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Mediation Center names RH firm Business Partner of the Year
Biz Partner of the Year - LFPR; (L to R) Mediation Center Executive Director Jill Cheeks, LFPR CEO Lesley Francis, LFPR Account Manager Kristyn Fielding, LFPR Vice President Hollie Barnidge.jpg
Mediation Center Executive Director Jill Cheeks, left, with Lesley Francis Public Relations founder Lesley Francis, account manager Kristyn Fielding and vice president Hollie Barnidge.

The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire honored Bryan County-based Lesley Francis Public Relations as its Business Partner of the Year on Jan. 17 at the second annual Velvet Gala at Cohen’s Retreat.

“We had a night filled with fun and entertainment while raising funds for our vital youth programs with our community supporters. We also celebrated and honored the individuals who have supported our organization’s mission over the years,” said Mediation Center Executive Director Jill Cheeks.

“We were pleased to present our Business Partner of the Year award to Lesley Francis Public Relations (LFPR), a group of ladies who works hard to help our organization with exceptional marketing and PR support, including helping to plan and implement our successful inaugural Velvet Gala last year, which has now become an annual tradition.”

Lesley Francis, founder and CEO of LFPR, said she and her staff are honored to have been selected for the award.

“Helping our clients fulfill their missions and exceed their objectives is one of the most satisfying elements of our work,” she said.

Proceeds raised from the event will benefit the Mediation Center’s youth programs: Peer Mediation, BRAVE (Building Relationships and Voicing Emotions), and Community Conferencing.

In addition to recognizing the Business Partner of the Year, the nonprofit organization presented the following individual awards:

• Youth Collaboration Award:  Chatham County Juvenile Court

• Stellar Advocate for Youth: Kayley Stoner

• Attorney Appreciation Award: General Civil - Edward McAfee; Family Law - David Purvis

• Mediator Awards:Most cases mediated – Larry Kopczak; Lifetime Achievement Awards – Anne Schafer and Sherman Miller

• Service by board members:  Anne Schafer, Dennis Keene, Rob Gordon and Anne McDaniel

The Mediation Center’s team of experienced mediators are trained to help residents in Chatham and surrounding counties. The organization’s reputation is built on more than 30 years of integrity and expertise, with a high success rate in resolving thousands of disputes.

For more information about the Mediation Center or the programs offered, visit

To learn more about LFPR, visit

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