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October 27, 2015

Faces of Fauquier: Working to find a middle ground

Photo/Cassandra Brown
“I love creating positive outcomes out of seemingly impossible situations,” Philip Mulford says.
I wanted to be in relative proximity of D.C. This is just a neat place and a neat town. It’s got life. I’ve never been one that wants to commute. I’ve always lived close to where I work. I didn’t put an office into downtown right away, and I had a lot of people saying Warrenton is too small of a town to do what you do. I said I don’t think so and I did it.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
A relaxed and thoughtful personality reflects his career as a professional mediator.

Philip Mulford specializes in divorce, family and business mediation.

His business, Mulford Mediation, provides an alternative to lawsuits for people facing divorce or other disputes.

Mr. Mulford in 1993 became one of the first mediators certified under Virginia Supreme Court guidelines.

“I just kept looking for the opportunity to be a neutral person, working out difficult situations,” he said. “Mediation is about control, self-determination . . . with someone who can be mindful of both sides.”

Once a financial lawyer, Mr. Mulford transitioned to mediation because he wanted to help people resolve disputes through collective, respectful agreements.

“I decided I needed to do something that would allow me to do that, which I found very constructive, positive, helpful, instead of being one-sided,” he said.

His simple office overlooking Warrenton’s Main Street provides a safe haven for clients to communicate.

“With my assistance, you create something that the two of you would say, ‘This would work’,” he explained.

“Working with people who are overwhelmed, stressed out beyond belief, dealing with the most difficult decision that I think any married couple is going to face and giving them the opportunity to deal with that and make those decisions as they begin to make them, they transform into future oriented” thinking.

• Age
58

• Home
Warrenton

• Work
Founder and president of Mulford Mediation for 25 years. Specializing in family, divorce and business mediation with offices in Warrenton, Fairfax and Manassas. Opened the Warrenton office in 2000. Financial attorney in Texas from 1982 to 1990.

• Why do you do the job?
I love creating positive outcomes out of seemingly impossible situations. And it’s a challenge for me but more importantly it’s the interaction between people working together to come up with something . . . . It’s not readily obvious what the answer’s going to be. It takes the efforts of both clients as well as me to come up with something that is going to meet their needs.

I also feel very strongly, especially in families, that our society of litigation should not be the way you make decisions. Offering this alternative seems right to me, seems like it’s the right way to treat each other, the right way to make decisions about your children. I also know it’s a far less expensive process.

• Family
Wife, Lisa, and sons, Philip Jr., a freshman at Arizona State University, and Preston, who attends Highland School.

• Education
Bachelor’s degree, history, Duke University, 1979; law degree, University of Virginia, 1982.

• Civic and/or church involvement
Member of St. James Episcopal Church in Warrenton. Member of the Fauquier County Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Warrenton Chamber of Commerce.

Previously on the board of the Salvation Army, Rotary Club of Warrenton and Fauquier County Chamber of Commerce.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Since 1991.

• Why do you live here?
I wanted to be in relative proximity of D.C. This is just a neat place and a neat town. It’s got life.

I’ve never been one that wants to commute. I’ve always lived close to where I work. I didn’t put an office into downtown right away, and I had a lot of people saying Warrenton is too small of a town to do what you do. I said I don’t think so and I did it.

• How do you describe this county?
Tremendous sense of community. It has everything I could ask for in a place to live. If you can’t find something, it’s accessible to places where you can. It’s accessible to D.C., with all the cultural experiences that D.C. offers.

I moved here because I like Fauquier the way it is, not because I want to change Fauquier into something that it’s not. I don’t want to change Fauquier into Northern Virginia. It’s a very vibrant, energetic community of people who are interested in politics, business and sports.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
Nothing. I love Fauquier the way it is.

• What do you do for fun?
I enjoy playing golf with my wife, supporting the boys in their interests — robotics, cross-country and baseball . . . public speaking and seminars, moderating local candidate forums and working on a book about communication.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
My home. I have the opportunity to be surrounded by farmland.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I hope Fauquier will be mindful of how special Fauquier is and be very similar to what it is today and continue well into the future, beyond 10 years.

• Favorite TV show?
“Madam Secretary”

• Favorite movie?
“Out of Africa”

• Favorite book?
I have a favorite author, Daniel Silva, who writes about international espionage.

• Favorite vacation spot?
I like to travel to new places. With my son at Arizona State University, we went out there and saw some incredible things we had never seen in Arizona.

• Favorite food?
When it comes to food, a big part of travel for me is enjoying foods of different regions.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
“Take it to the top,” from my theology teacher in high school. Essentially if you have issues, do something about them. Talk to people who can assist in making a difference. Don’t just complain about something. Identify what can be done about it and bring in the people who can effectively accomplish that . . . . Those are the people at the top or whatever it might be at the top.

• Who’s your hero and why?
My children, because I see them deal with so many challenges. I try to support, but at the same time allow them to work their way through them. I stand in awe of them in their ability to meet their challenges and be resilient and deal with what they need to deal with. It’s incredible to see what they are capable of.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
My wife broke her neck about four years ago. So with $1 million . . . give her a pain-free life.

Disclosure: Mr. Mulford and FauquierNow Editor Lawrence Emerson are first cousins, once removed. Their mothers are first cousins.



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Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• “Midland to the bone,” says native Matthew Smith.

• Sherrie Carter’s creativity becomes her business.

• Starting her career, Liberty graduate Judy Heflin wants to be a great teacher.

• Social Services Director Jan Selbo has devoted her career to helping others.

• Jim Cirillo’s call to Casanova extended.


• Don’t tell Angela Deal, Ms. Wheelchair Fauquier, that she can’t do something.

• FHS graduate and business owner Cathy Dodson finds all she needs right here.

• Mike Harvey’s sweet work takes lots of sweat.

• Warrenton native Joan Williams still serving her community.

• Classic cars consume engineer Matt Innocenzi’s free time.

• Wood transformed in the hands of Edward Fox.

• Earl Arrington serves printing customers and his community.

• Michael Hughes wears music, threater and equestrian hats.

• Store in Goldvein part of Susan Leopold’s family legacy.

• County native Maggi MacQuilliam devoted to the great outdoors.

• Health care for the needy Rob Marino’s mission.

• Daphne Latimore focuses on human capital.

• Horses extend Louise Summers’ work as teacher.

• As volunteer coach, Jeff Budd develops young wrestlers.


• Fraces Allshouse’s jobs focus on preservation.

• Jessica Smolinski’s book introduces children to Old Town Warrenton.

• Margaret Rice’s job all about fitness and fun in Warrenton.


• Robert Sturgeon has built his 70-employee businesses in Bealeton from scratch.

• 4-H leader Zach Woodward relishes the lessons of farming.

• Hospital auxiliary volunteer Alison Lee also earned fame in drag racing circles.

• Highland School veteran staff member Lise Hicklin always wanted to teach.


• As 9-1-1 dispatcher, Kateland Rich works to maintain calm during crisis.

• Chaplain Liz Danielsen finds a giving community.


• 9-1-1 response in Rodney Woodward’s bloodline.

• Fast talk a tool of the trade for auctioneer Kathy Shumate.

• Sam Poles takes care of varmits.

• Diane King mentors student performers at Fresta Valley Christian School.


• Lewis F. Lee Jr. followed his father into taxidermy business.

• Edward Payne returns to Orlean and to photography with passion.

• Janet Metzger’s Old Town Warrenton shop a hub of creativity.

• Pablo Teodoro bakes to build community.

• Community trails have become passion for retired VDOT engineer Bob Moore.


• Teresa Reynolds makes transition from butcher to museum director.

• After working in New York and Italy, Christine Fox moved home to open fashion boutique 25 years ago.

• Steve Lewis develops hunting reality show on Dish Network.

• Julia Trumbo grew up in the family grocery business.

• Tax preparer Renée Turner enjoys owning a business in Old Town Warrenton.

• ICU staff Carol Jones values patients’ trust.


• Wilson Sanabria grew up working in his family’s Warrenton restaurant and learning to box.

• One-man band Peter Fakoury quit 9-to-5 to learn from children.

• Liberty graduate Brittany Aubrey works in the smile business.

• Walmart cashier Lulu Baer loves to play violin and several community roles.

• In Sandra Alm, SPCA dogs have a loyal companion.

• St. James’ Episcopal new Rector Ben Maas appreciates community’s embrace

• Bicycles dominate work and play for Brian Larson.

• Teaching music therapy combines Abigail Newman’s passions.

• Brenda Rich leads volunteers who organize and run the Fauquier County Fair.

• 1st Sgt. Greg Harris stresses empathy in his job as a supervisor at the county detention center.


• Chuck Tippett challenges the “rich guy” stereotype about pilots.


• County government employee Surja Tamang previously worked as a Mt. Everest sherpa.

• Woody Isaac found his calling as a chef at age 16.

• Horses take Tommy Lee Jones all over the county.


• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.

• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.

• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.

• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”


• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.

• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.


• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.

• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.

• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.

• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.

• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.


• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.

• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.

• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.

• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.

• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.

• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.


• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.


• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.


• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.

• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.

• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.


• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.

• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native

• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.

• His job dovetails with passion for hunting

• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.

• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people


• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.


• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.

• He lives and works in a beautiful place.

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.


• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.


• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.


• Pastor a constant in Calverton.


• She keeps the courthouse spotless.


• He loves working working outdoors at the park.


• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton







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