Mediation Room Dedicated Posthumously to Ed Wilkins
On May 24, 2022 Shenandoah County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court’s presiding judge, Chad Logan, and retired judge, William H. “Billy” Logan, convened a ceremony to honor long-time mediator Ed Wilkins.Judge Billy Logan described how, many years ago, Ed asked him to consider referring cases to mediation. He said he was skeptical of the idea, but willing to give it a try. As simple, yet workable solutions were created by the parties, and cases began to come off the docket, he became a believer.
Ed started the non-profit Apple Valley Mediation in 1994 (later changed to reSOLUTIONS) with a cadre of talented mediators who still serve the courts today. Ed was Executive Director of Apple Valley Mediation for many years as well as President of the Virginia Association for Community Conflict Resolution (later changed to Resolution Virginia).
More recently, Ed approached Judge Logan once again, this time asking him to refer cases to restorative justice. Again, Judge Logan was skeptical. He agreed to give restorative justice a chance and was surprised at how well the restorative justice processes held juvenile offenders accountable for their actions while empowering those who had been offended.
Those of us who knew Ed describe him as a jolly, friendly and a quiet but dogged supporter of mediation and collaborative problem-solving. Ed’s wife, Darlene, said that aside from the ministry, mediation was Ed’s vocation. He was still mediating a few weeks before he passed. Just days before he passed, Ed was adamant about completing the two hours of training he needed to complete his mediation re-certification. Apparently, he felt it was important to take that with him.
Ed will be missed by the staff of the northern Shenandoah Valley courts and the practitioners who worked with him. A beautiful mediation room was built as part of the new Shenandoah County JDR courts building. This plaque outside the room and will remind us of Ed’s impact on the use of mediation in Virginia.