Trudy Gregorie has 36 years of experience in victim services and criminal justice, at the local, state and national level. Since 2002, she serves as Senior Director with Justice Solutions, a national nonprofit providing training and technical assistance on justice and victim issues. She has been involved in the development of numerous national training programs, curricula, and resources on emerging victim issues, and serves as a consultant for numerous national agencies and organizations. She has provided training in over 47 states and done numerous national media interviews. She is the current President of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, and serves on the Project Team of NCPEA’s “Polyvictimization in Later Life” project sponsored by the Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice. Since 1996, she has served on the Editorial Board of the Sexual Assault Report. In 1999, Gregorie was awarded the National Crime Victim Services Award by President William Clinton. In 2012, she was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the National Association of Triads, Inc. (NATI).
Patricia Brownell, serves as Vice President of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. She is Associate Professor Emerita of Social Service at Fordham University and is Senior Scholar of the Ravazzin Center on Aging. She is Past President of the State Society on Aging of New York and has served as member and chair of the Social Policy Committee. She is also Past President of the National Association of Social Worker (NASW) - NYC Chapter, a NASW Pioneer and a fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. Brownell is a John A. Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar and author of an edited book on elder abuse with the late Dr. Joanna Mellor, also Past President of SSANY, a co-edited book on ageism in the work place with Dr. James Kelly, Past President of the National Association Of Social Workers and Menlo College, and numerous articles and book chapters on elder abuse and abuse of older women. A long-time member of the National Organization of Forensic Social Workers, she is a recent recipient of the Sol Gothard Lifetime Achievement Award. She represents the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW) and the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) at the United Nations, New York, and is an active member of the NGO Committee on Ageing Sub-Committee on Older Women and Elder Abuse, serving as its liaison to the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Most recently she served as consultant to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) for an Expert Group Meeting on Neglect, Abuse and Violence Against Older Women.
Dotty St. Amand has served as the Executive Director of the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center since 1997. She has 24 years experience working with individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other aging issues. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Hope College in Holland, Michigan and her Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in policy, planning, and administration from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ms. St. Amand is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator in Florida and Michigan and a member of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. She writes a weekly aging column for the Fort Myers News Press. In 2010, she was instrumental in forming an elder abuse coalition in Lee County called Lee Elder Abuse Prevention Partnership (LEAPP). She co-chairs LEAPP and oversees administrative tasks for the coalition which is funded through grants and donations to the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Cente. In her position of Executive Director of the Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center, Ms. St. Amand has provided Alzheimer’s and elder care training to both family and professional caregivers as well as other professionals groups such as health care providers, certified public accountants, certified financial planners, attorneys, trust officers, clergy, law enforcement, and emergency workers.
PhD, ACSW, LISW
Georgia J. Anetzberger, is Assistant Professor for Health Care Administration at Cleveland State University, a consultant in private practice, and a Fellow in the Gerontological Society of America. She has spent over thirty years addressing the problem of elder abuse, initially as an adult protective services worker and most recently as a researcher, administrator, and educator concerned with the dynamics and consequences of elder abuse situations. Her past employment includes: Vice President for Community Services with the Benjamin Rose Institute, Director of the Western Reserve Geriatric Education Center, Executive Director of the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging, and Senior Planning Associate for the Federation for Community Planning, all located in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Anetzberger is the 2005 recipient of the Rosalie Wolf Memorial Elder Abuse Prevention Award—National Category. This award is given annually to an individual or organization that has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to Dr. Wolf’s ideals by promoting awareness to elder abuse through research, education, policy, or practice. Dr. Anetzberger has authored more than thirty-five publications on elder abuse or related interventions. They include The Etiology of Elder Abuse by Adult Offspring and The Clinical Management of Elder Abuse as well as articles appearing in such journals as The Gerontologist, Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, Violence Against Women, Generations, and Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology. She is the new Editor for the Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, beginning with volume 19. Dr. Anetzberger was the architect of Ohio’s protective services law for adults and various subsequent amendments. She established the Ohio Coalition for Adult Protective Services and Consortium Against Adult Abuse (both Affiliates of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, in which she serves as Vice President) as well as the Greater Cleveland Elder Abuse/Domestic Violence Roundtable. She served as principal investigator for the project “A Model Intervention for Elder Abuse and Dementia,” which won the American Society on Aging 2000 Best Practice in Human Resources and Aging Award. Dr. Anetzberger has presented on the topic of elder abuse or adult protective services for various local or national groups, including the American Society on Aging, Gerontological Society of America, American Counseling Association, and National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
Denise Armstrong joined Big Sky Senior Services as the Executive Director October 2009. Previously she worked in the marketing field for banks and credit unions. Denise also served on the Senior Helping Hands Board of Directors for 15 years and the Prevention of Elder Abuse Board for 10 years. She graduated from Montana State University – Billings in 1996 with a BS in Business Administration.
Susan Joy Aziz, a gerontologist, has served in the fields of aging and elder rights for 25 years as an educator, advocate, senior manager, and consultant. Formerly the Vice President, Advocacy & Education Programs at WISE Senior Services in California, Susan had oversight responsibility for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman and Elder Abuse Prevention programs for Los Angeles County. She is recognized for her leadership in developing and initially coordinating the award-winning model Los Angeles County Financial Abuse Specialist Team (FAST). She has published on financial abuse and on neglect and abuse associated with malnutrition in long-term care. Susan has served as Special Advisor for the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) and as Assistant Editor of Global Ageing, the IFA’s official journal, and was Guest Editor of the special issue on Preventing Elder Abuse and Neglect. She serves on the Editorial Boards of Global Ageing and the Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect and on the Board of Directors of NCPEA and of the National Telemarketing Victim Call Center (Secretary). Susan is a past Chair of the Advisory Council, Your Aging & Disability Resource Center, the local Area Agency on Aging of Palm Beach & Treasure Coast, Florida. She was a founding Board member of the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) and served as the North American Regional Representative. Susan was an NGO Observer, as a representative of INPEA, at the 2002 United Nations Second World Assembly on Ageing in Madrid, Spain. She was a delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging. Susan speaks at conferences nationally and internationally.
Bob Blancato is President of Matz, Blancato, & Associates. Bob is the National Coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition, a non-partisan, 680 member organization. From 2000-2006, Bob served as President of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. He currently serves as the Executive Director of NANASP, the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs. Bob is a former House of Representatives staff member and spent 17 years on the House Select Committee on Aging. He also served as Executive Director of the 1995 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) appointed by President Clinton. He was on the Policy Committee for the 2005 WHCOA appointed by Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Bob most recently became Chairman of the Commonwealth Council on Aging in Virginia. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University and a Masters of Public Administration from American University.
Bennett Blum, is an internationally acclaimed physician specializing in both forensic psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry. An expert on the evaluation of undue influence and associated manipulation tactics, Dr. Blum has consulted on hundreds of legal cases throughout the United States and internationally - including the precedent-setting United Nations trial of General Pavle Strugar. This was the first full competency hearing at an International War Crimes Tribunal since Nuremberg. Dr. Blum has worked with major US Government agencies, law enforcement, and research institutes on the prevention, investigation, and litigation of issues related to undue influence and coercion. In 1999, he was the only mental health expert asked to testify at the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation's hearing on Fraud: Targeting America's Seniors. From 2002-2004, Dr. Blum was a technical advisor to the Research Triangle Institute for its national study on elder financial exploitation. This study was the basis for the Administration on Aging’s “Financial Exploitation of Older Persons Report.” In 2005, Dr. Blum participated in an invitation-only policy development conference for the White House Conference on Aging. In 2009, the U.S. State Department sponsored a lecture by Dr. Blum at the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the forensic psychiatry analysis of undue influence claims in war crimes trials.
Regional Director, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services/APS
James Booker leads and directs APS operations in Houston, Texas. He is a frequent speaker and provides training and elder mistreatment education to students, service providers and medical professionals. James' research interests are examining and developing undergraduate social work programs in Texas to include elder mistreatment curricula. He holds a BA in Ethnic Studies, MA in Sociology, and PhD in Educational Leadership.
Assistant Professor, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, UT Health Medical School, Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine
Co-Director of the Texas Elder Abuse and Mistreatment Institute (TEAM) and Director of the TEAM's Clinical and Behavioral Research program
Jason Burnettt is an assistant professor in the Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine at UTHealth, Medical School in Houston Texas. He earned his doctorate in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences from the UTHealth, School of Public Health in Houston. Since 2005 Dr. Burnett has been studying the phenomenon of self-neglect and abuse in elderly populations. He currently serves as the co-Director of the Texas Elder Abuse and Mistreatment (TEAM) Institute in Houston and the Director of the TEAM Institutes Clinical and Behavioral Research Program. Dr. Burnett has close to 30 publications in the field of elder abuse and self-neglect, is currently the Co-Investigator on multiple federally funded elder abuse and self-neglect grants, has given numerous lectures at the national level and is a member of the National Institute of Justice’s standing scientific review panel.
Director, Office of Adult Abuse Prevention & Investigations
Oregon Department of Human Services
Marie Cervantes is the Director of the Office of Adult Abuse Prevention & Investigations for the Oregon Department of Human Services. Her leadership of the office supports the DHS Directors’ overall strategic mission to transform agency operations and service delivery to achieve enterprise-level outcomes for those served by the Department and their communities. This approach – stating goals, measuring results, and reporting progress to the public – reflects the Department’s commitment to better outcomes for clients and communities. Because many clients have multiple needs, the department is integrating services, seeking to bring a broad range of supports within easy reach of each client or family. This approach, recognized as pioneering in the nation, requires close collaboration among staff within the department and with local governments, service providers and other partners. Ms. Cervantes has more than 20 years of education and experience in the area of safety and protection of vulnerable adults. She began her career with the DHS in 1994 in the North Bend, Oregon field office and continues to be a passionate champion for vulnerable populations. She has a Bachelor of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice and certificates in Advanced Crime Analysis and American Justice from Portland State University (PSU); an Associates of Applied Science in Social Work from Southwestern Oregon Community College; and is a member of The National Honor Society (PSU Chapter), the Portland State University Criminal Justice Honor Society and the National Adult Protective Services Association. She lives in Silverton, Oregon with her husband Craig, cat “Loca” and has a son Kyle who lives nearby. She is honored to be able to continue to work in service to others.
Mary Lynn Kasunic, President & CEO and Executive Director of the Area Agency on Aging, Region One since 1990, is nationally recognized for her leadership in developing innovative programs to address unmet needs and raise awareness. She guided the Agency in establishing the DOVES® program, recognized at local, state and national levels for its innovative approach to serving victims of late-life domestic violence and elder abuse. In 1993, Ms. Kasunic co-founded and co-chairs the Maricopa Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance. She has served on the NCPEA Board of Directors for more than 10 years. As part of a multi-year AoA project with NCPEA, Ms. Kasunic has trained community organizations to develop effective local elder abuse prevention coalitions, resulting in the creation of 52 new coalitions across the country. Ms. Kasunic serves on the Arizona Governor’s Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women and Children. She is a graduate of the n4a Leadership Institute, is a recipient of a Piper Fellowship for exemplary nonprofit leadership, and has received an Excellence in Leadership award from n4a.
PhD, MSN, RN, CS, FNP-BC, CNE
Diana Meeks, Dr. Diana Meeks has more than 30 years of experience in nursing instruction, management and geriatric and medical surgical nursing. Dr. Meeks is an accomplished speaker, author, editor and reviewer of grants, professional articles and textbooks. She currently serves as a board member for the National Committee of Prevention of Elder Abuse, an education committee member with the Georgia Nurses’ Association, a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, and volunteers for several professional organizations.
Bettye Mitchell is an internationally recognized leader in the field of social services for the elderly and adults with disabilities, and leadership development/ management. She has proven expertise in designing and managing large, complex programs. She is a dynamic, results-oriented executive who can coordinate efforts of consumers, advocacy groups, service providers, and state and federal agencies to improve the lives of vulnerable persons. Ms. Mitchell has extensive knowledge of state and federal regulations regarding the delivery and regulation of Long term care services and adult protective services. Ms. Mitchell currently serves as CEO of Life Span Consulting Group a company which provides training in the field of leadership development, management, aging and disability, community and long term care, and cultural diversity. Ms. Mitchell is a trained mediator. Ms. Mitchell’s career started in 1978 as a social worker in Community Care programs for elders and persons with disabilities. She has over 20 year in management and leadership development. She was responsible for designing and developing the State of Texas first centralized Adult Protective Services training program. Ms. Mitchell is the served as Director of Adult Protective Services, and Deputy Commission for Long Term Care Services for the Texas Department of Human Services. Ms. Mitchell retired from the state of Texas after 27 years of services. Ms. Mitchell is an experienced administrator. Ms. Mitchell was instrumental in helping to develop the Cultural Diversity Program within the former Texas Department of Protective Services Agency. As Director of Adult Protective Services, Ms. Mitchell and staff developed cultural competencies within APS to improve understanding and service delivery systems within the programs. Ms. Mitchell helped coordinate one of the country's first symposiums on Understanding and Combating Elder Abuse in Minority Communities on the "Queen Mary" in Long Beach, California and co-authored four chapters in Understanding and Combating Elder Abuse in Minority Communities. The book and symposium were published by the Archstone Foundation.
Lisa Nerenberg chairs the California Elder Justice Workgroup, which was formed in 2009 by participants in the Archstone Foundation’s Elder Abuse and Neglect Initiative to develop a blueprint for improving California’s response to elder abuse. She is an instructor at City College of San Francisco and consultant to local, state and national organizations. Her clients have included the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, the National Indian Council on Aging, the San Francisco Superior Court, the National Adult Protective Services Association, the Police Executive Research Forum, and the California Medical Training Center. She was the founding director of the San Francisco Consortium for Elder Abuse Prevention, which piloted the nation’s first elder abuse multidisciplinary team and other widely-replicated services, including a support group and shelter for elderly victims. She has presented at hundreds of professional forums, testified before Congressional committees, served on governmental advisory committees, and written extensively about elder abuse and related issues. Her book, Elder Abuse Prevention: Emerging Trends and Promising Strategies (Springer, 2008) describes what agencies, communities, tribes, states, and national organizations can do to prevent abuse, treat its effects, and ensure justice.
Ken Onaitis, recently retired as Director of Elder Abuse and Police Relations at the Carter Burden Center for the Aging in New York City. In his thirteen years as Director of Elder Abuse and Police Relations he and his staff provided direct services to elder abuse victims and their families….many of whom lived throughout the United States. Mr. Onaitis was the first Co-Chair of the New York City Elder Abuse Network, a coalition which NCPEA helped start. During his professional career he also held leadership positions with the New York State Adult Abuse Training Institute, New York State Elder Abuse Coalition, New York State Children and Family Trust Fund, New York City Elder Abuse Center, East Side Council on the Aging, and the Gerontological Committee of the New York City Chapter of National Association of Social Workers.
Albert L. Reed, is a Special Assistant and Project Manager for the Elder Abuse Division of the Economic Crimes Unit at the State’s Attorney’s Office in Prince Georges County, Maryland. He screens complaints of elder abuse from the community, law enforcement
agencies, senior citizens service providers, and victim advocates. Albert has worked with the senior population in Prince George’s County for 10 years primarily through S.A.L.T. / Triad or Seniors and Law Enforcement Together, by training senior citizens how to protect themselves from being victimized through financial exploitation. Albert has established the state’s only Elder Abuse Task Force with the assistance of federal, state, and local partners such as Area Agency on Aging, Office of the Sherriff, Prince Georges County Police, Department of Social Services, Adult Protective Service, Attorney General’s Office, Department of Health & Human Services, HUD, and senior service providers and senior advocates. The purpose of the task force is to combine resources to prevent, investigate, and prosecute the increase of complaints of acts of crime against the elderly population in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Albert has been trained by and been certified by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, The Maryland Community Crime Prevention Institute, and the Office of the Attorney General, to train law enforcement and victims’ advocates on elder abuse detection and prevention.
Joseph Rodrigues, Governor Gray Davis appointed Joseph Rodrigues to the position of California State Long-Term Care Ombudsman in August 2002. As the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Mr. Rodrigues oversees 35 local Ombudsman programs, with approximately 1,000 certified Ombudsmen who have a regular presence in approximately 1,300 skilled nursing facilities and almost 7,600 residential care facilities for the elderly. Prior to his appointment as State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, Mr. Rodrigues was the Assistant Director of the Alameda County Area Agency on Aging, where he was responsible for planning, developing, and coordinating social services for elders in his community. Before working for the County of Alameda, Rodrigues was the Executive Director of St. Peter’s Community Adult Day Care Center in San Leandro; the first licensed Adult Day Support Center in the county. Rodrigues has been a lecturer in gerontology at the California State University, Hayward and is on the faculty of Gerontology Program of the California State University, Sacramento. Mr. Rodrigues is the Past President of the National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs and currently serves as the chair of their Federal Policy Committee. He is on the Board of Directors of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, the California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics, and the California Culture Change Coalition. He is a member of the American Society on Aging and Sigma Phi Omega, the national academic honor and professional society in gerontology.
Rodrigues earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from St. Patrick’s College in Mountain View, California and a Master of Divinity degree from their graduate school in Menlo Park, California. He also holds a Lifetime Instructor Credential from the California Community College system.
Winsor C. Schmidt, is the Endowed Chair/Distinguished Scholar in Urban Health Policy, University of Louisville School of Medicine. Professor Schmidt’s publications include the books, Public Guardianship and the Elderly (Ballinger Publishing Company) and Guardianship: Court of Last Resort for the Elderly and Disabled (Carolina Academic Press), as well as over 50 book chapters and articles on health and mental health law and policy issues. His work informs health, social service, and legal professionals, as well as judges and legislators, about the findings, analyses, conclusions, and implications from over 25 years of national and state research on guardianship and protective services for the elderly and disabled. Professor Schmidt’s teaching experience includes graduate courses on health law and policy, mental health law, aging policy and law, women’s health law and policy, children’s health law and policy, social science in law, and international health law and bioethics.
Joy Solomon, Esq., is co-founder, Director and Managing Attorney of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Research at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale, New York. She was previously Director of Elder Abuse Services at the Pace Women’s Justice Center and prior to that served for 8 years as an Assistant District Attorney in New York County, investigating and prosecuting cases involving elder abuse, child abuse and fraud.
Karen Stein, Dr. Karen F. Stein, is currently Editor in Chief of the Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect and associate professor at the University of Delaware. Her expertise includes elder abuse, organizational administration, assessment, and public policy; additionally, she has over 25 years experience as an Administration on Aging grantee. From 1986-1988, she was co-investigator of a Title IV demonstration project that developed educational materials, training manuals and videotapes concerning elder abuse identification and prevention for social workers, law enforcement, health professionals, and caregivers. From1988 to 2011, she was the Principal Investigator of the University of Delaware's component of the National Center on Elder Abuse. She has published more than 20 articles, book chapters and monographs primarily in the area of gerontology, presented papers at more than 30 national and international conferences and professional meetings and has served on a number of national advisory boards of organizations conducting elder abuse projects.
THOMAS A. SWIFT is the judge of the Trumbull County Probate Court. He formerly served as partner in the law firm of Turner & Swift in Warren, Ohio. He is immediate past chair of the Ohio Judicial Conference, past president of the Ohio Association of Probate Judges, a board member of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, serves on the Board of Governors of the American Judges Association and chairs their Elder Abuse and Probate Law Committees. In addition, he is a member of the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Advisory Committee on Children, Families, and the Courts and the Adult Guardianship Committee. He serves as a member of the Ohio Attorney General’s Elder Abuse Commission, Ohio Elder Abuse Task Force Steering Committee, and the Ohio Coalition of Adult Protective Services Steering Committee. He also is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Trumbull County Bar Association, American Bar Association, Florida Bar Association, and American Judges Association. Judge Swift received his B.A. from Kent State University and his J.D. from University of Akron, School of Law.
Paula McClain Mixson has over 30 years experience in public and private programs serving the elderly and people with disabilities. After retiring in 2003 from her position as a Division Administrator with the Texas Adult Protective Services (APS) program in Austin Texas, she continued her involvement in the field through independent consulting, training, writing, private care management, and volunteer work with local and national organizations. Ms. Mixson is a founding member of NCPEA and served more than a decade on its board, primarily as Clerk and as co-chair of the NAPSA/NCPEA Joint Research Committee. She was the recipient of NCPEA’s 2011-2012 Rosalie Wolf Award and resigned from the board in 2014 when she moved to Southern Oregon to (mostly) retire. Ms. Mixson has a B.A. in Drama from Sam Houston Teacher’s College in Huntsville Texas. She holds international certification as a V/F Validation® Presenter, Level Three, as well as Texas and national guardianship certifications. Her publications include articles in the Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, LifeTimes, and Victimization of the Elderly and Disabled, among others.