Meet our team of experts and survivors.

ADVISORY BOARD

 
 
 

Megan Halicek is a management consultant and sexual abuse survivor + adocate based in Los Angeles. She received her Bachelors in Communication from Drexel University, and her passions include connecting to survivors, traveling, and meditation.

Megan Halicek, Courage First Consultant

Marci Ann Hamilton is the CEO and Academic Director at CHILD USA, an interdisciplinary think tank to prevent child abuse and neglect. She is also a widely regarded scholar in constitutional law and a Fox Family Pavilion Distinguished Scholar in the Fox Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Marci Hamilton, CEO & Academic Director, CHILD USA

Kelly C. Crabb is an American lawyer who specializes in media and entertainment issues. He served as the chief legal representative for the Beijing Olympics Organizing Committee in Los Angeles.

Kelly Crabb, Sheppard Mullin

 
 

Manvir “Mick” Grewal, Sr. is the founding and managing partner of Grewal Law PLLC. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts and Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He also holds a Master of Laws in Taxation from John Marshall Law School. Mick is licensed to practice in Michigan (1993), Illinois (1994), Washington, D.C. (1994), United States Tax Court (1994), United State Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (2003), Federal District Court of Colorado (2018), United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (2019) and Eastern and Western District of Michigan Federal Court.


He began his career in 1993 and focused his practice on criminal and family law, civil litigation as well as estate work. In the last decade, he has immersed himself into learning new areas of the law including sexual assault, medical malpractice, personal injury and medical marijuana.

 
 

Kimberly Hurst, PA-C, Founder and Executive Director, WC Safe

Mick S. Grewal Sr., Grewal Law PLLC

 
 

ADVOCATES

 

Christina is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and recently earned her Black Belt in Tang Soo Do. Though a native Michigander, Christina is currently residing in Fort Worth with her husband and four children.

Christina Barba

Louise Harder has been advocating for sexual violence prevention since coming forward with her own story in 2018. She graduated from Oakland University with a degree in Wellness and Health Promotion and has over 3 years professional experience planning, implementing, and evaluating prevention programming. Louise has been named Oakland University's "Top Ten Alumni [graduating] within Ten Years" and "Women of the Year" from Glamour Magazine, among other accomplishments, due to her passion to help other survivors and demand accountability. Louise looks forward to supporting others through her role as a Survivor Advocate.

Louise Harder

Heather is Life and Health Insurance agent working for a brokerage in Westlake Village, CA with a background in Accounting. Her passion outside of work is showing dogs with her family including grooming, breeding, training and running agility with her Samoyeds. Her greatest accomplishment in life is her beautiful, adult daughter that is now attending law school and her Humanitarian award given by Global Sports Development for her advocacy for change and protecting future athletes in the sport of gymnastics.

Heather Kelly

Larissa Boyce grew up in Williamston, MI before attending Michigan State University. She now works as an advocate for survivors while maintaining her position as a mom of 4 beautiful children and CEO of the Boyce household.

Larissa Boyce

Melody van der Veen grew up in Holland, MI and Lansing, MI, graduating from Grand Valley State University magna cum laude with degrees in Management, Entrepreneurship, and Dance. After graduating, she began her career as a managerial and creative consultant and married her husband, Luke van der Veen, in October 2017. In January 2018, along with over 150 women, Melody identified publicly as a survivor of Larry Nassar. Along with her sister survivors, she received the ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award and Glamour Magazine's Women of the Year 2018 honoree. She also helped launch The Army of Survivors, a nonprofit that fights sexual violence in athletics, as the Website Design and Development Chair. Most recently, she shared her story and perspective on institutional abuse through the HBO documentary, At the Heart of Gold. Now based in Los Angeles, CA, Melody transitioned from working in content marketing to found a nonprofit, Christians for Feminism, in May 2019.

Melody van der Veen

Dr. Moore is a Crisis Clinician with experience in individual and group psychotherapy, diagnostic assessment, and trauma therapy. Dr. Moore completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology at ISPP, Master’s degree in forensic psychology at the University of North Dakota, and her undergraduate degree in psychology at Central Michigan University.

Dani Moore

Kristen Thelen studied Fisheries and Wildlife Biology at Michigan State University and Colorado State University. She was involved in the sport of gymnastics for 17 years, several of those years as a gymnastics coach and tumbling instructor. She is blessed to now be a full-time mother. She enjoys making art and being in nature.

Kristen Thelen

Emily grew up in Mason, Michigan. As a club gymnast, she competed at the national level throughout her childhood. Emily graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and worked in the financial services industry for the last 15 years. She now enjoys being a stay at home mom and volunteering in her community through Junior League. She loves spending time outdoors and traveling with her family. As a survivor of childhood sexual assault, Emily is looking forward to pursuing advocacy work focusing on the prevention of sexual assault and supporting survivors.

Emily Meinke

Megan Halicek is a management consultant and sexual abuse survivor + adocate based in Los Angeles. She received her Bachelors in Communication from Drexel University, and her passions include connecting to survivors, traveling, and meditation.

Megan Halicek

Lyndsy is currently employed as a Stakeholder Manager at Elder Law of Michigan and has her Bachelors in Business Administration. At Elder Law, she helps individuals amplify their voice through advocacy and direct assistance. She also volunteers as an ambassador for CHILD USA and looks forward to creating an environment where survivors feel safe and encouraged to share their stories as the Grant Procurement Chair for The Army of Survivors.

Lyndsy Gamet

Sabrina is an LA native, a UCLA graduate, and USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame member. She realized her passion for advocacy after her decision to speak out against abuse by her former coach Doug Boger of Flairs Gymnastics, ultimately inspiring other victims to come forward and helping to change policy within the sport.

Sabrina Mar

Amanda is a survivor and advocate who works to create systems that prevent sexual assault and support survivors. Her experience at the center of one of the country’s largest sexual assault trials and settlements inspired her to co-found Survivor Strong. Amanda previously served as the campus sexual assault response and prevention coordinator for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in Lansing, Michigan, where she worked closely with former Michigan First Lady Sue Snyder’s Let’s End Campus Sexual Assault initiative.

Amanda Thomashow

Grace French is a founding member and President of The Army of Survivors, as well as a passionate advocate and change agent. Grace is also a marketer and brand strategist, and currently works in Detroit at Shinola. She received her BBA at University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. Besides her work, Grace enjoys dancing, traveling, good coffee, and playing with her puppy Bentley.

Grace French

Trinea Gonczar is a survivor and advocate for victims of sexual abuse. Gonczar is development director at Wayne County (MI) SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners program), serves on Michigan State University’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Advisory Board, and co-curated the Finding Our Voice exhibit at the Michigan State University Museum. Featured in At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal, she speaks nationally about her experience and has received numerous accolades, including ESPN’s 2018 Arthur Ashe Courage Award and the Humanitarian Award from the Foundation for Global Sports Development.

Trinea Gonzcar

Alexis is currently pursing a degree in Healthcare Administration at Ferris State University. She brings her organization and positivity to The Courage First team. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, shopping, and traveling.

Alexis Alvarado

Emma Ann Miller is a dancer and high schooler who is passionate about helping others. As a student she is involved in numerous groups to pursue this goal, including Be Nice, Beyond, Peer to Peer/PALS, Future Doctors of America, and the National Honors Society.

As a Sister Survivor, Emma Ann understands the courage it takes to speak up, risk personal assets, and defend what is right or correct what is wrong. She herself experienced this firsthand when she stood up in front of a jury of her peers and a judge to redefine the legal and medical society.

Emm Ann has spoken to the Michigan House and Senate on a bill to increase statute of limitations, she has been interviewed for The New York Times and is featured in the book “The Girls,” written by Abigail Pesta. Emma Ann has been honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage ESPY award, the Humanitarian Award from The Foundation for Global Sports Development.

Emma Ann Miller

Charmaine Carnes

Kat Ebert is from Haslett, MI and is currently attending Michigan State University studying Neuroscience with a Pharmacology and Toxicology minor. She plans on attending graduate school to receive a PhD in Neuropsychopharmacology and research psychedelic medicine for mental illnesses such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

Kat Ebert

Jessica Ann Smith is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse in the case of former sports physician and convicted sex abuser Larry Nassar. She was interviewed in the HBO documentary, At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal. Smith serves on the board of directors at Small Talk Child Advocacy Center, helping to educate and protect the greater Lansing, MI, community. She recently completed her bachelor’s degree in elementary education with an emphasis on early childhood development from Ferris State University. Whether through her work as an educator or as a survivor advocate, Smith strives to be a changemaker in combating sexual violence and promoting a trauma-informed society.

Jessica Ann Smith

Denise was a gymnast from 11 years old with Flairs Gymnastic Foundation. She was shooting to compete in the 1980 Olympics.

Denise is a mother of 4 and has 1 grand child. She is currently enjoying working as a kindergarten teacher’s aide.

Denise joins Courage First and wishes to ensure child safety in sports and the prevention of abuse.

Denise Cervenka

 

TEAM

 

Dr. Steven Ungerleider is an accomplished author, sports psychologist, and advocate for sport. He has written several books on Olympic topics, including the best-selling Faust’s Gold: Inside the East German Doping Machine, which examined the 30-year doping activities of the late East German regime. Steven is a founding trustee of the Foundation for Global Sports Development, where he currently serves as Vice-President for the Executive Board. He co-founded the Foundation’s production arm, Sidewinder Films, and received an Emmy nomination for his research on the 2016 documentary short Munich ’72 and Beyond.

Steven has also served on the Education and Ethics Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency and the National Advisory Panel of the American Psychological Association. In 2009, he co-founded the Texas Program in Sports and Media (TPSM) at the University of Texas, Austin.

Dr. Steven Ungerlieder, Vice-President, Foundation for Global Sports Development, Co-Founder, Sidewinder Films

David C. Ulich is the President of the Foundation for Global Sports Development and serves on its Board of Directors. He is a co-founder of the Foundation’s production arm, Sidewinder Films, which has produced such critically acclaimed documentaries as the Emmy-nominated Munich ’72 and Beyond and the Academy Award-nominated End Game. Their latest film, At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal, recently premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, before airing nation-wide on HBO this past May.

David is a partner of the law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP. He also serves on the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games’ Board of Directors, the Council of the International Fair Play Committee, Agitos Foundation’s Board of Trustees, and the LA2028 organizing committee.

David C. Ulich, President, Foundation for Global Sports Development, Co-Founder, Sidewinder Films

 

Melanie Raffle is the Chief Operating Officer at The Foundation for Global Sports Development and Sidewinder Films, the foundation’s film production arm. Melanie received a Bachelors of Science in Business Management from Pepperdine University and graduated magna cum laude from Loma Linda University with an MBA in Business Administration with a focus in Healthcare Administration.

In addition to her role leading the foundation, Melanie is a member of the Angel City Sports Advisory Council and serves on the Wayne County SAFE Advisory Board. Joining her passions with her skills, Melanie has a strong desire to make impactful and sustainable change in the world and to help those less fortunate. With Courage First, she has found her calling: to protect youth and athletes and make sport safe for everyone.

Melanie Raffle Armenti, Chief Operating Officer, Foundation for Global Sports Development

Brooke is the Vice-President of Communications for The Foundation for Global Sports Development. With a degree in Psychology from Austin College, Brooke joined the GSD team in 2008 to assist with its publication The Prevention Researcher, a research journal focused on adolescent development. Brooke has been involved in establishing the foundation's newest initiatives, including Courage First. Having seen firsthand the difference education and awareness can make in empowering adults to protect children, Brooke looks forward to guiding organizations in making sport safer for youth.

Brooke Lusk Bumgardner, Vice President of Communications, Foundation for Global Sports Development


 

Zach Vasquez is the Marketing Coordinator for The Foundation for Global Sports Development and Sidewinder Films. He came aboard the Foundation in 2019 and has worked on the release of the feature length-documentary At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal, as well as the launch of Courage First. He has a Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. He lives in Los Angeles.

 
 

Kelly Hansen, Program Assistant, Foundation for Global Sports Development

Zach Vasquez, Marketing Coordinator, Foundation for Global Sports Development