Advisory Council

The Advisory Council serves as a critical community champion of The Shaken Baby Alliance.  Members of the Advisory Council share their gifts in service to our mission by providing our organization with their personal and/or professional expertise; their diverse knowledge of constituent perspectives; their connections to local, national or international resources, colleagues or peers; their philanthropic support or other forms of needed assistance. In return, SBA supports the mission of their agency.

If you are interested in joining our Advisory Council, click here.

The Shaken Baby Alliance is proud to present the members of our Advisory Council:

Assistant Chief Steve Carpenter (Ret.) – Chair

Fort Worth Police Department (Retired)

Steve Carpenter retired from the Fort Worth Police Department as a Captain after thirty-three years of service.   As a Detective with the Fort Worth Police Department, Steve investigated domestic violence, sexual assault, and crimes against children cases.  After retiring from FWPD, he was the Assistant Chief of the Lake Worth Police Department where he supervised the Criminal Investigation Division.

Because community is important to Steve, he served on various boards including, the Tarrant Council on Family Violence, Alliance for Children, North Texas Human Trafficking Task Force, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDA), Project Safe Neighborhoods, and Texas Anti-gang Task Force.

Steve holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in Criminal Justice and a Master of Arts in Professional Development through Dallas Baptist University. Steve is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and completed an eighteen-month executive leadership training with the City of Fort Worth.

Today, Steve serves as the Chair of the Advisory Council where he leads a diverse group of individuals to support the mission of The Shaken Baby Alliance and is on the Case Consultation Services Team where he uses his years of experience and vast investigative knowledge to provide technical support for investigators and legal professionals.

Susan Bragg, M.A. – Vice Chair

Arlington Police Department (Retired)

Susan Bragg has more than 35 years of experience as an advocate working with victims of violence in North Texas. Ms. Bragg specializes in law enforcement training (e.g., death notification, family violence, trauma, and victims’ rights), counseling special victim populations, and all areas of grant management. As an adjunct professor, she has taught classes in Criminal Justice and Psychology at both university and community college levels. 

The Texas Governor’s Office, the Texas Attorney General’s Office, and the MADD National organization have recognized her for exemplary victim programs. Susan created Lawyers Against Domestic Violence, an award-winning pro bono group of family attorneys who assist battered women with their legal needs. Ms. Bragg earned a master’s degree in Psychology from Texas Woman’s University and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Christopher Newport University in Virginia. She is also a Certified Law Enforcement Planner from the International Association of Law Enforcement Planners.

Susan is Vice-Chair of the Advisory Council for The Shaken Baby Alliance, Co-Leads the Victim Family Peer Support Group, is an Adult Leader for the Youth Advisory Council, and is the Sponsor Committee Chair for the We Love Kids Telethon.

Britt Bachmann, M.A., M.Ed. – Secretary

Magnus Research Group

Cook Children’s Medical Center

Texas Christian University

Brit Bachmann, M.A, M.Ed. is founder and executive director of the nonprofit social science research and evaluation organization, Magnus Research Group, in Fort Worth, Texas. Most recently, she worked as program manager for Cook Children’s Hospital’s Center for Prevention of Child Maltreatment and continues with Cook Children’s as a consultant. 

She started her career as a probation officer supervising adult sex offender living in Tarrant County. As principal investigator or research associate on numerous federally- and state-funded grants, Britt has co-authored her findings in Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal and The Permanente Journal, among others. 

Brit holds a Master of Education in Counseling from TCU and a Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice from UTA.  As executive director of Magnus Research Group, she provides research and evaluation consulting for other nonprofits and government entities involved in criminal justice and child welfare.   

Britt is Secretary of the Advisory Council for The Shaken Baby Alliance, Co-Leads the Victim Family Peer Support Group and is on the Case Consultation Services Team where she uses her research skills and experience working with offenders to provide technical support for investigators and legal professionals.

Kim Brandon,

SW Regional Director

Youth Advocates Programs, Inc.

Kimberly Brandon is the SW Regional Director for Youth Advocate Programs, Inc. of Tarrant County, Texas (TCAP).  TCAP has been featured as a national model for developing community-based alternatives for serious juvenile offenders and has been cited in the Chronicle of Social Change (John Kelly, Editor) for their outstanding work for over 25 years.

Ms. Brandon currently presides over Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, the Bay Area of California, and Tennessee.  In this capacity, she maintains oversight of Juvenile Justice, Gang Intervention, Prevention, Child Welfare, and School Based Programs that serve children, youth, and families.

Ms. Brandon previously served as the Recruitment and Marketing Director (Therapeutic Foster Care Director) in charge of advocacy, recruitment, training, and marketing outreach efforts at the Lena Pope Home (Fort Worth, TX) from 1999 to 2007.

Ms. Brandon worked for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services from 1992 to 1999 where she served as a Child Protective Specialist/Investigator for abused and neglected children as well as children placed in the foster care system to include work with Wednesday’s Child.

Ms. Brandon is very interested and committed in the advocacy of youth and families and ensuring their communities are racially equitable.  She serves on various boards throughout Texas in Tarrant and Dallas Counties to further her services to children, youth, and families.  She graduated with a B.S. Criminal Justice with emphasis in Criminology & Correction with a Minor in Marketing.  She holds a CNM/SMU Non-Profit Leadership Certification which she obtained in 2019.

Detective Melinda Clark

Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office

Detective Melinda Clark attended Tarrant County College and earned an Associate Degree in Arts and Science.  Detective Clark then completed the Tarrant County College Police Academy where she graduated in 2008.  Detective Clark began her law enforcement career with the Alvarado Police Department where she worked in the Patrol Division.  Detective Clark took the roll of the Community Resource Officer in 2010 and coordinated their National Night Out Program before leaving.

In 2011, Detective Clark began working at the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office where she was assigned to the Patrol Division and then promoted to Detective in the Criminal Investigations Division.  Her investigations include crimes against children, adult sexual assaults, homicides, and jail investigations. In 2017, Detective Clark received a Medal of Merit for her hard work and dedication and many Letters of Appreciation for her outstanding professionalism and compassion.  During her time in law enforcement, Detective Clark has obtained her Master’s Peace Officer License, Instructor’s License and often teaches about child abuse to law enforcement and other multi-disciplinary team members.  Detective Clark is an active member of the law enforcement community and participated in the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Sexual Assault Work Group that assisted in setting up required documentation, procedures, and standard protocols which is used by most of the Tarrant County law enforcement agencies.       

Detective Clark is a tireless advocate for children which shows by her serving on The Shaken Baby Alliance Advisory Council. Detective Clark is also an Adult Leader for the Youth Advisory Council, she is a member of the Tarrant County Sexual Assault Response Team headed by JPS and is a member of the Case Consultation Services Team where she uses her many skills to provide technical support for investigators and legal professionals.

Rachel Gilbert

Director of Special Programs

One Safe Place

Rachel is the Director of Special Programs for One Safe Place, Fort Worth, Texas.  Since 2005, she has been responsible for overseeing the Crime Stoppers of Tarrant County Program, which includes Campus Crime Stoppers, Friends for Life, and the supervision of the Crime Stoppers of Tarrant County Call Center. She also serves as the grant manager for the Project Safe Neighborhoods grant and coordinator of the annual Stop Violence: Emerging Trends & Innovative Strategies Conference. 

Rachel has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Geography from Texas Christian University. She has a Master of Public Administration and Certificate in Urban Nonprofit Management from The University of Texas at Arlington. 

She is a member of the Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration.  Rachel shares the mission of The Shaken Baby Alliance to keep all children safe and works tirelessly to protect them.

Alex C. Lewis, J.D.

Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney

Northern District of Texas

Alex Lewis, J.D. began his career as an Assistant County Prosecutor in Springfield, Missouri.  After a brief stint in civil practice, he joined the United States Department of Justice in 2003 and has now been a criminal prosecutor for over twenty years.  Mr. Lewis has been an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas since 2007 and currently serves as the Deputy Criminal Chief of the Fort Worth Division.  He served as the Computer Hacking Intellectual Property (CHIP) point-person for the Fort Worth Division and Co-Project Safe Childhood coordinator for the Northern District of Texas.  Mr. Lewis handles an extremely diverse range of criminal investigations and prosecutions, but his main focus has been the prosecution of child exploitation crimes.  He has played a key role in over 50 jury trials throughout his 15-year career as a federal and state prosecutor. 

Alex has a strong belief that all children, the elderly, and people with disabilities deserve to be safe and justice should serve all innocent victims.  He is a tough prosecutor who is well respected by his peers for his knowledge, compassion, and kindness.    

Alex serves on The Shaken Baby Alliance Advisory Council, We Love Kids Telethon Committee, and the Case Consultation Services Team where he uses his years of experience and vast legal knowledge to provide technical support for investigators and legal professionals who request assistance.

Monique Lopez-Hinkley, J.D.

Managing Partner – Legal Aid of NW Texas

Info will send soon…

Bennie Medlin, Director – Chief Probation Officer

Tarrant County Juvenile Services

Bennie J. Medlin serves as Director/Chief Probation Officer for Tarrant County Juvenile Services, the agency charged with administering juvenile probation services for Tarrant County. He has over thirty-seven years of professional experience in the juvenile justice system. He started his career at Dallas County Juvenile Probation and promoted through the ranks to Superintendent of Detention Services. He has been employed with the State of Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) managing the operations of multiple several juvenile detention centers. He left the Florida DJJ to accept senior executive positions in the private sector with Ramsey Youth Services, Inc. and Psychiatric Solutions as a Division Chief Executive Officer, and Youth Services International as Vice President of Juvenile Operations. In these positions, he managed various long-term residential treatment programs and behavioral healthcare hospitals in multiple states. He joined Tarrant County Juvenile Services in 2005 as an Assistant Director and was appointed to his current position in 2016.

Mr. Medlin is a Dallas native. He has earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and master’s degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from the University of Texas at Arlington. He is the Chairman of the Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County, a member of the Project Safe Neighborhood Steering Committee, a member of the Fort Worth School After School Coordination Board and holds positions on various other boards and advisory committees.

Susan Spangler

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (Retired)

Susan Spangler. LMSW, is a retired social worker who spent over 30 years working for child welfare agencies in Nebraska, Indiana, Kansas and most recently in Texas for the Department of Family and Protective Services. 

She worked as an investigator, a contract manager, a trainer and a specialist in a grant-funded prevention program based on the Healthy Families model. She has also led a class for children with autism and worked as a Case Manager for Tarrant County Meals on Wheels. 

Susan’s husband, Bob, is an engineer and an Adjunct Professor at UTA. They are the proud parents of 5 adult children and 8 grandchildren ranging in age from 5 to 20. When not involved with her very talented and busy children and grandchildren, Susan spends her time singing in the church choir and acting and as prop mistress for Southwest Reprise Theater in Fort Worth. 

Susan is pleased to be able to share her experience with the Shaken Baby Alliance.

Joe Woodard

Member Emeritus – Texas CASA Association

Joseph Woodard entered Federal service in 1968 as a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) auditor/evaluator. Following an interlude of service with the U.S. Army he returned to GAO in as a Congressional auditor/program evaluator. In 1978 Joseph transferred to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Social Security Administration where he worked in the AFDC program, including the AFDC foster care program. Upon passage of Public Law 96-272 and creation of the title IV-E program he followed the foster care program and upon his retirement from Federal service in 2008 was one of the longest tenured Federal staff with title IV-E experience throughout the history of the program. He is now an independent consultant.

During his tenure representing the Federal program agencies he was involved in a number of special initiatives, including ‘child welfare managed care’ and worked closely with the American Bar Association’s National Resource Center on the interface of juvenile justice, child welfare and title IV-E funding in five states. He was involved in several precedent setting Departmental Appeals Board issues and successful resolution of major disallowances and Federal/state cost allocation disputes.

During his tenure with the State of Hawaii he provided the state with nearly 40 years of child welfare experience. Notably he introduced HFLM into Hawaii.  

Joseph’s commitment to the child welfare, foster care and juvenile justice systems carries through to his community and volunteerism as he continues to serve as Board Member Emeritus of the Texas CASA Association, remains active as an Advisory Council Member for The Shaken Baby Alliance and works with HFLM both on the mainland and in Hawaii.

Erik Zarko

Chairperson, DFW Nonprofit Resource Group

Account Executive, Iconic IT

He is an Account Executive with IconicIT where he connects businesses needing IT support to IconitIT.  Eric Zarko has a passion for helping others, especially children and families.  He does this by connecting nonprofits and business to share information and services.  He serves as the Chair of the DFW Nonprofit Resource Group.  Because of these strong relationships, professionally and personally with over 30 local DFW nonprofits and through IconicIT, nonprofits can focus on their missions and causes and not technology.  

The DFW Nonprofit Resource Group, is a collection of over 30 mission-minded professionals sometimes called the “Angie’s List” for nonprofits. The DFW Resource Group supports these nonprofits by donating food, clothing and other essentials throughout the Metroplex.  

Eric currently works with Union Gospel Mission, Guardianship, Denton County Friends of the Family, Mid Cities Women’s Center, Arlington Life Shelter, New Day Services, Lighthouse for the Blind, Mission Arlington, Emily’s Place and The Hope Center,  in addition to serving on The Shaken Baby Alliance Advisory Council where he connects us with resources to serve those in our Victim Family Support Program with the food, clothing, and additional resources these families need.


Thursday October 20, 2022 – Friday October 21, 2022 

Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center

8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Victim Form