Chair: Christopher Heuertz
Chris has spent his life bearing witness to the possibility of hope among a world that has legitimate reasons to question God’s goodness.
Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Chris studied at Asbury University in Kentucky before moving to India where he was mentored by Mother Teresa for three years. While living in India, he helped launch South Asia’s first pediatric AIDS care home — creating a safe haven for children impacted by the global pandemic.
A forerunner in the New Friar movement, Chris and his wife Phileena served with the Word Made Flesh community for nearly 20 years, working for women and children victimized by human traffickers in the commercial sex industry. This has taken Chris to over 70 countries working among the most vulnerable of the world’s poor. In 2012 Phileena and Chris launched Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism.
Secretary: Lucy Pan
Lucy Pan is passionate about empowering those around her through education and mentorship. Lucy first became involved in social justice while at UCLA, where she helped to host the school’s largest benefit concert to raise awareness on sex trafficking. For the last few years, she has worked at Deloitte and Touche as a Senior Consultant to help technology, financial services, and nonprofit leaders discover and manage risks to their strategy. Lucy recently completed a fellowship at Center for the Edge, an innovation think tank, where she contributed to publications and organized workshops to help executives anticipate threats and seek opportunities.
A big advocate for mentorship, Lucy founded the Deloitte UCLA Mentorship to support college students with their career aspirations and also served with Spark as a youth career mentor. She is passionate about exploring how technology will shape the future and equipping individuals with the tools and skills they need to succeed in this rapidly changing environment.
Treasurer: Catherine Rivkin
Catherine Rivkin is a native of Chicago, has lived in Temecula, and now resides in Los Angeles where she will be happy to eventually retire somewhere by the beach. She has worked in retail off and on since she was 16, but has also dabbled in insurance and finance. Most recently she works for Recreational Equipment Incorporated where she gets to hang out with other people who love to be outside! The flexibility allows her to continue her volunteer work with Two Wings, WYLD, Community LA and supporting her husband of 25 years with his Non-Profit, LINC LA. They have two daughters, the oldest graduated from UCSD and is heading to Med School. The second will graduate from Concordia Irvine with a degree in English and pursue teaching. After her obligations are fulfilled you will find her somewhere hiking in the San Gabriel mountains, on a beach, or both!
Board Member: Vic Merjanian
Vic Merjanian is the Founder and Managing Partner of Kalfayan Merjanian, LLP’s Newport Beach Office. The attorneys at his firm have achieved over $1 Billion in recoveries on behalf of their clients, spanning their Antitrust, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation and Personal Injury practices.
Mr. Merjanian is also the Founder and CEO of Titan HST, a mobile and web-based tech company dedicated to connecting people during emergencies to decrease response time and increase safety. Most recently, Titan HST was used over 18 million times during emergencies during the last year alone.
Mr. Merjanian received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from University of California, San Diego with a 4.00 GPA and subsequently received his J.D. from the University of San Diego, School of Law where he served as co-founder and the editor-in-chief of the inaugural edition of The San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law, the nation’s first student-run climate change and renewable energy law journal.
In his spare time, Mr. Merjanian is also a Board Member of Two Wings, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating, mentoring, and life coaching to empower at-risk youth and survivors of sex trafficking. When in San Diego, Mr. Merjanian served as the co-founder of a community group dedicated to assisting the families of deployed military personnel.
Mr. Merjanian believes in the power of people and seeks to build the bridges that connect people who need help with those happy to help.
Survivor Advocate: Tika Thornton
Tika Thornton is an advocate against sex trafficking. A survivor herself, Tika in her early 20s started a management company and a detail company. She then moved into mentoring and speaking to raise awareness of sex trafficking. She speaks at a group home called Crittenton, where she spreads awareness of trafficking and provides one-on-one peer counseling. Tika also mentors at Long Beach GRIP, an organization that helps at-risk youth.
She serves as a mentor to girls who have been arrested, getting them the resources they need for GED prep, trauma counseling, medical assistance, and housing. Tika also shares her personal story as a survivor to help kids in the Long Beach area understand trauma and guide them to accessing therapy. Tika is a graduate of the Two Wings Qualified Academy, a nonprofit organization that provides survivors job skills and resources to start careers. After graduation Tika now sits on the board and gives the organization a survivors perspective on the needs and wants of future cohorts. Tika has joined the organization and co-facilitates trauma information training. Tika plans to major in Business Administration or Psychology in order to start her own organization helping incarcerated girls connect to mental health specialists.
Survivor Advocate: Tyesa Harvey
Tyesa Harvey is passionate about raising awareness and educating the public on the issues of sex-trafficking and sexual exploitation. Tyesa, herself a survivor of domestic sex trafficking and childhood trauma – including physical, verbal, and sexual abuse – knows the depths of trauma inflicted by these heinous acts. She utilizes her testimony to educate and raise public awareness of the hardships in overcoming a past with so much heartache; and she details the fears associated with entering the unknown world of normalized society while breaking the chains of a lifestyle that held her hostage for so many years.
At the tender age of 13, Tyesa began living on the streets, which led her to her first trafficker nearly a year later at age 14. This man would introduce her to a lifestyle that granted her the ‘family’ she never had; she just had to sell her soul each night for it. After 16 years living this lifestyle she gave birth to what she calls her “life savers”, her boy/girl twins, and ever since, Tyesa has been on the path of saving herself in order to save them.