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
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.
David Agbaire, Families Canada
David has been with Families Canada for two years. In his role as Project Officer, he supports the development, implementation and monitoring of project work plans, budgets, evaluation activities and deliverables. He has a key interest in research, supporting communities living in vulnerable conditions and disseminating evidence-based information to those who need it the most. Prior to joining Families Canada, he worked with populations living in vulnerable conditions in a variety of community support positions.
Debra Armstrong, Families Canada
Debra’s greatest passion is to bring healing and support to people who have been through difficult times. With a degree in Social Work from the University of Calgary, she began her career with Alberta Child and Family Services, focusing on the safety and care of young children. Later, she moved to Calgary in order to work as a Community Social Worker, serving in various leadership roles with youth crime and Disaster Social Services. In 2005, she became the Executive Director of intergenerational programs throughout Alberta. She has conducted training sessions throughout the province on her evidenced-based practices. Her dedication and commitment were recognized in 2013 by the Government of Alberta with the Senior Services Award. Today, she helps to improve the lives of thousands of vulnerable families in 28 Calgary communities.
Rebecca Balcerzak, Families Canada
Rebecca is a Senior Project Officer at Families Canada. She manages projects that benefit at-risk families and the professionals who support them. She also synthesizes academic articles related to the family support field into accessible resources. Previously, she worked at Natural Resources Canada in a communications position. She brings to her work a passion for helping families and children. Previously, she was a Reading Buddy at the Ottawa Public Library and volunteered with autistic children at the Waterloo Minor Soccer Club.
Melissa Lim Brodowski, Ph.D., Office of Early Childhood Development, Administration for Children and Families
Melissa is the Deputy Director for the Office of Early Childhood Development at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). In this role, she provides leadership and guidance to support early childhood initiatives across ACF and with federal partners and other stakeholders. Through various positions at ACF, she has overseen grant programs, technical assistance, research and evaluation activities, interagency coordination, and public-private partnerships related to early childhood, child maltreatment prevention, and the implementation of evidence-based home visiting programs. She has over 20 years of experience working in the field of health and human services. Prior to her federal career, she was a Management Analyst at the Alameda County Department of Children and Family Services in California and a substance abuse counselor working with pregnant and parenting women. She received her BA in Psychology from Temple University, her MSW and MPH from the University of California at Berkeley, and her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work.
Azieb Ermias, Center for the Study of Social Policy
Azieb is the Senior Program Analyst for Developmental Understanding and Legal Collaboration for Everyone (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.
Alexandra James, Be Strong Families
Alexandra is the Chief Program Officer for Be Strong Families. She previously served for 9 years as CEO of Trinity Family Life Center in Richmond, Virginia -- a nationally recognized social enterprise model with four economic engines: a childcare center, restaurant / catering, facility rental, and a fitness center. In addition, Trinity Family Life Center’s “Strengthening Families Uplifting Communities Initiative” has served as a national model for the Casey Family Programs’ Faith-based Initiative. She brings to Be Strong Families a wealth of knowledge and experience in developing and implementing innovative programs for children, youth, and families, including child welfare involved families; experience and expertise with non-profit resource development and fiscal stewardship; and a deep commitment to empowered engagement, equity, diversity, inclusion, as well as Be Strong Families mission, vision, and values.
Tecoria Jones, Parent Advocate
A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Tecoria has been a parent advocate for over ten years. Her work in this field began as a Parent Peer Support provider for families with children who have mental health concerns. Her life experiences include a Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) score of 10 and significant time as a child in foster, kinship and congregate care. Today, she is a consultant and trainer in ACEs and the Protective Factors Framework. She has held numerous parent leader roles with local and state advocacy groups representing parents and children, is the mother of six children, aged 4 to 21. "My commitment to parents, family and communities is authentic. I own my place as a villager in the village that it takes to grow healthy children, families and communities."
Mark Kling, Family Resource Center Association
Mark is the Executive Director of the Family Resource Center Association, an association of 32 Family Resource Centers promoting the well-being of children and families across Colorado by implementing effective, collaborative, community-based Family Support and Strengthening services. He is also a Steering Committee member of the National Family Support Network, charing the Membership Committee. He previously practiced law for over 20 years, serving as General and In-House Counsel, conducting business development in over 20 countries. He obtained his J.D. from the University of Denver College of law, where he has also taught as an adjunct professor.
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.
Andrew Russo, National Family Support Network
Andrew brings more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit social service sector in Boston, New York, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington DC, and Taiwan to his role as Co-Founder and Director of the National Family Support Network. His experience at the program level in the Family Support field includes launching a family strengthening project with the Cambodian refugee community, working as a therapist with children and youth at school-based Family Resource Centers (FRCs), and establishing and directing new FRCs working with the Asian community. At the system level, he co-authored the nationally-adopted Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening & Support and co-founded and served as co-chair of six Family Support and Strengthening networks at the neighborhood, city, state, and national levels. He earned his B.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia University and his M.A. in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University Chicago.
Zindu Salih, Families Canada
Zindu is currently the Director of Operations at Families Canada, overseeing the development and implementation of programs and projects. Before joining the Families Canada team, she taught project management at Fleming College, Peterborough. Her academic and professional background is in international development and project management and she brings over 10 years of experience in an international setting. Before moving to Canada, she worked in the Maldives, Sri Lanka, India and East Timor with a focus on the areas of democratic governance, youth, and gender equality. In her career with the United Nations as a program specialist, she has managed a wide variety of exciting community development and capacity building projects in areas such as human rights, access to justice, community development, public administration, elections, and civil society development.
Kelly Stone, Families Canada
Kelly has been CEO of Families Canada since 2014; the membership organization annually supports approximately 500,000 Canadian families, who live in challenging circumstances. During her long Canadian government career, she had responsibility for child and youth research, domestic public policy and community-level programming. Equally, she advanced child rights-based legislative and public policy frameworks through extensive international work. In addition, her work inspired practical, community-level, maternal and child health strategies, particularly in Mexico, Central and South America.
Katthe P. Wolf, MA, Be Strong Families
Katthe partnered with colleagues to co-found Be Strong Families in 2012 and currently serves as the organization’s President and CEO. Previously, she was Project Director of Strengthening Families Illinois and consulted with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on family-centered, strengths-based, trauma informed practice and early childhood initiatives. Before that, she worked with the Center for the Study of Social Policy in Washington, DC on branding and initial materials development for the national Strengthening Families Initiative and served in senior leadership with the Family Resource Coalition (later renamed Family Support America). She has authored and co-authored numerous publications and articles in the Family Support and Strengthening field, including Guidelines for Family Support Practice, Pursuing the Dream: What Helps Children and Their Families Succeed, Living the Protective Factors: How Parents Keep their Children Safe and Families Strong, and The Parents Get Real Guide to Getting Your Kids Back.
WORKSHOP 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/President of Safe and Sound (formerly the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center) for fourteen years. 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 and Outreach campaigning statewide for universal preschool.
Hilary Allen, Families Canada
Hilary is the Program Manager for intergenerational volunteering projects piloted in Family Resource Centres and other organizations across Canada. Prior to joining Families Canada, she was a federal policy and program manager at the Public Health Agency of Canada, responsible for managing the Centres of Excellence for Children’s Well-Being program and other areas. She is also a passionate mental health advocate, particularly in the areas of youth mental health, suicide prevention and eating disorders. She was the Project Manager for a flagship suicide prevention project for parents. She chairs and participates on federal, provincial and local mental health advisories.
Paul Bonfanti, Charitable Ventures
Paul is the Director of Client Services for Charitable Ventures, a California-based nonprofit working for social change and a stronger public sector. He holds a Masters' degree in Public Administration from Villanova University and has over twenty years of experience in nonprofit evaluation, planning, fundraising, and organizational development. He previously served as the head of the Parks Revitalization Project, a public-partnership in Philadelphia, and the Director of Planning and Policy Analysis for Villanova University. He has led evaluation and planning efforts on such topics as educational policies, mental health, community needs, domestic violence, wildfires, and the impact of COVID-19. He is currently the lead evaluator for Families and Communities Together, a partnership that administers 16 Family Resource Centers in Orange County, California.
Joan L. Bottorff, Ph.D., RN, University of British Columbia
Joan is a Professor in the School of Nursing and Director of the Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention at the University of British Columbia, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. She was the evaluation lead for Phase 3 of the Healthy Together program.
Charlyn Harper Browne, Ph.D., Center for the Study of Social Policy
Charlyn is a Senior Associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy, with over 40 years of experience in research, theory development, teaching, training, technical assistance, and administrative management in academic and private sector settings. She has expertise in child and adolescent development; the advancement of racial and ethnic equity; and the development of resources designed to strengthen the knowledge base of practitioners, administrators, and policy makers whose work can impact the well-being of children, youth, and families.
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
Kate 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.
Deborah Chosewood, Georgia Division of Family and Children Services
Deborah is the Deputy Director of Prevention and Community Support (PCS) in the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. PCS is the state entity charged with administering federal and state funding streams geared toward child abuse and neglect prevention, including the Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention federal grant and the state’s Children’s Trust Fund appropriation. She has worked in the early childhood and prevention field for nearly 20 years. She is an original member of the Steering Committees of both Georgia’s Essentials for Childhood and the Georgia Family Support Network. She is also a certified trainer in the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support.
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.
Ashlyn Douthitt, Antioch University-Seattle
Ashlyn is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who collaborates with clients and their families to identify and lift constraints that are keeping them stuck in unhealthy ways of being. She is a compassionate professional that creates a safe space for clients to explore and heal from their past while building their resiliency and hope for the future. Her educational background includes a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northwestern University as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Family Studies from Miami University. She is currently a second year doctoral student at Antioch University New England. She provides therapeutic services for a diverse clientele and her passion is in working with and providing support for children, adolescents, and families.
Connie Dunlap, Supporting Families Together Association
Connie is the Family Engagement Specialist at Supporting Families Together Association, Wisconsin's statewide network of both Family Resource Centers and Child Care Resource & Referral agencies. In her role, she manages the statewide Parent Café initiative, supports implementation of the statewide evidence-based Parent Education Initiative - Triple P, and provides Family Engagement support to agencies in the Early Childhood field. She co-chairs Wisconsin's Statewide Strengthening Families Committee Co-Chair, which aims to advance the work of the Protective Factors throughout the state. She conducts training on the Protective Factors, Brazelton Touchpoints, and the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening & Support. She has over 20 years of experience in the Family Support field, with a focus on prevention services and home visiting programs.
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.
Malcolm Gaines, Psy.D., Safe and Sound
Malcolm is a Clinical Psychologist and currently serves as the Senior Clinical Projects Director at Safe and Sound. He has been with the organization since 2002, previously serving as Clinical Director and Director of Intern Training. Together with his colleagues, he has designed Integrated Family Services at the Center in response to the need for an outcome-focused, data-informed, strengths-based model of promoting protective factors in high-risk families. He is a contributor to "The Case for Prevention: A Two-Generation Approach to Ending Child Abuse," in Two Generations. One Future: An Anthology from the Ascend Fellowship, published by the Aspen Institute. His clinical interests include resilience, childhood trauma, adoption, parenting and attachment, and children of divorce. He maintains a psychotherapy practice in San Francisco, where he has worked with children and families since 2002.
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.
Laura E. Griggs, LMSW, Georgia Division of Family and Children Services
Laura is a Program Specialist with the Prevention and Community Support (PCS) of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. PCS is the state entity charged with administering federal and state funding streams geared toward child abuse and neglect prevention. Prior to working for the Division, she worked for the Governor’s Office for Children and Families in the Prevention and Family Support Section. In her current role, she serves on Georgia prevention-focused groups, such as the Better Brains for Babies Advisory Committee and is the state lead for the Georgia Family Support Network.
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, Start Early, Educare Learning Network
Anita is the Director of Family Engagement for Start Early (formerly 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.
Michele Hopkins, MSW, RSW, Bridge Youth and Family Services
Michele is the Director of Family Services at the Bridge Youth and Family Services in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. She has been involved in the Healthy Weights for Children: Healthy Together project since February 2013, playing a lead role in the development and implementation of the Healthy Together program, including providing facilitator training, support to implementation sites, and oversight of the project.
Anne Huisken, MSc, University of British Columbia
Anne is a Research Assistant at the Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention at the University of British Columbia, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. She was the evaluation coordinator for Phase 3 of the Healthy Together program.
Ali Jawetz, Center for the Study of Social Policy
Ali is a Policy Analyst on the Systems Change team at the Center for the Study of Social Policy. In her work, she supports two teams that monitor child welfare systems facing class-action litigation or that are operating under a federal consent decree. Her work also focuses on issues related to adolescents in foster care and the population of youth dually involved with the juvenile justice system.
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.
Vida Khavar, MA, LMFT, getREAL CA & Youth Acceptance Project
Vida is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with more than 25 years of experience in child welfare. She has assisted a multitude of organizations in developing programs that serve children and families. She was a consultant for RISE, a federal project aimed at improving the lives of LGBTQ youth in foster care in Los Angeles County. She is currently the project director for getREAL California and the Youth Acceptance Project at Family Builders. Through getREAL CA, she collaborates with and guides the California Department of Social Services in developing and implementing new affirming policies and practices for LGBTQ+ children in foster care. She also provides her clinical expertise, training, and coaching for the Youth Acceptance Project to several jurisdictions throughout the country.
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, Start Early, 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 Start Early (formely 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.
Sallye R. Longshore, Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention
Sallye is the Director of the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention (ADCANP), “The Children’s Trust Fund.” She was appointed to this position in 2013 and reappointed by Governor Ivey in 2017. ADCANP also serves as the state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America. She serves on numerous state and national boards and task forces, including the Governor’s Office of Workforce and Education Transformation, the Governor’s Human Trafficking Task Force, the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet, and the Board of Directors of the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds. She previously served on the chapter network executive council of Prevent Child Abuse America. She has worked in the fields of education and child advocacy for forty-four years.
Tish MacInnis, Alabama Partnership for Children
As the Alabama Strengthening Families Coordinator, Tish serves as the state lead for promoting the Strengthening Families Initiative and collaborates with many state agencies and programs, such as Help Me Grow Alabama and local Children Policy Councils. She is certified by the Children’s Trust Fund Alliance as a Strengthening Families trainer, and provides training statewide on the Protective Factors of the Strengthening Families Initiative. She is passionate about improving statewide and local systems, so that families have easy access to resources that can help their child become as strong as possible.
Rebecca Mather, Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board
Rebecca (Becky) is the Prevention Education Coordinator for the Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board. She is responsible for overseeing the dissemination of the Board’s parent education and Protective Factors efforts throughout the state. She manages the Protective Factors Training Initiative, which partners certified Bringing the Protective Factors to Life in Your Work curriculum trainers with parent co-presenters to offer Protective Factors courses to family-serving professionals within their region of the state. Previously, she worked for the University of Wisconsin-Extension Office as an Outreach Specialist supporting county-based, family living educators. She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies, is a Certified Family Life Specialist, and has 20 years of experience working with children and families.
Jim McKay, Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia
Jim is the Director of Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia, a project of TEAM for West Virginia Children, and serves as Policy Director for the Children’s Trust Funds Alliance. He has helped found and lead various initiatives to improve the lives of children in West Virginia including the Our Babies: Safe & Sound Campaign, Circle of Parents WV, the WV ACEs Coalition, the WV State Task Force on Preventing Child Sexual Abuse, and the WV Legislative Action Team for Children and Families. He is also a member of the National Child Abuse Coalition. Previously, he was Director of Time Out Youth Shelter, a crisis shelter for runaway youth in Huntington, WV and Director of Operations for the WV Education Alliance, promoting private support for public education.
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.
Sara Munson, MSW, Casey Family Programs
Sara is the Managing Director for Knowledge Management at Casey Family Programs. She has more than 20 years of experience in child welfare practice, administration, and systems change. In her current role, she responds to requests for information and analysis from leaders and stakeholders regarding child welfare innovations and implementation experiences, and has developed nearly 300 resources featuring strategies and perspectives on child welfare improvement and transformation, located at Casey’s Questions from the Field. She previously served as Executive Director of the Institute for Families at Rutgers University School of Social Work, administrator for the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, consultant for a range of national child welfare organizations, Senior Policy Analyst for Children’s Rights, and Director of Child Welfare Services at a Rhode Island nonprofit. She has also been a treatment foster parent in New York City.
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.
Peter J. Pecora, M.S.W., Ph.D., Casey Family Program
Peter has a joint appointment as the Managing Director of Research Services for Casey Family Programs, and Professor, School of Social Work, University of Washington. He began his career providing community-based services and foster care in Milwaukee, and has worked with a number of state departments of social services in the United States and in other countries to refine foster care programs, implement intensive home-based services, and design risk assessment systems for child protective services. From 2010 to 2011, he served on the Committee on the Prevention of Mental Health Disorders and Substance Abuse for the Board on Children, Youth, and Families. He has published many journal articles and books focused on child welfare, foster care, and the well-being of children and families.
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.
Robin Perry, Ph.D., Institute for Child and Family Services Research
Robin is the Director of the Institute for Child and Family Services Research and Professor of Social Work at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. Prior to obtaining his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1999, he had eight years of casework and clinical experience in child welfare and domestic violence settings. He has distinguished himself as a researcher and evaluator over the past 20 years. He has published and presented extensively on numerous topics including: program and outcome evaluation, child well-being, funding models for child welfare systems, domestic and sexual violence, task analyses and workforce issues, professional training and education of child welfare workers, child welfare performance measures, family group decision making, child maltreatment fatalities, family/community welfare issues, and child abuse prevention. He is currently the lead evaluator for the Partnership for Strong Families’ Resource Center Model: Evaluation, Refinement, and Expansion project.
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.
Sarita Sashington, Be Strong Families
Sarita has grown with Be Strong Families (BSF) since 2012 in a variety of capacities. She came to the organization as an expert in parent engagement and has evolved into a master Trainer of Trainers, a curriculum development specialist, a certified Laugh Yoga instructor, and an engaging conference presenter and keynote speaker. She believes in nurturing the spirit of family, creating safe spaces for transformational conversations, and the power of cultural humility. She has trained thousands of people on the BSF Parent Café model and served as a keynote speaker for various family-facing organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has secured training contracts across the country and built a robust Café Community of Practice, which supports almost 2000 people trained on the BSF Café model. She is also the founder of Daddy’s Favorite Ministry where she encourages "Transforming Relationships Through Grace".
Michael Scuello, Metis Associates
Michael is a Senior Associate at Metis Associates and has extensive experience with research methods and analyses, longitudinal data sets, sampling, training, presenting, GIS mapping, data warehousing techniques, and database administration. At Metis since 1998, he has served as a technical advisor or lead statistician for numerous evaluations in K-12 and post-secondary education, child welfare, foster care, health, and community development. Previosuly, he taught undergraduate behavioral statistics and research methodology at Brooklyn College, worked as a research assistant under a NASA Individual Research Award grant, and as a caseworker/counselor with drug dependent and geriatric psychiatry populations at Coney Island Hospital.
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.
Kiara Streater, Families First DC
Kiara is a Program Specialist at DC Child and Family Services and the Ward 7 Representative for Families First DC. As a Native Washingtonian and Ward 7 resident, she invested in her community through leadership and advocacy for her neighbors, family and friends. Kiara graduated from DC Public Schools and obtained her Bachelors in Science in Psychology from the University of the District of Columbia. Currently, she is completing her Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Trinity University. Prior to her position with DC Child and Family Services, she spent five years as a Crisis Stabilization Case Manager at DC Department of Human Services, where she helped youth and families navigate mental health services, obtain economic stability and access educational resources. Kiara’s mission is to bring holistic healing to adverse communities through therapeutic, spiritual and emotional awareness. She has worked on the front lines of Public Health and Social Services and she is excited to be a part of programmatic change.
Jeffrey Todahl, Ph.D., University of Oregon
Jeff is an Associate Professor in the Counseling Psychology and Human Services Department at the University of Oregon. He is Director, Co-Founder and Director of Research with the UO’s Center for the Prevention of Abuse and Neglect. His research focuses on violence prevention and community engagement as a vehicle for reducing child abuse and other forms of interpersonal violence. He is co-Founder of the 90by30 Initiative. He is currently measuring child abuse and neglect rates in Oregon (Oregon Child Abuse Prevalence Study), has partnered with the University of Kentucky and 24 U.S. universities to evaluate sexual assault bystander prevention effectiveness, and works actively with The Ford Family Foundation on an Oregon-wide evaluation of Stewards of Children (sexual abuse prevention), and a Lane County-specific effort to reduce child abuse and neglect (90by30 Initiative & K(no)w More Lane County).
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.
Taryn Yates, Idaho Children’s Trust Fund
Taryn joined the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund after working for several years as the Executive Director of the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF). She moved to Boise, Idaho eleven years ago after receiving her Masters in Social Work from George Mason University. She started as a community organizer working with low-income families on access to affordable health care. She then worked as the Public Policy Director for the Idaho Women’s Network, lobbying for issues such as child care licensing, equal pay, and anti-shackling legislation. She later transitioned into health-related nonprofits as the Policy and Program Director for the National MS Society, prior to her job at NHF.