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We were very sad to hear that Richard Squire, Executive Director of ACCORD, A Center for Dispute Resolution, Inc., had chosen to retire last month. Predictably, his reasons were altruistic, and he put the best interests of his agency and colleagues ahead of personal considerations. Dick is the kind of person who brings out the best in those around him and enriches us by modeling respect, active listening and collaborative problem solving; by challenging us to be our best; and – when we have done well -- inspiring us with a carefully considered compliment.
“It is with sadness that we recognize Dick Squire will not be part of our CDRC network as an Executive Director. Dick brought so much to his work and to our network in the areas of organizational management and much needed common sense leadership that will be greatly missed. Most of all, Dick is such a terrific human being; possessing compassion and
intellect that has served the field of conflict resolution and community mediation to such distinction. The Office of ADR wishes all of the best to Dick as he transfers his skills, attitude and accomplishments to new endeavors.” Mark Collins, UCS ADR/CIP
Dick came to the ADR field serendipitously. He had been working as an Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers for a year when a friend asked him how he liked it. He really thought about the question. Tears came to his eyes when he realized that the agency was great; it had a great mission, staff and board --- but it was not his passion. His passion was working with families and helping them and the community. He especially enjoyed helping families that were engaged with the court system. In his mind his job search stated that day.
A year later in February of 2003 he was hired at ACCORD. At that time on he made it clear to anyone that asked that he had found his dream job. He was able to assist families who could use mediation to resolve issues that did not need court intervention. He also became involved with the Voices for Children – CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) program that assisted children at risk of abuse and neglect achieve a safe stable living environment in conjunction with Family Court. That program addressed many of the flaws in the juvenile justice system he had observed in 26 years working with delinquent and PINs youth.
Dick took his Unified Court System, ADR/CIP basic mediation training in fall of that year and never stopped seeking new information and skills in the ADR arena. He joined the Board of Directors of NYSDRA in 2010.
In his leadership of ACCORD, he feels that his most significant accomplishment was to diversify the agency’s services and funding revenues through the development of the Divorce Mediation program. Dick firmly believes in collaboration and mutual support. After one of ACCORD’s mediators developed a fledgling Excel spreadsheet for child support calculation, Dick worked with staff and consultants to expand this tool. He developed a formula driven tool that reduced errors, provided clearer understandable information for parties, and provided accurate petitions to the court. Dick shared this tool as a co-planner of the second of three regional NYSAMP Farm Family Divorce Mediation trainings.
In January of 2013 Dick chose to leave ACCORD in order to assure that other program staff positions were not eliminated, and to support continued delivery of quality services (a goal that was always his highest priority).
When asked what advice he would pass on to others, Dick replied, “ADR is a tremendous asset to our communities and the families we serve. We need to continue to work to make sure it is available to all. While the CDRCPs have faced cuts recently, this is part of the cyclical nature of government and funding. If those in the field continue to deliver quality service and develop collaborations with our brothers and sisters in the ADR private sector this critical service will reemerge stronger and better.”
“Dick Squire is passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and families. Throughout his tenure at ACCORD it has been my pleasure to work alongside Dick in accomplishing the mission of ACCORD. His dedication and compassion have had a strong impact in the community and he will be missed by all. We wish him all the best.” Kacey Ellsworth, Executive Director, ACCORD
“I learned much from Dick and will miss him very much. He loves ADR and believes in the mission of ADR. I have seen Dick’s empathy for others, including how he went out of his way to help others in time of disaster. Dick personally helped staff members clean up the debris after the flood and gave furniture to those of us who were in need. I want to follow Dick’s example of never judging a book by its cover; trying to always treat people the way I would like to be treated, and to always follow through when I commit to anything – to the best of my ability.”
Mary Palmer, Mediation Program
“We count ourselves blessed to serve with Dick Squire on the NYSDRA Board of Directors. Dick’s wealth of knowledge, insight and creativity have inspired his colleagues and served NYSDRA well. We are grateful that he will continue to serve on the Board. We know that any organization fortunate to gain his services in the future will recognize immediately the tremendous asset they have gained. We wish him well.” Dr. Bernadette Poole-Tracy, President, NYSDRA Board.