Presented by: 
Greg Abell and Cathy Fromme
September 12, 2017 -
11:30am - 12:45pm

About the Webinar:

Mediators often find themselves facilitating challenging and complex conversations in a context of broken trust.  It has been asked if it is possible to negotiate with someone where there is a breakdown in, or absence of trust.  Trust is a complex notion.  In this webinar we will explore this topic and identify a structure for assessing and understanding different types of trust.  We will identify key attributes of trusting relationships.  We will identify strategies for “negotiating” trust and reaching agreements on actions by which parties might rebuild trust.


  • What is our experience mediating in context of broken trust?
  • What is our relationship to trust?  What experiences with and beliefs about trust do we bring into the room that will influence us as “neutrals”?
  • What is trust?  Expanding our language to engage this complex topic
  • What are the key characteristics or manifestations of trusting relationship?
  • How to structure conversations to explore trust and clarify expectations in service of rebuilding trust.

About the Presenters:

Greg Abell - Greg is the Principal at Sound Options Group, LLC, a Conflict Engagement firm.  In this role he coordinates the design, implementation and delivery of all services. His particular area of expertise is in assisting agencies, organizations and communities in designing and implementing systems for more effectively engaging conflict, and facilitating productive and collaborative work environments. As a professional mediator, he has 25+ years experience mediating highly contentious, multi-party community and institutional disputes. He has the ability to weave this experience into his consulting and teaching as he assists individuals and organizations in collaboratively navigating conflict and change. 

  • Past President of Washington Mediation Association
  • Founding Board Member of the Dispute Resolution Center of Kitsap County
  • Administrative Agent to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for Washington State and Department of Early Learning to provide Mediation in Special Education.
  • Consults nationally in the design and delivery of Conflict Engagement resources.
  • Works primarily in the context of Education and Social Services Systems

Dr. Cathy Fromme - Cathy began her journey as an educator 35 years ago, as a first grade teacher in California and has held district, regional and state department positions in Washington, Oregon and California.  Prior to the Commission, Cathy was with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) where she developed Washington’s statewide Special Education Mediation System, chaired statewide education committees, and coordinated statewide professional development.  She was also the Diversity Manager for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources where she facilitated positive/inclusive working relationships and diversity in the workplace.

Along with her state level policy development and implementation experience, Cathy brings extensive experience evaluating programs, projects and proposals at the local and state levels.  She is a long standing Peer Reviewer for federally funded programs, editing consultant and field researcher.  Cathy was most recently the Deputy Director for the Commission.  Her current work with the Commission focuses on directing the Commission’s charter school authorizing activities.

Cathy has consulted, written and presented extensively in the areas of workforce diversity, trust, relationship building, and transition and the change process, designing and implementing strategies for employee workforce diversity and conflict engagement.

She holds a B.S. in Kinesiology and Education from UCLA, an M.S. from San Jose State University, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington. A Washington resident for over 20 years, Cathy has two grown sons, both of whom attended North Thurston Public Schools in Lacey, WA.