• Assistant United States Attorney
Aaron Mango has been an Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of New York since November 2007, and handles a wide variety of cases, including a significant number of child exploitation offenses. Aaron is the environmental crimes point of contact within his district. In October of 2008, Aaron was given the Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions by a New Employee, and in June of 2014, Aaron and others on the trial team were awarded a Gold Medal from the EPA for their prosecution of the Tonawanda Coke Corporation.
Ashley Rhodes-Courter, MSW
• New York Times Bestselling Author
Ashley Rhodes-Courter is the quintessential American success story. Born to a single teen mother, by the age of 3 Ashley was in Florida’s foster care system where she spent almost ten years being shuttled between 14 homes—some quite abusive—before being adopted from a Children’s Home at the age of twelve. Despite her ordeal, she excelled in school because she believed that, “my education was the one thing nobody could take from me.” Early in her life she felt compelled to advocate for herself and the other children she lived with, particularly in the abusive foster homes. >>
Dr. Celeste Wilson
• Medical Director, Child Protection Program
Dr. Celeste Wilson is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University-College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and an Associate in Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital where she is Medical Director of the Child Protection Program. Board-certified in both Pediatrics and Child Abuse Pediatrics, Dr. Wilson provides medical consultation services to all divisions of the hospital when a child is suspected of having been abused or neglected. She has testified in numerous court proceedings and has served as consultant and expert witness for both Prosecution and Defense teams.
• Director, Digital Evidence Laboratory
Christopher Kelly is the Director of the Digital Evidence Laboratory for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office where he leads a team of analysts conducting digital forensic examinations of technical evidence in the course of criminal investigations. He previously served as Managing Attorney of the Cyber Crime Division there where he prosecuted cyber offenses. >>
Cory Jewell Jensen, MS
• Senior Trainer, CBI Consulting
Cory Jewell Jensen is currently the senior trainer for CBI Consulting and spent the last 35 years providing evaluation and treatment services to adult sex offenders and their families in Portland, Oregon. In addition to her clinical work, Ms. Jensen has provided training and consultation services to The National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse, The National Child Advocacy Center, The National Children’s Alliance, The United States Navy, The National Crime Victims Association, The National Boy Scouts Foundation, The Mark McGwire Foundation for Children, US Marshall’s Office, NYPD Special Victims Unit and a number of law enforcement, child advocacy and Faith based organizations. >>
Diana Tikasz, MSW, RSW
• Trauma-focused therapy specialist
Diana Tikasz has worked in the teaching and health care sector for the past 29 years. Her helping work began as an early childhood educator, nurturing children and their families to reach their fullest potential. This work developed into a desire to do trauma-focused work. Over the course of her career she has worked in emergency department crisis teams, coordinated hospital based sexual assault/domestic violence treatment programs, which involved assisting individuals experiencing a current crisis, counselling those who have been traumatized by violence, and teaching a variety of other professionals how to do this work effectively while staying healthy themselves. >>
Frank E. Vandervort
• Clinical Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
Frank E. Vandervort is a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, where he teaches in the Child Advocacy Law Clinic and co-founded the Juvenile Justice Clinic. Professor Vandervort is a former President of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and currently serves as Chair of APSAC’s Amicus Committee. He is a former Chair of the State Bar of Michigan’s Children’s Law Section. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters regarding children and the law, and is a co-author of the book Seeking Justice in Child Sexual Abuse: Shifting Burdens and Sharing Responsibilities.
Dr. Gail Dines
• CEO of Culture Reframed, and Professor Emerita of Sociology and Women’s Studies
Dr. Gail Dines is a Professor Emerita of sociology and women’s Studies at Wheelock College in Boston, where she was also chair of the American Studies department. She has been researching and writing about the porn industry and sexual violence for well over twenty-five years. Dr. Dines is a recipient of the Myers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America and author of numerous books and articles. Her latest book, Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality, has been translated into five languages. >>
• Victim Assistance Specialist, Jacob Wetterling Resource Center
Jane Straub is the Victim Assistance Specialist for the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center (JWRC), a program of Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center. Jane has been working in the violence prevention and intervention field for almost 20 years. She has had the opportunity to work with adult victims of abuse, offenders and children of all ages. In addition to providing advocacy and support to victims and families, Jane has been able to educate the community on topics such as domestic abuse, sexual violence, stalking, trafficking, bullying/cyberbullying, reproductive coercion and impact of trauma (Ace Study). One of Jane’s goals is to work with a variety of fields such as law enforcement, chemical health, mental health, education, the medical community and business to connect the dots of risk and provide services and hope for our children and families.
Janelle Stanley, LMSW
• School social worker, East Harlem
Janelle Stanley works as a school social worker in a public transfer school in East Harlem running an Alternatives to Suspension program she created to lower out-of-school suspension rates. Prior to her career in the NYC Department of Education, Janelle worked for a decade in technologies and business change management. She presents at conferences nationally and internationally on the school-to-prison pipeline, conflict de-escalation, religion and spirituality in social work practice, and anger and trauma-informed services. Janelle is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, where she teaches graduate level social work classes, as well as supervising social work interns in their field placement. Janelle also holds a second degree black belt in Goju-Ryu Karate, and runs a karate dojo in the Village which offers free self-defense workshops for women, LGBTQ folk, and others who are particularly impacted by violence.
Special Agent Jennifer Amo
• Special Agent, FBI
Jennifer Amo is a Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Buffalo Division. SA Amo began her career with the FBI in January of 1999. Prior to being assigned to the Buffalo Division, SA Amo worked in the Los Angeles Division where she investigated Eurasian Organized Crime from 1999-2005. SA Amo began working Civil Rights and Human Trafficking matters after transferring to the Buffalo Division in 2005 and has conducted several human trafficking investigations of both minors and adults. SA Amo has also investigated multiple violent crimes against children’s cases. SA Amo has been a member of the Western District of New York Human Trafficking Task Force and Alliance since it began in 2006.
Detective Sergeant Kevin Czora
• Detective Sergeant, City of Batavia
Detective Sergeant Kevin Czora has been a police officer for the City of Batavia Police Department since 1999, a detective since 2008, and detective sergeant since 2017. Since being promoted to detective, Kevin has worked all varieties of adult criminal investigations, including numerous involving child sex abuse. Recognitions received for investigations include the Community Advocate Award in 2012, 2001 American Police Hall of Fame Outstanding Commendation Award, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Award in 2013, City of Batavia Officer of the Year Award in 2014, and Kiwanis Officer of the Year Award 2015.
Dr. Kumara Sidhartha
• Medical Director, Emerald Physicians
Dr. Kumara Sidhartha completed medical school training at the Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College in Salem, India. After moving to the U.S., he completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center – affiliated with Cornell University, New York. He is a graduate of the Master of Public Health (MPH) in Nutrition program at the School of Public Health and Department of Nutrition at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (USA), Dr. Sidhartha also serves as the Medical Director for Emerald Physicians. He is certified in Plant-Based Nutrition by eCornell University and Colin Campbell Foundation in New York, and board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Laura Edwards-Leeper, PhD
• Associate Professor, School of Graduate Psychology
Laura Edwards-Leeper is an associate professor in the School of Graduate Psychology at Pacific University in Oregon and actively engages in clinical work in her part-time private practice and with Legacy Hospital’s T-Clinic. Previously, she worked at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She was the founding psychologist for the Gender Management Service (GeMS) at Boston Children’s Hospital where she developed the psychological testing protocol for transgender adolescents seeking medical interventions. >>
Detective Michael Hockwater
• Detective, Cheektowaga, NY
Michael Hockwater has been a police officer for 29 years with the Cheektowaga, NY Police Department and has served in several roles including patrol officer, field training officer, SWAT officer and currently as a detective. In 2010, Detective Hockwater was deputized as a federal task force officer and assigned to the Buffalo FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, investigating internet crimes against Children. Detective Hockwater has spoken at numerous local and national conferences regarding the online exploitation of children.
Staci Whitney, LMSW
• Forensic Interviewer, Bivona Child Advocacy Center, and Director, Forensic Interviewing Training
Staci Whitney is a Forensic Interviewer at Bivona Child Advocacy Center in Rochester, NY and Director of Forensic Interviewing Training for Modell Consulting Group, LLC. Since 2012, Ms. Whitney has been responsible for developing Bivona’s Forensic Interviewing Program. During this time, Ms. Whitney has had extensive training and experience in the field of Forensic Interviewing including interviewing children and individuals with disabilities who are victims or witnesses of crime. >>
Steven L Procopio, MSW, ACSW, LICSW
• Trainer, Consultant, and Therapist
Steven L Procopio is a trainer/consultant/therapist with a specialty in the sexual victimization of boys, adolescent males and adult men. His current area of expertise is in the commercial sexual exploitation/human trafficking of males.
He founded the first free standing project for CSEC males in the United States 10 years ago. He holds trainer/consultant contracts with the DOJ/HHS related to trafficked males. Steven trains nationally/internationally on the issue of CSEC males and his private practice works with survivors of male sexual victimization.