Mediation Center Welcomes New Board Members

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire announces the addition of five new members to its board of directors: Leslie Cecil Keene, Brian Dennison, Daniel Massey, Susannah Pedigo and Tara Scott-Brown.

Cecil Keene is the Senior Staff Attorney for Chief Judge Michael Karpf, having served in this position for 24 years. She holds a degree from the University of Florida, Florida Atlantic University, and the University of Miami School of Law.  In Law School she served on the University of Miami Law Review and prior to moving to Savannah, Leslie practiced commercial litigation as an attorney in Miami. She is a member of the Florida and Georgia Bars, the Savannah Bar Association, and currently serves on the executive committee for the SBA, the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers, and is a graduate of both Leadership Savannah (2008) and Leadership Georgia (2007). She is also very active in the community, having served on several Boards, including CASA, the Junior League of Savannah, and the Board of Trustees at the Savannah Country Day School. She is married to Dennis Keene, a partner at Bouhan Falligant, and has two children, Michael, a Junior, attending the University of Georgia and Erin, a Freshman, attending the University of Alabama.” 

Dennison has been a member of the Georgia Bar since 1999 and serves as the Assistant School Board Attorney for the Savannah Chatham County Public School System. He holds a Bachelors, MBA, and JD from the University of Georgia and a PhD in Private Law from the University of Cape Town.   Brian served as a missionary law lecturer at Uganda Christian University (UCU) from 2008 to 2015. While at UCU, Brian coordinated a clinical legal education program that engaged student teams in the mediation of land disputes and plea-bargaining activities. Brian is the co-editor of the book "Legal Ethics and Professionalism: A Handbook for Uganda."

Massey, a Mississippi native, attended Armstrong on the GI Bill after spending four years in the Air Force. He graduated in 1976 with a BBA (Management) and continued his education obtaining a MA from Central Michigan University. He started his career as the Court Administrator of Chatham County Recorder’s Court in 1976 where he designed and implemented the first local computer system for case management. He also implemented the first community service program for minor offenders in lieu of incarceration. Massey served as City Manager for the City of Pooler at a critical time when expanding the infrastructure was imperative for future growth of the city.  The City was the recipient of two Innovation Achievement Awards from the Georgia Municipal Association during his tenure. After his tenure with the City of Pooler Massey spent six years in the private sector before returning to his first love, the courts. In 1998 and started the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program serving all the local courts. He became a general and domestic mediator in addition to overseeing the program designed to speed up civil case resolution, reduce cost, and strive for a resolution amenable to all parties. He was the 2002 recipient of the Edward Hester Award from the Savannah Bar Association.  He was elected to three terms as Clerk of Superior Court of Chatham County where he retired in 2016.

Pedigo is a local attorney with The Pedigo Law Firm, P.C. She focuses her practice exclusively in the area of family law, which includes divorce, child custody and visitation, child support, alimony, prenuptial agreements, legitimation and family violence.  She received her BS in International Affairs, with high honors, from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999 and her JD degree, cum laude, from the University of Georgia in 2004. She has been in practice in Savannah since her graduation from law school and is a member of the Savannah Bar Association, a past-president of the Savannah Chapter of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, and a 2012 Leadership Savannah Graduate. She is also currently serving as a Board Member with America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia.

Scott-Brown is a 1995 Alumnus of Savannah State University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science.  She is also a 2002 Alumnus of Georgia Southern University, where she received a Masters of Education degree in Higher Education-Student Services, and a 2006 Graduate of Leadership Savannah. She is married to Mr. Jerome Brown, Jr. and they have two children, Taylor (15) and Nia (10) and is a Real Estate Paralegal for the Law Firm of Bonzo C. Reddick, Esq. She is very active in the community and actively involved in her church, Living Hope Community Fellowship under the Leadership of Pastor Joyce C. Hall.

The Mediation Center provides the coastal community with access to mediation and other dispute-resolution methods as an alternative to litigation. The Mediation Center also provides training to businesses, schools, organizations, other institutions, and individuals in order to enhance conflict-resolution skills throughout the community.

“We’re delighted to welcome such high caliber members to the Mediation Center’s Board of Directors. Mediation Center Executive Director Jill Cheeks said. “We are very excited about the leadership skills and guidance they bring to the table.”