Our team is our favorite part of Transforming Hope. We're working hard together to end human trafficking with some of the best people in the Triangle!
board of directors
We're biased but we think we have the best Board of Directors on the planet. They are not content to simply manage Transforming Hope from afar. They want to be a part of the action. They serve with us at outreach events. They celebrate every new connection, donation, or step forward with us. They pray daily for this ministry and they believe with their whole hearts that we CAN end human trafficking.
Heather T. Pane Seifert, Ph.D., M.P.P., Clinical implementation specialist at the center for child and family health
"It is appalling that each hour of each day children are trafficked and withstand immeasurable trauma in our cities and neighborhoods as we go about our daily activities. With widespread education to increaseawareness, and side-by-side work with survivors, families, community members, and policy makers, I believe we can fight this atrocity, prevent continued exploitation, and promote resilience and restoration. Together with each youth survivor through organizations like THM, we are able to unite our unique skills and gifts to further this mission."
Heather has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago. She loves spending time with family and friends, cooking, being active in the outdoors, traveling, reading, singing, and playing the piano.
Molly stillman, blogger at Still being molly
"I have watched Transforming Hope Ministries grow from just a small idea to an amazing, thriving organization that is fostering change RIGHT in our community! I am so honored to be a part of the board and I hope and pray that I'm able to help be a small part of that real, tangible change."
Molly is a 2007 graduate of Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She blogs over at www.StillBeingMolly.com. She loves writing, creating, photographing, and spending time with her husband John, daughter Lilly, son Amos, and two dogs Audrey and Tater.
Luaskya nonon, assistant general counsel at toshiba global commerce solutions, inc
"When I first learned about THM, I knew that I wanted to be apart of its mission. There are too many young girls being sexually exploited for commercial purposes right outside my front door and as a Christian, mother, and lawyer, I must do everything I can to Educate, Prevent, and Restore the lives of those who have been affected by these crimes."
Luaskya graduated from NYU with a B.A. in Psychology and a J.D. from UNC School of Law. She is an attorney with 15+ years experience working for a local IT company. Her passion to advocate for abused and neglected children was her primary reason for attending law school and serving as a Guardian Ad Litem for a number of years in Durham county. She has two children who make her laugh every day! She loves spending time with her family, traveling with or without the kids and going to the spa!
rachel chang, law student at Nc central university school of law
"Justice matters to me because there are too many innocent people suffering from the lack of it, and I am called to love as Jesus loved - ever so deeply and relentlessly."
Rachel is currently a Juris Doctor Candidate at North Carolina Central School of Law, and hopes to use her degree to serve survivors of trafficking and those vulnerable to trafficking, such as abused, neglected, or abandoned children. She loves rock climbing, and listening to jazz and spoken word.
Christi lane, EAP counselor at workplace options
"Human trafficking has been a cause that has held my heart captive since I was a teenager. The longer that I live in this world the more I have realized just how important hope really is for those that are going through horrific experiences. I am so honored to be a part of Transforming Hope where I actively get to be part of spreading that hope to victims and their families while working towards preventing and ending the horrors of trafficking."
Christi has an MS degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University and is currently certified as an LPCA in the state of NC. She loves educational activities, doing research, spending time with family and friends, and is currently working towards full licensure and further education and certifications in the areas of trauma, PTSD, and EMDR.
staff and volunteer team
We mean it when we say that we think our team is the best around. They're passionate, motivated, hard workers who are determined to do all they can to end human trafficking. Sometimes the work doesn't seem to take us where we want to go. Sometimes it doesn't make sense. Sometimes it's tiring and overwhelming. These folks stick it out. They're faithful to the calling to fight for justice and we love them for it!
Abbi Tenaglia, Founder & Director
"Exploitation, addiction, and abuse are familiar to me. Freedom, joy, and hope didn't come naturally. I had to learn how to find them and where I found them was in the arms of my Savior, whom I met truly for the first time in 2009. Since then, it has been clear to me that my mission on earth is to help guide others who are enslaved to hope and true joy. I have not been commercially exploited but, because of what I have been through, I am committed to using my one and only life on earth to fight for the freedom of those who have been trafficked.”
To learn more about Abbi, visit her page here.
Contact Abbi at email@example.com
Danner chambless, events coordinator
“Being an advocate and voice for the underserved is an important part of God’s calling in my life. When I was introduced to Abbi and the work of Transforming Hope, I knew that I would find a purpose within this mission. Sex trafficking is not as distant as a film or a foreign land, it is right in our own backyards. Although I am not personally a victim, I can easily understand how the need for attention from the opposite sex can turn into exploitation and abuse. There are so many areas to help THM in their mission to Educate, Prevent, and Restore, and I use my talents in communication, art, and leadership to end sex trafficking here in NC."
Danner holds a Bachelor's degree in Nursing from UNC Chapel Hill and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Pfeiffer University. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends; traveling; and trying out the variety of restaurants and food trucks that Durham has to offer.
Nicole bernard, training team
"I cannot remain silent while any child is being trafficked. It is a duty and a privilege to give a voice to the voiceless and demand that all children be granted freedom. We all must step up to define our own territory and forbid human trafficking from trespassing. Not in my school. Not in my neighborhood, church, city, or state. When we all stand up and link arms together we will end it for good."
Nicole has a BS in psychology from Furman University. She just completed her first novel about human trafficking: A War Against the Cowbird, has been working with various nonprofit organizations, and speaks to groups about human trafficking related projects. She and her husband live in Cary, NC and are raising four children.
whitney ludlow, training team
"I fight to END Human Trafficking because honestly I feel I am called to; I feel can’t be silent and turn my head to the evil that I know exists! Transforming Hope gives me the opportunity to help continue to advocate for the young girls and boys who are trapped in this illegal trade and educate that this is a global crime that happens right in our backyard. I am honored to be part of THM and the fight to END human trafficking."
Whitney has a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Appalachian State University. Her interests include spending time with family and friends, exercising, fair trade fashion, adoption, reading, volunteering at her boy’s school, music, the beach, the mountains and horseback riding.
Mark haywood, training team
"My Senior year at UNC, I was part of a student news organization where I produced a piece on human trafficking in North Carolina. During this time I was shocked to discover the story of a girl who was trafficked to my hometown in Randolph County, NC and forced to work as a domestic servant. To me, modern day slavery was a global issue. It certainly couldn't exist in small-town U.S.A. My goal in working alongside THM is to show people this more than $150 billion worldwide industry is insidiously robbing lives in our own backyards. More importantly, my aim is to encourage others in the fight to end human trafficking with the truth that ultimately, Christ reigns over all things, and He is restoring His creation. I am humbled to be a part of this effort to fight for the physical and spiritual freedom for those who have been enslaved."
Mark is a 2013 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies. He enjoys being with friends and family, cheering on all things UNC, and exploring the world one country, city, and southern restaurant at a time. In his spare time, he continues to explore his passion for the intersection of faith and culture. "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." - C.S. Lewis
emma lanford, training team
"Since I initially learned about the issue of human trafficking, I was disturbed by the cruelty involved but also by how no one seemed to know it was such a prevalent problem. I take it as my responsibility as a human to stand against the issue of human trafficking and work with others to try and put a stop to it."
Emma is a student in the Raleigh/Durham area. She is a jazz singer who enjoys writing, composing her own songs, playing piano, and exploring new places.
Transforming Hope's Advisory Board was created in 2010 when THM was founded for the purpose of mentoring and providing accountability to our founder, Abbi Tenaglia. Because we believe that this ministry is a gift from God to be stewarded well and because we are aware of the spiritual warfare involved in doing this work, particularly for someone like the founder, we created this infrastructure to help reduce the risk of burn out for THM's leadership. Each individual listed below meets with Abbi on a regular basis and has sacrificially given their time to pour into Abbi and to share their wisdom and expertise with her. We're very thankful for this level of protection around Transforming Hope!
fran helpingstine, executive director of operations, finance, and marketing at newhope church
“Transforming Hope is exposing a huge evil that's been underground for way too long. Having heard the statistics of young girls trapped in this illegal trade, and having a daughter of our own, THM gave me the opportunity to get involved and help make a difference. In a short period of time, the ministry has opened its first home and raised significant funds to support the work needed to rescue, love and rehabilitate trafficking victims. Our goal is to share the vision as much as possible, to raise awareness, and to find new volunteers and donors so that we can continue fighting this giant, one girl rescued at a time. It's an honor and privilege to serve in this capacity.”
Fran has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is currently working on her ordination with the Wesleyan Church. Her interests include cooking with her husband, being creative, spending time with her two children Alex and Michael and other wonderful friends, Bikram yoga and listening to all kinds of GREAT music.
dave brown, business owner
“My life changed forever on the night of June 3, 2002, when my wife, Brenda, committed suicide following a life-long battle to overcome the trauma of childhood sexual abuse and enslavement. Not only was she abused verbally, physically, and sexually by her adoptive family, but she was used as a sexual commodity by her bthers to obtain drugs and alcohol from their friends and others in the community. In honor of Brenda and the tens of millions just like her who are suffering from the trauma and inhumanity of human trafficking, I joined Transforming Hope Ministries in 2010 as a founding member and became a board member in 2011. May God draw to Himself all those who suffer from and commit such atrocities, and may He use us to rescue as many of them as we can.”
Dave has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering (Water Resources and Environmental) from Virginia Tech. His interests include prayer and contemplation, people, friendship, monasticism, theology, the martial arts, genuineness, selflessness, writing, music, movies, inventing, resource and environmental conservation, other cultures, getting up early, living simply, growing older, the color green, and playing at life.
rhonda carney, estates paralegal at young moore and henderson, P.A.
"My childhood was full of verbal, emotional, physical and spiritual abuse. Living in this environment left me extremely susceptible to sexual predators. I have been on a journey of recovery from my abuse since 2006. Despite being a devout Christian, this was an area of my life I had never let anyone into, especially not God. I wore two faces, the one I let you see and the hidden face that carried immense shame, guilt, and contempt. As God has taken me on this healing journey, it has become my heart’s passion to walk side by side with other sexual abuse victims to help bring them into God’s truth, freedom, and loving restoration. My deep desire is to work on behalf of healing and redemption through story – beginning with my own."
Rhonda has a Bachelor’s Degree from Campbell University in Buies Creek, graduating Summa cum Laude. She obtained the Lay Leadership Certificate through the Seattle School of Theology who specialize in training ministry leaders to assist sexual abuse victims. She has also completed the following one-year Christian counseling training programs: Breaking Free: Christian Counseling Training and Community Chaplain training. She is currently working on her first book, “LABELS, Who / What Identifies You?” When she’s not leading a journey or life group, her interests are cooking, Zumba, volunteering at newhope church, participating in various local missions, spending time with dear friends, and learning to invite play into her life.
craig & becky tenaglia, children's pastor at northview christian church & preschool director at sonshine school
"The idea that a child in fifth or sixth grade, not yet in high school, could possibly be the victim of unimaginable trauma, is mind boggling to us. The numbers are staggering right here in our backyard. We have watched a seed planted and grow in the heart of our daughter to become an advocate for these children and actively move in a direction to make a difference. What an awesome responsibility and privilege we have to come along side THM in this battle to rescue one child at a time."
Craig has an M.Div. from Grace Theological Seminary and is an ordained minister. Becky holds an Associate's of Liberal Arts in Christian Education from Southeastern Bible College and an Early Childhood Education certificate from Alamance Community College. Craig and Becky enjoy spending time with their family, especially their grandbabies. Craig's interests include reading, going for walks and looking for fossils. Becky enjoys reading, sewing, scrapbooking, a good movie, and cooking for family and friends.