SVN Board of Directors

SVN President
Emilyn Wahl
Fergus Falls, MN

 Emilyn Wahl has worked in the supervised visitation field for 18 years, starting out her career as a monitor of supervised parenting times and then as the Director of Parenting Time Centers. Emilyn now operates 5 centers in West Central Minnesota.  Emilyn attended Minnesota State Community and Technical College, University of Minnesota Moorhead, and graduated from Penn Foster as a Paralegal. Emilyn serves as Secretary of the Worldwide Supervised Visitation Network (SVN) and is running for a second term, as to continue the amazing work of the Supervised Visitation Network. 

Emilyn also serves as Vice President of the Minnesota Supervised Parenting Time Organization and is a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), Early Childhood Initiative, and Young Professionals Network. Emilyn enjoys bringing new ideas to the table and engaging in thoughtful dialogue for the betterment of our field.  Emilyn has presented on webinars for SVN, and AFCC, and enjoys teaching Parents Forever, a divorce education program mandated by the Minnesota judicial system. Emilyn is also passionate about affordable housing and has a 19-year History in volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. In her free time, Emilyn enjoys spending time with her two teenage children, hiking the beautiful hills of Minnesota, attending dirt track races, and working in her garden. 


SVN Vice President
Sheila Morris
Grand Forks, ND 

Sheila Morris is the Director of Visitation and Exchange at the Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC) in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  Sheila has worked for the past nineteen years in the supervised visitation and exchange field.  Sheila also spent one year working as a group facilitator for batterer’s intervention educational classes.  Sheila’s prior experience working with families includes working in the fields of child protection and law enforcement.  Sheila has provided technical assistance to many other visitation and exchange centers throughout her career.  

She currently serves on the statewide Supervised Parenting Time Network, the Kids First Advisory Committee, the Grand Forks Domestic Violence Task Force, and the Children of Incarcerated Parents Initiative.  Sheila lives in Grand Forks, North Dakota with her partner of thirteen years and her son.  Sheila is committed to having a deep and lasting involvement on the local, state and national level, advocating for families using supervised visitation and exchange and for the programs serving these families.  


SVN Treasurer
Dana Cahn Gordon, LCSW
Ft. Lauderdale, FL  

Dana Cahn,  Founder and CEO of f.a.c.e.s. (Family and Coparenting Enrichment Services), and the not-for-profit entity f.a.c.e.s. for children (Facing Adverse Childhood Experiences for Children) f.a.c.e.s. provides many services to families going through divorce and or separation.  These services include co-parenting programs, parenting, supervised visitations, therapeutic supervised visitations, monitored exchanges, and therapy, including free therapy, due to faces affiliation with four local major universities. These include FAU, FIU, Barry University, and Nova Southeastern University.  Testing: Psychological Evaluations, Substance Abuse Evaluations, Mental Health Assessments, and Trauma Assessments are provided for families by request as well as Fathers and Teen support groups.  

Dana is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, Guardian Ad Litem for the 17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, and a Qualified Parenting Coordinator. She obtained her master's degree in Social Work at Barry University in 1992 and has served the South Florida Community for over 27+ years. She is a member of NASW, SVN, NADP, and the AFCC, and is currently president-elect for KidSide, a non-profit organization that provides funds for Family Court Services in Miami-Dade County. She was asked to be a participant in the first Collaborative Court Pilot Project by the Judges in Miami Dade, 11th Judicial Courts, and took the lead in bringing the project to Broward County's 17th Judicial courts.  


SVN Secretary
Shannon Sickler
Buffalo, WY
Shannon has been a supervised visitation professional with Compass Center for Families since 2012 in rural Wyoming. As well as providing visitation services, she also runs the Family Mediation Program and is a parent educator and high-fidelity WRAP provider.


Shannon began as a visitation supervisor and later moved into the role of Visitation Program Manager/Johnson County office manager. In 2016, Shannon became a certified mediation specialist through the Florida Family Association of Mediation Specialists. She helps never-married couples create co-parenting custody Family is very important to Shannon, she has been married for 25 years, has three wonderful sons, and became a first-time grandparent in 2019. 


SVN Immediate Past President
Lori Wymore-Kirkland, MPA
Fairfax, VA
Lori Wymore- Kirkland is a certified family mediator who holds a master’s in public administration from George Mason University. Over more than 30 years she has had the experience of working with families and children in education and social service positions. She has witnessed first-hand the importance of supporting healthy parent-child relationships through adopting a trauma-informed approach to human services. Since 2007, Lori has been the program developer and manager of the Stronger Together Supervised Visitation and Exchange Center for the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. Lori took the Stronger Together from concept to implementation through collaboration with Juvenile Court Judges and countywide stakeholders.

She is an active member of the Fairfax County Domestic Violence Network and collaborates with multiple Fairfax County teams. Lori is strongly supported through the local Fairfax Interagency and Community Advisory Board developed to support responsive community services for supervised visitation. The advisory board is made up of 25 members from across Fairfax County agencies, JDRDC Judges, local law enforcement, and private community partners. Lori provides training and mentorship to local community partners, volunteers, interns, and supervised visitation providers in the DC metro area.


Kelly Agee
South Bend, IN

 Kelly Agee has been a member of SVN since 2010, through Families First Center, where she currently serves as the Executive Director. Kelly graduated from the University of Indiana with a degree in Mathematics and has experience advocating for children and families as a former teacher, CASA, child welfare caseworker, and visitation specialist. Kelly served as a visitation specialist for Families First Center, St. Joseph County’s local supervised visitation center, from 2010-2012 before transitioning to the role of Director of Administration and Business Manager and then Executive Director in 2019.

Kelly obtained her Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification in 2014. Kelly served on her local SHRM Board of Directors from 2019 to 2020. Kelly has a passion for the community she serves and is dedicated to the mission of helping children reach their full potential.


Samantha Alvarez Benowitz, LCSW
New York, NY

Samantha Alvarez Benowitz, LCSW is the Director of Clinical Services at The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC).  Ms. Alvarez Benowitz has close to 20 years of experience working with underserved children and families in New York City and Philadelphia.  Prior to working at the NYSPCC, Ms. Alvarez Benowitz was the Senior Director of Mental Health and Anti-Human Trafficking at Covenant House New York, the largest youth shelter in New York City.

She held clinical and managerial roles at Good Shepherd Services, a foster care agency based in New York City.  Ms. Alvarez Benowitz holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from Boston College and a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania.


Kate Blair
Savannah, GA

Kate Blair joined Brightside Child & Family Advocacy (previously Savannah CASA) as the Executive Director in 2018. During her time with Brightside, the organization has added 17 staff members, 200 CASA volunteers, and the Bright House, a supervised visitation and family support center. By remaining laser-focused on fundraising, community engagement, and growth, Brightside's team has achieved its ambitious goal of serving 100% of children in foster care and program expansion. Before joining, Kate served as the Director of Development & Communications with Step Up Savannah.

Her past professional and volunteer experience includes communications, corporate foundations, nonprofit leadership, board development, and fundraising. Kate has her BA in Professional Communications. She is a graduate of Leadership Savannah and a board member of Migrant Equity Southeast and Tharros Place. She and her husband Andy are the proud parents of two incredible teen boys, Tek & Firdawek. When Kate is not out shaking the money trees, she is typically found with a wine glass in hand while planning the next party or vacation.


Shawn Byrne, MSW
Billings, MT

 Shawn Byrne has a Master’s degree in Social Work with more than 35 years of industry experience.   He is currently the Executive Director for Family Support Network in Billings, Montana.  Shawn has administrative and fiscal oversight over programs promoting healthy parent-child interactions to interrupt the multi-generational cycle of abuse, neglect, hopelessness, poverty, and drug abuse.  He is passionate about building awareness surrounding the sociological, cultural, and economic challenges facing rural and urban children and families.   

He is currently working with a strategic partner in the establishment of mental health programming at Family Support Network.  He was raised on the MT Hi-Line border between Canada and the United States and feels fortunate to have raised a family in Big Sky Country (wife of thirty-one years and two daughters). In his spare time, Shawn takes advantage of being either on or near a golf course!


Christina Fisher
Canton, GA

Christina has always had a passion to serve others.  Her mother grew up in the foster care system; and lived in several foster, group homes, and residential facilities.  Through her mother’s experiences, Christina knew she wanted to work with families. Christina has worked in child welfare and the nonprofit industry for over 22+ years.  In 2015 Christina obtained a Masters in Human Services and continued her career working with adults with developmental disabilities and autism.  

In 2017 Christina and her family moved to Georgia and found a place at The Children’s Haven.  She is currently the Director for the Visitation Program where she ensures visitation service for families involved with the Department of Family and Child Services. Christina serves on a committee with the Cherokee County Service League that provides an array of services to families in our county.  In her free time, Christina enjoys spending time with her teen son and husband, watching Marvel and DC movies, hiking, and traveling.


Hera McLeod
Washington, DC

Hera McLeod is a Washington, DC-based writer, speaker, and civil rights activist. She is known for speaking out against the silence, particularly on the topics of civil rights for women and children, domestic violence, and Family Court reform. She was a 2017 Jack Straw Writing Fellow and has published OpEd pieces in The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, and The New York Times. Hera has made several television appearances including The Today Show, The Tony Danza Show, Crime Watch Daily, and DC news affiliates for CBS, ABC, and Fox. Her story was also highlighted in an episode of the Discovery + Citizen PI series.

In addition to television appearances, Hera has also testified before the United States Congress on the topics of civil rights and the protection of children. She testified in front of the Maryland Family Court Reform working group as well as Maryland Legislators. Her participation helped lead to the passage of legislation in Maryland for Judicial education on the topic of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence. Hera is also a co-host on The Mocha Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) Podcast.


The Honorable Victor Reyes
Pueblo, CO 

Judge Victor Reyes served as a District Judge 1999-2014 in the 10th Judicial District in Pueblo, Colorado. He has presided over, Criminal, Civil, County Court Appeals, Probate, Domestic, Restraining Orders, Juvenile and Dependency, and Neglect matters. Judge Reyes was also appointed to serve as the judicial liaison on the Colorado Domestic Violence Offender Management Board and the Colorado Supreme Court Criminal Rules Committee. 

From 2021 through 2023, he served as the Judge in Residence for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). At NCJFCJ, he was involved with the Judicial Wellness Initiative, participated in nationwide training, developed a curriculum, and wrote on all aspects of the law that impact children, their families, and victims of domestic violence. Additionally, Judge Reyes conducts peer review of grants for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women, and has reviewed domestic violence legislation for countries complying with the United Nations Charter. He currently leads classes in yoga, meditation, and ethics for several correctional facilities in Colorado and is certified in Life Coaching and Master Life Coaching.


Valya Roberts
Brantford, Ontario 

A dynamic and creative Senior Manager with a 30-year proven track record of success in the Non-Profit Community Service Sector. Past Chair for the Research Ethics Board Mohawk College. Past President of the Supervised Visitation Network, current Chair of the Ontario Supervised Visitation Network. Current Executive Director of a Social Services agency. Former Professor of Human Services at Mohawk College. Provided consultation and expertise to several organizations including; the Ministry of the Attorney General; the U.S. Justice Department (VAWO); Safe Havens National Review Committee. Completed program reviews, grant reviews, and training in both Canada and the United States including First Nations/Aboriginal groups. 


Dr. Robert Straus, MHD, JD
Cambridge, MA

A psychologist and lawyer, Dr. Straus was Senior Psychologist of the Family Service Clinic from 1982 to 1988, conducting custody and visitation evaluations for the Middlesex County Family Court. From 1988, he served frequently as Guardian ad Litem in high-conflict custody and access disputes. In 1991, Dr. Straus started Meeting Place: Supervised Child Access Service, a program of Riverside Community Care in Cambridge, MA, providing a safe setting in which children in high-risk situations can visit parents with whom they are not living.

He is a founder of the Supervised Visitation Network. He was President of the Network in 1993-94, helped draft the Network's Standards and Guidelines for practice, and has served several terms on the Board of Directors. From 1995 through 2000 he was Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Coalition for Supervised Visitation, and in that capacity worked with the Governor's Commission on Responsible Fatherhood and the Supervised Visitation Task Force of the Probate and Family Court, helping draft the Guidelines for Court Practice for Supervised Visitation. Dr. Straus has a private psychotherapy practice, working with couples, and remains the Program Consultant to Meeting Place. He is also a member of the Board of the Longy School of Music of Bard College.  


Michon Trent, LICSW, PIP
Mobile, AL 

In March 2020, Michon Trent began her role at the Gulf Coast Family Center as Executive Director with a fast start as it was the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and executed the pivot to virtual services to continue services to families. Michon has been focused on ensuring children and families receive the services and support they need while evaluating, streamlining, and leading the organization through a branding update. 

For over two decades, Michon worked as a clinical Social Worker, with school-aged children and adults suffering from severe and presentient mental illness in the community mental health setting. Michon has served in many community leadership roles including service on the statewide boards of Alabama Humanities Foundation as Chairman, Secretary of Voices for Alabama’s Children’s, and on the local boards of Bank On South Alabama, Distinguished Young Women, United Way Women’s Initiative, and Mobile Community Action, Inc., Homeless Coalition Alabama Gulf Coast Continuum of Care and has served on the boards of Boys and Girls Clubs of South Alabama, Providence Hospital Foundation, Family Promise and Historic Mobile Preservation Society. 


Howard Yaffe, LICSW
Cambridge, MA

 Howard Yaffe is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with more than 30 years of experience in various settings.  Most of his clinical work has focused on supporting children and families and has been the director of Meeting Place, one of the first supervised visitation programs in Massachusetts, for approximately 20 years. He is currently the program director of Domestic Violence Services for Riverside Community Care, a large social service agency in the Boston area.  This position includes full oversight of Meeting Place as well as two other domestic violence-related programs.

In his private practice, he focuses on supporting children and families through the divorce process and has recently taught a High-Conflict Co-parenting class through William James College of Psychology.  He is returning to the SVN Board of Directors after a one-year hiatus and has presented and/or facilitated a number of webinars, workshops, and training over his years with SVN and has had a role in writing and editing modules of the SVN Training Manual.  He is happy to lend his support to SVN during this challenging time.


Joe Nullet, CAE
Executive Director 
Jacksonville, FL 

[email protected]

Executive Director Joe Nullet, a graduate of Harvard University, has led the Supervised Visitation Network since December 2007. Before that he was the Executive Director of the Family Nurturing Center of Florida, a Supervised Visitation and Parent Education program in Jacksonville, Florida. During his tenure at FNC, he led the organization through an exciting growth period, helped reshape the organizational culture and design to better serve the needs of clients, and has served locally and nationally on numerous task forces, advisory boards, and collaborative partnerships as an expert in the field of supervised visitation and has trained providers in Great Britain, Japan, and Singapore. Joe also served on the statewide Committee that developed an innovative Supervised Visitation database and as a member of State of Florida Standards Committee that was formed as a result of legislation to establish statewide standards. Joe has completed Graduate Coursework at the Kennedy School of Government, a Nonprofit Executive Program at the Harvard Business School, as well as completing the Jessie Ball duPont Fund's Community Coaches Program.