Manteca, CA

I would definitely recommend you to anyone going through a divorce. You made the transition of the end of our long term marriage go smoothly….you were very helpful in all our questions and issues we couldn’t deal with on our own.

You stayed very neutral, which I’m sure was hard sometimes.

So thank you for helping our divorce go so easily and for helping us when it got really hard there for a moment.
Thank you very much.

Portola Valley, CA

Before we consulted with John’s mediation service, our divorce had dragged on for more than a decade. We tried a “collaborative” divorce program thinking that it would be better for all. Part of the problem with a “collaborative” divorce is there is no leadership and thus we spent years with her attorney(s), my attorney(s), our divorce counselors, our financial counselors, our appraisers, etc. and never really got anywhere substantive.

A friend suggested John Butler’s mediation service. When we retained John, things changed almost immediately. I already trusted John’s guidance and my ex trusted him almost immediately (he does have that innate ability).

John kept us focused and the focus was on understanding our needs and resolving them sequentially. John is an expert mediator, so when my ex would start meandering off course (a very expensive tactic when there are two or sometimes four other professionals in the room), John would call her on it and she would come back to the key point. Conversely, when I would get exasperated, John would call me on it, as in, “… I don’t think you understand just how important this is to her. Stop arguing and pay attention!”

In short John kept us on track and we made steady progress. It took us over a dozen mediation sessions (we had many complex details to sort out including one home with a lot of equity and significant deferred maintenance and another that was “under water”), but both of us knew John was forwarding our process.

When we finally had a finished draft of our MSA, we had a five-way session to review the last set of workups, (John, my ex, her attorney, me and my attorney) which was expertly led by John. Both attorneys commended him on his abilities.

“Harmony with Integrity” pretty well describes the divorce process with John and also our result. And so now we are divorced. And still friends.

Paul Tebbel
Executive Director,
Friends of the River

To whom it may concern,

This is a letter of recommendation for Mr. John Butler. Mr. Butler facilitated a difficult meeting between Friends of the River staff and a group of volunteers known as the “rafting chapter” in October 2008.

Mr. Butler handled this delicate situation in a very professional manner. He helped each side clearly state their positions and led us through a series of discussions to bring out concerns and craft solutions. This was a large group about 25 people and emotions were running high. I was very pleased with the work Mr. Butler did to get us through this difficult period.

I also want to add that Mr. Butler did all of this work for a very modest fee and saved us several thousand dollars compared to what we would have paid for another facilitator.

I found Mr. Butler to be an excellent facilitator, capable of handling an emotionally charged situation in a very professional manner. I would not hesitate to recommend him for a job seeking these skills.

Mike E.

I am a volunteer in a leadership position at a non profit organization located in Northern California. Our organization was struggling with indecision and and poor communication and needed help to move forward in an effective manner. We brought John Butler in to consult with the leadership on these issues. His impact was immediate. In the first 2 hour meeting John helped us clean up our communication, clarify our agreements on what we are doing and define an implementation path with some accountability procedures to follow up. His stand for integrity was a significant contributing factor in the progress we made.

As a follow-on to that we asked John to provide our leadership with communication training to help us better address issues, hurt feelings, etc. in an effective and repeatable manner. John delivered his four hour workshop in a collaborative format that engaged all those present and presented an immense amount of content. I have been to many leadership and management trainings, and this was an exceptional one.

I subsequently sought John out to help me with a grievance that I was holding. He coached me over the phone to a level of clarity that I did not imagine. He is excellent at getting to the heart of a matter. His ability to listen to and hear the subtleties in the conversation and reflect those back leads to clarity of the matter at hand. He then ensures that a clear and coherent set of next steps are identified to ensure the matter is completely resolved.

My recommendation of John could not be higher as a mediator and facilitator, he is he best I have ever encountered.

Sacramento, CA

The Superior Court appointed Mr. Butler to serve as an Early Neutral Evaluator of our wage and hour case. At the session with the parties, it became apparent that the case could settle and that settlement would depend on finding a satisfactory resolution of issues not being litigated in the case. Mr. Butler quickly and insightfully sussed out the key points on which a settlement would depend, few, if any of which, had to do with the issues alleged in the case. He gave both parties a fair opportunity to voice their positions, objections and frustrations and recommended solutions that ultimately brought the parties to a swift settlement. Anyone looking for a mediator to resolve a dispute or case that involves complex issues of fact, law and emotion would be well served by Mr. Butler.

Rev. Mary Manin Morrissey

In all of my experience, John Butler was wonderful!

He exhibited the greatest skill, integrity and caring for diverse opinions in a way that brought greater harmony over and over to all my group and I were going through.

I have the highest respect for John Butler.

Don V. Morgan

I would like to highly recommend John Butler for the excellent ministerial, educational, consulting, and conflict resolution services he provides.

My first professional experience of John Butler was his work with the Unity Palo Alto church during a crisis the congregation faced in a very difficult interpersonal conflict that included violent threats. This event occurred very close to one of the highly publicized shootings in a church so the fear and awareness of this issue in the larger congregation was heightened.

John worked directly with both the person making threats and with the affective parties using his professional mediation skills to attempt to resolve the conflict. He worked with the 100 person singles group to help its members to effectively process their experience and assist people to feel unified together. Throughout this entire incident, John remained professional, clear, and compassionate in his work with many individuals and groups to successfully resolve this issue.

John’s extensive ministerial experience is a great asset to the work he does.

Rev. Georgie Richardson
Unity of Salem, Oregon

To Whom It May Concern:

I have known John Butler for a number of years and have had him facilitate a “healing circle” at my church. We had a very chaotic situation occur, many people were upset and didn’t see or understand all of the various aspects of the situation. John was able to sort through things quickly. He ascertained who the majority of people wanted to hear from, called upon her to give her version of what happened and who was involved. This immediately calmed many of the people and then he invited individuals in the circle to speak their heart and their truth. Through his gentle, and yet powerful, leadership the group gradually shifted into one cohesive group of compassionate people and the situation was not only understood at a deeper level, but was also compassionately put to rest. By the time we broke up and went our separate ways, it was over. That was several years ago and the contents of that situation has never been spoken about since. It was totally healed.

I’m very grateful to John and his intuitive knowledge, his training as a mediator, and his understanding of group and/or individual dynamics. I would quickly call upon John’s expertise any time I had a similar situation arise in my church.

Laura Hendry

I am a professional organizer who is committed to making an immediate impact for my clients. In my divorce my ex and I used John as our mediator and he did a very good job at helping us maintain progress on a number of complex issues that needed to be resolved so that we ended things amiably and fairly. Then, a few years later, I had an occasion to recommend John for a consultation with a non profit organization. I am please to say that I was astounded at his pro-activity, facilitation skills and ability to make an immediate impact on a group of people. He took the time to call and interview a number of key stakeholders before he arrived on site which helped him get solid back ground information on the difficulties as well as establish credibility with those involved. The meeting he ran was stunning in how fluidly he is able to get input and consensus on the core issues and galvanize a solution then move to the next point of order, while seamlessly and simultaneously hearing from all without getting bogged down. After our meeting, he summarized the key points of resolution and e mailed them to the follow up team so that nothing was lost. I cannot recommend him highly enough.



Central Valley Mediation Service
Serving Modesto, Tracy, Stockton, Ripon, Manteca, Salida, Riverbank and Ceres