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About Us

Our Mission

We are a collaboration of organizations, businesses and individuals working to end human trafficking in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties through education, advocacy, policy change, services for survivors and prosecution of offenders. We put victims and survivors of human trafficking at the center of all our work.

Executive Committee

Cari Herthel

Cari Herthel (she/her) Chairs the Coalition to End Human Trafficking in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. She is also the Vice Chair of the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County. 

Cari is a survivor leader, speaker, and resource specialist. Following her recovery from sexual exploitation and labor trafficking, she has worked for 27 years as a Recovery Resource Specialist in the areas of trauma, drugs and alcohol. Her expertise includes complex intergenerational trauma. Due to Cari’s personal experience as a child of the California Welfare System, she focuses much of her work on issues concerning the welfare of children. Agencies across the nation seek her advice and consultancy to create Native American policies and procedures for children regarding anti-human trafficking education and human trafficking prevention. She is on the advisory leadership council of Sovereign Bodies Institute, a consultant for The National Center for Youth Law and expert speaker and consultant for the Rising United Leadership Program (a partnership program between United Way Worldwide and Rising Worldwide). 

Julie Schneider

Ms. Schneider (she/her) began working in the field of Advocacy for Victims of Crime in 1988 at the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office.  A member of the Victim Emergency Response Team (VERT) on a grant through OCJP Ms. Schneider responded to victims of violent crimes within the County of Santa Cruz to provide support and resources to victims immediately following a violent crime.  In 1990 Ms. Schneider was hired by the City of Santa Cruz Police Department to provide on-going victims of crime services to juvenile victims of violent crimes.  Since that time she has expanded the program to include all victims of violent crime in the city of Santa Cruz with a special emphasis on victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Homicide. 

Ms. Schneider participated in the creation of the Santa Cruz County Sexual Assault Protocol and the Santa Cruz County Domestic Violence Protocol.  She has worked as a Senior Social Worker for the County of Santa Cruz Child Protective Services Division of the Human Resource Agency, is the past Chair of the Santa Cruz County Children’s Commission and the past chair of the Board of Directors of the Walnut Avenue Family and Women’s Center.  She currently sits on the Executive Committee of the Coalition to End Human Trafficking in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. Through her collaboration with local, state and non-profit agencies she works effectively within the county systems to provide resources, court support, in both family law and criminal court, information about the criminal justice system and referrals for therapeutic intervention to victims of violent crime in the county of Santa Cruz.

Carmel Jud

Carmel Jud is Rising International’s Founder and Executive Director. In 2002, Carmel gave up the successful business she’d founded and built for 20 years and launched Rising International, the first non-profit to use the home party business model to contribute to solving poverty. Rising International sells crafts made by the world’s poorest people – women. In addition, Rising trains under-employed women in the U.S. to run their own Rising Home Party businesses. Today Rising works with women in 27 countries, focusing on areas of the world where it’s the hardest to be alive as woman. Carmel has been featured in the press both locally and internationally including as Huffington Post’s Greatest Person of the Day. She is also a proud recipient of the 2012 Woman of the World award.

Sylvia Nieto

Sylvia L. Nieto (she/her) is the Director/Program Manager for the Victim Witness Assistance Program for Santa Cruz county. She had experience as a trainer for both advocates and law enforcement specializing in vicarious trauma. She has a passion for serving youth survivors of crime. She serves on the Community Corrections Partnership and strives to find new solutions to address the needs of crime survivors.

LeeAnn Jones 

LeeAnn Jones, LCSW (she/her) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who works with survivors of interpersonal trauma to collaboratively find their unique narrative towards healing.  LeeAnn believes while navigating the often complex intersectionalities of trauma, it is imperative to not only honor and recognize the uniqueness of the individual, but also explore larger societal systems for the deepest sense of healing and empowerment.  She has worked with the Coalition to End Human Trafficking in Santa Cruz & Monterey Counties since 2016 to support her local community in raising awareness and provide the best services to survivors.  LeeAnn has provided services in English and Spanish to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in emergency shelters, group homes, and community-based behavioral health organizations since 2011.  LeeAnn holds a Bachelor’s of Art in Intensive World Literature & Cultural Studies from UC Santa Cruz and a Master’s of Social Work, specializing in behavioral health from Cal State Monterey Bay.

Leeann Luna

Leeann Luna (she/her) is the Program Manager for Monarch Services, overseeing the Crisis Intervention and Child & Youth Program. Leeann has been with the organization since 2009, beginning as a Crisis Intervention Advocate. She has worked within different departments of the agency aside from direct services, including Human Resources, Grants and Contracts Management, and Fund Development. Leeann received her B.A. from California State University, Fresno in 2007.