“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking created profoundness. Kindness in giving created love.”
– Lao Tzu
Andrea Blanch – President
Andrea Blanch, PhD, the President and Director of CRT, has spent her life involved in social change movements, including second-wave feminism and the disability rights movement. More recently, she has been a leader in bringing trauma-informed approaches to service systems and communities across the country. She was a 2009 Fellow in the Women, Religion and Globalization program at Yale University, was awarded the 2010 annual Duisberg Peace Award by the Southwest Florida Coalition on Peace and Justice, and in 2012 received the Elisabeth Schilder Memorial Scholarship Award for her interfaith work with CRT. Andy is passionate about the power of grassroots organizing to bring about change and about the growing power of women to help shape a peaceful and sustainable future. She sees CRT as a vehicle to help support global transformation.
Howard Nelson – Vice President
Howard Nelson is the director of development for a primary health care network in New York State. He brings to CRT significant organizational experience, an abiding concern with social welfare, and a passion for getting people from different parts of the world working together. His particular interest within CRT is in creating opportunities for people in the United States to get to know the peacemakers working in Israel and Palestine.
Judith Allen – Board Member
Jelilah Judith Allen is a writer and editor living in Seattle, WA. She has an MA in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley, taught elementary school in the Watts area of Los Angeles as well as in West Oakland, and taught writing and critical thinking at UC Berkeley and at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. She was also the director of the high school at a Reform Jewish temple in Bellevue, WA, and has lived in Israel. In recent years, she co-led a community conversation in which local Jews could talk with each other in safety about their feelings regarding Israel/Palestine. Her special focus within CRT has been to support people in Israel and Palestine as they work to shift and heal patterns of trauma that have led to separation and conflict.
Bill Elliot – Board Member
William D. Elliot is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Davis H. Elliot Company, an electrical construction firm. Formerly he served as the company’s president and CEO. A former practicing attorney in Virginia, he also holds an MA in Conflict Transformation. Bill has served on numerous community and business boards, currently including the boards of the Foundation for Roanoke Valley and the Roanoke Cultural Endowment. Bill plays an advisory role to CRT.
Robin Saenger – Board Member
Robin is an artist at Smiloart in Tarpon Springs. She is the Founding Director of Peace4Tarpon Trauma-
Informed Community Initiative in Tarpon Springs – the first of its kind in the nation. Robin served her city as Commissioner and Vice-Mayor and continues to work in her community to create a healthy and peaceful Tarpon Springs. She is interested in peace-building work locally and internationally and is passionate about the mission of CRT.
Anna Lewis – Program Director/Board Member
Anna Lewis, has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and training in Nonviolent Communication. She has written several award-winning papers exploring new perspectives in education that attend to the realities of a diverse and complex world. Currently, she is living and working in Peru, exploring new perspectives and becoming fluent in Spanish. Her personal goal for CRT is to assist in creating and supporting opportunities that allow individuals to find more tolerant and peaceful ways to live together. “CRT is an organization that feeds my heart and soul. I not only love all the people who work at CRT, but feel eternally grateful for the opportunity to serve in a way that supports peace on the planet.”
Marieli A. De Jesús Gordils- Program Assistant
Marieli, or better known as “Mary”, has a degree in Journalism from the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon (University of the Sacred Heart) in Puerto Rico, where she was born and raised. Mary always keeps the lessons learned in her island close to her work ethic. She’s driven, hardworking, curious and outgoing. Mary believes that information and knowledge is power. When she’s not working hard, she can be found in a coffee shop drinking too much coffee or too much tea. As part of the CRT team, Mary knows her grain of sand can shift a scale. She strives to change the world, slowly, but surely.
Troy Montes and Raymond Ferrier
Leaders of the community conflict transformation project with the Gillespie Park Neighborhood Association. Troy holds degrees in International Studies, Spanish, Linguistics, Philosophy, and Conflict Transformation. He served two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador. Raymond specializes in conflict management and interpersonal communication. His mediation practice is focused on healthcare, elder care, and workplace conflict resolution.