Susan D. Mainzer, Minneapolis, MN


Name: Susan D. Mainzer

Location: Available throughout Wisconsin


  • Law Degree (JD) and Bachelor of Arts, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Special Education Mediation & IEP Facilitation Training – WSEMS/Marquette University.
  • Participated in and presented hundreds of hours of mediation classes.

Current Positions: Mediator, Coach, Trainer & Organization Consultant

Past Positions:

  • Private Practice Mediator for more than 20 years
  • Special Education Mediator in Wisconsin (WSEMS)since panel’s inception in 1999
  • Minnesota’s Special Education Mediation panel for over ten years
  • Mediation trainer and instructor in classes on communication, conflict management and creative problem solving to business staff and families.
  • Adjunct Professor, Conflict Studies, MBA – Hamline University
  • Life Coach – help people meet work and personal goals
  • Trainer, Facilitator and Workplace Consultant, Human Resources Department, Metropolitan Council, St. Paul, MN

Mediation Experience:

  • Community Mediator: Disputes between upset neighbors, landlords and tenants, police and citizens. (1984-Present)
  • Divorce Mediator: Financial and parenting decisions; communication and high emotion disputes; diversity issues.(1986-Present)
  • Workplace Disputes: Employer – employee, as well as employee-employee disputes that arise in the workplace environment.(1988-Present)
  • Personal Injury Mediation: Settlement negotiations with attorneys, insurance representatives and injured people. (1990-Present)
  • Farm Mediation: Disputes involving farmers and lenders in Wisconsin. (1993-Present)
  • Special Education Mediation: Issues related to the provision of special education services. (1999- present)

Philosophy: I believe in creating a safe environment for people to talk honestly and communicate effectively with each other. I encourage everyone to listen deeply and to be open to new ideas. I find that often people come up with creative resolutions that surprise each other. In working as a team, people can create durable, doable, agreements. Oftentimes, stronger relationships can occur or be rebuilt. It’s my pleasure to be a witness to the hard work done in mediation.