Our Advisory Council

Maria Fiorini Ramirez is President & Chief Executive Officer of Maria Fiorini Ramirez, Inc., (MFR) an independent global economic and financial consulting firm formed in August 1992. Mrs. Ramirez and her colleagues are highly rated for their consistently accurate, unbiased analysis of economic trends and other issues that affect markets and investment decisions.

Mrs. Ramirez is a frequent speaker at U.S. and international forums and is a regular guest on a variety media outlets such as CNBC, CNN, ABC, Fox News, Bloomberg Financial News, PBS, CBS, and TV Tokyo. She is also a regular contributor to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan’s leading financial publication.

Corporate Experience. Mrs. Ramirez began her career in 1967 with Meinhard Commercial a subsidiary of CIT. In 1968 she joined American Express International Banking Corporation and learned various aspects of banking while earning a BA in Business Administration/Economics from Pace University. In 1973, she spent one year as a credit analyst at Banca Nazionale del Lavoro in New York. In 1974 she joined Merrill Lynch where during her 10 year tenure she was appointed First Vice President and Senior Money Market Economist. Mrs. Ramirez became a Senior Vice President and Senior Money Market Economist at Becker Paribas in 1984 when the firm was acquired by Merrill Lynch. From 1984 to 1990 (when the firm dissolved) she was Managing Director and Money Market Economist for Drexel Burnham Lambert.

In March 1990, she founded Maria Ramirez Capital Consultants, Inc., a subsidiary of John Hancock Freedom Securities. As President and Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Ramirez created an economic consulting business and was responsible for the management of the firm’s global fixed income funds. In 1992, Mrs. Ramirez established Maria Fiorini Ramirez, Inc., which also serves as the holding company for MFR Securities, an institutional brokerage firm specializing in taxable and municipal securities, with offices in New York, Miami and San Francisco.

Founding member of 100 Women in Hedge Funds; member of the New York Hedge Fund Roundtable; member of the Economic Club of NY since 1984; President of the Money Marketeers Club of NY in 1994.

Dr Ann Di Maio is a pediatrician with over 30 years of clinical experience.  She is board certified in Pediatrics, Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Child Protection.  She is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University and received her medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical School in New York.  Dr Di Maio completed her pediatric internship, residency and fellowship training at Weill Cornell/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP).  After her training, she joined the Pediatric Emergency Department at NYP as an attending where she ascended to being the Director of Pediatric Emergency Medical Services.  Dr DiMaio relocated to St Louis Missouri where she joined the Pediatric Emergency Department at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.  While there, she performed an additional fellowship in Child Protection and joined the Division of Child Protection evaluating and caring for children who experienced physical and sexual abuse or neglect.  While in St Louis, Dr Di Maio became actively involved in combating the child sex trafficking crisis.

Working closely with the St Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Dr Di Maio created a first of its kind medical care program for victims of trafficking.  This program provided comprehensive social work evaluation, medical care, and placement services for any suspected child trafficking victim and provided the needed medico-legal services to successfully prosecute associated offenders.  Social workers specially trained in non-traumatic interview techniques, specific to sex trafficking victims, would provide the initial evaluation.  A medical forensic examination performed by Dr Di Maio would assess general health, detail any related injuries, and provide for ongoing medical needs.  The exam would also collect and maintain forensic chain of evidence for potential use by law enforcement.  Placement services would provide education, psychologic, and drug counseling resources and provide reunification with families when possible.  The success of Dr Di Maio’s program led to its dissemination throughout other medical institutions in the St Louis area and beyond.

In addition to her clinical accomplishments, Dr Di Maio has worked with prosecutors from local, state and federal jurisdictions.  She has testified in local and military courts as a prosecution expert child abuse witness leading to multiple convictions.  Dr Di Maio currently lectures extensively on the topic of child abuse and sex trafficking to medical, law enforcement, media outlet and civic groups.

Eleanor Kennelly Gaetan, Ph.D.
is the Director of Public Policy at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation and works closely with the NCOSE Law Center where she leads strategic efforts at the federal, state, and local government levels encouraging them to develop policies for a world free from sexual exploitation. A very accomplished writer, Eleanor also provides key analysis of research helping to connect the dots between all forms of sexual exploitation.

For the ten years prior to joining NCOSE, Eleanor Kennelly Gaetan, Ph.D. served as senior legislative advisor for the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women International (CATW), founded in 1988. She was instrumental in passing major U.S. legislation including the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA) in 2015; the SESTA-FOSTA law criminalizing Internet service providers that engage in human trafficking; and the Trafficking Victims Protection Re-authorization Act of 2018. Working in alliance with many organizations, including NCOSE, she aimed to help build the movement against sexual exploitation through these efforts.

From 2003-2009, as a White House appointee, Eleanor served as senior coordinator for public outreach at the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP). She managed legislative, media, and NGO relations for the TIP office. Eleanor first met the human trafficking issue through the eyes of its victims, in Bucharest, Romania, as USAID’s local democracy advisor (2000-2003). She attended Yale University and has a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. More importantly, she and her husband Victor have five children.

The Lebron Firm is a renaissance law firm representing myriad plaintiffs’ interests in civil litigation, criminal defense as well as hybrid matters. Michael Lebron began his legal career as a prosecutor in his native state of Florida and advanced through its divisions. The area that had the greatest impact on him was that of Family Law which included delinquency prosecutions, dependency actions, termination of parents rights (via allegations of abuse, neglect or abandonment) and the prosecution of sex offenses. What was apparent and remains so is that the judicial and legislative branches are all too often ill-equipped to address the myriad issues affecting millions of Americans. A wholistic tack is critical to best address the incomprehensible victimization and predation of children. Mr. Lebron is licensed in New York, New Jersey and Florida as well as myriad federal courts including the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

Landon Starbuck
is a freedom warrior. She is a fearless defender of trafficked and exploited children and women. She’s a proud conservative and musician known as “Matriarch” in her music activism; donating 100% of her music sales to the anti- trafficking and exploitation organizations she partners with. Landon is an advocate for survivors and those still being victimized. She is well versed in culture and political issues that drive the demand for sexual exploitation and is a counter-trafficking thought leader. She has been featured on OANN, One America’s Voice, Right Side Broadcasting Network and many podcasts including Real Talk With Zuby, Abby Johnson’s Politely Rude & Calvary Chapel’s Fireside Chats. She’s the Co-Founder of Freedom Forever, a conservative political activism organization with an arm dedicated to counter trafficking and anti-child exploitation activism. She‘s the co-host of GrowUp Live; a podcast focused on politics and culture (guests include Senators & members of Congress). Landon left the entertainment industry as a billboard charting musician with music video airing on MTV, VH1 and more. She decided she could not longer take part in the Hollywood exploitation machine and made the decision to distribute her music independently and draw awareness to human trafficking. She felt compelled to speak out on the culture of sexploitation that so many are trapped in and others help enable; uncovering the societal factors and political aspects that fuel the exploitation demand. She’s passionate about early intervention, prevention strategy and strengthening families as a means of combatting the risk factors that make children and women more vulnerable to exploitation. Her aim is not just to spark awareness but empower people and inspire effective action at the individual and community level. She speaks nationally and inspires cultural and political activism to counter the demand for sex trafficking. Her first book, “Freedom Warrior” will be published in summer 2021. Landon has mobilized counter trafficking activists across the country. She continues using her music and writing as an artistic medium to deliver her message. Landon currently serves as an ambassador for Exitus, a survivor centered non-profit anti-trafficking organization. She is a member of CESA (Coalition To End Sexual Exploitation) and active partner with NCOSE (National Center On Sexual Exploitation). Landon uses her platform to elevate survivor voices and counter trafficking specialists on her IGLive Series “Freedom Warriors”. Tune in to her Freedom Warriors Series on Instagram Live every Tuesday. You can find out more and get involved at MatriarchSongs.com

Music: www.MatriarchSongs.com
Podcast: www.GrowUpLive.com
Politics: www.FreedomForever.US

Tanya Ortega Preising is the Founder and President of the National Parks Arts Foundation, a non-profit foundation, the only entity of its kind working nationwide to offer Artist in Residence Programs, Museum In-Loan Programs, and Workshops in cooperation with our National Parks, National Monuments, World Heritage Sites and other parks.

Born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Tanya comes from First Nations Traders on both sides of the family. She started to work in National Parks as a teenager, and studied both Art and Geology in college. She holds a BFA in Photography. She has travelled and photographed all over the world. And was an Artist in Residence at Chaco Culture National Historical Park and also at the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Wendover, UT. She has always looked for ways to combine her artistic practice with activism, particularly for women’s issues. During her time in Granada, Nicaragua, she worked with Cineastas de Granada a film collective for young Nicaraguan Women filmmaker, as well as making her own film, Via Dolorosa about the tricky coming of age of a feral young girl in the city.

After working for her family business spearheading the complete restoration and refurbishment of several park concessions, Tanya was inspired to start the National Park Arts Foundation (NPAF) www.nationalparksartsfoundation.org — the only nationwide resource for Artists’ Residences and Workshops in the National Parks. Currently in parks across the nation and always expanding, NPAF is the center of Tanya’s output as curator, fundraiser, and organizer. The foundation has received NEA grants as well as well as crucial support from the top philanthropy organizations all over the US. As a fine artist, her artwork is part of the collections of the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe, The Smithsonian in Washington, DC, and the Honolulu Museum of Art on the island of Oahu. Tanya also has worked as a consultant with the Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital among others. NPAF has collaborated closely with the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to bring arts & music programs to various parks.

Throughout her life she has been an active local volunteer, and also has Hurricane Preparedness training from the Red Cross during Katrina and also practical on the ground experience during Hurricane Sandy on Long Island. She has in addition studied and worked as a curator with NODE, the Center for Curatorial Studies in Berlin, been a consultant to the National Parks of Brazil. With the National Parks, she is certified as a Certified Interpretive Guide with the National Association for Interpretation, the agency that certifies most of the nation’s Park Interpretive Rangers, and will soon be a Certified Interpretive Trainer. Beyond her credentials, Tanya is also an enthusiastic promoter for arts of all types. She is a regular guest on Big Blend Radio’s weekly radio program where she often joins NPAF artists to discuss their work. She currently splits her time between Kona, HI, Vietnam, and Santa Fe, NM.

From the age of three until she fled her home at fourteen, Jasmine Ortiz was sold for sex by her grandfather, two uncles, and an aunt. In lieu of monetary payments, Mrs. Ortiz’s body was offered in exchange for money, up to her uncles landlord to cover rent, and to drug dealers in exchange for drugs and money . The sexual abuse and the domestic violence relationship in Mrs. Ortiz’s family was multigenerational. Although it was a long battle–during which her PSTD was  misdiagnosed as bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia and she spent three years in and out of psychiatric wards, losing full custody of her three children in the process— Mrs. Ortiz is bringing awareness and fighting to help survivors not to get misdiagnosed so her story doesn’t repeat itself in others. Mrs. Ortiz is today a devoted wife and mother as well as the CEO of SAFE Network, a non-profit organization whose mission is to rescue all survivors of human trafficking and provide them and their children with housing and a range of other critical services,  including educational, psychological and vocational opportunities.

“New Yorkers need to know that sex trafficking of children is happening right now in our own backyards. Familial trafficking is perhaps the most prevalent–but also the most hidden form of sex trafficking. If you see a lot of men coming in and out of a family home, that can be a sign.”

Tori Curbelo is responsible for advancing LifeWay Network’s educational and advocacy initiatives. Drawn to LifeWay’s commitment to servicing human trafficking survivors, Tori’s career has focused on combating exploitation and similar human rights abuses. She carries experience from UNICEF USA, Fair Trade USA, the International Rescue Committee and Win. Tori enjoys connecting with individuals around the urgency of human trafficking and has engaged audiences everywhere from the United Nations to Times Square. In 2015, she launched UNICEF USA’s podcast, Ending Human Trafficking Locally and Globally. She holds a Master’s in Public Health from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Italian from the College of the Holy Cross.

Alyssa Kogon is a long time resident and small business owner in Dutchess County.  She has been an avid community activist and public servant in the Hudson Valley for her entire life.

Born January 26, 1961 in the Bronx, NY, Alyssa was raised in Westchester County and attended the public school system.  Both of her parents were teachers and Alyssa, herself, went on to work in both the Hyde Park and Rhinebeck school systems.  She attended the State University of New York College at Buffalo and graduated with a BA in 1983.  There she met her husband of 35 years and Hudson Valley native, Lou. Upon graduation, Alyssa went onto a fashion career in New York City.  However, she left her profession to raise her two children Miranda and Samuel on the family farm in the town of Clinton. Miranda is a graduate of SUNY Potsdam and holds a Doctorate in Behavioral Health.  Samuel is a graduate of SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry and works in the music industry.  Alyssa’s husband Lou is owner of both Kogon Blacktop Maintenance and Kogon Realty of the Hudson Valley.

A former trustee of the Clinton Community Library and board member of a local non-profit E4 (a charitable organization), Alyssa is a community leader. She currently sits on the board of the Jewish Federation of Dutchess county where she is very active.  Alyssa is both a volunteer and professional in the developmentally challenged and senior communities.  As a music and art therapy provider for such local resources as New Horizons, Devereux Foundation, The Lutheran Care Center, The Vassar Warner Home, and Ferncliff Nursing Home she has a hands-on approach to servicing her community.   As a parent, Alyssa spent many years as a substitute teacher in her own children’s schools and still works for Rhinebeck Central School District in this capacity.  She was an enthusiastic volunteer, PTA member, classroom mother and program director in her local districts.   Currently, Alyssa is employed by the New York State Senate.

Alyssa believes in a common sense, no nonsense, approach to community advocacy.  She brings with her the knowledge that there are sensible solutions to today’s issues and only though a grassroots efforts can they succeed.

Nora Page. I am a 62 year-old Mother and Grandmother of a combined family of 6 children and 10 grandchildren. I have been married to the most amazing man for the past 22 years. I am a walker/runner and volunteer at my church by cooking for the kids on Wednesday nights which has become one of the most rewarding jobs I do. Besides being a Mom and Grandma, we live on the lake in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. The hardest day of my life is when I became the Mother of a Fallen Soldier, ME1 Christopher Page, United States Coastguard.

lynnswarriorsOur Advisory Council