Beyond Violence

A Roca Panel Discussion

A Panel Discussion

wednesday, May 1, 2024

 

10:00AM-11:30AM

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
1000 Hall of Fame Avenue
Springfield, Massachusetts 01105

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Questions? Contact Chris Judd at christine_judd@rocainc.com.

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Speakers

Six leaders from different industries and walks of life will share how they help young people move beyond violence while addressing trauma, finding hope, and driving change.

LARRY MILLER

Chairman of Nike's Jordan Brand
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DR. KRISTINA KRAMER

Medical Director of Better Tomorrow,
Baystate Medical Center
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NICK COCCHI

Sheriff of Hampden County
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HON. KEVIN MALTBY

First Justice of Springfield District Court
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Brian Vargas

Youth Worker at Roca Inc.

Officer Robert Gayle Jr.

Springfield Police Department

Program

Welcome and Introduction
Chris Judd, Roca Vice President of Individual and Corporate Giving

Opening Remarks
Solomon BaymonDirector of Roca Western Massachusetts

Panel Discussion
Nick Cocchi, Sheriff of Hampden County
Officer Robert Gayle Jr., Springfield Police Department
Dr. Kristina Kramer, Medical Director of Better Tomorrow at Baystate Medical Center
Hon. Kevin Maltby, First Justice of Springfield District Court
Larry Miller, Chairman of Nike’s Jordan Brand Advisory Board
Brian Vargas, Youth Worker at Roca Inc.

Closing Remarks
Solomon Baymon

Speakers

Six leaders from different industries and walks of life share how they help young people move beyond violence while addressing trauma, finding hope, and driving change.

LARRY MILLER

Chairman of Nike's Jordan Brand Advisory Board

Larry Miller is the Chairman of the Jordan Brand Advisory Board, a division of Nike Inc. Miller originally joined Nike in 1997 as Vice President of U.S. Apparel. He then served as Vice President and General Manager of Nike Basketball. Miller helped launch the Jordan Brand at Nike in 1999 before becoming President of the Portland Trail Blazers from 2007 to 2012, after which he returned to Jordan Brand. Under his leadership, Jordan Brand has grown from a $200 million basketball shoe company to a $4 billion athletic footwear and apparel firm.

Miller graduated with honors from Temple University in 1980 and earned an MBA from LaSalle University. He has served on the board of directors at Self Enhancement Inc. A passionate advocate for education and mentorship, he’s taken leadership roles with the Urban League and Junior Achievement in the past. Born in Philadelphia, he lives in Portland, OR.

His memoir, JUMP, My Secret Journey from the Streets to the Boardroom was published by William Morrow/ Harper Collins in 2022. Co-authored with his daughter Laila Lacy, JUMP details Miller’s ascent from the streets of West Philadelphia to some of the highest distinctions of the corporate world.

NICK COCCHI

Sheriff of Hampden County

Sheriff Nick Cocchi started his career as a correctional officer with the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office 30 years ago. He worked across several departments and areas of the Sheriff’s Office over the years, and he learned about each job through the lens of empathy, compassion and most importantly selflessness.

That’s the path he paved on his way to becoming the Sheriff of Hampden County. He has been a trailblazer in so many areas, including substance use disorder treatment and behavioral and mental health care for the justice-involved and the public alike.

As he pushed the Sheriff’s Office to continue to evolve its holistic approach to rehabilitation, which has led to some of the lowest recidivism rates in the nation, he’s taken public safety and public engagement in Western Massachusetts to the next level.

He’s placed highly trained deputies on a Mounted Patrol Unit, on a Marine Patrol Unit and on regional emergency and medical response teams, ensuring local police have a reliable and responsive partner to call upon.

Behind the walls of the facilities he oversees, Sheriff Cocchi has elevated education and vocational opportunities to further reduce recidivism. Career training has expanded to include several in-demand professions, to help the justice-involved leave jail with skills that translate to good-paying jobs upon release.

With a reputation of being firm but fair, Nick has a proven record of accomplishment, and his work speaks for itself.

Officer Robert Gayle Jr.

Springfield Police Department

Robert Gayle II is not just a police officer; he is a dedicated community advocate committed to making a positive impact where he lives. With over a decade of experience serving with the Springfield Police Department, Robert has worn many hats, from responding to emergency calls to mentoring youth in the C3 Northend Unit. His belief in the potential of young people to change drives his passion for community engagement and outreach. Currently pursuing a Criminal Justice degree at Springfield Technical Community College, Robert exemplifies leadership, creativity, and problem-solving skills in his approach to community policing. With a strong focus on collaboration and teamwork, he strives to foster a safer and more supportive environment for all residents. Through his unwavering dedication and commitment, Robert Gayle II embodies the spirit of service and giving back to the community he proudly calls home.

DR. KRISTINA KRAMER

Medical Director of Better Tomorrow at Baystate Medical Center

Dr. Kristina Z. Kramer, MD FACS, is a dedicated trauma and acute care surgeon who is board-certified in both general surgery and surgical critical care. She completed her medical training at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, followed by residency in general surgery at The Stamford Hospital and fellowships in trauma and burn surgery and surgical critical care at the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County in Chicago, IL.

Dr. Kramer’s expertise extends to various leadership roles. She serves as the Associate Trauma Medical Director at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA, the only American College of Surgeons verified level 1 trauma center in Western Massachusetts. She is also the Founder and Medical Director of the Better Tomorrow Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program. This newly established program serves patients injured by violence and connects them to services in the community to prevent reinjury. Dr. Kramer received several grants to support this program, including a $1 million grant from the US Department of Justice. In addition to these pursuits, Dr. Kramer has contributed significantly to medical education, serving as an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical School – Baystate. She received the Faculty Teaching Award in 2021, an honor bestowed by the residents. Dr. Kramer’s research interests focus on trauma care, surgical outcomes, and hospital-based violence intervention programs, with several peer-reviewed publications to her name.

In addition to her clinical and educational accomplishments, Dr. Kramer is actively involved in professional organizations such as the Association of Women Surgeons and the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma. She has received numerous awards and honors for her contributions to the field, including being recognized as one of the “AWS 40 Under 40 Female Surgeons” and receiving the Baystate Women in Medicine & Science Impact Award. Most recently, Dr. Kramer was selected as a Future Trauma Leader by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. This highly competitive and funded position will allow her to continue her work in injury and violence prevention.

HON. KEVIN MALTBY

First Justice of the Springfield District Court

Judge Kevin V. Maltby is the First Justice of the Springfield District Court which is one of the busiest courts in the Commonwealth. He presides over the specialty court called EACH (Emerging Adult Court of Hope) that is focused on emerging adults. He has prior professional experience is an assistant district attorney and civil litigator. He is Co-Chair of the District Court Caseflow Management Committee and is a member of the District Court Education Committee. He also served for 5 years as a member of the Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Committee on Professionalism and has served as an Adjunct Faculty member for 15 years teaching criminal law, evidence and advanced litigation.

Brian Vargas

Youth Worker at Roca Inc.

Brian Vargas embodies the transformative power of determination and resilience. Rising from his roots as a former participant in Roca’s Transitional Employment Program, Brian now serves as a beacon of hope and guidance for other young individuals navigating similar challenges. With an unwavering commitment to empowering at-risk youth, Brian utilizes his bilingual proficiency in English and Spanish to foster meaningful connections and provide vital support.

In his current role as a Youth Worker at Roca Inc., Brian employs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques to equip young people with essential life skills and workforce readiness. His dedication extends beyond the confines of a job description, as he relentlessly pursues opportunities for outreach, advocacy, and community engagement. Brian’s journey from participant to mentor exemplifies the potential for personal growth and societal impact inherent in Roca’s mission.

Through his experiences at Roca and beyond, Brian has cultivated a diverse skill set, including crisis intervention, communication, and team collaboration. His tenure as a Utility Locator and Residential Counselor underscores his adaptability and capacity to excel in dynamic environments. Whether marking underground utility lines or providing compassionate care to individuals with complex needs, Brian approaches each task with diligence and compassion.

As Brian takes his place on this esteemed panel, his presence serves as a testament to the transformative impact of programs like Roca. Through dedication, perseverance, and a steadfast belief in the potential of every individual, Brian Vargas embodies the spirit of empowerment and resilience that defines Roca’s vision for a brighter future.

Roca's Impact

IN FY 2023, Roca SERVED 435 OF THE HIGHEST-RISK YOUNG PEOPLE IN WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS WITH AN 89% RETENTION RATE.

Roca's Impact

IN FY 2023, Roca SERVED 435 OF THE HIGHEST-RISK YOUNG PEOPLE IN WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS WITH AN 89% RETENTION RATE.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Premiere Sponsors
William Morrow
Changemaker Sponsors

The Justice Education Center, Inc.

Diamond Sponsors
Fitzgerald & Company
Monson Bank
NBA Cares
Teddy Bear Pools
Gold Sponsors
Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
Fitzgerald Law
Florence Bank
Fontaine Community Foundation
Grodsky
IPS Behavioral Health
MassHire
The Place 2 Be
Rocky's Ace Hardware
Ventry AssociatesLLP
Whip's Sporting Goods
Silver Sponsors

Springfield Thunderbird Foundation

TJ Conway Company