Leah Adams is the Founder and Partner at Linton Group Consulting delivering trauma-informed solutions to schools and organizations. She serves as the Vice President of Engagement at the Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center, an independent, interfaith organization. In this role, she fosters awareness of the Institute’s mission and work. She collaborates on public and private projects, developing lasting relationships and creating meaningful programs. Leah is a trained and certified facilitator with the Center for Mind-Body Medicine and facilitates support groups for children and adults. She holds a Project Management Professional designation from the Project Management Institute, with more than twenty-five years experience leading programs and delivering global projects with top-tier organizations. Leah enjoys collaborating in the community. She is a contributor to Rice University’s Best Boards Conference. She is currently participating on a select team for crisis intercept mapping for suicide prevention for US veterans. She enjoys ongoing collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Methodist Hospital, and other meaningful organizations as a thought leader in trauma-informed care.
Marian Cabanillas, MBA
Marian Cabanillas serves as the CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community & State’s South Texas Health Plan. She is responsible for Medicaid products including the STAR, CHIP, STAR Kids and STAR+PLUS programs which generate approximately $4 billion in revenue annually. Marian leads initiatives at the health plan that result in growth through strategic relationships and innovation. Her team consists of more than 1,000 diverse employees that are responsible for provider, member, community and employee engagement. Marian is committed to addressing the issues of healthcare and disparities in the communities she serves.
Kathryn E. Hayden
Kathryn E. Hayden is a financial advisor with Raymond James and, along with Robert Wayne Jamail, Sr., created the Jamail Hayden Group. The team provides holistic wealth planning, investment portfolio construction, performance analytics, and monitoring for high-net-worth individuals and families. She has more than 35 years of experience and has held managerial, marketing, training, and consulting positions in both the broker/dealer and investment advisory industries.
Katie Jackman is a marketing professional with more than 25 years’ experience with both non-profit and corporate organizations. Currently she is the Marketing Manager for Home Service Plus at CenterPoint Energy. Previously she was an independent marketing consultant whose clients included Children’s Museum Houston, Houston Habitat for Humanity, and Jewish Family Service. She has also led marketing departments for the Alley Theatre, Lone Star Flight Museum and Seattle Repertory Theatre. Her commercial theater experience includes Clear Channel Entertainment and Cirque du Soleil. Katie also worked in Marketing Planning for Target Corporation. She also holds a Certificate of Distinction at the Leadership Institute of Non-Profit Executives at the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, Rice University.
DeJuana S. Jernigan, MSW, LCCA, LCPAA
DeJuana is an avid child and family advocate who is committed to the work that she does to help people heal and ensure that children are safe and families are supported to care for them. DeJuana worked with the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services — Child Protective Services Division — for 10 years, where her last position was as a Regional Program Administrator in the Greater Houston Area. In 2006, DeJuana joined DePelchin Children’s Center as the Adoption/Post Adoption Program Coordinator and later served as the Director of Child Welfare Services (Foster Care, Adoption, & Post Adoption) from 2008-2020, in which she acted as DePelchin’s Licensed Child Placing Agency Administrator (LCPAA) and Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Educator. In 2020, DeJuana joined Arms Wide Adoption Services as its President and CEO where she currently leads the organization to implement its mission of transforming the lives of children in Houston and South Texas that are in need of safe and nurturing adoptive families. DeJuana also currently serves as President of the Texas Foster Care Association and is active in several DFPS/ CPS-related workgroups and community collaboratives, including host/facilitator of the Region 6 Child Placing Agency Collaborative.
Melissa Goldberg Mintz, Ph.D.
Dr. Goldberg Mintz received her Master’s and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver. After completing her doctoral internship at Kaiser Permanente, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Menninger Clinic with Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Goldberg Mintz has also served as a staff psychologist at the Harris County Children’s Assessment Center and most recently as Assistant Clinical Professor at UTHealth McGovern Medical School. She currently owns a small private practice, Secure Base Psychology, holds the title of Clinical Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine, and is the author of Has Your Child Been Traumatized? How to Know and What to do to Promote Healing and Recovery (The Guilford Press, 2022).
Shawn Alex Nemeth (Chair)
Shawn Alex Nemeth is a talented speaker, author, coach, and entrepreneur whose life purpose is to help childhood trauma survivors heal and thrive. He is also the Founding Director and CEO of Chester Street Foundation, a nonprofit he established to shine a light on childhood trauma through education and awareness. Having suffered horrific abuse as a child, Nemeth threw himself into nonprofit work as an adult, compassionately working around the world to help others heal while the child inside suffered in silence. In 2009, he was hospitalized with PTSD and learned that severe trauma had been encoded in his brain and body during the many years of abuse and neglect. With treatment, courage, and self-compassion, Nemeth began the long road to recovery and set out on a mission to give traumatized children a voice by educating the community about childhood trauma issues. In addition to sharing his inspiring story with audiences large and small as a professional speaker and through his work with Chester Street Foundation, Nemeth has also chronicled his experiences in his book, Thorns of Chester Street.
Albert M. Sanchez, MBA (Treasurer)
Albert Sanchez is a dynamic and influential servant leader with a passion for serving others and a track record of building strategic partnerships and leading high-performing teams. He currently serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Central Houston, Inc., where he plays a key role in executing the organization’s strategic alignment plan. With an extensive background spanning over 18 years, Albert has gained valuable experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, including 13 years as a Dallas Police Officer. Albert holds an MBA from Texas Wesleyan and has further augmented his expertise through certificate programs at Cornell University (Executive Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion, Financial Success for Nonprofits) and Harvard Business School (Power & Influence for Positive Impact).
Albert is deeply dedicated to tackling childhood trauma head-on. Albert’s passion and determination serve as a guiding force in his mission to create a brighter and more nurturing future for all children, championing their well-being and enabling them to thrive despite their past experiences.
Danielle Stafford (Secretary)
Danielle Stafford is a Paralegal at Werlinger Law Group, PLLC. She has over 13 years of legal experience in both civil and criminal litigation. Danielle chose this career path after learning about the role of a paralegal in the Crimes Against Children’s division at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies from the University of Texas at Brownsville. In 2014, it all came full circle when she was hired at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. She was assigned as a Paralegal in the Crimes Against Children Division where she spent more than 8 years assisting in the prosecution of cases involving abuse to Harris County’s most vulnerable victims, children. Through the prosecution of these cases, Danielle was fortunate enough to work closely with Child Advocates at the Houston Area Women’s Center and multiple disciplinaries within Children’s Assessment Center. Seeking justice for and meeting with hundreds of children over the years, she was able to see first-hand the lasting effects of childhood trauma and the realities that trauma comes in many different forms and affects everyone differently. Danielle passion is child advocacy, in whatever form that may come, as well as raising community awareness.
Meghan Tibo, M.A.
Meghan Tibo provides mental health support for students in the Katy Independent School District as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP). She also serves her community as the Founder and Managing Director of The Tallest Trees, an educational consulting firm, providing parent coaching and social skills training for children with social challenges. Meghan holds a Master of Arts degree in psychology and has over 14 years of experience servicing schools and students across the state of Texas. Meghan was a contract LSSP with Specialized Assessment & Consulting and later held coordinator and director positions overseeing quality of assessment and therapy services, recruiting new clients and team members, and providing technical assistance to service providers and schools. Meghan is passionate about being a voice for students who struggle with emotional, behavioral, and social difficulties as well as educating the community about mental health conditions and their impact on society.
Marlen J. Trujillo PhD, MBA
Dr. Trujillo is the Chief Executive Officer of the Spring Branch Community Health Center (SBCHC), a non-profit community health center that provides low-cost healthcare, social and educational services. Trujillo was one of the community leaders on the founding Board of the community health center in 2003. She was a volunteer at the time serving on the Board as the Secretary while completing her undergraduate studies. She spent many hours planning and fundraising as a board member to reach the objective of opening up a faith based charity clinic.
In May 2004, this charity clinic was opened in the Spring Branch Community, in West Houston Texas, to target the Medically Underserved Population and help reduce healthcare disparities by increasing access to affordable quality prenatal care. The community health center was deemed as a Federally Qualified Health Center in 2005. In recent years, the organization has experienced a population explosion which has increased the need for additional healthcare services in the West Houston area. Currently the organization has 8 locations and two mobile health clinics serving 25,000 individuals in need. Dr. Trujillo was born in Houston, Texas and raised in the Spring Branch Community. Her parents are from Colombia and Mexico. She has been the Chief Executive Officer of SBCHC for 15 years. She truly understands the healthcare needs of her community and is an advocate for reducing health disparities across all populations.