Our Team

Casey Gwinn, Esq.
President
Casey Gwinn Bio

Casey Gwinn is the President and Co-Founder of the Alliance. He is the visionary behind the Family Justice Center Movement, first proposing the concept of the Family Justice Center model in 1989. Casey founded Camp HOPE America in 2003. He is a national expert on domestic violence dynamics, including investigation and prosecution, the handling of non-fatal strangulation cases, and is one of the leading thinkers in the country on the science of hope. 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.


Raeanne Passantino
Interim Director

Raeanne Passantino is the Interim Director of Family Justice Alliance, providing 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 25 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.


Chan Hellman, PhD
Lead Researcher

Chan M. Hellman is a professor of social work at the University of Oklahoma and Director of The Hope Research Center. He has written more than 150 scientific publications and has presented at numerous national and international conferences worldwide. Chan has also presented his work on hope with TEDx in the Fall of 2020. Chan’s research is focused on hope as a psychological strength helping children and adults overcome trauma and adversity. This research informed the development of the “Hope Centered and Trauma Informed” training program. Chan is the co-author of the award-winning book “Hope Rising: How the Science of Hope Can Change Your Life” with his co-author Casey Gwinn published by Morgan James.


Yesenia Aceves
Director of Culture and Creative Services

Yesenia Aceves is the  Alliance’s Director of Culture, and is responsible for measurably increasing employee Hope, engagement, and well-being while managing employee development and retention.  In addition, as  Director of Creative Services, Yesenia oversees branding and design for all of the Alliance’s programs. Yesenia first joined the Alliance in 2015 as the Founding Director of the Pathways to HOPE Project, Camp HOPE America’s year-round mentorship program.


William  Ackerman
Development Coordinator

William Ackerman is the Development Coordinator for the Alliance. In addition, he currently assists the Alliance with delivering virtual courses and engagement for the professionals and survivors it serves, helping to launch its new HOPE Hub Online Learning Academy in addition to aiding in the maintenance of its websites. Previously, William 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.


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.


Priya Bhat-Patel
Policy Analyst and Program Manager, California Family Justice Center Network

As a health professional, Priya has worked with leading healthcare agencies, biotech companies, universities, the County of San Diego, the State of California, and the United Nations. Priya has her bachelor’s degree in physiology and neuroscience from University of California, San Diego, her master’s degree in public health from University of Southern California, and her doctoral degree in public health from Loma Linda University. Priya is dedicated to being an advocate for human rights and is glad to be part of a passionate team.


Kayla Halsey
Program Assistant, Family Justice Center Alliance

Kayla Halsey is a Program Assistant for the Family Justice Center Alliance. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Public Health from the University of Arizona and a Master’s of Science in International Health from the University of Leeds in the U.K. Prior to joining the Alliance, Kayla completed her dissertation research in Jordan where she looked at access to health services for Syrian and Palestine refugees. Kayla’s passion for providing services to trauma survivors stems from her aid work with refugees internationally in emergency settings in Thailand, France, and Greece and domestically with refugee aid NGOs in Arizona and California. She is excited to join the evidence-based intervention and prevention efforts at the Alliance.


Jessica Kimsey
Events Coordinator

Jessica Kimsey is the Events Coordinator for the Alliance. She is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the Alliance’s  annual conference and provides administrative and organizational support for the Alliance’s training programs, workshops, and events. Jessica received her Bachelor of Science degree from Champlain College in Hospitality Management and has had extensive experience in all aspects of the hospitality industry. She is excited to bring her experience and management skills to a non-profit organization.


Sarah Pike
Program Manager, OVC Vision 21 Technology Initiative

Sarah Pike is the Program Manager for the OVC Vision 21 Technology Initiative. She is responsible for updating the centralized intake system tool for the Family Justice Center network. Her role requires leading the collaborative efforts to design, implement, adopt, and provide training around the centralized intake tool. She comes to the Alliance with a Bachelor’s of Social Work and Master of Arts Degree in Economic and Social Development. She is honored to join the Alliance team.


Holly Duffy Regan
Program Assistant, Family Justice Center Alliance

Holly Duffy Regan is a Program Assistant for the Family Justice Center with the Polyvictimization Initiative. She provides planning and support services to participating demonstration sites. Holly received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations with an emphasis on Russian & Eurasian Studies from Mount Holyoke College and her master’s in Social Work at Arizona State University. Holly is dedicated to the research and development of hope-centered services for survivors of traumatic experience.


Rylie Shore
Program Assistant, Family Justice Center Alliance

Rylie is a Program Assistant for the Family Justice Center. Prior to working at the Alliance, Rylie directed an after-school program in Kansas City, taught conflict resolution in elementary schools, and worked for a nonprofit that does interfaith peacemaking. Rylie is passionate about using writing and storytelling to fight for social change and to further the impact of the Alliance.


Brynne Spain
Team Lead, OVC Polyvictimization Initiative

Brynne is the Team Lead for the Polyvictimization Initiative. She graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a minor in Human Rights. Brynne worked with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault as a crisis counselor and support group co-facilitator at crisis centers in Sacramento and San Francisco. She looks forward to learning from and contributing to the groundbreaking work achieved by the Alliance.


Amy Stobbe
Administrative and Finance Assistant

Amy is an Administrative and Finance Assistant at Alliance for HOPE International.

She enjoys providing office support to all areas of the organization with an emphasis on finance. Amy is honored to be part of the team and looks forward to growing in her role.