Focusing on solution-based, collaborative problem-solving, in both the public and private sectors, Carol Berz has been a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed General Civil and Family mediator and trainer for more than 25 years.
Dr. Berz is the owner and Chief Executive Officer of Private Dispute Resolution Services, LLC, a mediation services and training organization headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She also serves as a Councilwoman for the City of Chattanooga, where she currently chairs the Public Works Committee and is the co-founder of the City’s Family Justice Center.
Through public/private partnerships, Dr. Berz has overseen the renaissance of commerce, economic development and connectivity in a diverse business environment that includes health care, construction, government, employment and finance.
Dr. Berz does extensive practice and teaching in both the public and private sector in the areas of mediation, law and ethics, and employment and labor/management issues relative to the costs of corporate conflict. She also is recognized as an authority in Family Mediation, with expertise in the special circumstance of domestic and workplace violence.
Formerly the Director of Forensic Services for Joseph W. Johnson Mental Health Center, and subsequently its Executive Director, Dr. Berz also has served as a visiting professor at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, teaching social policy, law and ethics. She is a Board Certified Diplomat in Clinical Social Work, with extensive post-doctoral training in mediation, law and conflict management system design.
Dr. Berz served as the Chair of the Curriculum and Continuing Education Committee of the Mediation Association of Tennessee before becoming its President. She also chaired the Mediation component of the Hamilton County Courts’ Pilot Project relative to Tennessee’s Parenting Plan law. She spent eleven years as a commissioner with the Chattanooga Human Rights/Human Relations Commission, dealing with employment and civil rights matters, becoming the first Chairwoman of that body. In 2014 recipient of the organization’s Grayfield Gray Public Service in Mediation Award.
Dr. Berz is a graduate of Leadership America in Washington, D.C., and former President of the Board of Directors of the Moccasin Bend Girl Scout Council. A member of the Tennessee Advisory Commission to the US Civil Rights Commission, she served on the Governor’s Task Force on Church Burnings. Dr. Berz also chaired the Tennessee Economic Council on Women and spearheaded its Economic Impact Committee.
Dr. Berz is former Chair of the Board of Managers of the Hamilton Family YMCA and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Chattanooga Metro YMCA, where she served on the Human Resources Committee. She is the 2004 recipient of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce Athena Award, a sustaining member of Chattanooga’s Women’s Leadership Institute, and a Board member of both the Chamber of Commerce Midtown Council. Dr. Berz was honored by the City of Chattanooga for her unique contributions toward advancing equality of opportunity among its citizens and currently co-chairs the Mayor’s Council for Women.
Professional memberships include the Association for Conflict Resolution, the ADR Section of the American Bar Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the Academy for Professional Family Mediators and the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators, where she heads the Governance Committee and in 2014 was awarded the Grayfield Gray Public Service in Mediation Award.
Dr. Berz holds a PhD in Social Policy from the University of Tennessee, a JD from the Nashville School of Law, a MA in Administration from the University of Tennessee, and a BA in Human Services Management from the University of Tennessee, with additional studies at Emory University, Bryn Mawr College, and Harvard University. In addition, she is an IFTA certified Personal Trainer, an AEA advanced trainer, and a YMCA certified instructor and trainer in aquatic sports training.