Meet our Team


Tanya jones

President & CEO Interactive Advocacy

If your organization is looking for a dynamic and cutting-edge approaches to performance-based training, Interactive Advocacy should be the first training company you call. My dedication to bringing awareness to the importance of tolerance, equality, inclusion, and intervention has manifested toward my passion-felt journey to advocate continually for those disenfranchised by imposed societal  restrictions. 

" Be Unstoppable"

"Don't Just Stand There!" When doing nothing should never be an option!


- Tanya Jones

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He has more than 30 years working and serving within the Department of Defense in the US Army and as a Federal Employee.  He has served in such positions as Deputy Director, Army Reserve Equal Opportunity, former member of the Army’s EEO Board of Directors, Senior Executive Diversity Awareness Trainer (SEDAT) hosted at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management (DEOMI).  He’s a combat veteran of Desert Shield and Storm and former US Army Drill Sergeant.  He has a distinct passion for serving others. Mr. Crumpton holds a Sociology degree from Saint Leo University. His training work is well known throughout the Military Equal Opportunity Community across the United States. His leadership and training style gives him a skill set that makes him one of the best trainers in the industry. One of his favorite training sessions is the “Effects of Perceptual Filters” – Engaging and thought provoking with just the right level of humor.

Joe Crumpton

Vp Interactive advocacy

“You can’t teach what you don’t know and you can’t lead where you won’t go”.

- Mr. Claiborne Haughton


Jessica Jones-Saka

Chief of curriculum and Training development

Jesica Jones-Saka: Jesica was raised in Orlando, Florida. She has her Bachelors in Education from the University of Central Florida and Masters Degree in Education and Curriculum Development from National Louis University.  She spent over 20 years as a teacher, team leader and grant writer and winner in Orange county Public Schools. Previously she has worked as a teacher, trainer and head of Faculty for the Ministry of Education in the United Arab Emirates. She is  a creative educator,  professional trainer and curriculum developer. Her list of expertise and certifications are long.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. "

- Maya Angelou

emily woods

Director of Talent

Emily is an actor and activist, who has been performing and creating socially conscious works since she was 13. Her past work has focused mostly on interpersonal violence, gun violence, and sexism. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Psychology with a minor in Women's and Gender studies from the Honors college of Rutgers University, and has experience in facilitation, outreach, training, customer service, and more. Her activism goes beyond people, as she is a vegetarian of 10 years who previously worked at her local animal shelter as an Animal Care Technician. 

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

- Margaret Mead


cindy Teniente

Lead Facilitator - Edutainer 

Cindy Teniente is a respected and trusted dependable leader, who thrives in a fast-paced environment. She’s a multifaceted woman with background in Training/Facilitation, Administrative Support, Social Media Marketing, Graphic Design, Acting, Production and Management.  Cindy is a Lead Facilitator/Actress for Interactive Advocacy and is currently serving our country in the United States Army Reserves as a Captain. She loves to travel, hike, and go on mission trips. Her hopes for the future are to become a documentary filmmaker one day.

"Life is too short, the world is too big and God's love is too great to live an ordinary life"


Charleson Gaines
Author,Speaker, Educator

Charlson Gaines is a best-selling author, international speaker, educator, and retired US Air Force disabled veteran who has earned Master’s degrees in both Health Psychology/ Behavioral Medicine and Medicine Project Management. His seminars and workshops go beyond providing information and inspiration.  Charleston Gaines provides the “how-to” that truly need to elevate their happiness through daily practice, empowering them to change their lives. Happiness is not just the sense of misery. Mr. Gaines a DoD Master Resilience Trainer and Certified Trauma Professional connect his audiences with the power within them to sincerely love themselves, feel whole again, and live life as they desire and deserve. 

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Travis Thomas


Mr. Thomas possesses over 19 years of experience in the Criminal Justice field with a concentration in conducting complex investigations and advanced law enforcement training. Mr. Thomas  I have developed numerous verbal and written investigative and management reports. He has demonstrated the proven ability to plan and conduct investigations of a routine nature.  He has a comprehensive background in Sexual Assault Investigation, Domestic violence and crisis intervention training.  He also works with at risk male youths in the community providing mentorship and life skills.  He is most passionate about the community volunteer work he does with CASA as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in areas such as dependency child development and the juvenile court system.  Mr. Thomas is  a Husband, Father,  and veteran of  US Marine Corp.  In his free time he enjoys reading and wrestling.  

"Doing what's right isn't the problem. It is knowing what's right."

- Lyndon B Johnson
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khalilah valez

Facilitator / Author /Speaker

A proud veteran of the Armed Forces, a coach, and mentor certified through Dr. Faith Wokoma's Destiny Training Academy, and an expert specializing in faith-based leadership, Khalilah has made a name for herself inspiring transformations and encouraging deep, long-lasting fulfillment among her clients. She believes that happiness is always possible, and in the course of her 22-year career, she had guided men and women toward a greater sense of power and self-actualization. Today, Khalilah is an author and in-demand speaker whose presentations on faith, leadership, management, and team management have won her a significant and devoted following. Time and again, she had inspired her audiences to go out into the world ready to overcome any and all challenges and to achieve successes beyond even their wildest dreams. In addition to leadership, Khalilah also offers coaching on such topics as overcoming trauma, forgiving those who hurt you, navigating marital issues, and striking a balance in life. Because she understands human nature, she is an expert at handling the many problems that arise from it – and offering solutions that work.


"No voice is too soft when that voice speaks for others"

- Janna Cachola
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Dr. Andwoa akhu

Collaborative Partner / Facilitator /Speaker 

Dr. Akhu is a licensed clinical psychologist, acclaimed author and renowned workshop facilitator, and a former president of the New York Association of Black Psychologists. Dr. Akhu specializes in stress management through self-care. Dr. Akhu has been in private practice for over twenty years and is currently an adjunct professor in the counseling master’s program at NYU. She is a trainer for the NYPD Hostage Negotiator Team, and the author of eight self-help books, the latest is  Cultivating Inner Peace: A Sustainable System for the Professional Black Women. For more information visit

"The unempowered complain. The empowered vent then take action"

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A five-star Customer Service award recipient, Omar is highly respected for solving problems and getting things done when others give up by utilizing an innovative, creative spirit and drive for excellence. He holds a solid record in delivering exceptional customer service. His excellent verbal solid communication skills, proven customer service experience, and his ability to motivate and inspire his team are his combination for success.   

omar hemmings

Sales Manager

"Starve your distractions; Feed your Focus!"


Vanessa is a team leader with the capacity to train, mentor and develop professionals to enable them to handle customer requirements independently. She is a proactive and reliable, team player with strong commitment to excellence along with well developed analytical, problem solving, communication, organizing, coordination, and time management skills. She is a highly effective and creative communicator with exceptional talent for problem solving through reasoned thought processes and an excellent track record for customer as well as employee satisfaction. Dynamic leader and mentor, able to build teams cohesion inspire and empower individuals to strive toward higher levels of achievement.

Vanessa jose

Curriculum Development


Rafeal Cobb 

awareness graphics & Merchandise manager

Respected for the ability to solve problems and get things done when others give up by utilizing an innovative, creative spirit and drive for excellence.  A team player that focuses on delivering exceptional customer service.  Exceptional strong verbal communication skills. Experience in fashion and graphic design, thrive on helping customers find what they want. 

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
- Pablo Picasso

Jordan Parks 

Digital marketing & social media management team

Jordan Parks is the web designer and is responsible for a lot of the digital content seen through out interactive advocacy. He graduated from Johnson C Smith University in 2016 with a degree in computer science/ information systems. Jordan currently is working full time for the Lowe's Corporate office as a Digital Analytics Consultant and has also held several other positions in the IT field since graduating from JCSU. While well versed in digital Analytics and marketing, Jordans long term goal is to use these skills to work full time with startups by creating digital content and leading digital marketing efforts.

"It will never be perfect. Make it work"
- Life

Nathan ford jr.


Nathan Ford Jr is a talented actor who was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. Being the youngest of 5 siblings Nathan became a naturally well rounded person.  In 2015 he was on a plane to Japan for two weeks of exploring the land and beautiful culture. Upon returning he had declared to his dad that he wanted to be a professional dancer. This went extremely well and for the next year he was on two World Championship teams. After being on stage Nathan had discovered a new passion. Acting. Being the outgoing person he his, he decided to go on an open call with a talent agency.  It was only a few months later and he was  participating in a talent showcase in Orlando, Florida, and booked numerous jobs. Only one year into his new profession he had been casted in a supporting role in the film The Boogeywoman. Nathan loves to laugh and loves to make people laugh at least that seems to be to consensus since many of his social media videos keep going viral with over 5.1 million likes.


Willow Lautenberg


Willow is a creative, travel & life enthusiast. She graduated with a BFA in Acting & Minor in Writing from Emerson College. She's studied classical & musical theatre singing for over 10 years. Her theatrical credits include: Shrek, The Musical, Tartuffe, The Tempest & a 4-month tour of A Midsummer Night's Dream & Animal Farm. Her film credits include: Bishop’s Cove & Clementine. Her commercial credits include commercials for: Bank of America, Wayfair & Staples. Willow studied Linklater Technique in Stromboli, Italy & with Kristin Linklater at her Voice Centre in Orkney, Scotland. She last performed her self-created one-woman show What It Means to Be Free - which explores mental illness, incarceration & artistic creative expression - as part of United Solo Theatre Festival, Off-Broadway at Theatre Row. 

"What would love do?"

- Linda Bucher

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David schifter


David is a  versatile American actor seen in the semi-recurring role of Detective J.D. Walker on ID Discovery Channel's "Lt. Kenda: Homicide Hunter," and Tyler Perry's "The Have & Have Nots." He began life in front of the camera as a teenager as host of a New York cable TV show "Spotlight on Teens." He later spent a successful 14-years as a TV news investigative reporter at the local and national level, earning numerous awards including three Emmy nominations and the coveted Emmy itself. In 1999, David took the ultimate career risk by walking away from everything familiar to begin a career as an actor. In 2017 he won a LA IndieFest "Best Actor" award for the lead role in an African-produced film in Nigeria. In 2019 he co-starred with Michael Pare' and Nicholas Turturro in a thriller set at the beach titled "The Penthouse." A native New Yorker, David loves living a beach lifestyle in North Carolina and traveling worldwide for work. He is also a volunteer firefighter in the city where he lives which he says gives him the true feeling of giving back to his community.

"There is nothing more satisfying than doing what you love and coming home to the one you love." "It's nice to be important but more important to be nice"


K'jawn Colin


K’Jawn is an actor / fitness trainer / comedian / entrepreneur from Louisiana who believes that we can be whoever we want to be and overall that we are limitless and should never put our dreams on hold for any obstacle that comes our way. K’Jawn attended the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and has earned an Associates Degree in TV/ Film. K’Jawn aspires to be an actor because he enjoys the thrill of being free and its fun. Although acting is his number one goal in life, K’Jawn has gained interest in boxing and music along the way. One thing K'Jawn realizes, is that he fears the thought of giving up (which is a good thing). "I may be down, but Im not out" is what he tells himself to keep pushing forward when times get tough. One word of advice that K’Jawn would share is that, when people think you or your dreams are crazy, you're doing something right.

"Failure Will Never Overtake Me If My Determination To Succeed Is Strong Enough."

- Og Mandino


Arikah nash


Arkiah Nash, ne Shakira Baly, is originally from St. Thomas, USVI. Her credits include acting, singing, professional wrestling, writer, stunts, aerial circus, student pilot, she owns her own Mermaid Academy, is a licensed massage therapist and is Nationally Board Certified (NCBTMB) as an instructor of Aqua Massage. She is a mom and spiritual practitioner in shamanism.

"No one is you, and that is your superpower."

- Unknown


Devin McCray walker


Born in Atlanta, raised in Texas, and living in Charlotte, Devin has had an exceedingly diverse background in life as well as in the arts. With experience in both live interactive theater and film work, Devin's seven year adventure into the acting world has been an exciting one. Bringing in a varied perspective from the educational and entertainment background to bring in the best of both worlds. 

"Luck may open a door for you, but only your skill will get you through it"

- My dad, Derek Lamar Walker


Ananda Ray
Edutainer/campaign influencer

Social Injustice plays a considerable role in all I do today; my past experiences have motivated me to be the person I am today. The topic is something I take very seriously because it’s a real problem in society today. I want everyone to have a chance to use their voices, tell their stories, or even do whatever comes to mind to make them more aware. I always use art, whether it is makeup, modeling, or even painting, to show emotion, raise awareness about something, or even try to pull in an audience in a creative way. Using art to create awareness is so important to me because not only do you create something that people find beautiful or intriguing, but it also makes people think deeper about the meaning of why I did what I did, and that’s the whole point. I know I have influenced so many people I have met along the way. I enjoy ways that I can create something fun while also having a serious conversation. I want to be a voice for those who feel like society has taken theirs away from them.


vincent Paz-Macareno


Vincent is an actor, educator, and theatre artist based out of Los Angeles. He appeared Off-Broadway in the NEO concert series at the York Theatre, and has been seen in the original casts of The Polar Express with Warner Bros. Theatrical and Dave Eggers’ immersive theatre adaptation of his novel, The Circle. As a director and educator, he has worked with arts education programs across California, including San Jose State University, Musicians Mobile, Buena Park Youth Theatre, Visalia Music School, and St. Paul’s School. He is proud to be first generation Salvadoran American on his mom's side and second generation Mexican American on his dad's side.

"I believe I have inside of me, everything that I need to live a bountiful life. And all the love alive in me, I’ll stand as tall as the tallest tree"

- Russell, Willis & Bray. The Color Purple


Chanda Davetas


Chanda Davetas hails from Luxemburg, WI and holds a BA in Journalism from UW-Madison. She spent most of her adult life in DC, London, and LA in a wide variety of careers, including advertising, PR, politics, finance, teaching, and entertainment. In 2012, she exchanged corporate life for an acting career and has never looked back. Chanda currently resides in Chicago and is skilled in comedy, improv, on camera, voiceover, and theatre.

"Everything you've ever wanted is sitting at the face of fear"

- George Ada


Trevor Capel

Trevor Capel is a Thesian Society member with over 4 years of experience in theatrics and dance. In 2016 he starred in multiple producitons inculding Shakespeares, The Tempest, Shel Silversteins One Tennis Shoe and Southern Guilfords Annual Talent show. Trevor recieved his B.S. in Mass Media Communications from the University of North Carolina. While persuing his degree, he worked on his own projects that included a combination of dance and spoken word productions. He also had the opportunity to work on set as a production assistant for upcoming indie movie Urge. After graduation, he sought out Just Dance studios to further train his dancing abilites. Trevor wanted to work with kids in his community so he started teaching dance classes at Just Dance Studios. He has used this time to work on choreo based dance and technicality within his movements. In the meantime, Trevor is looking to return back to theater. His craft and new skills has prepared him for a new chapter in his life.


Victoria Yap


Victoria Yap is an Asian-American actress based in Houston, TX. She has been featured in numerous print campaigns and commercials, both national and local, including: Edward Jones, Canada Dry, Dell, HCA Hospital, and the Texas Workforce Commission. Her film credits include Life Insurance Lottery and Perfectly Oblivious. Victoria is passionate about giving back to the community and does so by volunteering each year with the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo or participating in charity bike rides and charity runs. Her favorite event each year is the National MS Society’s “MS 150” where riders cycle from Houston to Austin in 2 days to raise awareness and funds for multiple sclerosis. In her free time, Victoria enjoys playing tennis, reading, playing the piano, and spending time with her friends and family. Her love of the outdoors often leads her into the mountains for hiking and camping during the summer and snowboarding during the winter.

"The time is always right to do what is right."

- Martin Luther King


Celine Dirkes

Celine Dirkes is a theatre maker and arts educator, currently based out of New Jersey. Highly involved in their local theatre community, Celine focuses on site-specific, devised, and new works and strives to include the audience as a partner in all their creative endeavors. An alum of Douglass Residential College, they are committed to furthering social justice through the arts and are excited for the opportunity to participate in IA’s meaningful work!

"Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape."

- Terry Pratchett


Johnny Kavanagh

Johnny Kavanagh is an actor, comedian, writer, and educator. He graduated in 2018 with his BFA in acting and since has been seen in various shows in the NY and NJ area as well as several commercials and television programs. He also hosts a regular open mic night in new jersey and has an upcoming directorial debut he is incredibly excited to share with everyone. Johnny is incredibly excited to join the IA team and cause in bringing theatre around the country and world and he hopes you enjoy the incredible work by the whole company! You can find him on social media @JohnnyKavanaghh on Twitter and @Orange_Kavanagh on Instagram where he advertises his upcoming projects! 

"Be brave, make a choice, take a risk, and you will be amazing."

- Ralph Colombino


Carla Mitchell
Collaborative partner/speaker

Carla has a passion for advocating for the equal and fair treatment of minorities and sexual assault victims. She is well versed in equal opportunity and sexual assault training, policy, and policy development. She is open and honest about her experiences to assist with educating and encouraging other survivors to feel comfortable enough to seek help and treatment for the trauma they experienced…My mission is to advocate for your voice to be heard. I see you, I hear you, I support you, and I will not allow your voice to be silenced. In addition to advocating, Carla has acquired over 18 years of Medical Administrative and Human Resources experience serving within the Department of Defense as a Service Member and Federal Employee. Additionally, Carla has a Bachelor in Psychology from the University of Phoenix and a Master's in Organizational Leadership and Development from the University of the Incarnate Word. I am here to be your advocate and change agent. 


Allan Thomas

Script writer

Allan Thomas is a Brooklyn NY native who has an intense passion for expressing himself through art and providing a space where others can feel understood. Known to be a Jack of All Trades, he has always taken pride in the fact that he is a Writer first and acknowledges that writing poems and stories were his gateway into art. His peers and colleagues call him a selfish artist due to his desire to practice his art in secret and not share publicly, but he enjoys working behind the scenes and has participated in many Projects for Industry Professionals and his Peers in confidence. Allan is the eldest of 3 siblings, Father of 1 son and a friend to many. When he’s not doing art, he serves as the go-to person for his family and friends. A natural Leader, passionate writer, successful problem solver and peer nominated Mediator and Guru/Therapist, Allan tends to share the following quotes with his friends:

"English doesn't lie, people do."

- Allan

"Its not what you did, Its what you didn't do."

- Unknown


Michelle Keshel

CEO, FOUNDER SAS-GPS-IA Advisory Board Member

 “My goal continues to center on delivering effective and innovative “communications automation” products and communications services to our customers.” 

Prior to founding Sales Automation Support, Michelle was the business systems manager for Chaney Systems, Inc. a custom solution and business technology infrastructure consulting firm in Wisconsin. Previously, she served as a Chief Warrant Officer and Helicopter Pilot in the U.S. Army for 9 years where she also performed in additional capacities as an Intelligence Officer and Systems Security Officer.


Neal GauldEn

CEO GMG Consultants- IA Advisory board member, Project manager

Neal has extensive experience as a Command Managed Equal Opportunity coordinator and served as the President of the Diversity Outreach Committee. Neal provides business management best practice solutions and process improvement programs for IA. Neal is also the head track and field coach for the local High School and an assistant track and field coach for the local Middle School. Neal holds a degree in Business and Marketing. In conjunction with his degree, he has also held certifications in Project Management, Contract Management, and as a Warranted Contracting Officer. Neal also completed the Executive Leadership, and the Effective Management courses at the Naval Facilities Institute, and the Naval Leader Development Program. He also holds certifications as a USA Track and Field Level 1 Coach, a USA Track and Field National Level Official. Neal is a member of the Disabled American Veterans Association, Electronics Technicians Association, and the Society of American Military Engineers. Enjoys working to build communities of teams that empower each other and advocate for change, equality and justice.



Ryan Goldsmith is a United States Army Veteran that has also worked as a  technical Production Manager. He has done student films and musical theatre. He possess a comprehensive background in program Management and Visual and Audio Production globally. Ryan worked as a Television producer for the Armed Forces Network (Europe). There he oversaw researching, writing, voicing, shooting and editing radio and television productions for the American Forces Network (AFN) Europe. He is a Recipient of multiple awards for outstanding performance.  Ryan is also a comedian that draws you in with his upbeat, conversational style as he pokes fun at mistaken identity (he’s Jamaican), racial stereotypes, doomed relationships, and more. Audiences find him likeable and easy to relate to, even as he tries—and fails—to be politically correct.  Ryan holds a Master of Fine Arts, Cinematography & Film/Video Production from New York Film Academy, Master of Human Relations from University of Oklahoma and a Bachelors of Fine arts and Theater from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Ryan Goldsmith

Talent Advisor/edutainer