Board of Directors / Council / Advisory Board

Patricia Wenskunas

Patricia Wenskunas

Founder / CEO

Survivor/ Owner, Creative Coordinating

Bio

As Founder/CEO of Crime Survivors Inc., Patricia Wenskunas is a tireless advocate on behalf of the victims of violent crime – what she insistently refers to as survivors – an important distinction because victim she says, is a state of mind.

Her organization is dedicated to the proposition that with community support, respectful advocacy and hopeful healing, one can survive a violent crime, and thrive in their personal lives.

She is living proof of this.

On April 4, 2002, Patricia became a survivor when she fought off an assailant who was on top of her, in her own home who threatened to kill her if she screamed. She then jumped from a 12’ indoor balcony to the kitchen floor below, and ran to find help. This was after being drugged, beaten black and blue, bound and suffocated with Saran Wrap. She almost drew her last breath.

And this was just the beginning. She had to suffer yet more humiliation and injustice at the hands of the criminal justice system itself. Again she fought back and prevailed.

It was through this tremendous negative experience that she found her courage and her voice and has used them both to help others ever since.

Patricia was one of the early proponents who worked on a California Victim’s Bill of Rights known as Marsy’s Law to help re-balance the scales of justice so that survivors and the families of murder victims would have rights too. Marsy’s Law is now part of the California State Constitution.

She remains passionately involved and committed to bringing awareness on a host of issues and is invited to speak at church groups, high schools, forums, women’s groups, victim organizations & law enforcement agencies.

She’s the Founder and former CEO of Orange County Crime Stoppers, an Advisory Board member at CalVCP, an Advisory Board member at Crime Victims United, and a Past Board Member of California Crime Stoppers, and The Children’s Advocacy Center.

Patricia is also the owner of Creative Coordinating, a catering and event planning company. Though her time is dominated by her 501c3 work, she still sneaks in a catering job here and there.

Her son Nathaniel and her 3 precious grandchildren are the center of her personal life. Patricia is single, loves coffee, chocolate and good conversation. She’s also a wonderful example to everyone on what it means to survive and thrive.

With Faith, there is Hope…

Randy Burba

Randy Burba

Chairperson

Chief, Chapman University Public Safety

Bio

Randy Burba – has 30 years of experience in higher education public safety, law enforcement, fire & life safety, emergency management, threat assessment, policy development, change management, and professional association board service. His service covers a broad spectrum to include serving one of California’s largest private university, The University of Southern California, to one of the West’s top ranked liberal arts institutions, Chapman University.

Randy recently served as the President of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) and is a past president for the California College and University police Chiefs Association (CCUPCA). Serving in these roles afforded the opportunity to successfully create and facilitate legislation on the local and national level that helped define best practices and ensured colleges and universities would be safer places for everyone. Randy also serves as the Chair for The Board of Directors for Crime Survivors Inc. which provides a direct impact to those who have been victimized by violent crime.

Randy has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, is a graduate of the West Point Leadership Command Program, A graduate of the University of Sothern California’s P.O.S.T. sponsored Delinquency Control Institute. He is a P.O.S.T. certified firearms instructor and has taught firearms and arrest and control at the local police academy. He is a graduate of the Gavin De Becker’s Threat Assessment Academy, and has implemented many threat assessment principles and best practices. Randy’s additional professional memberships include; The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), The National Association of Campus Safety Administrators (NACSA), the Association of Industrial Security (ASIS), and The Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP).

Mr. Burba has previously provided consulting services for public and private universities in the area of police/public safety reviews, mass notification systems, emergency procedures, active shooter, and federal /state compliance with regulatory requirements. He has presented at national conferences for groups such as University Risk Managers, National School Safety Council, and Campus Safety Magazine. He has been quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Washington Post, Inside Higher Education, The Army Times, and writes articles for the Careers in Government blog.

Frances Rodriguez

Frances Rodriguez

Treasurer

Wilbur Curtis Co. Payroll/Benefits/Risk Mgt.

Bio

Frances Rodriguez is the Payroll Manager at Wilbur Curtis Co. Inc. – a nationally recognized name and leading manufacturer of commercial grade coffee machines. She has many years of experience, and is an asset to any organization because of her team spirit and her soft touch.

As a former member of Justice for Homicide Victims, she volunteered her time and efforts for at least a dozen years and always arrived with a smile.

Frances has 2 grown children, is a grandmother and is happily married for the past 25 years. She has a heart of gold and a passion for helping people. Her hobbies: traveling and painting landscapes.

Ernie Castelo

Ernie Castelo

Secretary

Freelance Broadcast Journalist

Bio

Ernie Castelo has been a broadcast journalist for more than 20 years. He has experience in front of the camera and behind the scenes. He recently started his own production company, Skyline Mediacast Productions. He is currently in production on a television pilot, American Skyline. He is also a co-host of a radio podcast for entrepreneurs called Mind the Business. Along with his TV and radio productions, Ernie also serves on the Board of Directors for the Radio and Television News Association of Southern California (RTNA) and is the Manager of RTNA’s Golden Mike Awards Contest and President of the RTNA Scholarship Foundation. Later this year, he will assume the position of Executive Director of RTNA. Ernie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in General Business from The University of the State of New York.
Thomas Laing

Thomas Laing

Board Member

Retired Chief, LA County Sheriff’s Dept.

Bio

Thomas Laing joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, as a deputy sheriff trainee. November 1978, and retired as a division chief July 2013. After successfully graduating from the Sheriff’s Academy Tom began his 35 year career as a deputy sheriff at Men’s Central Jail and Transportation Bureau, before pursuing a seven year assignment at Norwalk Station, where he served as a patrol deputy, training officer, special assignment deputy and community involvement deputy. In 1987 Tom was promoted to the rank of sergeant, and his initial assignment was Lakewood station, where he served as a patrol supervisor and detective sergeant. In 1990 Tom was subsequently assigned as an aide to the Chief of Administrative Division and Executive Offices until his promotion to lieutenant in 1994.

 

Tom’s assignments as a lieutenant included watch commander at the Inmate Reception Center, Norwalk station and Walnut station, where he facilitated his Region’s initial Community Oriented Policing Services program. In 1996 Tom was assigned to manage the Department’s then newly created Civil Litigation Unit. He held this position until his promotion to captain in 1999.

Tom’s assignments as a captain included the then newly created Career Resources Bureau, where he managed the Department’s compliance with a Federal Consent Decree, followed by unit commander assignments at Inmate Reception Center and East Los Angeles Station. In 2005 Tom was promoted to the position of commander and assigned to the office of the Undersheriff. In 2007 Tom was selected by Sheriff Baca to serve as his Executive Assistant until his promotion to chief in 2010.

Tom’s responsibilities, as the Chief of Field Operations Region lll, included the oversight of seven Sheriff’s stations serving 15 contract cities and several unincorporated communities with a personnel compliment of 1100 sworn and professional staff. During his tenure Chief Laing established a liaison with several victim advocate groups including Crime Survivors which resulted in the creation of an internal program, with the assistance of trained volunteers, for enhancing a victim’s awareness of resources available to them to survive their ordeal.

Tom retired in July 2013, and has joined his wife of 35 years, Janice, in volunteering with their church Food and Clothing Distribution Program, Crime Survivors, and serving as a route coordinator for the Special Olympics 2015 World Summer Games – Law Enforcement Torch Run as well as traveling and spending time with his grandchildren.

Beverly Johnson

Beverly Johnson

Board Member

Partner, Johnson & Bertram LLP

Bio

Ms. Johnson is a Partner at Johnson & Bertram LLP. Ms. Johnson has practiced law in Southern California for over seventeen years. Ms. Johnson has extensive trial and arbitration experience, and has handled complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts from inception through appeal. She has advised her clients through a wide array of legal disputes, including matters involving civil RICO, securities claims, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, breach of fiduciary duty, shareholder-related claims, contract claims, insurance matters, judgment enforcement and collection matters, SEC investigations, fraudulent conveyance, and a variety of business torts. She has obtained multi-million dollar judgments for several clients. She has also obtained terminating sanctions in numerous cases due to opponents’ discovery abuses. Ms. Johnson also provides pre-litigation advice and counseling to clients in an effort to resolve potentially costly disputes without the need to go to court.

Prior to joining Johnson & Bertram LLP, Ms. Johnson was Of Counsel in Dorsey & Whitney’s trial practice group, and was also a member of two other practice groups devoted to electronic discovery and nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations. Prior to that time, Ms. Johnson was associated with two multi-national law firms, and also worked as an Enforcement Attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ms. Johnson received her law degree, cum laude, from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, where she was an editor of the Southern California Law Review. She received her undergraduate degree in business administration, summa cum laude, from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, where she was a member of the USC Student Senate and Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

Ms. Johnson is admitted to practice in all state courts in California, the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and the United States Courts of Appeal for the Ninth and Fourth Circuits. She is a member of the Orange County Bar Association and has served as a director of a Santa Ana-based national charitable organization since 2008. She has also served as volunteer pro bono counsel for clients of the Public Law Center since 2006.

Steve Katz

Steve Katz

Board Member

Lt. LA County Sheriff’s Department

Bio

Commander Steven Katz, a 34-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, began his career in 1984, when he attended the Department’s Training Academy as a member of Class #221. After graduating as a Deputy Sheriff, he was assigned to Men’s Central Jail, Pitchess Honor Ranch, and Carson Station. Commander Katz was promoted to Sergeant in 1994 and was assigned to the Inmate Reception Center, Carson Station, Internal Affairs Bureau, Office of the Sheriff, and Homicide Bureau. In 2009, he was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to Industry Station, Walnut/Diamond Bar Station, Pico Rivera Station, Special Victims Bureau, and as the Professional Standards Division Chief’s Aide. In 2015, he was promoted to Captain and assigned to Homicide Bureau.

In 2017, he was promoted to Commander by Sheriff Jim McDonnell and assigned to Detective Division Headquarters, where he oversees Homicide Bureau, Major Crimes Bureau, Narcotics Bureau, Special Victims Bureau, Human Trafficking Bureau, Fraud & Cyber Crimes Bureau, Taskforce for Regional Autotheft Prevention, and Operation Safe Streets Bureau.

Commander Katz holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from California State University, Northridge. He serves on the Board of Directors for Crime Survivors.

Commander Katz resides in Orange County. His daughter, Stephanie, attends the University of San Diego. His twin boys, Ryan and Kevin, are high school seniors. In his spare time, Commander Katz enjoys running, scuba diving, and sailing.

Matt Regan

Matt Regan

Board Member

VP Business Relationship Mgr, Wells Fargo Bank

Bio

Matt is a Vice President with Wells Fargo’s business banking team in Irvine.  He is currently a Business Relationship Manager helping small businesses succeed in Orange County.  Matt has been with Wells Fargo since 1989 and has served in many capacities including Branch Manager at numerous locations.

Matt is a graduate from the University of Southern California and holds his Series 7 and 66 licenses.  Matt lives with his wife and two children in Ladera Ranch.

John Adair

John Adair

Board Member

Semi-Retired Loan Officer

Bio

John Adair is a former mortgage broker from Los Angeles. He was also editor for both the Prodigy Financial Group and Family Mortgage, Inc. Newsletters that featured monthly articles on finance & real estate.

In 1996, John and his family suffered a tragedy when his brother Robert was murdered in his own home, in the middle of the day, while on his lunch break. As a result, John and his mother joined Justice for Homicide Victims (JHV) in 1998, a California-based victim’s rights group. Later, he would serve as Co-Chair for JHV Advisory Board from ’06-’10. John says that JHV was the right Rx for his mother and himself. As a sibling and a son, he said, “I suffered twice; once, for my personal loss, and then again when I saw what my mom went through.”

48 Hours featured a piece about the Robert Adair murder case that aired in Feb. of 2000: Murder in L.A. – hosted by Dan Rather. When network producers approached his family in 2017 about doing a new updated segment, the family decided against it.

John was elected to the Board of Directors, Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council in 2002 and served a 3-year term as Treasurer from ‘03 – ’05. He would later serve on a half-dozen committees including the Executive & Budget Committees. He cycled off the Board in 12/05 but remained an active member of Public Safety Committee, chairing the CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) Sub-Committee from ’07-’10.

John is a widower who moved to Las Vegas in 2012 following the death of his wife Marisol. He received his NMLS license in 2013 and originated loans for a couple years. Now in semi-retirement, he works part time as an event and brand ambassador for the special meetings & conventions that are hosted in Las Vegas.

In his spare time, John enjoys writing, music, going to movies, and having a glass of wine while cooking pasta.

Crime Survivors Council

The Crime Survivors Council includes individuals that believe and supports our mission, vision and values and supports us with programs, services and events. Attending when needed and possible and can make introductions to community leaders, elected officials and business owners for possible partnerships and collaborations to expand our mission in the community.

Each Council Member is asked to make an annual contribution, but no amount is set. The Crime Survivors Council has no organizational voting powers or fiduciary director duties in their role as a council member.

Cameron Knauerhaze

Past CSI President / Law Enforcement Officer

Vincent De Vargas

Past CSI President / Independent Insurance Agent

Chris Kelly

Attorney at Law / Former Chief Privacy Officer for Facebook

Todd Spitzer

Board of Supervisor / Former State Assemblyman

Michael Paul Thomas

Attorney at Law

Steve Chavez Lodge

Director of Public Affairs

Stuart Haskin

Founder Get Safe

Michael Ames

Trade American Card President

Carolyn Perrier

Past CSI Treasurer / Targus Inc.

Dr. Michael Spitzer

Optometrist

Janet Wilson Irving

Past CSI President / Apex Parks

Kevin B McDonald

Author, Advocate & EVP Alvaka Networks

Debra Osborne

Branch Mgr./Realtor, Coldwell Banker

Dienna Rogers

Past CSI Board Member / Survivor

Laura Herzog

Founder Honoring Our Fallen

Navid Tayebi

Past CSI Board Member

Honorary Advisory Board

The Advisory Members for Crime Survivors are individuals that believe and supports our mission, vision and values and is on hand for any advice for the overall organization structure in supporting programs, services and events and on hand if needed to provide advice for best practices. This is only an advice and supportive seat and not active in day to day operations and does not have any organizational voting powers or fiduciary director duties in their role as an advisory member.

Ed Royce

U.S Congressman

Lou Correa

Former, California State Senator

Mimi Walters

U.S. Congresswoman

Van Tran

Former, California Assembly Member

Jose Solorio

Council Member, City of Santa Ana

Patricia C. Bates

California State Senator

Christina Shea

Irvine City Council Member

Steven S. Choi, PH.D.

California State Assembly Member

Wendy Bucknum

Council Member, City of Mission Viejo

Harriet Salarno

Crime Victims United

David Valentin

Interim Chief, Santa Ana Police Department

Steve Spernak

Policy Advisor, Office of Supervisor Shawn Nelson