Our Team

We are a group of mental health and educational experts dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children and the future success of our society.

Jerrie Jacobs-Kenner Ph.D, LCSW

Senior Director, Community-Based Programs


Jerrie Jacobs-Kenner has worked as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, social work educator and administrator in the child and family services arena for over 25 years. She has been with Crittenton Children’s Center since March 2015. In addition to other community-based programs, Jerrie works closely with the Trauma Smart® Directors and other staff members to ensure ongoing, high-quality programming.

Susan Pinné LSCSW, LCSW



Susan Pinné has been with Trauma Smart since its inception in 2008. Her career has been centered on therapy for preschool-aged children who have experienced trauma and coaching for their families and teachers. She has served as a therapist, coach, and manager in the Trauma Smart Program. Susan is currently a Trauma Smart Director.

LeAnn Keck LCSW, RPT

Project Director


LeAnn Keck joined the Trauma Smart team in 2014. She has over ten years of clinical experience working with children, adults, and families in a variety of settings such as community trauma education and prevention, early childhood education, counseling, palliative care, and military services. LeAnn has expertise in play therapy and attachment work with children ages three-thirteen years old. She is currently the Trauma Smart Director of Projects.

Jennifer Weiss Friedman M.S. CCC-SLP

Project Director Trauma Smart NYC


Jennifer Weiss Friedman is a licensed bilingual speech-language pathologist with over twenty years of experience in education. She has worked in public schools, early intervention, and speech-language and educational consulting. She also served for ten years as co-founding director of a dual language preschool. Jennifer joined Trauma Smart in January of 2017 to lead a team of consultants in bringing Trauma Smart to New York City.

Laura Niederer LPC, RPT



Laura Niederer joined the Trauma Smart team in 2015. Laura has over 6 years of clinical experience working with families, adults, and children in a private practice setting. She has over 12 years of experience providing support, advocacy, and empowerment to women and children in domestic violence shelters. In addition, Laura has a certification in Play Therapy working with children ages 3 and up. She is currently a Manager and Trainer at Trauma Smart of Crittenton Children’s Center in Kansas City.

Marcia Weseman Ed.D

Manager Community Programs and Prevention


Marcia Weseman spent more than three decades in Kansas school districts as a teacher, elementary and middle school principal, and district administrator.  She did her undergraduate and master’s work at Washburn University, Topeka and earned her doctorate from the University of Kansas in 1995.  Her passion has long been mentoring educators to do whatever it takes to make a positive difference for students.  She now tries to achieve that goal by helping educators become Trauma Informed.  

Brit Visser LCSW

Manager, Trainer, and Consultant


Brit is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She's passionate about early intervention and prevention work within communities to empower children to thrive. For the past seven years, her experiences have focused on working with children and families that have experienced trauma. She's had opportunities to work within several school settings; providing therapy to children and families, coaching teachers, and educating caregivers. Brit is trained in Play Therapy, EMDR, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. She is currently a Manager, Trainer, and Consultant at Trauma Smart.

Deborah Grantham LPC, PLPC



Deborah Grantham joined Trauma Smart in 2010 as a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Master’s Level Psychologist. For over ten years, Deborah’s experience includes working for a family preservation agency, as well working for an agency counseling children and adults. During She's had opportunities to work within agencies and schools, providing therapy to children, training staff, coaching teachers, and educating caregivers. She is currently a Trauma Smart Therapist.

Jeannie Thurston LPC

Therapist & Trainer


Jeannie Thurston is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She joined the Trauma Smart team in 2013. She has over 12 years of experience working with children, adults, and families. Her experiences include working in mental health, substance abuse, community education and counseling. She has a passion for increasing caregiver’s knowledge of the impact of trauma on individuals through education and clinical services. She is currently serving as a trainer and consultant for the Trauma Smart program.

Melinda Stroda LCSW

Trainer & Consultant


Melinda Stroda joined the Trauma Smart Team in 2015. Melinda has over 12 years of experience working with children, adults and families who have experienced various forms of trauma. She has served in a variety of settings including child abuse pediatrics, medical social work, school social work, child & family therapy, and early childhood education.  

Cheryl Step LPC

Trainer & Consultant


Cheryl is a Licensed Professional Counselor whose experience includes working in a residential treatment center for abused girls, in a community mental health center with children and adolescents, and in public schools as a counselor. She spent twelve of those years employed at one elementary school where her interactions and relationships with students and staff helped create a trauma-informed school. The school staff helped children create positive relationships and learn self regulation so they could develop resiliency to trauma in their lives.

Mimi Bachman LMSW

Trainer & Consultant


Mimi Bachman joined the Trauma Smart Team in 2017. Before joining the team, Mimi provided therapy to children and families in a residential setting and home-based program. She has also worked in multiple educational settings such as elementary schools and community education programs. Mimi has a passion for trauma-informed care and desires to build resilient communities through inclusive education and empowerment.