HUMAN TRAFFICKING TASK FORCE
Criminal Justice Sector
- Josh Campbell - MO State Parks
- Christopher Connally - Chief of Police for the City of St. Joseph
Christopher Connally has served as Chief of Police for the City of St. Joseph since January 2006. After being honorably discharged
from the United States Navy he began his police career in 1984 with the Norfolk Port and Industrial Authority Police, in 1986 he went to work for the City of Portsmouth, retiring as Assistant Chief from the Portsmouth, Virginia Police Department
in December 2005. Chief Connally is a graduate of the 185th session of the FBI National Academy, and the Professional Executive Leadership School at the University of Richmond. He currently serves on the Police Administration Committee for the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
addition to his official duties, Chief Connally is an adjunct faculty member with Missouri Western State University; he has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the United Way of Greater St. Joseph, the St. Joseph Youth Alliance, the
Safety Council, The Center, and currently serves on the board for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
- Jared Drummond – Probation and Parole
Jared Drummond is currently the District Administrator for District 6, Division of Probation and Parole. After serving as an Infantry Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps,
Jared enrolled in Central Missouri State University where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. He began his career with MO Probation and Parole in 2005 as a field Probation and Parole officer at District 26 in Fulton,
MO. In 2008, Jared transferred to the District 6 office in Columbia as a field Probation and Parole officer where he supervised both specialized and regular supervision caseloads. In 2011, Jared was promoted to Unit Supervisor and assisted in
developing the 13th Circuit’s Veteran’s Treatment Court, Absconder Specialist caseload, Electronic Monitoring Specialist caseload, served as a member of the MODOC Gang Task Force committee, and assisted in developing Columbia’s
AVERT program. Since being promoted to his current position, Jared has seen the expansion of District 6 to include Boone, Randolph, Howard counties, as well as Moberly Correctional Center. Most recently, he has partnered with the Columbia Violent
Crimes Task Force in an effort to address Columbia’s ongoing gun violence.
- Randee Kaiser - Jasper County Sheriff
Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser has worked in law enforcement for 25 years. He worked 17 years at the Carthage Police Department until he was
elected as the Jasper County Sheriff and took office in January of 2013. Sheriff Kaiser graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in journalism and later received a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration
through Southeast Missouri State University. Sheriff Kaiser has served in numerous roles throughout his career including narcotics investigation, detective and assistant chief of police. He has dedicated his life to law enforcement and is proud
to serve the citizens of Jasper County and the State of Missouri.
- Julie Kempker - Probation & Parole
Julie Kempker is currently the Missouri Director of the Division of Probation and Parole. She began her career within the Missouri Department of Corrections in 1988 and she has worked
in many capacities including Probation and Parole Officer, District Administrator, Deputy Interstate Compact Administrator, Assistant Division Director and in 2014 she was appointed to the position of the Director of Probation and Parole. Julie
has worked within Adult Institutions, field Probation and Parole, institutional Probation and Parole, Interstate Compact and Offender Rehabilitative Services. Prior to her work in Probation and Parole she served as the Department of Corrections
Reentry Manager where she spent eight years educating the department, communities across Missouri as well as other states within the US about the implementation of evidence based practices for successful offender reentry. Ms. Kempker received
her Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology at Southwest Missouri State University and Lincoln University.
- Shannon Lee - Department of Corrections
Shannon Lee, Intelligence Unit Manager - 25 years’ experience in Corrections. Intelligence Unit Manager in the MoDOC Security Intelligence Unit (SIU)
Positions held: Corrections Officer, Sergeant, UA Officer, Admin Sergeant, Gang Task Force Coordinator, Investigator, Investigation Manager
Shannon has held numerous positions including leadership role(s) during his tenure.
Trainer in hard skills components such as Defensive Tactics, Firearm(s), Monodock PR-24, movement/extraction team, Less-Lethal chemical agents, stun shield, and Response Team. Ten years as a team leader on the DOC emergency response team and the
Corrections Special Tactical Assault and Response team. Later moved over to investigations in DOC and worked in various levels of investigations both criminal and administrative. Currently is the Manager in the SIU and oversees the operations
of the Intelligence Unit, with the primary mission of the Intelligence Unit to collect, identify, enter and disseminate information involving individuals or groups of individuals both within and outside the department who pose a threat to the
safety of the public, staff, offenders and institutions. Investigators in the intelligence unit do this by listening to offender phone calls, review offender mail correspondence, and take in information via tips hotlines and anonymous sources,
as well as receipt of information from employees and civilians. During this time of working in the Intelligence Unit has developed methods and strategies for identifying key suspects of gangs involved in both administrative and criminal activities.
- John Loe - Springfield Police Department
- Captain Norman Murphy - Missouri State Highway Patrol
Kimberly Davis is Corporal with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Kimberly has worked for the Missouri State Highway Patrol for 23 years and is currently the Human Trafficking Coordinator for the Division of Drug and Crime Control. Kimberly is responsible for investigating human trafficking cases, overseeing human trafficking operations, and working with victims of human trafficking.
- Sgt. Andy Muscato - Columbia Police Department
Sergeant Andy Muscato is a detective supervisor in the Columbia Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division. He supervises CPD's
Special Victims Unit, whose detectives investigate crimes involving domestic violence, crimes against children, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Sergeant Muscato's current or prior specialties include being a field training officer
(FTO), crisis intervention team (CIT) instructor, patrol supervisor, drug recognition expert (DRE), criminal interdiction team officer, and domestic violence detective. He has developed numerous presentations on topics such as domestic violence
investigations, crisis intervention, interview and interrogation, and report preparation, and has traveled around the state of Missouri to present material to police officers, attorneys, and victim advocates. He is also a department instructor
in several areas and an adjunct instructor for the University of Missouri's Law Enforcement Training Institute.
- Sgt. Jason Strong - Joseph Police Department
Jason Strong has been a police officer for the St. Joseph Police Department for the past fifteen years and is currently assigned to the Detective
Division as a sergeant. Jason’s responsibilities include supervising the Family Crimes unit which is a dedicated to investigating crimes committed against children, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Additionally, Jason supervises
the Electronic Crime Unit which specializes in forensic analysis of electronic devices. Lastly, he is the coordinator for the St. Joseph Regional Child Abduction Response Team.
- Scott Titus - Homeland Security
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Acting Supervisory Special Agent Scott Titus currently oversees the HSI Global Trade Investigations group for HSI Kansas City. Mr. Titus started his federal law enforcement career with Homeland Security Investigations in December 2009 in the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) office in Chicago, IL. Mr. Titus was assigned to the Public Safety Group where he led a multi-agency investigation that resulted in the arrest of 48 administrative fugitives across the greater Chicago area. During his tenure in SAC Chicago, he fostered several relationships with state and local agencies to garner cooperation for a HSI-led gang surge that resulted in the apprehension of 22 violent criminal gang members. In 2016, Mr. Titus transferred to the HSI Kansas City office where he was assigned to a multi-programmatic group and capitalized on opportunities to investigate child exploitation, counter proliferation, intellectual property rights and human trafficking cases. Mr. Titus was the recipient of the ICE Director’s Humanitarian Award in 2015 for rescuing an individual who was drowning. Mr. Titus was also the recipient of the DHS Secretary’s Meritorious Silver Medal Service Award for his investigative efforts on the Software Slashers intellectual property rights investigation. Mr. Titus has served the HSI Kansas City office as Acting Group Supervisor on multiple occasions. Most recently, Mr. Titus was instrumental in establishing HSI Kansas City’s Heartland Anti-trafficking Rescue Taskforce (HART) and also serves as an active member and executive officer of the HSI Kansas City Rapid Response Team (RRT). Prior to his law enforcement career, Mr. Titus was an Infantry Sergeant with the U.S. Army from 2003-2007. Mr. Titus holds a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri.
- Ben Butler - Cass County Prosecutor
- Kaitlynn Donnelly - Platte County Prosecutor
- Jo Leigh Fischer - Johnson County Prosecutor
Jo Leigh Fischer is the Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Johnson County, Missouri. Her job includes prosecution of all crimes against
children, sexual offenses, child pornography, and major felonies. She is the chair of the Child Fatality Review Panel, Multi-Disciplinary Team, and member of the Illicit Massage Business Working Group. Jo Leigh currently trains law
enforcement from across the state on a variety of legal issues. She teaches Legal Issues for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Interdiction for the Protection of Children, and also developed curriculum for same. Jo Leigh is a member
of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys Special Victims Sub-Committee, where she has helped develop a variety of Best Practices. She received the Child Safe of Central Missouri Hero Award and the Missouri Association of Prosecuting
Attorneys President’s Award.
Previously, Jo Leigh was an Associate at Armstrong Teasdale LLP handling Fire, Explosion, and Electrocution litigation cases. While at Armstrong Teasdale, she was awarded the Up and Coming Lawyer
Award by Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly. Jo Leigh is one of a handful of attorney instructors in the nation, certified to teach the legal sections of Fire Investigation: Essentials and Fire Investigation: Case Preparation and Testimony at
the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD. She instrumental in revising the curriculum for those courses. Jo Leigh has previously been an instructor for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
to working at Armstrong Teasdale, Jo Leigh was an Assistant Prosecutor in Jackson County, where she tried a variety of cases to verdict. These cases ranged from driving while intoxicated related offenses, drugs, arsons, homicides, and crimes
against children. While at Jackson County, she taught for the Missouri Judicial College, Kansas City Police Department, and was a member of the faculty for the National District Attorney’s Association.
Jo Leigh earned her
Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri). She received the G.E.” Bill” Davila Award and the Who’s Who at Central. Jo Leigh earned her
Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, where she was President of the Emissaries.
- Scott Fox - Cole County Prosecutor
2019 – present - Cole County, First Assistant
2016 – 2018 – Audrain County, Assistant PA
2013 – 2016 – Missouri
Attorney General, Assistant AAG, Public Safety
2008 – 2013 – Cooper County, Assistant PA
- Catherine Vannier - Special Victims Resource Prosecutor for the Missouri Office of Prosecution Services
Catherine Vannier is the Special Victims Resource Prosecutor for the Missouri
Office of Prosecution Services (MOPS). Over more than 13 years, Catherine has developed and expanded the Program to assist and train thousands of justice professionals. Prior to coming to MOPS, Catherine had 11 years of experience prosecuting
criminal cases full time. During her tenure as a line prosecutor, she learned the importance of coordinating the community’s response to violence, sitting as a board member on the local family violence council, as well other police and community
task forces and committees.
Catherine serves as a member of the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Task Force, as well as the Supreme Court’s Commission on Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking, the Missouri Developmental
Disabilities Council Victimization Task Force and the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Advisory Group. Catherine co-chairs the Supreme Court’s Commission’s Risk Assessment Subgroup, as well as the Attorney General’s
Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Victim Notification Working Group. She also chaired the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Task Force’s Multi-Disciplinary Team Best Practices Working Group from 2013 to 2017. Catherine currently leads the Missouri
Elder Abuse & Financial Exploitation Response Coordination Team. Catherine has served on a number of other groups, including the Department of Public Safety’s Cyber Crimes Task Force Advisory Group, the State Child Fatality Review Panel,
the Sexual Assault Response Working Group, the Department of Public Safety’s STOP Implementation Group, the Missouri Victim’s Assistance Network’s Board of Directors and the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorney’s
Best Practices Initiative Special Victims’ Subcommittee, to name a few.
- Eric Zahnd - Platte County Prosecutor
- Sherrita Allen - The Covering House
Sherrita Allen MA, LPC is the Executive Director at The Covering House. She received her Master’s in Counseling from Webster University in St.
Louis, MO in 2015 and obtained her licensure in the state of Missouri in 2017. She has over 23 years of experience working in social services. She has a wealth of experience ranging from direct care in residential facilities, foster care
case management, and individual, group, and family therapy. She has trained and educated other professionals through professional development courses at Washington University, Webster University and other social service agencies. She serves as
a collaborative partner with the Missouri Coalition Against Trafficking and Exploitation (CATE). Sherrita provided consultation and training with Missouri Children’s Division in sex trafficking victim response training and in Missouri and
Illinois in needs assessment and strategic planning related to sex trafficking. Mrs. Allen’s work has an emphasis on treating traumatized children, adolescents and families who have been exposed to various types of trauma and sexual maladaptive
behaviors. She has been exclusively counseling survivors of sex trafficking since 2014.
- Paul L. Banda - Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
Paul L. Banda, M.A, is a Program Manager at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. He is responsible for HR
training, empowerment and outreach programs with the Department of Operations and Facilities Management with the School of Medicine. Between 2008 and 2017, Paul was a Communications Officer (CO) for Protective Services at WUSM, where he served
as the primary liaison between customers and Protective Services Response, Public Safety, and Supervisory personnel in both emergency and non-emergency situations. Before becoming a CO in 2008, Paul was a Public Safety Officer at WUSM.
Paul Banda received his Master’s in Human Resources Management from Washington University in St. Louis in 2017 and is currently working on his Doctoral of Liberal Arts dissertation at Washington University in St. Louis. Expected to graduate
in May 2021, his dissertation evaluates the Health Refugee Program and its data on African refugees who have resettled in the State of Missouri. The research focuses on the transculturation of African refugees, taking into account the impact of
the colonial background, especially linguistic abilities. Language is the key to integration in the labor market and, most importantly, accessing quality health care. Paul received his undergraduate degree in Global Leadership and Management from
Washington University in St. Louis in 2015.
Special appointments: Council Member – Washington University Equity and Inclusion Council: 2020 through 2025. Commission Member. The Supreme Court of Missouri Commission on combatting
Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence through June 30, 2023. Committee Member. Missouri Attorney General’s Task Force Committee on Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence.
- David Bennett - EPIKproject
David Bennett has been involved in the human trafficking awareness and demand out reach for the last 3 years in Kansas City. David is the city leader for
the EPIKproject.org that disrupts demand at the time of purchase. David Has been married for 17 years and has a 6 year old daughter. Davids home church, The Rock of KC raises funds for various organizations throughout the country to
help disrupt human trafficking. The Rock of KC has raised over 1 million dollars the last 10 years for this cause. runtostopit.com David found his calling 3 years ago when he was made aware more of human trafficking after watching Nefarious a film by Exodus Cry. Having a daughter and hearing his calling has only fueled his desire to disrupt human trafficking in
KC, in the USA, and across the world. His Heart is speaking with buyers and Men, trying to educate men about human trafficking and call men to be better men. David does this buy showing compassion, love, empathy, and meeting those
men in their darkness and hopes to bring them to light. David is very excited to be a part of this Team in MO.
- Deborah Bledsoe - Children’s Division
- Brandon Cox - Oasis Refuge
Brandon is the Executive Director of Oasis Refuge, a shelter for girls who are survivors of sex trafficking. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a missionary with the Assemblies of God. Brandon has previously served as Restoration
Director for F.R.E.E. International, Vice-Chair of the Stand Against Trafficking Coalition, and on the Missouri Human Trafficking Task Force.
- Jennifer Dochler - MO Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Jennifer Carter Dochler, MSW, has worked in the movement to end rape and abuse since 1997. Her experience in Texas and Missouri includes
advocating with victims of domestic and sexual violence; research; policy; community organizing and education; and program development. Jennifer joined the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence staff in 2003 as a Program Development
Specialist, later served as the Education & Outreach Coordinator and became the Public Policy Director in 2016. Jennifer is also adjunct faculty at the University of Missouri, School of Social Work.
- Lee Gibson - Relentless Pursuit
Mr. Gibson is the Vice President of Special Programs for Patriot Group International, a global mission support service provider with expeditionary capabilities,
providing services to select clients within the intelligence, defense, and private sectors. He provides program leadership and operational knowledge to plan, direct, and manage key program initiatives to meet customer and end-user requirements
for the U.S. Government. Mr. Gibson brings over 24 years of professional experience consisting of 12 years of direct management, 4 years as director/ program manager, and another 8 years leading and operating on special access programs supporting
the Intelligence Community and other U.S. Government objectives.
In 2019 Mr. Gibson founded and currently acts as the Executive Director of Relentless Pursuit Outreach & Recovery (RPOR). RPOR is a community-centered, faith-based
organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. As an organization, Relentless Pursuit strives to heal and restore survivors, bring justice to offenders, educate others on prevention and awareness, and be leaders in the community in order
to end the exploitation of human beings.
- Tara Goins - Children's Division
- Jennifer Green MSN-FN BSN BA RN SANE-A – Clinical Forensic Care Program Manager, St. Luke’s Health System
Jennifer Green has worked for Saint Luke’s Health System
since 2000 in the areas of Intensive Care, the Emergency Department, and Critical Care. She is currently the Clinical Forensic Care Program Manager for the Saint Luke’s Health System over 16 hospitals that range from level one trauma
center, to rural and community hospitals, and adult and pediatric acute psychiatric hospital. She been a SANE/Forensic Nurse for since 2008 and has provided thousands of Forensic Exams to patient’s that have experienced sexual
assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, strangulation, child abuse/neglect, elder abuse/neglect, and assault. She completed a Master’s of Science in Nursing with a Specialization in Forensic Nursing in 2019 and is currently pursuing
- Jennifer Hansen - Pediatric SANE Nurse for the Children’s Mercy Hospital
Dr. Jennifer Hansen is a Child Abuse Pediatrician and the Medical Director of the P-SANE (Pediatric Sexual Assault
Nurse Examiner) Program at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. She completed her Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship training at Children’s Mercy, and medical school and General Pediatrics Residency training at the University
of New Mexico Children’s Hospital. She is a member of multiple multidisciplinary teams in Kansas and Missouri, and serves on multiple local and state boards and workgroups addressing child abuse and commercial sexual exploitation
of children. She is interested in expanding general knowledge about child abuse identification and prevention.
- Roxie Lloyd - Executive Director Programs & Services for the Restoration House KC
Roxie Loyd serves as Executive Director of Programs and Services for Restoration House Greater
Kansas City. Prior to joining the staff in 2017, she worked as a case manager for both an anti-trafficking organization, and mental health services provider. As a survivor, her personal experiences with domestic violence and sexual exploitation
motivated her to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC). She uses her extensive knowledge, along with a trauma -informed, person-centered approach to provide tailored treatment plans that offer hope and healing to the precious women
who seek services from Restoration House.
- Cindy Malott - Crisis Aid International
Ms. Cindy Malott currently serves as the Director of Advocacy Services for Crisis Aid International. In this role she coordinates programic
development for CAI Refuge safe transitional living home for adolescent and adult survivors of sex trafficking. She also coordinates Crisis Aid’s law enforcement, medical and community crisis response to victims of sex trafficking,
exploitation and child sexual abuse. This response includes co-development in partnership with St. Louis County Police Special Investigations Unit of the Collaborative Advocacy Police Program (CAPP) focusing on prevention through intervention
support to children and teens identified through Internet crimes against children and CSE investigations and their families. From 2003 to September 2018 Ms. Malott served as the Crisis Intervention Supervisor for the YWCA St. Louis Regional Sexual
Assault Center. In this role she supervised the sexual assault and sex trafficking crisis intervention services to 17 hospital emergency departments in the St. Louis Metropolitan area as well as coordinating sexual assault victim advocacy to local
and federal law enforcement. She also supervised crisis intervention services to the YWCA’s IPV/SA drop in center. Ms. Malott also served as the coordinator of the St. Louis Regional Sexual Assault Task Force from 2012
to 2017 (the Regional SART) consisting of representatives from advocacy, law enforcement, medical professionals and other SART members. As part of her work with the Task Force Ms. Malott coordinated regional multi-disciplinary conferences
focusing on the provision of advanced technical training in responding to sexual assault victims and domestic sex trafficking.
- Christine McDonald - Christine’s Vision
Christine C. McDonald is an internationally recognized author, speaker and consultant known for her unique ability to construct conversations
and ignite change for under-served and marginalized populations. Christine experienced two decades of homelessness, addiction, human trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, 103 arrests and 7 prison stints. These life experiences have positioned
her to inform and improve individual and systemic responses to persons who have experienced homelessness, substance abuse, human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, imprisonment and other complex challenges.
has received numerous honors and awards including the 2009 Inspiring Change Honor, the 2010 Ex-Offender of the Year award from the Kansas City Crime Commission and The Second Chance Foundation, the 2014 Missouri Abolitionist of the Year award
and the 2015 Missouri Champion from the Missouri Mental Health Foundation for her work for those in recovery. Her award winning expertise has been sought after by numerous local and national media outlets. Christine has presented over 150 keynote speeches, facilitated 50 workshops, given 50 testimonies on legislative floors and shared more than 100 inspirational and faith presentations. Christine is also a member of the Missouri Attorney General’s
Human Trafficking Task Force, the Supreme Court Commission on Human Trafficking and is the Director the Director of Christine’s Place in partnership with Relentless Pursuit and the E3 Foundation.
- Heidi Olson - RN, MSN, CPN, SANE - Certified Pediatric Nurse, Certified Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and the SANE Program Manager for Children’s Mercy, Kansas City
Heidi has a
wide range of experience in pediatric and forensic nursing and has also taught as an adjunct clinical instructor for the University of Missouri at Kansas City and the University of St. Mary’s. Heidi’s current role includes performing
forensic exams on children who have been victims of sexual assault, running the day-to-day logistics of the SANE program, following up with victims and their families after discharge, communicating with law enforcement, child protective services,
and a large multidisciplinary team, as well as educating the healthcare staff on relevant topics regarding sexual violence. Heidi also serves an expert witness for the prosecution during trials for victims of sexual assault. In last two years,
Heidi has performed and reviewed over 1,200 pediatric sexual assault cases and has presented over 200 times around the United States about recognizing human trafficking, child-on-child sexual assault, pornography, and exploitation. Since 2019,
Heidi’s team has identified numerous trafficking victims through the use of an evidence-based screening tool in the Emergency Department. Heidi started and leads the human trafficking work group at Children’s Mercy, presents with the
Anti Internet Child Exploitation Team (a Canadian non-profit), and organized Empower KC, a community event to raise awareness about sexual exploitation in Kansas City.
- Maureen Reintes - Missouri Missing
- Katie Rhoades - Healing Action, Missouri Coalition Against Trafficking & Exploitation (MOCATE)
- Karolyn Schrage - RISE Coalition
Karolyn Schrage (RN, BSN) serves as the Victims’ Response Team Coordinator for the RISE Coalition (Regional Intervention for Sexual Exploitation
of SW Missouri). She is a member of the MO Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Task Force and a member of the CAHT (Prosecuting Attorney Office, Western District of Missouri).
At the request of law enforcement, their medical
mobile response team provides free on-site access-ready sexual healthcare for at-risk and sexually exploited individuals. Individuals from over 41 site locations have been recipients of services provided by the RISE Victims’ Services Response
Karolyn also serves as the Executive Director of the LifeChoices Health Network, Joplin, MO. Their multiple clinic locations and medical mobile unit offer sexual health medical services including testing and treatment for sexually
transmitted infections and limited OB care. For 20 years Karolyn served in healthcare in Kenya, Africa. While there, she was involved in founding rural primary healthcare clinics with an emphasis in women’s health.
- Russ Tuttle - President and Founder at The Stop Trafficking Project™
Russ uses his strengths of communication, leadership, team development, and compassion to combat the crisis
of domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST). Russ is an active member of several coalitions and task forces in Kansas and Missouri.
Russ is the director of BeAlert™, which is the prevention and awareness strategy of The Stop Trafficking
Project™. The primary method of implementation of BeAlert™ is through presentations designed to 1) educate and empower students and 2) guide adults from awareness to action. A commitment to collaborate with trusted people and organizations
has impacted the lives of over 100,000 people. The BeAlert™ strategy has proven impact in a variety of settings.
Russ grew up for much of his childhood and teenage years in India. This created within him the drive to serve those
who are unable to help themselves. Russ brings 30 years of passion and experience in the not-for-profit world to The Stop Trafficking Project™ team and is the primary communicator of the vision and mission.
- Kris Wade - Justice Project KC
Kris Wade is currently the executive director of the Justice Project KC, a nonprofit human rights organization in Kansas City, Missouri, providing advocacy, system
navigation, and survivor support for women in poverty suffering from a host of challenges, including homelessness, domestic violence, mental illness, addiction, prostitution, or other forms of sexual abuse, exploitation/ and human trafficking.
Kris is a member of the community advisory board of the Missouri Reentry Program of Missouri Probation and Parole, a member of the US Dept of Justice Coalition Against Human Trafficking, an Appointee to the Human Trafficking Task Force of the
Missouri Attorney General's Office and Kansas Attorney General's Human Trafficking Advisory Board, and a member of the Family Court of Jackson County Juvenile Division Advocacy and Mentoring Program. Kris is an author of "Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking
in Independence and Kansas City, Missouri," (2008) published by Shared Hope International and the United States Department of Justice and has been is guest lecturer at the University of Missouri Kansas City, Penn Valley Community College in Kansas
City, Mo., Fontbonne University St Louis, Mo.; Contributing panelist on human trafficking at the United Nations Commission on Women. Kris received a BA in Criminal Justice, Criminology and Sociology at Emporia State University and the University
of Missouri Kansas City. Kris is a survivor of a number of crimes against women.
- Nanette Ward - Stop Human Trafficking Coalition of Central Missouri
- Kara Wilcox - Missouri Children’s Division
Kara Wilcox began her career with the Missouri Children’s Division in 1998. She has worked in a variety of roles, first
as an alternative care worker and adoption specialist. She began supervising in Boone County in 2008 and spent several years supervising the Child Abuse/Neglect (CA/N) Investigation Unit. Ms. Wilcox currently works in the Division’s
central office as the Prevention and Safety Program Coordinator. Her staff oversee Children’s Division programs from home visiting, crisis care, intensive in-home services, family centered services, child abuse/neglect investigations,
appeals, to critical events. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2012 with a Master’s in Social Work, concentrating in policy, planning, and administration.
- Jessica Wilkins - The Covering House
Jessica Wilkins, LMSW currently serves as the Administrator of Community Based Services at The Covering House, where she is tasked
with building, implementing, and overseeing programs to raise awareness of commercial sexual exploitation of children and reducing the risk of kids falling into trafficking through community engagement. She has provided education to students,
parents, and staff all over Missouri and even Pensacola, FL to keep children better protected from commercial sexual exploitation through general knowledge. Jessica holds both a bachelors and master’s degree in social work and
has used her knowledge to serve the St. Louis area and beyond for 8 years. Jessica, has a deep passion for assisting others in reaching their full potential.
Shima Rostami is a human rights and social justice activist who received her doctorate in Educational Leadership. Her doctoral study focused on ‘Developing Moral Education to Combat Human Trafficking’. Currently, she serves as the Executive Director of Gateway Human Trafficking (GHT), a non-profit committed to educating communities and inspiring positive systemic change to end human trafficking. Additionally, she is an Adjunct Faculty at the University of Missouri in St. Louis (UMSL) for the Sociology Department and the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice. Besides her academic background, she has experience of working with several agencies affiliated with the Humanities and Humanitarian efforts including the American Red Cross of the Greater St. Louis Area where they received the International Services Award for their outstanding International Humanitarian Law (IHL) project known as Raid Cross. She also has served as Cabinet, Board, and Member of numerous organizations. She is also a member of the U.S. Attorney’s Human Trafficking and Hate Crime Task Forces of Eastern District of Missouri.
- Jennifer Coffin - Attorney General's Office
Jennifer is a special prosecutor in the Public Safety Division of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office in St. Louis. She prosecutes
cases involving domestic violence, violent crimes and sexually violent predators. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office in April 2019, Jennifer worked as a prosecutor in St. Louis County for 4 ½ years, where she prosecuted
general felonies, domestic violence, and homicide cases. Jennifer began her legal career as a prosecutor in St. Clair County, Illinois, where she worked for 3 ½ years handled primarily domestic violence and child abuse cases. Before
becoming a lawyer, Jennifer worked for the St. Louis City and County Medical Examiner’s Offices for nearly 7 years as a forensic investigator, investigating homicides, accidents, suicides and natural deaths. Jennifer has attended numerous
trainings on human trafficking, domestic violence, child sexual and physical abuse, and homicides.
- Heather Luebbert - MoDOT
Heather Luebbert is a Commercial Motor Vehicle Program Manager for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), Highway Safety and Traffic Division (HSTD).
She began employment with MoDOT in June 2020. Prior to MoDOT, she was employed with the Missouri Department of Public Safety (MO DPS), Office of the Director (OD), Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement (CJ/LE) unit for over 14 years managing
and administering state and federal grant funds to criminal justice agencies geared at improving public safety. As MoDOT’s Commercial Motor Vehicle Program Manager, she is responsible for administering the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance
Program (MCSAP), which is awarded to Missouri by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. MCSAP is a federal grant program that provides financial assistance to States to reduce the number and severity of crashes and hazardous materials
incidents involving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The goal of the MCSAP is to reduce CMV-involved crashes, fatalities, and injuries through consistent, uniform, and effective CMV safety programs. The MCSAP is FMCSA’s largest grant program
that supports State and local law enforcement agencies to increase enforcement and safety activities nationwide. FMCSA and the trucking industry have a vested interest in preventing and combatting human trafficking. Traffic enforcement,
including criminal interdiction related to human trafficking, is an allowable national program element for the MCSAP. In her MCSAP Coordinator role, Heather is also a member of the Missouri Trucking Association (MoTA) Council of Safety Supervisors,
which is a group of professionals from MoTA, trucking companies, insurance companies, and other partners. The Council’s goal is to promote safety and security within the trucking industry. MoTA and the Council also have a vested interest
in preventing and combatting human trafficking within its industry.
- Terri Parker - MoDOT
Terri Parker is an Assistant Chief Counsel for the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission. She has been a practicing attorney for more than twenty-five
years. She provides counsel to MoDOT staff and the Highway Commission on a wide variety of topics such as project development, litigation, highway safety and property acquisition. Ms. Parker has volunteered as a Victim
Advocate with the Victim Center in Springfield, Missouri and has served on a number of committees that are dedicated to eliminating and providing services to people who have experienced homelessness, human trafficking and domestic abuse.
Crystal Atkinson is the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Coordinator for the Missouri Attorney General's Office. Her job entails facilitating the work of this multi-disciplinary task force in order to create unified and informed state-wide efforts to control human trafficking. She has many years of experience with the State of Missouri in different departments ranging from the Missouri Department of Revenue, Corrections, Mental Health, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol. In 2010, she was the President of the 149th class of the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association Training Academy earning her Peace Officer’s Standards and Training (POST) license. After graduating from the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association Training Academy she served as a Deputy Marshal at the Supreme Court of Missouri for almost ten years.