Mediators & Staff

Erickson Mediation Institute’s Mediators and Staff are dedicated to helping clients resolve their disputes in the most cooperative setting possible and to helping clients preserve their resources to be used moving forward once a resolution has been obtained rather than wasting those resources on the battle.


MARILYN S. MCKNIGHT, MA, Mediator is a mediator, trainer and author who has practiced exclusively in the field of mediation since 1977 after an extensive career in public social work.  She received the Bush Leadership Fellowship Award for the study of mediation in 1987 and is a leader in promoting the Client-Centered model of mediation.  In 1988, Marilyn was elected to the Board of the Academy of Family Mediators where she began the movement toward the certification of mediators and later served as President of the Academy.  In 1996, she and her partner Steve Erickson were awarded the Distinguished Mediator Award by the Academy for their outstanding contributions to the field of mediation.  She and Steve have co-authored five highly successful books on mediation:  Family Mediation Casebook (1988), The Children’s Book (1992), Mediating Divorce: A Client’s Workbook (1998), Mediating Divorce: A Trainer’s Manual (1998), and The Practitioner’s Guide to Mediation (2001).  Marilyn is an active member of the ADR Section of the Minnesota Bar Association and has taught courses as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota – School of Social Work, at William Mitchell College of Law and in the Master of Arts in Leadership program at Augsburg College.   In her free time she enjoys reading, gardening and spending time at the lake with friends and family. You can contact Marilyn at

Stephen K. Erickson, JD – Director, MediatorSTEPHEN K. ERICKSON, JD, Mediator is a licensed attorney who works exclusively a mediator.  Since 1977, he has mediated over 5,000 disputes in his private practice and trained thousands of new mediators in the US, Canada, England and the Netherlands.  He received the Bush Leadership Fellowship Award for the study of mediation in 1979 and is a founder and second president of the Academy of Family Mediators.  He is well known as a mediation trainer and speaker, and has published numerous articles and books on the subject, most recently a Commentary for the StarTribune in January 2012.   In 2007, he and his partner Marilyn McKnight were awarded a Certificate of Service from the MN State Bar Association in recognition of their “distinguished service as valued contributors for the development and growth of ADR in Minnesota.”  Steve has taught as an adjunct professor at the William Mitchell College of Law and was appointed to the faculty at Augsburg College, where he teaches a course in the Master of Arts in Leadership Program.  In May, 2011, he and Marilyn were given the Distinguished Mediator Award by the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation in recognition of “their pioneering and sustained work in establishing the field of divorce mediation and their soulful dedication in helping families” over the last 35 years.  In his free time, Steve enjoys fishing, reading and tinkering with classic cars. You can contact Steve at

SOLVEIG ERICKSON MAYER, MSW, Mediator, COO, CFO has worked at Erickson Mediation Institute since 1994 and continues to enjoy the day-to-day adventures of helping people in conflict.  She received her master’s degree in social work in 2001 and for her thesis, conducted a qualitative program evaluation of the divorce education program provided by EMI.  She co-authored the article “Mandatory Divorce Education Classes: What do the Parents Say,” published in the William Mitchell Law Review and has taught as adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law in the past.  She has also taught divorce education classes for EMI and presented at the Association for Conflict Resolution’s annual conferences.  She continues to work in all aspects of EMI including business development, marketing, management, accounting, client services as well as keeping track of Marilyn and Steve.  She is married to an art teacher and has two highly energetic children, as well as two very quiet cats. When she is not running EMI or running after her kids, she enjoys reading, glass fusing, gardening and all kinds of paper crafts. You can contact Solveig at

Lisa M. Urness MSLISA M. URNESS, MS, Divorce Mediator & Trainer joined EMI in the fall of 2013 following her completion of the Client-Centered Divorce Mediation training and internship. Lisa holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Concordia College of Moorhead, Minnesota. Lisa is trained as a psychotherapist and prior to joining Erickson Mediation Institute, she worked for both an international and regional Employee Assistance Program where she provided consultation in the areas of organizational development, diversity, change management, conflict resolution, and workplace mental health awareness. She also developed curriculum and learning modules in those same areas. In addition to her EAP experience, Lisa has worked as a Director of Human Resources for an international technology firm and as a Legal Administrator for a national law firm. And, she has been a guest lecturer at Marquette University, Milwaukee WI and an ad-hoc instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lisa has also worked as a Family Counselor for Wisconsin’s largest domestic violence shelter. Most recently, she has served as a consultant to an employment and skill training community outreach program in rural northern Minnesota. In her personal time, Lisa enjoys cooking and reading and spending time with family. You may contact Lisa at

Jennifer L. Zacharias, JD

JENNIFER ZACHARIAS, JD, Mediator, Neutral Scrivener is a trained Mediator in Divorce and Elder (Adult Family) Mediation, a Neutral Scrivener, and Project Coordinator at Erickson Mediation Institute.   As a Neutral Scrivener, Jennifer provides neutral drafting services to unrepresented mediation clients.  She enjoys using her legal education and organizational skills to assist clients in filing their divorce and post-decree agreements with the court.  Jennifer graduated from William Mitchell College of Law in 2009, where she completed her long paper on Mediation and Domestic Violence and she has degrees in Finance and Economics from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.  During law school Jennifer took Erickson Mediation’s 40 Hour Client-Centered Divorce Mediation training and observed over 100 hours of mediation during two consecutive externships at EMI.  Jennifer is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s ADR and Family Sections, a member of Conflict Resolution Minnesota, and a member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators. Prior to attending law school and joining Erickson Mediation Institute, Jennifer worked as a Short Call Substitute Special Education Teacher and as an In Home Support Specialist working with Adults with disabilities.  Jennifer grew up in Mahtomedi, MN and currently resides in Stillwater, MN with her husband, 2 kids, and 2 dogs.  When she is not working, Jennifer spends time with her family and with her younger sister, Amy, who has Downs Syndrome. You can contact Jennifer at

Pascal Comvalius Mediator at Erickson MediationPASCAL COMVALIUS, Mediator began his mediation career in 2007 after a career in IT and Consultancy. He had his first mediation trainings in the Netherlands, followed by the 40-hour Family Mediation Course and internship at EMI. He also has considerable training in kinesic interviewing, interrogation and negotiation skills. He has been an IMI Certified Mediator since 2013 and is also a NMF registered mediator in the Netherlands. He has been active in the ACR Family Section where he served on the Family Mediator Standards Committee and on the Conference Committee for the 2011 ACR Family Section Conference. He is currently a board member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) where he leads the international and communication committee. He is also the IMI QAP representative for EMI. Pascal’s wife, Valerie is a professional dancer with The Ballet of the Dolls in Minneapolis. You can contact Pascal at

Ciska Tensink Mediator at Erickson MediationFJHM “CISKA” TESINK, JD, Mediator started working as a lawyer in 1998 and in 2005 started her own law firm. During her career as a lawyer she also conducted ADR training and other mediation trainings. Recently she started to focus solely on mediation and legal advice. In 2014 she formally registered as an IMI-mediator and is also registered as an MfN- mediator in the Netherlands. Ms Tesink is convinced that litigation is not a natural attitude in most conflict situations. Parties are becoming accustomed to litigation, despite the (extra) costs, worries, (negative) energy and outcomes that most of the time are not satisfying. Ms Tesink is working in different areas: family related matters, labor disputes, contract disputes, business matters and complaints in hospitals and medical institutions. She is results orientated, brings lots of energy to the table, listens carefully and works efficiently.You can contact Ms Tesink at

Rosemary Majerus Erickson Mediation InstituteROSEMARY MAJERUS, Client Services has been the Client Services Specialist with Erickson Mediation Institute since 2008.  She received an AA Degree from Minneapolis Community College and a Legal Secretary Diploma from Minnesota School of Business and went on to work for almost a decade with mental health patients in a hospital setting.  Much like her previous job, she is on the front lines here at EMI responding to calls from people who are scared, confused and angry.  She is the keeper of schedules, events, client files and about 100 other things; and loves it!  Her kind heart, understanding voice and welcoming presence are essential to our office.  She can truly relate to the people inquiring about our services.  Having created a multi-faceted blended family, Rosemary’s gentle touch and deep understanding of the mediation process combine to produce first-impression client interactions that are second to none.   In her spare time, (what spare time?!) she enjoys scrapbooking, designing custom jewelry, cheering on her kids at football, volleyball and softball games, camping and most of all fishing. You can contact Rosemary at

    Erickson Mediation Institute
    3600 American Blvd West, Suite 105
    Minneapolis, MN 55431
    (952) 835-3688
    Monday-Friday 9:00-4:30
    Evenings & Weekends
    By Appointment
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(The judge) said she would push our divorce through quickly for us because she knew we had worked well together with Marilyn ... Read more

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The content on this website is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice nor should any communication via email, text, or phone be considered an attorney-client relationship.
Erickson Mediation Institute MN
Erickson Mediation Institute
3600 American Blvd West
Suite 105
Minneapolis, MN 55431
(952) 835-3688

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