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2017 Youth Workers Conference: Speakers
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youth worker conference bios

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Speaker Biographies

Hannah Barnes

Hannah Barnes has worked at North Homes Children and Family Services for nine years and is the program coordinator. She has her BA in psychology and is currently working towards her MA in Social Work at Boston State University. Hannah facilitates new staff orientation trainings that focus on professional boundaries, Life Space Crisis Intervention, and the socio-economic characteristics of our client populations.

Jon Brandt

Jon Brandt, MSW, LICSW, started his career in child protection, supervised foster homes for several years, and for more than 30 years has been working with victims and young men with sexual offenses.  Since 1991, he is the Founder and Director of Mapletree, a residential program in Maplewood, MN for adolescent offenders.  He has been a member of AspireMN for 25 years, and has served multiple terms on the Board of Directors.  He is a clinical member of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), serves on their national Public Policy Committee, and writes a blog for ATSA’s website.  Jon has been interviewed on Twin Cities TV & radio, addressed the MN legislature, testified in numerous juvenile court hearings, published many articles, and presented at state and national conferences on topics related to sexual offending and the prevention of sexual abuse.

Leslie Chaplin

Leslie Chaplin, MSW, LICSW is the Director of Operations at Northwood Children's Services and the co-chair of the Northland Children’s Mental Health Collaborative.  She has 25 years of experience in the field of children’s mental health as a counselor, therapist, director, supervisor and consultant. Leslie holds a Masters in social work from the University of Minnesota Duluth and earned her LICSW in 2002.  She is currently pursuing her PhD in organizational leadership and conducting research on Vicarious Resilience.  Leslie has served on the board of the National Association of Social Workers and the Boys and Girls Club.  She is a clinical supervisor, adjunct instructor and a peer reviewer for the National Council on Accreditation when she’s not spending time on her hobby farm.

Jermaine Davis

Jermaine Davis, PhD, before receiving the prestigious College Instructor of the Year Award, Dr. Jermaine Davis worked in corporate America for IBM, Keebler Cookies, and Frito-Lay. After leaving the business world, he taught 5th and 6th grade to homeless youth in Minneapolis and high school to low-income students in St. Paul. Now, he’s an award-winning Professor of Communication Studies at Century College and Organizational Leadership at St. Catherine University. Dr. Jermaine has authored 10 books including, Get Up Off Your Butt & Do It NOW, Leading with Greatness, and The NOW Factors of College Success. Dr. Jermaine is an international speaker that engages audiences with his unique style of speaking known as – EDUTAINMENT – a fun combination of education and entertainment. Prestigious organizations like 3M, Best Buy, Wells Fargo, West Point Military Academy, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and St. Cloud Public Schools regularly seek out Dr. Jermaine’s expertise in the areas of increasing employee and student engagement, leadership development, and overcoming burnout in life, school, and work.

Christopher Douglas

Christopher Douglas has over 16 years of Correctional experience. For the last 6 month Chris has been providing Restrictive Procedures and Report Writing training to facility and field officers in the role of Lead Safety Trainer for Hennepin County DOCCR’s Train, Coach, Practice Unit. Chris’s correctional experience includes 16 years working for the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in the Adult Detention Center, in the roles of Detention Sergeant, Use of Force Instructor, Primary Supervisor for the Detention Center’s Special Response Team, Primary Supervisor for the High Risk Inmate Management Team, and Crisis Intervention trainer.

Betsy Gadbois

Betsy Gadbois has worked in the field of developmental disabilities since 1980 and executing person-centered planning since the early 1990s. She is a certified trainer for Person-Centered Thinking and Person-Centered Planning, and one of only four Person-Centered Thinking mentors and one of two Person Centered Planning mentors in Minnesota. She has trained people all over the country, from families, providers, people we support and county case managers.

Dr. Dean Grace

Dr. Dean Grace is the Director of Training and Development at Northwood Children’s Services.  Dr. Grace has 45 years of experience serving at-risk youth and their families.  He also served as Executive Director of the North Shore Collaborative, an adjunct professor with the College of St. Scholastica’s Social Work Department, the UWS Counseling Department, and the Corrections Program at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.  Dr. Grace is a published author, and a regular presenter at the Youth Work Conference, having missed last year due to field work in resilience.

Jennifer Holloway

Jennifer Holloway is the Mental Health Coordinator at the Anoka County Juvenile Center in Lino Lakes, MN. She earned her Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology from the University of Denver in 2007. Jennifer has spent her career working with adults and youth involved in the criminal justice system.

Dan Hurley

Dan Hurley is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working in residential treatment for Northwood Children’s Services in Duluth MN. Originally from Texas, Dan graduated from Bethel University in St. Paul with a Certificate in Marriage and Family therapy in 2010 and has been an LMFT since 2013. He is certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and also specializes in psychosexual evaluation of teens and children.

Paula Minske

Paula Minske, MS, LMFT, is currently with Nexus as the Director of Clinical Services. Paula oversees’ clinical training for Nexus programs as well as being a trainer. She has trained on Myths in Working with Youth with Problematic Sexual Behaviors, trainer for the CANS (Child and Adolescents Needs and Strengths Functional Assessment) and has presented workshops at the MACMH and AspireMN & MN Juvenile Detention Association conferences.

Amy Mische

Amy Mische, MSW, LISW began working in the adoption field in 1999. Amy has been providing direct service and supervision to staff working in the Foster Care Adoption program and supporting them in their journey through this work.  Amy’s ability to speak honestly and directly with families, youth and staff are a result of her natural ability to connect with others in genuine ways. Amy studied Social Work at St. Thomas University, where she also received her Master of Social Work degree.

Kami Norland

Kami Norland is the CEO of Integrative Re-Sources, which is a national leadership program designed to guide leaders through the journey of cultural transformation of improved health utilizing cutting-edge research, innovations and evidenced-based practices on resiliency, integrative health and change management. As a franchisee of the Global Center for Resiliency and Wellbeing www.stressfree.org and the chair of the National Resiliency Collaborative, Norland engages participants in interactive and thought provoking experiences. Norland has 20 years of experience working in healthcare and has lead national, state and local organizations and their communities towards improved health and wellness. She serves in a leadership role within the National Rural Health Resource Center, participates in numerous national and state-level boards and has worked with federal and state governments, Veteran’s Administration, hospitals, clinics, long term care, assisted living, Emergency Medical Services, corrections, youth programs and community outreach organizations across the nation and is a registered art therapist. She works and resides out of Duluth, MN.

Jennifer Sheppard

Jennifer Sheppard, MSW, LICSW is a trauma therapist with North Homes Children and Family Services who has worked with kids and families in crisis for over 25 years.  She is a senior trainer for Life Space Crisis Intervention and has trained thousands of youth counselors, foster parents, therapists, teachers and other youth professionals over the past 10 years in a certified five day training course. 

Michael Turner

Michael Turner has over 25 years of experience working in Corrections. For the last 2 years, Michael has been providing training for Adult and Juvenile Field Operations and Institution Staff for the Hennepin County DOCCR’s Train, Coach, Practice Unit.  Michael’s prior correctional experience includes 23 years working for the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in the Adult Detention Center in the roles of Detention Sergeant, Training Coordinator, Administrative Deputy, Classification Officer, and Line Staff.  Michael currently provides Report Writing training to newly hired DOCCR staff.

Heidi Wiste

Heidi Wiste, MSW, LICSW is an adoption professional who has been working in the field since 2000. Heidi has provided direct service to individuals and families in all stages of an adoption as well as in a clinical setting. The focus of her work has been to advocate and better understand the experiences of the adoptee and adoptive parents and assist in supporting families through education and support. Heidi studied Social Work at Skidmore College and obtained her Master of Social Work from New York University. Heidi has also completed the Certificate in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health training and the University of Minnesota in 2009.

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