February 13th and 27th, 2021 Meeting Speakers
Topic: Peace and Conflict Resolution
We welcome fellow Rotarians Bob and Debi Shimek as our speakers, starting with Debi on February 13th and Bob on February 27th as they share with us their ideas about conflict resolution from the standpoint of BOTH parties in a long-term relationship.
"One common method of resolving conflicts is to use a third party. A court, mediator, friend or counselor often provides this link. The third party sees the global issue beyond the view of the participants. We want you to be our third party. We hope you will leave the meeting with perhaps a better understanding of how our relationship works than we do. Then incorporate good ideas and discard bad ideas as they apply in your own lives." - Bob Shimek
A background of their relationship:
They each moved to Bend, Oregon in the early 1970s and had both been married before. They met when Bob worked for the Oregon State Department of Environmental Quality, and Debi worked as a school teacher. She visited Bob's workplace and asked if someone could come and talk to her fourth grade class about pollution. It was at that moment that history was made!
Over the next 45 years, Debi continued her elementary teaching career in Bend while Bob left State Government to join an engineering and environmental consulting firm. After 15 years, he started an environmental consulting business, which he operated until he retired.
Together, they have lived in 5 different houses and have raised 2 children.
Debi developed conflict management skills dealing with difficult students and parents. Her approach was to put responsibility for resolving conflict back on the participants. She says this approach kept them engaged and focused, finding acceptable solutions within themselves.
Bob developed conflict management skills in government service while negotiating solutions to environmental issues with individuals, local government officials, business owners and managers. He says he gained more skills when dealing with clients and employees in the private sector.
"We constantly practice survival with maximum peace and minimum conflict in our lives," he says.