American SPCC Leadership Team
J. E. Henningsen
Founder | Board Member
J.E. Henningsen has over twenty years of business experience in the U.S. and abroad. As a business owner, analyst, and investor, Mr. Henningsen has consistently demonstrated an ability to identify problems and find creative solutions. His career exposure includes a diverse range of industries: aerospace, construction, media, leasing, finance, and scientific research and development.
After noticing a severe lack of child abuse prevention efforts and soaring numbers of abuse cases in the United States, he founded the American SPCC. He currently serves as CEO of Omnisent LLC.
Dr. Tina McMechen
Board Member | Acting Director
Tina McMechen holds a Bachelors degree in psychology, a Masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, and an EdD in educational leadership. She has over 22 years experience in the field of education, with a background in teaching, student services, and educational sales. She is passionate about change management and believes leaders should view organizations from a systems (or holistic) perspective.
She is delighted to be a part of the American SPCC and hopes to be a good role model for her young three children for activism through education.
Lietta Ryan has a successful background in small business development, management, operations, and finance, within the non-profit and for-profit sectors. Her keen business acumen is fortified by years of operations management experience, and is enhanced by her genuine care and compassion, and her strong desire to help others. Lietta enjoys being an active member of your local Rotary community, and enjoys her volunteer work with foster children.
Lietta possesses a 4 year degree as a Registered Nurse. During her nursing career, Lietta specialized in Obstetrics and Pediatrics, and further worked with the mentally and physically disabled. As an “empty nester” and having experienced single parenting, Lietta has a true empathy and understanding for all aspects of parenthood; the challenges, the trials and tribulations; the triumphs, joy, and rewards.
Lietta is delighted to be part of such a great cause, and is dedicated to working alongside others equally committed to the mission of American SPCC in actualizing real change to help improve children’s lives now and in the future.
Psychotherapist | Board Secretary
Susan Kim is a licensed psychotherapist, Parent-Child Interaction Therapist, and Certified Domestic Violence Crisis Intervention Counselor with a specialization in Infant Mental Heath. During her over 20 years of experience, Susan has worked extensively with children and families who have experienced abuse, neglect, and trauma; with adolescents who are pregnant and parenting; and with families in the area of parent-child relationships. She has facilitated support groups for parenting youth, adolescent and adult sexual assault survivors, and women in domestic violence situations; facilitated parenting classes for court-mandated individuals; and counseled parents with children involved in the child protective service and foster care system.
As a former teaching instructor, Susan developed a college curriculum and taught courses in communications and counseling skills. During her career she also provided training and group supervision to other therapists and interns; developed court-approved parenting class curriculums; created support group programs for women in violent relationships; collaborated with nonprofit organizations to provide community outreach programs; and has lectured to both public and professional audiences on various parenting topics at local, state, and national conferences. She is honored and thrilled to be a part of the American SPCC to promote positive change on a community level.
Katelyn Kirk graduated in June 2015 with her Masters in Sport and Exercise Science with a concentration in Exercise Psychology. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in General Psychology with additional work in Business and Anthropology. Katelyn continues to teach at Oregon State University as a faculty member in the Physical Activity Program in the School of Biological and Population Health Sciences.
Katelyn’s commitment to the disenfranchised youth is unwavering. She has worked with Portland’s Love INC in their annual Packed with Love Events reaching out to school children and their families, and continues to volunteer as a head coach each summer with Hoop Camp, a unified basketball camp for special needs athletes and all children ages 6 – 13. She also traveled to Martha’s Vineyard to be a counselor at Camp Jabberwocky, a one-month residential summer camp for mentally and/or physically disabled adults and teens. Katelyn is currently working with our Youth Advisory Board and the national expansion of ASPCC.
Marketing & Fundraising
Genevieve Rivera is a Dean’s Honors graduate holding a degree in Marketing and Media Communications. With a focus on public relations and strategic marketing, Genevieve brings her educational and practical experience to the American SPCC team. She exudes a strong empathy for the struggles, trials, and tribulations facing today’s children and has a deep commitment to help improve their quality of life.
As a new mom, Genevieve understands the challenges that new parents face. She believes that understanding, educating, and raising awareness of the developmental stages of a child is the first step in ending the epidemic of child abuse in America.
Through in depth volunteer work at a large school for the deaf and blind, she has witnessed first hand how love and positive care can impact the outcome of the most vulnerable.
Genevieve believes strongly in the advocacy work of American SPCC and is passionately dedicated to protecting children’s rights.
Dr. Ann Mertens
Ann Mertens, PhD, MS, is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Mertens also serves as Research Director of Cancer Survivorship at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She is a member of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program at Winship.
Dr. Cliff Lewis
Dr. Cliff Lewis received his PhD in Physics with specialization in Chaos Theory and Nonlinear Dynamics from the University of California, San Diego in 2001. He held the position of Assistant Vice President at Science Applications International Corporation where he managed data-intensive technology programs for the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security in the areas of biotechnology, 3-D tomography, information science, and signal processing.
Dr. Lewis started Think Tank Analytics in 2011 and has effectively provided clients with successful product development in many different areas of data science, including Wearables and Personalized medicine, Predictive Financial Analytics, Fitness Analytics, Signal Processing for Biotechnology, and Data-Intensive Mobile App Development for smartphones. He has also co-authored numerous patents and publications in these data-centric areas.
Volunteer Research Assistant
Varsha Sharma holds an MBA in Human Resource Management and a Ph.D. in Sociology. She is passionate working in the Non-Profit sector. Her background in sociology gives her the motivation and perception to do something for the society. She values her volunteering experiences because she likes to give back to the community and likes to utilize her interests, skills time by helping people who need help and the staff who are helping them.
Varsha supports and chose to volunteer for American SPCC because she firmly believes in the Mission and Vision of promoting the positive care of children and youth, and effectively addressing the epidemic of child abuse. She knows children are our future and we all are responsible for providing the safe environment where the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of children should be amplified and competently met.
Our leadership cannot create, manage, or build this organization on its own. This organization would not be possible without continued help and support. We have the BEST community of volunteers, advocates, and supporters! Thank YOU!