Derek Neal  | 

Derek Neal was one of the initial hires as Roca started its journey in Baltimore, Maryland. Since 2018, he had been working with Roca young people and staff in the role of Educator and Workforce Specialist. During that time, he developed a real love and appreciation for the tools of CBT and Peace Circles and has sought to utilize and share these skills as much as possible in the work with Roca staff, participants, and partners. Derek proudly joins the team at the Roca Impact Institute as a Lead Facilitator and Coach, bringing his dedication and knowledge to our external clients and partners.

Derek has worked with underserved populations in a variety of capacities and enthusiastically brings these skills to Roca Impact Institute. He has done work in Re-entry formerly serving incarcerated men in community reintegration. He acted as the Director of the organization’s Community Kitchen Program, worked as a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, is Co-coordinator of Baltimore, Nutrition Group, and a faculty presenter at the Food as Medicine Conferences with the Center for Mind Body Medicine. A graduate of Western Maryland College with a major in Theater and minors in English and Education, he continued his exploration of the arts studying at NYU. Derek taught at the Baltimore School for the Arts for 13 years and maintains ties with the local arts community.

John Grossman  | 

John’s vocation is using evidence-informed practices, data, finance, technology, and the law to drive outcomes, create greater equity, and enhance accountability in the public and social sectors. As Senior Advisor to the Roca Impact Institute, he supports strategy, learning and evaluation of new initiatives.

John co-built a 45-person national non-profit consulting firm helping government achieve better outcomes for those most in need and managed the nation’s largest Pay for Success project, led the Massachusetts agencies responsible for forensic science and public safety technology, and worked as a prosecutor, launching the country’s first statewide computer crime division.

Peter Forbes  | 

Peter Forbes was appointed Commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) in May 2013 and reappointed in 2015.

 

Commissioner Forbes remains committed to sustaining efforts that ensure low-risk youth do not penetrate the deep end of the juvenile justice system, and that youth in custody receive appropriate and effective services where and when they need them. Priorities for the agency under Peter’s stewardship include educational

attainment and employment and training opportunities for the youth in the custody of the Department with the long-term goal of improving public safety and reducing recidivism. Peter has additionally focused agency planning around the concept of fairness with the understanding that if youth (and families) perceive their interaction with juvenile justice professionals as fair they will be more likely to internalize positive change.

Peter holds a Master of Science in Human Services from the College of Public and Community Service at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Michael P. Jacobson  | 

Prior to joining CUNY in May 2013 to help create the Institute for State and Local Governance, Michael Jacobson was president of the Vera Institute of Justice, serving from 2005 to 2013. He is the author of Downsizing Prisons: How to Reduce Crime and End Mass Incarceration (New York University Press 2005).

He was New York City correction commissioner from 1995 to 1998, New York City probation commissioner from 1992 to 1996, and worked in the New York City Office of Management and Budget from 1984 to 1992 where he was a deputy budget director. In 2010 to 2012, Michael served as the chair of Altus, a global alliance working across continents and from a multicultural perspective to improve public safety and justice.

Holding a Ph.D. in sociology, he has had an ongoing academic career coupled with more than 20 years of government service. From 1998 to 2005 he was a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center of CUNY.

Lloyd E. Wells  | 

John’s vocation is using evidence-informed practices, data, finance, technology, and the law to drive outcomes, create greater equity, and enhance accountability in the public and social sectors. As Senior Advisor to the Roca Impact Institute, he supports strategy, learning and evaluation of new initiatives.

John co-built a 45-person national non-profit consulting firm helping government achieve better outcomes for those most in need and managed the nation’s largest Pay for Success project, led the Massachusetts agencies responsible for forensic science and public safety technology, and worked as a prosecutor, launching the country’s first statewide computer crime division.

He currently serves as a Senior Fellow with Third Sector Capital Partners, which focuses on funding evidence-based nonprofits in the social sector. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Concord Academy and leads the board’s Community & Equity Committee. John received an M.B.A. from MIT, a Juris Doctor from Boston University, and a B.A. from Penn State University. He currently lives in Newton, MA with his wife and three children.

Sheryl Goldstein  | 

Sheryl is the founder of Pluck Consulting and a respected leader, former lawyer and litigator that brings a wealth of professional knowledge and diversity of experience, connecting the right teams and partnering with organizations and community representatives to forge lasting, effective collaborations and partnerships. Sheryl leads by example, successfully moving projects from theory to practice, and her core desire is to educate, motivate and mentor, and fundamentally improve the world around her. As a Roca Impact Institute Coach and Advisor, Sheryl provides in depth coaching for systems change initiatives.

Prior to starting Pluck, she was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations for Baltimore City Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young. In that role she oversaw Baltimore’s core infrastructure and human services agencies. Following in 2007, Sheryl served as the Director of the Baltimore Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice, which focused on developing, coordinating, and implementing Baltimore City’s criminal and juvenile justice strategies. During her tenure with the city, she led the development and implementation of Baltimore’s gun violence reduction strategy and reforming the criminal justice system’s response to sexual assaults. She also reshaped Baltimore’s crime camera program, making it more effective in reducing crime while also reducing the program’s costs by $1 million per year. Sheryl earned her Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center, and her B.A. from University of Michigan.

Dan Cortez  | 

Dan Cortez is the Community Engagement Specialist for the Chelsea Police Department in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Dan works closely with residents, community leaders, elected officials, business owners and community-based organizations along with police personnel to create meaningful relationships and partnerships aimed at improving the safety and well-being of the community. As a partner of the Roca Impact Institute, Dan provides training and coaching for cities interested in implementing a Hub.

Dan chairs the Chelsea Hub, a multi-disciplinary approach to reducing risk and connecting individuals and families to services. He is a member of Department of Children and Families Area Board and sits on numerous advisory committees while serving in a variety of leadership capacities in Chelsea. He has vast experience in designing and facilitating culturally competent leadership programs for both youth and adults. Dan is a graduate of both Valley Leadership and the Hispanic Leadership Institute. He received the “Outstanding Alumni” award from the Hispanic Business Alumni Association at his alma mater, Arizona State University.

Captain Dave Batchelor  | 

Dave Batchelor is Captain of the Community Services Division for the Chelsea Police Department, with his law enforcement career spanning 34 years. His division works closely with schools, residents, businesses, and community organizations to set priorities for the department. The unit’s main directive is to create a safe environment for the residents of Chelsea and those who visit or work here, and their School Resource Officer Program increases safety in schools and fosters an open dialogue between police and youth. As a coach and advisor with the Roca Impact Institute, Captain Bachelor is the lead trainer and coach for cities that are interested in implementing a Hub.

In 2015, Captain Batchelor led the effort to start the nationally recognized Chelsea Hub, a multi-disciplinary approach to community safety and well-being that addresses individuals and families facing high levels of risk and mobilizes appropriate teams to intervene and mitigate risk. Batchelor holds a master’s degree in Criminal Justice and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the PERF Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP).

Major Byron Conaway  | 

Major Conaway has been a member of the Baltimore Police Department for over 22 years, acting as Commander of the Southern District since 2019. He has profound knowledge in internal investigations, community-focused crime initiatives, publics presentations, public safety programming, administration and management, as well as emergency response protocols.

Major Conaway holds a B.S. in Organizational Leadership from Johns Hopkins University and a certificate in Organizational Leadership from the University of Maryland. Major Conaway has advanced training in leadership from the Police Executive Leadership Institute and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association, as well as advanced training in Interview and Interrogation.

Ana Bermudez  | 

Ana M. Bermúdez is the NYC Department of Probation’s (DOP’s) first openly gay person, first Latina and second woman to be appointed Commissioner. A graduate of Brown University and Yale Law School, Commissioner Bermúdez began her professional career representing children in family court cases at the Legal Aid Society. For over twenty years, she has been a tireless advocate for children and teenagers involved in the justice system through the development and implementation of strengths-based interventions, the application of restorative and youth development practices and the designing of programs that ensure successful re-integration for adjudicated juveniles