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.

To contact our team, email us at info@iempathize.org

Brad Riley 

Founder and President

Brad Riley wants to live in a world where people are filled with empathy for others and are no longer exploited for someone else’s personal gain. Brad is the Founder and President of iEmpathize. He has been a non-profit innovator for over 20 years and leads with a culture of creativity and collaboration resulting in effective strategies, projects and partnerships that have garnered international attention. Brad and the work of iEmpathize have been showcased and recognized by the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, the Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center, the United Nations, CNN, BBC, NPR, ESPN, NY Times, and many more.

Brad’s years spent traveling and living among diverse cultures and people has shaped his perspective and continually guides his methodology. In 2006, Brad visited SE Asia to explore potential partnerships with anti-trafficking efforts. His encounters with child victims and survivors of sexual exploitation, in addition to many years of empowering inner city youth, had a profound impact. His passion for empathy and action was ignited, leading him and a small group of friends to start iEmpathize in 2009. He believes that a multi-sector approach is key to social transformation. He is a sought-after speaker and inspires people to empathize and engage issues of injustice.

Brad serves as the executive producer of iEmpathize documentaries, curricula, campaigns, and exhibits. He is a board member and the media director for Truckers Against Trafficking. He is the founder of i.e. media serving clients with impact media strategies and production.

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

Terell McConnell 

Office and Executive Administrator

TerellsShoes copy

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!)

Mark Brende 

Exhibit Representative

Mark works with iEmpathize managing the Apathy Effect Exhibit. 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

Education Director

Candace Joice is the Education Director at iEmpathize. Candace uses 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. 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

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.

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.



Dan Fortune

Chairman of the Board

As 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.

Scott Howsare

Secretary & Treasurer

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

Kendis Paris

Board Member

Co-Founder at Truckers Against Trafficking
Favorite Movie: The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio
Favorite Book: Eve’s Revenge by Lillian Calles Barger
Favorite Pastime: Hiking up the side of a mountain with my family
Little Known Fact: The youngest girl to ever be divorced was 10 years old.

Pete Gibson

Board Member

Pete Gibson has been a part of iEmpathize from the very beginning. It was through his friendship with founder Brad Riley that he first learned of the issue. From the very early stages Pete served in an advisory role helping to shape the vision and media policy.  Through the years he has continued to share his skills and talents as a photographer, storyteller and imaging specialist to help iEmpathize continue to improve how we communicate this important message.  Pete, who is based in New York City, has over 15 years experience as an imaging specialist in both the editorial and advertising world. He currently works as a Senior Retoucher for Droga5.

Favorite pastime: Reading, looking at good photography or wandering the streets with camera in hand.

Little known fact: Has appeared in Seventeen Magazine twice.

Merlin Namuth

Board Member

Merlin Namuth has supported iEmpathize since nearly the very beginning when he first heard Brad give a presentation at a church.  His wife, Anne, who is a middle school educator has used the Empower Youth Program in her classroom and seen what a difference it makes in the lives of her students.  Merlin recently joined the Board and is excited to be involved at this level with iEmpathize.  Merlin’s career is in information security where he leads the program at the company where he works.  He also enjoys teaching people about information security and has presented at some of the industry’s largest conferences, including one in Singapore.
Favorite Pastimes: Hiking, 4-wheeling

Brad Riley (Founder and President)

Bio Above