Empathy is an active response to the suffering of others.
In other words, choosing empathy is choosing to walk in someone else’s shoes.
With that in mind, we’d like to introduce you to the iEmpathize team,
each of whom strive to walk in the shoes of others each day.

 

Brad Riley 

Founder and President

Brad Riley is the Founder and President of iEmpathize (iE), an international human rights non-profit dedicated to combating crimes against children. In addition to leading the organization and the team, Brad oversees iEmpathize strategies, projects and partnerships. He serves as executive producer of media which includes documentaries, curricula, campaigns and exhibits. Brad’s unrelenting advocacy comes from his personal connections to the people he serves. He has been a non-profit innovator for 20 years and his concepts and work are written about in books, as well as shared in university classrooms and at conferences. He is a sought-after speaker and is passionate about inspiring people to empathize and engage issues of injustice. He lives in Boulder, CO, with his family.

Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption
Favorite Pastimes: Brad likes collecting old records and listening to them on his vintage console.  

Terell McConnell – terell@iEmpathize.org

Office and Executive Administrator

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In 2014, Terell came on full time as the Office and Executive Administrator at iEmpathize. With a BBA in Marketing and Sociology, and the work experience she gained while doing commercial property management, this was the perfect role for her to transition into. Terell always wanted to live a life that was dedicated to helping others, and this part of her was not being fulfilled through her career in commercial property management. So in 2013 she left her career to pursue her passion of helping those who were being sexually exploited, and ideally working to prevent this exploitation from occurring. Terell is the type A personality who loves the small details, and enjoys working behind the scenes. Knowing that what she does on a daily basis not only keeps the office running smoothly, but allows the team to focus on furthering their mission of eradicating child exploitation is why Terell loves her job and wakes up feeling like she has a purpose.

Favorite Movie: Harry Potter (#5-7)
Little known fact: Terell is related to Johnny Appleseed (yes, he was a real person!)

Helen Van Dam – helen@iEmpathize.org

Events and Communications Coordinator

Helen is the Events and Communications Manager for iEmpathize. She enjoys connecting people to the work of iEmpathize and empowering them to engage their own communities to eradicate child exploitation just as she was first empowered by iEmpathize. Her journey started as she studied International Affairs with an emphasis on international development at the University of Colorado, Boulder. While there, she learned about human trafficking through a student group called CU Students Against Modern-day Slavery (CUSAMS) and knew that she wanted to do all she could to fight for the freedom of others. During her junior and senior year, she became the leader of CUSAMS and received a UROP grant to complete a summer research project on human trafficking organizations in Russia. Meanwhile, she also volunteered and interned for iEmpathize, eventually becoming a full-time team member.

Favorite Book: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Favorite Pastimes: Dancing! Any kind really, but especially Lindy-Hop (swing dancing).

Mike Smith – mike@iEmpathize.org

Operations and Development Director

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As the Operations and Development Director, Mike constantly seeks to improve iEmpathize’s organizational systems and processes, while also engaging amazing donors and pursuing grant funding. His work ensures that the organization’s staff and programs possess the tools and resources required to successfully pursue an end to child exploitation. Mike possesses a B.A. in Business Administration, an M.A. in International Human Rights, and has over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector. During his Master’s Program, Mike completed an internship with iEmpathize. His previous work had consistently exposed him to exploitive situations across the globe. Through this, he had developed a passion to act, and the unique and effective methodology that iEmpathize uses to address exploitation was refreshing. He joined the iEmpathize team full time in 2012.

Favorite Book: Good To Great, by Jim Collins
Favorite Pastimes:  Mike loves to cross off completed tasks in his planner, read about the Old West, and spend as much time as he can with his family.

Mark Brende – mark@iEmpathize.org

Engagement Coordinator

Mark works with iEmpathize to empower universities, and specifically men. Mark speaks to businesses, youth, and faith communities to inspire a cultural shift that creates prevention at intersections of exploitation. Mark also leads the college internship program for iEmpathize. Mark experienced a personal life transformation at the age of 23. He was a high school dropout and was leading a destructive and exploitive lifestyle. In 1997, 4 years later, Mark graduated from the University of Kansas with a BA in communications while performing as a freelance musician. Mark has extensive non-profit experience working on college campuses in 5 different countries for 11 years mentoring students and developing leaders. Recognizing the great need to better address the increasing suffering and injustice in the world, Brende turned his attention, time, and resources to be a catalyst for culture to engage. Mark and his wife Jennifer have four children, Samuel, Benjamin, Abbey and Ethan.

Favorite Movie:  Anne of Green Gables
Favorite Pastimes: Mark loves throwing any kind of ball or disc shaped object to his kids.

Candace Joice – candace@iEmpathize.org

Education Manager

Candace Joice is the Education Manager at iEmpathize. Candace is using her expertise in pedagogy, academic and social research, curriculum development, and production management to increase the impact of our education based programs for youth. She is also available to deliver trainings and workshops regarding human trafficking and exploitation prevention for groups such as educators, parents, youth, faith communities, and social workers. After learning about the pervasiveness of child exploitation both around the world and here in the United States, Candace Joice volunteered with iEmpathize for three years before joining the iE team in June of 2013. Prior to that, she worked for five years both as a theatre artist and as a secondary/post-secondary educator.  She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, Cary. Candace holds a B.S. in Communication from Southwest Baptist University and an M.A in Theatre from the University of Central Missouri.

Favorite Book: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
Favorite Pastime: Candace enjoys DIY home projects, reading, and performing in and attending the theatre.

Southern California Office

Guido Hajenius – guido@iEmpathize.org

Engagement Coordinator

As an Engagement Coordinator, Guido Hajenius manages our programs in Southern California and engages the region in efforts against child exploitation and trafficking. His work includes fundraising; developing a base of interns and volunteers; and providing training for educators, law enforcement, and local community members. Guido also builds strategic relationships with people who can open channels of distribution for our programs. He also actively communicates our solutions at conferences, house media events, university campuses, and in the various sectors that intersect with vulnerable and victimized youth. In 2010, when he heard what iEmpathize was doing to help vulnerable and victimized children, Guido knew he needed to be a part of it; he launched the Southern California branch of iEmpathize in April of 2011. Guido brings almost two decades of non-profit experience to his role, including pioneering three non-profit organizations in leadership roles. His experience included training students for local and international service projects, mentoring student leaders, and developing a leadership team to sustain and expand the organizations. 

Favorite Movie: Rocky
Little known fact: He can pop and tick (before break dancing came out), and would compete in some “one-on-one pop offs” in middle school. For a small fee, Guido will bust a move for social gatherings.

Mexico City Office

Paty Anaya – paty@iEmpathize.org

Mexico City Representative

For 15 years, Paty has worked as a social researcher on poverty, community development, and family, and as a lecturer and trainer primarily in family strengthening, cultural transformation and leadership. Throughout her professional and personal career she has dedicated herself to understanding and communicating how people get ahead and how we cope with the difficulties of life, a concern that began in the 90s with two publications; the first Mexico and Its Misery, the second Mexico and Its Hope, both from interviews conducted throughout the Mexican Republic. She has participated as a consultant in various national and international institutions such as Loyola University of Chicago in family and migration matters and in the Dominican Republic for the Ministry of Family, among others. In the area of civil society, she works as an Advisor of the United Commission against Human Trafficking and has collaborated with various institutions in prevention and training. She joins the iEmpathize team as our Project Manager for Be Relentless. This project tells the story of a woman running the race of her life so that survivors of sex trafficking can run the race of their lives- to freedom and restoration.

iEmpathize has many collaborators and volunteers that dramatically strengthen our impact. We wish we could credit them on our team page but there would not be enough room! We are very grateful for all of you.

 

THE BOARD

Tre’ Cates

Chairman of the Board

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As Chairman of the Board Tre’ is in charge of leading the Board, advising the President of iEmpathize, and ensuring that iE is holding true to its mission and values. Tre’ is a proven leader, innovator and social entrepreneur. After graduating from Ouachita Baptist University in 1993, he founded two faith-based non-profits, growing these organizations to memberships of 100+ people.  After moving to Colorado in 1996, he founded a technology sales company in 1997.  His company was recognized two times as one of the fastest growing companies in the US on the INC 500/5000 list and won several top company awards in the state of Colorado. He has received multiple awards including Entrepreneur of Distinction in Boulder, CO and two-time semi-finalist of Ernst &Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Tre’ supports iEmpathize because he believes in people and organizations who continue to offer humanity hope. He believes iEmpathize fights for people who have lost hope in their families, communities or themselves. “With organizations like iEmpathize, we have the opportunity to impact generations of people on the huge difference hope can be in the world.”

Favorite Movie: Braveheart
Favorite Pastime: Running Ultras

Dan Fortune

Vice Chairman of the Board

As Vice Chairman of the iE Board Dan Fortune reviews organizational strategy, weighs in on financial and fundraising decisions, and represents the organization at events around the world. Dan was invited to join the board after volunteering for the organization by hosting house events, advocating at small groups and other community events, and doing research on trafficking. He supports iE because after researching organizations that are bringing freedom and opportunity to the defenseless he believes that iE has the best staff, strategies, and passion to make a dent in the challenge of human trafficking! Dan is an investor, Realtor, published author of Cash Flow Engine, business owner, and mentor.  He founded and runs one of the top Real Estate teams in Colorado, and is a founding member of the investment group Level 5 Ventures. Dan’s additional experience includes engineering management at Lockheed Martin for satellite ground stations, served seven years as an Officer in the US Air Force in both satellite operations and acquisitions.  His educational background includes an MBA from CU and a degree in economics from the Air Force Academy.

Favorite book: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Little know fact: Only person to ever lose their pilot qualification boxing at the AF Academy.  Zigged when he should have zagged.

Cliff Stanton

Treasurer

As Treasurer Cliff provides input on governance issues, organizational management and finances. Cliff works within the investment industry, working in both institutional investment consulting and asset management. He currently works for 361 Capital as the Chief Investment Officer. Previously he worked for Prima Capital as the Chief Research Officer and Portfolio Strategist. He holds a BS degree in Business from Miami University in Ohio and an MBA from the University of Colorado at Denver. He was initially drawn to the issue of human trafficking upon hearing an interview with New York Times reporter Peter Landesman years ago, who detailed the horrific conditions that women and children are forced to endure both abroad and in the U.S. It was the first time he knew that such crimes existed. Cliff finds the work of iEmpathize deeply important because he believes it fills such a vital role in opening the eyes of the world to the magnitude of this terrible tragedy, and because each of the kids that iEmpathize reaches in some way knows that they aren’t alone, that they are important, and that they have a chance for a better life.

Favorite Music: The Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins and The Decemberists take up ample space on my iPod.
Favorite Pastimes: Cliff greatly enjoy spending time outdoors, hiking, skiing or biking…and a good IPA when he’s done.

Scott Howsare

Secretary

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As the Secretary of the Board, Scott fosters organizational diligence through proper management and utilization of important records. Scott is an entrepreneurial executive with more than twenty years of experience in strategic planning, business development, product management and operations.  Scott is currently the President/CEO of First Choice Technology, Inc., a nationwide telecommunications provider.  As a founder of the company, Scott has led First Choice to year over year growth for the past ten years.  Prior to First Choice, Scott worked as the Director of Planning & Development with NUI Telecom adding more than $15 million in annual revenues through strategic acquisitions.  In addition, Scott has held a variety of senior management positions within the telecommunications industry.  Scott actively serves as a board member and mentor with Orlando based Central Care Mission, a long-term residential drug and alcohol treatment center for men.  Scott received his BA in Bible and Theology from Toccoa Falls College.

Book: Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
Favorite Pastimes: Having cigars with good friends

Brad Riley (Founder and President)

Bio Above