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Speakers

Zoe Agnew-Svoboda manages the pet shelter program at Rose Brooks Center as its PAWS Place Program Coordinator. She has worked in animal welfare for eight years and, since starting her career in animal shelters, has taken on many roles: Adoptions Counselor, Canine Care Technician, Veterinary Technician and Program Manager. At Rose Brooks, she has also worked part time as Shelter Advocate and Bridge Advocate.

Melanie Austin is the Director of Education for the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA). She holds a master’s degree in public health with an emphasis in health promotion and disease prevention and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and communication. She has extensive experience in coordinating federally funded public health projects and through her work at MOCSA has been involved in preventing sexual violence in the Kansas City metropolitan area for the past seven years.

Becky Beck is a clinical social worker and victim advocate at DeafLEAD. She has been working with Deaf individuals for over 30 years. She volunteered at DeafLEAD for eight years before becoming a full-time employee 17 years ago. Her passion is working with Deaf victims of crime and ensuring that they receive the best possible resources and support available.

Lin Brookshire, a Licensed Professional Counselor, has been working with survivors of sexual violence at the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault in Kansas City since 2014. Lin received her master’s degree in rehabilitation and mental health counseling in 2014 and her 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher certification in 2015. Lin has been an integral part of bringing trauma-informed yoga to MOCSA’s programming, including a group for male-identifying survivors of sexual violence.

Lindsay Burke is the Chief Operating Officer of Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center. She came on board with SWFLC in 2015 during the beginning of a major organizational transition. Lindsay's background is in public policy and finance.

LySaundra Campbell serves as a Member Services Specialist with MCADSV. She has worked with domestic and sexual violence advocacy organizations at the collegiate, local, state and national levels. She is driven by creativity and outside of work can be found playing piano, singing, reading, writing, fangirling over Issa Rae or pairing musicals and '90s love songs with Bible stories.

Jennifer Carter Dochler, MSW, is the Public Policy Director at MCADSV. She joined MCADSV in 2003 and has worked in the movement to end rape and abuse since 1997. Her experience in Texas and Missouri includes advocating for victims of domestic and sexual violence, research, policy, community organizing and education, and program development. Jennifer is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Missouri School of Social Work.

Colleen Coble is the Chief Executive Officer of MCADSV, a position she has held since 1988. For more than 30 years, she has been an advocate for women and their children and an educator on approaches to violence intervention in communities. She has been a public policy advocate since 1989 and has guided the passage of significant legislation that benefits victims of domestic and sexual violence. Colleen is a founding member of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV).

Jess Cowl, MSW, LMSW, ELS, is the Assistant Director for Crisis and Prevention at Safe Connections, overseeing the crisis intervention and prevention education departments. She graduated from Saint Louis University with undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work and certification in trauma-informed practice. She has a background in prevention education for adolescents and youth-interfacing professionals, formal classroom-based teaching with differentiated learning styles, and direct service with survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual violence and stalking.

Kim Dixon has worked with the Safe House for Women for seven years. She is currently the shelter director and previously served as child advocate. Kim received a bachelor's degree in human and environmental studies, with a concentration in child development, from Southeast Missouri State University.

Tanya Draper Douthit, MSW, LSCSW, has 14 years of experience in the violence against women field. As the Director of Community Programs at the Rose Brooks Center in Kansas City, Tanya leads both the Bridge Program, which serves the major metro-area hospitals and clinics, and the on-site health services provided to people served by RBC. She also oversees the agency’s legal advocacy team, training program and community coordinated response efforts.

Lisa Fleming, MSW, has 27 years of domestic violence advocacy, leadership and program development experience. Lisa’s areas of expertise include accessibility for survivors with disabilities, voluntary service and low barrier rules model, trauma-informed care, school-based violence prevention, sheltering pets, community collaboration, housing and organizational response to secondary trauma. 

Brandi Fischer has worked as an advocate for survivors of domestic and sexual violence since receiving her master's degree in criminal justice from the University of Central Missouri. While working at MOCSA, Brandi was promoted to the Coordinator of Advocacy, supervising the advocacy team. In her work as an advocate, she has provided advocacy to survivors in many diverse systems and has built strong relationships with local community partners. In her role supervising advocates, Brandi has learned what it takes to build strong advocates who flourish in their work.

Megan Garza, MA, LMFT, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Trauma Care Supervisor and board-approved supervisor with 19 years of experience in the mental health field. She is the lead individual and group therapist treating sexual trauma survivors at the YWCA Women’s Resource Center and is a graduate of Pepperdine University with a master’s degree in clinical psychology and marriage and family therapy. Megan has spoken at national trauma conferences and has published research on sexual trauma. Her specialty areas include PTSD, women’s issues and crisis intervention.

Sammy Ghormley, J.D., works for MCADSV as a Legal Resources Specialist. Sammy interned with MCADSV in 2012 and again in 2014. She is a 2013 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia law school. She previously spent several years employed by the Missouri Department of Social Services, Division of Legal Services, where she served as a hearing officer in the administrative hearings unit. Sammy has a deep knowledge of Missouri’s benefits programs and how to navigate the many systems available to survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Jessica Hill is the Executive Director of the Safe House for Women in Cape Girardeau. She previously served as Development Director of the Safe House and originally was a member of its Board of Directors. Prior to her work at the Safe House, Hill was a resource specialist for the Community Service Council in Tulsa, OK, and as a volunteer program administrator for the City of Tulsa. Hill graduated from Truman State University in Kirksville with a degree in communications and received a master's degree in nonprofit management from Oral Roberts University in 2003.

Jolynn Houchins is the Executive Director at Turning Point. She holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology, a certificate in nonprofit management and leadership, and bachelor’s degrees in psychology and biology. Jolynn also has specialized training in behavior analysis. During her time with Turning Point, she has worked diligently with agency staff to craft a framework that is trauma-informed, responsive to client needs and focused on harm reduction.

Matthew Huffman is the Public Affairs Director at MCADSV. He joined the staff in 2012. Matthew has experience in community organizing and education, policy, and program development. He has developed programs on capacity-building for prevention efforts, Title IX implementation, and sexual health promotion. He gained valuable experience first at the University of Missouri Women’s Center and next at True North in Columbia, as a shelter advocate and later as the youth outreach coordinator.

Marsha Keene-Hutchason is the Chief Executive Officer of Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center. Marsha has been with the center for 22 years. She developed Susanna Wesley’s victim services program from the ground up and assumed the position of director after the founding director of 22 years retired.

Janée Johnson, J.D., is the Family and Economic Advocate with ROW programs of FamilyForward. She has nearly a decade of experience in domestic and sexual violence. She has worked for several years as a volunteer and as an advocate for survivors in both a residential and non-residential capacity. Janée also spent several years as a legal services attorney in Boston, MA., representing low-income survivors of domestic violence in divorce, child support and child custody cases.

Jenna Johnson has worked as a Domestic and Sexual Violence Advocate since February 2013 with Green Hills Women’s Shelter in Trenton. She graduated from Northwest Missouri State University; her professional career includes working for 10 years as a Qualified Developmental Disability Professional in Missouri, Indiana and Kansas. Jenna was first introduced to essential oils in 2014, and her life has never been the same!

Phoenix Lintner has been working at the intersection of social services and education her entire career. She worked at a women’s shelter through college, then started her path in prevention education at Epworth Children and Family Services. Phoenix is passionate about teaching skills and knowledge that will help people improve their lives. Her hope is that every relationship can be happy, healthy and consensual.

 Dr. Stephanie Logan is the executive director of DeafLEAD; a nonprofit organization committed to meeting the needs of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late-Deafened and DeafBlind victims of crime. Dr. Logan’s focus is on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate crisis intervention and trauma-informed services for all Deaf Missourians. Dr. Logan is a late-deafened adult as a result of spinal meningitis she contracted more than 27 years ago.

Jessica McNear is the Training and Volunteer Coordinator at True North of Columbia and has been with the agency since 2014. She was previously the Hotline Coordinator and Domestic Violence Victim Advocate specializing in crisis intervention and de-escalation within the shelter. Prior to True North, Jessica worked with at-risk youths at Great Circle and the Division of Youth Services, where she obtained extensive Crisis Intervention Team training.

Phyllis Miller, LCSW, Director of the YWCA Women’s Resource Center, has 25-plus years of experience providing program management and services to high-risk populations, including victims of sexual violence, domestic violence and child abuse/neglect. Her professional affiliations include the advisory board with Washington University’s Center for Violence and Injury Prevention, St. Louis Child Abuse and Neglect Network board member, NASW and ACA.

Wendy Miller is the Rural Victim Advocate at Genesis, where she began working in 2016 as a shelter advocate. As a rural survivor of domestic violence, she uses her experience and expertise to reach out to survivors who cannot access services. She has been speaking to church and community groups for years, educating others about how to best advocate for and support rural victims of violence. Upon the successful VOCA grant request for a Rural Victim Advocate, Wendy was selected as the best candidate to provide services to the underserved population in rural communities.

Victoria Pickering is the Coordinator of Education at MOCSA, where she combines her passion for advocacy and education to address violence in Kansas City. She started her work in the field 14 years ago working at a local domestic violence shelter while attending UMKC. Her work is focused on training professionals in trauma-informed and inclusive services, pushing for policy change to support survivors, and providing victim-centered prevention education.

Charity Rone is a victim advocate for Polk County Prosecuting Attorney Ken Ashlock. She began her career in victim advocacy as an outreach coordinator for the Polk County House of Hope, a domestic violence shelter, in 2011. As her career evolved, she became a court advocate for victims at House of Hope who were to undergo ex parte hearings. That position in victim services led to her love of the law and the rights of victims of crime. She is currently pursuing a degree in criminal justice and has led trainings on the explanation and preparation of Orders of Protection.

Katrina Prenger, MPA, is the Program Manager for the Crime Victims’ Compensation Unit of the Department of Public Safety.  She has served victims in a variety of capacities, including Development Coordination of a shelter, as a crisis line volunteer, and most recently in the Crime Victim Services Unit at the Department of Public Safety.  Her Master’s Degrees are in both Public and Nonprofit Administrations from the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Martha Sander is the Executive Director of the Council on Families in Crisis (Moss House) and has worked for 27 years in the field of domestic and sexual violence. She has previously served on the MCADSV Board of Directors, Membership Committee, Quality Assurance Workgroup, Southwest Regional Liaison and Batterer Intervention Standards Workgroup. In addition, she currently serves as Board Secretary on the Missouri Balance of State Continuum of Care Board of Directors, as Chair of the Special Populations Committee and as Co-Chair of the Victim Services Subcommittee.

Toni-Ann Serio is the Sexual Assault Victim Advocate at Avenues in Hannibal. She started her career working as a medical social worker in a nursing home and hospital about 20 years ago. From there, Serio moved on to work for 15 years in women's reproductive rights and healthcare.

Wolf Smith founded and now serves as the Executive Director of the St. Louis Anti-Violence Project, the only St. Louis agency dedicated to ending violence within and to LGBTQ+ communities. As the leader of this budding nonprofit, ze works to advocate for LGBTQ+ survivors in all spaces. Wolf has worked in the St. Louis LGBTQ+ communities for seven years and in the anti-violence field for six years. Last year, Wolf worked to reopen the LGBTQ+ community center of St. Louis, now called PrideCenter. Wolf is a dual-degree candidate in law and social work at Wash U and is exploring holistic advocacy.

Tammy Tellez, MA, LPC, is a licensed professional counselor and serves as a Therapist and Case Manager for the YWCA Women's Resource Center. She provides individual and group counseling to adolescent and adult survivors of sexual trauma. Tammy uses elements of trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, eye movement desensitization reprocessing and music therapy in collaboration with The Angel Band Project in her therapeutic approach.

Vanessa Timmons is the executive director of the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and has been a writer, activist, and women’s health advocate for over 25 years. She attended Marylhurst University’s Multidisciplinary Studies Program in Portland, Oregon, and has continued her formal education through certificates and training, including the Interpersonal Neurobiology of Trauma Certification Program at Portland State University. Vanessa has served as the director of programs at Raphael House in Portland, a Northwest regional field organizer for the National Organization for Women, and the domestic violence program coordinator for the Multnomah County Domestic Violence Coordination Office, in addition to serving OCADSV in the past as the women of color coordinator and board chair.

Kristin Trotter Van Wey has been an integrative health specialist for 27 years, specializing in a whole-system approach to vitality through living the laws of health. She has worked directly with the survivors of Sandy Hook for five years and has a commitment to integrating effective techniques and essential oils into trauma, grief and loss. Kristin is the Founder and CEO of LETs, a nonprofit that combats human trafficking.

Ramon Valdez works with Innovation Law Lab to build and maintain pro bono projects around the country, including in Kansas City. As an immigration paralegal for a Kansas City law firm, in 2015 he began volunteering at the border with the CARA Pro Bono Project in Dilley, TX -- a massive collaborative representation project that helps thousands of asylum-seeking women with children while they are detained. Innovation Law Lab partners with Central American, Mexican and U.S. organizations to ensure that migrants have access to legal orientations, workshops and pro bono representation.