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New Friends New Life appoints board members and auxiliary leadership

Written by Mindia Whittier

Community members will support the organization’s mission to help women overcome backgrounds of abuse, addiction and poverty.

New Friends New Life (NFNL) has inducted four new board members for the 2022-2023 term. The organization also announces new leadership for two auxiliary groups.

The new board appointees include:

  • Dr. Millicent Knight, senior vice president, customer development, EssilorLuxottica
  • Cheryl Monroe, vice president controller and treasurer, Mary Kay, Inc.
  • Elena Sacca Smith, group manager, Office of Social Innovation, Toyota North America
  • Erin Nealy-Cox, partner at Kirkland & Ellis and former U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Texas

Additionally, New Friends New Life announces Tracy Young, founder and principal of TDY Partners, will serve as its Circle of Friends President. Zeke Fortenberry, attorney for victims with Fortenberry Firm PLLC, will now serve as the organization’s Men’s Advocacy Group Board Chair. Circle of Friends supports the mission of New Friends New Life through volunteerism, community awareness, and fundraising. The Men’s Advocacy Group was created to mobilize men to take action against sex trafficking and exploitation by raising awareness through advocacy, education, and volunteerism.

Founded in Dallas in 1998, NFNL restores and empowers trafficked and sexually exploited teen girls, women and their children. The organization also drives awareness of the issue and its prevalence and provides access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health, and spiritual support.

In 2021, NFNL served 312 members and worked to eradicate the epidemic of human trafficking through advocacy, legislative reform and strategic partnerships that address systemic causes. In 2018, NFNL opened a drop-in Youth Resource Center in partnership with the Office of the Governor to serve trafficked and high-risk teen girls.

“These dynamic corporate leaders bring incredible new expertise from across the Dallas business community to New Friends New Life,” said Tracey Nash-Huntley, Board Chair. “Because we know the problem of sex trafficking is systemic at its root, the solution must be collaborative. Without question, their leadership, commitment, and compassion will be valuable assets to each of our three boards.”

The new board members join community representatives including Tracey Nash-Huntley, NFNL Board Chair, community leader; Robin Bagwell, community leader; Nancy Best, business and community leader; Adam Cannon, Chief Brand Officer, G6 Hospitality, LLC; Sherri Daniel, Certified Public Accountant; Dr. Cole Edmonson, DNP, RN; Chief Clinical Officer, AMN Healthcare; Kelley Grayson, Regional VP, Provider Network Solutions; Wendy Messmann, Regional Investment Executive, US Trust, Bank of America; Paulette Miniter, Associate Attorney, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; Jane A. Rose, General Counsel, Irwin R. Rose & Co.; Christa Sanford, Partner, Baker Botts, LLP; Shelly Slater, community leader, WFAA Special Contributor; Gail Turner, community leader, SMU affiliation; Jessica Turner-Waugh, actor & voice-over artist; and Katherine Wynne, business and community leader.

“Together we will continue to educate and increase awareness of the prevalence of sex trafficking right here in our Dallas community, while also providing direction and support for the ongoing work of New Friends New Life empowering and restoring the lives of the formerly trafficked and sexually exploited women and girls we serve,” said Nash-Huntley.

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About the author

Mindia Whittier