstorm and evaluate options for resolving their deepest concerns.

Halee mediates conversations with adult families, siblings and their parents, as they work through the challenges of aging. Halee encourages parties to create thoughtful, durable, comprehensive agreements that work for each person at the table, and that may also consider absent “stakeholders” – those who may be impacted by the parties’ decisions but are unable to participate.

READ MORE ABOUT HALEE HERE

A former practicing attorney who now focuses solely on mediation, to give back and help ensure broader access to mediation, Halee participates in community and court mediations through a number of greater Boston community mediation programs. 

As an active member of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, and the Academy of Professional Family Mediators, Halee continually expands her knowledge of the field, regularly participates in dialogues with colleagues about best practices and approaches, and develops relationships with professionals in related fields whose expertise helps support clients as they work to make informed decisions.

 Halee has authored a number of articles that have been published on mediation websites, on topics ranging from family mediation to cohabitation.  For your convenience, several of these articles may be found at https://www.mediate.com/author/Halee-Burg/1513 .

A graduate of the University of Rochester (BA, Psychology, summa cum laude) and the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley (J.D), Halee discovered she also enjoyed being on the other side of instruction, and regularly teaches adult education classes.

When not helping people become unstuck, Halee keeps busy pursuing her other passions – photographing beautiful landscapes, getting lost in a good novel, traveling, cooking, golfing, or spending special time with friends and family. 

Arline Kardasis

Arline Kardasis

Arline Kardasis is a mediator, trainer, conflict coach and co-founder of Agreement Resources, LLC and Elder Decisions®.  Her adult family mediation and conflict coaching practice focuses on decision-making regarding aging parents, sibling communication, shared real estate and vacation properties, personal property distribution, and family businesses matters, including succession planning.

Beyond her work with adult family members, Arline provides mediation and conflict coaching around a variety of other matters, including business partnership disputes.

READ MORE ABOUT ARLINE HERE

Arline designs and delivers trainings for mediators, lawyers, social workers, eldercare professionals and public audiences.  She has presented workshops and seminars around the United States on the use of mediation for resolving adult family disputes – and participants have traveled to Massachusetts to attend these programs from more than 20 states and from Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

As a thought leader in the field of elder and adult family mediation, she has been invited to speak at numerous programs and to a variety of organizations, including the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation, the Sino-U.S. Judicial Mediation Exchange Program, The American Bar Association, the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).

Arline was a founding tri-chair of the Elder Decision-Making and Conflict Resolution Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR). She served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Association for Conflict Resolution – New England Chapter and is the former Vice President of the Chapter.  She also served on the Public Awareness Subcommittee for the Massachusetts Trial Court’s Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution.

Arline received her BA in Political Science and Urban Studies from Boston University and her MAT with honors from Simmons College.  She also completed the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School’s Mediation Semester. 

Arline Kardasis co-authored Mom Always Liked You Best:  A Guide for Resolving Family Feuds, Inheritance Battles & Eldercare Crises (published in 2011).  She also co-wrote “When Aging Issues Lead to Family Conflict” for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Arline came to mediation in 2001 after 20 years as a small business owner.  During that time, she facilitated agreements among fellow members of a national business group, where she served as President.  After the sale of her business, it was that very satisfying work as a conflict-resolver that led her to enthusiastically pursue a “next chapter” in mediation, where she finds it an honor and a gratifying challenge mediate difficult and essential decisions.

At home, Arline enjoys time with her husband and their West Highland White Terrier, and regularly finds time for her other interests on the tennis court and on the pottery wheel.

 

 

Rikk Larsen

Rikk Larsen

Rikk Larsen is a co-founder of Elder Decisions®, where he is a mediator, trainer, consultant, and conflict coach. At Agreement Resources, LLC, Rikk’s mediation and conflict coaching practice includes co-parenting, post-divorce, marital mediation, and life coaching. He has created and presented conflict skills trainings to eldercare professionals from around New England. Rikk served on a Subcommittee for the Massachusetts Trial Court’s Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution.

He co-presented “Using Mediation in Elder Law” at the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and presented a workshop “When Families Struggle with Dementia: Facilitating Solutions through Mediation” at the Dartmouth Alzheimer’s Conference.

READ MORE ABOUT RIKK HERE

He is the co-author, with Crystal Thorpe, of “Elder Mediation: Optimizing Major Family Transitions” for Marquette Elder’s Advisor Law Journal.  Rikk was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition show, “Mediators Help Families with Tough Choices of Aging” and in 2011, co-authored Mom Always Liked You Best:  A Guide for Resolving Family Feuds, Inheritance Battles & Eldercare Crises.

 

Rikk is a former case coordinator for the Family and Probate Court and was a case liaison for the Harvard Mediation Program’s small claims court mediation program.  He completed the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School’s Mediation and Negotiation Semesters.  Rikk received his BA from Williams College and his MBA from Harvard Business School. 

 

Rikk helped raise ten kids – four by birth and six adopted from Vietnam, Cambodia and El Salvador as well as the United States.  He has nineteen grandchildren and three great grandchildren.  He has been humbled by his family life journey and the lessons about life he has learned along the way.