Speaker Bios-HT Summit

Judge Leslie J.Abrams

The Honorable Leslie J. Abrams is a United States District Court Judge for the Middle District of Georgia.  On March 11, 2014, President Obama nominated her to the bench; and on November 18, 2014, the Senate confirmed her by a vote of 100-0.  On November 21, 2014, Judge Abrams took the oath of office and became first female federal judge in the Middle District of Georgia and the first African American woman to become an Article III federal judge in the State of Georgia. 

Judge Abrams grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi and Atlanta, Georgia.  She is the daughter of two United Methodist ministers and the third of six children.  She received a joint bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and African American Studies from Brown University in 1997 and received her JD from Yale Law School in 2002.  Following graduation from law school, Judge Abrams clerked for the Honorable Marvin J. Garbis on the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.  Following her clerkship, she joined the DC office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP.  In 2010, Judge Abrams became an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.  

As a daughter of two ministers, justice and public service have always been a part of Judge Abrams’ life.  Most recently, as an Assistant United States Attorney, Judge Abrams was honored to be a federal prosecutor and to seek justice for crime victims.  She was especially honored to work on behalf of the most vulnerable victims; and, to that end, prosecuted cases involving human trafficking and child exploitation.  Judge Abrams (as co-counsel with Susan Coppedge, now the United States Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Human Trafficking) counts among her greatest achievements securing a sex-trafficking conviction of a couple who forced a 17 year old refugee from Sierre Leon into prostitution.  

In addition to her duties as a prosecutor, Judge Abrams also formerly served as the Community Outreach Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, developing programs focused on community education, crime prevention and prisoner reentry.  In this position, she frequently spoke to schools, churches, and community groups about human trafficking, child exploitation, elder abuse, discrimination, and community safety.  

Throughout her career, Judge Abrams also worked to secure the rights of disenfranchised people.   In 1998, Leslie became the Consumer Protection Fellow at the Greenling Institute, a multi-ethnic public policy, research, and advocacy institute  whose mission is to represent the interests of low-income and minority citizens.  During her legal career, Judge Abrams represented clients who were the victims of lending scams targeting low income and elderly Americans, including a young woman who was being threatened with eviction from her family home as a result of a mortgage flipping scam and an 82 year-old home owner who, despite obtaining a reverse mortgage to pay for tens of thousands of dollars for repairs to her home, was forced to live without heat and electricity and with gaping holes in her home.  Both victims were victorious and able to remain in their homes.  

Since taking the bench, Judge Abrams has continued her community work in human trafficking by speaking to youth groups and attending the Vatican’s Judges’ Summit against Human Trafficking and Organized Crime and through working with a local mentorship program for girls.

 

Sherry Boston

As Solicitor-General for DeKalb County, Sherry Boston oversees the prosecution of approximately 13,000 criminal misdemeanor offenses filed annually in the State Court of DeKalb County.  These crimes include domestic violence, elder abuse, cruelty to children, vehicular homicide, drunk driving, stalking and harassment, trespassing, and animal cruelty. Solicitor-General Boston is recognized for working diligently to make DeKalb County even safer by preventing and deterring criminal activity through the professional and impartial prosecution of crimes.  She remains committed to upholding the laws and statutes of Georgia and DeKalb County, while working closely with law enforcement and communities to develop crime prevention strategies.

Ms. Boston was appointed to the position of Solicitor-General by Governor Sonny Perdue in 2011 and was later elected without opposition in 2012. Prior to serving as Solicitor-General, Ms. Boston worked in private practice handling felony and misdemeanor cases.  Ms. Boston also served as Municipal Court Judge for the City of Dunwoody where she was the first female appointed to the Court. She has also served on the DeKalb County bench as Associate Magistrate Judge and Judge pro hac vice for Recorders Court.

Georgia Trend magazine has repeatedly named Ms. Boston as one of “Georgia’s Legal Elite,” and Atlanta magazine has named her five times as a “Rising Star Super Lawyer.”  She was also selected by The Daily Report as one of 14 Georgia lawyers “On the Rise.” 

Solicitor-General Boston speaks locally and nationally on a number of issues related to law enforcement, trial work, trial tips and cross-examination.  She is an instructor for Basic Litigation for the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia. 

Solicitor-General Boston is a graduate of Villanova University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Emory University School of Law.

 

Mary Frances Bowley

Mary Frances Bowley is the President/Founder of Wellspring Living, an organization fighting childhood sexual abuse and exploitation since 2001. She has been a leader in bringing the fight against child sex-trafficking to Atlanta and is a founding member of the Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force.

 

Mary Frances was appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Domestic Violence in 2010.  She was awarded the Martin Luther King Community Service Award and the AKA Humanitarian Award.  She is also the author of A League of Dangerous Women and The White Umbrella.  Mary Frances resides in Peachtree City with her husband, Dick.  She has 2 sons and 3 grandsons.

 

Judge Fernando Camacho

Hon. Fernando Camacho was born in Cuba and came to the United States at the age of nine.

After obtaining his undergraduate degree from Columbia University, he graduated from Fordham Law School in 1985. Upon graduation he joined the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office where he was assigned to the Trial Division and the Sex Crimes Unit. In 1989, he was named Senior Trial Counsel and served in the Homicide Investigation Unit where he investigated and prosecuted violent drug gangs.

In 1997, after two years in private practice with the law firm of Balsam Felber and Fabian, Judge Camacho was appointed to the New York City Criminal Court by Mayor Giuliani.

He spent four years in Kings County Criminal Court before transferring to Queens County. In Queens County Criminal Court he served as Deputy Supervising Judge and presided over the Domestic Violence Court, a jury trial part and a specialized court dealing with teenagers charged with prostitution-related offenses.

In 2008, he was appointed by Governor Patterson to the New York State Court of Claims and served as an Acting Supreme Court Justice in the Integrated Domestic Violence Part in Queens County Supreme Court.

In May 2009, Judge Camacho was appointed Queens County Administrative Judge for Criminal Matters.

Ambassador Susan Coppedge

Susan Coppedge is the Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State. She was confirmed by the Senate and appointed by President Obama in October 2015 to lead the United States’ global engagement against human trafficking. Ambassador Coppedge directs the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, which assesses global trends, provides strategic foreign assistance funding, and engages foreign governments, civil society, other federal agencies and key stakeholders in the fight against modern slavery.

Ambassador Coppedge previously served for 15 years as Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Georgia. She prosecuted more than 45 human traffickers in federal cases involving transnational and domestic sex trafficking of adults and children, and labor trafficking. These prosecutions brought perpetrators to justice and assisted more than 90 victims of trafficking. Ambassador Coppedge carries with her the stories of these survivors, many of whom thought the system would never stand up for them. She has also worked closely with nongovernmental organizations in conducting community outreach and providing vital services for victims.

In recognition of her achievements, Ambassador Coppedge received the Department of Justice’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney and two United States Attorney’s Awards. Ambassador Coppedge has trained international, national, and local law enforcement and represented the United States on a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Expert Working Group developing an international reporting system for human trafficking. She was also awarded a Fulbright/Ian Axford Fellowship in Public Policy, through which she spent six months with New Zealand’s Ministry of Justice researching, evaluating, and reporting on New Zealand’s human trafficking laws and prosecutions.

Ambassador Coppedge entered her service with the Department of Justice through the Honors Program, working in the Environmental Enforcement Section and earning the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award, Outstanding Legal Achievement for Support of Litigation, for United States v. Koch. Ambassador Coppedge clerked for United States District Judge William C. O’Kelley in the Northern District of Georgia. She received her law degree from Stanford University and her undergraduate degree from Duke University.

Dr. Sheryl "Beloved" Dillard

Formerly a Hospice Chaplain, Associate/Youth Pastor, Beloved is a Spiritual Counselor and ordained minister, graduate of St. Augustine’s’ College, Raleigh, NC, The ITC, Gammon School of Prophets and Emory’s University Clinical Pastoral Counseling and Education Program, Atlanta, GA, Ramah Bible School, Monroe, NC. Named Poet Laureate of the African American Culture Center (Smithsonian Institute), Raleigh, NC, Poet Laureate for the Wilma Rudolph Annual Celebration, Nashville TN ‘Black Caucus’, Founder and Co-chair with Mayor Shirley Franklin for the Jason Hollis Haiti Missions 5K Walk Run.  Keynote Speaker, vocalist and panelist for countless conferences  to  include local Woman’s Spiritual Network, Friends of Wolfe Creek Retirement Gala for Commissioner William “Bill Edwards”, Run-Off Campaign Manager for the first Black Mayor of  Douglasville, Ga –Rochelle Robinson, Nationally, featured artist of www.Cocofab.com Magazine, International K-Town Germany Featured Poet and Singer sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Delta Scholarship Gala, and Germany Apollo,  and special guest of Executive Lynn Rosenthal of National Network to End Domestic Violence Conference, Washington, DC.  Beloved’s resilience speaks to her self-determined ability to overcome 6 years of habitual childhood sexual abuse, a horrible lisp and bleeding ulcers. Beloved, legally known as Sheryl Dillard embraced her new name after discovering it was the Hebrew meaning of Sheryl. “As child I was often referred to as Ugly, Stupid and Crazy. To know all this time I was Beloved, is mind blowing!”

Judge Sara Doyle

Chief Judge Sara L. Doyle was elected to the Georgia Court of Appeals in December, 2008 and took office on January 1, 2009. In 2014, she was elected to her second six- year term, and on July 1, 2015, became the Court's Chief Judge, a position she will hold for two years.

 

Born in Dallas, Texas, Judge Doyle lived in several states before entering the University of Florida where she graduated in 1990 with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration. She graduated cum laude from Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law in 1994. Judge Doyle was admitted to the Georgia Bar in June 1994 and began her legal career as a civil litigator with Wilson, Strickland & Benson, P.C. Just prior to taking office, she was an equity partner with the national law firm of Holland & Knight, LLP where she practiced law with a focus on education issues since August, 2000.

 

As a practicing attorney, Judge Doyle received an A.V. peer-reviewed rating from Martindale Hubbell. She was selected as a Georgia Super Lawyer from 2004 to 2008, and in 2006 and 2008, was named one of the top 50 female attorneys in Georgia. She has also been recognized as one of Georgia's legal elite by Georgia Trend Magazine.

 

Judge Doyle is involved in many professional, civic, and religious organizations. She is an active member of the State Bar of Georgia, the American Bar Association, the Atlanta Bar Association, the National Association of Women Judges, the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL), the Gate City Bar Association, the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA), and the Lawyers Club of Atlanta, where she held the position of President in 2012-2013 and was a member of the club's executive committee from 2003 to July, 2013. In the Atlanta Bar Association, Judge Doyle has been a member and assistant director of the Atlanta Bar Association Bard show, a member and co-editor of the Atlanta Bar Editorial Board, a member at-large and chair (2014-2015) of the Atlanta Bar's Judicial Section, and a member of the Membership Committee since 2013. In 2013, she was awarded the Atlanta Bar's Professionalism award.

 

Judge Doyle has also held several positions in the State Bar of Georgia. She has been a member and chair (2014-2015) of the State Bar's Law Related Education Committee, sat as a fee dispute arbitrator for the State Bar of Georgia, has been a member and chair (Oct. 2011 to Aug. 2013) of the State Bar of Georgia's Commission on the Unlicensed Practice of Law, and was a member of the Next Generation Courts Commission from 2012 through 2014. In January 2013, Judge Doyle was inducted as a member at-large of the Gate City Bar Association's Judicial Section Executive Board for a one-year term and she has served as a member of GAWL's Advisory Board.

 

As an active member of the appellate courts, Judge Doyle is involved in the Judicial Council of Georgia. She is currently holding a six-year term (2010-2016) on the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution, is chairing the Strategic Plan Implementation Committee (2014 to 2016), sits on the Access, Fairness and Public Trust and Confidence Committee, and chaired the Court Reporting Matters Committee from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015.

 

Judge Doyle sat on Mercer University's Law School Board of Visitors for a three-year term from 2012 to 2015 and joined Mercer University's Board of Trustees in October, 2015. She is a Master and Executive Board member of Emory University Law School's Lamar Inn of Court. She also served a three-year term (2010 - 2013) on Emory University's Board of Visitors, sitting on its executive board the last two of those years.

 

Judge Doyle participated in Leadership Midtown, the Atlanta Regional Commission leadership Institute, the American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section Leadership Academy, and the 2011 University of Florida Women's Inaugural Leadership Event. Judge Doyle was a Barrister in the Bleckley Inn of Court and a faculty member for the Emory University Trial Advocacy Program. Judge Doyle has participated as a Hands On Atlanta Day team leader, an American Cancer Society Neighborhood fundraiser, as co-chair for her law firm's United Way Committee and a volunteer for the Georgia Volunteer Lawyer for the Arts. Recently, she has acted as a team leader for the Court's participation in the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy.

 

Judge Doyle is married to attorney, Jay Doyle, and they have two children.

Alia El Sawi

Alia El Sawi currently serves as the Victim Assistance Specialist for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HIS). In this capacity, she designs and provides educational trainings and outreach to law enforcement, attorneys, mainstream service providers, and community-based organizations on human trafficking and child exploitation. She conducts victim interviews and assists victims in obtaining a form of temporary immigration relief available to human trafficking survivors. Prior to her work with ICE, Alia was the Anti-Human Trafficking Program Coordinator at Tapestri, Inc. As such, she provided trainings, outreach and direct services/case management to foreign-born survivors of human trafficking. Alia has served as the Chair of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Rescue & Restore Board for 3 years and as the Freedom Network’s Social Service Committee Chair for 3 years. Alia received her B.A. degrees in International Affairs and French from Mercer University and has received her Masters degree from Boston University in Criminal Justice with a focus in Victimology. She also speaks Arabic, French, and Spanish. 

Judge David Emerson

David Emerson has served as a judge of the Douglas Superior Court since 1991. Judge Emerson graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) in 1973 and a Juris Doctor degree in 1976.  He practiced law in Douglasville for 15 years prior to his election to the Superior Court bench.

Jamila Furtch

Jamila Furtch is a licensed professional Counselor for the state of GA, with over 9 years of clinical experience ranging from intense inpatient care to women who have a long history of substance abuse attempting to regain custody of their children. Currently, Jamila is the Program Coordinator for Wellspring Living’s Independent Living Program where she serves women of the ages 18-30 who have been sexually exploited or vulnerable for sexual exploitation. In her role as Program Coordinator, she is required to provide a safe and holistic environment for women who are vulnerable. With her innate calming and proactive problem solving abilities, she has been a great asset to the Wellspring Living family.

Jennifer Hendee

Jennifer Hendee is from North Carolina and earned her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.  Jennifer then obtained a Juris Doctorate Degree from Georgia State University College of Law in 2006.  Jennifer enrolled in the law school’s part time program and worked full time as a staff accountant at Ricoh for the duration of law school.  By attending summer school each year and completing extra coursework, she graduated law school within three years.  While in law school, Jennifer received the Georgia State College of Law Public Service Award in 2004 and 2005. 

Jennifer began prosecuting in the Hall County Solicitor General’s Office before graduating law school and tried multiple cases under the Georgia Law School Graduate Practice Act before passing the BAR exam in 2006.  She spent five years as an Assistant Solicitor in Hall County State Court and was the Assistant Solicitor responsible for supervising Chief State Court Judge Charles Wynne’s courtroom for years.   Jennifer joined the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office in 2011 and was promoted to Senior Assistant District Attorney in 2015. 

Jennifer has tried more than 170 cases and litigated numerous appeals.   In 2016, she prosecuted the first human trafficking case ever tried in Gwinnett County and secured a conviction without the testimony of the victim who the defendant forced to engage in prostitution.  

Jennifer also assists with training local police agencies, including within municipalities and at the Gwinnett County Police Department, where she educates both recruits and sworn officers.

Judge Paul M. Herbert

Judge Paul Herbert is a lifelong resident of Columbus, Ohio and has been practicing law for 27 years. He and his wife Barb have raised two daughters who currently attend college. Judge Herbert is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Capital University Law School while working and attending school at night. After a brief time in private general practice Judge Herbert joined the staff of the Franklin County Prosecutor=s Office and served as a trial attorney. In 1991 he became the Chief of Staff for the Franklin County Municipal Court Clerk=s Office. In 1996 he assumed the role of Clerk of Court where he spent the next 7 years before being elected Judge in 2003. Judge Herbert was re-elected to that position in 2009. While serving as a Judge, he proposed a specialized program focusing on Human Trafficking victims who have been charged with the misdemeanor offense of solicitation. CATCH (changing actions to change habits) was started in September 2009. The results have been nothing short of miraculous. Women now have a safe path to exit this vicious lifestyle, they are being reunited with their families, not committing new offenses, furthering their educations and giving back to the community in significant ways. In 2015, Judge Herbert was recognized by the United States Justice Department and received an award from Attorney General Eric Holder for his contributions in the fight against Human Trafficking.

Katherine Hoffer

Katherine Hoffer has been an Assistant United States Attorney since 1991, and is currently serving as the Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Section where she supervises other  attorneys. She began her career there prosecuting drug conspiracy cases and received the Director's Award from the Executive Office of the United States Attorney and the Attorney General for her work on a large-scale RICO case in 1994.  

In 1995, Mrs. Hoffer became a member of the Violent Crimes Section where she has since been prosecuting cases such as bank robbery, commercial armed robberies, carjackings, kidnaping, gun trafficking, immigration offenses, and a death penalty cases against a prison inmate in Atlanta for the murder of a guard. She received the General Counsel's Exemplary Assistance Award by the Bureau of Prisons for her work.  

As the Chief of that section for six years, she was named liaison to the FBI for terrorism matters after 9/11/2001, and served as the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council Coodinator for 10 years, working closely with the FBI on terrorism cases.  

During 2003, Mrs. Hoffer became active in pursuing and prosecuting cases involving Human Trafficking. She was instrumental in creating the federal initiative Rescue and Restore, a coalition in conjunction with Health and Human Services that served to raise public awareness about human trafficking. Mrs. Hoffer has since prosecuted cases, lectured and taught on this topic, specifically about the victims of human trafficking and the problems relevant to prosecution.   

She has been recognized by the FBI, ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms), DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and other federal and local agencies for her work in prosecution. 

Mrs. Hoffer obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1984. Prior to her current position she served as a prosecutor in both Cobb and Fulton Counties.  

Judge Cassandra Kirk

Appointed by Governor Nathan Deal, Cassandra serves as Chief Magistrate Judge of Fulton County, where she has worked to increase the usability of the Court for its litigants. During her tenure as an Associate Juvenile Court Judge, Cassandra spearheaded the establishment of Choices, Fulton County’s first Juvenile Drug Court program, which was selected to participate in a nationwide Learning Collaborative. Judge Kirk began her career with the firm formerly known as Stokes & Murphy, PC, an Atlanta-based labor and employment boutique, specializing in the hospitality, food service and manufacturing industries.

She came to the bench after more than 15 years in public service. She served as an Assistant District Attorney in both the Alcovy and the Atlanta Judicial Circuits and served as Director of Legal Services for the Georgia Merit System. Her juvenile experience includes service as a juvenile defense attorney, attorney for the Department of Family and Children Services and as a Supervising Child Attorney.

Cassandra supports the community through service to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

(Parliamentarian), North Avenue Presbyterian Church (College of Deacon) and the Boards of Directors of The League of Women Voters of Atlanta-Fulton County, Star C, the Children's Welfare Collaborative, and StreetGrace, a non-profit aimed at eradicating domestic minor sex trafficking. Cassandra received her B.A. from Williams College, and her J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Beth Locker

Beth Locker, Beth works for the Division of Family & Children Services (DFCS) as a Federal Grants Manger overseeing the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and Children’s Justice Act (CJA) grants. In that capacity she manages a variety of projects including the Division’s efforts to meet the needs of youth who are victims, or are at high risk of becoming victims, of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC).

Danielle Malangone

Danielle Malangone is the Director of National Anti-Trafficking Strategies at the Center for Court Innovation where she provides expert assistance to individual jurisdictions across the country to help plan, implement, and strengthen innovative responses to human trafficking. Mrs. Malangone also coordinates and provides training to judges and court stakeholders across the U.S. on the issue of human trafficking. She has co-authored: Prostitution Diversion Programs; The Intersection of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Human Trafficking; Forging Partnerships Across Court-Support Organizations, and Responding to Sex Trafficking in Your Jurisdiction: A Planning Toolkit. 

Prior to her consulting work, she served as the deputy director of the Midtown Community Court, where she directed the court’s clinical and workforce development operations, as well as its research and planning projects. Most notably, she directed the design and implementation of the court’s newest responses to prostitution and human trafficking. Mrs. Malangone was an Adjunct Professor at New School University where she developed and instructed a class on domestic sex trafficking. Before joining the Center in 2005, she worked as a clinical supervisor for the Brooklyn TASC program, where her work helped create alternatives to incarceration for 

offenders with co-occurring substance use and mental illness. Mrs. Malangone is a graduate of Coro Leadership New York XVIII, and received her B.A. from Oswego State University and M.A. in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. 

 

Shinji Morokuma

Shinji Morokuma is Program Director for the Office of Court Professionals in the Judicial Council of Georgia /Administrative Office of the Courts.  He serves as executive staff to the Georgia Commission on Interpreters, the Georgia Board of Court Reporting, the Judicial Council Court Reporting Matters Committee, the Court Reporters Training Council, and Georgia Certified Process Servers.  He also works on special projects for the Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution.

Morokuma previously managed his own law and mediation practice, in which he mediated a variety of civil and divorce cases and served also as a mediation trainer and coach for several local universities and training institutions.

Before attending law school, Morokuma worked as a writer and editor for 11 years, first for the University of Rochester, and later for an international journalism and First Amendment foundation in Arlington, Va.

Morokuma earned his B.A. in psychology from the University of Rochester in 1984 and his J.D. from Georgia State University College of Law in 1998.  He has been a member of the Georgia Bar since 1998 and a Georgia Registered Mediator since 1997.

Samuel S. Olens

Sam Olens was sworn in as Georgia’s 53rd Attorney General on January 10, 2011.

As Attorney General, Olens is committed to serving Georgians by defending the United States and Georgia Constitutions and upholding the rule of law. 

Olens has fought for stronger laws to protect Georgians. He has worked with our Governor and legislature to strengthen the penalties for sex trafficking and protect the victims, guide a comprehensive revision of Georgia’s sunshine laws, and lead the effort to stem the epidemic of prescription drug abuse to include establishing a video contest for Georgia’s high school students.  Additionally, in cooperation with the Georgia Food Bank Association and Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia, Olens established the Georgia Legal Food Frenzy, which has collected the equivalent of over five million pounds of food for Georgia’s youth.

Olens currently is Vice President of the National Association of Attorneys General, having previously served as Chair of the 13-state Southern Region both in 2013 and 2015. 

Prior to being elected Attorney General, Olens was Chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, serving from August 2002 through March 2010, having previously served as a County Commissioner from 1999 through June 2002.  Olens also served as chair of the Atlanta Regional Commission from December 2004 through 2009, and as Vice-Chair of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water District.

Olens is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, to include the 2015 Charles L. Weltner Freedom of Information Award, the 2013 Emory Law School Distinguished Alumni Award, the 2008 Tom Bradley Leadership Award by the National Association of Regional Councils and the 2007 “Excellence in Public Service Award” by the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute. Georgia Trend magazine has listed Olens as one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians” every year since 2005 and he is their 2016 Georgian of the Year.  In 2011, the Cobb Chamber of Commerce honored Olens for his dedication to community and philanthropic service by naming their annual community service award the “Sam Olens Business Community Service Award.”

Olens graduated from the Emory University School of Law in 1983. He is a registered mediator/arbitrator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution. He has been admitted to practice law in Georgia and the District of Columbia.

Olens and his wife Lisa have two children, Lauren and Jonathan. 

 

Judge Bonnie Oliver

Judge Bonnie C. Oliver is a 1974 graduate of Buford High School and attended Shorter College in Rome, Georgia on an academic scholarship. She graduated cum laude in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in history. Judge Oliver obtained her legal education at the Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University, Macon, Georgia, where she received a Juris Doctor in 1981 and was admitted to the bar the same year.

Before entering private practice, Judge Oliver was general counsel for a private non-profit organization. She provided legal services to senior citizens in a 13-county area of North Georgia for four years. Over the next 13 years, Judge Oliver had a general trial practice in Gainesville, Georgia with an emphasis on personal injury litigation. In June 1998, after having practiced law for 17 years, Governor Zell Miller appointed her as Judge of the State Court of Hall County. On September 27, 1999, Governor Roy Barnes appointed her Judge of the Superior Courts of the Northeastern Judicial Circuit, which includes Hall County and Dawson County.

In 2000, 2004, and 2008 Judge Oliver was elected to 4-year terms. She currently serves on the Council of Superior Court Judge's Bench and Bar and Legislative committees and is the past Chairperson of the Mandatory Continuing Judicial Education Committee. Judge Oliver is the current Vice Chair of the Judicial Qualifications Commission where she has served as a member since 2003.

Judge Oliver is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia and served as an elected Board of Governors representative for the Northeastern Circuit from 1994 to 2002. She is a former Chairman of the Client Security Trust Fund. She is a former Chairman of the General Practice and Trial Section of the State Bar and is currently on the Executive Board. She is a Fellow of the Lawyers Foundation of Georgia, and a member of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta and of the Gainesville-Northeastern Bar Association. Judge Oliver is a former Trustee of the Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Judge Oliver served as a member of the Investigative Panel of the State Bar for 4 years, investigating lawyers for ethical violations. Judge Oliver was active in the Younger Lawyers Section of the State Bar for many years serving on the Executive Council from 1982 - 1989, and serving as Director in 1989, and was a candidate for President in 1990.

Judge Oliver has been active in the Gainesville/Hall County Community. She is a former President of The Boys and Girls Club of Hall County, and a member and former Associate Director of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, graduate of Leadership Hall County, a member and current Director of the Gainesville Rotary Club, and Past President of Gainesville Middle School PTA. Additionally, Judge Oliver formerly served as adviser to the Gainesville Regional Association for Nursing Home Improvement, a founding member and officer of Lakeside Civitan Club, a Board Member of Teen Pregnancy Alliance, and was formerly Chairman of the 1990 Leukemia Society Fundraiser.

Judge Oliver is married to Andy Miller and has 3 children: Jackson, Sean, and Grace. They reside in Gainesville.

Dalia Racine

Dalia Racine is a 2003 graduate of Emory Law School in Atlanta, Georgia and a 2000 graduate of the University of Florida in Gainesville. She is currently a Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney at the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office in Decatur, Georgia. Dalia has been over the D.A.T.E. (DeKalb Anti-Trafficking and Exploitation) Watch Unit in the DA’s office since its inception. The D.A.T.E. Watch unit has handled over 90 defendants charged with human trafficking or related crimes. To date, they maintain a 100% conviction rate and average sentence of 11.5 years.

 

In January 2015, Dalia and her team created the D.A.T.E. Watch Taskforce. They brought together over 50 community partners, including; law enforcement, service providers, schools and businesses to combat human trafficking in DeKalb County. The Taskforce members signed a protocol that developed a coordinated response in handling these cases.

 

Dalia is also representing the DeKalb County DA’s Office in the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Statewide Human Trafficking Taskforce. She has traveled across the state of Georgia and the United States training law enforcement, prosecutors, service providers and the community-at-large regarding the issue of Human Trafficking. 

 

Prior to joining the DeKalb DA’s office, Dalia Racine was a prosecutor with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, Georgia for over 7 years. She served as a Senior Assistant District Attorney in the Crimes Against Women and Children unit and Homicide Unit. She has successfully investigated, prepared and prosecuted child molestation, sexual assault and pimping cases. In addition, Dalia handled homicide cases that involved prostitution and pimping. 

 

Rich Reaves

Brief Biographical Sketch

Rich Reaves

UGA School of Law, an Administrative Director for Public Service

I. Present Position:

Executive Director

Institute of Continuing Judicial Education of Georgia (ICJE), UGA School of Law

1150 South Milledge Ave., Athens, GA 30602

II. Employment Background:

10/82 - Present Univ. of Georgia, Executive Director, ICJE of Georgia, Athens, GA

5/78 - 9/82 Florida Supreme Court, Director, Florida Judiciary Education, Tallahassee, FL

9/76 - 4/78 Univ. of Tennessee, Director, Judicial System Education Project, Knoxville, TN

5/72 - 8/73 Presbyterian Church, USA, Asst. Dir., Sunset Gap Community Center, Cosby TN

9/69 - 4/72 United States Army, Company Grade Officer (Armor), Ft. Knox, KY

III. Professional Awards:

1999 ABA, Judicial Education Award (best program in nation)

1998 UGA, Walter B. Hill Award for Excellence in Public Service

1989 ABA, Judicial Education Award (best program in nation)

1988 UGA, Public Service Distinguished Achievement Medallion

IV. Particular Professional Interests

Regularly perform design and delivery of judicial branch educational products and services for judges and support personnel of the Georgia Judicial Branch. Serve as drafting Reporter for Supreme Court Committees to Revise the Georgia Code of Judicial Conduct, both in 1994 and again in 2014.

V. Formal Education:

Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 1973-1976 JD Law

Beloit College, Beloit, WI 1965-1969 BA (cum laude) Sociology (major), Economics (minor) & Art History (minor)

VI. Further Education:

University of Memphis 2001 & 2004 Leadership Institute in Judicial Education

Appalachian State Univ. 1991 Leadership Institute in Judicial Education

University of Georgia 1990 National Leadership Institute in Adult & Continuing Education

US Army Infantry School 1970 Officer's Candidate School

VII. Personal Data:

Born in La Crosse, WI Married w/2 Adult Children. Attorney; and Member of the Bar by examination in the States of Tennessee (1976), Florida (1979), Georgia (1988)

Melba Robinson

Melba Robinson has a vast knowledge encompassing the field of commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking. She has an extensive history of working for and collaborating with CSE victims throughout Georgia and various other states.  As a social worker, Melba’s expertise is in working with children and families, case management, and program & curriculum development.  Melba joined HavenATL with the Salvation Army as a Case Manager then transitioned to Program Director, where she overseers the development of the program, connects with partnering agencies to offer more resources for the women, and provides advocacy, and linkages for the girls and women who have survived commercial sexual exploitation.  Her vision for the girls and young women is to provide a safe environment for them where they can be empowered and begin to work on their journey of wholeness.

Judge Robert Rodatus

 PRESIDING JUDGE, GWINNETT COUNTY JUVENILE COURT

PERSONAL RESUME

JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE

Presiding Judge, Gwinnett County Juvenile Court, 1991-Present

Chief Judge, Gwinnett County Recorder's Court, 1985-1991

Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges -President, 2009-10

National Judicial College: Graduate, 1988

Instructor, Institute of Continuing Judicial Education; Institute of Continuing Legal Education and Prosecuting Attorney’s Council

PROFESSIONAL

State Bar Board of Governors, 1999- Present

State Bar Next Generation Courts Commission 

State Bar Committee on Transition into the Practice of Law

Senior Assistant District Attorney, Gwinnett Judicial Circuit, 1983-84

National College of District Attorneys, Graduate, Career Prosecutors Course, 1984

National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Graduate, 1982

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services - Board of Directors, 1991-95

Family Connection - Chairman, 1993-95

Families First, non-profit counseling organization - Board of Directors

Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful - Board of Directors, 1985-91

EDUCATION

Legal: Mercer University, Walter F. George School of Law, graduated 1976

Undergraduate:University of Pittsburgh, 1969-70

Georgia Southwestern College, 1970-73

 

Jeff Shaw

Jeff received his undergraduate degree from Berry College and then a J.D. from the UGA School of Law in 2007. In 2011, while working at a civil litigation firm in Atlanta, Jeff founded Out of Darkness as a 24-7 rescue hotline for women in the sex industry. Today, Out of Darkness engages in street outreach, jail outreach, medical trainings, the 24-hour rescue hotline, and operates two safe homes for rescued women. They have helped over 800 women from across the United States. 

Jodi Spiegel

Jodi Spiegel is the Deputy Director of the Office of the Child Advocate for the Protection of Children.  She is a 1992 graduate of Emory University Law School. She earned a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida and a Masters in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. She was in private practice for fourteen (14) years before serving as an Assistant District Attorney for seven (7) years prosecuting felony cases including those involving crimes against children. As a prosecutor, she worked closely with law enforcement, the Child Advocacy Center and DFCS.  She led the SART Protocol Revision for her Circuit and was a member of the Multi-disciplinary task force.

 

As Deputy Director of OCA, she manages the Statewide Protocol for the Multidisciplinary Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse and Sexual Exploitation cases.  Her work includes updating the Statewide Model Protocol and conducting state-wide Protocol trainings.  She regularly presents for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council and the Georgia Public Safety Training Center on Domestic Violence and Children, Abusive Head Trauma, Co-sleeping Child Deaths and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.  She is a member of the Statewide Human Trafficking Taskforce and the Sexual Assault Response Expert Committee. 

 

Heather Stockdale

Heather Stockdale is the Executive Director of Georgia Cares, the statewide coordinating agency for child victims of sex trafficking and exploitation in Georgia.  In her role as Executive Director, she is responsible for the overall development and implementation of the organization’s mission and strategic priorities. Her professional experience and training within the Trafficking and Youth Development fields serve her vision to pursue strategies that support holistic health and growth of youth while also building the State’s capacity to support families and communities in the fight against Human Trafficking.

Ms. Stockdale’s passion for child advocacy, youth development and government policy began during her time working under the Office of the Child Advocate. Her aspirations and dedication to these areas led her to a career at the Governor’s Office for Children and Families (GOCF). At GOCF, she was named the Director of the Statewide Task Force on Commercial Sexual Exploitation, led the State’s Trafficking initiatives, and served as the Division Administrator of the Youth Development Division. During her tenure for State Government, Ms. Stockdale was a founding member of Georgia Care Connection Office Inc., where she served on the Board of Directors. Ms. Stockdale was then nominated and appointed by the Board to serve as the Executive Director of Georgia Cares (previously Georgia Care Connection Office Inc.) in December 2013.

Ms. Stockdale’s passion for child advocacy, youth development and government policy began during her time working under the Office of the Child Advocate. Her aspirations and dedication to these areas led her to a career at the Governor’s Office for Children and Families (GOCF). At GOCF, she was named the Director of the Statewide Task Force on Commercial Sexual Exploitation, led the State’s Trafficking initiatives, and served as the Division Administrator of the Youth Development Division. During her tenure for State Government, Ms. Stockdale was a founding member of Georgia Care Connection Office Inc., where she served on the Board of Directors. Ms. Stockdale was then nominated and appointed by the Board to serve as the Executive Director of Georgia Cares (previously Georgia Care Connection Office Inc.) in December 2013.

 

Ms. Stockdale has been instrumental in the State’s anti-trafficking initiatives since 2009, working with federal partners, other States, non-governmental organizations, law enforcement, prosecutors, medical providers, and youth serving agencies to forge multi- disciplinary partnerships. Ms. Stockdale thrives on improving efficiency, crafting innovative models, creating and implementing public policy, improving the effectiveness of systems, and improving access to services in the fight to eradicate child sex trafficking.

 

 

In her role at Georgia Cares, a passion for child advocacy, policy, social justice, and innovative solutions are joined in the fight to end modern day slavery in the form of child sex trafficking. Ms. Stockdale serves on several advisory boards and groups for trafficking and youth development related issues and is a proud graduate of the University of Georgia.

 

Judge Peggy Walker

Judge Peggy H. Walker is the Juvenile Court Judge in Douglas County having served fulltime since 1998.  She graduated from Georgia State University with a Master’s Degree in Education and a Juris Doctorate of Law.  She served as President of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in 2015. She represents NCJFCJ on STRYVE (Striving to Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere) Action Council, a national effort to end youth violence.  She is graduate Harris Fellow of Zero To Three Class of 2005 and was a Senior Fellow at Emory University in 2008.  She served as Chair of the Georgia Commission on Family Violence for two years and served six years on the Commission leading the effort to draft a state plan to end domestic violence. She received the Commission’s Gender Justice Award in 2015, a Big Voice for Children award from Voices for Children in 2016, and Emory University’s EPIC Award for Unsung Devotion for Those Most in Need in 2016.   Judge Walker serves as Vice Chair for Child Fatality Review.  She is an active member of the Rotary Club of Douglas County for the past twenty-three years.  

Dan Werner

Dan Werner serves as Senior Supervising Attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center's Immigrant Justice Project, which combats workplace exploitation and other human rights abuses of immigrants. He is an expert on human trafficking law and the coauthor of A Guide to Civil Litigation on Behalf of Victims of Human Trafficking. In 2015, Werner received a $14 million verdict in a human trafficking case brought on behalf of skilled Indian guest workers brought to the United States for forced labor. For this victory, he and his trial team were awarded the 2015 Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. Werner also is Vice-Chair of the Freedom Network USA, a national alliance of experienced advocates working with survivors of all forms of human trafficking to ensure that trafficked persons have access to justice, safety, and opportunity.  He has lectured and testified in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Islands on issues affecting victims of human trafficking and other forms of severe labor exploitation. Previously, he cofounded the Workers' Rights Law Center of New York with an Echoing Green fellowship after six years as a lawyer with Farmworker Legal Services of New York. Werner also has represented citrus workers in Florida under a NAPIL fellowship. He is a graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa and the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law.

Nathan Whiteman

Nathan Whiteman has been a Special Agent with the FBI since 2004.  He is the Atlanta Division Crimes Against Children Coordinator.  SA Whiteman is the coordinator of the Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation (MATCH) Task Force comprised of 60 Task Force Officers from 17 law enforcement agencies in Georgia.  He is a team leader for the FBI Southeast Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD) Team.  SA Whiteman is a certified crisis negotiatior with the FBI.  

Crystal Williams

Crystal Williams is an artist, inspirational speaker and advocate. She uses the arts to inform and communicate political, social, and spiritual concepts to ultimately act as an agent for social and community change. Crystal graduated from Emory University in May of 2009 with a B.A. in English/Creative Writing and a minor in Theater Studies and is currently pursuing a MBA with a focus in organizational management at Georgia State University. Crystal has worked in the nonprofit arena in marketing and communications, community and volunteer engagement, event planning, fundraising, youth engagement, teambuilding, training, public speaking and program administration. 

Crystal has collaborated with for several local, national and international organizations, the most notable include the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Georgia EmpowerMEnt, The Christian Alliance for Orphans, The Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic, the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services, the Supreme Court of Georgia’s Committee on Justice for Children, The Theater Lab School of Dramatic. She was a member of the Governor’s Council on Child Welfare Reform and the author of "Stronger: An inspirational Journal". 

 

Ashley Willcott

Ashley Willcott is a Certified Child Welfare Law Specialist who has served as an attorney in various capacities in juvenile courts since 1992. She is a 1989 graduate of Newcomb College, Tulane University with a degree in Psychology and English. She earned a Juris Doctorate from Emory University School of Law in 1992 and began practicing law with a small firm including representing parents in deprivation cases and children in delinquency cases. She was then hired as corporate counsel, during which time she continued to handle court-appointed juvenile court cases. Ashley was later appointed first as Fulton County Juvenile Court Judge Pro Tem, and then as DeKalb County Juvenile Court Judge Pro Tem. She had her own private practice and was a Special Assistant Attorney General representing the Department of Human Resources, Rockdale and Dawson County Department of Family and Children Services, and Georgia Supreme Court Justice on Committee for Children Cold Case Project lead. She was appointed by Governor Deal on February 1, 2014 as Executive Director of the Office of the Child Advocate for the Protection of Children.  Ashley is a native of Houston, Texas now living in Dunwoody, Georgia with her husband and three children.

 She is a member of the First Lady’s Children Cabinet; the Child Welfare Reform Council; the Child Fatality Review Panel; the Supreme Court Justice for Children Court Improvement Project. 

 

Camila Wright Zolfaghari

Camila Wright Zolfaghari was appointed by Attorney General Sam Olens to be a prosecutor at the Attorney General’s Office dedicated to the prosecution of human trafficking in 2014. As a prosecutor for the Attorney General’s Office, she has the authority to prosecute human trafficking throughout the entire state and assists jurisdictions as they work these complex cases. In addition to handling prosecutions, Ms. Wright conducts trainings around the state and across the country for law enforcement and prosecutors, and she oversees the Attorney General’s policy agenda on human trafficking.  She chairs the statewide law enforcement workgroup and recently oversaw the development and standardization of 8 hours of human trafficking training materials.  

Prior to this position she was the head of the Human Trafficking Unit for the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office where she was responsible for the prosecution of all cases related to human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children.  She prosecuted the first case of Human trafficking against a buyer and prosecuted several traffickers who ended up with sentences of Life without Parole.   She focuses on the domestic trafficking of children, and the majority of her work involves young local girls who are manipulated and trafficked into a life of prostitution.  She works closely with the FBI, GBI, ICE, local law enforcement agencies and other community partners to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases.

 Ms. Wright has prosecuted many human traffickers and many of the traffickers she has prosecuted have received life sentences.   She has convicted buyers as well as sellers of human trafficking.

 Ms. Wright actively participates in the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council CSEC Taskforce, the FBI MATCH Taskforce, and the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Multi-Disciplinary Team.  She also trains law enforcement, prosecutors and forensic interviewers across the state to investigate and prosecute human trafficking crimes.

 Ms. Wright obtained her J.D. from the University of North Carolina and her L.L.M in International Law from the University of Amsterdam, and was a researcher at the University of Amsterdam in the field of International Law.  She also worked as an Assistant District Attorney in North Carolina where her focus was child molestation and child abuse cases

Jeff Ertel, Senior Litigation Attorney at Federal Defender Program, Inc. 

Honorable Willie Lovett, Judge, Fulton County Juvenile Court 

Esther Panitch, Defense Attorney, The Panitch Law Group, P.C.