Jim Sporleder retired in 2014 as Principal of Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA. Under Jim’s leadership, Lincoln High School became a “Trauma Informed” school, gaining national attention due to a dramatic drop in out of school suspensions, increased graduation rates and the number of students going on to post-secondary education. These dramatic changes at Lincoln caught the attention of Jamie Redford, who spent a year filming the documentary, Paper Tigers, which tells the Lincoln story. The documentary was released at the May 2015 Seattle International Film Festival and received positive reviews.
Jim is currently working as a trauma-informed coach / consultant as well as a trainer with the Children’s Resilience Initiative, based in Walla Walla. His travels as a consultant, keynote speaker, presenter and trainer have taken him all over the United States.
Jim is married, has three daughters and five granddaughters. In his spare time, Jim enjoys fishing, hunting, but most of all spending time with family.
Ms. Akers has been a practicing attorney for close to 17 years in West Virginia. Almost fifteen years of that time she has served as an Assistant and Senior Assistant Prosecutor for Kanawha County in various capacities. During that time, she also worked as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of West Virginia. Ms. Akers has also represented municipalities and law enforcement as a private attorney, has served as General Counsel to the West Virginia Ethics Commission, and has worked as an Assistant Attorney General assigned to prosecute pharmaceutical companies for the flood of opioid medications which has caused widespread addiction across West Virginia. Ms. Akers has also assisted during the investigation of many child abuse and death cases throughout her career.
Dr. Melissa Albert
Dr. Melissa Albert hails from Clarksburg, WV. She and her family have recently relocated to the Charleston area to become a part of PSIMED’s team of mental health providers. She is a graduate of West Virginia University for both her undergraduate and School of Medicine degrees. Her undergraduate years focused on volunteer work with Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity, and she was elected to the student Board of Governors. Following medical school, she completed residency training in Pediatrics at Wright State University in Dayton, OH. While there received awards in teaching. She returned to West Virginia to pursue training in psychiatry to be better equipped to help children and adolescents navigate through mental anguish and illness. She completed residency training in Psychiatry at West Virginia University and served her final year as chief resident. Now being board certified in both Psychiatry and Pediatrics, she has provided pediatric and adult psychiatric care for over 10 years. She has served as the consulting psychiatrist for the WVUH Children’s Hospital for nearly five years. Most recently she comes from an outpatient clinic serving the rural population of southwestern Pennsylvania. She believes in partnering with patients and families to take a team approach to recovery.
Tawonna Austin entered the foster care system at the age of 3 years old. After bouncing around between multiple homes throughout her stint in the system, she still managed to persevere and beat all of the odds set against her. At 26 years old with one bachelor’s degree and finishing up her second master’s degree, she is interested in continuing advocating and supporting children in similar circumstances. She is also looking forward to supporting those who are dealing with the system in any aspect.
Dr. Michael Brumage, MD, MPH, FACP
Dr. Michael Brumage is the Assistant Dean for Public Health Practice and Service in the WVU School of Public Health and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine in the WVU School of Medicine as well as Executive Director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and Health Officer for Kanawha County and Putnam County, West Virginia. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry (cum Laude) from West Virginia University (WVU) in 1982 and graduated from the WVU School of Medicine in 1986. He received his Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Washington in 2003. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He is also co-Chairman for the West Virginia Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Coalition.
Kristine Buffington, MSW, LISW, specializes in clinical treatment of traumatized children involved in the public health, child protection, and juvenile justice systems. A particular focus of her work has been training professionals in best practices in trauma treatment and trauma-informed care. Over the course of her career, she has played a leading role in developing and managing initiatives to promote systemic change. Ms. Buffington served as the Chair of the Juvenile Justice Committee of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and is currently Co-Chair of the Ohio Trauma Task Force Training subcommittee.
Felicia Bush is the founder and Executive Director of Harmony Mental Health, Inc. a private non-profit mental health and social services management agency serving children and families in Calhoun, Jackson, Kanawha, Logan, Ritchie, Wood and Wirt counties. Ms. Bush began her social justice work serving victims of domestic violence as an advocate, parent educator, legal advocate and eventually director of one of West Virginia's 14 licensed domestic violence programs. Ms. Bush earned her Master’s degree in counseling in 2006. As a clinician she gained specific training in Marriage and Family Therapy, School Counseling and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to assist children and families exposed to traumatic stress. Ms. Bush has developed many programs including specialized groups for victims of domestic violence, a counseling program within the domestic violence agency and West Virginia's first co-located victim services center under the banner of the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. Ms. Bush is a founding member and trainer for the WV Defending Childhood Initiative's Handle With Care Project. Ms. Bush if the former Chair and current Vice-Chair of West Virginians Against Violence Committee, an ad hoc committee that makes funding recommendations to the Governor for State Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding. Ms. Bush resides in Parkersburg, WV.
Dr. Christine Banvard-Fox
Christine Banvard-Fox, MD, FAAP is a  graduate of WVU School of Medicine. She served the university students at their health clinic for over twenty years. She is a general pediatrician and faculty member of West Virginia University Department of Pediatrics with an interest in office gynecology, sexually transmitted infections and child sexual assault. She is affiliated with the Monongalia and the Marion County Child Advocacy Centers, but is willing to see non-acute patients for whom it is not geographically practical to access the Child Abuse Board Certified Pediatricians in Charleston.
Chelsea Carter is the Program Director of Appalachian Health Services in Logan, West Virginia. Ms. Carter graduated in May 2016 from Concord University with her master's degree in social work. Ms. Carter, like many others has suffered from this horrible disease called addiction. During her time in active addiction, which was from the ages of 12 to 21, she became entangled in a web of lies, manipulation, and chaos which eventually led her to receiving a 2 to 20-year prison sentence for nighttime burglary and conspiracy. After she gained her life back, she decided that it was time to give back to the community what had been given to her, which was her recovery.
Cammie Chapman is a graduate of West Virginia University’s College of Law. She is the Acting Director of Children and Court Services for the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. In her role as director, Cammie coordinates the Supreme Court’s Court Improvement Program. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Cammie operated a private law office where she focused in the areas of child abuse and neglect, health care, and real estate.
Kristin R. Cook
Kristin Cook is the Summers County Prosecuting Attorney. She was born and raised in Forrest Hill, Summers County, West Virginia. She graduated from Shady Spring High School, and obtained her undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree from Concord University. She attended Vermont Law School, where she obtained her juris doctor and master of environmental law and policy degrees. She has clerked for the Honorable H.L. Kirkpatrick, III, 10th Judicial Circuit Court Judge and the Honorable Robert A. Irons, 31st Judicial Circuit Court Judge. Ms. Cook was a full-time assistant prosecuting attorney for Summers and Monroe Counties five years before being elected in 2016. During that time, she mostly handled cases involving child sexual abuse and assault and domestic violence.
Sharon W. Cooper, MD FAAP
Dr. Sharon Cooper is a Developmental and Forensic Pediatrician who cares for children with disabilities, as well as those who have been victims of crimes. Dr. Cooper retired from the U.S. Army Medical Corps with the rank of Colonel and holds faculty positions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and the Uniformed University of Health Sciences at Bethesda, Maryland. She has provided a wide array of trainings to medical, judicial, social science and investigative agencies. She has testified regarding child sexual exploitation before the U.S. Congress, the Russian Parliament and the Italian Senate. She is the lead editor of one of the most comprehensive texts on child sexual exploitation in print today, and has published numerous chapters in peer reviewed books on child sexual exploitation. She authored the chapter on child sexual abuse and exploitation for the INTERPOL training handbook. She is a consultant to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and has served on the boards of many national organizations focused on child maltreatment. She has served as an expert witness in several hundred cases of child maltreatment. As Executive Producer of the film Not Just Pictures, she has provided information and tools to help protect our youth from a growing problem: the production and distribution of child sexual abuse images on the internet.
Corporal Tony Craigo
Cpl. Tony Craigo is a 15-year veteran of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department. Cpl. Craigo currently works as the Domestic Violence Investigator for the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department specializing in domestic violence investigations and also training various disciplines on the aspects of domestic violence and non-fatal strangulation. Cpl. Craigo also fills in as a Batterers Intervention Prevention facilitator for the Putnam County Day Report Center. Cpl. Craigo sits on the Putnam County STOP Domestic Violence Taskforce, West Virginia Medical Examiner’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, and is a trainer on the WV Coalition Against Domestic Violence Law Enforcement Training Team.
Andrea Darr is the director of the West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice which promotes and supports a statewide trauma informed response to child maltreatment and children’s exposure to violence. The Center, housed in the Crimes Against Children Unit at the WV State Police, streamlines resources and minimizes duplicative efforts to address challenges, barriers, gaps and needed improvements in working child maltreatment cases. The Center includes the WV Children’s Justice Task Force and the WV Handle with Care Initiative. Before devoting her work full time on children’s initiatives, Ms. Darr served as the Coordinator of Victim Witness Services for the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute from 2005-2015. In that capacity she coordinated with prosecution based victim witness assistance programs as well as community based programs to improve their collective knowledge concerning available resources and information and to establish a bridge between local, state and federal agencies regarding victim issues. Ms. Darr has also worked in direct services with victims of crime, violence and abuse while serving as the Victim Liaison at the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Rebecca Derenge has a MA in Education from the University of Kentucky and came to West Virginia via the Kentucky Department of Education. She is a coordinator in the Office of Federal Programs directly responsible for implementing “homeless education” through the federal McKinney-Vento Act and Neglected and Delinquent through Title I. She has been at WVDE 14 years.
Sgt. Talia Divita has been a member of the West Virginia State Police for over 13 years and is currently assigned to the West Virginia State Police’s Crimes Against Children Unit as an investigator. During these 13 years, she has investigated several hundred criminal offenses. These offenses have included the trafficking of child pornography, use of minors in the production of child pornography, sexual solicitation of children via the Internet, child sexual exploitation, child sexual abuse, child sexual assault and criminal use of the Internet and computers. Sgt. Divita has completed the West Virginia State Police Cadet Training Program. She has attended specialized training courses and received education through colleges and universities including Fairmont State College (Bachelor in Criminal Justice) and Marshall University (Associate in Police Science). Sgt. Divita has been assigned to the WV ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) Task Force through the West Virginia State Police since 2009. This Task Force is responsible for investigating cases involving the sexual exploitation of children via the internet.
Dr. Jennifer Hughes
Dr. Hughes earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, with an emphasis on child and adolescent psychology, from Ohio University. Dr. Hughes has worked within the foster care and child welfare system, as well as within the state's Safe at Home program. Currently, Dr. Hughes is employed at the Charleston Area Medical Center, Family Resource Center, as a senior psychologist. Dr. Hughes sees teen and adult outpatients at the FRC, and is involved part-time with the Children's Advocacy Center. Areas of interest include emotion regulation, trauma recovery, and risk and resilience factors for young people.
Judge Patricia Keller
Patricia Keller is a Family Court Judge in the Sixth Family Court Circuit (Cabell County), where she presides over domestic relations hearings, including divorce, child custody, visitation, guardianship, domestic violence and support, as well as modification and contempt matters. In addition to her Family Court duties, Judge Keller has been actively involved in the implementation of both juvenile and adult drug courts in the Sixth Judicial Circuit.
Dr. Patrick Kerr
Patrick L. Kerr, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry at West Virginia University School of Medicine- Charleston, where he directs the WVU Behavioral Science and Psychopathology Research Division, as well as the WVU Dialectical Behavior Therapy Services Program for chronically suicidal adolescents and adults. Dr. Kerr serves as a member of the West Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force, including as a member of the Steering Committee, and chair of the Human Trafficking Activity Monitoring Committee. He has published multiple book chapters and peer-reviewed publications on human trafficking.
Rebecca King is a coordinator in the West Virginia Department of Education-Office of Special Education. She coordinates school health services, works directly with West Virginia school nurses in all 55 local education agencies, serves as the State School Nurse Consultant and State Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act Coordinator. Ms. King is a state and nationally certified school nurse with a diverse background as an acute care, cardiac, home health, EENT and a pediatric nurse along with being a nursing instructor for licensed practical and Bachelor of Science prepared nurses. Ms. King has a Master of Science in Nursing Administration (2004) and a Master of Science in Adult and Technical Education (2002) from Marshall University. Her undergraduate degree is a Bachelor in Science of Nursing (1994) from the University of Charleston. She obtained her National Certification in School Nursing in August of 2013. She is married with a ten-year-old son in fifth grade and enjoys biking, walking and spending family vacations at the beach.
Sarah Kingston is a Certified Victim Advocate for the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office. Formerly a community based advocate with Branches, Inc., she continues to provide support to victims and their families while helping to ensure their safety and recovery. Ms. Kingston was certified by The West Virginia State Police Academy as a trainer in Domestic Violence Law Enforcement Response and continues to serve on the WVCADV Law Enforcement Training Faculty. As a trainer for West Virginia Child Welfare Workers and Domestic Violence Advocates, Ms. Kingston co-trains DHHR staff and advocates state-wide. She is the chair of the Kanawha County STOP Team. In 2009, Ms. Kingston received The Diane Reese Advocacy Award from The West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence for her “spirited and visionary efforts in coordinating grassroots advocacy on behalf of battered women and their children”. From 2009 to 2012 she served on the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team. She was chair of the Putnam County STOP Team who received the United States Department of Justice U.S. Attorney Southern District of West Virginia Award for Public Service. In 2015, Ms. Kingston received the Purple Ribbon Award from the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence as part of the Law Enforcement Training Faculty. In 2017, the U S. Attorney Southern District of West Virginia presented Ms. Kingston the Excellence in Victim Advocacy and Justice Award.
Jack Luikart is the Director of Substance Abuse Control for the WV Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, a position he was appointed to in July 2017. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Luikart served with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department with 30 years of service. He worked 9 1/2 years in patrol and then the next 21 years doing undercover drug investigations. Mr. Luikart retired as Group Supervisor for the Drug Enforcement Administration/HIDTA Drug and Violent Crime Task Force in Charleston, WV. He has works hundreds of drug related arrests and drug violation cases and is an expert witness in Southern WV on the manufacturing and trafficking of controlled substances mainly marijuana.
Megan Lyon served for eight years as an elementary teacher before obtaining her MA in Counseling at Marshall University Graduate College and serving for 12 years as a school counselor within Kanawha County Schools. She has much experience working with traumatized children throughout her career in the school system and training and educating parents and staff on the effects of trauma to the brain and best practices for managing trauma symptoms and aiding in the healing process. She currently runs her own wellness practice, Inner Path, where she works with individuals and groups to promote mindfulness, meditation, and other personal growth tools to increase overall well-being. She has recently completed the Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Training and is working towards her certification. Additionally Ms. Lyon contracts with Harmony Mental Health one day a week to serve children in the Charleston area, particularly those who have been affected by trauma.
Megan K. Mattimoe founded Advocating Opportunity, a program in Toledo, Ohio in 2011. AO was the first organization in Ohio to provide holistic, comprehensive, trauma-informed, legal and social services to all trafficked and exploited persons. As Executive Director and Staff Attorney at AO, Ms. Mattimoe provides direct legal services and advocacy for both minors and adults; provides technical consultation on trafficking cases; and advocates for policy and legislative initiatives regarding trafficking at the local, state, and federal levels. Ms. Mattimoe serves on the Legal and Legislative Subcommittee of the Ohio Human Trafficking Commission, the Policy Committee of the Freedom Network, and is a Subject Matter Expert with the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy in Human Trafficking. She has worked closely with law enforcement and government officials to identify the best practices for working with trafficked persons, including her efforts to assist in writing, and passing, Ohio’s Safe Harbor Law in 2012. Ms. Mattimoe has assisted with, and participated in, dozens of interviews and cases involving domestic minor sex trafficking conducted by Special Agents with the FBI and has worked with the Innocence Lost Task Force for seven years. Currently, Ms. Mattimoe is the only guardian ad litem appointed through the Lucas County Juvenile Court to work exclusively with the FBI representing minor trafficking victims. Ms. Mattimoe is a recipient of a 2015 Jefferson Award for her work with AO. She graduated cum laude from the University of Toledo, College of Law in 2007 with Juris Doctor in International Law.
Cpl. Marlene Moore
Marlene Moore is a Corporal for the WV State Police where she has served proudly for 14 years. For the last six years she has been with the Crimes against Children Unit investigating child abuse, neglect and exploitation. She serves on various multi-disciplinary teams throughout her area of responsibility and serves on the WV Child Fatality Review Team. Prior to becoming a Law Enforcement Officer, Corporal Moore worked for Kanawha County Schools.
Chad Napier is the Prevention Coordination for Appalachia HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) for West Virginia and Virginia. He started this position November 1, 2015. Prior to this, he spent twenty years in law enforcement and retired on October 30, 2015. He began his career in 1995 with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department. He moved to the Charleston Police Department (CPD) in 1997 and from then until 2000, he was assigned to the CPD Street Crimes Unit with the primary duties of investigation, arrest and prosecution of street level drug dealers. From November of 2000 to September of 2002, he was assigned as a detective with the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) with the primary duties of investigation and prosecution of state and federal drug violations. In 2002 he was assigned as a Task Force Officer with the Drug Enforcement Administration in Charleston, WV and remained until 2005. From 2005 to January of 2006, he was assigned to MDENT as a supervisor. His primary duty with MDENT was the supervision of drug unit investigators and investigations. In January of 2006, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and was assigned to the CPD Patrol Division as a shift commander. After graduating the FBI National Academy in September of 2007, he was transferred to the Housing Division as the commander. On March 2, 2009 he was appointed as the Commander of the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT). Mr. Napier has worked on hundreds of drug related arrests and drug violations. He has also been declared as an expert witness in illegal drug possession and distribution in many state and federal courts.
Gary Newman is a Special Agent with the DEA, a positon he has had for over 19 years. For the past 4 years, Special Agent Newman has been assigned as a senior criminal investigator in the DEA Charleston District Office's Tactical Diversion Squad, whose investigations focus on the illegal distribution of pharmaceutical, Federally Scheduled, drugs by manufacturers, medical professionals, pharmacies and traditional drug traffickers. He has worked in the Birmingham Resident Office, the Atlanta Division Office and the Washington (DC) Division Office. Prior to this position, Special Agent Newman was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army and a Police Officer in Anniston, Alabama. He is a graduate of Jacksonville State University (B.S. Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice, Magna Cum Laude), U.S. Officer Candidate School, the Northeast Alabama Police Academy and the DEA Training Academy.
Lyn O’Connell, MA, IMFT obtained her bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall University and a masters in Marriage & Family Therapy from the University of Connecticut in 2011. She is currently finishing her doctorate in Marriage & Family Therapy at Virginia Tech. She has worked as a therapist in rural and urban communities in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, southwest Virginia, and West Virginia. Currently she is the clinical director and researcher for the Marshall University: Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) grant working to promote Universal screening and intervention with all care providers. She is the Vice-Chair of the Cabell County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership and works to improve services for infants who are neonatally and their families with the Healthy Connections Coalition. Her current research focuses on identifying and reducing barriers to accessing mental health treatment, addiction and recovery interventions, and trauma informed care.
Dr. Joan Phillips
Dr. Phillips is a Board Certified Child Abuse Pediatrician, the Co-Medical Director of the Women and Children’s Hospital CAC and an Associate Clinical Professor for West Virginia University. She currently serves on the WV Child Fatality Review Team and a member of the WV Sexual Assault Forensic Evaluation Commission. Dr. Phillips has been actively working with WVCAN on a medical initiative to expand child abuse medical evaluation services across WV. As a certified facilitator of Darkness to Light, Dr. Phillips teaches child sexual abuse prevention to the community. She was also instrumental in the implementation of the Period of PURPLE Crying in WV for the prevention of abusive head trauma. In 2012, Dr. Phillips was awarded the national Ray E. Helfer MD Award by the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds and the American Academy of Pediatrics for her work in the field of child abuse prevention.
Chief Jan Rader
A native of Ironton, Ohio, Jan Rader joined the Huntington Fire Department in August of 1994. She holds an associate degree in fire science from Marshall University and an associate degree of science in nursing from Ohio University. Chief Rader holds many fire service certifications and is also a Fire and EMS Instructor in the State of West Virginia. Since November of 2014, Chief Rader has been serving as a member of the Mayor’s Office of Drug Control Policy. The purpose of this task force is to address drug addiction in Huntington and the surrounding communities and create a holistic approach involving prevention, treatment, and law enforcement.
Dr. Allison Sampson-Jackson
Allison Sampson-Jackson, PhD, LCSW, LICSW, CSOTP and Certified Facilitator of Dr. Brené Brown’s Daring Way™ curriculums (CDWF) focuses on advancing effective trauma informed clinical and organizational practices. Specialties include using attachment, mindfulness, and neuroscience interventions to enhance clinical and organizational practices. She is a person of lived experience and a professional having provided services via Behavioral Health, Education, Child Welfare and Criminal Justice systems for over 20 years. For 13 years, she served within an international healthcare organization first as mentor and finally as their VP of Clinical Operations and National Trauma Informed Service Line Leader. Partnering with the National Council of Behavioral HealthCare, she co-led 17 National Teams through the Council’s Trauma Informed Learning Collaborative. Today, Dr. Jackson is the CEO of Integration Solutions, providing trauma informed care consultation to human service and healthcare organizations furthering their integration of resilience practices to consumers via TIC organizational culture principles. http://integrationsolutions.org
Ryan S. Saxe serves as Cabell County Schools Superintendent of Schools. His term officially began July 1, 2017. Mr. Saxe formerly served as the Executive Director of Curriculum and Professional Learning for the School District of Manatee County. In this role, Mr. Saxe provided executive-level leadership in the areas of Early Learning, K-12 Curriculum and Assessment, Media Services, Textbook Services and districtwide professional learning services. The Division is designed to support the work of teachers, administrators and support staff in meeting the learning needs of all 48,000 Manatee County students. Mr. Saxe has also served in the School District of Manatee County as Executive Director of Secondary Schools where he was responsible for providing support and leadership for 17 middle and high schools. Prior to his work in Florida, Mr. Saxe worked for the Office of School Improvement at the West Virginia Department of Education where he assisted low performing schools in nine school districts. Mr. Saxe has earned his Associate of Science Degree from The Ohio State University, a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Environmental Education from West Virginia University, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Marshall University, an Education Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Liberty University, and is actively completing coursework towards a doctorate.
Elizabeth Scaife is the Director of Training at Shared Hope International where she trains law enforcement, service providers, and related professionals across the U.S. on the issue of domestic minor sex trafficking, while managing the ongoing development of training curricula for diverse audiences. She coordinates Shared Hope’s national JuST Conference and is an active member of two local Human Trafficking Task Forces. In addition to the provision of training, she has authored numerous training resources for professionals and teens, including guides, fact sheets and video training series. Prior to joining Shared Hope, Ms. Scaife graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi before spending several years assisting and coordinating projects for education, outreach, and aid in thirteen countries worldwide. She has worked undercover with other professionals to document and expose child sex trafficking in the U.S., appearing in two national television programs, “Gangsters: America’s Most Evil,” and “Our America with Lisa Ling.”
John Sedoski is a Cybercrime Specialist with the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). He earned a B.S. in 2009 from West Virginia University, majoring in Computer and Electrical Engineering. During this time, he worked in the West Virginia State Police Digital Forensic Lab where he was able to provide aid by using his education and applying it to the field of computer forensics. Mr. Sedoski has provided thousands of hours of training to numerous state, local, and federal law enforcement personnel in topics ranging from basic identifying and seizing of electronic evidence to the analysis of artifacts found in a variety of file systems and operating systems. When Mr. Sedoski is not out providing training, he is either providing technical assistance or developing curriculum.
Rebecca Shriver is the Program Coordinator for the Children's Mobile Crisis Unit through the United Summit Center. She has been at her current position for the last 8 months; prior to this she coordinated the adult crisis services. Ms. Shriver is a 2013 graduate of West Virginia University. She has a Bachelors in Child Development and Family Studies, with a minor in Communications. She obtained a Masters of Social Work from West Virginia University in 2015. She is currently attending North Central University, working towards her doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy. Ms. Shriver also spends her time, with her team mate, doing visits as a therapy dog volunteer.
Caitlin Smith came to WVCAN as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America) in 2011. As a West Virginia native drawn to protect its next generation, she stayed on to direct WVCAN’s medical initiative, WV-CHAMP, improving the state’s medical response to child abuse. Now, as the Program Services Specialist, Ms. Smith’s leadership ranges from heading up WV-CHAMP to staffing special projects and training. Her passion for using research, data, and partner collaboration to improve the care for children and their families is powerful, and changing the way we operate for good.
Dr. Carol Smith
Dr. Carol M. Smith is a nationally board certified Licensed Professional Counselor and Professor of Counseling at Marshall University in West Virginia. She coordinates Marshall’s Violence, Loss and Trauma Certificate of Advanced Studies, and serves on the WV Adverse Childhood Experiences Coalition, the Handle with Care Board and Mental Health Subcommittee. She has recently testified to the U. S. Congress about the mental health aspects of the U. S. Opioid Crisis. She has degrees in psychology, mental health counseling, and biomedical ethics. Her major research interests include grief, loss and trauma counseling, the neuroscience of trauma, and creativity in resilience.
Since 2006, Stone Strategies has served others through facilitation, designing and leading strategic thinking, problem-solving and planning efforts; designing and implementing evaluation processes; cultivating and training teams and helping teams use their results. Ms. Stone especially enjoys connecting groups to new ideas and each other to meet the needs of a quickly changing environment. Ms. Stone has worked with state and local government, public and higher education and in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Stone Strategies works across many different disciplines and with cross-sector and multi-state initiatives. Ms. Stone holds both a BA and an MA from Eastern Kentucky University. She has specializations in kindergarten, gifted education, mathematics education and research, and behavior disorders from East Tennessee State University and Marshall University College of Graduate Studies. Ms. Stone is certified in basic and community mediation and has formal training in facilitation, qualitative evaluation and cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset.
Dr. Maggie Stone
Maggie Stone is an assistant professor at Marshall University. She earned a Ph.D. in Applied Sociology from the University of Louisville in addition to a master's degree in Counseling Psychology. She previously worked for the Kentucky Department of Corrections, a community mental health services provider, and a variety of regional acute and long-term care medical facilities. The clients for whom she has provided services and assessments include marginalized populations such as the medically fragile, sex offenders, chronically mentally ill, and developmentally challenged. Today she continues her work with stigmatized persons through research and community advocacy for at-risk populations, such as exploited children. She teaches courses in medical deviance and stigma, sexualization of the body, research methods, and statistical analysis.
Capt. Mark Strickland
Capt. Mark Strickland is the Captain and Paramedic with the Charleston Fire Department, a position he has held since 2010 and has been a Paramedic with the Department since 2000. He has years of experience in the field and has worked from the onset of the opioid crisis to the epidemic it is today. Mark became an EMT in 1994 and a certified Paramedic in 1998.
Margaret Taylor is the Program Director for Sojourner’s Shelter in Charleston, WV where she has worked for over 20 years. The YWCA Sojourner’s Shelter for Homeless Women and Families is a community-based program providing emergency shelter and supportive services every day of the year for single women, women with children, men with custody of their children and veterans and intact families. Their mission is to provide a safe, healthy and nurturing environment and promote self-sufficiency.
Judge William Thompson
Judge William Thompson was born in Charleston and raised on Lick Creek near Danville. He graduated Salutatorian from Scott High School in 1988. He has a 1992 degree in civil engineering from West Virginia University and graduated from West Virginia University College of Law in 1995. He was an engineer for American Electric Power in Columbus, Ohio, in 1992; Vice President of Danville Lumber Company from 1992 to 2007; and President of Madison Health Care, Inc., from 1998-2007. He was an attorney for Cook and Cook in Madison from 1995 to 2007and a Mental Hygiene Commissioner for Boone County from 2003 to 2007. Then-Governor Joe Manchin III appointed him to the bench in the Twenty-Fifth Judicial Circuit (Boone and Lincoln Counties) in 2007. Judge Thompson was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2016. Judge Thompson has been appointed to be a temporary Justice on the Supreme Court to hear cases in which as Justice was recused. He serves as the presiding judge for the Boone County Adult Drug Court, the Lincoln County Adult Drug Court and the Boone County Adult Drug Court. He is a member of the Madison United Methodist Church and is actively involved in coaching youth sports for both boys and girls. He and his wife, Keri Dawn, have four children, Grace Madison, age 16, William Joseph Thompson, age 12, Claire Thompson, age 11 and Sophia MaKay Thompson, age 6.
Mary Vicario is a Certified Trauma Specialist who has been using creative and engaging ways to train on trauma world-wide for 25 years. Through her ongoing training at Harvard Medical School, she takes the latest trauma research and works with her audience to share and develop interventions that can be used in a variety of settings for survivors of all ages and ability levels. Ms. Vicario co-authored The Foster Parent Survival Guide, and through a Strong Families, Safe Communities Grant, she helped develop The SAFE LIFE Curriculum, to assist individuals in developing safe relationships throughout the lifespan.
Jessica Watt, M.Ed., NCC, LPC, ALPS is a professional school counselor at Madison Elementary School in Wheeling, WV. She also serves as the county-wide school counselor coordinator for Ohio County Schools. She began her career with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Ohio University in 1998 and taught middle school Language Arts for four years in Chapel Hill, NC. Ms. Watt earned her Master’s in Counselor Education from North Carolina State University and has been both a middle and elementary school counselor. Currently, she works with children who come from low income homes that have a high rate early childhood trauma exposure. Jessica has authored and received an Expanded School Mental Health grant from WV DHHR BHHF that supports after school groups, trauma therapy, school trauma informed training, and a mental health center in the school. She is a proud recipient of the 2013-2014 WV Elementary School Counselor of the Year Award.
Karen Yost is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Prestera Center for Mental Health Services, Inc. where she has served going on four years. Ms. Yost holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Kentucky as well as a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Rehabilitation from Marshall University. Her experience is extensive and includes working at many local behavioral health care organizations, including, Riverpark Hospital, Marshall University, Shawnee Hills, Barboursville School, Roanoke Memorial Hospital and Logan-Mingo Area Mental Health.
Officer Robert Zink
Officer Robert Zink has worked for the Saint Paul Police for 23 years, 19 years as a police officer. As a father with two sons on the autism spectrum, his experience with autism and policing has brought together both groups. This has changed law enforcement response to those on the spectrum for positive outcomes for all. For his work, Office Zink was named the Saint Paul Police Officer of the Year for 2015.