Board of Directors

The Board of Directors consists of accomplished Family Mediators from across the Province of Ontario working together to promote family mediation and maintain the highest standards of accreditation.

Our Board is comprised of family mediators from diverse disciplines including law, social work, psychology and finance who represent every region of Ontario. Members are elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) for a three year term.

The Board develops and maintains standards for accreditation and continuing development in areas such as elder mediation and oversees the Executive Director and Director of Child Protection Mediation as they fulfill the objectives of the OAFM with a high degree of excellence.

Each Director is fully committed to ensuring that the OAFM remains the voice of family mediation in the Province of Ontario.

Meet the members of the Board


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Archana Medhekar


Archana Medhekar is an internationally trained Lawyer and accredited Family Mediator (OAFM)- Arbitrator, practicing in Toronto, Canada. She is negotiator trained at Harvard Law School- with special focus on leveraging power of emotions on negotiation table. She is an educator teaching at the York University’s Family Mediation Program. She is a roster mediator with various court-connected family Mediation programs funded by the Ministry of Attorney General. She brings over 25 years of international experience in the field of dispute resolution.

Archana’s conflict resolution work is focussed on issues of screening for power imbalances, gender-based violence, and impact of abuse on children with use of trauma-informed and intersectional framework.  She specializes in process designing and believes that linguistically and culturally informed approach is crucial for families navigating in any dispute resolution process.

Archana is the member of the leadership team of the United Nations (UN) working group of an international NGO Mediator’s Beyond Borders International, which has consultative status with the UN. She currently serves as a Board Member with the international organization Association of Family & Conciliation Courts – Ontario.

Archana is a co-author of the book “Domestic Violence in Immigrant Communities: Case Studies”- containing 15 case studies developed as free online educational material. She is currently involved in research project focussed on “Impacts of experiencing or witnessing domestic violence in childhood: Perspectives of racialized immigrant youth”.

Archana is a public speaker and facilitator of international trainings and workshops on Leadership and Negotiation, Mediation and peacebuilding and creative problem-solving processes. Archana's awards and distinctions include "The Volunteer Service Award" from Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, "The Champion for Social Justice Award" presented by Indus Community Services of Peel and recognition as "Trailblazer in Social Justice" by SALCO.  Archana lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband, their son and their family dog Ellie.

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Jim Doxtdator


Jim Doxtdator is a Certified Family Mediator who provides services to his Six Nations community, and to surrounding areas of Brantford, Simcoe, Cayuga, Hamilton, St. Catharines, and Guelph. His areas of expertise include family mediation, on-reserve MRP mediation, restorative practice training, and conflict resolution.
Jim studied Civil Engineering at Mohawk College, graduating in 1993. He then worked for over 20 years in a variety of government agencies at the federal, provincial, and Aboriginal community levels, in project management positions. and political advice. Jim has been a family mediator since 2017, accredited by the Ontario Association of Family Mediators. Jim completed his training as a Family Mediator and Restorative Practices Facilitator with the Six Nations of the Grand River Community Justice Program. The Six Nations Justice Program is responsible for the administration of the Community Matrimonial Property Act, which deals with properties owned by members of the community who are in the process of separation or divorce.
Jim is also a facilitator / trainer for the Indigenous Dispute Resolution (IDR) process. IDR is a framework that incorporates Indigenous approaches to dispute resolution that uses traditional values ​​and practices to resolve family conflicts. This IDR process was developed by Dr Robert Antoine and Dr Richard Hill, who advised Jim on the goal of training child protection workers with Indigenous families in Ontario. Jim incorporates IDR into all of his practices.
A highlight of Jim's career has been serving Indigenous communities. Jim is Haudenosaunee, Bear Clan, Cayuga Nation, Six Nations of the Grand. He is one of the founding commissioners of Ogwadeni: deo (Caring for ours) Ogwadeni: deo is the child protection agency of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.
Community work is very important to Jim. He is currently working with the John Howard Society (JHS) of Hamilton and Burlington as a Restorative Practitioner and Co-Facilitator of Duty-Free Services for those involved in intimate partner violence (IPV), and who are seeking diversion programs. Jim also works for the Center for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CCR & P), within the JHS Hamilton organization. Using restorative practices, he mediates conflicts in the workplace, in schools, and in the general community. The objective is to allow the responsible and the victim to communicate well in a safe environment, and to participate in the search for a resolution. Jim also does prevention work in schools,
In his spare time, Jim enjoys nature by cycling the trails in Hamilton and doing urban farming in his large vegetable garden. He is also a 2nd degree Reiki practitioner. He and his partner often participate in community farmer's markets promoting wellness through healthy eating and a healthy mind.

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Carolyn Shelley

Co-Vice President

Carolyn Shelley is a Partner in at Cunningham Swan Family Lawyers. She was born and raised in Kingston and was eager to return after pursuing an Honours degree at the University of Toronto and her LL.B. in Halifax. After her time at Dalhousie University, Carolyn articled with the Office of the Children’s Lawyer. Today, she continues to represent children in high conflict custody/access and child protection proceedings as a panel lawyer for that same office. Carolyn’s passion for Family Law is evident through her community work. Most notably, she is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliations Courts, the Collaborative Family Lawyers Association, and a Board Member for Girls Inc. In addition to litigation, Carolyn practices Collaborative Family Law. This process provides a separating couple with the opportunity to resolve their disputes respectfully, with a commitment that neither party will litigate. Carolyn provides services in every area of Family Law including Marriage Contracts, Cohabitation Agreements, Parenting Agreements, Separation Agreements,  Divorce, Custody and Access, Child and Spousal Support, Division of Family Property, Restraining Orders, Adoptions, Mediation, Arbitration and Parenting Coordination. When she is not working, Carolyn can be found spending time with her friends and family at some of Kingston’s best local spots.

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Aubrey Sherman

Board Member
Waterloo Region

Aubrey Sherman (he/him) is the Managing Partner at Sherman Law LLP in Waterloo Region where his legal practice is focused on wholistic and integrative family law and divorce dispute resolution, including collaborative divorce and family mediation. He is an accredited family mediator (AccFM) and accredited intergenerational mediator (AccIM). Aubrey is a certified collaborative practitioner with the Ontario Association of Collaborative Professionals (OACP) and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP). Aubrey brings over 18 years of experience in dispute resolution to his role on the Board.

Aubrey is an alumnus of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School in Mediation, Negotiation, and Conflict Management. He has completed advanced training in interest-based (Fisher/Ury) and insight (Picard) mediation. Aubrey is a graduate of the Conflict Management and Mediation program at Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo. He completed Dispute Resolution Levels 1 and 2 through the ADR Institute of Ontario. Aubrey also completed the Osgoode Certificate in Family Law Skills and Practice. He is a graduate of the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law (LL.B., 2004) where he discovered his passion for alternative dispute resolution and was the recipient of the Dean McLaren Writing Prize. Aubrey completed his undergraduate degree in Sociology at York University (B.A., 2001) and received several academic awards and scholarships.


Jonathan Paynter


Jonathan Paynter graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 1997 and a Bachelor of Social Work (Summa Cum Laude) in 1999.  He worked in the Child Welfare and Youth Justice systems for a few years with children and their families.  He then returned to school to complete a Master of Education in Counselling Psychology from the University of Toronto (2006), while still working in the Children’s Mental Health and Education systems.  He worked in the Ontario College system for a few years as a counsellor at Fleming College and then transitioned into working in the Family Court system, completing custody and access assessments, parenting capacity assessments and youth court assessments. He has also worked in private practice since 2008 and, in September 2019, opened a full-time private practice, providing psychotherapy and counselling to adults, couples and children. He has specialties in the areas of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy and couple’s counselling.  Jonathan has pursued many educational opportunities in addition to his university education, including certificates in Collaborative Family Law, Advanced Family Mediation, Family Arbitration, Domestic Violence Screening, Offender Relapse Prevention and Actuarial Assessment of Risk. He has done a lot of training on the subject of domestic violence and intimate partner violence and is a certified user of the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA).  He is a regular attendee at conferences and workshops to continually update his skills.

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Dr. Rachel Birnbaum

Patron to the Board

Dr. Rachel Birnbaum, Ph.D. RSW, LLM. is a Distinguished University Professor Emerita who teaches at King’s University College, Western, Ontario. She teaches in the area of children’s participation, social work ethics and law and on the intersection between law and social work.  Dr. Birnbaum has over 30 years of clinical practice experience working with children and families of separation and/or divorce, specifically focused on working with high conflict families post separation.  Her research is interdisciplinary and collaborative with colleagues in law, medicine, psychology and social work.  Dr. Birnbaum has co-authored several books on separation and/or divorce, on research methodologies and authored several Department of Justice papers on children's participation during parental breakdown.

Dan Ashbourne

Dr. Dan Ashbourne

Board Member


Dr. Dan Ashbourne, PhD, C. Psych., Acc.FM is a registered psychologist and accredited family mediator in Ontario with over 30 years’ experience working with families in various capacities. Over 20 years of service at LFCC in various roles ending with Executive Director Emeritus involved Dr. Ashbourne in extensive training, assessment, mediation, parent coordination, and coaching. He has also consulted to various research projects/programs with various populations and communities in the East, North, and Southwestern Ontario.

Anita Phillips

Anita Phillips

Co-Vice President

Anita Phillips has extensive experience as a family lawyer and mediator and as an estate law lawyer. As a trained, accredited and skilled Family Mediator and Collaborative Family Lawyer, Anita offers many options to her family law clients in ways to negotiate fair terms for their Agreements.  As a member, and Board Member of the Ontario Association of Family Mediators, the Oakville Mediators Group and the Collaborative Practice group of Hamilton/Halton, Anita works together with her clients to help them choose the best process for them in resolving their family law issues.  Anita is dedicated to helping families work towards lasting, fair and practical resolutions with a goal of minimizing conflict.  Anita is a compassionate and highly skilled lawyer who brings years of legal knowledge and experience to help clients to achieve the best outcomes.  Her estate law experience spans more than twenty years, with a particular focus on Wills and Estate Planning and Estate Administration.  As a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Planners since 2013, Anita ensures that she can provide up to date legal advice to help my clients with all of their Will and Estate Planning needs. Throughout her legal career, Anita has helped thousands of clients through the process of dealing with the estate of a loved one.  Administering an estate is often difficult and time-consuming work.  As a founding partner of Morgan and Phillips LLP, Anita takes pride in her service to the Milton community to ensure her client’s goals and interests are respected.

Vinita Puri

Dr. Vinita Puri

Board Member


Dr. Vinita Puri is a Registered Social Worker, Accredited Family Mediator, Coach, and Consultant, with expertise in conflict resolution; intergenerational and cross-cultural conflict; grief/loss and building resiliency. She holds an Honorary Doctorate (Honoria Causa) in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, a Master’s in Criminological Research, a master’s in social work, a Master’s in Ayurveda and a Specialized Honours B.A. in Sociology. Additionally, she has received specialized training in family mediation, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), harm reduction/addictions and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). At the present time, she is also completing her Ph.D. in Psychology, with a dissertation focus on Therapeutic Jurisprudence (TJ) and Judicial Sentencing in cases involving mentally ill violent offenders. She has been invited to present her dissertation by the International Academy of Law and Mental Health in Barcelona in July 2024.

As a second-generation South Asian woman of colour, she is passionate about anti-oppressive, cultural adapted and community-based interventions that support conflict resolution. For over 20 years, she has had the opportunity to work with a range of diverse and marginalized communities. across healthcare, education, correctional services, and non-profit settings. At the present time she is the Clinical Director for Resilience Counseling and Coaching Services (RCCS). In her role, she provides clinical supervision, case management, educational training, and outreach services to support the development and expansion of RCCS deliverables.

Dr. Puri is an active member of the Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW), Ontario Psychological Association (OPA), Psi Chi International Honors Society in Psychology, International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence (ISTJ) and the Golden Key International Honors Society. Dr. Puri has been recognized as the International Ambassador for Pink Thursday, which is a global social justice coalition that seeks to raise awareness of the harmful impacts of violence in all its forms. She will be speaking at the Joint Conference on Social Work, Education and Social Development – SWSD 2024 "Respecting Diversity through Joint Social Action" in Panama in April 2024.

Jackie Saleh

Jacqueline Saleh

Board Member


Jacqueline Saleh, AccFM

Jackie Saleh brings a wealth of expertise garnered over a remarkable 25-year tenure in the non-profit social service sector. Her dedicated focus has centered on delivering outreach-based community mental health and addiction support to individuals and families grappling with homelessness. Demonstrating a fervent commitment to fostering equitable services and expanding resource accessibility, Jackie channels her passion, particularly advocating for marginalized communities.

As a Registered Social Worker, Jackie currently serves as a Senior Manager at a community-based non-profit agency. In this role, she oversees both an outreach case management program and a rent-geared-to-income housing initiative. Operating from an anti-oppressive, trauma-informed perspective, Jackie prioritizes placing service users at the core of their experiences, thereby promoting a holistic and empowering approach.

Jackie's extensive experiences have underscored the transformative potential of enhanced communication, insight, reflection, and consensus building. This realization prompted her to delve deeper into the realm of family mediation, where she now stands as an Accredited Family Mediator. Jackie's journey reflects a commitment to fostering positive change, embracing diversity, and championing the voices of those often on the margins of society.



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