PLENARY SESSION SPEAKERS
Robert Sege, MD, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Community-Engaged Medicine Tufts University School of Medicine
Robert Sege, MD, Ph.D. is a Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, where he directs a new Center for Community-engaged Medicine. He is nationally known for his research on effective health systems approaches that directly address the social determinants of health. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Social Policy in Washington DC and serves on the boards of the Massachusetts Children’s Trust and Prevent Child Abuse America. He has served on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, and on its Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poisoning Prevention. He is a graduate of Yale College, and received his Ph.D. in Biology from MIT and his MD from Harvard Medical School. He lives in the Boston area, where he and his wife Karen have raised three young adult children.
Linetta J. Gilbert
Gilbert & Associates
A respected leader in the philanthropic community, Linetta provides consulting, coaching and network-building support to foundations, large and small non-profits and emerging thought leaders. She has held leadership positions with a number of notable foundations. She served as Senior Program Officer for Social Justice Philanthropy with The Ford Foundation, where, over nearly a decade, she invested, monitored and leveraged $1 billion in resources dedicated to transforming and strengthening community-based philanthropic organizations worldwide. In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, she helped guide decisions on philanthropic investments that would help to rebuild infrastructure and increase capacity in government, resident leadership, non-profit organizations and the business community and transition the region from recovery to transformation. She served as a place-based consultant in New Orleans to the Annie E. Casey Foundation for its Neighborhood Transformation Initiative. As the former Vice President of Programs for the Greater New Orleans Foundation, she designed and implemented grant-making and programs for this regional foundation, expanding its programmatic reach to include critical issues such as housing and community development; work force development; violence prevention; neighborhood resident engagement; faith-based economic development; and rural development initiatives. She has also served as a national consultant on public policies in the fields of early learning/education, health, housing and child welfare services and is the founding member of the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Louisiana, a statewide public charity that invests in people and practices working to reduce vulnerability and build stronger, more sustainable communities.
BREAKOUT SESSION PRESENTERS
Katie Albright, JD, Safe and Sound
Katie is a children’s advocate with more than twenty-five years of legal and non-profit experience. She has served as the CEO of Safe & Sound (formerly the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center) for over a decade. Expanding its reach and impact under her leadership, the organization co-founded the Children’s Advocacy Center of San Francisco, the Center for Youth Wellness, and Partners in Prevention, and has developed strong partnerships across Bay Area communities. Her prior experiences include serving as San Francisco Deputy City Attorney representing the county’s public schools; San Francisco Education Fund Policy Director leading a campaign to improve teacher quality and increase student retention; and, Preschool California Co-Director of Policy & Outreach campaigning statewide for universal preschool.
Jennie Capron, Program for Early Parent Support-PEPS (Northern Region)
Jennie is passionate about supporting the transition parents go through as they welcome babies into their lives and is excited to reach more families as the Community Connector for the North End. Before joining the PEPS team, She spent nearly six years as a birth and postpartum doula. She was involved in the birth community as a board member for PALS doulas, facilitating PEPS groups, and supporting fundraising efforts for Open Arms Perinatal Services. She holds a BA in Environmental Policy from the University of Puget Sound.
Kate Chappell, Ph.D., MSN, APRN, CPNP-PC, University of South Carolina
Dr. Chappell is a Clinical Associate Professor with the University of South Carolina College of Nursing. She earned both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Nursing from the University of South Carolina. She has been a forensic medical provider in the SC Children’s Advocacy Medical Response System network since 2011. At USC, she teaches in the undergraduate nursing and Nurse Practitioner programs, including Pediatrics. She is a Cockcroft Leadership Development Fellow, and has been recognized as a South Carolina Nurse's Foundation Palmetto Gold recipient. She is a Fellow in the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) and is the current President for the South Carolina Chapter of American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. Earning a Ph.D. Nursing, her research focused on prevention of child maltreatment with a particular interest in caregiver vigilance for child sexual abuse.
Debbie Comstock, LCSW, Protective Factors for Utah Families
Debbie is a Clinical Social Worker and has worked in clinical practice as well as community organizing and program development. Her advocacy roles include currently being a member of the Leadership team for Protective Factors for Utah Families, a CASA, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocate, Board Member of the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, Commission Member on the Utah State Commission on Child Welfare Improvement and local Northern Utah Region Quality Improvement Committee. She has also worked in developing a Family Support Specialist Program with the Davis Community Learning Center, Davis School District and has numerous ongoing ties with California as a past Director of a Family Resource Center and Family Justice Center in East San Diego. She is a Certified Trainer on the on the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support, Certified Trainer on the 5 Protective Factors, and a Trainer on the Legislative Standards for California Supervised Visitation Service Providers. She is married and has 4 children, 2 in-law children and 4 perfect grandchildren.
Azieb Ermias, Center for the Study of Social Policy
Azieb is the Senior Program Analyst for DULCE at the Center for the Study of Social Policy. In her role, she manages the day-to-day work of DULCE implementation nationally in support of addressing the holistic needs of families and infants. Prior to joining the Center for the Study of Social Policy, she spent five years at a national educational services company that supported the work of healthcare executives leading the largest 100 health systems nationally. She has extensive experience in health disparities and behavioral science research through graduate studies work at the University of California, San Diego. She is certified in Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Management through the Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies.
Katherine Filut, United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County
Katherine is the Director of the Ready Children Impact Council at United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County. She has more than eleven years of experience building local partnerships, streamlining services, and identifying cross-cutting and sustainable approaches to addressing local community issues.
Linda George, Pro Action of Steuben and Yates, Inc.
Linda is the Family Support and Literacy Program Coordinator at Pro Action of Steuben and Yates, Inc. in Bath, New York. As a Certified Trainer on the Standards of Quality and with 25 years’ experience in the Human Services field, she enhances the work of the Family Resource Centers in engaging families in early literacy and school readiness and in implementing of the Standards of Quality. She has provided trainings at local, state, and national conferences to share her expertise and knowledge on various topics to advance the family strengthening and support profession.
Maria Alejandra Gomez, Program for Early Parent Support-PEPS (Eastern Region)
Maria Alejandra is the Community Connector for the Eastside Region of PEPS. She helps with volunteer recruitment, creating connections with partners in the area, and promoting PEPS programs in the region. She Alejandra has a passion of working with the community and connecting people. Prior to joining PEPS, she worked with the Latino Initiative and Program areas at Girl Scouts of Western Washington and as Director of Member Services and Family Programs for the Northshore YMCA. She worked in human resources in Colombia. She studied Social Work in the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (Medellin, Colombia) and earned a Master in Public Administration from Seattle University. She is part of the class 2013 of Leadership Eastside.
Dominique Griffin, Families First DC
Dominique is a Program Specialist for Families First DC. She serves as the grantee monitor for Ward 8 grantees for the Families First DC grant. Prior to taking her current job nine months ago, she provided operational support for the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity (DMGEO). She previously provided program and operational support services for two organizations, Higher Achievement and College Success Foundation, which serve at-risk, underserved, low-income students from middle school to college.
Anita Harvey-Dixon, The Ounce of Prevention Fund, Educare Learning Network
Anita is the Director of Family Engagement for the Ounce of Prevention Fund. She has worked for there for over 18 years in roles such as Implementation Advisor for the Educare Learning Network and Assistant Director for the Educare School in Chicago, IL. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of education. Her experiences vary from being a classroom teacher in a Head Start program to a high school English teacher and working with adult learners. She received her undergraduate degree from City College of the City University of New York. She has Masters Degrees from Yale University and Erikson Institute in Literature and Child Development. She has earned her Illinois Director’s Credential and is a Brazelton’s Touchpoints Community Level trainer. In 2014, she participated in the inaugural cohort of the Illinois Early Childhood Senior Leaders Program.
Connie Herman, Saskatchewan Prevention Institute, Families Canada/ Public Health Agency of Canada
Connie is a Nobody's Perfect Parenting Trainer and the Provincial Coordinator for the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute. She is passionate about supporting parents, families, and communities. She provides training, resource development, and support to service providers who work with parents and families. As a Parent Program Coordinator, Parent Coach, and a mom to a 5 year-old girl and 11 year-old boy, she recognizes that parenting is one of the most rewarding, most important, and also the most challenging jobs there is.
Ali Jawetz, Center for the Study of Social Policy
Ali is a Policy Analyst at the Center for the Study of Social Policy, where she works with a team that monitors child welfare systems facing class-action litigation. She also supports the Youth Thrive initiative, which is a framework that uses research on adolescent brain development to improve the ways child welfare and juvenile justice systems interact with youth ages 9-26. She is committed to addressing the injustices many families involved with child welfare and juvenile justice systems have faced, and is inspired by the possibility that these intervening public systems can be transformed to be more supportive and responsive to families’ needs.
Polly Jirkovsky, Program for Early Parent Support-PEPS (Southern Region)
Polly works on outreach and expansion at PEPS as the Community Connector for the Southern Region. She has worked at a variety of nonprofits in the Seattle area, working on issues of homelessness and harm reduction. She wants to continue learning about the connections between oppression, isolation and health disparities, and believes that communities have the power to heal and strengthen. She has led over 30 PEPS groups including Newborn, Baby Peppers and Little Peppers. She has a BA in English from Earlham College and a Master of Public Health from the University of Washington.
Mary Ann Jennings, Kentucky Division of Family Resource & Youth Services Centers
Mary Ann is the Assistant Director for Kentucky’s Division of Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSC). With over 25 years of experience working in the family support field, she oversees the work of 857 Family Resource and Youth Services Centers statewide and assists with the supervision of the twelve Regional Program Managers. Her career experience includes time as a Youth Services Center Coordinator at the high school level and a Family Resource Coordinator at the elementary school level. During this time, in addition to primary FRYSC responsibilities, she oversaw childcare centers at both locations. She is a strong advocate for evaluation-informed best practice, training support, and program resources to ensure all FRYSCs maximize their services to the children, families, and communities across Kentucky. She works closely with the statewide FRYSC membership coalition to ensure the impact of the FRYSC program is communicated with national, state, and local policy leaders.
Barbara Leavitt, United Way of Utah County
Barbara has worked within the United Way of Utah County overseeing several programs including a volunteer-based home visitation program manned with volunteers, the Help Me Grow (HMG) system statewide in Utah, the statewide implementation of Strengthening Families Framework: Five Protective Factors and working within the early childhood area to build regional and state systems that support parents. She continues to oversee several programs within the United Way of Utah County as VP of Community Impact. She has trained nationally with the Strengthening Families Framework Training Team through the National Alliance of Children’s Trust Funds and supported the national HMG Team in advising states that are in the process of implementing a HMG. She developed a parent engagement tool that has been disseminated across HMG national affiliates. Her unique skill sets of a business owner, community volunteer and organizer and public administrator have proven to be instrumental in building collaborative teams to meet the needs of communities, families and children.
Michelle Lee, The Ounce of Prevention Fund, Educare Learning Network
Michelle is a licensed clinical professional counselor who has worked individually with families and has provided consultation and training to professionals around facilitating attuned interactions that have resulted in professionals being better able to communicate effectively and efficiently with their families and colleagues. She has worked both as a teacher and infant mental health specialist with The Erikson Institute, a graduate school in child development. She currently works with the Educare Learning Network as part of the Ounce of Prevention Fund as an Implementation Advisor on their Intensive Family Engagement team where she delivers training, consultation and technical assistance to more than 23 Educare sites devoted to delivering high quality early childhood practices. She received her undergraduate degree and certificate in elementary education from Duke University and her Master’s Degree in Human Services and Counseling from DePaul University.
Amy Shapley Moseley, Shapley Consulting
Amy is a consultant for nonprofit organizations, specializing in training, program creation, staff development and convening. Amy has been working in nonprofit organizations for over 15 years. She has a diverse background including advocacy and counseling for sexual assault survivors, directing maternal child health services and training and convening around child abuse prevention. She has also worked in the disability community as a program director and volunteer. Her son, Ethan, was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder at the age of 9. She has been a fierce advocate for her son and for improving systems and programs that impact individuals with autism and their families. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Counseling and Bible from Southern Methodist College and a Master’s degree in Counseling from Trevecca Nazarene University. She is a South Carolina ACE Master Trainer, Certified Protective Factors Trainer, and Triple P Level 2 Trainer.
Cailin O’Connor, Center for the Study of Social Policy
Cailin is a Senior Associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy, where she works to promote better outcomes for young children and their families, with a focus on promoting the protective factors that children, families, and communities need to thrive. This includes coordinating the Strengthening Families National Network of 35 states using CSSP’s Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework, and supporting cities and counties in their efforts to better support early learning throughout their communities as part of Early Learning Nation. Her work has addressed a wide range of issues, including adverse childhood experiences, resilience, early childhood system building, family support, and child abuse and neglect prevention.
Ramón A. Pastrano IV, D.Min., MSM, MATS, ImpactLives, Inc.
With over 25 years of experience in leadership among many different cultures around the world, Ramón founded ImpactLives in 2007 to create a dual model of transformational leadership and social innovation. His model is designed to teach and optimize Service Learning Experiences, Transformational Leadership, Development and Global Competencies, which leads to social innovation and produces sustainable works of social justice. Additionally, he promotes diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness to help individuals reflect and strengthen their identity, wisdom and maturity – transforming people and communities one life at a time. His global experience is vast. He has lived in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, and has traveled extensively for humanitarian efforts throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, Jordan, India, Palestine, Africa, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Korea, China, Cambodia, Thailand and Japan. His vision and expertise is broad and includes: business development, strategic planning, organizational and transformational leadership. In 2014 he was named the Outstanding Community Leader by Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), honoring his work to inspire young people to make a difference and become catalysts for positive change in their homes, schools, workplaces and communities.
Carmen Paterson-Payne, Youville Provincial Centre, Families Canada/ Public Health Agency of Canada
Carmen is a Nobody’s Perfect Parenting (NPP) Master Trainer, a Provincial Coordinator for Youville Centre, a program developer, and an adult learning facilitator. Her background in Early Childhood Development and Adult Education compliments her work with family resource facilitators. She delivers workshops and trainings across Canada and recently trained NPP facilitators in Vietnam for UNICEF. She is an advocate for father involvement and sits on the Dad Central Canada National Network. She developed the Dads Engaging Dads project in Manitoba and co-wrote the new Father Focused Tip Sheets for the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Anthony Pennant, Antioch University-Seattle
Anthony earned his Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Drexel University and is a licensed marriage and family therapist and approved supervisor through the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Antioch New England and is full time faculty in the Couple and Family Therapy department at Antioch University-Seattle. He has extensive experience in working with individuals, couples and families including Neurodiversity in children. He has served as volunteer and board member for various nonprofit organizations, including the Minuchin Center for the Family and the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. He maintains a private practice in Seattle supporting people of color, transracial families, and special needs children and their families.
Jeniffer M. Richardson, United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County
Jeniffer is the Vice-President of Family Initiatives at United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County. She serves as the Co-Lead for the Strong Individuals and Families Impact Council and the Project Director for the Healthy Outcomes through Prevention and Early Supports Initiative (HOPES). In this position, she partners with a network of agencies to develop a continuum of services shaped by evidence-based practices to address the six protective factors, increase family self-sufficiency, and implement strategies designed to reduce family violence. Her experience spans 26 years in the non-profit management field in the areas of resource development, grants management, and operations; with a focus on place-based initiatives. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Management and Organizational Leadership.
Audrey Rost, United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County
Audrey is the Director of Grants at United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County. She serves as the co-lead for the Ready Children Impact Council and the project Director for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Initiative in Bexar County. In this position, she partners with multiple agencies to support the successful implementation of evidence based home visiting programs that help prevent child abuse and neglect, support positive parenting, improve maternal and child health, and promote child development and school readiness. She is a Registered Nurse with fourteen years of experience in public and maternal-child health.
Octavia Shaw, Families First DC
Octavia is the Program Manager for Families First DC. Her life's mission is to educate and inspire all whom she meets and exuberate peace, positivity, and productivity. A native Washingtonian, she spent her childhood in the low-country of South Carolina, urban DC, and the Bronx, New York. She has been in the field of education and family services for more than 20 years internationally and in Montgomery County, Maryland and Washington, DC. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, with a Master’s degree in Instructional Systems Development from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and an undergraduate degree in Communications and Education from Howard University. She also recently completed post graduate work at Georgetown University. She loves learning, traveling, mentoring, volunteering, boutique-hopping, and spending time with family and loved ones.
Drew Soleyn, Dad Central Ontario
Drew is the Director of Dad Central Ontario, Founder of Connected Dads, and a Career Coach at the Queen's Smith School of Business. At the age of three, his biological father abducted him. For 49 months, his mother relentlessly pursued finding and returning him home – despite the refusal of authorities to provide assistance. As a result of her heroic efforts, he was eventually legally returned to her custody. With her care and parenting wisdom, she helped him create a new life. Today, he is a husband and father to three beautiful children, an ICF certified coach and John Maxwell Team Coach, Trainer and Speaker. His life mission is to help struggling dads be the best version of themselves for the people who matter most.
Yoland Trevino, Pasadena -Altadena Coalition of Transformative Leaders (PACTL)
Yoland is the Founder, Executive Director, and Board Chair of the Pasadena-Altadena Coalition of Transformative Leaders (PACTL). She is the former Executive Director of the Vaughn Family Center in Pacoima, California, which has been recognized nationally and internationally for its innovative programs. For over 30 years, she has trained diverse groups in the United States and abroad, including corporations, academia, and community-based organizations. During her tenure at Vaughn Family Center, she played a key role in helping the community mobilize toward economic and social change by nurturing the growth of a culture that emphasizes openness, collaborative leadership, and the "art of the possible." She has served on many educational committees including the Domestic Policy Council for the Clinton administration. After 20 years working in the fields of education, health, psychology, family support, and community development, she founded Transformative Collaborations International in 1996. Using innovative organizational process and tools, she works nationally and internationally supporting educational efforts that unleash the talents of children, youth, and families.