Voices Beyond Assault

Our Team

brianna

Brianna Michelle, CA

SHE/HER

Founder/CEO

Brianna Michelle is on a mission to bring more awareness to the epidemic of sexual assault, and refuses to turn a blind eye to an act that has already affecting so many lives. A brutal rape and kidnapping while in college woke up a sleeping giant that said,”NO MORE” to sexual abuse and she began using her voice as power. For so long she was silenced by molestation as a child, now there is no holding her back from telling her story. Being that most sexual assault goes unreported, Michelle aims to tackle the taboo issue of sexual assault and give a voice to men, women, and children around the world. Brianna had her wings clipped by adversity, but she has still been able to thrive and work toward goals; graduating college, studying/living abroad, traveling the world advocating, and pursuing a career as a model and spokesperson. Her pain has now turned into ambition, and she is determined to make a name for herself in the modelling/acting industry. She is inspired to change laws, empower others, and build one of the world’s most effective organizations in dealing with sexual assault/abuse. Her mission is to bring sexual assault/abuse to the forefront of our society, and inspire survivors to be empowered by their individual stories of sexual assault/abuse and healing.
bob

Bob Roach

HE/HIM

CFO
Bob Roach is a financial services and operating company executive with extensive experience in investments, finance, compliance (SEC & FINRA), and capital raising/investment banking. As a Chief Financial & Compliance Officer, Bob has established and maintained financials, financial reporting and compliance policies, overseen regulatory filings, reviewed marketing collateral, and managed infrastructures for broker-dealers, investment advisers, and investment funds as well as their respective clients. Mr. Roach has been a licensed Series 24 principal since 1996 and a licensed Aeries 2 FINOP since 2003. He possesses extensive experience as a broker-dealer principal, CFO, FINOP and Chief Compliance Officer. In this capacity, in addition to financial oversight and regulatory (FINRA) filings, Bob’s experiences include: raising equity & debt capital for small/middle market businesses, private placements, mergers and acquisition advisory, and oversight of investment banking and fund wholesaling broker-dealer businesses. Mr. Roach holds the FINRA Series 7, 24, 28, 66, 79, 87 & 99 licenses. Mr. Roach holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago – Booth School of Business, and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College.
alexandra

Alexandra Richardson

SHE/HER

Director, Community Engagement
Alexandra Richardson is a student from Ireland, currently undertaking an MPhil in International Peace Studies at Trinity College, Dublin. She has always felt deeply dissatisfied with the current injustices that many members of our society presently face, particularly in relation to sexual assault/abuse. This sense of injustice has led her to explore the different ways that she can address sexual assault/abuse, and encouraged her to play a more significant role in ending these prevailing social issues. Alex believes that one of her leading inspirations in life is to emancipate any individual who has experienced sexual assault/abuse, and is always willing to offer as much help as she can, to anyone who needs it.
sarah

Sarah Molyneux, CA

SHE/HER

Associate Director, Community Engagement
Sarah has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Pacific Lutheran University, but her true passion lies in connecting with other survivors. Since she started volunteering with VBA in March 2020, she has been on a journey of healing and self discovery. She found a love for amplifying the voices of other survivors while hosting our Survivor Connects series, and always enjoys chatting with anyone who wants to share their story, even if it’s just a quick message or comment on Instagram. She is now a credentialed advocate for victims of crime, and hopes to continue helping other people find their voice. She wants all survivors to know that your story matters and healing is possible, no matter who you are or what you’ve been through.
curtisha

Curtisha Thomas

SHE/HER

Director, Strategic Partnerships & Initiatives
Curtisha Thomas stands out in all that she does in philanthropy. She is a woman who is dedicated to ending the cycle of sexual assault/abuse and domestic violence. Curtisha knows first hand about the effects of abuse and is using her experience, skills, and passion for this area to make sure that Voices Beyond Assault (VBA) conquers its mission in empowering survivors. Curtisha is a highly analytical thinker and excels in identifying, scrutinizing, improving, and streamlining complex work processes. She has proven experience in relationship-building and a compassionate heart, which VBA is elated to have on their team.

Lorward Choi

HE/HIM

Community Project Coordinator: VBA AAPI
Lorward is a Southern California native, who left to play collegiate tennis for a small private Christian school in North Carolina. Here, Lorward faced a myriad of challenges and experienced his first sexual assault. Lorward then completed his education in business and moved back to CA, taking a position where he assists in supply chain planning. On his off time, Lorward seeks to steward the dismissed; whether through thrifting, gardening or sewing. He hopes that by doing so, he will create a more beautiful future for all.

Veronica Lawson-Vilches

SHE/HER

Community Project Coordinator: VBA Français
Veronica was born between two countries, two cultures and two languages, the United States and Spain. She likes to describe her childhood as “on the road” having lived in multiple cities. At the age of 19, she moved to Paris, France as a fille au pair. Having been in love with the French language since she was three, she could now also fall in love with the culture and the city. She graduated from Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne with a bachelors in History, where she also did her first year of Masters in History of international relations. She has been able to finally find a place to call “home”. She believes in the importance of mental health and breaking the stigma. Having been a storyteller all her life, she also believes that using one’s voice and sharing stories can help others. Veronica is a survivor.

Kris Pedretti

SHE/HER

Event Coordinator
Kris Pedretti is dedicated and passionate about finding our voices and uniting as one. Speaking up and speaking out about sexual assault is how we can provide support, encouragement, education as well as debunking what we have all been taught. Silence. Shame. Blame. The Golden State Killer assaulted Kris in 1976 at 15 years old. It was not spoken about even within her own family. After 42 years of silence, he was captured through DNA technology. It was that day that she realized she had been experiencing the trauma and isolation for so many decades without any understanding, support or love. Kris mission is to provide a safe place where sexual assault victims can feel heard, accepted, and loved. Sexual assault is valid and the trauma is real. The only person responsible for rape is the Rapist. It is time we give back the shame and the blame to the Rapist. No longer will we be silenced.

Michael Cruz

VBA Ambassador
Hello! My name is Michael Cruz, and I am a freshman at North Carolina State University studying Psychology! My dream is to become a clinical psychologist and build shelter systems that focus on healing emotionally, physically, and financially. My goal is to have shelters all around the United States. Growing up, I lived in four different shelters, and neither of them gave me the slightest bit of hope, and I plan to change what a shelter represents. I have been told that it is impossible to change this world, and I like a challenge, so I am devoting my life to this. I want to be the person I wish was there for me growing up. I want to empower others and help them discover their limitless potential.

Board of Directors

Robbin Turner

SHE/HER

Board Chair
Robbin Turner is the Founder and Botanical Formulator of Violet Botanical Skincare. She holds a Master’s Degree (MA) from Temple University in Kinesiology, and holds advanced knowledge in the Applied Integrative Physiology of Exercise. Robbin is an active member of the Global Wellness Institute’s Beauty Meets Wellness Committee. In addition to writing her own blog, she’s the contributing writer for DLG Naturals. Robbin has over ten years of applied clinical experience studying the relationships among physical activity, health, and wellness. Now, she uses her expertise to bridge the gap between wellness, clean beauty and healthy skin care.

Gimari Ladd-Jones

SHE/HER

Board Chair
Gimari is a service driven Equity and Social Justice Leader, and Former Teacher whose life’s purpose is serving and uplifting people in communities most in need. Specifically, her work ensures African American and Hispanic/Latinx students, and students of low-income, are justly positioned to reach their highest potential in schools through the desegregation of advanced courses. At the core of Gimari’s passion is empowering voice, which is central to the mission of Voices Beyond Assault. Due to her repeated experiences of having had loved ones, colleagues, and even students during her tenure teaching who had been sexually assaulted, Gimari has personally witnessed the pain and anguish sexual assault causes, and its heavy burden on an individual’s voice. Gimari believes that Voices Beyond Assault’s mission and cause is of utmost importance to the health and well-being of thousands of people who need to feel, and know, that they are not alone, and they can again use their voice. Gimari lends her non-profit, communications, and equity experience to ensure the mission of VBA is aptly served.

Gary Smith

HE/HIM

Board Member
Gary Smith is an experienced professional businessman and entrepreneur. A qualified CPA, he has worked as an Investment Manager in the City of London and established two movie businesses listed on the London Stock Exchange – as Chairman and Chief Executive. He has over 40 movie credits with budgets in excess of $400 million. His experience covers finance, production, marketing and sales. In 2019, he arranged the financing for the purchase of Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez, California; where he is co-owner and Chairman of the Board of Directors. He currently has business interests in a winery, feature films, venture capital, online real estate, yachts and video technology. Gary has extensive philanthropic experience, and is extremely passionate about stimulating changing and empowerment for others. Gary is a trustee of several charities, and is excited to be a part of Voices Beyond Assault. Gary is passionate about making sure that all men, women and children are safe from the pandemic of sexual violence, and has prioritised this as one of his most mobilising goals. Gary is committed to making the world is a better place, by helping those who have suffered emotional trauma and encouraging them to flourish.
yvonne-mcnair

Yvonne E. McNair, MBA, CSEP, DES

SHE/HER

Board Member
Chief Experience Officer, Captivate Marketing

Captivate Marketing Group is led by, Yvonne McNair, the highly creative certified Entertainment Marketing Professional and Emmy Nominated Event Producer. Yvonne has a proven track record of conceptualizing and orchestrating small and large production events, marketing campaigns and programs to effectively create business development opportunities, and increase revenue and growth. Yvonne is known as a powerhouse behind the scene closing deals, sculpting entertainment, one exquisite experience at a time.  She has worked with some of the biggest names and brands in the entertainment industry from grassroots organizations, Fortune 500 companies, and A-List artists.

Yvonne started her career early in the music industry, under the mentorship of Esther Gordy Edwards, sister of Berry Gordy and creator of the Motown Museum.  At the age of 22, Yvonne was featured on the cover of Crain’s magazine as “Someone to Watch in the Industry”. The tutelage from Ms. Gordy-Edwards proved as an on-ramp for her career. Yvonne has used those valuable lessons throughout her career, establishing herself as a strategic thinker with the tenacity to over deliver for her clients. Her wealth of brand management expertise in both the branded corporate environment and entertainment industry, allows her to execute events and marketing programs that have Increased ROI for her many clients.

Yvonne’s experience has given her the latitude to create innovative marketing campaigns and event management for top brands and numerous media and entertainment companies over the years. The Sundance Film Festival, VH1, NBC, BET Networks, Apple Music, and MTV, ADCOLOR, City of New York, EBONY Media Group, Ad Council, Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, NATIVE SON, Google, and Culture Creators are among many other top global brands. She is also known for her work designing the marketing campaign for the Chicago Urban League’s Emmy award-winning urban lifestyle television program, that garnered her the Emmy Nomination as Event Producer. She was also nominated for an Emmy for her work on WVON’s 50th Anniversary Historical Documentary.

Yvonne’s creative reputation and work ethic have far-reaching effects that will stay with many of us for years to come. Notably so, her work with Prince. Yvonne was responsible for the Prince residency secret shows at City Winery in New York.  In 2013, the shows were named as the 39th reason to love NY in New York Magazine.  Yvonne was also responsible for producing Prince’s record-breaking performance at the ESSENCE Festival in 2014, along with turning the Mercedes Benz Super Dome purple to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Purple Rain.  Yvonne later went on to produce Prince’s memorial tribute at ESSENCE Music Festival after his untimely passing. In addition to producing the ESSENCE Festival 25th Anniversary tribute which included exclusive footage licensed from Prince’s estate. This was the only time the footage was used by any other entity outside of the estate.

Yvonne has continued her mission of creating historic events.  In 2018, Yvonne produced the notable 30th Anniversary show of New Jack Swing at the ESSENCE Music Festival and two historic shows at the legendary Apollo Theater. The show was led by the King of New Jack Swing, Teddy Riley and featured appearances by Keith Sweat, Guy, Blackstreet featuring Dave Hollister, Doug E. Fresh, Mc Lyte, Kool Moe Dee, SWV and DJ D-Nice.   She then produced a once in a lifetime show that included bringing Teddy Riley, Pharrell and Timbaland together on the same stage. In addition, to securing a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Teddy Riley. Yvonne also produced the first annual BET Her Awards presented by Bumble, which kicked off the annual BET Experience weekend in Los Angeles.  Most recently, Yvonne received her second EMMY nomination for producing the ADCOLOR at the Apollo show featuring Wyclef Jean. This show reopened the Apollo after being shut down for the first time in 86 years due to COVID.  Yvonne’s work is highly respected by top industry executives as she has been able to break artists without marketing dollars, radio airplay or label support.

Accolades to date:

In 2020, she was named by BizBash as one of the most influential event professionals in the U.S. In 2019, she was named by BizBash as one of the top Event Producers in the U.S. In 2010, Black Enterprise/WVON recognized Yvonne as one of the elite “40 Game Changers”.  She was also recognized by BizBash as a 2011 finalist for Social Event Planner of the Year and in 2012 as Event Producer of the Year. In 2013, Yvonne was nominated for an Emmy as a producer for a historical documentary that she created. Yvonne currently resides in New York City and is a current member of International Special Events Society, Women in Music and the Recording Academy. Yvonne holds a B.A. in Management and M.B.A. in Marketing. She is also a Certified Special Events Producer, Digital Event Strategist and Certified in Technical Event Production.

Accreditation, Awards, & Affiliations
  • MBA
  • Certified Special Events Producer (CSEP)
  • Certified in Technical Event Production
  • Digital Event Strategist (DES)
  • EMMY Nominee, ADCOLOR at the Apollo featuring Wyclef Jean, 2021
  • Named by BizBash as one of the most influential event professionals in the US, 2020
  • Named by BizBash as one of the top Event Producers in the U.S., 2019
  • Named as one of Black Enterprise’s, 40 Game Changers, 2010
  • BizBash Finalist for Event Producer of the Year, 2010
  • BizBash Finalist for Social Planner of the Year, 2011
  • EMMY Nominee, Outstanding Historical Documentary, 2013
  • Member of International Special Events Society
  • Member of Women in Music
  • Member of Recording Academy

Voices Beyond Assault

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Voices Beyond Assault

Partners