Your CP Cal
Board is pleased to introduce you to our very own EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PAULA
JACKSON, who brings such efficiency, thoughtfulness, humor, and foresight to
this grand organization.
Paula Jane Jackson, also
known as "PJ."
I live in Novato with my
husband Doug and our cat Jill.
Work history before
becoming involved with Collaborative Practice? What responsibilities did you
In the mid `70s -early `80s I
lived in Hawaii and managed a bookstore called The Book Cache, which was a
branch of a bookstore chain in Alaska. In the mid `80s-mid `90s I worked at
the San Francisco Foundation, wearing many hats. As Administrator, I handled
operations and facilities management, human resources management, ran the
multi-cultural fellowship program and the philanthropy grantmaking program,
and provided special assistance to the Director. In the late `90s I was a
program executive at Northern California Grantmakers, coordinating the
professional development program for member grantmakers, staffing the Summer
Youth Project and the AIDS Task Force, and producing the Guide to
California Foundations. I also did consulting for the California Maritime
Academy, planning and implementing their first donor database program. In the
2000s, I worked with both AFCC and AAML, coordinating the AFCC-CA conference
and the AAML-NorCal Chapter Annual Symposium.
When did you first
become involved with collaborative practice?
That was in 2001, when I got
involved with the American Institute of Collaborative Professionals (now
known as the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals).
Who roped you
That would be my sister
Jennifer Jackson. Jenni was one of the founders of AICP/IACP, together with
Pauline Tesler, Nancy Ross, Peggy Thompson and others.
What was your job
title? What were your responsibilities?
There were no titles back
then! Jenni and I had worked together on one of the AAML Symposiums, and she
enlisted me to coordinate the second IACP Forum in Emeryville, California.
This was in October, 2001 just after 9/11--100 people showed up, surpassing
our wildest expectations. My responsibilities grew quickly, from coordinating
the annual Forum to managing the database, maintaining membership files and
corporate documents, coordinating board meetings and retreats, copyediting
and laying out the Collaborative Review and working on the website (together
with editor and webmaster Jenni), producing the online newsletter, and
handling the bookkeeping. My title evolved into Administrator. It was a great ride.
Then, in 2006 I was contacted
by Hal Bartholomew to coordinate the first annual Celebration for CP Cal in
Sonoma. That was great fun. It was co-sponsored by IACP. Over 200 people
attended! I`ve coordinated all of the CP Cal Celebrations since then (except
in 2007 in Pasadena).
When did CP Cal beg
you to come on board?
In October, 2011, Randy
Cheek--who was president at the time--invited me on board to do work similar to
the work I did for IACP.
What were your
responsibilities initially? How has that changed?
At first, in addition to
coordinating Celebrations, I worked on producing the newsletter, managing
content on the website, maintaining member group lists and corporate
documents, and working with the board on meetings and retreats. My time has
increased to include more board, finance and committee work.
What was your job
At first, Administrator. Now
it`s Executive Director.
What is your estimate
of how much of your time is spent on CP Cal work?
It`s roughly 35 hours a month
or so, but is always more time than I realize.
What is it about
non-profits that attracts you?
I guess I would give the
classic response: Making a difference in the world. I like to follow the
"path with heart": I look forward to each day because I love what I
do; I have balance in my life and have time for myself, friends and family; I
feel motivated and productive in my work; I feel valued and appreciated; and
I feel that the work I do is of service to others.
Are you part of any
professional organizations for folks who do the kinds of administrative work
that CP Cal receives from you? How does that help you with this work?
Yes, I belong to ASAE (the
American Society of Association Executives), an organization with more than
20,000 members in the U.S. There is a wealth of resources on the website, as
well as a magazine and various listservs (they even have a private social
network called "Collaborate"). I can post a question and get
answers immediately from colleagues across the country. I learn best
practices and benefit from the research they do. I can share articles and
items of interest with board and committee members.
What is your favorite
thing about your work with CP Cal?
The people! This is an
amazing group of dedicated professionals. I love coming to Celebration and
seeing familiar faces, reconnecting with friends, and meeting new people--all
working toward a shared goal. It`s fantastic.
Your vision for
where/what the collaborative community generally will be five years from now?
Whenever I mention
"Collaborative Practice/Collaborative Law/Collaborative Divorce," everyone
will know what that is. People will know the difference between Collaborative
and mediation. People can easily distinguish between Collaborative and collaborative
(little `c`) processes. There will be enough public awareness of the
Collaborative process option that people will be asking for it and
practitioners can make a living doing it. The Collaborative model is flexible
enough to fit different budgets and different needs of different couples
without sacrificing the core components (participation/disqualification
agreement, transparency amongst professionals, full, honest and voluntary
Your vision for CP Cal
five years from now?
I would like to see all Collaborative
Practice groups in California be members of CP Cal. I hope to see more and
more talented and diverse people get involved who are not yet members of
practice groups, so that groups have a wider pool from which to select
delegates and we have a wider pool of delegates as board candidates. I look
forward to seeing our outreach to mental health, financial and other communities bear
fruit. I`d love to see our website as the "go-to" place for
information and resources. We have an ever-growing "Toolbox" of
resources in the member area of the website (and I`d love to know that every
member of every practice group knows how to log in to the member area. Contact me if you don`t! email@example.com).
I hope that CP Cal--board, committees, delegates and groups--stays focused on
its values and objectives and always remembers what it`s here for, while staying
human, collegial and fun.
The person who
influenced you the most to be in this community?
No surprise--My sister Jenni
(and other AICP/IACP founders, not to mention Stu Webb!) who got me started,
and also the many folks with whom I`ve worked over the years who have been so
inspiring and supportive. Presidents Randy Cheek, David Fink, Fred Glassman
and incoming President Suzan Barrie Aiken, to name a few among many.
What is your favorite
activity when not doing your professional work?
I take tap dancing classes,
I`m in a reading group, I attend my husband Doug`s concerts and gigs, I`m an avid Scrabble player, I love to cook and have parties, I love kids (11 nieces and
nephews, 20 grand-nieces and -nephews), and I love to travel.
Thank you, Peg!
You`ve been a great newsletter editor and an outstanding Board member. It`s
been a pleasure working with you. And, since one of my responsibilities at CP
Cal is producing the newsletter, I`m taking the liberty of including a photo