Mary Zinkin, Ph.D.
Executive Director and Founder Mary Zinkin, Ph.D. has survived both unreported and reported crimes which fuels her passion in founding CTSS. She envisions providing services that were not available to her nor are available now for crime victims/survivors. She understands deeply the need for attention and resources over time to recover from trauma. She has conducted her own research and attended trainings by experts in the field (Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D., John Briere, Ph.D., Lt. Col. Grossman, Elaine Miller-Karas, LCSW, Dan Siegel, M.D.) In her consultation practice, Dr. Zinkin has witnessed the effectiveness of providing trauma support to individuals who are relieved to learn the “why” and “what” is happening as a result of the trauma as well as “how” to respond with skills for well-being. She has provided training and trauma support for law enforcement officers involved in critical incidents. She focused her own graduate studies on trauma resiliency and facilitated dialogue in cases of severe and violent crime, participates as a volunteer in the Department of Corrections Facilitated Dialogue Program, and is a Master Trainer of the Community Resiliency Model of the Trauma Resource Institute. As a Professor in the Conflict Resolution Graduate Program at PSU, which she co-founded, she teaches Understanding Trauma/ Building Resiliency and Mindfulness. Dr. Zinkin served on the initial Use of Force and Performance Review Board for the Portland Police Bureau and in her role offered invaluable perspective on the effects of trauma.
Cheryl Cheney, Founding Board Member, has worked in social services and corrections for 30 years, initially with survivors of serious and violent crimes, then with offenders in Departments of Corrections. Her professional experiences have provided her with a well-rounded perspective on the experiences of both survivors and perpetrators of crime. She has built community support for restorative justice programs, developed partnerships, and implemented programs, both in the community and in a closed /maximum security prison, including Community Circles for probationers and for gang-affected youth transitioning from maximum security in prison to the community. While conducting Pre-sentence Investigations, Cheryl interviewed not only those convicted of crimes, but also victims/survivors and their family members. She engaged in compassionate, deep listening while interacting with victims and their families, and this experience confirmed her belief that victims/survivors of serious and violent crimes were typically re-victimized by the Criminal Justice system, experienced increased trauma and reported no healing during the year that it often took to move from the crime through the perpetrator’s conviction.
Erica Bestpitch, MS
Erica Bestpitch, Founding Board Member, received her Masters Degree in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University in 2012. Since then, she has taken up further study and inquiry into trauma and its effects on our nervous system and bodies. Through her current work at the PSU Women’s Resource Center Erica encounters many who are impacted by trauma which fuels her interest in creating more support services in the community. Her lived experience with trauma in addition to her structured learning have provided the foundation upon which to build her future work – integrating somatic experience and creativity to support trauma healing. Erica also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Portland State University.
Erica has been inspired by Mary’s activism and dedication to trauma healing, and has been fortunate enough to learn from Mary’s expertise and years of experience in this work. Erica has also learned first hand the importance of community support in healing from trauma. She is thrilled to be part of strengthening the community of healing as well as contributing to the empowerment of victims/survivors of trauma through her work with Center for Trauma Support Services.
Robert Blake, Board Member, is a Portland native. Robert feels blessed to impact the lives of youth daily in his role as Restorative Justice Trainer/Coach with Resolutions Northwest. He recognized a need for advocacy in schools where youth were finding themselves getting involved in negative behaviors that caused them to either be suspended or expelled, but more importantly, ending up in prison or dead. Robert got his start in this work as a Gang Outreach Specialist with the City of Portland’s Office of Youth Violence Prevention in 2011. Robert was nominated for the Portland Peace Prize in 2013, and received a community service award from the Portland Police Bureau’s Gang Enforcement Team in 2014 for his tireless efforts in addressing the needs of our hi/at-risk youth within the Portland Metro area. Prior to that Robert worked as a Correctional Officer and ASL Interpreter for hearing impaired male adults with the Washington State Department of Corrections, and served in the U.S. Army. In his spare time Robert teaches youth about recreational opportunities and professional employment opportunities outside of the communities in which they live to help change the mindset of having nothing to aspire to, and to give them hope! Robert also works with Dignity in Schools Campaign and Multnomah County Restorative Dialogue Program. Robert joined the Board of CTSS to help move the work to the forefront as a resource that is so desperately needed in our community.
Kerry Naughton, Board Member, a survivor of child sexual abuse, is executive director of OAASIS, an organization dedicated to building a movement that empowers communities to prevent child sexual abuse and help survivors live full, healthy, joyful lives. Kerry has worked in the victim advocacy field for over 15 years, focusing on policy advocacy, program development, public education, and movement building at the local, state, and national levels. She has led efforts to expand access to accurate information and effective services to marginalized crime victims, including survivors of color, youth survivors, survivors of human trafficking, incarcerated sexual assault survivors, and murder victim family members whose cases have “gone cold.” Since 2008, Kerry has helped elevate the voices of Oregon survivors and victim advocates calling for smarter approaches to creating safe, healthy communities. Kerry is committed to creating a community where all people can heal from trauma and violence. She is thrilled to be on the CTSS Board and support this vital healing resource in our community.
Ilene Kleinsorge, PhD
Ilene Kleinsorge, PhD, Board Member, retired in 2015 after twenty-eight years at Oregon State University. She had, most recently, served as the Dean and Sara-Hart Kimball chair of the College of Business at Oregon State University for more than twelve years. She directed a business program that serves more than 6000 students and with her team raised more than $100 M for business education at Oregon State University. Her doctorate from the University of Kansas included a major in accounting and a minor in healthcare administration. Prior to receiving her CPA and PhD she worked in healthcare for nine years. She was presented the 2015 Community Champion Award by the Portland Business Alliance. She currently serves on the boards of the Benton Hospice Service, the Benton Community Foundation, and the Beaver Caucus and is an adjunct accounting professor for Linn Benton Community College. Ilene is excited to serve on the Board of CTSS to help fill gaps in service for trauma victims and survivors.