MINCA Professional Development Conference

Planning is well underway for the 2015 MINCA Professional Development Conference which will be held April 20-21, 2015 at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City.  More information on the 2015 conference will be available soon. In the meantime you can review the information from the 2014 conference below.  Please check back often as updated information for the 2015 conference will be posted soon.

Conference Links

 Conference Overview  Online Registration & Payment  Conference Schedule
Keynote Speakers
 Brochure & US Mail Registration  Exhibitor Packet
 Location/Directions  Conference Center & Lodging

 Continuing Education

  Session Handouts  

The MINCA Spring 2014 conference will be held April 28-29, 2014 in Traverse City Michigan.  There will be a full day post conference session for forensic interviewers who need the PAAM 3rd day of forensic interview training for NCA accreditation on April 30, 2014. We will explore the latest trends in the investigation of crimes related to children.  Please review the conference brochure or conference schedule from the links above regarding conference session descriptions and speaker information below before completing online registration.  There are a series of 4 advanced forensic interviewing workshops at the conference with brief descriptions in the brochure.  If you are interested in a more detailed description of those sessions, you may click here to view additional information.


Keynote Speaker Information

We are pleased to announce that John O'Leary, Dr. David Lisak, and Dr. Janine D'anniballe will be keynote speakers at the conference.  You will find information on the keynote and other confirmed speakers for the conference listed below.

John O'Leary was a curious nine-year-old boy in 1987. Playing with fire and gasoline, he created a massive explosion in his garage and was burned on 100% of his body. John was given one percent chance to survive.  John’s experience, previously kept private, was showcased when his parents wrote the book, Overwhelming Odds, as a thank you to the family and friends who supported them on their journey. This book resulted in organizations around the world requesting to hear first-hand how John defied the odds. To meet the growing requests and in recognizing his calling to be a change agent of hope and overcoming adversity, John started Rising Above, a lifestyle organization, in 2008.  Today John shares his message with more than 100,000 people each year around the world in healthcare, children’s advocacy, sales, marketing, financial services, education, spirituality and safety. John is consistently given industry-defying gold stars for his emotional storytelling, genuine humor and his ability to empower audiences to take back their lives and change their world. John intimately illustrates how the greatest challenges can be transformed into outstanding growth. His presentations are described as “captivating and life-changing.”  John provides keynote presentations, break-out sessions, half, full-day, online workshops and two-day retreats. He was honored with the Members’ Choice Speaker Award, 2011 from Vistage International.  Join John at our conference as he relates his experiences to succeeding in the CAC/MDT environment and shares how the interactions of health care professionals and child advocates helped him to recover and overcome his injuries. In 2012, John launched Rising Above online programs to help his audiences stay empowered after his presentations. His free online program, Spark! 21 Day Challenge to Ignite Your Possibility, is available to the public and can be accessed at www.RisingAbove.com/Spark. John’s first book will be released in 2014. John is a husband and father of four and currently resides in St. Louis, MO.

David Lisak is a clinical psychologist who has devoted his professional life to studying the causes and consequences of interpersonal
 violence. His research on nonstranger rapists, and on the long-term impact of childhood sexual abuse in adult men has been published in leading scientific journals. For the past 25 years he has served as a forensic consultant, professional trainer, and public speaker across the United States. He has served on the faculty of the National Judicial Education Project and the American Prosecutors Research Institute, and has served as a consultant to judicial, prosecutor and law enforcement education programs across the country. He has conducted trainings and workshops in all fifty states across the U.S., and consults widely with universities, the four services of the U.S. Military, the Department of Defense, and other institutions regarding sexual assault prevention and policies. Dr. Lisak consults frequently on sexual violence and homicide cases across the country. He serves as an expert witness in death penalty cases where issues of child abuse are pertinent, and in sexual assault cases on issues of victim behavior and offender characteristics. Himself a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, he is a founding board member of 1in6, a national, non-profit organization devoted to helping men who were sexually abused as children. Dr. Lisak will speak at the conference about how important it is for Law Enforcement and Protective Services Investigators to understand the Cycle of Violence as it relates to child sexual abuse and neurobiology of trauma.

Janine D’Anniballe has been dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and training of sexual assault issues for the past 18 years. Currently, she is the Director of Access, Emergency, and Community Services at Mental Health Partners in Boulder, Colorado. Previously, she was the Executive Director of Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA), the rape crisis center in Boulder Colorado for ten years.  She received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Tennessee. Dr. D’Anniballe has provided training and consultation to attorneys, law enforcement, military personnel, mental health professionals, victim advocates and University staff in more than 30 states across the country.  She provides training in the State of Colorado addressing system response issues in sexual assault cases for the benefit of all victims.  In 2003, Dr. D’Anniballe joined the faculty of the National Judicial Education Program that educates judges on sexual assault issues and how these cases are approached in the courtroom so as to minimize re-traumatization of victims without undermining defendants' constitutional rights.  A licensed psychologist, Dr. D’Anniballe has a private consulting practice in Boulder with an emphasis on understanding and treating psychological trauma.  Additionally, she testifies as an expert witness in sexual assault cases throughout the state of Colorado. Her knowledge, passion and ability to engage her audience have afforded her opportunities to present at numerous state and national conferences across the country.  

Theresa Flores has been a licensed Social Worker for over twenty years. She received a Master’s in Counseling Education from University of Dayton and a Bachelor’s of Social Work from Ball State University. Ms. Flores was appointed to the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission in 2009 and has testified before the Ohio House and Senate in supports of Human Trafficking Legislation. Her efforts were a major part of the success of these bills being passed into laws. In January 2012 at the State of the State Address, Ms. Flores received The Courage Award from Ohio Governor Kasich for her work in human trafficking. She also has received the 2013 Christian Service Award, the highest award given by the University of Dayton’s Alumni Association for her work with SOAP. Ms. Flores has been featured by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Museum in a traveling exhibit entitled, Invisible Slavery and has published three books, “The Sacred Bath” and “The Slave Across the Street”. The audio version of her latest book was nominated for The 2011 Audie Award, being in the top 5 of all memoirs and biographies and is on the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Seller list for e-books. Her newest book was just released by Random House UK. She is an international speaker and regularly presents to middle and high school students, at universities and to groups of people wanting to learn the red flags of trafficking in the U.S. Ms. Flores was the featured in a Short Documentary, The Girl Next Door, which has won many awards at film festivals all across the U.S. Her story has been seen on The Today Show, MSNBC: “Sex Slaves-The Teen Trade”, the 700 Club, CNN/HLN, Glenn Beck’s “For the Record” as well as many local and national radio shows. Her national rescue mission- S.O.A.P. has been featured on Dateline, Nightline and America’s Most Wanted.

Cynthia Gevedon is the Program Coordinator for Michael's House Child Advocacy Center in Fairborn, Ohio.  Michael’s House CAC has a Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) Facility dog. His name is Nanook, a quiet unassuming gentle friend who is nonjudgmental to all who come to Michael’s House. Nanook is always looking for friends he hasn’t met yet and Cynthia is Nanook’s companion and handler.  Michael’s House is a place of healing for children of abuse. Nanook’s and Cynthia’s job is to help the children not be afraid of their surroundings and the people who are there to help them. “Nanook’s the one that helps bridge the gap between us and the children, according to Cynthia, who is Nanook’s companion and best friend. When there is a court hearing, Nanook and Cynthia meet the children at the courthouse, during the proceedings, Nanook stands next to the witness stand to help take the edge off of the tension and help the children through the court process. Nanook is kind, calm, and gentle, helping the team at Michael’s House break down the communication gap that sometimes stands in the way. He is such a big hit with the children at Michael’s House; several drawings by the children hang on the walls in the halls and rooms of Michael’s House. Most of the drawings feature Nanook. The kids really love him and so do the adults.  Cynthia and Nanook will join us at the conference to share their work and advise others how to start a similar program in their CAC/MDT community. You get to meet the facility dog, Nanook, and observe firsthand the methods of use with crime victims, especially children, as well as resources to apply on behalf of your agency/organization.

Andra K. Chamberlin is a trainer and forensic interviewer for the National Children’s Advocacy Center where she specializes in teaching participants how to conduct developmentally appropriate, legally sound interviews which maximize the quantity and quality of forensically relevant information regarding alleged incidents of maltreatment. She has worked in the child abuse field since 1989, has been conducting recorded forensic interviews since 1996, and has testified as an expert witness in criminal courts. She has presented at local, regional, state, national and international child abuse conferences on child forensic interviewing and multidisciplinary team functioning and has trained forensic interview specialists, prosecutors, law enforcement, therapists, client advocates, social workers, and children’s advocacy center staff. Andra was part of the community organization that established the Children’s Advocacy Center in Midland Texas where she served as the Program Director/Lead Forensic Interviewer for 14 years. During her tenure as CAC Program Director, Andra facilitated case review meetings for multiple child protection teams. She also developed a forensic interview process and taught forensic interviewing training for 11 years for the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas. Andra has worked in a rape crisis center as Education Director and directed a Court Appointed Special Advocate Program. She received her Master’s in Applied Research Psychology from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

Sarah Brown, DO, FACOP, FAAP, is a Child Abuse Pediatrician at the Center for Child Protection at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  She also provides medical services at the Ottawa County CAC in Holland, Michigan.  She attended medical school at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her Pediatrics Residency at Michigan State University at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan.  Dr. Brown is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Child Abuse and Neglect and the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, and Treasurer of the Michigan Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.   She provides expert testimony in many counties across the state.  Dr. Brown leads a Peer Review program for physicians across Michigan to improve the medical care of sexual abuse victims.  Her presentation at the conference will present, through case-based learning, the benefits of strong multi-disciplinary collaboration during physical and sexual abuse investigations.

Kori Stephens, MPH, has worked for the Midwest Regional Children’s Advocacy Center, providing training and technical assistance to child abuse professionals across the nation since 2010. She received her Master of Public Health  in Maternal Child Health with an emphasis on child abuse and neglect from the University of Minnesota. Kori also serves as the Program Manager for the Midwest Regional Medical Academy, an online medical peer review and quality improvement program for child abuse medical professionals. She has worked with various nonprofits in web development, communications, grant writing, and program evaluation. Kori also serves on the Leadership Council of the Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery located in Minneapolis, MN. When not working with CACs and child abuse professionals, Kori works to support and empower moms-to-be as a birth doula helping to fulfill her vision that everyone deserves the right to a healthy, happy and fulfilling life.

Cerina Marlar, LCSW has been a professional advocate in the field of child welfare and domestic violence for over 10 years. Academically, she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Family Social Science from the University of MN and a Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in Leadership and Development in Social Services from Loyola University Chicago. Cerina’s previous professional advocacy experience includes acting as a Family Advocate, Child Protection Case Manager, Therapist, and Trainer for organizations such as Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare, Women In Need Growing Stronger(WINGS), and the Chicago Children's Advocacy Center. Currently Cerina Marlar provides training and technical assistance to child abuse professionals across the nation as the Program Manger of Mental Health and Victim Advocacy at Midwest Regional Children’s Advocacy Center (MRCAC). Her experience at the MRCAC has proved invaluable, supporting her areas of interests that include the intersection of domestic violence and child abuse and the importance of building successful collaborations to ensure the best response to child abuse victims and their non-offending caregivers. 

Larry Burdick is the Assistant Executive Director for the Michigan Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council.  He has 30 years of experience as a prosecutor, including 24 as the elected prosecuting attorney for Isabella County. Immediately prior to his current position he served as Chief Judge the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.  He will be presenting a workshop at the conference on how extensive collaboration among the professionals involved on a multidisciplinary team is critical to the investigation of child sexual abuse cases.  He will use his experience as a prosecutor to show how all MDT members can bring their skills to the table to provide effective assistance to the investigation of child sexual abuse cases.  He will also be a presenter during the post conference session for forensic interviewers.

Michael Tamminga is a detective with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.  After six years of working as a road patrol deputy, he was assigned to work narcotics with the West Michigan Enforcement Team (WEMET).  He was promoted to the detective bureau in 2009 and has since been assigned to work child physical and sexual abuse cases with the Ottawa County Child Advocacy Center’s multidisciplinary team. Detective Tamminga will co-present a seminar at the conference that will focus on helping increase multidisciplinary collaboration during the investigation of physical abuse and improve communication about known and suspected mechanisms of injury. The workshop will also focus on the role of confession data in advancing medical knowledge about physical abuse and coordination of this information with the multidisciplinary team.


Julie A. Welch is the Director of the Child Abuse Training Services Department within the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan (PAAM).  PAAM is a voluntary association of the 83 county prosecutors, the Attorney General, and the U.S. Attorneys serving in Michigan. PAAM works to keep the prosecuting attorneys of the state informed of all changes in legislation, law, and matters pertaining to their office. Julie’s duties include planning and implementing specialized trainings dealing with child abuse and neglect, foremost the Forensic Interviewing Protocol training.  Julie also works with other agencies in and outside of Michigan assuring cross professional relationships continue to grow to assist children of crime.  She is a regular trainer in forensic interviewing, child development and working with kids.  She has also consulted with other states on child welfare issues including Nevada, Maine, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. Her presentation at this conference will focus on the forensic interview and the relationship to the MDT.


Conference Sponsors

We would like to thank the Children's Assessment Center of Kent County and Michigan EMS Education, Inc. for both donating a Kindle Reader that will be given away as door prizes at the conference opening reception on Sunday.

We are thankful for the support of the sponsors listed below. In addition to presentation support from all sponsors, additional funding was received from the Michigan Domestic & Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board. Points of view in this document do not necessarily represent the official position of our sponsors.


Conference Center

The conference will be held at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City Michigan.  Situated on 900 acres in the northwest corner of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula along the shores of Lake Michigan’s East Grand Traverse Bay, the resort is located six miles northeast of Traverse City and ten minutes from Traverse City’s Cherry Capital Airport. The resort features a variety of recreation offerings, including: five indoor and four outdoor tennis courts, two indoor and two outdoor swimming pools, a beach club, an upscale shopping gallery with a world-class spa, diverse restaurants and lounges, and live entertainment nightly.

Hotel rooms for conference attendees will be at the federal per diem rate.  However there is a resort fee that will add approximtely $10 to overnight lodging rates.  Grant funding can be used as taxes and fees are not considered when determining per diem rates.  Click Here or on the picture below to make your hotel reservations online.

Click here to make your room reservation online

You may also call the Grand Traverse Resort at 1-800-968-7352 to make your hotel reservations.  Be sure to mention the Michigan Chapter of the National Children's Alliance conference and the group code MCNCA14.

We believe that you will find many activities in the Traverse City area for the entire family. Children and guest are sure to have many sites to see and attractions to explore while you are attending conference sessions.

Directions to the Grand Traverse Resort

You may use the interactive map below to obtain directions to the conference center.  Just click on the location icon to obtain driving directions to the Grand Traverse Resort.

Continuing Education Credits

*This course has been approved by the Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative.
*This course has been submitted through the MCOLES Network and 302 Training Funds can be used.


Conference Session Handouts

You will find handouts that have been provided by presenters below.  If you are attending any of the listed sessions, you should print out the handouts to bring with you to the conference.

 Monday Session Handouts  Tuesday Session Handouts
 Session B - Canine Comfort in the CAC                

 Session F - Canine Comfort in the CAC
 Plenary - The Motives & Characteristics of Sex Offenders

 Session I - The Impact of Trauma on Brain Development

 Session L - Change and the MDT Model

 Session P - Collaborating on the Child Abuse Case

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