2020 Speakers

Meghan Hurley Backofen

For the past seventeen years, Meghan Hurley Backofen, LCSW has specialized in providing mental health treatment to child sexual abuse survivors and their families. Meghan is the Core Sexual Abuse Treatment Provider for Garfield County Department of Human Services and works out of the River Bridge Regional Center. This children’s advocacy center serves Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin and Rio Blanco Counties and assists with investigations of child abuse and child sex trafficking cases. This experience has helped Meghan develop expertise in working with victimized children and their non-offending caregivers. Meghan is passionate about using evidence-based modalities and is a Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy provider. In addition to providing therapy, Meghan coordinates referrals to find clients an appropriate mental health provider. She also works to respond to and prevent child sexual abuse by training mental health clinicians, community agencies, and parents. She is an Effective Providers facilitator for the American Psychological Association, and is also a trainer with the Office for Victims of Crime. Meghan is an adjunct professor with the University of Denver and teaches Trauma Assessment and Interventions for their Masters of Social Work students. Recently Meghan published a children’s book on the topic of sexual abuse prevention called Who’s the Boss of this Body. Meghan is best recognized in the presence of her facility Dog, Frasier, who also works at the River Bridge.

Jefferson (“Jeff”) Cheney

Jefferson (“Jeff”) Cheney is a 49-year-old husband, father of two, community leader and the elected District Attorney-9th Judicial District (Garfield, Pitkin & Rio Blanco Counties). Jeff was born in Texas and grew up on a family farm in Arkansas. In 1988 at age 17, he joined the military. After achieving the rank of E-4, Jeff attended Officer Candidate School and graduated #2 in his class. Jeff then became an Army Infantry Officer and a paratrooper. In 2003, Jeff served our country in war earning a Bronze Star. Jeff has extensive experience as a civil attorney and a prosecutor. Jeff worked his way through the ranks in the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office ultimately becoming the elected DA in 2017. Jeff has successfully tried every level of case before juries from DUI, domestic abuse, sexual assault to murder. Jeff has been a volunteer youth football coach, youth leader in Boy Scouts, previous nonprofit board member of a local child advocacy center, and a founding member of a nonprofit organization called “Rocky Mountain Veterans Hunts & Excursions” whose mission is to provide outdoor excursions to military veterans at no cost for the purpose of promoting mental, physical and emotional healing. Jeff has earned the reputation of being a “man of service” to our country and his community and contributes in many ways to making his community a great place to live. Jeff also works as a part-time associate at his local Lowe’s Home Improvement Store. Jeff is a talented instructor presenting topics on leadership, criminal procedure, courtroom testimony, and evidence to dozens of law enforcement agencies, at the local police academy, to multiple civic organizations, and for the National District Attorney’s Association (“NDAA”). Jeff is also a graduate of the Aspen Institute’s Executive Seminar on Leadership. Jeff is known as a true “servant leader” never asking anyone on his team to do a task he is not willing to do. Jeff has a BA from Louisiana State University-Shreveport, a law degree (juris doctor) from University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, and a Master of Laws degree in agricultural law from University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. Jeff is married to Kerri McNeill Cheney, a native of Glenwood Springs and a licensed therapist at Compass Counseling-Glenwood Springs, and they have two children Abbie, a third-year University of Colorado-Boulder student, and Jake, a freshman at Colorado State University. Jeff and Kerri made Garfield County, Colorado their permanent home in 1999. With kids away at college, Jeff and Kerri currently reside with their three dogs, Maggie, Rosie & Woodrow, in beautiful New Castle, Colorado.

Angela Rae Clark

Angela Rae Clark is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and exploitation. Angela is a survivor leader, speaker, and teacher of mindfulness tools for interrupting patterns of trauma and vicarious trauma. Her presentations are informative, educational, and inspirational. Angela is a Member of the National Survivor Network for Human Trafficking, Fellow of the Human Trafficking Leadership Academy, Ambassador for Peaceful Heart Network, and Advocate for Finding Recovery and Empowerment from Abuse and Healing From Sexual Abuse. Angela’s TEDx Talk, What To Do After #metoo, can be viewed on this site. She is working on her book, The Other F Word, My Handbook on Forgiveness. Angela enjoys dancing, singing, hiking, and adventures in the wild. Angela loves her life and wants other survivors to know they can thrive too.

Dr. Angie Henderson

Dr. Henderson is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Northern Colorado (UNCO) in Greeley, Colorado and Co-Director of Avery Research & Consulting. She has published over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles, 4 book chapters, and one co-authored textbook. She has also given over 50 professional presentations at academic conferences. Most recently, she was invited to present at the United Nations’ Commission on Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice in Vienna, Austria in May 2019 regarding her expertise and research on demand reduction. Her passion lies in fostering research-based collaboration in the anti-trafficking movement and bringing folks together from various industries to reduce demand for commercial sex in order to effectively address commercial sexual exploitation. She is currently partnering/has partnered with EPIK Project, Transportation Security Administration’s Global Strategies Division, the Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation at Villanova University, Ride My Road, Restoration Project, Fort Collins Police Services & Larimer County Sherriff’s Office, and countless survivor-led organizations across the country.

Jocelyn Jenks

Jocelyn Jenks has lived in Colorado, where she is a licensed attorney, for the past 14 years. She graduated with a JD from the University of Colorado Law School. Her legal career has focused on representing immigrant clients and victims of crime. Jocelyn currently serves as an attorney at Colorado Legal Services (CLS) in their human trafficking project where she represents victims of trafficking in civil legal matters, including immigration and record-sealing cases, as well as civil litigation and provides training for victim advocates and attorneys to raise awareness around human trafficking issues. Jocelyn also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Metropolitan State University. Before joining CLS, Jocelyn worked in the private bar as an immigration attorney for six years. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and is the secretary of the Immigration Section of the Colorado Bar Association. She also serves as the treasurer of the board of the Colorado based non-profit, Cultivando.

Megan Lundstrom

Megan Lundstrom is the Executive Director of Free Our Girls, a Colorado-based, nationally serving non-profit that walks alongside women and girls on their journeys to freedom from CSE and ST. She is also Co-Director of Avery Research & Consulting, an agency focused on survivor-centered research on the CST. Megan holds a BS in Finance and is currently pursuing her MA in Sociology from the University of Northern Colorado. Megan’s research has been published through United Nations and she speaks and trains nationally about the commercial sex trade.

Kara Napolitano

Kara Napolitano spent ten years working and volunteering in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, working mostly with education-based NGOs in post-conflict areas. It was during this time that she was introduced to the crime of human trafficking. Upon returning to the US she decided to attempt to affect local change by working as a researcher with the Human Trafficking Center and participating in wage theft studies in partnership with El Centro Humanitario and the University of Denver. She has worked for Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking for four years in several roles, currently as Research and Training Manager. In this role she has trained over 8,000 healthcare providers, child welfare workers, victim service providers, and law enforcement officers across Colorado.

Jennifer Smith

Drawing on more than 19 years of private practice, Jennifer Smith uses her time-tested skills to find creative solutions within the complex web of immigration law. Her full-service immigration law firm is located in Glenwood Springs. She is Past- Chair of the Colorado chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). She graduated from the University of Colorado, School of Law in 2000, with honors and then clerked at the Colorado Court of Appeals for Honorable Judge Kapelke. Ms. Smith received AILA’s Michael Maggio Pro Bono Award for her and others volunteer work at the family detention center in Artesia, NM; the Athena International Award for Young Professionals from the Glenwood Springs Chamber of Commerce in 2013; and the Jackie Morales Community Service Award in 2010.

Maria Trujillo

Maria A. Trujillo currently serves as the Human Trafficking Program Manager at the Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice, Office for Victims Programs. In this role Ms. Trujillo coordinates the efforts of the Colorado Human Trafficking Council that was legislatively established by the Colorado General Assembly through HB 14-1273. Ms. Trujillo joined the division in December 2014 after spending the previous six years in Houston, TX as the Executive Director of the non-profit organization, United Against Human Trafficking (UAHT), whose mission is to prevent and confront human trafficking by raising public awareness, training front-line professionals and empowering the community to take action.
Prior to her time at UAHT, Ms. Trujillo lived in Washington, DC where she worked for an international development organization called Health Volunteers Overseas. While living in DC she also obtained her master’s degree in International Communications at American University. Ms. Trujillo also holds a BA in International Relations from Claremont McKenna College. Ms. Trujillo has served as a speaker and expert technical advisor on the issue of human trafficking at the national, state and local levels, including being invited to the White House to participate in a stakeholder meeting to advise the government on their federal strategic action plan to address human trafficking. Ms. Trujillo has also been recognized for her work on combating human trafficking as a “Circles of Change” honoree by Building Bridges for Peace (2012) and a “Table Talk” honoree by the University of Houston’s Friends of Women’s Studies (2015).