NAVIGATING THROUGH THE UNTHINKABLE

PREPAREDNESS WITHOUT PARANOIA®

Founder – Preparedness Without Paranoia®

Dr. Kathleen Kiernan

There are only a few times in ordinary lives when inspiration and imagination can come together and last; PWPORG is exactly that place.  It provides an opportunity to use a lifetime of service and earned experience to help others invest in their own security and preparedness. Learning these skills early can last a lifetime, and literally, help save lives.  There have been countless times in my law enforcement career where I witnessed avoidable tragedy in which fear always played a central role.  For some, it was the result of not knowing what to do, and for others, having the knowledge but not acting on it in a timely way. I have always been inspired to serve others and I have always imagined being able to find creative ways to both learn and teach.  At PWP, we have an amazing team that does exactly that.

Meet Our Team


Deanee Johnson, Ph.D

Chair, Advisory Board

Dr. Johnson is a key player in advancing the victim services field, specifically responding to child victims of sexual exploitation and polyvictimization.


She has over 20 years of experience in the crime victim field, working directly with victims and survivors, partnering with multidisciplinary professionals and teams to meet the needs of child victims and their families. She started as a volunteer mentor for adolescent sexual assault survivors in 1999 in Huntsville, Texas. She has since worked as a Survivor Specialist, Child Forensic Interviewer, Director of a statewide sexual assault coalition, and Director of a Court Appointed Special Advocates program in Southern Maryland. She has recently led the working group focused on the victim services component of the 2016 National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction out of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Deputy Attorney General. She serves on the National Steering Committee for the Vision 21 Linking Systems of Care for Children and Youth, Office for Victims of Crime demonstration project. She is the Chairwoman for Preparedness Without Paranoia Advisory Board (www.pwporg.org). Dr. Johnson has advised large-scale training and technical assistance efforts, policy and procedure implementation plans, organization management endeavors and collaborated with many federal and state agencies serving child victims. She is a certified facilitator with Stewards of Children, has advanced training in child forensic interviewing, and interviewing child victims of sex trafficking.

Dr. Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, a master’s degree in counseling, and her Ph.D. in child development. As an OVC Fellow, she has assisted with collaboration with the DOJ ODAG to identify the range of child sexual exploitation programs available nationwide, illuminating best practices. She was most recently the Chief Program Officer at the National Center for Victims of Crime (www.victimsofcrime.org) before building her own consulting business, Ascent Connection and Consulting Solutions (ACCS Online), where she leads a group of consultants who pave the way for victim service providers, ensuring the needs of the most vulnerable populations are met through strategic collaboration and coordinated efforts.

Laura J. Falvey, Ph.D

Co-Chair, Advisory Board

Dr. Falvey is a career long educator in public elementary schools from Massachusetts to Alaska specializing in early childhood education. She is state certified and a twice-certified National Board Teacher in Early Childhood.

She has helped to prepare future educators at the university level, instructing pre-service teachers to become reflective educators with special regard to at-risk students and under-served populations.

Dr. Falvey’s primary interests include differentiating instruction for all learners, building classroom community, and working with our most vulnerable students to build resiliency and preparedness.

Michelle Ward, Ph.D

Editor in Chief

Dr. Michelle Ward is a lifelong educator with experience in working with both K-12 and university level students for which she brings incredible energy and passion. She has taught at an elementary level in both Illinois and Connecticut, where she worked to integrate new techniques and technology into the classroom. Dr. Ward has also spent much of her career preparing new teachers for the challenges of a classroom, including overseeing their transition to student teachers.Dr. Ward’s interest is in learning and technology, specifically integrating learner centered technology into the classroom. Dr. Ward has taught at several universities including University of Illinois at Chicago, DePaul University, and most recently the University of New Haven. She has been published in several academic publications. Dr. Ward has a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing, a Masters of Education in Elementary education, and Ph.D. in Education, Curriculum, and Instruction all from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Nancy Price

Board Advisor

Nancy continues to travel the path of continuous learning and community service. She understands in a very real way the need to pay it forward by helping others, and understands that the pathway is always paved with education. Developing resources to help children learn and navigate the uncertainties of the world is in her DNA. The belief that it is her responsibility to try and make the world a better place led her to accept leadership roles in hospital administration, corporate communications, magazine publishing, volunteer service, higher education (UVA Darden and the Batten Institute) and economic development.Nancy currently serves as a business investment manager with the Commonwealth of Virginia’s economic development partnership (VEDP). She works with businesses and local governments to provide opportunities for growth and economic resilience, a critical role, especially now for small businesses. Curious by nature, Nancy is currently pursuing Kanban certification and a mini-MBA executive education program at the University of Richmond.

Heather Issvoran

Board Advisor

For two decades, Heather Issvoran has been the bridge between Federal, state, local, and tribal homeland security practitioners and officials with global thought leaders on resilience, homeland security, and emergency management. As the Director, Strategic Communications, Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School, Ms. Issvoran scours the country ensuring the Center enrolls the very best candidates for its executive and graduate programs. Her responsibilities include contract support for strategic communications, agency outreach, student and alumni relations, recruitment, and public affairs. She supervises and coordinates Center communications on the national level for print, broadcast, and web-based media, working closely with both the Naval Postgraduate School and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security leadership on these endeavors. Ms. Issvoran leads a strategic communications operation and department that shares, shapes, and demonstrates the impact and success stories of CHDS students, faculty, staff and alumni and reaches out to a national audience of academics and practitioners. In her previous position in contract support for the Center as the Director of Program Operations, Ms. Issvoran enhanced and streamlined program operations while working with government partners to accommodate additional programmatic goals. Ms. Issvoran provided logistical planning, coordination and execution of the Center’s master’s degree programs, executive leaders programs, conferences, and workshops. Ms. Issvoran has a background in the fields of education and marketing in addition to her operations experience. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. Specialties: Marketing, operations, public relations, advertising, human resources, public speaking, business development, team-building, service training, alumni relations, strategic communications, executive recruitment (public and private sectors), and event planning. 

Tara Barber

Board Advisor

Tara Barber is Vice President of Operations at Lumina Analytics where she works with clients across a variety of industry verticals, including K-12 and Higher Education, to proactively identify threats and help keep people and places safe.

In addition to overseeing all aspects of operations and customer success, she leads a team that researches, defines, and categorizes risk, continuously analyzing how online behavioral patterns can potentially be indicative of offline risk. Tara also served as Chief Operating Officer for Powhatan Information & Default Services and was responsible for all client relationships, leadership of the internal teams, oversight of a robust vendor network, and implementation of workflows with third-party SaaS providers. Throughout her career, she has built and led several teams centered around client engagement, third party operational risk management, internal risk mitigation, compliance, and vendor management. Beyond the corporate world, her most significant role is being a mother to her three young sons, which drives her passion for equipping all children, families, and communities with preparedness, awareness, and resiliency.

Tara graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration and Marketing. She also earned her MBA from the University of South Florida with a focus on entrepreneurship, marketing, and building a sustainable enterprise.

Erin Hang

Board Advisor

Erin Hang is Senior Director of Vetting and Screening Service at Fortior Solutions, LLC., where she serves as their identity and criminal history vetting subject matter expert. Erin has worked with Federal Government agencies such as Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Justice (DOJ), National Laboratories and other critical infrastructure facilities to create, implement, analyze and fulfill vetting requirements for key programs within the Government. In 2014, Erin led her company in becoming the first non-criminal justice entity to run National Crime Information Center (NCIC) checks on behalf of the U.S. military through the Department of Justice (DOJ).

She is a certified FBI NCIC Terminal Operator and Trainer and manages the company’s National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (Nlets) and DOJ JUST Strategic Partnerships, is certified under DHS Best Practices in Anti-Terrorism Security (BPATS), is an authorized user of DHS Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI) data and managed the companies FBI Channeling program for more than 12 years.

She has stood up and managed multiple teams throughout the last 17 years supporting more than 150 U.S. military locations. Under her leadership, her team has provided over 5 million criminal history background checks for DHS and DoD. Outside of her corporate life she and her husband are the proud parents of two school age boys. Her unique professional background gives her special insight to provide experience-based situational awareness guidance and knowledge.

Tammy Waitt

Board Advisor

Tammy Waitt is a co-founder and the managing director of American Security Today (AST), an industry-leading media platform that focuses on new and evolving security threats at all levels of homeland security and public safety.


AST brings the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions on the market to the company’s 75K+ readers, to ensure those on the front lines of protecting our communities have the information they need to keep our Nation safe, one facility, street and city at a time.


She holds a degree in criminal justice, has worked in a therapeutic environment with adjudicated adolescents in a medium security correctional facility, and has served as a sworn law enforcement officer in the State of New Jersey.


Tammy spent five years managing a county rape crisis office and has worked extensively with vulnerable and at-risk populations, including children. She has four children and ten grandchildren.

Lisa Marie

Board Advisor

Lisa has been an “old school cool” entrepreneur for over 4 decades, building the narratives which change peoples’ lives, giving voices to the voiceless. Her current work involves countering the victimization and illegal trafficking of young girls and driving the social impact narrative of preparedness and resiliency. Her life has been lived a la Joseph Campbell – Following Her Bliss, influencing culture and driving social impact wherever she is from the Shamans in Peru to Cycling in Mexico, from the Kitchens of Italy to Professional Baseball in Japan – everywhere Lisa has spent time there is a footprint of joy, friendship and of innovative business. The power of media and the importance of good storytelling satisfied a deep ache in Lisa to have global impact with her life. She joined The Brave Road after two years of developing a new media model, deeply networking with brand leadership, filmmakers, NGOS and UN affiliates. LOOKtv Network – a grand vision she shares with The Brave Road. This expertise is helping to drive a global campaign of engagement and awareness with PWPORG.ORG.

Melanie Upright

Board Advisor

Melanie Upright has more than twenty years of experience in education. She is the author of More Time to Lead; The Principal’s Guide to Empowered Teachers, Successful Students and Satisfied Parents and creator of Four Perspectives: A Framework for Helping Struggling Learners. She currently serves as a coordinator in special education for the Charles County Public Schools. Melanie incorporates systems thinking and collaborative practice to solve complex problems of challenging students. With her unique background as a speech-language pathologist, she has led projects that reduce the achievement gap in elementary mathematics, bring classroom management support to new teachers, and address access and equity problems in areas such as early reading development and communicative competency.She serves as the co-chair of the Maryland State Steering Committee for SLPs. She co-teaches Advanced Instructional Strategies through Johns Hopkins University. She has a Master of Science degree from Towson University in Speech-Language Pathology. Melanie believes in the potential of all students and the magic of the classroom.

Dr. Stacy Phillips

Board Advisor

Stacy Phillips is a Doctor of Social Work (DSW). She completed her DSW from the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work focusing on the 12 Grand Challenges of Social Work on Smart Decarceration specifically with youth. She is a Victim Justice Program Specialist at the Office for Victims of Crime in the Department of Justice and has over 20 years of experience working with children and families. Her specializations include child welfare, trauma, and adolescent brain science. As a social innovation strategist, her expertise is in trauma- informed programming, social impact innovations, leading cross-functional teams, behavioral and decision science, and the successful implementation of large-scale transformational initiatives.

Adam King

Creative Asset Manager

Adam is a graphic artist, composer, and serial entrepreneur with boundless energy and creativity. He has either co-founded, developed, or helped fund the creation of best-selling books on Amazon, on and offline teaching programs, social media channels, corporate training, and brand creation for well over a hundred projects. These include internet marketing, website development, real estate investing, personal growth, and the building of online communities that provide leverage for companies to accentuate their message and amplify their reach.In 2008, he co-founded Mosaic Internet Success with his partner Dan Ho. MIS was a creative article writing and teaching platform built around a global community that not only created a movement but also resulted in massive revenue for the health and wellness industry.He is currently working with PWPORG, designing the platform which will bring a global community together with a common purpose, and a common language of understanding preparedness and resiliency at a family and at a community level.