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Astrid Heger, MD

Board Member

Astrid Heppenstall Heger is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the USC Keck School of Medicine and the founder and Executive Director of the Violence Intervention Program (VIP) at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in East Los Angeles. Heger has both a bachelor's degree and an M.D. from the University of Southern California. In 1984, Heger founded the Center for the Vulnerable Child (CVC) for the evaluation of child abuse. This was the first medically based Child Advocacy Center in the world and currently evaluates over 10,000 child abuse and child sexual assault victims every year. This model program has been replicated in hundreds of programs around the world. Renamed the Violence Intervention Program (VIP), Heger established the first of its kind, "one stop shop" community Family Advocacy Center, offering medical, mental health, protective, legal and social services to victims of family violence and sexual assault throughout Los Angeles County.


Dr. Richard Krugman, MD

Board Chair

One of the preeminent experts and scholars in the field of child abuse and neglect in this country and a protégé of Dr. Kempe himself, Dr. Krugman is a pediatrician and Distinguished University Professor at The Kempe Center. He is the former Director of The Kempe Center and served as both Dean and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Krugman served an appointment with the Public Health Service at the National Institute of Health and the Food and Drug Administration in the 1970s and was a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow in Washington D.C., 1980-81. Most notably, Krugman headed the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect from 1988-1991, which issued two major reports on the emergency presented by child abuse and neglect in the United States at that time. Dr. Krugman has authored over 100 original papers, chapters, editorials, and six books.

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Hildegard Messenbaugh

Board Member

Dr. Messenbaugh is a highly accomplished psychiatrist who has spent her entire career treating adolescents and their families in both out-patient and residential settings. As one of only three female Chief Residents in the U.S. in 1967 to Founding Psychiatrist of Third Way Center, Inc., Dr. Messenbaugh has been a trailblazer in her field. The treatment methodology she developed while at Third Way Center, known as Six Boxes™, has increased success of patients in the residential treatment program she helped to found. Dr. Messenbaugh has been instrumental in working with abuse and neglect empowering young people to live better lives, become productive members of their communities and break the intergenerational cycles of abuse and neglect.


Andy Nathan

Board Member

Andy is the founder and CEO of Fortnight Collective, a brand marketing accelerator with offices in Boulder, Colorado and London, England. In its first year, Fortnight Collective was awarded Ad Age Small Agency of the Year, West Region (Silver). During his 20+ years of experience, Andy has served as CMO of Victors & Spoils, Managing Director of TBWA\Chiat\Day NY, and VP/Account Director at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky. Plus, roles at BBH New York and Ogilvy New York and London. Andy has worked on brands like IBM, Miller Lite, Nestle, Microsoft Windows, Vail Resorts, Harley-Davidson, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Smirnoff, even Michelle Obama's various White House initiatives. He has been an integral part of multiple award-winning campaigns, taking home Cannes Lions, Effies, One Show and ANDY Awards. When Andy’s not working, he’s wrangling kids, skiing, and coaching lacrosse.

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John Piotrowski

Board Member

John has led strategy and technology projects at some of the largest private, public, and nonprofit organizations in the world. He began his career at the International Monetary Fund, where he worked on issues of poverty and inequality in developing countries. At McKinsey & Company and then Goldman Sachs, he advised companies in the energy, manufacturing, and finance sectors on a variety of business strategy and corporate finance issues. In between, John spent a year running political campaigns in vulnerable communities in South Los Angeles. Currently, he is co-founder and CEO of The Ocean, a capital markets technology company. John has a B.A. in Economics and History from the University of Virginia and is completing a M.S. in Financial Engineering from NYU.

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Lori Poland

Executive Director, Board Member

Lori is a mental health therapist and CEO of The National Foundation to End Child Abuse and Neglect (EndCAN). She has been on a life-long mission to better the world with her motivation, humor, stories and triumphs. Lori’s story began at 36 months of age when she was abducted from her childhood home, sexually and physically abused, then left for dead in the pit of a 15 foot deep outhouse toilet. Lori’s trauma exposure carried on throughout her life and to this day, she continues to grow, heal, share, and love. Lori empowers those she talks with to live lives full of hope, freedom of pain and to transcend their own experiences through kindness and love and the power of forgiveness. As a mother to three children, business owner, CEO, AND a mission starter, she’s has spent her life learning love, forgiveness and healing; sharing her message with the world, and changing lives one audience at a time. Lori holds a Master Degree from Regis University in Counseling Psychology and several additional certificates and extensive training in child & adolescent therapy, marriage and family therapy, infant mental health, attachment and Rapid Resolution Therapy.


Brady Priest

Board Member

Brady Priest rejoined UnitedHealth Group in September, 2018, and is currently the General Counsel for UnitedHealth Group’s Global Research & Development division. Previously, he served as General Counsel of Clover Health, a healthcare startup that employs data analysis and preventive care to improve health outcomes for seniors. Mr. Priest’s responsibilities at Clover included leading the Legal & Regulatory, Government Affairs, Business Development and Network functions, as well as overseeing Clover’s financing activities. Prior to Clover, Mr. Priest served as a Managing Director of UnitedHealth Group Ventures, LLC, where he was responsible for identifying and executing investment opportunities in the healthcare space that are aimed at improving the overall quality, affordability and efficiency of the healthcare system. He was also a part of the Legal, Regulatory, and Compliance Group at the firm, where he served as a Senior Associate General Counsel and as Lead Transactions Counsel for UnitedHealthcare. Prior to joining UnitedHealth Group, he served as a Corporate Associate with Dorsey & Whitney LLP, where his practice focused on mergers and acquisitions and representing venture capital-backed companies. He holds a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, where he was the Executive Notes and Comments Editor of the Brooklyn Journal of International Law and a Bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College, where he graduated with honors.

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Dr. Des Runyan

Board Member

Dr. Desmond Runyan is the Jack and Viki Thompson Professor of Pediatrics and Executive Director of the Kempe Center. Runyan completed the MD degree and pediatrics training at the University of Minnesota and added a doctorate in public health and the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars fellowship at the University of North Carolina. Runyan has researched child abuse for over 30 years while maintaining a clinical practice evaluating possible child abuse victims and serving as a general pediatrician. He joined Kempe in August of 2011. Dr. Runyan has published over 170 articles, book chapters and books. His research has addressed the identification and consequences of child abuse and neglect in the United States and in other countries. He designed longest multi-site prospective study of the consequences of child abuse; LONGSCAN is now more than 28 years in duration. Runyan also helped design and conduct the first US study examining the incidence and consequences of “shaken baby syndrome.” His other work has included examining the rates of harsh or abusive discipline around the world.

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Alli Watt

Board Member

Allison Watt founded Breaking Silence in the spring of 2014. As a survivor herself, she knew that the story many had to share would pave the way to bring an end to sexual assault and domestic violence. She followed this vision and began a nonprofit that focuses on teaching students about the consequences of sexual assault, ways in which they can prevent it, and the realities of consent. Alli graduated from CSU with a degree in History Education in order to become a middle school teacher. As a teacher, Alli learned the importance of giving people a reason to learn. Her skills as a teacher quickly translated into the nonprofit world and she became the Program Director for a small education reform organization in Denver. In 2014, she was invited by Robert Hammond, the Commissioner of Education, to be the representative for the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) on the Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB).


Mark Wietecha

Board Member

Mark is president and CEO of Children's Hospital Association, representing over 200 children’s hospitals and major pediatric programs with a mission to improve child health through innovation in care, education and research. Prior to joining CHA in 2011, Mark was a management consultant with Kurt Salmon for 27 years, where he served as the firm’s executive chairman, responsible for over 2,000 professionals working across five continents in six languages. His professional work in both adult academic and pediatric medicine has been recognized as among the best in the country, and he has advised most of the U.S. News & World Report “Best” medical centers and children's hospitals. Mark has been named among the nation’s “Most Influential Consultants” by Consulting Magazine and as one of the "5 Healthcare Leaders to Know" by Becker's Review. He is a regular presenter on the future of health care and cited in such media as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio. Mark currently serves on the boards of the Children’s Hospital Association, the Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems of the AAMC, the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care, OpenNotes, and Virtual PICU Systems. Mark's academic training includes a Master of Science in pharmacology from The Ohio State University and a Master of Business Administration from Indiana University. He is based in Washington, D.C.

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Tom Wolf

Board Member

Tom is the Chief Financial Officer of Shield Security Systems, also known as InstaKey Security Systems, having joined the company in December 1998, and served as its CEO from April 2003 to May 2012. Tom has served on Shield’s Board since 1995. He presently serves as a director, and chairman of the audit committee of Birner Dental Management Services, a public company, and a Denver-based private company in the restaurant business; and has previously served on the Boards of two private companies, a sporting goods manufacturer and a restaurant chain. He also serves as Board Chair of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and on one other Board for a non-profit entity in Colorado. Prior to joining Shield, he was Chief Investment Officer of Western Growth Capital, a private investment company, Vice President of Hanifen, Imhoff Inc., a regional investment bank, and a Director of Corporate Finance for Prudential Insurance Company. In these capacities, he assisted numerous companies in raising the financing needed to expand their business. Tom holds an MBA degree from Pennsylvania State University and a BA degree from Bucknell University.