The Traumatic Stress Institute fosters the transformation of organizations and service systems to trauma-informed care (TIC) through the delivery of whole-system consultation, professional training, coaching, and research.

TSI Staff

Patricia Wilcox, LCSW, is the Vice President of Strategic Development at Klingberg Family Centers in New Britain, Connecticut and also part of the Traumatic Stress Institute team. Her career in child and family treatment has included the state child welfare system, the Superior Court, private practice and Newington Children’s Hospital Day Treatment. At Klingberg she has been a clinician and the Clinical Director before obtaining her current position in 2005. She specializes in treatment of traumatized children and their families and has presented extensively on this topic.

Pat is the creator of the Restorative Approach®, a trauma and relationship-based approach to congregate care treatment of children, and its companion book, Trauma-Informed Treatment: the Restorative Approach.  She has presented at NASW, the International Conference on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma; The American Association of Children’s Residential Centers; the Alliance for Children and Families; The Child Welfare League of America; and the Black Administrators on Child Welfare.

Steve Brown, Psy.D., is the Director of the Traumatic Stress Institute of Klingberg Family Centers. A clinical psychologist, he is a primary architect of TSI’s Whole-System Change Model to Trauma-Informed Care (TIC). In 2020, he authored the adaption of Risking Connection® to organizations serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). He is a co-creator, with Dr. Courtney Baker, of the Attitudes Related to Trauma-Informed Care (ARTIC) Scale, one of the first psychometric measures of TIC.

Steve trains professionals nationally on psychological trauma and trauma-informed care.  In addition to being a psychologist, he is a long time sexuality educator/trainer and author of Streetwise to Sex-Wise: Sexuality Education for High Risk Youth, a sexuality education curricula used internationally by agencies and schools serving high-risk youth.

John Engel is the Associate Director for the Traumatic Stress Institute of Klingberg Family Centers. John oversees all aspects of TSI’s training and consultation services, including sales and delivery of the Whole-System Change Model. John supports departmental operations, including strategic planning, organizational development, staffing, and budgeting. Additionally, John has been an advocate for mindfulness in the workplace. He envisioned and implemented Monthly Risking Connection (RC) Mindfulness sessions for our RC community – a natural fit with our RC curriculum – as a method for both helping clients and supporting treaters’ self-care.

In his former roles as Executive Director of MERGE for Equality and author of the column The Fatherhood Journey for the Daily Hampshire Gazette, John worked to promote public and private conversations about fatherhood and gender equality.

LaVerne Baker Hotep is a Program Coordinator for the Traumatic Stress Institute of Klingberg Family Centers.  With over 30 years in social service and a special interest in historical and intergenerational trauma, she has co-lead training for various client serving agencies around the country. With members of Mediators Beyond Borders International, LaVerne has co-facilitated trauma response training in Liberia and South Sudan.

Previously, LaVerne served as a Family Development Specialist and Resource Navigator at the Kingsley Association in Pittsburgh, PA, serving Allegheny County’s East Liberty Family Center where she founded and continues to convene Me2 Sister Circle, an international trauma-informed self-care and enrichment group for women.   As former director of community education for the Center for Victims in Pittsburgh, PA, she initiated and convened culturally significant conferences to educate about trauma and its impact in vulnerable communities.

Vanessa N. Mayers, MSW, is a Program Coordinator for the Traumatic Stress Institute of Klingberg Family Centers. She brings over two decades of experience in social services and nonprofits as a relationship builder and facilitator, bringing power structures and community members together for the advancement of both.
Previously, Vanessa served as the Director of Education and Conflict Resolution Services at the Center for Victims. In her role, she provided trauma-informed presentations and training to community-based organizations, schools, foundations, faith-based organizations, healthcare professionals, and government agencies. She also managed multiple programs, including the Safety and Supportive Services Program for the Housing Authority City of Pittsburgh, where she worked with management and residents in 14 high-rises and 5 family communities, providing training, crisis intervention, mediation, and victim services through a trauma-informed lens.

Vanessa continues to dedicate time to The Pittsburgh Study, a collective impact initiative collaborating across systems, disciplines, and with community members to promote children’s thriving and racial equity in the region.

Tanji L. Donald, M.Ed., is a Program Coordinator for the Traumatic Stress Institute of Klingberg Family Centers. Formerly the Associate Director of Parent Education with the Children’s Trust of Massachusetts, Tanji has 30+ years of experience providing specialized training, technical assistance, and consultation for Massachusetts, national, and federal organizations focused on early childhood, parenting education, substance abuse treatment, and trauma. Her skills include coordinating and executing family support conferences, with expertise in coaching and guiding national and international high-profile speakers, program development, and program start-up.

Tanji has also served as a team leader for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment  (CSAT) to conduct program assessments and provide specialized training to enhance child rearing practices, family, and parenting systems. Her background includes being a former licensed supervisory-level drug and alcohol counselor, certified trauma specialist, and preschool teacher. She is also a Certified Nurturing Program Trainer.

In addition, Tanji is a co-author  of several substance abuse and recovery parenting curricula, numerous articles, and she is nationally recognized for utilizing a strength-based, family-centered approach toward prevention, program planning, and implementation in designing parenting education systems.

Callie Hardin is the Senior Research Coordinator for the Traumatic Stress Institute of Klingberg Family Centers. She leads all aspects of the ARTIC Scale product line and co-developed the Online ARTIC platform. Callie manages a growing body of multi-year Online ARTIC studies, conducts program evaluations for Client Agencies, and prides herself on offering compassionate guidance around data collection best practices and trauma-informed recommendations so clients can achieve high response rates and get the most out of their reports. While Callie’s main focus is the ARTIC Scale, her organizational and technical prowess has greatly benefited the TSI team, most notably by customizing a CRM system that improved our ability to manage growing complexities throughout our department.

Community organizing in New Orleans has been a vital part of Callie’s personal growth for many years. She has committed to the ongoing work of Undoing Racism in all aspects of our world and her own life. Working for TSI has allowed Callie to increase that lens to integrate concepts around Trauma-Informed Care and racial trauma into her organizing. Callie is an active member in Klingberg’s IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity,Awareness & Sensitivity) Committee, supporting Klingberg leaders to increase alignment between the organization’s stated values and actions.

LaTasha Reece, M.S., is the Research Associate for the Traumatic Stress Institute of Klingberg Family Centers. She assists the Senior Research Coordinator with the aspects of the ARTIC scale product line including assisting client agencies, data collection and management and supporting her TSI team members. LaTasha is a trauma-focused physiologist and quantitative researcher with a background in molecular biology and biotechnology. She is committed to improving the lives of women and children of color via physiological assessment of stressors in the individual and addressing systemic racism in healthcare institutions. LaTasha is also a proud wife and mother of two beautiful little girls. When not working, LaTasha loves to spend time with her family, reading, exercising and exploring her love comics, anime, and college football!

Chris Greene is the Marketing Coordinator for the Traumatic Stress Institute of Klingberg Family Centers. Her focus is on maintaining a sense of community and on implementing systems improvements in order to enhance clients’ experience. Projects have included renovation of the TSI website; improvement in brand cohesion and recognition; creation of an RC community newsletter; engagement of new vendors; collaboration with other TSI staff to launch a CRM system that improved our ability to manage growing complexities around implementation; and improvement of materials production, meeting tracking, and most recently the RC curriculum as part of the revision team.

Prior to her work for TSI, Chris served in both administrative and management capacities for Planned Parenthood and Antarctic Support Associates, worked in direct care and social work settings, and gained event management and mentoring experience as a volunteer for Girl Scouts.

Samm Winebrenner is the Operations Coordinator for the Traumatic Stress Institute of Klingberg Family Centers. She has over a decade of experience in customer service, as well as in financial institutions and sales. She is passionate about personal identity, and is active in an online LGBTQ+ community group that supports individuals struggling with acceptance. When not working, she can be found spoiling her dog and two cats or sewing in her lair.


Harriet Ahalo, M.A.,  is the Operations Support Specialist for the Traumatic Stress Institute of Klingberg Family Centers. Originally from Kenya, she has over 5 years’ experience working with and supporting communities, including refugees and youth in the United States and Kenya. She is a mental health and restorative justice enthusiast and recently graduated from Hartford International University for Religion and Peace with an M.A. in International Peacebuilding. During her free time, she volunteers and serves at Emanuel Lutheran Church and its food pantry, works out, or visits new places.