Our Team

Casey Gwinn, Esq.
President
Casey Gwinn Bio

Casey Gwinn is the President and Co-Founder of the Alliance. Casey is also the visionary behind the Family Justice Center Movement, first proposing the concept of the Family Justice Center model in 1989. He is a national expert on domestic violence, including prosecution, strangulation, and best practices. Prior to this position, Casey was the elected San Diego City Attorney.


Gael Strack, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer
Gael Strack Bio

Gael Strack is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of the Alliance. Gael is a national expert on domestic violence and strangulation. Prior to this position, Gael was the founding director of the San Diego Family Justice Center, former prosecutor with the San Diego City Attorney’s Office, defense attorney and deputy county counsel.


Natalia Aguirre
Director of National Polyvictimization Initiative

Natalia Aguirre is the Director of the National Polyvictimization Initiative for the Alliance. She provides planning and support services to the six demonstration sites. Previously, Natalia provided training to developing and operating Family Justice Centers worldwide. Natalia also develops and maintains new products and tools which are utilized by Family Justice Center staff and partner agencies.


Michael Burke
Director of Camp HOPE America

Michael Burke is the Director of Camp HOPE America. He works with the team to provide planning and support services to Camp HOPE America sites around the county.  He also works with the Family Justice Center Alliance, Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, VOICES Survivor Network, marketing, branding, fund development, technical assistance and more. Michael was previously the founding executive director of a rural Family Justice Center in Shasta County California.


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Jackie Anderson
Director of Finance

Jackie Anderson is the Bookkeeper for the Alliance. She is responsible for supporting the Director of Finance in all accounting functions, including grant management. Jackie assists in the preparation and maintenance of financial data and reporting for internal analysis and external audits. She also helps out with other day-to-day administrative functions of the agency.


Yesenia Aceves
Director of Pathways to HOPE

Yesenia Aceves is the Director of Pathways to HOPE and is responsible for the development and coordination of this program which works with Camp HOPE youth, guardians and volunteer mentors.  The evidence-based Pathways program aspires to raise HOPE for trauma-exposed youth while exploring STEAM career paths.  She is also a professional artist infusing creativity into all aspects of the Alliance including art projects, branding and graphics.


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Patricia Bauer
Director of National Family Justice Center Programs

Patricia Bauer is the Director of National Family Justice Center Programs for the Alliance. She provides support and technical assistance to Family Justice Centers across the country. Patricia has a background in advocacy, having worked for five-years at a community-based domestic violence and sexual assault services agency. Her experience includes establishing a nationally recognized collaborative advocacy program on a university campus, training advocates and community partners and leading prevention education initiatives for youth.


Raeanne Passantino
Assistant Director of National Family Justice Center Programs

Raeanne Passantino is the Assistant Director of National Family Justice Programs for the Alliance.  She provides support and technical assistance to Family Justice Centers across the country, including those funded by Office of Violence Against Women (OVW).  Raeanne has been in the domestic violence field for over 24 years as a volunteer, counselor, grants manager, domestic violence program coordinator and in program development.  She has extensive experience with Family Justice Centers in the capacity of development and operations.


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Sarah Sherman Julien
Program Manager of Training Institute for Strangulation Prevention

Sarah Sherman Julien is the Program Manager for the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention. Sarah provides direct support for Gael Strack and Casey Gwinn, and the Training Institute. She has more than six years in managing corporate and nonprofit operations and has a background and Master’s Degree in teaching. Sarah worked as a Domestic Violence Prevention and Education volunteer for two years before pursuing her passion to work in the field full-time.


Sarah Dillon
Program Manager of Training and Finance.

Sarah is the Program Manager of Training and Finance.  She collaborates with new clientele to bring The Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention to communities across the county and around the world.  She also supports the Alliance with accounting and financial operations.  Before joining the Alliance, Sarah managed in corporate banking in addition to working administratively for non-profits such as Haven of Hope and Dress for Success, where she provided financial training and counseling to survivors of domestic violence.


If you would like to purchase this photo contact Michael Burke @ 530.524.9014

Karianne Johansen
Program and Training Coordinator of Camp HOPE America

Karianne Johansen is the Program and Training Coordinator of Camp HOPE America.   She works with Family Justice Centers and multi-agency models across the country to develop and implement Camp HOPE America in their own communities for trauma-exposed youth.  Karianne writes evidence-based camp curriculum, develops group mentoring models, trains volunteers in trauma-informed care, and equips leaders to deliver a life-changing week of camp to the youth that they serve.


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Maddie Orcutt
Camp HOPE America – California Coordinator

Maddie Orcutt is a graduate of Middlebury College where she organized an online storytelling platform for survivors of relationship violence and sexual abuse. Additionally, she has conducted research around the United Nations Women, Peace, and Security Agenda. Maddie was selected as the 2015 Truman Scholar from Wyoming. She now serves as the Camp HOPE America – California Coordinator.


Chelsea Armstrong
Project Coordinator – Camp HOPE America

Chelsea Armstrong is the Project Coordinator for Camp HOPE America. Chelsea provides logistical support to help Alliance partners implement Camp HOPE America across the nation. Chelsea worked directly with survivors as an AmeriCorps member with the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault by facilitating empowerment classes to women in the Wyoming Women’s Prison. A native of Denver, Chelsea is an avid camper and is a graduate of the University of Wyoming where she majored in Criminal Justice.


Gloria Kyallo
Program Assistant of Polyvictimization Initiative

Gloria Kyallo currently serves as the Program Assistant for the Polyvictimization Initiative. She assists in coordinating the Polyvictimization Initiative strategic planning objectives and responsibilities of Alliance for HOPE International and the Polyvictimization Demonstration Sites across the United States. Gloria has a strong international development background and received her Master’s degree in African Studies from Stanford University. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science International Affairs from the University of California, Riverside. Gloria is passionate about the protection of human rights and is elated to be a part of the Alliance team.


Alison Bildsoe
Program Assistant of Polyvictimization Initiative

Alison Bildsoe is a Program Assistant for the Alliance’s Polyvictimization Initiative which seeks to develop a national set of best practices on how domestic violence professionals can support survivors who have experienced multiple types of trauma. Alison is a recent graduate of the University of California, San Diego where she received an award for the Most Outstanding Senior Honors Thesis on The Role of Race and Ethnicity in Pocketbook Voting. Prior to working at the Alliance, Alison provided fundraising and programmatic support for a San Diego homeless and women’s shelter.


Melissa Aguiar
Program Assistant

Melissa Aguiar is the Program Assistant for the Pathways to HOPE Project, an innovative year-round mentoring program for children exposed to domestic violence and childhood trauma. Melissa helps coordinate monthly activities exposing teenagers to different areas of interest such as Nature, Arts, and STEM to spark career goals and develop pathways to achieve those goals. Melissa is a graduate of California State University, Chico where she earned a B.A. in Sociology and in Spanish. She previously assisted domestic violence survivors while working with a San Diego attorney.


William Ackerman
Development Coordinator 

William Ackerman is the Development Coordinator for the Alliance. Previously, he worked for two years serving San Diego’s refugee community in East County, where he networked and formed partnerships with donors and community partners on behalf of YALLA San Diego. Before coming to San Diego in 2015, William acquired his master’s degree in International Administration from the University of Denver, and studied International Affairs and Political Science as part of his bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

 


Katie Kirkwood
Administrative Assistant

Katie is an Administrative Assistant at Alliance for HOPE International and helps with the administrative work for all five of the Alliance’s programs. After graduating from the University of California, San Diego with a B.A. in Sociology, she volunteered as a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate at Center for Community Solutions. She brings her knowledge and experience of trauma-informed care and evidence-based practices within the sexual assault field to the Alliance.


Ashley Ziegler
Administrative Assistant

Ashley is an Administrative Assistant for all of the programs at Alliance for HOPE International. She is a recent graduate from Northern Arizona University where she studied Sociology with a minor in Psychology. While in college, Ashley interned at the Family Violence Institute in Flagstaff, AZ where she provided administrative support and research assistance in the field of domestic violence related fatalities.


Yolanda Ruiz
Intern

Yolanda Ruiz is an Intern for the Alliance and provides administrative and programmatic support. For the past two years, Yolanda has served as a Camp HOPE youth counselor making her the perfect fit to assist Pathways to HOPE program staff by managing calendars, participating in project planning and events.


Gemma001cCroppedWebGemma Serrano
Intern

Gemma Serrano is an Intern for Alliance for Hope that provides administrative support. Gemma began attending Camp HOPE since 2012 as a camper, but for the last two years has served as a Camp HOPE youth counselor making her a perfect fit to assist in the Pathways to HOPE program. She has participated in the recognized PLTW four-year program, giving her the skills necessary to participate in intensive project planning and management, as well as programmatic skills.


Jenny Dietzen
Intern

Jenny Dietzen is an Intern providing administrative and programmatic support at the Alliance. Jenny has served as a Camp HOPE Counselor since 2012, and her experiences at Camp HOPE California motivated Jenny to work with kids. Jenny is currently a junior at San Diego State University, where she is studying social work.