Presenter Bios

UDO is continually recruiting and training gifted presenters whom share its message. Through both the internal trainer program it runs with The TranZed Alliance and the external Certification Program, UDO is constantly adding to its talent pool of experience and expertise.

        

"A UDO workshop is always a unique training experience but it's what their trainers have on the inside that makes it extraordinary — solid skills, experience, dedication, empathy, and an amazing ability to relate it to our everyday jobs."

— Workshop Participant, 2010

Master Presenter and UDO President, Frank Kros leads the UDO training team and is supported by 25+ certified presenters geographically located all across the United States. Certified presenters are a highly valued part of the UDO team and have extensive backgrounds as child-serving professions from all different types of organizations and fields. One organization, Casa Pacifica in California, is also certified and has two staff members that deliver UDO seminars.

To learn more about one of our presenters, check out their individual pages where you’ll find a full biography, the workshops they specialize in and – most important – testimonials from UDO customers that will give you first-hand information about the special talents each brings to every seminar they deliver.

M A S T E R   P R E S E N T E R    

Frank J. Kros, MSW, JD

Frank is a career child advocate, who has served as a childcare worker, child abuse investigator, children’s home administrator, consultant, college professor, attorney, writer and speaker. Frank currently serves as president of The Upside Down Organization, Director of the National At-Risk Education Network (NAREN) and executive vice president of The Children’s Guild, a multi-service children's organization headquartered in Maryland.

[click here to read more about Frank]

 

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C E R T I F I E D   P R E S E N T E R   O R G A N I Z A T I O N
Casa Pacifica, California

A certified organization qualifies to have multiple staff trained and licensed to provide UDO seminars. 

James Freeman, james freeman
MA, CYC-P

James is an expert in serving at-risk youth for and has demonstrated his commitment to improving the lives of those children and youth on the margins of society. From summer camps to group homes to community-based mental health services, James has contributed to delivering children's services at both the direct-care and leadership levels for over 20 years.

 

 

Tone Reyes    

Tone is a Training Specialist at Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families in California and his credibility is evident from the first words he speaks. Tone has done the really hard work in the trenches with children and their families for more than decade. He embodies all the characteristics of a great child-serving professional, including an unrelenting commitment to finding even better ways to meet the needs of those he serves. Tone has "been there and done that," infusing his trainings with authentic stories, warm humor and the knowledge of a professional who has changed the lives of hundreds of kids for the better.

 

C E R T I F I E D  P R E S E N T E R S  

Ellen Abramson, M.A. 

Ellen Abramson has been supporting young children, with and  without disabilities, and their families and adults who work with them for over 30 years at the local, state and national level in government, public and private schools, child care, hospitals, and community programs.

[click here to learn more about Ellen]

 

Bonnie Brown, M.S.

Author, educator, speaker, trainer, therapist, and non-profit executive, Betty is passionately devoted to creating a better world for children. She has contributed professionally to the issues of childhood hunger and poverty at the national level, to international health in West Africa, and to individual therapy for stress and trauma-related issues. Her presentations earn high marks for connecting with participants with warmth and humor.

[click here to read more about Bonnie]

Betty Caldwell, M.A.

Author, educator, speaker, trainer, therapist, and non-profit executive, Betty is passionately devoted to creating a better world for children. She has contributed professionally to the issues of childhood hunger and poverty at the national level, to international health in West Africa, and to individual therapy for stress and trauma-related issues. Her presentations earn high marks for connecting with participants with warmth and humor.

[click here to read more about Betty]

 

Nadia Casseus Torney, BS, MSW, M.Ed, Ed.D

With an extensive background in the field of education, Nadia has excelled in driving legal, social and academic services to children in traditional and specialized settings for over 15 years. Along with her academic accomplishments, she adds to her credits, NAESP, NCATE and Middle States certification. As a former teacher and school director, she has worked directly with students of all ages and has provided supervision to large staff groups entrusted with their care and education.

[click here to read more about Nadia]

Linda Chamberlain, Ph.D, MPH

Scientist, author, professor, dog musher, and founder of the Alaska Family Violence Prevention Project, Dr. Linda Chamberlain is an internationally recognized keynote speaker and champion for health issues related to domestic violence, children exposed to violence and implications for brain development. She is known for her abilities to translate science into practical information with diverse audiences and convey a message of hope and opportunity. Dr. Chamberlain holds faculty appointments at the University of Alaska and Johns Hopkins University.  She earned her public health degrees from Yale School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University.

 

Jacqueline Colaneri

Jacqueline is a       highly experienced educational consultant. She holds a BS in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Humanistic Education and a Curriculum and Supervisor certification from Seton Hall University.

Ms. Colaneri has extensive experience as a classroom teacher, supervisor of curriculum and instruction, and national presenter. She was employed as a classroom teacher and curriculum supervisor in New Jersey schools for 34 years. 

 

Cortney DiSalvo

Cortney is the Assistant Principal at the Chesapeake Bay Middle School Regional Program in Anne Arundel County. She has over 20 years of experience working with students with learning and emotional disabilities and has worked in various roles as an educator including teacher, behavior specialist and assistant principal.  

[click here to read more about Cortney]

 

Shelly Eidsness, B.A.

Shelly has a deep knowledge of child and youth development honed over two decades of work with individual students, communities and child-serving systems. Shelly has spent the last 11 years as a professional development specialist in Alaska, offering a wide variety of seminars including youth leadership, youth empowerment, diversity, ethics and community organization in support of positive youth development.

[click here to read more about Shelly]

Debi Filippi

Recently described as a “Bridge Builder,” “Difference Maker,” and “Change Agent,” Deb has been working with parents, youth and families with special healthcare needs for the past 20 years. Her areas of expertise include Autism, ADHD, Asthma, Hearing Loss, ASD, and SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) and she has obtained numerous certifications in national parenting programs, coaching, facilitating and presenting. Deb has also been an at-home mom, full-time volunteer for nonprofits, churches and schools and a youth life-skills coach for high school student athletes.

 [click here to read more about Deb]

 

Amy Fortney-Parks, PhD, LPC

Amy brings with her over 20 years of experience working with children, adolescents and families as both an educator and psychologist. She is a passionate “BRAIN – trainer” and strives to help everyone she works with understand how their own unique brain works! Amy is the founder and Executive Director of Clinical and Assessment Services for WISE Mind Solutions, LLC in Alexandria, Virginia. She has a Masters Degree in Psychological Services and is nearing completion of her Doctorate in Educational Psychology.

[click here to read more about Amy] 

Angela Fowler-Hurtado, LCSW

Angela is an engaging and creative presenter who loves working with adults and youth alike. She passionately believes that understanding ourselves through learning about the brain provides tools for empowered living. Angela is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked in a residential home for adolescent young men, a teen parent program, a family health clinic, and a family counseling center.

[click here to read more about Angela]

 

Katie Gifford, Ph.D, NCSP

Katie is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist currently working in Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) at the Chesapeake Bay Middle School Regional Program. She has spent the last five years working with students with Emotional Disabilities, ADHD, Autism, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Learning Disabilities in the public school system. Katie also serves as a Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) coach for two schools in Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) in Maryland. She is passionate about early intervention services, and providing students and families with wrap around supports to facilitate academic and social-emotional success.

[click here to read more about Katie]

Chris Grace

Chris Grace is a certified school psychologist working in St. Mary’s County (MD) public schools.Chris has been a school psychologist for 24 years and enjoys working with students, teachers, and families to help children achieve success in school.Chris is energized by working with students who have autism spectrum disabilities as well as helping schools to adopt positive behavioral supports. She obtained her BA in Psychology from Clemson University and her MA in School Psychology from the University of South Carolina.

[click here to read more about Chris]

 

Heather Higgins, MSW, LCSW-C

heather

Heather is a Certified Presenter for the Upside Down Organization. She has been practicing Social Work for over 15 years in Baltimore, Maryland focusing her efforts on working with children and families.

 



[click here to read more about Heather]

Deb Ingersoll, B.A.

Deb Ingersoll brings with her over 20 years of experience as an educator and has a special fondness for adolescents — “Their brains are so INTERESTING!” Upbeat, fun and engaging, Deb generates excitement  whenever she presents and always leaves her audience wanting more.

[click here to read more about Deb]

 

Leslie Jensen, M.Ed.

Having taught in impoverished public school buildings for the past fifteen years of her 24 years as a music educator, her understanding of the environmental challenges that her students live in has driven her desire to help those families and children that she serves. 

[click here to read more about Leslie]

Tracy Kessler, LCSW-C

Tracy has been a presenter for The Upside Down Organization for the past five years. She has been practicing in the field of social work for the past eight years working with children and families throughout Maryland. Most recently, Tracy worked as a clinician at The Children's Guild OMHC.

[click here to read more about Tracy]

 

Shauna King, Ed.S.Shauna

Shauna King, ED.S., is passionate about working with today’s teachers to help keep their skills sharp and their students at the top of their learning game. She is so committed to this mission that she founded her own professional development organization. Through this organization, Shauna works with schools that are implementing positive and proactive, safe and drug-free initiatives.

[click here to read more about Shauna]

Alwynne Lamp, M.Ed.alwynne

Alwynne has more than 15 years of school counseling and education experience and in 2010 was named as the Middle School Counselor of the Year by the Florida School Counseling Association — WOW! Alwynne currently works as a school counselor at Christa McAuliffe Middle School in Florida. Other educational roles Alwynne has held include seven years as a Science Teacher and four years as an outdoor/experiential educator with Outward Bound in both Australia and Minnesota.

[click here to read more about Alwynne]

 

Barbara Lingenfelter

Alwynne has more than 15 years of school counseling and education experience and in 2010 was named as the Middle School Counselor of the Year by the Florida School Counseling Association — WOW! Alwynne currently works as a school counselor at Christa McAuliffe Middle School in Florida. Other educational roles Alwynne has held include seven years as a Science Teacher and four years as an outdoor/experiential educator with Outward Bound in both Australia and Minnesota.

[click here to read more about Barbara]

Terri Martin-Yates, M.Ed.

Terri Martin-Yates has a deep passion for helping parents and teachers of young children, particularly those with special needs such as autism and other developmental disorders. In 2009, Terri founded Trainings Made for You, a private training and consulting company that offers cost effective training and educational support for educators in the challenging environment of early childhood education. Terri’s mission is to help teachers understand early brain development and how to help all children develop a strong foundation for learning in the early years!

[click here to read more about Terri]

 

 Terri McCloskey, MC

Terri is the Program Manager for Healthy Family Partnership and Communities That Care of Wyoming County, PA.  For over 15 years, Terri has dedicated her efforts to improving the physical and emotional health, safety and education of children. She has developed programs to encourage positive development of future generations and assist families and community members in protecting and educating children.

[click here to read more about Terri]

 

Susan Milloy

 

[click here to read more about Susan]

 

 

Wendy Minne

Wendy has been a National Speaker on brain-based Assessment programs that she has created to enhance student learning and achievement. Wendy has a passion to train adults in a “whole child” approach and to create ways to change the school culture.  Wendy was Teacher of the Year in 2010/2011 and was selected to be on the “All-County” Teaching Team.  Wendy is married to a Youth Pastor and has two children. She enjoys traveling, scuba diving and creating new curriculum to enhance student learning.

[click here to read more about Wendy]

Emily MoodyEM.jpg

Emily is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a back-ground in multiple practice  areas. She has extensive experience in working with adult survivors of trauma,  specifically women dually diagnosed with substance abuse and mental illness. She has trained locally and nationally on trauma interventions and trauma informed care.

[click here to read more about Emily]

 

Dan Reimers

Dan has over a decade of experience teaching at the middle school level and currently teaches at Fallston Middle School in Maryland. The opportunity to work with middle school students has driven him to learn more about the human brain and to answer the age old question, “Why do they act that way?”

[click here to read more about Dan]

Gloria Sherman, M.Ed., LPC

Gloria’s passion is to equip parents, educators and service providers with tools to assist them with what she believes is their most  important job: raising respectful and responsible children. Her interest in brain development and its contributing factors to behavioral patterns in pre-school and adolescent children has led her to focus her skills to address these vital issues.

[Click here to learn more about Gloria]

 

Twyla Snider

Twyla has over 25 years providing administration, direct care services, training and technical assistance to a variety of groups including, male and female prisoners, criminal justice workers, corporate managers, faith-based organizations, juvenile delinquents, college students, civic groups and organizations, and staff on Native American reservations.

[click here to read more about Twyla]

Jim Taylor, M.S., LCCA

jim taylor

Jim has an extensive career in the human service field as a child and youth care advocate and has been with the Cal Farley Boy's Ranch and Girlstown, U.S.A. since 1997 where he is currently Director of Training. His passion for working with young people is derived from his own personal background as a foster-adopt child. Jim's experience in the childcare field includes having served as a direct care worker, houseparent, caseworker, program director, children’s home administrator and homeless shelter administrator.

[click here to read more about Jim] 

 

 Denise Thomas, MSW

Denise started her career in a group home working with adults diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Since March 2005, she has been working with youth and families and is currently employed at Pressley Ridge in Delaware as a Program Supervisor. Pressley Ridge works with Treatment Foster Care (TFC) youth who have troubling behaviors, cognitive limitations, physical disabilities, and overall traumatic pasts. As a Program Supervisor, Denise oversees seven staff members who are responsible for the treatment planning of TFC youth, in addition to working closely with their biological family.

[click here to learn more about Denise]

Laura Webb


 

 

Alisha Wolf

Alisha is the Director of Education and Training at Adoptions Together, an organization that enjoys a close positive relationship with the Upside Down Organization. Alisha has advocated for children through front-line work, research, and best practice training.

[click here to read more about Alisha]