Alex Graham is a Deputy Sheriff with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office located in St. Paul, MN. Alex is currently entering his 10th year of Full time LE Experience. He is a Drug Recognition Expert Instructor and has been a DRE since 2015 and DRE Instructor and SFST Instructor since 2016. Alex started his Law Enforcement Career in the State of Colorado as a Deputy Sheriff and a Police Officer before moving to a major metropolitan department in Minnesota in 2016 where he served as a collateral duty to patrol work as the lead DWI Training Instructor. Alex has two awards from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, one from the MADD Chapter in Colorado for Outstanding Individual Dedication to DWI Enforcement. The Second, from the MN Chapter for Drugged Driving Enforcement. Among other awards and recognitions Alex is a 5-time DWI All Star in Minnesota, and has over 530 DWI Arrests. He currently serves as a full time DWI Enforcement Deputy for the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.
Julie SeitzProject Director
Julie Seitz LGSW, MSW, LADC is a Project Director with the National Center for DWI Courts (NCDC), a National Association of Drug Court Professionals division, providing training and technical assistance to the treatment court field. Julie joined NCDC in 2018, bringing over 20 years of experience in the clinical sector and community program development. Before joining NCDC, Julie was the clinical director of an internationally recognized treatment center offering the entire continuum of clinical care, including a first-of-its-kind direct access opioid withdrawal unit, where she was the project lead. Identifying the barriers to accessing treatment, Julie worked collaboratively as an advocate for systems change while ensuring clients’ voices and choices were honored. Recognizing the many pathways to recovery and the need for additional recovery services, she worked with a small team to develop and launch a recovery community organization serving rural communities in northern Minnesota. Julie spent ten years as the treatment provider on the Minnesota Sixth Judicial District DWI and Mental Health courts, recognized for their excellence at state and national levels. As a published author and clinician, she has spent the last 20 years of her career giving clients a voice. Her work with clients has focused on feedback informed, research, and outcome-driven practice. Julie has trained at the local, national, and international levels. Julie lives in northern Minnesota with her family and is an avid knitter.
James Eberspacher is the director of the National Center for DWI Courts (NCDC). NCDC is a division of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) providing training and technical assistance to impaired driving treatment court (aka DWI court) professionals. Jim’s background in treatment court includes experience at the state and local levels. For seven years, he was the state treatment court coordinator for the State of Minnesota, providing oversight in forming treatment court policy and strategic planning, state standards, funding, assisting in research, and providing training and technical assistance to treatment court teams. Prior to his role at the state level, he served as the coordinator on three treatment court teams in rural Minnesota and also worked as a probation officer. In his current position, he is responsible for NCDC's overall daily operations, training, curriculum development, outreach, and promoting the expansion of impaired driving treatment courts. Overall, Jim has over two decades of combined experience in treatment courts, corrections, policy development, and training/technical assistance.
Rebecca ChiassonChemistry Manager
Rebecca Chiasson is the Chemistry Manager at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab which includes both seized drug analysis and forensic toxicology analysis. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Nicholls State University and a Master of Science from University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She has almost 20 years’ experience in forensics, specifically drug chemistry, toxicology and crime scene processing. In 2011, she was promoted to drug chemistry unit supervisor, then chemistry manager in 2013. She has been qualified as an expert 20+ times in forensic drug chemistry in state and/or federal court. She has membership in the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, the American Academy of Forensic Scientists, and the Louisiana Association of Forensic Scientists. She has been appointed to the State Epidemiology Workgroup, the Prevention Systems Committee, the Governor’s DWI-Vehicular Homicide Task Force, the Governor’s Drug Policy Board, and Louisiana’s Impaired Drivers Emphasis Team. She co-chairs the Statewide and Capital Region’s Impaired Drivers Emphasis Teams. She assists in the identification, banning, and education of new synthetic drugs that are a public health hazard along with Louisiana Poison Center and DHH. She is also part of the team assembled for the Strategic Highway Safety Plan to identify the severity of drug impaired driving in Louisiana.
Diane Braun is a licensed independent mental health and substance abuse counselor in the state of Nebraska. Diane is an active member of the Nebraska CISM team as a trainer and a therapist, a certified trainer for ICISF and a member of the Dodge County Problems Solving Court in Nebraska.
Diane has been involved in the behavioral health field since 2005. Her journey into the behavior health field started with assisting law enforcement by working with individuals who were experiencing mental health concerns and providing case management to them. She then went on to obtain her master’s degree in clinical counseling and became a licensed therapist providing services for adults with mental health, substance use or both concerns and then became a clinical supervisor for the co-occurring program. In 2019 she started her private practice with her primary focus on working with individuals who have co-occurring disorders (mental health and substance use) and have experienced trauma.
Diane enjoys working with individuals who are involved in the criminal justice system and first responders. She feels though these populations can be on opposite sides of the spectrum, there are several similarities. Both populations have a higher possibility of being exposed to trauma which most of the population does not experience. Diane believes it takes a therapist who understands trauma and the cultures to treat those individuals appropriately.
Kym LaubeExecutive Director
Kym Laube is the Executive Director of Human Understanding Growth Services, Inc., HUGS, Inc., located in Westhampton Beach, NY. In this position she brings over 33 years of substance use prevention knowledge and expertise, leading the organization to provide a full array of multidimensional prevention services and recovery supports. Kym is a national trainer and speaker, working with notable leaders in prevention including CADCA.
Having participated in the HUGS, Inc. Teen Institute program in 1986 as a high school student, Kym understands firsthand, the profound impact, lifelong influence and workforce development the Teen Institute program provides to young people. From student leader to Executive Director in 2002, Kym’s mission has been to empower others to seek their full potential and become agents of change in the world. Kym offers dynamic, passionate and interactive keynotes, trainings and workshops for large and small groups with an uncanny ability to talk with and not at people. Annually, Kym presents to over 25,000 individuals, young and old across our great country.
Kym’s unwavering commitment to improving the lives of young people extends beyond her executive office and can be seen in the many leadership roles she holds. She is active on various local, state and national boards and task forces and served on the NYS Governor Opiate Task Force. Most notable is her personal recovery and commitment to push individuals to make the space better wherever they are. Her greatest joy is watching her two adult sons creating live a life of choice and forge their own course. She lives in Westhampton Beach with her husband, and way too many dogs.
DeeDee PhillipsJuvenile Probation Officer
Mrs. DeeDee Phillips is a POST Certified Instructor, with over 20 years of experience as a Juvenile Probation Officer. She has provided over 30 years of service to youth and their families. She still loves coming to work.
Nicole PodestaThe Anthony School
With degrees, credentials and amazing experience in education, leadership, community building. communication and psychology, Nicole has been a dynamic force in the field of education since 1995. With her amazing sense of humor, engaging, passionate personality, and intuitive understanding of the deeper levels of human behavior, Nicole gets to the heart of what truly drives and inspires students, teachers, leaders, and parents to work together to build an incredible learning experience for the community as a whole, and comes up with strategies and solutions for when communication seems difficult or even impossible. Nicole has an innate ability to uncover what makes people do what they do, and say what they say, so her students and audiences leave with the tools they need to successfully deal with difficult people, situations, and problems. And do all of that with clarity and confidence.
Nicole works with each client to determine how to integrate their own individual needs and concerns into each presentation. (So much better than a memorized, scripted session! No power points!) She then uses that personalized info to both involve and inspire audiences to not only understand, but most importantly, be able leverage their new deeper insights of personality types, communication styles, negotiation techniques, to develop killer life-building strategies for success. Plus, her areas of expertise go way beyond communication, developing healthy relationships, and the psychology of human behavior. Social media safety and literacy? She’s the go to person. Understanding the power of the media in educational settings? She’s got you covered. Expanding and empowering the role of the leader? It’s there for the asking. Nicole will help you and your team create an unforgettable, motivational, and interactive experience for your audience.
How cool is that?!
Brandon Lee WhiteAuthor, Speaker, and Youth Mover
Author, speaker, and youth mover, Brandon Lee White has spoken to thousands of youth and adults in nearly all 50 states about “owning it” in life and leadership.
Brandon has been seen on TLC, Discovery Health, Fit TV, TEDx, and even Wheel of Fortune! He attended Rockhurst University where he earned his Master’s in Business as well as a double major in Business and Psychology.
At home Brandon loves spending time with his beautiful wife and crazy children. They enjoy leading and serving in their church. Plus, Brandon can’t get enough of barbecuing, sports, hunting, and meeting new people as he travels around the country.
Natalie MartiSpeaker, Author, Survivor
Natalie Marti's story begins on February 27th 2003, when she, her husband, and daughter, were traveling home on the freeway. As they neared their exit, they were struck head on by a drunk driver at 98 mph going the wrong way on the freeway. The combined impact of their car with his truck instantly killed her husband and daughter and left Natalie clinging to life. Natalie was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit and there fell into a coma.
After three weeks lying in a coma, unable to breathe on her own, Natalie slowly regained consciousness. She worked hard with her therapists and over time was able to regain her physical and mental strength. Despite her miraculous recovery, Natalie's heart remains broken.
Since her recovery Natalie decided to return to college at Boise State and received a degree in Communications in 2009. She is a founder and executive director of the non-profit Be Safe & Sober
She speaks on various motivational topics from overcoming trials to forgiving and finding happiness in life. Her audiences have included: grade school through seniors, drivers education classes, substance abuse classes, juvenile corrections, DUI victim panels, church groups, motivational seminars, police training seminars, IDOC seminars, traffic safety seminars, first responders seminars, and hospital seminars. She has spoken to audiences in California, Idaho, Oregon, Nebraska, Nevada, and Utah.