Casey Family Services
Roye Anastasio-Bourke is senior communications manager at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where she leads the communications team of the Policy, Research, and Communications Group within Casey’s Center for Effective Family Services and Systems. In this role, she works to build Casey’s capacity to influence and support public policies and practices that more effectively meet the needs of disadvantaged children and their families, especially those who are at high risk for disruption, have been disrupted, or who are in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems. Anastasio-Bourke also oversees Casey’s direct services’ agency-wide initiative to recruit and support foster and adoptive parents for children and youth in foster care throughout New England and in Baltimore, MD. Formally, she was Director of External Affairs for SATELLIFE, a Boston-based global non-profit organization that provides critical information resources to physicians, researchers and health-care workers in developing countries.
Jewish Child Care Association
Kathy Brodsky, LMSW has been director of the Ametz Adoption Program of Jewish Child Care Association since 1992 and a consultant to the program since 1986. She has counseled families and singles in selecting, developing and implementing individualized, private domestic or international adoption plans; created community programs to meet their needs; and a training program for professionals working in the field of adoption. She serves as a consultant to administrators, clinicians and educators dealing with adoption and parenting issues. Brodsky is a widely-sought speaker whose audiences include the Westchester Family Institute, St. John’s University, RESOLVE, American Fertility Association. Adoptive Parents Committee, Joint Council on International Children’s Concerns, Practising Law Institute in New York and the 2000 AJFCA Adoption Summit in Seattle. She is a member of the Adoption Advisory Board for the American Fertility Association. Kathy was recognized in 2001 as an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption. She lives in New York City and is the mother of two daughters, ages 18 and 21, who joined the family through adoption.
Joint Council on International Children's Services
Tom DiFilipo, president & CEO of Joint Council on International Children's Services, came to the Joint Council after nine years as vice president for the CASI Foundation and Chief Operations Officer for International Children’s Alliance. DiFilipo also served the social services community through his roles as a board member for Joint Council on International Children’s Services, Focus on Adoption and Discovery Ministries. In 2006, DiFilipo was hired as the director of international relations for Joint Council where he was instrumental in forming new relationships and communicating our mission and goals to a world-wide audience. Prior to his work in children’s services, Mr. DiFilipo held executive positions with a variety of consumer products firms including Sorbee International, Mars Inc. and Pace Brokers.
New York State Citizens’ Coalition for Children
Sarah Gerstenzang is the executive director of the New York State Citizens’ Coalition for Children. She was formerly associate project director of the Collaboration to AdoptUsKids and a senior policy analyst at Children’s Rights. Gerstenzang holds a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University. Her child welfare policy and practice experience includes research and publication on a range of foster care and adoption issues as well as presentations at national and international conferences. Her most recent book is Another Mother: Co-parenting with the foster care System. Gerstenzang has experience as a foster, kinship and adoptive parent.
Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network (KAAN)
Jennifer Hilzinger and her husband are parents to three children, two whom they adopted as infants from China and Korea, respectively. Hilzinger was the founding president of Families with Children from China Metro Detroit 14 years ago and has been involved in numerous Asian American and adoption advocacy, civic and philanthropic organizations since that time. Notably HIlzinger served as the public relations chair on the Council of Asian Pacific Americans from 2004-2006 and more recently served on the Board of Directors for Sae Jong Korean Language School from 2007-2009. After co-organizing the Detroit conference in ’05, Hilzinger went on to become a speaker for numerous KAAN Conferences on a variety of topics. In 2009, Hilzinger accepted a position with KAAN as director of youth services.
Adoption Initiative, St. John’s University
Rafael Javier is a professor of psychology and the director of inter-agencies training and research initiatives and the post-graduate professional programs at St. John’s University. He was the founding and first director of the Center for Psychological Services and Clinical Studies at St. John's University for almost 20 years. He is currently on the faculty and a supervisor at New York University Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry and the Object Relations Institute. Prior to joining St. John’s University, he was the chair of psychology at Kingsboro Psychiatric Center and on the faculty at Downstate Medical Center.
Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E)
Valerie Kunsman, MSW is C.A.S.E.’s director of administration, education and training. As a facilitator of C.A.S.E.’s children and adolescent groups, she has designed curriculum and developed creative activities to help children express and share their feelings about adoption. Kunsman is the key creator of C.A.S.E.’s annual, highly-acclaimed Kids’ Adoption Network Conference. She trains on program design, event curriculum of conferences for adopted children, as well as peer group design and implementation. Kunsman formulates grant proposals, develops and manages grant budgets and monitors results of federal, state and county awards.
Sabra Larkin, the director of communications, and her staff of two are responsible for all of Spence-Chapin’s outreach activities: website, social media, quarterly print newsletter and monthly e-newsletter, brochures, advertising and media relations.
Ami Nafzger received a B.A. in Social Work, Sociology and serves as the executive director of AdopSource. Ami is currently employed with the Federal Census Bureau and is heading up the efforts for all of Minnesota. Ami also serves as a board member of the Korean Quarterly newspaper. She was appointed by Governor Tim Pawlenty to the Council as a representative of the Korean community and is currently serving her second term. She is the founder and former secretary general of Global Overseas Adoptees' Link (G.O.A’L) in Seoul, South Korea. Ami is a Korean adoptee.
Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute
Adam Pertman is the executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a national nonprofit that is the pre-eminent research, policy and education organization in its field. Pertman – a former Pulitzer-nominated journalist – is also associate editor of Adoption Quarterly, the premier research journal dealing with adoption and foster care. And he is the author of the book, Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming America, which has been reviewed as “the most important book ever written on the subject.” In addition, he is the author of many chapters and articles on adoption- and family-related issues in books, scholarly journals and mass-market publications.
Mark Snyder is the communications coordinator at COLAGE, an community of people with a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer parent. Mark's dad, who is incarcerated, recently came out as gay prompting Mark to identify as "second gen," the second generation of people in his family who are openly gay. Mark has worked at the Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth as a risk reduction counselor and office manager, served on the board of directors for Greater Boston PFLAG, and worked at Prescription Access Litigation where he helped plaintiffs share their stories in lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies. Most recently, Mark worked at Our Family Coalition where he coordinated communications strategies and organized programming for adoptive and transgender parents. He is also the founder of QueerToday.com, an online hub for queer social justice activists. Mark lives in downtown San Francisco with his partner of six years, and hopes to be a parent one day.