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About the Presenters

We are thrilled to be joined by local, regional, and national experts for this year's Advocates' Retreat and Conference! 

Originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina, Reverend Dr. Pamela Adams is the Director of Spiritual Life and University Chaplain at Delaware State University. A true Southern Belle at heart, she stands on the values of faith, family, friendship and fried fish! She served proudly in the United States Air Force for 9 ½ years, while simultaneously matriculating through Seminary and obtaining undergraduate, graduate, and terminal degrees in Theology. An expert in the arena of spiritual rehabilitation with over 17 years of experience, she has received training in Clinical Pastoral Education and Family Advocacy at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital, as well as certification in Christian Counseling through the National Christian Counselors Association of Sarasota, Florida.  Dr. Adams is the Principal and Owner of Faithful & Favored, Inc. a Lifestyle Management Firm. Faithful & Favored provides emotional and spiritual maintenance tools through Peace Together, LLC, a counseling practice, and The Servant Leader, LLC, focusing on church administration and ministry enhancement. Her empathetic demeanor and compassionate disposition make her a trusted advisor on all things related to spiritual and emotional maintenance. Her desire is for everyone to live a faithful and favored life!

Elaine Ansah began her new role at DCADV as the Policy Coordinator in 2023. Prior to joining the team, Elaine spent the last year completing a Fulbright teaching grant in Kenya, and spent the previous year working as a Legislative Correspondent in the U.S. House of Representatives. Elaine is a graduate of the University of Delaware and was a chapter president of her Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

Lindsay Beach began her wellness journey 7 years ago, exploring alternative methods to heal from relational trauma. After 12 years in high-stress corporate environments, she decided to make a life change during the COVID-19 pandemic. She completed her 200-hr YTT, became a Reiki Practitioner, and created Coastal Alchemy to bring wellness workshops and retreats to others. Lindsay believes that everyone has the capacity for growth and change and strives to create safe spaces for deeper and more meaningful connections with self and others.

Dr. Nick Beard (she/her) is the Domestic Violence and Community Health Program Manager for the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  She is attorney at law in New York and Maryland.  She completed a PhD in Law and Gender Studies, focusing on the experience of women who experience sexual violence in the asylum system and previously worked for Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central and Southern New Jersey, Common Cause Delaware and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law.  In her free time, Nick volunteers for the UD Sexual Offenses Services and the First State Abortion Fund.  She lives in Hockessin with her Irish husband and son and English cat. 

Bailey Coco (she/they) is a gender expansive, Black and Italian, queer woman who is passionate about social justice and societal reform. She is a senior student at the University of Delaware, majoring in sociology and women and gender studies with a domestic violence prevention services concentration and minoring in politics and social justice. During her time in school, Bailey has written numerous papers regarding gendered social justice including Queer Domestic Violence Neglect, regarding the way that the LGBTQ+ minority is excluded because of heteronormative society. Bailey acquired an internship at the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and has participated in numerous professional projects including aiding in writing the Domestic Violence Intervention Standards, specifically writing and researching the section titled Considerations for Diverse Populations. They also co-facilitated a training with the DVCC titled Supporting Hispanic and Latino Survivors, which taught the way that Hispanics and Latinos are systematically oppressed, even when it comes to domestic violence services. Bailey is very family oriented, and most of her work comes from passionately learning about diverse people and backgrounds with ferocious curiosity. In her free time she is a fashion environmentalist, focusing on conservation and promoting zero waste lifestyle.

Kaila Marie Congo, M.Ed., currently serves as the Team Lead for the Adolescent Resource Center program at Children & Families First.  Kaila started as an Educator at CFF in 2019 after earning her master’s degree in Secondary Education from Wilmington University.  She is a Delaware Futures and Public Allies Delaware alumna dedicated to her community.  Kaila resides in Northern Delaware with her family.

Dawn Culp, MSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, FNE is the Domestic Violence & Gang Consultant and Forensic Nurse Clinical Coordinator at Bayhealth.  Dawn has been an Emergency Department (ED) nurse for over 25 years, and has been the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) nurse Clinical Coordinator since 2003.  In this role, Dawn presents education to ED staff regarding updates on domestic violence, Delaware laws, and all things in the forensic realm.  She also presents lectures on Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury to Bayhealth Critical Care staff.  Dawn tracks statistical data for all victims of violence in all four Bayhealth facilities, and been able to use that data for grants to provide continuing education for the Bayhealth community.  Dawn has been recognized for her efforts and dedication to serving survivors and creating safer communities.  In addition to her clinical and educational roles, Dawn also serves on a number of committees and task forces to improve policies and conditions for victims of crime.

Selena Faith is a dedicated professional working in the overlapping fields of domestic violence response and survivor criminalization. She serves as the Coordinator of the Justice for Incarcerated Survivors (JFIS) program at GCADV, where she oversees program function through case management and collaboration with a breadth of community partners. She began this role in 2021 through a fellowship position, building upon her background in sexual health and relationship education, and has continued her position with GCADV after the completion of her fellowship.

Tara Gush (she/her) is a Breathwork and Integrative Coach with 20+ years of experience in education, wellness and behavioral modification.  She is dedicated to sharing the empowering and transformational possibilities of conscious breathing, somatic movement and mindfulness to regulate the nervous system and shift lives.  Tara understands the importance of finding simple and effective tools that individuals and companies can proactively integrate to manage stress, anxiety and challenges in both the work and personal space.  Her own journey through a lifetime of trauma has given her a unique perspective on how to approach and overcome obstacles through connecting the mind, body and breath. Tara integrates a unique, science-based approach in her coaching, based on the latest research in neuroscience to empower her clients for long-lasting transformation and reaching full potential.

Dr. Eunice Gwanmesia, a distinguished thought leader with over 25 years of experience in healthcare, education, diversity, equity, and inclusion advocacy, is the award-winning bestselling author of “The Power of Your Identity..." book.  She has received numerous accolades for her outstanding contributions, including the prestigious 2022 Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lisa Blunt Rochester Legacy Award- for her excellent performance in the   Enrich Delaware program 2023.  Throughout her remarkable career, Dr. Gwanmesia has taken on various roles, from being an RN in diverse medical facilities to dedicating 13 years as a nursing educator at Delaware State University. In 2004, she made a significant impact by establishing Always Care Health Services trade school, where she successfully graduated over 200 Certified Nursing Assistants.  In 2017, Dr. Gwanmesia founded Eunity Solutions, a consulting company committed to empowering executives and leaders in healthcare, education, and corporate sectors to build inclusive workplace cultures where everyone feels they belong and thrive.

Jess Harman (she/her) is a Queer survivor, anti-violence advocate, speaker, trainer, and consultant. She has recently collaborated with the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence to create a tailored training curriculum for improving services and increasing organizational capacity to LGBTQIA+ survivors. She has over 10 years of experience working with survivors of sexual/domestic violence and sex trafficking, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people experiencing severe and persistent mental illnesses, individuals impacted by substance use, people experiencing homelessness, and people living with HIV/chronic health conditions.  Her career has primarily focused on anti-violence advocacy, program development, supervising anti-violence advocates, training curriculum development, training working professionals how to equitably work with trauma survivors utilizing best practice methodologies, and co-facilitating strategic diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives. She has presented training at state and national conferences hosted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Association of Social Workers’ Missouri Chapter, the Cultural Competency Collective of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City Pride, the North American Students of Cooperation, and the Midwest AIDS Training & Education Center.  Jess holds a bachelor’s degree in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with a minor in History from the University of Kansas. She is currently pursuing a MSW, Master of Social Work, from Missouri State University with a Graduate Certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution. She is currently the MSW Student Representative on the National Association of Social Workers’ Missouri Chapter Board of Directors and co-chairs the chapter’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging committee.

A Dover, Delaware native, Ms. Rona Harris is masters prepared in Human Services with a Marriage and Family Therapy emphasis. With over 20 years of professional experience Ms. Harris is an advocate for meeting her clients where they are through case management, psychiatric social work and assisting those in need as a housing specialist. As a community development manager, Ms. Harris understands the importance of revitalizing communities through addressing social determinants of health in the areas of financial empowerment, home ownership, youth programming, and coaching services. She is skilled in the areas of mindfulness practices, trauma, addiction, mental illness, and criminal addictive behaviors just to name a few.

Javier Horstmann serves as a Policy Advisor for Governor John Carney focusing on housing policy. In that role, Javi, a native of Delaware, works to find innovative and effective policy solutions to incentivize and grow Delaware’s affordable housing stock. Through that work, Javi believes that housing is a fundamental right and works with federal, state, and local elected officials, as well as state-stakeholders to ensure that every Delawarean has access to that right.  Previously, Javi has served as Chief Policy Advisor at the Delaware State Housing Authority. He has also formally served as Policy Advisor for Delaware Governor John Carney, focusing on housing and finance policy. Javier holds a B.A. in Political Science and Public Policy and M.P.A from the University of Delaware.

Joy Ingram is a 'love superhero' whose mission is to spread empathy, compassion, and understanding in a world often overshadowed by chaos and hatred. Born out of a profound belief in the power of love to heal, Joy emerged with a unique set of abilities aimed at uplifting and uniting individuals through the strength of heartfelt connections.  In the eyes of Joy, love isn't just an emotion; it's a force that transcends barriers, unites souls, and transforms the world into a place of harmony and understanding. Apart from her time crusading to help people plant love and grow joy, you can probably catch her on the beach sipping coffee and reading a good book.

Casey Keene (she/her) believes that social change is both possible and necessary. A survivor of childhood trauma and mother to two inspiring children, her passion is nurturing resilient and equitable communities where all children can thrive. With more than 20 years of experience in gender-based violence advocacy, Casey knows that our work must be grounded in and guided by the needs, priorities, and leadership of those with lived experience at the intersections of violence and oppression. As the Director of Programs & Prevention at the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV), Casey works to advance the special projects and resource development initiatives of the Programs & Prevention Team. These include PreventIPV, VAWnet, the Domestic Violence Awareness Project, and the Adult Children Exposed to Domestic Violence (ACE-DV) Leadership Forum. Casey is a lifelong learner and Licensed Social Worker who earned her Master’s in Social Work from Temple University.

Mariann Kenville-Moore, MSW (she/her) is the Director of Advocacy & Policy for the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV). In this position, Mariann works with local and national partners to address and prevent domestic violence through advocacy, policy development and legislation.  Mariann is a social worker, with over 35 years of service to the people of Delaware. She spent her early career in various positions with the Division of Family Services providing direct service to children and families in cases involving child abuse and neglect, and later as an administrator developing programs and training on child welfare issues. She retired from state service as the Director of Victim Service in the Department of Justice, where she managed the statewide program; developed and implemented policies, programs and legislation; and provided direct services to victims of crime. In addition, she teaches as an adjunct faculty member at Delaware State University for the School of Social Work in the College of Health & Behavioral Science. Mariann values the role that non-profits have played in the movement to end family violence, and volunteers on local boards of directors.  Mariann earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from Rutgers University and her undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Delaware.

Justin King, M.S. is a Probation and Parole Supervisor in the Domestic Violence Unit in Sussex County.  Justin has an Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree in, Criminal Justice and a Master’s degree in Management. Justin began with Probation and Parole in 2011, and spent the first 8 years monitoring sex offenders and domestic violence cases. In 2019, Justin was promoted to Supervisor and began supervising the Domestic Violence Unit. Since being with the Domestic Violence Unit, he has helped streamline the 24-hour services, increased interaction with domestic violence community partners, and worked with legislators to draft and adopt laws, in regards to multiple criminal justice related matters. Justin has completed the State of Delaware’s Leadership Development Program, the DOC Leadership Program, the Delaware State Police’s Leadership Program, and the FBI-LEEDA Trilogy training.

Jenna Milecki, Esq. is a Deputy Attorney General at the Delaware Department of Justice and is the current Unit Head of the Domestic Violence Unit.  She has been a prosecutor working in New Castle County, Delaware since graduating from Widener Law School in 2012.  During her time at the DOJ, she has tried cases in various units within the office, ranging from misdemeanor offenses to sexual assault and homicide cases.  In her current position, she handles domestic violence felony cases, as well as the supervision of domestic violence prosecutors who handle intimate partner and familial violence cases and child abuse cases in Superior Court, Family Court, and the Court of Common Pleas.  She also addresses issues in domestic violence investigations and prosecutions throughout the State.  In her time in the Special Victims Unit and in her current position in the Domestic Violence Unit, she has focused her career on the protection of vulnerable victims, including women and children.  She hopes to continue to support victims in the cases she prosecutes and to improve the criminal justice process for those affected by crime.

Shyanne Miller is Black American woman, born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. Shyanne Miller earned her bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Delaware, and her Masters in Sustainable Development from SIT Graduate Institute. She specializes in policy advocacy and community organizing. Currently, she is the Progressive Governance Director for Delaware Working Families Party. She also served as Campaign Manager for the Building People Power Campaign at the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League. She is a volunteer with Network Delaware. She focuses on fighting racism through reforming the criminal justice system and promoting democratic, economic justice. Shyanne’s passion is to support anti-racist efforts by building the ability of all community members—regardless of race, gender, age, ability, or experience-- to participate in the political process in order to promote social justice.

Philinda Mindler is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is the Program Manager for the School-Based Therapeutic Program (SBTP) and Adolescent Resource Center (ARC) at Children & Families First (CFF) and leads both teams in providing services school based services state-wide in Delaware. She has 20 years of experience in providing reproductive health counseling and education to adolescents. Philinda currently provides trauma-focused therapy and is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). She is a trainer at the Brain Science Training Institute at CFF.

Francisca Moreno (they/them) is a queer, Latine trainer and political activist currently residing in Wilmington, DE. Presently, they are the trainer and educator at the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council in Delaware. They graduated in 2022 with a B.A. in Criminal Justice and Women and Gender Studies with a concentration in Domestic Violence Prevention and Services from the University of Delaware. They train on the dynamics of domestic violence with an emphasis on intersectionality, acknowledging how peoples identities impact the way they experience domestic violence. In their free time, Francisca enjoys watching reality television, reading sapphic books, and making people laugh.

Joe Myers (he/him) is the Prevention Director at the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence. After studying Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, he worked for a local comprehensive crime victims’ and rape crisis center in Chester County, PA, for nine and a half years. Joe started his career at the center as a Prevention Educator and left as the Director, working to grow partnerships with the organization infuse primary prevention strategies into all of their education efforts. Joe started at DCADV in June of 2023 and is contributing to the DELTA AHEAD Project for the state of Delaware.

Cindene Pezzell, Esq. is the Director of the National Defense Center for Criminalized Survivors at BWJP (formerly known as the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women). Cindene oversees the Defense Center, where she and her colleagues provide specialized technical assistance to defense teams, including attorneys, expert witnesses, advocates, and criminalized survivors. Cindene is an experienced trainer who designs and conducts programs around the country on topics related to advocating for and defending charged and incarcerated victims of intimate partner violence. Cindene also develops legal materials and resources related to defense-based advocacy, and consults on policy and legislation impacting criminalized survivors.  Cindene is a former assistant public defender with the Defender Association of Philadelphia, where she focused primarily on trial work.  During her final year as a public defender, Cindene practiced exclusively in family court, providing criminal defense to people accused of crimes related to alleged violations of civil protection orders.

Stephanie Rodriguez, LCSW, DVS serves as the Program Director for Turning Point at People’s Place. Stephanie began her victim advocacy journey in 2011 advocating for victims of sexual violence.  Over the past 10+ years, she has held worked in a variety of roles in the field including shelter/advocacy services, Domestic Violence Therapist, and DELTA Prevention Program Supervisor. In June 2020- the height of the pandemic-  Stephanie became the Program Director for Turning Point. During her tenure as Program Director, Stephanie has been dedicated to seeing treatment and advocacy in the domestic violence field grow, with the ultimate goal of keeping survivors and their children safe, and preventing violence before it begins. Stephanie has launched a Level V treatment program that is being implemented in Sussex Correctional Institution- the first of its kind. Moreover, Stephanie has created partnerships with Bayhealth to allow medical residents who are in their Community Health Organization rotations to complete hours of training and observation within Turning Point and its various service programs. Stephanie has also been instrumental in advocating for specialized domestic violence community health advocate services to be brought to Kent and Sussex Counties in Delaware. Stephanie was presented with the “Vision of Peace” award by the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence in 2022.   Stephanie is an active adjunct professor for several local colleges and universities and teaches courses related to psychology and trauma.  Stephanie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and maintains certifications as a Domestic Violence Specialist in both Prevention and Direct Service/Systems Advocacy. She earned her Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Delaware State University and also has dual associate degrees in Human Services and Drug and Alcohol Counseling.  Stephanie is currently working on her Doctorate in Social Work at Delaware State University.

Lea Sevey (she/her) is a certified dream analyst and has been studying dreams for over 30 years. She has taught classes in community colleges in Oregon and at conferences across the country. Lea has been in the S/DV services field for over 20 years and holds a Master of Science degree in human services and a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice. Lea is the Operations Specialist at the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, prior to that she was an executive director of a S/DV program for 17 years. In her free time, Lea enjoys writing (she’s written three novels) and spending time with her husband and Golden Retriever.

Tony Sierzega is a staff attorney with Community Legal Aid Society’s (CLASI) housing unit. He joined CLASI upon graduation from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law in 2018, and now provides free legal representation for low-income tenants in eviction matters and litigates housing discrimination complaints. As part of his eviction and fair housing practice, Tony frequently represents survivors of domestic violence. He is the proud father of a cat, P.G.(Purrlysses S. Grant). P.G. may not have saved the union like his namesake, but did save Tony’s sanity during 2020’s worst lockdown moments.

Chad Sniffen (he/him) has worked or volunteered in the movements against domestic and sexual violence as a prevention educator, survivor advocate, researcher, women’s self-defense instructor, and board member since 1999. He has worked for community domestic violence and rape crisis programs in California and Arizona; for campus programs at the University of Arizona and the University of California, Davis; and for state and national programs in California, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.  Chad is currently a Senior Technology Safety Specialist for the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s (NNEDV) Safety Net project. Safety Net focuses on the intersection of technology and gender-based violence and works to address the impact of technology on the safety, privacy, accessibility, and civil rights of survivors. He earned a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Arizona in 2007.

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 nationally as, a Northwest regional field organizer for the National Organization for Women, and currently serves on the National Network to End Domestic Violence Board of Directors, and National Women of Color Network Public Policy Committee.

Amber Twyne is a Certified Doula and Childbirth Educator, enrolled in Midwives College of Utah pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Midwifery and working as a Program Coordinator under Black Mothers in Power, for a doula cohort with lived-experience with domestic violence. Her own past of intimate partner violence, obstetrical trauma and infant loss was the catalyst for beginning birth work professionally and supporting single mothers, Black families, teen parents, and domestic violence survivors. Her long-term goal is to be a homebirth midwife in the state of Delaware and support efforts to make home births reimbursable through insurance, including Medicaid, to give low-income families options and access.

Ellie Williams is the Director of the Justice for Incarcerated Survivors Program at the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She provides post-conviction legal representation to survivors of domestic violence whose conviction is tied to abuse. Before attending law school, Ellie worked extensively with survivors of domestic and sexual violence in shelter, court, advocacy center, and hospital contexts. She speaks fluent Spanish and has also worked extensively with immigrant survivors. Ellie has represented survivors in both family and criminal law contexts, and she is a contributor to recent versions of the Georgia Domestic Violence Benchbook. She has done research for the National Family Violence Law Center, and last year, she published an article in the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law focused on the criminalization of survival and international human rights law.

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