Past Board Member (2011-2018)
Lisa McCormick founded Small Talk Children’s Advocacy Center with the belief that every child deserves a safe place for healing. Since the founding, thousands of children and families have walked through the doors and received services. It was during her 21 year tenure at Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office that she founded Small Talk, among her greatest achievements as Chief Assistant Prosecutor.
Annie M. Harrison is a Detective at the Ingham County Sheriff's Office specializing in Child Abuse and Sexual Assault investigations. Detective Harrison serves as a Special Investigator for the Ingham/Jackson Regional Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Task Force, a local project she was instrumental in developing which seeks to end the backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits and revolutionize sexual assault investigations. She is dedicated to holding offenders accountable, and bringing justice to victims. Detective Harrison was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to serve as Chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect with the task of leading a team of multi-disciplinary experts in the field of child abuse. Detective Harrison has local, state and national training in forensic interviewing of children and sexual assault investigations. From 2012-2016, she chaired the Ingham County Child Death Review team. In 2014-2015, she was a member of the Michigan Sexual Assault Model Policy Project. In 2016, Detective Harrison was appointed by the Governor to the Crime Victim Services Commission where she assisted in the oversight of the Crime Victim Compensation Program. In 2017, Detective Harrison was the recipient of the “Beyond the Call of Duty” award at the annual state-wide Crime Victims Vigil at the Capitol Rotunda. Detective Harrison served as the Ingham County Sheriff's Office Explorer Post Advisor for over 17 years, where she helped shape the next generation of Law Enforcement. Detective Harrison is Board President for Small Talk Children's Advocacy Center and believes every child should have access to healing services. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University in Social Relations, Criminal Justice and Jewish Studies. She graduated from the 77th Mid-Michigan Police Academy, where she now also instructs. Annie resides with her husband and daughters in Dewitt, Michigan.
Amanda Garcia-Williams is currently an Employment Attorney at Jackson National Life. She provides representation and counseling to the Company on matters including discrimination, harassment, wage and hour, disability, leaves of absence, policies, hiring, discipline, and termination. Formerly, Ms. Garcia-Williams was Michigan State University’s Institutional Equity Coordinator, where she conducted investigations in accordance with the University’s Anti-Discrimination Policy and Sexual Harassment Policy. Before joining MSU, Amanda was a labor and employment attorney at Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith. Ms. Garcia-Williams earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School and undergraduate degree from Kalamazoo College. She resides in Dewitt MI with her husband and two boys.
Lisa Ermak is the Media and Public Relations Specialist at Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. She works with community groups and the news media to promote the importance of good oral health and wellness. She is an active member of the community and loves calling Lansing home. Her passions benefit the Impression 5 Science Center, Woldumar Nature Center and the Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Great Lakes Chapter, where she serves in leadership capacities. Further, she has been a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters for more than 10 years. Lisa is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism and is an avid Spartan fan.
Dr. Christopher Gray
Chris graduated as a veterinarian from the University of Cambridge in 1992. Following 6 years in mixed practice in The Lake District he moved to the North East of England to work in small animal practice, joining a national corporate (Vets Now) as an Emergency Physician in 2004. He moved to a regional training and coaching role in 2008, before becoming national Head of Clinical Operations in 2010, and then General Manager for New Business in December 2011. Chris completed a part time executive MBA programme at Durham University between January 2010 and January 2012. In January 2014 Chris joined Michigan State University as Director of the Veterinary Medical Center. Chris is Treasurer of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. In his spare time he enjoys cycling, running and swimming, and this year he completed his first Olympic distance triathlon. He is also a NETA certified spin instructor.
Manvir “Mick” Grewal, Sr. is the founding and managing partner of Grewal Law PLLC. Mick has a proven track record of successfully defending his clients against the simplest traffic or criminal offense to very serious and complex criminal charges such as drunk driving, felony drug charges or anything in between. He is fierce when it comes to protecting the rights of his client in a complicated divorce or custody case. Mick is not only knowledgeable in criminal and family law matters; he has his Masters of Law in Taxation, has handled multiple estates and difficult probate court matters, he oversees a team of attorneys well versed in medical marijuana law. Recently, Grewal Law acquired Church Wyble PC, a predominately personal injury and medical malpractice firm, which has served the area since 1951. When Grewal Law and Church Wyble joined forces, it made his office one of a kind; a well-rounded, full service, family law firm for life. The Grewal family has served the Mid-Michigan area for decades and Mick carries on that tradition of family service and personal attention. In his spare time, Mick enjoys spending time with his family, watching his children play lacrosse and volleyball, and traveling. He is an avid Michigan Wolverine fan having completed his undergrad from the University of Michigan. He is a volunteer member of the Ingham County/City of Lansing Community Corrections Advisory Board and 54-A District Court Sobriety Court program. Mick also participates in in many fundraising, non-profit and charitable events. A majority of his activity is with New World Flood, which hosts a plethora of events for different charitable causes such as the Back2School Expo, High Five Turkey Drive, and Battlefield Brawl. He also supports the Capital Area Humane Society and Ele’s Place. In 2015, he founded and funds the “Heart of a Mom” and “Never Back Down” Honorarium scholarships for Okemos High School seniors. Mick has three children, his oldest son is a Junior at MSU, his daughter is a sophomore at OHS and his youngest son is in 8th grade.
Jessica Smith is a professional dancer originally from Laingsburg, Michigan. She currently works for the Michigan Department of Education for the Child Development and Care Program. She attends Ferris State University and is working towards a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education with emphasis on Early Childhood Development, Integrated Science, and Mathematics. Jessica is a sexual abuse survivor involved in the well-known Larry Nassar scandal. In light of her experiences, Jessica strives to find a future in advocating for protecting children and educating the public on how to protect our community. Along with her Sister Survivors, she was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2018 ESPYS. She is the founder and administrator for Me Too MSU, a Facebook page created to serve as a source of inspiration and information around abuse and healing. Jessica has worked with and volunteered for many organizations such as Kids' Food Basket, Make a Wish Foundation, and the Foundation for Global Sports Development. She is a firm believer that change starts with education and is looking forward to collaborating with Small Talk.
John Lazet recently retired from his position with the Attorney General as Director of Crime Victim Advocacy. Working with victims, survivors, advocates, and professionals state-wide, John’s primary goal was to ensure that victims knew their rights and were able to exercise them, were connected to services, and were able to make their voice heard at all stages in the criminal justice system. Another focus was to provide input on any pertinent legislation, and procure victim testimony on legislation considered by the state legislature. Prior to his time with the Attorney General, he spent 28 years in the Senate, primarily working for the chairs of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and working extensively on the William VanRegenmorter Crime Victim’s Rights Act and its implementation. In 1992 John worked with Senator VanRegenmorter to found The Crime Victim Foundation, and is currently the President. The non-profit is dedicated to providing grants of last resort to victims, honoring exemplary activities on behalf of victims, and paying to place support dogs in prosecutor offices, CACs, and other victim support agencies across the state. He is also an elected member of the Vevay Township Board of Trustees, and serves on the Township Planning Commission.
Dr. Karen Holt
Dr. Karen Holt is an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University. She earned her doctoral degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. She holds two masters degrees, one in Criminal Justice and one in Forensic Psychology. Karen’s research focuses on sexual deviance, sexual offending, and victimization. Her work has been published in scholarly journals such as Violence and Victims, Sexual Abuse, and The Journal of Behavioral Medicine. She has presented her research at both national and international criminology conferences. She designed and implemented undergraduate courses at MSU that focus specifically with sexual violence. She is a member of several professional associations, including the American Society of Criminology, The Latina Researchers Network, The Center for Gender in Global Context, The Research Consortium for Gender-Based Violence, and The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. In her spare time, Karen enjoys spending time with her family, reading, traveling, and surprising her students with her knowledge of hip hop.
Patricia T. Ceresa
Patricia is a Special Assistant Attorney General currently working on the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative in the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office in Lansing, Michigan. Before joining Ingham County, Patricia was an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Berrien County. Patricia has over 30 years of trial experience encompassing a wide range of cases, including in the area of Child Abuse and Sexual Assault. Patricia has served in various capacities on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Michigan, most recently as Board Chair. Patricia holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from the University of Michigan. She earned her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law. Patricia has two children. Patrick works at Google Dublin, and Lyndsay is a senior studying education at MSU.
To provide a comfortable, child-friendly atmosphere where children receive coordinated services during the child abuse investigative process.
A state of the art center leading the community in addressing child abuse and empowering children to have the courage to heal.