Tanya Long from Columbus, OH began her leadership journey when she walked into a Parents Anonymous® group 14 years ago and turned her life around forever. She and her four children are thriving and she has chosen to go college recently earning her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Communications and Marketing. Through all the shared leadership® opportunities in Parents Anonymous® nationwide, she has developed and delivered parent and shared leadership® training curricula, coached and provided technical assistance in several states, spoken on TV and been written up in the newspaper, testified in Congress, and served on numerous national commissions including the Knowledge to Action Consortium on Child Maltreatment Prevention of the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. She continues to give back to her local community by hosting a women’s recovery ministry, and serving on the Boards of Godman Guild Association, Head Start, and Legal Aid of Franklin County. Her expertise is on successful early care and education through strengthening families, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
Don Pickens, a kidney transplant recipient, is a new adoptive parent of a young girl who was his foster child. His leadership journey began 5 years ago in Los Angeles when he was seeking help as a new single Dad with no experience with parenting a special needs child and he successfully learned to navigate 5 family serving systems. As a result of attending weekly Parents Anonymous® groups and participating in shared leadership® initiatives, he became the Chair of the California State Parent Team; last year he was appointed as the Program Manager and Leadership Coordinator of Parents Anonymous® Inc., serves as one of two Parents on the California Child Welfare Council, and is a member of the Parent Advisory Council of the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds. He is a skilled trainer and coach with experience in diverse communities nationwide to ensure the strengthening of families. His expertise is on meaningful fatherhood, effective mental health systems, implementation of new child welfare practice models, and responsive health care.
Heather Thibault is from Plattsburgh, New York and started her leadership journey 14 years ago seeking support for her family through the weekly Parents Anonymous® group and specialized children’s program that she and her son continue to attend. She is an exceptional advocate for parents involved in the child welfare system and those struggling to get their children’s needs met in public schools and those with special needs challenges. Heather is on the leadership group of the National Coalition on Parent Advocacy in Child Protective Services, the Chair of the National Parent Leadership Team®, editor of the Across the Nations newsletter, creator of the Parent Leadership Network on Facebook, and presented at many state and national conferences on the empowerment of parents and making a difference by changing systems. Her expertise is on effective public education, vital child welfare systems reform, and responsive special education.
Dr. Lisa Pion-Berlin
Dr. Lisa Pion-Berlin is President and CEO of the National Center on Shared Leadership® and Parents Anonymous® Inc. Since 1992 she has been leading a worldwide movement of advocacy, research and system change through evidence-based programming on parent and shared leadership®, the weekly support groups of Parents Anonymous® and the specialized programs for children and youth, and the National Parent Helpline®. She has personally and professionally benefited from the wisdom, expertise and shared leadership® of many thousands of Parents worldwide to ensure the creation, management and support of meaningful services and systems that empower, inspire and strengthen families and communities.