STAFF AND CONSULTANTS
Gizane Indart, Chief Executive Director
Gizane is a bilingual and bicultural professional with over 20 years of experience working with traumatized children and their families. Gizane is a ChildTrauma fellow at the ChildTrauma Academy under the direction of Dr. Bruce Perry. She is a seasoned public speaker and trainer, presenting locally, nationally and internationally on the impact of abuse and neglect in early development, attachment difficulties in children exposed to maltreatment, and sexualized behaviors in children. Gizane is a contributing author to The Web of Meaning, by Gail Ryan and Associates (1999 Safer Society Press), writing on the short-term outcomes of sexual abuse. Gizane has served on the Kempe Children's Center Perpetration Prevention Study Group since 1992; she is also a member of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, the Advisory Counsel for the Colorado Coalition of Adoptive Families and the Women's Foundation of Colorado Program Committee.
Jesse Andrews, Director, Assessment and Treatment Program
Jesse is a licensed professional counselor with over a decade of experience in nonprofits providing direct service in mental health and educational settings. He specializes in individual, family and group therapy with traumatized children, youth and their families. He has provided client-centered treatment in many settings including school-based, in-home, outpatient, day treatment and youth corrections. Jesse is passionate about providing the highest quality of care to children, youth and families and leads his team with these values as a guiding force. He is a new member of the DCAC team and is excited to bring his skills, strengths and interests to the organization.
Lucy Ana Aviles, Pro Bono Bilingual Child & Family Therapist
Lucy Ana is a pro bono bilingual therapist who works with the Spanish-speaking families who comprise a quarter of DCAC's caseload. She comes to DCAC whenever she is needed at times that best meet the needs of the children and families. Lucy Ana is a highly experienced psychologist with expertise in working with child victims of sexual abuse and those traumatized by witnessing homicide or extreme domestic violence.
Jodi L. Byrnes, Director, Forensic Interview and Evaluation Program
Jodi came to DCAC in 2010 with 12 years of experience as a senior social caseworker with the Denver Department of Human Services. At DDHS, Jodi worked with at-risk and fractured families, with a key focus on assessing the safety of children and determining their need for treatment, in-home supervision, or out-of-home placements. Jodi brings to DCAC an extensive knowledge of community resources as well as long-term relationships with law enforcement, court, and health and human service professionals throughout the metro area. She is a licensed professional counselor.
Kristen Chamberlain, Child & Family Therapist
Kristen is a licensed clinical social worker with more than 10 years of working experience with traumatized children, adolescents and their families. She is a seasoned professional in the areas of trauma, young children, attachment, parent-child relationship and family dynamics. Prior to joining DCAC, Kristen worked as Child and Family Therapist in a child placement agency with children of all ages who experienced severe, and often times, chronic trauma, abuse and neglect. More recently, she has worked with a diverse population of children and adults, addressing issues such as substance abuse, domestic violence, divorce, personality disorders, and mental illness. Kristen joined the DCAC team in 2010 and has been renewed in her passion for working with traumatized children, especially the very young, 2-6 years old. She embraces the opportunity to focus treatment around developmental and attachment issues that can be an overlooked need of children receiving services. DCAC is very pleased to offer Kristen as a provider with great depth of experience, passion for the mission, and an ability to work with diverse populations of clients, caregivers and systems.
Angela Davidson, Prevention Director
Angela is a bilingual, bicultural therapist with more than eight years of direct clinical experience in working with traumatized children and their families. Special areas of interest for Angela are: early childhood development, the impact of trauma on the developing child and the effects of immigration on young children. At DCAC, Angela has played a major role in supporting the growth of DCAC's Spanish-speaking caseload. She has also been a lead player in the development and expansion of the successful pre-school pilot program, "Denver Safe from the Start," which focuses on at-risk children and families.
Catherine Ann Hay, Child and Family Therapist
Cathy is a master's level marriage and family therapist with extensive experience in working with child and adolescent survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. She also specializes in working with children who have special needs or severe emotional disturbances, as well as with youth caught up in the criminal justice system. While pursuing her master's degree at Pepperdine University, Cathy worked as an intake specialist and therapist with the Coalition to End Family Violence in California where she became expert in crisis management and meeting the immediate needs of mothers and children traumatized by violence.
Raquel Hernandez, Bilingual Victim Advocate
Prior to joining DCAC in 2007, Raquel worked as a victim advocate intern with COVA (Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance), the Westminster Police Department and Project Safeguard. Raquel is the bilingual case manager for Access to Health. Raquel assists clients, siblings, and families of DCAC clients as well as other eligible children and families in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties enroll in Medicaid and CHP+. Raquel also works with the Treatment and Assessment staff completing therapy intakes. Raquel specializes in bilingual, bicultural support for Spanish-speaking families.
Agustin Leone, Bilingual Prevention Specialist
Agustin was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to the United States at the age of 2. He majored in Health Promotion at Colorado State University with minors in Business Administration and Spanish. He joined our prevention team in June of 2011 and before working as a prevention specialist, Agustin interned with the prevention teams access to health program. Besides working with at-risk youth his professional interests are public health and disease prevention.
Andrew Mackintosh, Director of Finance and Operations
Andrew has been actively engaged in community service and social justice since childhood, following in the footsteps of his parents who produced community projects for the City of Denver including the Center for Environmental Learning, Women's Gold, the Metropolitan Science Center, and Mackintosh Academy. He is a full-time family man, part-time student and volunteer, and is a member for life on the board of Best Pets Colorado, an organization dedicated to finding permanent homes for shelter animals. In 2006, Andrew worked in collaboration with the Denver branch of the National League of American Pen Women to produce the Tapestry for Peace, a 250-foot mixed-media tapestry bearing interpretations of peace by national Pen Women branches, schools and nonprofit organizations. He recently left his position of 12 years with Boulder County AIDS Project and is very excited to be working with the DCAC community.
Mandy M. Rigg, Fundraising Consultant/Grantwriter
Mandy has worked with the Denver Children's Advocacy Center since 1993 and she takes great joy in having participated in its incredible growth and development. Mandy has worked with nonprofit organizations since 1990 when she joined the Colorado Nonprofit Association. She spent six years at the association as editor of Nonprofit Colorado and director of information services. After that she helped to build a start-up publishing company for nonprofit grantseekers (headed up by Richard Male, founder of the Community Resource Center) where she was editor for five major grant guides-New York, New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Mandy became a consultant in 2000 and has since worked with many Colorado, national and international nonprofits-but DCAC is like family!
Jessica Siekmeier, Bilingual Prevention Specialist
Jessica joined DCAC in 2010 to work with at-risk children and families in the Denver Safe from the Start program. Jessica graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a degree in Spanish, Journalism and International Development. As part of her studies, she spent six months abroad living with a Honduran family. Since then, Jessica has worked as a field interviewer for social ministry in a network of Grand Rapids congregations, and as a family educator and advocate with the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan to help inner city families prevent lead poisoning. Jessica has recently returned from Ecuador where she served as the liaison between medical staff and patients in a rural hospital.
Dulce Solis, Bilingual Victim Advocate/Forensic Interviewer
Dulce Solis has a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and is thrilled to have the opportunity to combine it with her passion for working with children and families. Dulce was born in Mexico and came to the United States when she was four years old. As a high school student in Texas, she spent her summers volunteering at Ronald McDonald Houses helping single mothers and their children. Dulce moved to Colorado in 2001. While attending college she volunteered as a parenting time supervising specialist with Family Tree, who soon offered her a paid position at their Adams County site. She spent a year coordinating supervised child visitations, coaching parents on how to provide a safe environment for their children, and helping families overcome the trauma of sexual abuse and domestic violence.
Laurel VanderMeulen, Forensic Interviewer
When Lauri joined DCAC in 2007, she already had 17 years of experience working on crimes against children. After an award-winning career as a police officer and detective, Lauri was looking for a change within her field. In addition to her forensic interviewing skills with children, and her understanding of criminal investigations, she brings a wealth of additional knowledge in children's legal issues concerning physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. Lauri has also worked as a teacher, training police officers, other professionals and students about child abuse and the law. She is a very welcome addition to our multi-disciplinary team and the Forensic Interview and Evaluation Program.
Candace Wengert, Volunteer Coordinator
Candace was born and raised in Southern California but has spent more than 30 years in the great state of Colorado. Candace attended the University of California, earning a bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts. "All the world is a stage" for performing and she used her skills in many varied positions from the restaurant industry where she trained servers, opened new restaurants and implemented new menus to the air express industry where she was a courier and customer service agent. Working in the nonprofit field is a gift to her learning. Working at Judi's House, support for children grieving loss of a parent or sibling, enhanced Candace's skills for volunteer coordination including implementing a food program to feed families before evening groups. At DCAC Candace helps with development, fund raising and volunteer coordination.
Jerry Yager, PsyD, Director of Training and Education
Dr. Jerry is a Clinical Psychologist with more than 25 years of experience in the assessment and treatment of traumatized children and adolescents. He specializes in working with adolescents who exhibit self-destructive behavior and have severe mental illness such as clinical depression, bipolar mood disorder, post-traumatic distress disorder and psychosis. Before joining DCAC, Jerry was the Executive Director of the Denver Children's Home, which shares a mission with DCAC to provide high quality mental health care for low-income children whose problems would otherwise go undiagnosed and untreated. Jerry received his Doctorate in Psychology from Nova University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Colorado. He is a ChildTrauma fellow with the ChildTrauma Academy, and conducts professional training in Colorado and nationally.
Anne DePrince, PhD. - Research Director Psychology, University of Denver
Bruce Perry, M.D., PhD. - Senior Fellow, ChildTrauma Academy
Kathryn Wells. MD, Medical Director- Denver Family Crisis Center-Denver Health Medical Center
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics-University of Colorado
Paul Smith - CPA
Beth Croucher - Special Projects
DCAC relies on grants and donations in order to provide no-cost assessment and treatment services to children in need. We need your help. Make your donation today.