Executive Director/Founder/Senior Advisor
Bobby Kipper is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author with over four decades of experience in both the public and private sector. Bobby's journey began with a successful twenty-six-year career with the Newport News Virginia Police Department. Following his local law enforcement service, he served as the Director of the Gang Reduction Program for the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia. He went on to start a successful national consulting company focusing on training and technical assistance for both public and private industry.
In 2009 Bobby founded the National Center for Prevention of Community Violence which currently serves communities and schools across America in an effort to interrupt the process of violence through proven solutions. Bobby's efforts have been recognized by local, state, and national leaders for his consistent approach to positive community change at the public and private levels.
Throughout her career, Iva Rody has continued to serve as an advocate for crime victims in both the government and private sectors. Mrs. Rody has a Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice, a Master of Administration and has been successful at developing and implementing multiple law enforcement-based victim assistance programs. Often, Mrs. Rody is called upon to provide training and professional development on current trends and best practices in Domestic Violence, Crisis Intervention, Mental Health and Advocacy. She is a graduate of the Arizona POST Leadership Program. Additional committee service includes the International Association of Chiefs of Police Victim Services Committee, the West Valley Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team and the Federal Bureau of Investigations ELEVATE Committee. Ms. Rody has extensive experience with grants management and serves as a peer review for the US Department of Justice. In 2013, Mrs. Rody was recognized by the Arizona Attorney General for Distinguished Service in recognition of Outstanding Leadership on Behalf of Victims of Crime. Previously, Mrs. Rody lead the implementation of the El Mirage Police Department’s Victim Assistance Unit, which received recognition in the small agency category of the 2014 IACP Excellence in Victim Services Award and the 2017 Arizona Attorney General Distinguished Service Award in recognition of Innovative Practices in Victim Services.
Assistant Director – Operations
Jerald Monahan has served the Arizona public safety community for the past 42 years beginning with the Arizona State Prison and the Casa Grande Police Department from 1978 to 2002. He went to work at the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office in 2002 as a Captain and was appointed Chief Deputy in 2005. In June of 2008 he was appointed as the Chief of Police with the Apache Junction Police Department, and in March of 2013, was appointed as the Chief of Police for the City of Prescott serving there until June of 2016 when he accepted the Chief of Police position for Yavapai College. In addition to being actively involved in addressing issues of violence against women, he serves as the Advisory Board Chairperson and the Assistant Director of Operations for the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence. He was appointed to the Governor’s Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women in 2003. Chief Monahan also serves as a consultant for the National Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative and has since 2009. He served on the Executive Board for the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police from 2009 to 2014. Chief Monahan holds a Master of Science degree in Leadership with an Emphasis on Crisis Management and disaster preparedness from Grand Canyon University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Safety Administration from Grand Canyon University, and an Associate of Applied Science degree in the Administration of Justice from Central Arizona College. He is a graduate of the FBI’s National Academy, the 230th Session, Sept. 2007.
Assistant Director – Finance
Sharon Caughlin served 28-years with the Chesapeake Fire Department, retiring in 2015 where she last served as Division Chief. Sharon was the highest-ranking female in her department and found herself mentoring other women who strived to also be promoted through the ranks. Sharon’s last assignment for eight years was in Support Services, where she provided oversight to a $40,000,000 departmental operating budget, overall purchases for the department, training, and grant management.
Her insight to financial and business sense has landed her as a partner in the Kipper Group, Inc., a consulting firm, and a position as Director of Administration with the National Center for Prevention of Community Violence, a non-profit organization. From 2004-2009, Sharon also owned four restaurants and gained financial experience in that industry.
Sharon co-authored “When Work Ethic and Entitlement Collide” in the November 2013 issue of Police Chief Magazine. She holds a master’s degree in Business Administration and attained Executive Fire Officer Designation from the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD. Sharon’s most recent desire has been to improve the culture within schools, communities and public safety organizations.
Assistant Director – Training
Terri Reynolds has over a decade of law enforcement experience with specialization in law enforcement training and a veteran of the United States Marines. She began her career with the Suffolk Virginia Police Department in 2006 where she served in Patrol, Marine Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Training Instructor for Basic/Advanced Veteran officers, Crime Scene Technician, Traffic Fatality Officer, Training Division as Lead Training Officer. She has served as the Director of Law Enforcement Training for the College of the Albemarle located in eastern North Carolina.
Terri has a lengthy history in training in law enforcement officers. She has served as the basic law enforcement lead instructor at the Hampton Roads Criminal Justice Training Academy in eastern Virginia. During her tenure at the academy she developed/instructed a number of courses for basic law enforcement training to include: Criminal/Traffic Law, Community Policing, Defensive Driving, Defensive Tactics, Use of Force, De-Escalation, and Patrol Techniques.
Terri is a certified law enforcement instructor and holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a master’s degree in Forensic Psychology. Currently she serves as the Executive Assistant/Director of Board Relations for the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence and the Director of Training for the Kipper Group.
Bob has taught law enforcement related courses locally and throughout the country. He served in the United States Air Force and as a Virginia State Trooper. Bob joined the Virginia State Police in 1973 and in June of 1980 he became the first black trooper to be promoted to sergeant. As a sergeant he was assigned to the state police academy in Richmond. He coordinated the state of Florida’s Drug Evaluation Classification Program. Served as the administrative supervisor of one of two IACP/NHTSA speed measurement testing labs in the United States. He’s served as the assistant director and the director of the Institute of Police Technology and Management (IPTM) at the University of North Florida. Bob is currently a consultant for law enforcement, a senior advisor for the National Center for Prevention of Community Violence (NCPCV) and a background investigator for the Virginia State Police. He is also a long-time member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE.)
Fundraising/Social Media/Marketing Specialist
Andrew Kipper is a 24-year-old graduate from Flagler College, which is located in Saint Augustine Florida. He graduated with a major in business administration; and two minors in marketing and economics. Andrew has a background in public service with volunteering as a marketing and fundraising manager for the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, A volunteer surf instructor for A walk on water surf therapy for special needs children, and a surf instructor for the fellowship of Christian athletes.
Andrew has a passion for serving and giving back to his community. He has a passion for surfing as well, which has allowed him to explore and travel and give back to other communities around the world. Andrew has made it his goal to spread the message for the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence through his travels, and make not only a national but also a worldwide impact.
Community Engagement Specialist
Addilynn Holloman, founder of LifeMaestro, helps people cultivate healthy relationships through connection and engagement in their personal lives and in their community. She offers Life Alignment Coaching and NeuroDevelopmental Movement Consulting to both groups and individuals. As an educator, Certified Developmental Movement Consultant, Certified Strategic Intervention and Conscious Parenting Coach, with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, she extends her work through meaningful community involvement with The National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, NeuroSolutions International, Hampton Roads International Montessori School, and New Covenant Church of Hampton, VA. She is privileged to share her life with a wonderful husband and three spunky, fun-loving boys.
Strategic Planning Specialist
Anna Marshall is a Virginia native who joined the NCPCV family in 2015 and has since served in a variety of roles within the organization. Anna is dedicated to transforming how we relate to one another within the community - by embracing our collective diversity.
Under Anna’s direction, NCPCV’s partnership with the Center for Community Engagement at Christopher Newport University has strengthened, resulting in the presentation of NCPCV’s inaugural Gang Reduction Conference in 2018.
Anna has continued that partnership by facilitating “COMMUNITY Conversations,” and enjoys providing the student interns of Christopher Newport University a chance to make meaningful impact in their communities through this partnership.
Outside of the organization, Anna works as a Certified Nurse Aid to support individuals and families navigating end-of-life transitions.
Chris Hannon is a freelance web designer and marketing consultant, who has been in the marketing field since 1991, working both for and with small and mid-sized companies in a variety of sectors. Recently, he has focused his passion for helping others succeed on small businesses and non-profit organizations.
AmeriCorps State Member & NCPCV/Yavapai College Police Department Intern
Kari Warne is an AmeriCorps State Member. She is serving with the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence in partnership with the Yavapai College Police Department. Kari’s mission is to disrupt the process of violence in schools and communities, such that a collective effort may be fabricated to form campuses and communities of kindness. Kari is an Honors student at Yavapai College studying criminal justice and ethics. She is the Vice President of the Honors Institute Phi Theta Kappa, and a recipient of four community service awards. Kari regularly volunteers with the Yavapai College Foundation and is a mentor for girls in middle school. A firm believer in diligence, Kari has held three internships, worked a minimum of two jobs for the last six years while attending school full-time, fundraised over $6000, received several academic and athletic achievement awards, and has done all this by nineteen years of age. On the weekend, you might find Kari relaxing in a hammock while reading the works of Marcus Aurelius after taking a run with her dog named Chewie.
Founder & CEO, Morgan James Publishing
David Hancock is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today bestselling author and the founder of Morgan James Publishing. NASDAQ cites David as one of the world’s most prestigious business leaders, and he is reported to be the future of publishing. As founder of Morgan James Publishing, he was selected for Fast Company Magazine’s Fast 50 for his leadership, creative thinking, significant accomplishments, and his significant impact on the industry over the last ten years.
Director of Corporate Engagement and Education Outreach, Battelle
The Honorable Regina B. Schofield is Director of Corporate Engagement and Education Outreach for Battelle.
Ms. Schofield was nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as Assistant Attorney General (AAG) for the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice. As AAG, she served as the nation’s AMBER Alert Coordinator & instituted Wireless Amber Alerts and Amber Alerts in Native American Communities. She oversaw a range of federal programs, including Project Safe Childhood, the Prisoner Reentry Initiative, and the White House Initiative on Helping America’s Youth among many other programs.
Before her appointment as Assistant Attorney General, Ms. Schofield was Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and White House Liaison at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In this dual capacity, she served as the Secretary’s senior advisor on all state, local, and tribal issues regarding HHS policies and programs and was the primary personnel link between HHS and the White House.
Ms. Schofield is the recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dean of the College of the Albermarle
As a lifetime educator, Tim began his career training at Old Dominion University (ODU) earning his B.S. in health and education and went on to obtain his M.S. in supervision and secondary administration. He worked one year as a teacher before beginning his administrative career as a dean of students at Lake Taylor Middle School in Norfolk, VA. Through the years Tim steadily rose to assistant principal at Granby High School and then principal at Northside Middle School. He also coached basketball and baseball in those years working directly with the students. In 1998 he was appointed principal of Heritage High School working there for 8 years. During that time, he was awarded “principal of the year” from the PTSA and the USNA “Outstanding Educator” award. Tim went on to open the Achievable Dream Middle and High School’s. After retiring from public school education, he went on to become the director of basic transitional studies at the College of Albemarle (COA) in Elizabeth City, NC. He went on to become the Dean of the Manteo, NC campus and is currently still serving in this position.
Director, The Peninsula Fine Arts Center
Courtney Gardner is a native of the Peninsula. She graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a BA in International Relations and a BS in Economics. In her work as President of C.E. Gardner Consulting, LLC, Courtney works with many nonprofit organizations on a variety of management issues. Courtney has a strong background in fundraising, nonprofit management, and strategic planning. Before starting her own business in 2001, she served as the Development Director of the Peninsula Fine Arts Center and Finance Director of the Colonial Virginia Council of the Boy Scouts of America. She is currently working at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center as their Executive Director.
She has consulted in development and project management activities for the Boy Scouts, Foodbank, Boys and Girls Club of the Virginia Peninsula, WHRO, Old Dominion University, the Mariners Museum, Young Audiences of Virginia, the Peninsula School for Autism, Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Sarah Bonwell Hudgins Foundation, Newport News Public Schools, City of Hampton, the United Way and several other organizations. She served as the Interim Executive Director for Young Audiences of Virginia for two years and successful lead a million-dollar Endowment campaign.
Barbara Hamm Lee
Executive Producer & Host, Another View
Barbara Hamm Lee is the executive producer and host of Another View, a weekly talk show that examines today’s issues from an African American perspective, and airs every Thursday at noon on 89.5 WHRV-FM. She is also the owner of Sharing Info, LLC, a media/communications consulting company, located in Norfolk, Virginia.
She is incredibly involved in the community serving as the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the YWCA, South Hampton Roads and former Chair, Board of Commissioners, Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority. She is a board member for the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, and the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence.
Barbara is married to Maxie Lee, has two daughters and a granddaughter, and attends First Baptist Church, Berkley.
Dr. Katherine Kuhlman
Public Safety Clinical Psychologist, Kuhlman Psychology & Consulting
Dr. Katherine (Katie) Kuhlman is a licensed clinical and public safety psychologist in the Phoenix metropolitan area, and has expertise in the treatment of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and general life stressors. She has worked since 2014 primarily providing services to first responders and their family members, providing in-service trainings, conducting pre-employment and fitness-for-duty evaluations, providing threat assessment and management consultation, and counseling. She has presented nationally on wellness issues related to first responders, as well as school and workplace violence prevention. Dr. Kuhlman has responded and provided debriefing services to critical incidents including officer-involved shootings, suicides, line-of-duty deaths, and mass shootings. She served as a subject matter expert on traumatic stress on the Colorado Governor's Expert Emergency Epidemic Response Committee prior to moving to Arizona.
“What attracted me to the National Center for Prevention of Community Violence at first was that it is a Solutions Driven organization. What has kept me involved is the executive team’s success, passion and enthusiasm to serve others and save lives.”
David Hancock – Founder & CEO, Morgan James Publishing & NCPCV Executive Board Member
Tony Brothers is entering his 26th season as an NBA official and has officiated 1,562 regular season games, 139 playoff games including 8 NBA Finals appearances. He was a member of the crew that officiated the 1996 Mexico Challenge, 1998 Schick Rookie All-star Game, 1999 McDonald’s Championship in Milan, Italy, 2008 NBA China Games, 2009 NBA All-star Game and the 2014 Global Games in Berlin and Turkey, 2018 NBA BWB Africa Games and the 2018 NBA China Games.
As a way of honoring his late mother Dorothy Brothers, a former Bank of America Executive and member of the Minority Business Hall of Fame and Museum, and to give back to his community, Tony co-founded, Still Hope Foundation, Inc., now Journey for Success. Journey for Success is an organization that seeks to assist single mothers in building a strong and successful family unit by offering quality resources and supportive relationships. In 2007, he established the Dorothy B. Brothers Women’s Center at the Norfolk, Virginia campus of Tidewater Community College. In September 2015, he established Men for Hope, Inc. to (S)upport underserved men, (O)rganize men’s efforts in the community, and (W)ork with organizations providing services for single women parenting young men – the SOW concept. As a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) public charity, Men for Hope endeavors to “SOW seeds” through mentorship and resources that promote education, financial literacy, and self-fulfillment. In 2018, he established the Dorothy B. Brothers Endowment at Norfolk State University to assist children of single parent households at NSU. He also established the Dorothy B. Brothers Auditorium on the campus of NSU as a tribute to his late mother.
Chief Brett C. Railey (Retired)
2015-2016 President, Florida Police Chiefs Association
Beginning his law enforcement career with the Florida Highway Patrol in 1977, Chief Railey has over 39 years of experience in the law enforcement field, serving 35 of those with the Winter Park, FL Police Department. He was Captain of the Patrol Division when he was promoted to the rank of Chief in 2009. In 2015 – 2016 Chief Railey served as President for the Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA), the third largest statewide police chief’s organization in the country.
Among his many accomplishments, In April of 2014 Chief Railey was presented the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Public Service Lifesaver Award and was awarded the International Association of Chiefs of Police J. Stannard Baker Award for lifetime achievement in highway safety in October of 2014, both awards being their sponsors highest recognition for highway/traffic safety excellence.
Chief Railey retired in 2016 and has consulted with the governments of Kuwait, Cali Columbia, South America, Mexico and the Brazilian National Police Force. He serves as a Senior Public Safety Consultant for The Digital Decision.
Award-Winning Actress & Singer
Patricia Mckenzie is an award-winning actress, best known for The Lion King, The Phantom, and Gangland Undercover. She is also an accomplished producer of films that bring awareness for social issues and create conversation such as “Bully Fighters” which covers social justice and teen bullying inspired by true events, and “Anathema” a film set during the defense of marriage act. Patricia is a proud board member of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, as well as on the board of the Diversity Committee at ACTRA.
Former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Anne Petera is currently an independent consultant providing services to businesses seeking opportunities in the state, local and Federal Government space, with a particular emphasis on the homeland security space. From 2009 until her retirement in the fall of 2015, Mrs. Petera was involved in Government Relations work for two major defense contractors in the Washington, DC market.
Mrs. Petera previously served President George W. Bush as the Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, which placed her on the senior leadership team of Secretary Michael Chertoff, whom she served as the primary advocate within DHS for all Governors, Mayors and Tribal Leaders nationwide.
From 2002 – 2006, Mrs. Petera served as Director of Administration for the Office of the Attorney General in Virginia. There, she was responsible for an overall budget in excess of $24 million and a staff of approximately 300 full-time employees.
From January 1998-January 2002, Mrs. Petera served as Secretary of the Commonwealth in the Cabinet of Governor James S. Gilmore, III. And, from January 1996-January 1998, Mrs. Petera served as Chairman and CEO of the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Board, an enterprise agency with an annual budget of $350 million under then Governor George F. Allen.
Mrs. Petera currently serves several organizations as a volunteer, including the Beach Food Pantry, Creative Choices Crisis Pregnancy Center, and the Advisory Board of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence.
Joan R. Turner
Community Outreach Coordinator, City of Suffolk Commonwealth Attorney’s Office
Joan is a graduate of Suffolk Public Schools and attended Virginia State University. She is a graduate of the Virginia Forensic Science Academy, member of the Virginia Homicide Association, a fingerprint examiner, Crime Scene Analyst and bloodstain examiner. Joan was the first Crime Scene Investigator for the City of Suffolk when she was hired in 1996.
Presently Joan works as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office where C. Phillips “Phil” Ferguson is the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Suffolk. Her duty for this position is: creates, organizes, coordinates, schedules and conducts educational and informational outreach to the community including schools, churches, fraternal organizations and other groups on behalf of the Suffolk Commonwealth's Attorney's Office. Personnel in the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office are available to appear as speakers on areas in which they have particular expertise.
Dr. E. Scott Geller
Alumni Distinguished Professor, Center for Applied Behavioral Systems – Virginia Tech
E. Scott Geller, Ph.D., is Alumni Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech and Director of the Center for Applied Behavior Systems in the Department of Psychology. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the World Academy of Productivity and Quality. He is past Editor of Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (1989-92), and current Associate Editor (since 1983) of Environment and Behavior, and consulting editor for Journal of Safety Research, Behavior and Social Issues, Behavior Analyst Digest, and Journal of Organizational Behavior Management.
Dr. Geller has authored more than 350 research articles and over 75 books or chapters addressing the development and evaluation of behavior-change interventions to improve quality of life.
Former Attorney General of Virginia
Jerry Kilgore, former Virginia Attorney General and Virginia Secretary of Public Safety, is a member of Cozen O’Connor’s State Attorneys General Practice. His distinguished political career has afforded Jerry connections at all levels within State AG offices, and bi-partisan respect within the AG community. He has earned a reputation as a trusted legal and policy adviser on both sides of the aisle, and is politically active at the local, state, and federal levels. Jerry’s experience and hands-on perspective on issues ranging from consumer protection to health care to energy and technology, has earned him bi-partisan respect within the attorney general community.
National News Anchor
Experienced Anchor with a demonstrated history of working in the broadcast media industry. Skilled in Broadcasting, Broadcast Journalism, Videography, Breaking News, and Broadcast Television. Strong media and communication professional with a Bachelor of Science focused in Communication Arts from Oral Roberts University.
Currently, Kelly is working on his own program “The Kelly Wright Show – America’s Talking” on the Black News Channel.
(Retired) President , Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
Michael Kuhns is an experienced organizational development consultant, with expertise in strategic planning, business, and marketing plan development and implementation, mergers and consolidations, fiscal administration, fiscal recovery and sustainability, technology deployment and utilization, and board governance.
He has enjoyed a long and varied career, spending time in law enforcement, with business advocacy groups, and in the tourism sector. He served with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, retiring with the rank of Senior Special Agent. During his career in the economic development field, Michael developed the organizational and operational framework for a Central Illinois regional economic development partnership and, later, he retired as the President/CEO of the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce at a time when it had 1400+ members and affiliates serving a population base of 530,000, over 13,000 business entities, and four major military installations.
Michael is a veteran of the United States Army, where he served for six years as the Commander of an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Unit.
He currently serves as Chair, Thomas Nelson Community College Board and represents the City of Newport News, term ending June 2023.
Financial Analyst, Walt Disney
Bruce is a Financial Analyst with Walt Disney Company where he supports costuming for Disney Parks Live Entertainment. Previously he supported Animal Kingdom, where he conducted financial processes to help drive dynamic business results using key performance indicators and evaluated guest purchasing, in order to provide an excellent experience to millions of guests annually. Currently, he is pursuing his MBA at Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College. Prior to Rollins College, he graduated from Virginia Tech in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Finance & Management. He recently joined the Pamplin Recent Alumni Board at Virginia Tech. The objective of the Recent Alumni Board is to focus on engaging current students and recent graduates in programs and activities in an effort to give back to the Pamplin community. In his free time, he loves volunteering in his local community, cheering on the Hokies and Dallas Cowboys, and traveling to new places.
Dr. Sherie Austin
Courthouse Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters
A native of Alabama, Dr. Austin moved to Charlottesville for her pediatric residency at the University of Virginia. She then stayed in Virginia practicing pediatrics, first in Fredericksburg and now in Gloucester.
She lives in Gloucester where she helps her husband, Jay, raise his two teenaged daughters in addition to their infant daughter.
Dr. Austin enjoys working at Courthouse Pediatrics because it allows her to practice in a rural community while still having access to the tertiary care center and subspecialists at CHKD and at CHKD's health centers on the Peninsula.
Dr. Austin loves doing volunteer work. She has volunteered at a small hospital in Rwanda and regularly volunteers with Bread for Life, a local community food pantry. She is an avid bicycler, soccer player, and baker. She also enjoys making stained glass, traveling the world, and raising chickens.
Publishing Director at Morgan James Publishing, Founder of Aitia Press and Retired Pro MMA Fighter
Bethany Marshall is a retired professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter (4-1), and a Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai practitioner and enjoys Obstacle Course Racing for fun. She was a contestant on season one of Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge on NBC, as well as on season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter, the first of the show to include women. Bethany is the founder of Aitia Press and serves as the Publishing Director for Morgan James Publishing. She was also listed a star watch honoree by Publishers Weekly in 2019 for her trailblazing spirit, innovative problem-solving, and leadership qualities. She is passionate about and seeks opportunities to serve her community.
Dr. Michael Thompson
Arizona State University Chief of Police
Dr. Michael Thompson joined the Arizona State University Police Department in May 2008 after spending 20+ years with the City of Mesa Police Department, in a variety of assignments, including Sergeant (patrol, jail, bike unit, community action, advanced training, school resource officer supervisor, Criminal Law lead instructor), detective, honor guard and forensic/ composite artist.
He is a graduate of the PERF SMIP (Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police) Program, AZPOST Leadership in Police Organizations, and has completed numerous law enforcement related training courses. He is also currently the immediate past president of the Board of Directors for Community Bridges Inc. (CBI) and Chair of the East Valley Chiefs of Police Association and is currently the Mountain Pacific Regional Vice Chair for IACP.
CEO, Southeast Virginia Community Foundation
Stephen Best, Sr. is a native of Virginia and raised in the Deep Creek area of Chesapeake. A product of Chesapeake Public Schools, he holds an associate degree in Fire Science, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Governmental Administration, a master’s degree in Business Administration and a Juris Doctor from the Regent University School of Law. Appointed Fire Chief and Emergency Services Coordinator for the City of Chesapeake in 1998, Chief Best served 37 years with the Chesapeake Fire Department, retiring in January 2010. Following five years of service as a Program Director, developing catastrophic response plans for coastal Virginia and Northeast North Carolina for the Commonwealth of Virginia, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer for SEVACF on December 1, 2015. Selected as Chesapeake’s First Citizen in 2015, Chief Best remains highly active in the community.
Administrator, Iowa Child Advocacy Board
Steffani Simbric has advocated for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking for approximately 20 years. Her career started at Cedar Valley Friends of the Family in Waverly, Iowa, where she worked as the domestic violence shelter coordinator, transitional housing program manager, and assistant director of the agency.
Subsequently, Steffani provided leadership for the Story County SART (Sexual Assault Response Team), based out of the Iowa State University Police Department. In this capacity, she trained law enforcement and medical professionals in sexual assault response, monitored responses to reports of sexual assault for quality assurance, and provided technical assistance to other communities and institutions of higher education wishing to enhance their response to reports of sex abuse.
Most recently, Steffani was employed as a Law Enforcement Instructor with the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. In this role, she coordinated the human trafficking curriculum and trained law enforcement and close allies on responding to and investigating reports of human trafficking. In addition, she served as the back-up instructor on the topics of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and stalking.
Steffani currently serves as the director of the Iowa Child Advocacy Board, an organization that oversees the operation of both the Iowa Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program and the Iowa Citizen Foster Care Review Board.
Steffani is a national trainer and speaker as well as a board member of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence. Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Northern Iowa, as well as a master’s degree in public administration from Iowa State University.
Hello Modern Drummer family. One of the birthplaces of hip-hop, the Bronx River Houses, East 174th Street, Bronx, New York, is where I grew up. Why would I start an article with this? When I was eighteen years old and growing up in the projects, I dreamt of being on the cover of Modern Drummer. This magazine is and has always been the Rolls Royce of drum magazines.
I volunteered at the local music store, sweeping up, doing whatever I could just so I could be closer to the drums. My first kit was a Ludwig Vistalite clear 5-piece kit that someone ordered and did not pick up at the store. I asked the owner, “Are those drums for sale?” He told that he would sell them to me at cost. I went home and told my mother. “Two hundred dollars?!?! Boy, are you out of your mind?” My mother was the sweetest person until you got her angry. She finally calmed down and told me, “If you save up enough money to buy the drums, I will buy you the cymbals and the drum pads because I don’t want to hear them drums when I come home from work boy!! You hear me?” “Yes!”
.I packed bags for about two months, and I got the drums. And my mother, as promised, got me cymbals and pads. For a solid year, I played every single day. I would record myself playing to songs on the radio or cassettes.
I’ve been blessed to perform and or record with Nile Rodgers and Chic, Sting, Bono, Bette Midler, Lady Gaga, Biggie Smalls, Aretha Franklin, Queen Latifah, Larry Carlton, John Pizzarelli Jr., Slash, Eric Benet, Erykah Badu, Toshinobu Kubota, D’Angelo, John Legend, Paul Simon, India Arie, Lillias White, Pheobe Snow, and many more.
I’ve been seen and heard performing live on many television shows: The David Letterman Show, The Chris Rock Show, Vibe, Planet Groove, The Keenan Ivory Wayans Show, The Cosby Show, A Different World, New York Under Cover, One Life To Live, Good Day New York, Maury, Good Morning America, Fox After Breakfast, the Today Show, Top Of The Pops (London), Songs on NHK TV (Japan), Siempre En Domingo (Mexico), Jon Stewert, Pat Sajack, Regis and Kathie Lee, Music Fair (TV Asahi, Japan), The Late Late Show (Ireland), The Anton Savage Show (Today FM, Dublin), WOWOW (Japan), and The Caroline Rhea Show. Movie soundtracks include Beat Street, High School High, and On the Ropes, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
Joe St. John
(Retired) Law Enforcement Professional
Joseph St. John has twenty-seven years of experience as a law enforcement executive including serving three and half years as the Chief of Police in Columbus, MS. Before serving in Columbus, he spent 23 years at the Newport News Police Department and rose to the rank of Captain.
Joseph graduated from one of the premier police executive training academies, Southern Police Institute as the “Undergraduate Valedictorian." He is a Summa Cum Laude graduate from St. Leo University with a B.A. degree in Criminal Justice. His commitment to education as an adult student has always been strong and he firmly believe in the importance of learning.
Associate Director of Student Services, Virginia Department of Education
Joseph has been with the Virginia Department of Education for 12 years. Currently, he is the Associate Director in the Office of Student Services. His duties include supervising work related to student safety, attendance, school counseling, and military children and family supports. Former positions at the Department included Career Connections Specialist in the Office of Career and Technical Education and School Counseling Specialist in the Office of Instruction. Joseph has been recognized statewide for his work with attendance and was instrumental in leading the work with the Board of Education in establishing K-12 academic and career plan requirements for all Virginia students. Joe has worked as a school counselor and director at Hermitage High School in Henrico County. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and his Master’s and Post-Masters degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he currently is an adjunct faculty member. He is the proud father of three boys, ages 17, 15, and 12.