The Force behind the Army of Survivors

Imagine getting the courage to speak up about something that had happened to you, only to be told you misunderstood, or you must be wrong. Imagine this happening hundreds of times. This is the force that created The Army of Survivors.

As survivors of sexual abuse, we were joined together through incredibly traumatic circumstances. We lifted each other up when we were in our darkest moments and now we want to be the support all survivors of sexual assault and abuse desperately need.

Created by survivors of Larry Nassar, The Army of Survivors stand together to prevent sexual assault and to create a culture where survivors feel safe and supported when speaking their truth. We strive to erase the stigma attached to sexual assault and to ultimately change society through resources, advocacy, and education.

 
 
 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

Grace French

  PRESIDENT | DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS & RESEARCH   Grace is a marketing coordinator, change agent, advocate, and passionate plant mom. She received her Bachelors in Business Administration at the Ross School of Business, and a minor in dance at the University of Michigan. Currently she works in downtown Detroit at Shinola Detroit. Besides her work, Grace enjoys dancing, traveling, trying out new coffee shops, and playing with her puppy Bentley.

PRESIDENT | DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS & RESEARCH

Grace is a marketing coordinator, change agent, advocate, and passionate plant mom. She received her Bachelors in Business Administration at the Ross School of Business, and a minor in dance at the University of Michigan. Currently she works in downtown Detroit at Shinola Detroit. Besides her work, Grace enjoys dancing, traveling, trying out new coffee shops, and playing with her puppy Bentley.

Olivia Venuto

  TREASURER | CREATIVE & MARKETING DIRECTOR   Olivia is a graphic designer with a background in the architecture & planning industry. Her career in design began at Michigan State University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Advertising and Design. Olivia’s weekends are occupied by road trips with her boyfriend, Terry. Olivia enjoys traveling, spending time with loved ones, drinking Moscow Mules, and purchasing plants.

TREASURER | CREATIVE & MARKETING DIRECTOR

Olivia is a graphic designer with a background in the architecture & planning industry. Her career in design began at Michigan State University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Advertising and Design. Olivia’s weekends are occupied by road trips with her boyfriend, Terry. Olivia enjoys traveling, spending time with loved ones, drinking Moscow Mules, and purchasing plants.

Sara TeristI

  SECRETARY | DIRECTOR OF FUNDRAISING & GRANTS   Sara is the Founder and Executive Director of Code Ladder, a North Carolina nonprofit dedicated to giving every student the opportunity to learn code. She received her BA in Communications from Western Michigan University, and a Bachelors in Mathematics from The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Outside of her work, Sara enjoys gardening, spending time with her family, and learning web design.

SECRETARY | DIRECTOR OF FUNDRAISING & GRANTS

Sara is the Founder and Executive Director of Code Ladder, a North Carolina nonprofit dedicated to giving every student the opportunity to learn code. She received her BA in Communications from Western Michigan University, and a Bachelors in Mathematics from The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Outside of her work, Sara enjoys gardening, spending time with her family, and learning web design.

dr. Danielle Moore

  BOARD DIRECTOR | MENTAL HEALTH ADVISOR   Dr. Moore is a Post-Doctoral Fellow with experience in individual and group psychotherapy, diagnostic assessment, and trauma therapy. Dr. Moore completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology at ISPP, Master’s degree in forensic psychology at the University of North Dakota, and her undergraduate degree in psychology at Central Michigan University.

BOARD DIRECTOR | MENTAL HEALTH ADVISOR

Dr. Moore is a Post-Doctoral Fellow with experience in individual and group psychotherapy, diagnostic assessment, and trauma therapy. Dr. Moore completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology at ISPP, Master’s degree in forensic psychology at the University of North Dakota, and her undergraduate degree in psychology at Central Michigan University.

 

Louise Harder

  DIRECTOR | STRATEGIST   Louise Harder has a degree in Wellness and Health Promotion and has over 2 years professional experience creating, planning, implementing, and evaluating prevention programming. Her personal experience with sexual violence, degree skill set, and passion for helping others will guide her as the strategist on The Army of Survivors. She looks forward to supporting other survivors and changing society through resources, advocacy, and education.

DIRECTOR | STRATEGIST

Louise Harder has a degree in Wellness and Health Promotion and has over 2 years professional experience creating, planning, implementing, and evaluating prevention programming. Her personal experience with sexual violence, degree skill set, and passion for helping others will guide her as the strategist on The Army of Survivors. She looks forward to supporting other survivors and changing society through resources, advocacy, and education.

 

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina

  BOARD DIRECTOR   Judge Rosemarie Aquilina was elected to the 30th Circuit Court for Ingham County in November of 2008. Previously, she served as a 55th District Court Judge for 4 years in her capacity as Chief Judge as well as the Sobriety Court Judge. During this time, Judge Aquilina founded and established the Ingham County Sobriety Court Foundation to assist those in recovery.

BOARD DIRECTOR

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina was elected to the 30th Circuit Court for Ingham County in November of 2008. Previously, she served as a 55th District Court Judge for 4 years in her capacity as Chief Judge as well as the Sobriety Court Judge. During this time, Judge Aquilina founded and established the Ingham County Sobriety Court Foundation to assist those in recovery.

 

Senator Curtis Hertel Jr.

  BOARD DIRECTOR   Curtis Hertel Jr. was elected in 2014 to serve Michigan’s 23rd Senate district, which encompasses most of Ingham County. Prior to his time in the State Senate, Hertel served as an Ingham County Commissioner from 2001 until 2008, the Legislative Liaison for the Department of Community Health under Governor Granholm from 2005 until 2008, and Ingham County Register of Deeds from 2009 until 2015.

BOARD DIRECTOR

Curtis Hertel Jr. was elected in 2014 to serve Michigan’s 23rd Senate district, which encompasses most of Ingham County. Prior to his time in the State Senate, Hertel served as an Ingham County Commissioner from 2001 until 2008, the Legislative Liaison for the Department of Community Health under Governor Granholm from 2005 until 2008, and Ingham County Register of Deeds from 2009 until 2015.

 

Alexander S. Rusek

  BOARD DIRECTOR   Alexander S. Rusek is an associate attorney with White Law PLLC in Okemos, Michigan. Mr. Rusek’s practice focuses on complex mass action and class action civil litigation, business law & litigation, criminal law, and appellate law. He is a graduate of Oakland University and Michigan State University College of Law, cum laude. Mr. Rusek is a board member of the Ingham County Bar Association, Immediate Past-President of the Ingham County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, board member of the Michigan State University College of Law Alumni Association, Chairperson and former Treasurer of the Ingham County Board of Commissioners Equal Opportunity Committee, member of the Rotary Club of Lansing, and Democratic Precinct Delegate for Lansing’s Ward 1, Precinct 6.

BOARD DIRECTOR

Alexander S. Rusek is an associate attorney with White Law PLLC in Okemos, Michigan. Mr. Rusek’s practice focuses on complex mass action and class action civil litigation, business law & litigation, criminal law, and appellate law. He is a graduate of Oakland University and Michigan State University College of Law, cum laude. Mr. Rusek is a board member of the Ingham County Bar Association, Immediate Past-President of the Ingham County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, board member of the Michigan State University College of Law Alumni Association, Chairperson and former Treasurer of the Ingham County Board of Commissioners Equal Opportunity Committee, member of the Rotary Club of Lansing, and Democratic Precinct Delegate for Lansing’s Ward 1, Precinct 6.


The army of survivors CHAIRS

 

Jennica Lurie

  DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNICATIONS CHAIR   Jennica is a passionate people person with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Ohio University specializing in Strategic Communication. She currently lives in Austin, Texas where she works at Indeed and spends much of her time paddleboarding and enjoying live concerts. When she's not busy helping people get jobs, she likes to travel and play with her dogs.

DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNICATIONS CHAIR

Jennica is a passionate people person with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Ohio University specializing in Strategic Communication. She currently lives in Austin, Texas where she works at Indeed and spends much of her time paddleboarding and enjoying live concerts. When she's not busy helping people get jobs, she likes to travel and play with her dogs.

Abby Mealy

  GRANT DISBURSEMENT CHAIR   Abby will graduate with a BA in Political Science in 2019 from Central Michigan University. She is passionate about promoting social justice and has had the opportunity to travel the world doing so. When she’s not studying or working for The Army of Survivors, Abby coaches youth gymnastics at CMU and enjoys spending time with her friends and her cat, Mosby.

GRANT DISBURSEMENT CHAIR

Abby will graduate with a BA in Political Science in 2019 from Central Michigan University. She is passionate about promoting social justice and has had the opportunity to travel the world doing so. When she’s not studying or working for The Army of Survivors, Abby coaches youth gymnastics at CMU and enjoys spending time with her friends and her cat, Mosby.

NATALIE HAWKINs

  CREATIVE & GRAPHIC DESIGN CHAIR    Natalie is a visual and user experience design consultant for tech startups, nonprofits, and small businesses. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with concentrations in graphic design and photography from Michigan State University. She is a new homeowner and is expecting her first baby in January of 2019.

CREATIVE & GRAPHIC DESIGN CHAIR

Natalie is a visual and user experience design consultant for tech startups, nonprofits, and small businesses. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with concentrations in graphic design and photography from Michigan State University. She is a new homeowner and is expecting her first baby in January of 2019.

LYNDSY GAMET

  GRANT PROCUREMENT CHAIR   Lyndsy is currently employed as a Stakeholder Manager at Elder Law of Michigan and has her Bachelors in Business Administration. At Elder Law, she helps individuals amplify their voice through advocacy and direct assistance. She also volunteers as an ambassador for CHILD USA and looks forward to creating an environment where survivors feel safe and encouraged to share their stories as the Grant Procurement Chair for The Army of Survivors.

GRANT PROCUREMENT CHAIR

Lyndsy is currently employed as a Stakeholder Manager at Elder Law of Michigan and has her Bachelors in Business Administration. At Elder Law, she helps individuals amplify their voice through advocacy and direct assistance. She also volunteers as an ambassador for CHILD USA and looks forward to creating an environment where survivors feel safe and encouraged to share their stories as the Grant Procurement Chair for The Army of Survivors.

MELODY VANDERVEEN

  WEBSITE DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT CHAIR   Melody is a marketing consultant, website designer, photographer, and content writer for a number of local businesses in Greater Grand Rapids. She received her Bachelors in Business Administration at Grand Valley State University with degrees in Dance, Management, & Entrepreneurship. In her free time, Melody enjoys traveling, dancing, and yoga.

WEBSITE DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT CHAIR

Melody is a marketing consultant, website designer, photographer, and content writer for a number of local businesses in Greater Grand Rapids. She received her Bachelors in Business Administration at Grand Valley State University with degrees in Dance, Management, & Entrepreneurship. In her free time, Melody enjoys traveling, dancing, and yoga.

Melissa Hudecz

  REPORTING & RESEARCH CHAIR

REPORTING & RESEARCH CHAIR

MEGAN GINTER

  SOCIAL & PUBLIC RELATIONS CHAIR    Megan is currently pursuing a degree in Health Sciences with a minor in political science at Ohio State University. In addition to school, Megan works as a hospital advocate for sexual assault survivors in Central Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her two kittens Jasper and Toby.

SOCIAL & PUBLIC RELATIONS CHAIR

Megan is currently pursuing a degree in Health Sciences with a minor in political science at Ohio State University. In addition to school, Megan works as a hospital advocate for sexual assault survivors in Central Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her two kittens Jasper and Toby.

Laura Scudder

  FUNDRAISING CHAIR   Laura is a pediatric nurse practitioner working in Bentonville, AR. She received her Masters of Science in Nursing in Pediatrics from Vanderbilt University. She is a mother of four children: Jack age 11, and triplets, Anna, Kate and Elizabeth age 9. Outside of her work, she enjoys running, reading, spending time with her husband John, and keeping up with her children's many sports and activities.

FUNDRAISING CHAIR

Laura is a pediatric nurse practitioner working in Bentonville, AR. She received her Masters of Science in Nursing in Pediatrics from Vanderbilt University. She is a mother of four children: Jack age 11, and triplets, Anna, Kate and Elizabeth age 9. Outside of her work, she enjoys running, reading, spending time with her husband John, and keeping up with her children's many sports and activities.


The army of survivors LEADS

 

ALEXIS ALVARADO

  GRANT & FUNDRAISING LEAD   Alexis is currently pursing a degree in Healthcare Administration at Ferris State University. She brings her organization and positivity to The Army of Survivors team. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, shopping, and traveling.

GRANT & FUNDRAISING LEAD

Alexis is currently pursing a degree in Healthcare Administration at Ferris State University. She brings her organization and positivity to The Army of Survivors team. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, shopping, and traveling.

Angelika McGhee

  REPORTING & RESEARCH LEAD   Angelika received a Bachelors degree in Emergency Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015 and is currently a paramedic and future nurse. The human heart fascinates her due to its strength, resilience, and endurance - qualities that are also found in her sister survivors. In her free time, she loves yoga, spending time with family, traveling, and learning how to cook.

REPORTING & RESEARCH LEAD

Angelika received a Bachelors degree in Emergency Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015 and is currently a paramedic and future nurse. The human heart fascinates her due to its strength, resilience, and endurance - qualities that are also found in her sister survivors. In her free time, she loves yoga, spending time with family, traveling, and learning how to cook.

Catherine Hannum

  SOCIAL & PR LEAD   Catherine graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s of Art’s in English Literature and Creative Writing. After graduating, she returned to her home state, Massachusetts, to pursue Public Relations in the Greater Boston Area. Outside of working with her clients and for The Army of Survivors, Catherine can be found hiking or relaxing at the beach with her rescue pup, Hattie.

SOCIAL & PR LEAD

Catherine graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s of Art’s in English Literature and Creative Writing. After graduating, she returned to her home state, Massachusetts, to pursue Public Relations in the Greater Boston Area. Outside of working with her clients and for The Army of Survivors, Catherine can be found hiking or relaxing at the beach with her rescue pup, Hattie.

Katherine Gordon

  CREATIVE LEAD   Katherine is currently pursuing a degree in marketing at the Ross School of Business and a minor in Art and Design at the University of Michigan. She brings creativity and passion for connecting with others to The Army of Survivors team. Outside of her studies and professional endeavors, she enjoys photography and yoga.

CREATIVE LEAD

Katherine is currently pursuing a degree in marketing at the Ross School of Business and a minor in Art and Design at the University of Michigan. She brings creativity and passion for connecting with others to The Army of Survivors team. Outside of her studies and professional endeavors, she enjoys photography and yoga.