We can help
when you don't know
where else to turn.

Our team includes North Carolina certified mediators, trained facilitators, and a trained elder mediator.  Our work is informed and driven by the experience each of us have had in our own families with aging loved ones. Our approach is to empower families to navigate for themselves through difficult terrain. As mediators, we are neutral. We get to know your family and its dynamics before we meet as a group so that when we do convene, the focus is on attacking the problem instead of attacking each other.



Hank Straus

Hank Straus is a certified mediator. He completed training in elder mediation in the summer of 2015, and is certified as a civil court mediator for the North Carolina Superior Court.

His particular interest is in business, nonprofit, and elder matters outside of the judicial system. Hank's experience as a small businessman and as a consultant to small business led to his conviction that mediation should be the first alternative to dispute resolution. It obviates the high financial and emotional costs of litigation and seeks to preserve the relationships of the concerned parties.

Hank graduated from the George Washington University with a degree in urban studies in 1977. In 1980, he moved to Chapel Hill to attend law school at the University of North Carolina. After one semester, Hank followed his passion for Italian food. He owned and managed the Aurora Restaurant until selling its real estate location in 2007. In its more than 25 years, Aurora set the standard in the Triangle for Italian food as fine dining.

Hank was a founding member of the Carrboro Business Association and is a town precinct chairman. He sits on the board of the Dispute Settlement Center and has served on the boards of The ArtCenter, Inter-Faith Council, and Jelly Theater.





Rick Igou

Rick is a mediator, arbitrator and collaborative attorney. His focus is on helping people avoid going to court by assisting them in crafting their own, personal resolutions to disputes, disagreements and difficult mutual decisions. He has mediated or arbitrated hundreds of cases in a variety of family, Superior Court, District Criminal Court, business and community matters since first training as a mediator in 1990.

Rick is certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission as a Superior Court, Family Financial and Clerk of Court mediator, and he is also a Permanency Mediator with the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts. He serves as an arbitrator in North Carolina District Court District 14, and as a member of the FINRA Board of Arbitrators.

In addition to his practice, Rick has volunteered for over two decades as a mediator, facilitator and trainer with the Dispute Settlement Center of Orange County, North Carolina’s first community dispute resolution center, and currently serves on its Board of Directors. He also serves on the North Carolina Supreme Court Dispute Resolution Committee’s Custody and Visitation Mediation Program’s Advisory Subcommittee, and is the 2015-16 Chair of the Dispute Resolution Section of the North Carolina Bar Association.