Mutual Choices

Consulting and Mediation Services

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Helping people negotiate change and resolve conflict

  • Are you contemplating separation or divorce?
  • Is your family in conflict about issues related to an estate, a divorce, remarriage, serious illness or another challenging situation?
  • Are you struggling with a a co-worker, business partner, employer or employee?
  • Would you like to learn to work through and resolve conflict constructively and effectively?

Negotiations sometimes precede a change, and nearly always follow a change. Small changes are negotiated almost without notice. When changes are significant, negotiations take on an increased seriousness as the consequences become apparent, and more emotional responses emerge.

During these times, a third party can be helpful. Collaborative conflict resolution can expand perspectives and address multiple goals and interests–supporting the creation of more just and sustainable outcomes. As clients discover what they need to feel satisfied, they come to respect others’ perceptions and values and are able to make mutual choices.

Consider your today for a private consultation.

Our Services

Business/Municipal Consulting

Working with municipal boards and employees in the areas of conflict.

Family Mediation

Family conflict is to be expected. How conflicts are resolved has a significant effect upon the family.

Separation / Divorce Mediation

Married or unmarried partners who live or intend to live separately work with a mediator to come to their own agreements on issues that arise or need clarification as a result of the change in the family structure.

Conflict Coaching

Conflict resolution coaching provides individual support and education to help clients respond effectively to conflict and create more satisfying lives for themselves.


Mediation is the practice of addressing specific issues with the assistance of a third party. Clients create their own sustainable agreements, privately and informally. Consider mediation for resolving business issues, family concerns, organizational change and workplace disputes.

Workplace Mediation

65 percent of job performance deficiencies result from ineffective relationships, not ineffective employees.


Would you like to improve organizational and interpersonal communication and develop the ability to manage conflict and collaborate more effectively?


Conflict resolution and communication skills training is available for individuals and organizations.

Contact Us

Mutual Choices

Consulting and Mediation Services

Collene M. Burns 
John R. Piper

95 Allens Creek
Building #2 – Suite 3
Rochester, NY 14618
(Located off the 590 expressway exit)

(585) 244-1600
(585) 775-5815 (text capable)

“You have to let go of the life you have planned to live the life that is waiting for you.”
-Joseph Campbell

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Mutual Choices Team

Collene M. Burns has been an advocate of mediation as a form of constructive conflict resolution for nearly three decades.  Trained as a Peer Mediator in junior high school, she has since brought the implementation of mediation practices to organizations where she is an employee or volunteer, including international tech and service companies, higher education, and not-for-profit organizations.

With a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Simon Business School (University of Rochester), Collene’s educational background in negotiation, change management, finance, and business principles brings a unique perspective to the conflict resolution services she provides for workplaces, families, and separating or divorcing couples.

Collene is a member of the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation, Rochester Association of Family Mediators, and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.  In addition to her work at Mutual Choices, Collene provides Leadership/Executive Coaching and Organizational Change Management services through usefully, Inc.



John R. Piper, BA, has been providing coaching and conflict resolution services for over 20 years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Oswego, and previously held the Certified Association Executive designation from the American Society of Association Executives.

John works with and has facilitated conflict transformation within municipalities, associations, businesses and families. In addition, John has facilitated a variety of planning sessions for both large and small profit and not for profit organizations. John’s experience as a CEO, reporting to a board of directors for most of his career, gives him a unique perspective regarding board/staff/organizational relationships. He has spoken on the role of board members for a variety of associations including the NYS Association of School Athletic Administrators, and the National Association of Educational Negotiators.

He is a member of the Rochester Association of Family Mediators, the Rochester Area Group Psychotherapy Society, the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation, and John is also an elected official, serving as Vice President of the Board of Education for the Penfield Central School District.