Emily Perry, Executive Director
Founder, Executive Director, & Child Forensic Interviewer at Susie’s Place Child Advocacy Centers.
Emily is a licensed social worker and holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from Indiana University and a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Sociology from Hanover College. She has 20 years of experience in the field of child welfare, child protection, and crimes against children with previous positions held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; and Shelbyville, Indiana. Emily continued her training with the Indianapolis Institute for Families as a Clinical Associate in the Child Abuse Treatment Program. She also held the Director of Special Programs and Director of Development positions while with the Institute. Emily began the development and implementation of Susie’s Place Child Advocacy Centers in 2005 celebrating the opening of the first center in Avon, IN in 2009, the second center in Bloomington, IN in 2011, and a third location in Terre Haute, IN in 2017.
While at Susie’s Place, Emily has conducted well over 2,000 forensic interviews of alleged child victims of crimes and has supervised over 4,000 additional cases involving allegations of crimes against children. Emily works collaboratively with law enforcement, prosecutors, the Department of Child Services, medical teams, victim advocates, and mental health clinicians to ensure that children are not further traumatized by the interventions intended to protect them.
Emily is the current President of the Indiana Chapter of National Children’s Alliance and is on faculty with ChildFirst Indiana. Ms. Perry was awarded the 2010 Victim Advocate of the Year Award from the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the 2017 Susan D. Wisely Youth Worker of the Year Award from the Indiana Youth Institute, and the 2017 ICON of the Year for the Hendricks County Business Leader. Ms. Perry lead Susie’s Place in being honored with the Avon Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Organization Award in 2010 and the 2014 Community Justice and Mediation – Herb Keisling Award.
Lynn Clinton, Associate Director
Lynn Clinton is the Associate Director of Susie’s Place. Her background in Human Resources and early education are a great mix for working behind the scenes on the operations and business end of Susie’s Place.
Lynn has a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature, which basically means she is a great reader, but surprisingly didn’t lead directly into a career after college. After growing up in Iowa and Kansas, Lynn moved to Indiana after her graduation from Kansas State University and entered the workforce in Human Resources. Lynn worked in HR for the State of Indiana for 5 years, then spent a year as the Operations Manager for a national staffing firm. She traded in her heels for flip flops when her first child was born and took an 8-year hiatus to stay home with her kids. Upon returning to work, she was thrilled to teach preschool for few years before finding her way to Susie’s Place.
When she isn’t working, she is drowning in all things boy from her two sons and husband. She is a huge fan of the therapy dog program and finds herself totally distracted when the pooches are around. And, thanks to that college education, Lynn is still a great and avid reader.
Candace Balzano, Prevention Coordinator
Candace Balzano is the developer and Coordinator of the Susie’s Place prevention programs. These programs include the Darkness to Light Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention program for youth-serving adults, and the body safety programs geared toward children Kindergarten through 12th grade. Candace holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Psychology from Lee University. Before coming to Susie’s Place, Candace was the East Center Director of Life Centers in Indianapolis. Candace has also worked with Seeds of Life, Inc. as a Case Manager for families involved with DCS in Marion County.
Candace is an Authorized Facilitator of the Darkness to Light Stewards of Children Program and a Certified Facilitator of the Nurturing Parenting Program. Candace has also taught Creative Positive Relationship courses in Jr. High and High Schools in the Hendricks County and Indianapolis surrounding areas. She is also an Authorized Facilitator of Child Safety Matters and certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid. Candace completed the Forensic Interviewing training in March 2016 through ChildFirst Arkansas and served as a Forensic Interviewer for a year in the Avon center before taking on prevention programming fulltime.
Candace enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering in various organizations, reading and traveling.
Melissa Brown, Forensic Interviewer
Melissa is our senior Forensic Interviewer at the Bloomington center. Melissa obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Indiana Wesleyan University while maintaining a full time career and raising her three children. While maintaining a professional career, Melissa satisfied her desire to help others by volunteering with the Girl Scouts, Big Brother’s Big Sister’s, the Community Kitchen, Celebrate Recovery, Habitat for Humanity, and the Salvation Army Angel Tree.
Melissa’s innate passion for helping children led to her to the Department of Child Services where she held the position of Family Case Manager. Melissa made the transition to Susie’s Place CAC and is eager to put her skills into action by providing a safe environment for children to tell their story.
Melissa successfully completed Child First Indiana, a Child Forensic Interview training, in Feb. 2016.
Anna Cope, Forensic Interviewer
Anna Cope is a Forensic Interviewer for the Avon center. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from the Indiana University School of Social Work at IUPUI. Prior to coming to Susie’s Place in February 2016, Anna worked several years with the Indiana Department of Child Services, serving in both Marion and Hendricks County. While at DCS, Anna was a mentor and peer coach, assisting in training new family case managers. She successfully completed ChildFirst Arkansas in 2016. Anna has a passion for serving children in her community and surrounding areas. Anna enjoys working at Susie’s Place because she knows that every day she can help make a difference with the teams that she works with.
Anna’s biggest joy in life is being a mother to her two boys and an adopted mama to her rescue dog. She thinks her husband is pretty great too! Anna loves dance parties with her family, being outdoors, and Harry Potter.
Julia Fritch, Forensic Interviewer
Julia Fritch is a Forensic Interviewer at our Terre Haute center. She holds a Master of Science in Mental Health and a Bachelor of Science Psychology in Criminology from Indiana State University. Before joining us, she has spent 9 years as a mental health professional with all ages ranging from 3 years old to the geriatric population. Julia has experience in an outpatient setting, acute inpatient hospital, and residential for both children and adults with severe mental health. Within these settings, Julia has worked alongside Child Protective Services, law enforcement, legal systems, psychiatric professionals, and medical professionals.
Julia finds joy, passion, and meaning in helping children and strives to ensure the wellbeing of those she serves. When she is not working, she enjoys the outdoors, spending time with family, traveling, and endurance races including the completion of her first full Ironman Triathlon this past year.
Julia successfully completed ChildFirst Indiana in 2017. She continues to grow and gain experience in this field using her knowledge and passion in the interview room, with team members, and in the community.
Trisha Guinn, Lead Forensic Interviewer
Trisha Guinn supports the Terre Haute facility as the Lead Forensic Interviewer. She holds a Master of Mental Health Counseling and a Bachelor of Science Psychology degree from Indiana State University. She has conducted over 1,500 interviews since joining Susie’s Place in July of 2013, gaining vast experience in collaborating with child protection teams, law enforcement, and the legal system.
Trisha has spent 15 years assisting children professionally, often in the area of child protection. She has worked with young children through Healthy Families, a preventative agency, as well as with adolescents and young adults while working as a counselor at a residential treatment facility with at-risk youth.
Trisha successfully completed Finding Words Indiana, a Child Forensic Interview training, in 2010, and Advanced Forensic Interviewing through ChildFirst Indiana in 2014. Trisha has trained in Minneapolis as a Multidisciplinary Team Facilitator. She is a mentor for the Forensic Interviewers at Susie’s Place. She helped open the Terre Haute center, in her home town, in May of 2017. She strives to ensure the children she interviews are met with understanding and without fear of judgment.
Kim Hawk, Forensic Interviewer
Kim Hawk is a Forensic Interviewer at the Avon Center. Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Indiana University, with minors in both Psychology and Sociology. Kim also holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Marian University, and is a Registered Nurse in the state of Indiana. Prior to coming to Susie’s Place, Kim worked as a Law Enforcement Officer for over ten years. While employed on the police department, she served in roles such as Field Training Officer, Hostage Negotiator, and Drug Recognition Expert. She also held the rank of Detective, where she investigated many cases in crimes against women and children. After the birth of her twin daughters, Kim left the field of law enforcement and pursued a degree in nursing while taking on the role of stay-at-home mom. After receiving her degree, she worked at Riley Hospital for Children on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She also worked in an allergy specialist private practice, where she cared for patients of all ages.
She currently works as a substitute nurse for the school system in her community. Kim feels her work as a Forensic Interviewer at Susie’s Place combines both of her fields of study and allows her the opportunity to use her knowledge and experience to better the lives of children.
In her spare time, Kim’s passions include faith, family and friends. She loves playing an active role in the activities of her children, and volunteering with her church. She also enjoys going for walks, listening to country music, and traveling anywhere with a beach!
Vicky Hillenburg, Administrative Coordinator
Vicky is our part-time Administrative Coordinator at the Bloomington Office. Vicky has worked in the Educational nonprofit world for 20 years. When her office at Phi Delta Kappa International moved their offices to Washington, D.C., she moved to a job with IU Health in Bloomington. While employed at IU Health, her office supported Susie’s Place as an outreach program at Christmas. After doing a little more research about Susie’s Place, Vicky discovered there was a job opening for an Administrative Coordinator, she applied and accepted the job! The administrative coordinator is a new position at the Bloomington office, so the job is a work in progress.
In her spare time Vicky enjoys spending time with her 4 grandchildren and her three grown daughters and their families. She also enjoys taking discarded wood furniture and making it into something useful….with the help of her husbands wood working abilities. When there is time and the weather cooperates, Vicky enjoys bike riding, especially in the State Parks. She also enjoys volunteering at Jill’s House, and her church.
Kelly Hunckler, Forensic Interviewer
Kelly is a Forensic Interviewer at the Bloomington location. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Indiana State University. Kelly’s career has been spent working with troubled youth. Before coming to Susie’s Place, Kelly had over 15 years of experience working with children and adolescents at a residential treatment facility.
In her spare time, Kelly enjoys golf, traditional archery, and spending time with her family. Veterans affairs are important to Kelly, and she is a member of the VFW Auxiliary. She is also a licensed CPR/First Aid Instructor through the American Red Cross, and enjoys teaching classes. Kelly is a spirited Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
Kendra King, Child and Family Advocate
Kendra King is the Child & Family Advocate at Susie’s Place in Terre Haute. She holds a Master of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice from Indiana State University and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Southern Indiana. Prior to becoming the Child & Family Advocate for Susie’s Place, Kendra worked alongside the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department and the Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office as a Legal Advocate for the Vigo County Crime Victim Assistance Program.
Kendra has devoted many years to serving her community through volunteerism, and has volunteered for many organizations, such as the YMCA, United Way, and Feed My Sheep. Kendra is the Co-Founder of the Kendra D. King YMCA Achievers Scholarship, which offers scholarships to students attending Ivy Tech Community College who serve their communities.
In her spare time, Kendra enjoys volunteering and spending time with her family in Muncie, Indiana. Kendra has a great passion for helping children, and is very grateful to be a part of a team that not only values the children of its communities, but also fights to bring justice to victims and their families.
Maria Larrison, Lead Child and Family Advocate
Maria Larrison is our lead child and family advocate. Her core value is justice. She comes to us with years of experience as a victim advocate. She graduated with honors, from Indiana Wesleyan University with her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice; attended the National Victim Assistance Academy; has her paralegal certification from IUPUI; and trained as a guardian ad litem through Kids’ Voice of Indiana.
She began her advocacy career as victim assistance coordinator for the Hendricks County Prosecutor’s Office where she advocated for victim’s rights for eleven years. She then became an advocate for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors at Sheltering Wings Center for Women, and served there for 9 years in various roles. She later did guardian ad litem work for two of the Hendricks County courts.
Maria enjoys teaching and mentoring new advocates and collaborating with her peers. She brings not only expertise but care and compassion to Susie’s Place.
In her spare time she volunteers for Indy Honor Flight, Kids’ Voice of Indiana, Avon Rotary, Live 1:17, a ministry of Traders Point Christian Church and the Mary Lee Maier Community Food Pantry. Maria is also on the Hendricks County Community Corrections Advisory Board. She is an avid World Series Champion Chicago Cubs fan as well as The Pacers and Colts and Indy Racing. She also enjoys spending time with her family, reading a good book, crocheting and quilting.
Peggy Schultz, Lead Administrative Coordinator
Peggy Schultz is the Lead Administrative Coordinator in Avon. Peggy joined the staff after spending over a year volunteering in the Avon center.
Peggy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Kettering University in Michigan. Peggy is a retired IT Project Manager from American Express in Phoenix, Arizona. She worked at American Express for 25 years. She is a certified Project Manager Professional from the Project Management Institute.
Peggy is married and has 3 grown sons. She loves to go on cruises and travel with her husband. She goes to Phoenix to visit 2 of her sons and other family members. The other son lives close in Indiana. Peggy volunteers with Coatesville Downtown Revitalization, Coatesville United Methodist Church, and Coatesville Food Pantry. She also enjoys reading.
Charlotte Willian, Child and Family Advocate
Charlotte is our Child and Family Advocate at the Bloomington center. Her Bachelor’s degree in History and Master’s degrees in English and Linguistics led to part-time employment while she raised five children. Her child advocacy experience grew from her interest in the well-being of all children. Over many years, Charlotte has volunteered with the Girl Scouts, various school groups, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), and others.
Charlotte has completed the 40-hour Indiana domestic relations mediation training, as well as a 40-hour training in mediation and restorative justice. She maintains memberships in several literary groups and volunteers with a non-profit educating girls in Kenya.
Charlotte currently serves on the board of Women Writing for (a) Change, Bloomington. She enjoys creating memories with her grandchildren, reading poetry, baking bread, cheering for the Hoosiers, and hiking the trails of southern Indiana.