Board of Directors
G. Morris Gurley
G. Morris Gurley is one of the original founders of the National Center for Victims of Crime. Mr. Gurley received a law degree from Harvard and was previously the vice president of trusts and estates and the head of trust administration at The Chemical Bank. He was also the chairman for the Annie Laurie Aitken Charitable Distribution Committee and the cofounder of the Brain Trauma Foundation. Mr. Gurley is an active lay member of the Methodist Church and serves as the vice president on the board of directors of the New York City Council of Churches. He also serves on the Commission of Religious Leaders of the City of New York and he is on the advisory council of the New York Board of Rabbis. (3 year term)
Kim Goldman, sister of murder victim Ron Goldman, has spent the last 20 years as a victims’ advocate. She travels the country as an impassioned public speaker on victims’ rights, the role of the media, judicial reform, and other related topics. An accomplished author, Ms. Goldman was a contributing writer to the New York Times bestseller His Name is Ron: Our Search for Justice. In 2007, she wrote two chapters for the New York Times bestseller If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer as well as a feature article for Glamour, which was internationally optioned after its domestic debut. She is the founding co-chair of The Ron Goldman Foundation for Justice and an advisory council member for Crime Survivors, Inc. Ms. Goldman contributes to a variety of media outlets, including FOX News, MSNBC, CourtTV, and CNN, and she developed a documentary-type television series showcasing the resilience of the human spirit as evidenced by victims and their families and what they do in the aftermath of their tragedy. Ms. Goldman is the executive director of the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project, a nonprofit organization that provides peer mentoring, crisis intervention, support groups, and outreach to teenagers in the Santa Clarita Valley. She lives in Los Angeles with her son.
Melvin Hewitt, Jr.
A member of the Georgia Bar since 1985, Melvin L. Hewitt, Jr., is the managing member of Isenberg & Hewitt, PC, in Atlanta. Mr. Hewitt attended Lakeland and Kent State University, later graduating from Atlanta Law School. After serving in the military, Mr. Hewitt spent six years in public law enforcement and 15 years in the private security industry. He has held positions in middle- and upper-management and was ultimately named president of Globe Security Systems, Inc., a private security firm with more than 13,000 employees and 110 offices in the United States and Europe. Mr. Hewitt left corporate America in 1989 so he and his wife, Harriet Isenberg, could open their private practice law firm in Atlanta. In addition to the Georgia Bar, Mr. Hewitt is a member of the Sandy Springs Bar, the Trial Lawyers of America, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the National Crime Victims Bar Association, the National Organization for Victim Assistance, the Lawyer’s Club of Atlanta, and the Million Dollar Verdict Club. He has spoken on issues of premises liability, negligent security, wrongful death, rape, and violent assaults at local and national seminars, including the National Crime Victims Bar Association, the National Organization for Victim Assistance, Odyssey Family Counseling Centers, the Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons, and Mealey’s Lexis-Nexis.
Keith Franz has long been a victims’ advocate and is highly regarded for his experience in aviation law and wrongful death claims. He has provided substantial pro-bono assistance to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), serving as the organization’s representative on the Governor’s Task Force for Crime Victims’ Rights for the last 25 years. Mr. Franz also acted as lead council in New York Federal Court, representing several families touched by the horrors of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
With his sister, Alexander Auersperg co-founded the National Center for Victims of Crime in 1985 in honor of their mother, Sunny von Bülow, and they both continue to support the work of the National Center. In 1986, Mr. Auersperg co-founded the Sunny von Bülow Coma and Head Trauma Research Foundation, a private operating foundation established to promote medical research and public awareness as it relates to coma and head injury, also with his sister. He received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Brown University in 1982 and currently resides in New York with his wife and children.
With her brother, Annie Laurie (Ala) Isham co-founded the National Center for Victims of Crime in 1985 in honor of their mother, Sunny von Bülow. In 1986, Mrs. Isham co-founded the Sunny von Bülow Coma and Head Trauma Research Foundation, a private operating foundation established to promote medical research and public awareness as it relates to coma and head injury, also with her brother. She is an experienced filmmaker, whose credits include works on photographer Alfred Eisenstadt, Wagnerian tenor Peter Hoffman, and the award-winning production Surviving Coma: The Journey Back. Mrs. Isham is the mother of two children, Sunny and Alexandra, and is married to Ralph H. Isham.
David Brown is a senior associate with the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group of theBaltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF). Mr. Brown, who joined the Casey Foundation in 2011, coordinates grant-making, budget development, and other aspects of the juvenile justice system reform work. The Case Foundation’s agenda is designed to improve the odds that delinquent youth can make successful transitions into adulthood, primarily by reforming the juvenile justice system so that they incarcerate fewer youth, rely more on proven and family-focused interventions, and create opportunities for positive youth development.
Antigone Davis is Head of Global Safety at Facebook, where she works with internal teams at Facebook and with external safety organizations and government bodies to ensure that Facebook remains a leader in online safety and that stakeholders understand the steps Facebook takes to promote safety online. Antigone also leads the efforts of Facebook’s Safety Advisory Board, a team of leading safety organizations from around the world who provide Facebook with cutting edge research and advice on best practices, as well as its Global Safety Network.
Antigone serves on the International Advisory Board for WePROTECT as well as the boards of the National Cybersecurity Alliance, the Family Online Safety Institute, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Prior to joining Facebook, Antigone spent 10 years working for a State Attorney General. As Senior Advisor to the Attorney General, she helped establish the office’s first online privacy and safety unit, and led the National Association of Attorney General’s 2012-2013 presidential initiative “Privacy in the Digital Age.” Before serving in the public sector, Antigone used her juris doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School as a corporate attorney in Chicago and her masters in education as a middle school and high school teacher. Antigone received her B.A. from Columbia University.
Philip M. Gerson
Philip M. Gerson, the founding board president for the National Crime Victim Bar Association, is a board-certified civil trial lawyer who has practiced law in Miami for more than 47 years. He is a cum laude graduate of the University of Miami Law School. Mr. Gerson is permitted to practice in all Florida courts, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Claims, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits, and the United States District Court for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida. He is a sustaining member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Dade County Bar Association, and the Dade County Trial Lawyers Association. He is also an EAGLE patron of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers and has served on the Florida Bar of Continuing Legal Education Committee. Mr. Gerson serves on the board of directors at St. Thomas University School of Law and is also a partner at Gerson and Schwartz, PA. He limits his practice to plaintiffs’ injury and death cases with a focus on third-party liability for criminal acts, maritime accidents, motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, and other complex litigation.
A partner in the Haggard Law Firm in Coral Gables, Florida, Michael Haggard is a former assistant public defender who now practices personal injury law. He focuses on negligent security, wrongful death, unsafe premises, product liability, and insurance coverage issues and has established himself as a powerful force in the south Florida legal community. He has won high-profile cases and multimillion-dollar verdicts in cases dealing with pool accidents involving children, as well as the first case involving cell phone distraction. Compassionate, empathetic, and a fervent advocate for victims of crime, Mr. Haggard has dedicated his career to the pursuit of justice on behalf of his clients in the courtroom.
Ronald C. Long
Ronald C. Long is the director of regulatory affairs and elder client initiatives, reporting to the chief compliance officer, at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. In this role, Mr. Long works to help the firm stay abreast of the changing regulatory environment and issues related to aging clients. He frequently meets with securities regulators, adult protective services, and other agencies that oversee the brokerage industry and elder clients. Since 2006, Mr. Long has taken a leading role in the securities industry in reviewing how it engages its older clients. He has worked closely with the National Center for Victims of Crime on elder financial fraud issues.
Hon. Eric Smith
Eric Smith is the assistant dean for external affairs emeritus at the Florida Coastal School of Law. He is also a professor there. He is the president of the Victim Assistance Legal Organization (VALOR), vice chair for Families of Slain Children, the founder of the Jacksonville Victim Services Center, and a partner at Maddox Horne Law Firm. Mrs. Smith is also the producer and host of the television program “People and Politics”.