Keynote Speakers

Kent Williams

Kent Williams is the owner of Breach Point Consulting and has been involved in law enforcement as a police officer for over 32 years, where he recently retired as Chief of Police for a Chicago area police department. Now consulting full-time, he has served as the 2-term President of the Northern Illinois Critical Incident Stress Management Team where he still serves as a peer supporter for more than 20 years. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the University of Southern California’s Delinquency Control Institute, the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police, at Boston University, and the Buechner Institute for Governance’s Rocky Mountain Leadership Program at the University of Colorado. He served as a Tactical Commander on a regional SWAT team serving 60 Chicago collar communities. He has taught extensively on various courses related to leadership and organizational change. Additionally he has taught for over 28 years on topics including use of force, weapons and tactics. Through the development of Breach Point Consulting he has launched several courses, seminars and programs being taught on a national level, based upon the principles of Servant Leadership and how simple shifts in organizational perspective can profoundly reduce the stress, frustration and open anger expressed throughout the typical law enforcement agency. At very little cost to a police organization Chief Williams has been teaching leaders how to negate the toxic work climate which can be caused by what he has termed The Universal Police Frustrations. These misunderstood stressors are created by the unique combination of an effective police personality coupled with an efficient police culture. The mix if not fully understood can be very destructive to an agency’s morale and reputation. Additionally, it predictably places officers at risk for failed careers, marriages and relationships. He sums this situation up by calling it, "The Caustic Risks of performing well in law enforcement." These efforts have lead to ground breaking ways agencies can create healthier more productive and loyal work groups who remain highly dedicated throughout their careers. These same principles have been assisting officers themselves create a deeper more meaningful vocation in policing and developing a harmonious and rewarding personal life away from their career. His work on the predictable transitional issues confronting the police officer’s family has led to numerous speaking engagements designed to keep the family of a police officer emotionally and spiritually healthy. Chief Williams lives in Illinois with his wife and three children. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice Management from Aurora University, and a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership from Judson University.

Michael M. Dugan

Michael M. Dugan was a 27-year veteran of the FDNY, serving as the Captain of Ladder Company 123, when he retired, in Crown Heights Brooklyn. As a Lieutenant, Dugan served in Ladder Company 42 in the South Bronx. While assigned as a firefighter in Ladder Company 43, in Spanish Harlem, Firefighter Dugan received the James Gordon Bennett medal in 1992 and the Harry M. Archer Medal in 1993, the FDNY’s highest award for bravery. He is also a former volunteer firefighter, in the Halesite FD, in N.Y. He has been involved with the Fire Service for 43 years. He is an instructor at FDIC. Captain Dugan also is a member of the Fire Engineering and FDIC Advisory Board and an Contributing Editor to Fire Engineering Magazine. Captain Dugan has been a featured lecturer around the country and at the FDIC on topics dealing with Truck Company Operations, Building construction, leadership, size up and situational awareness and issues facing today’s fire service.

Ret. FF John Walters

John is a Retired New York City Firefighter and Ex-Chief of the Port Washington Volunteer Fire Department on Long Island New York. John was born to be a fireman he became a junior fireman in 1982, joined the Port Washington Fire Department in 1986 and worked his way up the ranks from Probationary member to Chief of the Department. Realizing a lifelong dream, John became a member of the FDNY in 1995. John was with them for 14 years starting in Engine 237 in Brooklyn, he worked and trained hard to become one of the first firefighters asked to be a member of Squad 288 in Queens and ending his career in Rescue 1 in Manhattan. John has seen a lot of tragedy from losing his entire squad in 9/11 and working ground zero for 6 months to tragically losing his leg in July of 2006 while he was working in Manhattan and was forced into retirement. John through everything has not lost his spirit or his sense of brotherhood. He is an amazing family man with five children and an inspiration to many. A quote which John has lived by and describes his passion perfectly: "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling. Our proudest moment is to save lives. Under the impulse of such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even of supreme sacrifice." -Ex-Chief Edward F. Crocker

Erica Gilmore, MSEd

Erica Gilmore, MSEd, CADC, LPC, Unit Coordinator, joined the Rosecrance family in August of 2015 and works primarily with the clients of the Florian Program. She has worked in the field of substance abuse and mental health for seven years with experience in adult and adolescent residential substance abuse and mental health treatment, and jail-based substance abuse programs.

Ret. Fire Chief Bobby Halton

  Bobby Halton is the editor in chief of Fire Engineering magazine and has been the education director of the Fire Department Instructors Conference since 2005. Halton is a native New Yorker whose family has deep roots in the fire service and law enforcement communities. He began his career in structural firefighting with the Albuquerque (New Mexico) Fire Department and rose through the ranks to become chief of training. Halton was chief of operations until his retirement from the department in 2004. He then became chief of the Coppell (Texas) Fire Department. He left Coppell to take over leadership of the magazine, which is published by PennWell Corp. and based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Halton is a graduate of the University of New Mexico. He left duty as a member in good standing with the International Association of Fire Fighters, is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, has served on several of the National Fire Protection Association technical committees and is seated on the National Advisory Committee of the Congressional Fire Services Institute. He also has worked as a subject matter expert in National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health firefighter line of duty death investigations and served with the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program. Halton is active with the National Fallen Firefighters, the Firefighters Cancer Support Network, the Fire Smoke Coalition and the Fire Service-Based EMS Advocates. He has done extensive speaking and training for the fire service in the U.S. and Canada, and internationally.

Thursday Breakout Speakers

Kammie Juzwin, PsyD, CEDS

Kammie Juzwin, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and professor at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology/Argosy University, Schaumburg. She teaches in the areas of assessment, ethics and the law, suicide, high risk clinical areas, first responder and police psychology topics. She has 18-years of experience developing protocol, conducting pre-employment psychological and promotional assessments, and outcome monitoring for law enforcement and fire/EMS agencies throughout Illinois. Her research interests focus on selection of first responders. She is the police psychologist consultant to the Bartlett Illinois Police Department, and consults to officers on topics related to officer wellness,and consults with responders’ families, local police departments and special operations teams. She consults and teaches on topics of officer wellness, stress management, cumulative career stress and working with the mentally citizen. Other forensic affiliations include memberships on local, state and federal mental health response for the Northern Illinois Critical Stress Debriefing team (NICISM), the Illinois Medical Emergency Response Team (IMERT) and area federal level disaster responder on the DMORT Victim Assistance teams.She has published and presented in areas addressing clinical, first responder and disaster management topics regionally,nationally and internationally. She is a partner at Associates for Innovative Change in St. Charles, a practice specializing in high-risk clinical patients and uniformed first responders.

Susan Blechschmidt, MAC, CDVC III, NCP

Sue is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the State of Illinois. Sue is currently employed full time as the Social Services Coordinator for the Lake in the Hills Police Department. She has worked in the mental health field for over 30 years. Although her position with Lake in the Hills has her working hand in hand in the field, growing up a “cop’s kid” and coming from a family of law enforcement, she has always had a passion for counseling emergency personnel and their families through stressful situations both on and off the job. Sue joined the Northern Illinois Critical Incident Stress Management Team as a mental health volunteer 15 years ago. The team is one of the busiest in the country, providing services to emergency personnel throughout 9 Illinois counties. She is currently a certified instructor for the International Critical Incident Stress Management Foundation and trains emergency personnel on the various individual and group applications of CISM model.

Leah Siwinski

An experienced paramedic with the City of Chicago, I have dealt with adversity and the unfortunate diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have the life experience of someone who came into a courageous and honorable profession with the intentions and the ability to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Since my diagnosis I realize that I never lost that ability to make a positive difference in the lives of others. While I may never be allowed to serve on an ALS ambulance, I can absolutely share the parts of my life and career that became barriers to my emotional wellness and cost me my career. I can also share the parts of my life and career that are a success and are the reason that I am here today able to share this experience. My focus today is on the first responders who continue to confront tragedy and how they can be not just healthy hired but healthy retired.

Lieutenant Matt Olson


Matt Olson is a Lieutenant with the Bolingbrook Illinois fire department and has been
a firefighter since 1989. Matt serves also as the President Emeritus for the Bolingbrook Firefighters Association local 3005. Matt is the District 4 Vice President for the Associated Firefighters of Illinois. Matt is a District Field Service Representative for the International Association of Firefighters. Matt is the Executive Director of Illinois Fire Fighter Peer Support and serves as the charity board President for the same.

Jada Hudson, M.S., LCPC

Jada Hudson, M.S., LCPC, CADC is a licensed clinical professional counselor and the Clinical Director of Program Development for Illinois Firefighter Peer Support (ILFFPS) and Clinical Consultant for Operation Shattered Stars (OSS).  She is a first responder counselor, a Certified Recovery Coach, and a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor for those wrestling with substance abuse. Jada has been  providing client-centered counseling and education for over 20 years and has a background in helping first responders process and overcome trauma and PTSD, pediatric death, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, career and retirement transitions, and cancer diagnoses. Jada presents nationally about first responder emotional wellness issues and meets regularly with first responder clients to help them process and heal. Jada provides a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere to help first responders heal, grow, and live!

Grace Tomas-Tolentino, Ph.D.

Dr. Grace Tomas-Tolentino is the founder and director of Core Psychotherapy Center, a group private practice in Schaumburg IL. She specializes in the treatment of PTSD, dissociative disorders, substance abuse, somatic disorders, eating disorder, self-injury and other comorbid disorders. She offers individual psychotherapy and facilitates psychotherapy groups for trauma survivors. Dr. Tomas-Tolentino is certified in clinical hypnosis through the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. She is a board member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation Northwest Illinois Group and a member of the Victim Services Subcommittee of the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force in Illinois.

Dan Bowers

Dan spent over 30 years with the Ontario Provincial Police before retiring in 2008. His resume includes; criminal investigator, communications centre/9-1-1 supervisor, intelligence officer and O.P.P. liaison to Interpol International Fugitive Investigations Section. Prior to his career in policing, Dan spent 4 years as a proud member of the Canadian Armed Forces. Following his retirement, Dan worked as a consultant and training facilitator in the fields of private security, policing and military intelligence. He is both a dynamic and passionate speaker who has lectured internationally. Dan has always been extremely proactive in matters concerning police and public safety. His philosophy is straight forward; knowledge and experience must be shared where it can help others. Dan has been living with PTSD and depression for many years. Personal experience has taught him that early detection is critical for anyone who may be affected by a mental injury/illness as a result of their occupation, as well as their family and friends. Subsequently, providing meaningful awareness and training has become his passion.

Colleen Murphy

My name is Colleen Murphy. I have been the wife of a firefighter for over 10 years. My life experiences have taught me things you won’t find on paper. From the time my husband was a
paid on-call employee, to a full time firefighter, and a carpenter/home inspector, I have witnessed firsthand the effects the job can have at home. I believe that knowledge is not only power, but the much needed tool it takes to beat the odds in a culture that often times leaves loved ones with feelings of emotional neglect. After studying the link between behavioral health and the firefighter’s job, I decided that sharing my experiences would create a better understanding for the loved ones at home and ultimately create a safer, more balanced life for the firefighter. I can provide a fresh perspective, support, and insight that will shed light for loved ones as well as tips and ideas to minimize concerns and fears that come with the role of being the significant other.

Courtney Stewart, LPC

Courtney Stewart is a Licensed Professional Counselor in both, Wisconsin and Illinois. Additionally, she’s a LEO wife and mother. She graduated from Western Illinois University in 2008 with a B.S. in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration. In 2010, she graduated with a M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University-Schaumburg (Illinois Professional School of Psychology). Since then, she’s provided therapy services to the following settings: residential treatment, outpatient, private practice, and corrections. Currently, Courtney is a psychotherapist at the Rock County Sheriff’s Office Jail in Janesville, WI. She volunteers as the Executive Advisor (Mental Health Consultant) for the Rockford Police Department (PBPA #6) Peer Support Team. Additionally, she is a member of the Officer Wellness Committee for the Rock County Sheriff’s Office.

Battalion Chief Daniel DeGryse

  Dan has more than 27 years of experience as a firefighter with the Chicago Fire Department and served as an officer for 21 years. Dan presently holds the rank of Battalion Chief/EMT. He also served as the Coordinator of Chicago Firefighters’ Union Local 2 Employee Assistance Program for 14 years. Dan is a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP), a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC), a Certified Labor Assistance Professional (LAP/C) and holds advanced training in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM). Dan operated in the capacity of peer supporter in New York after the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, and in Chicago following the E-2 nightclub disaster. Dan has been a member of the International Association of Firefighters Labor/EAP committee since 2002. Previously Dan worked six years as a counselor at a private hospital, where his experience included individual, group and family therapy for adolescents and adults in the area of addictions and behavior management.

Friday Breakout Speakers

Scott Robinson, LAP-C, NCAC I

Scott has been a firefighter for 22 years, after being involved with the Station Nightclub Fire in West Warwick, RI in 2003 he worked within his Local Union to develop a peer driven, union run assistance program that caters to not only active members, but retirees and their family members. He has helped create a program with resources for access to critical incident stress management, substance abuse and alcohol programs, family services, financial hardship, and suicide prevention. He has traveled nationally and provided education in peer support within the fire service, EAP legal issues, Establishing EAP prevention programs, and others. In January 2017, Scott developed a Firefighter Peer Program with the Rhode Island State Association of Firefighters, which represent IAFF Union Firefighters, both active and retired, and their families. Scott is also a Peer Support Instructor with the IAFF.

Chief Derek Bergsten

Derek Bergsten was sworn in as the tenth Chief of the Rockford Fire Department on November 14, 2008. Chief Bergsten is a 22 year veteran of the Rockford Fire Department. In his command are 280 uniformed firefighters and ancillary services personnel, who provide firefighting, emergency medical service, hazardous materials response and technical rescue. The Department responded to over 27,000 calls for service in 2015. In addition, Chief Bergsten is responsible for the Rockford 911 Communications Center. After joining the department, Chief Bergsten continued to further his education obtaining both an Associates of Science and an Associates of Fire Science from Rock Valley College, a Bachelor in Business and Organizational Development from Western Illinois University and a Master of Public Administration from Northern Illinois University. In addition to many specialized fire certifications, he is also the first member of the Rockford Fire Department to graduate from the Executive Fire Officer Program of the National Fire Academy, the Chief Fire Officer Designation and Chief EMS Officer from Center for Public Safety Excellence. Besides all of his duties first as a firefighter and now as Fire Chief, Bergsten finds time to serve on Transform Rockford and Alignment Rockford. And last, but certainly not least, he is happily married to his wife Christine for 21 years and the father of three children, Alexandra, Sophie and Jackson.

Aurelio De La Rosa

Aurelio De La Rosa is a lifelong resident of Rockford, Illinois, who works as an investigator assigned to the Rockford Police Department’s Training Unit. He is also active with the Police Benevolent & Protective Association Unit 6, serving as president and as a member of the Executive Board. De La Rosa began his law enforcement career in 1991 with the Rockford Police Department. He also serves as chairman of the Rockford Police Peer to Peer Support Unit and is assigned to the SWAT Team as a scout sniper and a member of the Use of Force Review Board. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner appointed De La Rosa to be a police commissioner on the state Commission on Professional Policing. He’s been honored for his law enforcement work, receiving the 2011 Officer Brian Jackson Award for “Courage Under Fire” from the Warrior SOS Foundation and the 2016 Exceptional Service Medal from the Rockford Police Department. He is a certified instructor in many areas, including master firearms, control/defense tactics, ground fighting, Taser, active shooter and cultural diversity. De La Rosa also is a decorated combat Army veteran. He joined the Army in 1986 and served four years as an infantry sergeant. He then served two years in the Illinois National Guard and then two years in the Army Reserves. De La Rosa earned a Purple Heart for wounds he suffered while serving in Operation Just Cause in Panama. In addition to his military and law enforcement background, De La Rosa is the proprietor of DeLaRosa Submission Wrestling Academy. He is ranked in Jiu-Jitsu, Brazilian Luta Livre and Shotokan Karate.

Ric Jorge

Ric Jorge is a 28 year Firefighter and holds an HSD (high school diploma)He is authored in several chapters of books (John Norman/Dave Dodson The Art of Reading a Buildings, Fire Engineerings FF 1 & 2), as well as several magazines (Fire Engineering, Firehouse, Florida's 1st Responder) and multiple web Blogs (Backstep Firefighter, FDTN, Fire Training Toolbox) and Ric is the developer of the first Impact Resistant opening class in Florida called "Impact This", and he is also the developer of a class called "The Monster Within" that teaches resiliency, and is accredited for 24 cue's in the state of Florida. Ric Jorge is a 28 year career firefighter recently retired from Palm Beach County. As a national and state certified instructor over the last 14 years he teaches for his department (PBCFR has 50 firehouses covering 746,000 citizens) as well as nationally and internationally. Ric has developed and delivered several department wide trainings, and served on many committees, and has the distinction of developing 2 classes that have garnered national interest (Impact This, and The Monster Within). Ric is happily married to his wife Joanne, they have 6 children and are living peacefully in sunny South Florida surfing, fishing, and enjoying beach life.

Beata Staszewski, PsyD, LPC

Dr. Staszewski has been a Chicago Police Officer since 2003 and has worked as a patrol officer as well as an officer in the Special Events and Liaison Unit. Her current assignment is as an inservice instructor teaching Force Mitigation at the Chicago Police Education and Training Division. Dr. Staszewski obtained her Masters in Police Psychology in 2011 and her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with a Concentration in Traumatic Stress Psychology in 2016 from Adler University. She is a licensed professional counselor in Illinois and practices as a behavioral health consultant in Chicago part-time.

Kate Koester, MA, LCPC

Kate Koester, MA, LCPC, is a licensed clinical professional counselor with an M.A. in Pastoral Counseling. She works from a Jungian approach and is particularly interested in how the unconscious guides individuals towards inner wholeness and authenticity. Her passion is for working with those who are experiencing loneliness, rejection and isolation, and being by their side as they grow into a fuller relationship with themselves and their community. As a mother of two children some of her most important work has also been with parents struggling to find balance and joy within difficult family dynamics. She works with individuals who struggle with depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma and shame.

Shawn Johnson

Officer Shawn Johnson is currently a full time Police Officer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign where he is part of a force that provides police service to 42,000 students and 10,000 employees. Ofc. Johnson has 20 years experience as a Police Officer. He is currently coordinating Crime Prevention/Site Security Assessments efforts for the University Police Department. Ofc. Johnson also has held the position of Student Patrol Coordinator, Bike Patrol and Recruitment Officer, Cultural Diversity Instructor and Detective for the University of Illinois Police Department. He has made many contributions to the University community and surrounding community through Problem Solving Orientated Community Policing. Ofc. Johnson has extensive background in providing presentations/ workshops to a wide range of students, parents, churches, school groups, police chiefs, university police chiefs minister alliances, 4H programs, teachers, academic classes, police officers, youth conventions, boys & girls clubs, peer court, fraternities, sororities, U.S. Customs youth academy, Lincoln Challenge Academy, civic, and community groups. His topics cover Personal Safety on College Campus Early Intervention, Personal Safety for International Students, The Law & You, Unhealthy Dating Relationships on Campus, Sexual Assault, Faith on Campus, Drugs, Alcohol, Dangers of Social Networking/Identity Theft, Preventing School Shootings, and Cultural Diversity (Leadership). Ofc. Johnson engages his audience and gives them practical, tangible tools to keep them informed. He has a passion for educating the public about safety concerns and cultural diversity. Ofc. Johnson has also instructed Criminal Justice Classes at Parkland Community College in addition to offering outreach to community diverse networks and Local Rape Crisis Center. As a result of these efforts, police and community relations have been enhanced. Ofc. Johnson is also a Juvenile Officer, Substitute School Teacher, and Patrol Mediator. Ofc. Johnson has received various commendations, merit, and community policing awards for his work as a Police Officer. He has also received an award for Outstanding Young Man of America. Ofc. Johnson is a graduate of the Illinois State Police Academy, National Crime Prevention Institute, University of Louisville. He has degrees from the following: Prairie State Community College, A.A. Liberal Arts; Western Illinois University, B.S. in Law Enforcement Administration; and a M.ED degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.