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HEALING
STARTS
HERE.

OUR STORY

​The Bridge Institute has been promoting peaceful resolution since 1989 and operates from the foundations of Roanoke's Conflict Resolution Center and Better Agreements, Inc. which served the New River Valley. Today, we serve all of Southwest Virginia as the region's leader in processes for resolving conflict and building community.  

 

The Bridge Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax-deductible and support our mission of ensuring everyone has access to alternative dispute resolution processes. Our federal EIN is 02-0655364.​​

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MEET US

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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

EDDY SMART began his career as a student intern reluctantly placed with the Conflict Resolution Center in 2006, Eddy observed the value of conflict resolution processes and the power found in transforming conflict into opportunities for understanding and productive ways forward. Eddy remained at the Conflict Resolution Center honing his skills as a mediator, restorative justice practitioner, group facilitator, and parent educator, and became Executive Director in 2010. Eddy’s passion for conflict and process-related work led him to return to the field after an eight-year detour in direct mental health services, starting his own firm in 2019. Eddy took on leadership of The Bridge Institute, then Better Agreements, in the fall of 2020.

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BOARD PRESIDENT

DONNA CHEWNING is passionate about creating opportunities and ways for people to share their stories and have a voice in the decisions that affect them. She is a graduate of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA, where she focused on Restorative Justice. Donna has taught restorative justice concepts and circle process to teachers, administrators, resource officers, students in public and private schools,  members of the church community, and students at the university level. Through her restorative justice work in the juvenile courts in the Roanoke Valley and the public schools in Richmond and Roanoke, she has facilitated over 1,000 circles with children, youth, parents, and teachers and witnessed the respect, understanding, and accountability that emerges through circle conversations. She owns and operates Shared Solutions LLC.

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ASHLI SEMONES

Board Vice President

Quality Management Director

Carilion Clinic

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AMELIA BLAND WALLER

Board Secretary

Retired, Assistant Attorney General, Division of Child Support Enforcement

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STEVEN P. LEE

Board Treasurer

Business Intelligence Developer

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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KIM KRISTENSEN

Board Member

Owner, Warrior Mediator

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ALEX WATKINS

Board Member

Population Health

Community Coordinator

Virginia Department of Health

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HENRY YAMPOLSKY

Board Member

Assistant Director for Education, Outreach, and Conflict Resolution

Office for Equity and Accessibility, Virginia Tech

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