BOARD OF DIRECTORS/STAFF
JULIA MURRAY EZELL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR- Julia holds a dual-focus bachelor of science degree in Public Safety and Emergency Management from Grand Canyon University and is currently in the completion phase of a Master of Science in Professional Counseling with a concentration in Law Enforcement and Trauma and also possesses extensive Master of Science work in Forensic Psychology. She has been a public safety professional for the past 21 years, and has served in the fire service, EMS, law enforcement, and dispatch. She is an NC Law Enforcement General Instructor through the NCDOJ Law Enforcement Training and Standards Commission and is adjunct faculty at Forsyth Technical Community College. Julia is also trained in the Memphis Model of Crisis Intervention.
STACY M. SECHRIST, PH.D., RESEARCH DIRECTOR - Stacy holds a Ph.D. in Social Psychology and an M.A. in Forensic Psychology. She has extensive experience working with law enforcement all over the world.
AMANDA EVERHART MCKNIGHT, EMT-P, PEER DIRECTOR -Amanda has been an NC Paramedic for 12 years and serves as a Field Training Officer within her EMS agency. She has also served in the fire service and is adjunct faculty for the Department of Health and Public Safety at Davidson County Community College.
ALLISON WARREN, PROGRAM MANAGER - Allison holds an Associate's Degree in Emergency Management and has served in law enforcement communications for the last 15 years. She is trained in the Memphis Model of Crisis Intervention.
KRYSTLE TRANSEAU, BOD SECRETARY- Krystle is a United States Navy veteran and is currently employed in the North Carolina Public Schools.
COREY EZELL, EMT, BOD TREASURER- Corey holds a dual focus Bachelor of Science degree in Public Safety and Emergency Management from Grand Canyon University and a Master of Science degree in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity from Florida Tech. He has served in the fire service, law enforcement, and dispatch and currently serves our local sheriff's office.
BETH HUTCHENS, SOS RESOURCE - Beth has extensive experience as a police dispatcher as well as being part of a police family. Beth has worked with the Police Benevolent Association Foundation Advisory Board since 2010 in their fundraising efforts and police family outreach endeavors. She is a police family survivor (wife) of Sgt. Mickey Gray Hutchens, EOW 10/12/2009.
BRIAN EZELL, K9 DIRECTOR - Brian is a veteran deputy sheriff and law enforcement K9 handler who also performs training duties for a local sheriff's office. He holds an Associate's in Criminal Justice from Guilford Tech and is trained in the Memphis Model of Crisis Intervention.
BENJAMIN LUNSFORD, EMT-I- Ben has over 20 years of experience in the field of Fire and Emergency Services. With positions in volunteer and career departments as a firefighter, EMT-Intermediate, Training Officer, Instructor, and technical rescue experience, Ben brings a great deal of experience to the Sanders Center. He holds an Associate's of Applied Science in Fire Protection Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Emergency in Disaster Management. He is a Level III Instructor with the NC Community College System and is currently the Lead Instructor for the South Rowan Fire Academy, teaching the Fire Protection Technology program as part of the Career and College Promise Program for high school juniors and seniors. He is a qualified fire and rescue instructor in many disciplines for the NC Office of the State Fire Marshal and is an adjunct instructor for the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD, in the Training Program Management and Course Design curriculums.
CURTIS ESCUE- Curtis comes to the Sanders Center BOD with over twenty years experience in law enforcement in roles of both deputy sheriff and police officer. Medically retired due to injury, he strongly advocates for the well-being of law enforcement officers and first responders. He has served in the capacities of patrol, K9, vice/narcotics, and is also trained in the Memphis Model of Crisis Intervention.
VICKI HUTCHINSON- Vicki is a recently retired western North Carolina deputy sheriff with an extensive background in law enforcement. She is trained in the Memphis Model of Crisis Intervention and advocates for the well being of first responders. Vicki also has EMS experience, having served as an EMT. She also has volunteer experience in the fire service.
JOHN TAYLOR, EMT-P- John is a long-time paramedic with over 20 years of experience in EMS and Emergency Services. He is a strong voice in the fight against PTSD and suicide in our own people. He currently serves with the Haywood County Rescue Squad, Transport Services Division and is an assistant mortician in western NC. He is currently employed with MEDIC in Asheville, NC.
JAMES MCKNIGHT- James is a United States Marine and former law enforcement officer with extensive combat experience as a contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan. James has served as both deputy sheriff and police officer in many capacities, most notably K9. James brings over 20 years of military, law enforcement, and contract experience to the Sanders Center.