Experience matters when it comes to protecting your organization.
Praesidium’s experts hold advanced degrees and credentials in psychology, social work, cultural anthropology, law, public policy, private investigation, adult learning, e-Learning technology, and computer programming and bring unparalleled knowledge, experience, and field work to your organization’s abuse prevention efforts. Collectively, our team has written books, published dozens of professional papers, produced educational curriculum, and delivered workshops and seminars across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Email Praesidium@PraesidiumInc.com to request more information or to arrange a speaker for your next leadership meeting, workshop, training, or webinar.
Candace Collins works with a variety of clients to assess risk, respond to incidents, and build organizational prevention strategies. She supports Praesidium’s client growth and development and oversees Praesidium’s relationships with insurance partners, international foundations, and select associations. Candace also manages a variety of special projects and Praesidium’s crisis management work. Prior to joining Praesidium, Candace practiced law for more than ten years, focusing on insurance and corporate defense. She also served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas. With an emphasis in consumer and elder protection, Candace prosecuted abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities and group homes. Candace graduated with honors from Texas A&M University with a degree in business management and obtained a juris doctorate from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (now part of the Texas A&M University System).
Laura Hardin Aceves works closely with Praesidium’s social services clients as well as other youth-serving organizations. In collaboration with the Praesidium team, Hardin Aceves trains employees and volunteers, conducts risk assessments, performs accreditation visits, and consults with organizational leaders to ensure the ongoing protection of youth and vulnerable adults from abuse. As a licensed master-level social worker, Hardin Aceves brings to Praesidium her experience of working in youth development, mental health care, child welfare, and community research. She received her bachelor’s degree in religion and sociology and her master’s degree in social work from TCU in Fort Worth, Texas.
Adriana Dominguez works with the Praesidium’s Religious Accreditation team to help train institutions in the latest abuse prevention standards. She works with a large number of Catholic religious orders in multiple countries to ensure they have implemented the most up-to-date prevention, response, and supervision standards. Prior to joining Praesidium, Dominguez worked with several immigration non-profit organizations, specifically on cases involving asylum and unaccompanied minors. She also practiced family law in the state of Texas, focusing on divorce, child custody, and child support cases. Dominguez graduated magna cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in political science as well as Spanish language and literature from Villanova University and obtained a juris doctorate from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law.
Erica Smith works closely with Praesidium’s social services agencies as well as other youth-serving organizations. In collaboration with the Praesidium team, Smith trains employees and volunteers, conducts risk assessments, and performs accreditation visits to ensure the protection of youth and vulnerable adults from abuse. Prior to joining Praesidium, Smith worked with youth in workforce development and college readiness programs, led an HIV/AIDS Awareness and Education Initiative and advocated for youth through the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Child Development. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Westminster College in Pennsylvania and her master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh.
Katie Polachek serves as an Account Manager on the youth development team, who helps youth-serving organizations to get better equipped to prevent abuse. While managing national accounts, Polachek also trains, assesses risks, performs accreditation visits, and provides general consultation. Prior to joining Praesidium, Polachek practiced law in Arlington, Texas, and worked as an intern with legal programs that focused on juvenile sex offenders and individuals with mental health concerns. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and obtained her Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
James Bourgeois partners with many organizations across the country including higher education institutions, municipalities, athletic programs, youth-serving organizations, and insurance firms. He consults clients to ensure their organizations are not only committed to, but exceed the standards in abuse prevention, response, and supervision. Bourgeois is a licensed attorney, and prior to joining Praesidium, he worked for a national law firm defending large organizations in personal injury and employment matters. Bourgeois obtained his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and his juris doctorate from South Texas College of Law.
Ross manages Praesidium’s school related work and has experience developing and strengthening abuse prevention practices with schools, universities, religious organizations, municipalities, and other youth-serving organizations. Ross develops policy, trains employees and volunteers, conducts risk assessments and performs accreditation visits to verify abuse prevention systems are in place and functioning as intended. He is a member of the School Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and prior to coming to Praesidium, Ross worked in his law firm’s education practice group. Ross represented teachers in a variety of employment matters and worked closely with teacher organizations and school districts. Ross graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and obtained his law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas.