FDS Members Shine at CPCAL Annual Celebration

Collaborative Practice in California (CPCal) held its annual Celebration event April 26-28 at Sonesta in the Redondo Beach & Marina.

The two-day event featured seminars, speakers and networking events. President Cynthia Todd said, “Celebration is part workshop, part reunion, part continuing education and all fun. People who attended the past Celebrations eagerly look forward to the coming one.”

“The same thing happened this year. We had such a good time. New members gained access to a network that will help grow their businesses as well as better serve their clients. Long-time members got to renew old friendships,” Ms. Todd said.

The two-day event was capped with the announcement of Leslie Howell as the new president. Ms. Howell is a collaborative lawyer and mediator based in Pasadena.

“Leslie is going to do a wonderful job leading CPCal in the coming year,” Ms. Todd said. “She is a past president of FDS, a board member of LACFLA, and has plenty of experience in family law and coordinating efforts across multiple disciplines, so she is a natural fit as President,” Ms. Todd said.

Ms. Howell said she is honored and ready to lead. “I am looking forward to serving CPCal as their incoming President, and am grateful for the opportunity to see CP Cal through to its next chapter. We will be evolving in positive ways, and it’s exciting to move forward with our thoughtful and energetic Board of Directors, and the generous volunteers and delegates who give us their valuable time on committees.” said Ms. Howell.

Darlene Wanger was awarded a position on the Board of Directors of CPCal and is a CP Cal delegate. “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on the CPCal Board,” said Ms. Wanger. “Being the President of FDS was wonderful, and I’m looking forward to being on CPCal’s Board as well.”

CPCal’s Celebration also saw the Eureka Award be presented to Dr. James Walton, Ph.D., a family therapist. The Eureka Award is given to someone in the family law and collaboration fields who has made significant contributions to the discipline.

Through his practice and research, Dr. Walton has expanded and advanced the field of mental health for adults and their children who are going through divorce. Divorce is a very trying time for all involved and getting needed help through collaborative divorce is essential for minimizing conflict and ensuring a smoother transition.

Dr. Walton has authored several audiobooks on mental health care which have won awards.

“James is an outstanding member of FDS and has contributed significantly to understanding and improving the mental and emotional side of divorce. His work has helped everyone, not just the professionals,” Ms. Wanger said.

“I look over the list of people who have received this award before me and I am amazed. I stand in the presence of some true giants. To be included in their ranks is a distinct honor I will always cherish and continue to work hard to be worthy of,” Dr. Walton said.

For more information about the award visit https://cpcal.com/about-cp-cal/eureka-awards.

In addition, CPCal announced the 2nd annual Warren Sacks Memorial Scholarship, awarded to first time attendees. One of the factors considered is diversity, since its sponsor, the Institute of Family Dispute Resolution (formerly CP Cal Foundation) is committed to promoting diversity among peacemakers and their collaborative clients. The two 2024 scholarship recipients were, Sandy Pedram, Esq., LMFT, and Kenley Flanagan, a third-year law student who is preparing for her finals and the bar exam.

About Family Divorce Solutions of San Fernando Valley

Divorce isn’t something most people want to think about, but if you find yourself needing the guidance of an experienced team of attorneys, financial professionals and mental health professionals, look no further than Family Divorce Solutions of San Fernando Valley. It is our ultimate goal to get both parties together so a solution can be worked out as quickly as possible. Family Divorce Solutions of San Fernando Valley was born in 2011 with the idea that divorce doesn’t always have to be ugly. The collaborative process will address the emotional needs of the whole family without allowing the negativity to impact children and other family members. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us at (818) 933-4504. We hate that you are going through this but we are glad to help in any way we can.

Family Divorce Solutions of San Fernando Valley

16133 Ventura Blvd #685-A

Encino CA 91436



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