Speakers & Presentations

 

We have a amazing line up speakers this year. Scroll below for the list of presenters. Previous year's conference information can be found on the About Us/History page.


Schylar Baber, MPA:

Schylar Baber, prior Executive Director of Voice for Adoption (VFA) in Washington, DC. He has a Bachelor’s in Professional and Technical Communication from Montana Tech and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Montana. Schylar has dedicated his professional and volunteer life to the belief that children and youth in the child welfare system need respect, support, and family. He has served as president of the board of Montana Court Appointed Special Advocates, secretary of the board of ChildWise Institute, and is currently serving on the board of FosterClub, and the governor appointed Protect Montana’s Kids Commission.


Schylar’s commitment to improving the futures of children and youth in care is due, in large part, to his own life experiences. He spent 11 years in foster care before aging out without a family. When he was 25, his mentor and sixth-grade teacher adopted him. Schylar explained, “I always longed for a place to call my own and, at one point, was told that I was too old to be adopted. I knew when I grew up I wanted to dedicate myself to creating change for youth in foster care.” Schylar continues his life’s goal of serving vulnerable—but resilient—young people.

Schylar Baber, MPA & Kendra Morris Jacobson, MA:

Schylar Baber, prior Executive Director of Voice for Adoption (VFA) in Washington, DC. Schylar has dedicated his professional and volunteer life to the belief that children and youth in the child welfare system need respect, support, and family. He is currently serving on the board of FosterClub, and the governor appointed Protect Montana’s Kids Commission.

Schylar’s commitment to improving the futures of children and youth in care is due, in large part, to his own life experiences. He spent 11 years in foster care before aging out without a family. When he was 25, his mentor and sixth-grade teacher adopted him. Schylar explained, “I always longed for a place to call my own and, at one point, was told that I was too old to be adopted. I knew when I grew up I wanted to dedicate myself to creating change for youth in foster care.” 

Kendra Morris Jacobson oversees the Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center (ORPARC) and the Oregon Adoption Resource Exchange (OARE). Honored as Senator Wyden's 2016 Angel in Adoption, she sits on the Board of Directors for Voice for Adoption, and has spent decades in the field, including work with Boys & Girls Aid, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, and recently authored a chapter for international lifestory work expert, Richard Rose. In previous clinical work at OHSU, Kendra counseled children & families, led groups for adolescent depression, and contributed to research. Kendra has a unique connection to adoption, cherishes family time with her husband & sons, and runs, gardens and bakes in her spare moments.

Dr. Donna Beegle:

Donna Beegle grew up in generational migrant-labor poverty and left school at 15 to get married and start a family. At 25, she found herself with two children, no husband, little education, and few marketable job skills. Within 10 short years, she gained the confidence to get her GED and advance through to a doctoral degree in educational leadership. All these experiences provide Dr. Beegle with an authentic voice with which to speak, write, and train across the nation to break the iron cage of poverty.


As president of Communication Across Barriers, a consulting firm dedicated to building poverty-informed communities that are armed with tools to break barriers, she works directly with children and adults currently in poverty, educators, justice professionals, health care providers, social service agencies, faith-based communities, business leaders, elected officials, and others who want to make a difference for those living in the crisis of poverty. For over 27 years, Dr. Beegle’s work has spread by word of mouth to all 50 states and six countries. Dr. Beegle is also the founder of the Opportunity Community movement, which provides the foundation for a contemporary war on poverty.

Leah Brookner, MA, MSW, PhD:

Leah Brookner, MA, MSW, PhD is a professor in the School of Social Work at Portland State University - her classes focus on youth development, family systems, adoption, trauma, attachment and effective therapeutic techniques for complex families. Prior to her work at PSU, Leah was a child and family therapist, specializing in the counseling of children in foster care. Her role working directly with foster youth prompted her to expand her practice to working with adoptive children and families. Leah then spent over five years training, assessing and supporting adoptive families using a trauma-informed and attachment-centered focus. Leah's passion continues to be centered on adoption of children with trauma histories by strengthening supports for parents and caregivers. As a professor/trainer, her style elicits participation, and critical thinking with a bit of laughter along the way.

Astrid Castro:

Astrid has a degree in sociology with an emphasis in adoption. For twenty plus years, she has traveled the country to lead youth groups, present workshops on transracial parenting, talking with children about adoption and various other workshops focusing on adoption. Prior to creating Adoption Mosaic, Astrid worked in both the private and public sectors of various adoption organizations such the Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center (ORPARC), Holt International, Rocky Mountain Adoption Exchange to name just a few.

Astrid’s personal experiences as an adoptee, a woman of color, and growing up in a white family and community, fuel her professional path to helping others. Astrid is aware of the benefits of post-adoption services for individuals and their families and seeks to bring these services to the adoption community. Her life-long interest in adoption is rooted in her own adoption at the age of four from Colombia (along with her older sister). Astrid has been in reunion since December 2012 with her birth family in Colombia.

When Astrid is not working she loves to spend time with family, friends and enjoying the adventures of life as the mama of an amazing teenage daughter.

Carol L. Chervenak, MD & Jay Wurscher:

Carol L. Chervenak, M.D. completed her medical education and family practice residency at University of Arizona, following an undergraduate degree in Pharmacy from the University of Washington. Following clinical education in child abuse assessments in 1997, she became the medical director of ABC House, the child victim assessment center for Linn and Benton counties.


Dr. Chervenak has helped establish a medical protocol for assessing Drug Endangered Children (DEC); lectures locally and nationally on various issues related to child abuse; and continues to evaluate children for concerns of maltreatment at ABC House.

Her special interests include the impact on children of substance abuse by parents -- in their environment, while breast feeding, and from prenatal exposure.

She is on the Advisory Council for Child Abuse and Neglect; has been a member of the Oregon Governor's Methamphetamine Task Force; and is a lecturer for the Oregon and National Alliances for Drug Endangered Children.

Jay Wurscher currently serves as the Alcohol and Drug Services Coordinator for Oregon’s Department of Human Services (DHS) -- Office of Child Welfare Programs.  He’s a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and has been in the field of addiction treatment and prevention since 1981.  His experience includes jobs as an addiction counselor, clinical supervisor, program manager for a community based prevention program, and trainer.


He’s trained at numerous national conferences regarding substance-abuse issues in child welfare and community collaborations. He taught summer courses at the University of Oregon’s Substance Abuse Prevention Program for 26 years.  He is a member of the Oregon Health Authority’s Addictions and Mental Health Policy Advisory Council and previously served on the Governor’s Methamphetamine Task Force.

Lisa Zeiner:

Lisa Zeiner is an Instructor/Evaluator Support Specialist for Columbia River Pet Partners, a national animal therapy program headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. Pet Partners is considered one of the nation's leading organizations registering therapy animal teams for animal assisted interventions. Lisa began her work as a Program Coordinator beginning in 2010, assisting pet therapy teams in the Portland/Vancouver area. Currently she helps trainers evaluate and register the more than 10,000 volunteers who visit with their animals in facilities across the country.

Roxanne Lovelace:

Roxanne is currently on the board for Oregon Foster Parent Association. She was born and raised in Oregon. Having been a phased out foster youth herself, Roxanne has always been committed to giving back to the foster community. She spent over 20 years in the Criminal Justice field serving as a reserve Police Officer, a Corrections Officer and a Jail Service Technician. Roxanne’s passion has always been assisting others through peer support and has (attended) various trainings in crisis management, critical incidents. peer support and trauma related issues. Roxanne and her spouse Debra have been foster parents for over 5 years and are currently in process of adopting a child. When she is not attending DHS workgroup meetings, helping assist with Foundation training and leading trainings, Roxanne enjoys spending time with family camping and spending time at the beach.”ach.

Dana Spears, Elisha Big Back and Michael Clearly:

Dana Spears is the Program Manager for the Youth and Family’s Department at Impact Northwest. Dana has been employed with Impact for the past 14 years, initially in the Senior Department and then later transitioning into the Youth and Family Department. Dana currently manages the Independent Living Program, Sun Youth Advocacy Program and the Community Pathways Network.Dana has worked with foster youth for the past 20+ years as a foster parent, ILP Coordinator and now as the Program Manager. Dana has a deep passion for this work as she is also the adoptive parent of a special needs daughter who is thriving in the community, Dana enjoys working with seniors, marginalized populations and exploring Portland.

Elisha Big Back, B.S.W from Concordia University and a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.  Elisha has worked at NAYA Family Center for over four years in the Family Services department first facilitating the independent living program and now managing that program along with other programs that help support the Native American foster youth in maintaining their connection to culture and community, but also to assist in their transition to adulthood by building life skills.

Michael Clearly is a former Child Welfare case worker and now supervisor of a Teen unit in D16 (Washington county). He has been a local liaison for the ILP service array as he is deeply passionate about the transitional service for youth. He has sat on several committees and initiated a few projects how to better serve youth and has a great deal of out-of-the-box approaches to assure youth independence needs are met.

Ana Hristić, MA, CSWA and Isha- Charlie McNeely:

Ana Hristić is the Education & Training Coordinator of Trauma Informed Oregon, specializing in providing training and consultation to organizations and providers on topics related to implementing trauma informed care. Ms. Hristić has years of direct service experience working with children, teens, and families in special education, acute residential care, therapeutic wilderness camps, foster care & adoption, and outpatient behavioral health. Most recently, as the Behavioral Health Quality Improvement Coordinator for Clackamas County Health Centers, Ms. Hristić worked on introducing and implementing Trauma Informed Care across several programs. With a background in Social Psychology and Social Work, and a personal interest in contemplative practice, Ms. Hristić enjoys facilitating dialogue that promotes collaboration and healing, while also confronts the impacts of systemic oppression, burnout and secondary stress.

Isha-Charlie McNeely is a Portland Native with lived experience in the Oregon's foster care system. She was able to overcome an adverse childhood, to graduate both from high school and the first in her family to attend college. During her time of completing bachelor degrees in School Health Education and in Community Health at Portland State University, she began working as a case manager/coach for Better Futures and The My Life Projects. Both programs assist youth in transitioning from foster care into post-secondary education or the workforce. She is currently is the Outreach and Community Engagement Coordinator for Trauma Informed Oregon. Charlie is the founder/director of Back-2-School-FRESH, a non-profit, which provides low-income and minority households with free backpacks, school supplies, haircuts & hairstyles at an annual resource fair. Charlie is working towards her master's degree in human services.

Kelli Doolittle, MA:

Kelli holds Masters degrees in both Child and Family Counseling and Art Therapy from Marylhurst University, with an emphasis in the treatment of sexual trauma in children and adolescents. She has worked in children’s mental health in the Portland area for the last 10 years, focusing on children with acute psychiatric illness and developmental trauma. Kelli has worked with CSEC youth in the Portland area almost exclusively for the last 6 years, in both community crisis intervention work and residential settings. Kelli is currently the Program Director of the SAGE program, a long term residential program for girls who have experienced chronic commercial sexual exploitation.

Jess Guerriero, MA, MSW:

Jess is a social worker with a second graduate degree in Gender and Cultural Studies from Simmons College.  While at Simmons, Jess focused their work on a thesis that argued for the expansion of transgender health coverage and the movement toward therapists as partners, rather than gatekeepers, in the transition process.  Jess interned/ worked at Fenway Health, a community health center geared towards LGBTQI-identified individuals.  Here, Jess carried a caseload of children, adolescents, and adults who were, in some cases, navigating medical transitions.  Jess also ran a support group for parents of trans youth and established an independent consulting business to help schools, businesses, and providers implement policies that were more trans-inclusive.  Jess previously worked in Quality Management at LifeWorksNW, and served as an internal trainer at LifeWorks NW on LGBTQI-related topics and was the chair of the Transgender Care Workgroup.  Jess is currently working as an Intake and Referral Specialist at OHSU’s Transgender Health Program, helping to improve experiences for community members.  Jess uses they/them pronouns.

Jillene Joseph:

Jillene is an enrolled member of the Gros Ventre or Aaniiih people from Fort Belknap, Montana. She lives in Oregon with her life partner and children. She is the executive director of Native Wellness Institute and helped to found the national non-profit organization in 2000. She has a Bachelors of Science degree in Community Health Education and has served Indian Country for 30 years providing training and technical assistance in a variety of areas. Jillene has traveled to hundreds of Native communities and interacted with and learned from thousands of people. Whether she is providing youth leadership training, assisting women heal from childhood trauma or helping to bring wellness to the workplace, Jillene shares her passion for being positive, productive and proactive. She enjoys beading, reading, pow wowing and spending time with family and friends.

Marie McMahon, Psy.D:

Dr. Marie McMahon, Psy.D, licensed psychologist with the Providence Children’s Development Institute. Prior to working for Providence she had a private practice for more than a decade specializing in social skills development and behavioral health for children with autism, nonverbal learning disabilities, anxiety, and ADHD.

Isha-Charlie McNeely:

Isha-Charlie McNeely is a Portland Native that has lived experience in the Oregon's foster care system. She was able to overcome an adverse childhood in which she faced many barriers, to graduate both from high school and the first in her family to attend college. Charlie is determined to impact disadvantaged and marginalized youth directly by being a positive and active volunteer in her community, in addition to the work that she does full time within the child welfare system. During her time of completing dual bachelor degrees at Portland State University which includes a Bachelor’s in School Health Education and another in Community Health, she began working as a case manager/coach for Better Futures and The My Life Projects which are programs that assist youth in successfully transitioning from foster care into post-secondary education and/or the workforce. She was the Project Manager for My Life at New Avenues for Youth for two years and currently is the Outreach and Community Engagement Coordinator for Trauma Informed Oregon. Charlie is an active member in her community and is the founder and director of a non-profit called Back-2-School-FRESH which includes an annual fair that provides low-income and minority households with free backpacks, school supplies, haircuts, and hairstyles, as well as connecting them with community resources right before the school year starts. Charlie is currently working towards her master's degree in human services to further her career in policy work.

Dr. Keva Miller:

Dr. Keva M. Miller is an Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor at Portland State University School of Social Work. Her research and publications are in the areas of criminal justice and child welfare with a particular emphasis on racial disproportionality and disparity, children and families with multi-system involvement, risk and protection, and resilience among high-stressed populations. Dr. Miller works collaboratively with criminal justice and child welfare systems to evaluate program effectiveness and enhance service delivery.

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, LCSW:

Dr. Tina Payne Bryson is the co-author (with Dan Siegel) of The Yes Brain, as well as two New York Times Best Sellers:  The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline, each of which has been translated into over twenty languages.  She is the Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Connection in Pasadena, CA, where she and her interdisciplinary team of professionals work together to help kids and families thrive.  She keynotes conferences and conducts workshops for parents, educators, and clinicians all over the world.  The most important part of her bio, she says, is that she is a mom to her three boys. You can learn more about Dr. Bryson at TinaBryson.com, where you can subscribe to her blog and read her articles about children and parenting. 

Robbyn Peters Bennett, LPC:

Robbyn Peters Bennett is a psychotherapist, educator, and child activist who specializes in the treatment of mental health problems due to early abuse and neglect. She has served as Clinical Director in both inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment facilities, as well as with the child protective services, foster care system and adoption support.  She has studied with the North Pacific Institute for Analytical Psychology and is Phase II certified in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT), a neurologically informed assessment for traumatized children with the ChildTrauma Academy. Robbyn lectures nationally on the topic of trauma and the effects of harsh punishment.  In her TED talk, she addresses the long-term effects of spanking and other forms of domestic violence on long-term health. Her life’s work is aimed at ending all forms of violence against children. She is the founder of StopSpanking.org, a non-profit dedicated to educating the public on the dangers of spanking and on positive parenting alternatives. She is board member of The U.S. Alliance to End the Hitting of Children, an organization dedicated to supporting the movement to end spanking in the US.

Tim Boettcher, MA, MS Ed:

Tim Boettcher has been training foster parents in various regions of the state of Oregon for the Child Welfare Partnership of Portland State University since 2016.  This is a dream job for him which allows him to use his past experiences as an Oregon DHS caseworker, a classroom teacher and surrogate caregiver.  Tim is an adult Third Culture Kid and having lived most of his life in Asia and Europe he has experienced multiple transitions as a child and adult. He has worked with children and families for over 25 years.

Kelli Doolittle, MA & Margaret Scott, MA:

Kelli holds Masters degrees in both Child and Family Counseling and Art Therapy from Marylhurst University, with an emphasis in the treatment of sexual trauma in children and adolescents. She has worked in children’s mental health in the Portland area for the last 10 years, focusing on children with acute psychiatric illness and developmental trauma. Kelli has worked with CSEC youth in the Portland area almost exclusively for the last 6 years, in both community crisis intervention work and residential settings. Kelli is currently the Program Director of the SAGE program, a long term residential program for girls who have experienced chronic commercial sexual exploitation.

 

Margaret Scott holds a Masters degree in counseling psychology and has extensive experience as a parent educator, parenting consultant, and behavior analyst working with autistic children. Margaret is not only to creator of the SAGE Youth Residential program, but also oversees all of Morrison’s outpatient clinics and the community-based programs, in addition to the SAGE Program. She has extensive experience in clinical care of CSEC youth within a variety of positions over the last 10 years, and has been an active and dedicated advocate for vulnerable youth throughout her career.

Amy Stoeber, PhD:

Dr. Stoeber is a licensed psychologist in Portland, OR. She owns a private practice and works with children and families of all ages. She is endorsed in early childhood mental health and pediatric health. Dr. Stoeber serves as a member of the Healthcare Reform Taskforce for the Oregon Psychological Association. As well, Dr. Stoeber was a statewide trainer for The Department of Human Services and now works with Children’s Health Alliance to promote wellness for children of all ages in pediatric settings. Her current work is promoting resilience within pediatric medical homes.

Tiffany Sudela-Junker:

Tiffany Sudela-Junker is mother by adoption to two children with vastly different trauma-based special needs. Her award winning documentary, “My Name Is Faith” captures the Junker’s early journey, coming to terms with the impact their daughter’s difficult beginning would have on them all.

With her own growth process as an example, Tif mentors and advocates for a “empathy + connection before correction” approach to parenting. Stressing EXTRA empathy, mindfulness, humor, attunement, self-compassion and reciprocal atonement as key ingredients to helping tough kids achieve higher function and healthy relationships.

Through stories of struggle and lessons learned with her brilliant, challenging and hilarious children, Tif raises awareness and an authentic understanding for the EXTREME neurology, behavior, circumstances, and the emotional strength found in families struggling to overcome the aftermath of childhood trauma.

Jay Wursher:

Jay Wurscher currently serves as the Alcohol and Drug Services Coordinator for Oregon’s Department of Human Services (DHS) -- Office of Child Welfare Programs.  He’s a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and has been in the field of addiction treatment and prevention since 1981.  His experience includes jobs as an addiction counselor, clinical supervisor, program manager for a community based prevention program, and trainer.
He’s trained at numerous national conferences regarding substance-abuse issues in child welfare and community collaborations. He taught summer courses at the University of Oregon’s Substance Abuse Prevention Program for 26 years.  He is a member of the Oregon Health Authority’s Addictions and Mental Health Policy Advisory Council and previously served on the Governor’s Methamphetamine Task Force.
Jay grew up in Minnesota and North Dakota.  He moved to Oregon in 1983 after serving his country by floating around underwater on a submarine for the U.S. Navy.  Since then he’s gained a bunch of weight, wears tri-focals, and is losing his hair.  Happily, he’s not on any medication, eats whatever he wants as he really likes food, and refuses to contribute to the $60 billion a year diet industry -- though he’s thinking that may need to change!  He’s married and has two children, two grandsons and one Sheltie.  

TBD:

Youth Advisory Board Panel - Anthony, Jini, Nicole and facilitated by Schylar Baber:

Panelists - Anthony, Jini and Nicole are young adults who have been part of a research youth advisory board to evaluate a statewide child welfare intervention through Portland State University.

Anthony is a veteran, and has a bachelors degree in social work. Anthony has 13 years of lived experience across three states in the foster care system. Anthony also has 7 years of sobriety from drugs and alcohol. Anthony is currently in graduate school at the university of Michigan and is an MSW candidate (expected 2019). 

Jini graduated from Portland State University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies and went on to work with the State of Oregon at DHS Child Welfare in Youth Transitions. Jini spent 9 years in substitute care, which sparked her passion for youth voice and advocacy work. Jini is an active member of the Leveraging Intensive Family Engagement (L.I.F.E.) Reseach Board since 2016 and sat on the DHS Child Welfare Youth Advisory and Advocacy Committee from 2016-2017.

Nicole graduated from Portland State University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Science. Currently finishing up a year long training from Microsoft in Data Science. Nicole is an active member of the Leveraging Intensive Family Engagement (L.I.F.E.) Reseach Board since 2017.

Panel Facilitator - Schylar Baber, prior Executive Director of Voice for Adoption (VFA) in Washington, DC. He has a Bachelor’s in Professional and Technical Communication from Montana Tech and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Montana. Schylar has dedicated his professional and volunteer life to the belief that children and youth in the child welfare system need respect, support, and family. He is currently serving on the board of FosterClub.

Honorable Ted Grove, Honorable Ricardo Menchaca and Referee Morgan Wren Long:

Honorable Judge Ted Grove holds a BS in accounting and finance from Iowa State University, and went on to obtain his JD from Lewis and Clark College, Northwest School of Law. Judge Grove practiced general law in Clatskanie, Oregon from 1980 to 1996, starting as the city attorney and finally Justice of the Peace for Columbia County. In 1995, he was appointed as a circuit court judge in Columbia County where he has presided over juvenile court, criminal, civil and domestic relations.

Judge Ricardo Menchaca was born and raised in Oregon and graduated with honors from Oregon State University in 1995. Prior to college, he served in the United States Air Force and completed tours of duty in the Gulf War and at the Pentagon. He graduated from Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan in 1999. As a lawyer, he practiced in a variety of areas including criminal defense, civil defense, and juvenile law. He was appointed to the bench in 2013 and recently joined the civil law team after serving four years as presiding juvenile court judge. He is a proud husband and father, and is an avid Beaver sports and Blazer basketball fan.

Referee Morgan Wren Long is a juvenile court referee for Multnomah County. Originally from Virginia, Referee Long attended Lewis & Clark Law School and has dedicated the majority of her career to juvenile law. After a brief time working for the Washington County DA's Office in the juvenile section, she spent the majority of her career representing indigent clients in both the juvenile and adult courts. Referee Long is on the Editorial Board for the Juvenile Law Bar Books revision currently underway and previously served as the Chair of the Juvenile Law Section of the Oregon State Bar.

Don Rome and Jesus Rome:

Don Rome is a motivational speaker, a life coach, and the founder and CEO of Potbelli Life Tactical Wear - a company dedicated to lowering the national suicide rate amongst our Armed Forces and civilian personnel. As a non-commissioned military officer, he led a team of special operators through dangerous missions and brought everyone safely home. He had unique opportunities to discuss cultures, experiences of adversities and similarities with Ambassadors and Heads of States from various countries. Don is excited to share stories he gathered and experiences about life - hardships and triumphs. Don says, "We are all made of our families' DNA that helps define us and makes us great today. As we dive further into learning our family's cultures and unique experiences, we will find that we are actually standing on the shoulders of our ancestors who were great warriors, generals, leaders, story tellers, healers, and educators.”

Jesus Rome, or also known as Chuy Rome by several Eastern Oregon residences, has been a resident of the Hermiston community for almost 30 years. He has been employed at Umatilla Morrow County Head Start for the past 15 years as Male Involvement Coordinator, Family Advocate, and After School Program Manager. He currently oversees the Volunteer Engagement and CASA program. He co-facilitates the Cultural Effectiveness Committee for the county and is actively engaged as a volunteer in many events in and out of his community, including Martin Luther King Celebration and Cinco De Mayo. He has been instrumental in implementing the first community, multi-cultural group event called, "Around the World in One Fun Day". Jesus has helped children and families in Eastern Oregon and has been active in sharing his expertise in cultural diversity. Most recently, he was selected to provide a workshop on "Strategies in Recruiting Diversity" at the 2017 National CASA Association's annual conference. 

Leah Hall, Justin Hon, Stacy Rivera, Michael Simmons and Leanne Walsh:

Leah Hall has worked with the Parent Mentor Program over 11 years. She is a certified National Parent Leader. She forms, recruits and trains members of the Parent Advisory Council who advise leadership of child welfare for the state of Oregon. Leah is also the recipient of the highly regarded Skidmore Prize for her outstanding contribution to her community.

Justin Hon grew up in a dysfunctional, abusive home, using drugs to escape. His addiction and criminal record got worse. He was controlling & abusive when married. Child welfare stepped in after his first son was born. In 2012, Justin's son broke through. Justin took responsibility for his actions and life and completed treatment. He is 6 years clean. His focus is on a better life for him and his family.

Stacy Rivera is a Senior Parent Mentor at Morrison. She is a Recovering addict who has been clean and sober since 2009. She began working in this field as a Parent Mentor in 2015 and is dedicated to helping the suffering addict/alcoholic/parents. She shows clients a new way of life and tells them to never give up hope.

Michael Simmons is a member of the Parent Advisory Council and experienced the DHS Child Welfare System with his own children and is currently parenting. Through this process he found his voice and believes that all parents should have a voice, and a chance to better their lives for themselves and their families.

Leanne Walsh is a member of the Parent Advisory Council. Child welfare became involved due to her drug abuse and unsafe conditions. She is 11 years clean - living and parenting without alcohol or drugs. She is grateful for the intervention & services provided to her family. Her passion is sharing parents' perspectives and advocating for growth & change within Child Welfare.

Shelley Winterberg:

Shelly Winterberg is the Director of Field Engagement for Every Child. Before joining the Every Child team, Shelly worked for World Vision International and completed her Masters in Intercultural Studies with an emphasis on Children at Risk and International Development. Shelly’s husband, Steve, is a professor at George Fox University, and their son, Will, is an adorable and busy 2 year old who keeps them laughing, on their toes, and sleep deprived.