Meet the Experts

Have you ever wanted to ask an executive director how they motivate their organization and move their career forward during challenging times? Are you interested in learning tips on how to become a successful leader in your field? Don't miss this unique opportunity to meet and network with top change makers in San Diego - zoom style!

Access to Experts brings together top leaders from San Diego's social sector to share their industry knowledge with you. This year, we are highlighting changemakers in the nonprofit field, finding community leaders with innovative, inclusive practices.

Meet the Experts:

Jamie Beck, President & Managing Attorney, Free to Thrive

Jamie Beck is the President and Managing Attorney of Free to Thrive, a San Diego-based nonprofit organization that provides legal services and additional support to human trafficking survivors.  Jamie began her law career as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Michael M. Anello, a federal district court judge in the Southern District of California.  She then practiced civil litigation at the Procopio law firm in San Diego for five years before launching Free to Thrive in 2017.  

Jamie was the 2016 to 2017 President of Lawyers Club of San Diego and founded the Lawyers Club Human Trafficking Collaborative.  She also serves on the Dean’s Advisory board of the University of San Diego Kroc School of Peace Studies.  She has trained over 1,000 attorneys, social services providers, criminal justice partners and community members throghout the United States on human trafficking and trauma-informed practices.

Point Loma Nazarene University recognized Jamie’s contribution to the fight against human trafficking, awarding her its inaugural 2016 Hope Rising Award.  She also received the 2019 Distinguished Alumni – Rising Star Award from the University of San Diego School of Law.


Tasreen Khamisa, Executive Director, Tariq Khamisa Foundation

Tasreen Khamisa is the Executive Director for the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF). TKF is a San Diego nonprofit with a mission to educate and inspire children in the restorative principles of accountability, compassion, forgiveness, peacemaking and support for safer schools and community. For over twenty years, TKF has partners with dozens of local school districts and numerous public and private community organizations to successfully reach more than 500,000 children to guide them in making healthy, nonviolent choices. TKF’s innovative services promote learning through forgiveness and are proven effective in positively impacting youth’s behaviors, increasing their educational opportunities, and improving school climate.

In 1995, Tasreen’s life was forever changed when her younger brother Tariq, a twenty-year-old student at San Diego State University, was murdered during a gang-involved robbery. In an act of deep compassion, her family chose to forgive the fourteen-year-old assailant, Tony Hicks who was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Her father, Azim Khamisa, saw there were victims on both ends of the gun and he began the foundation in an effort to stop youth violence. Tasreen relocated from Seattle, WA in 1998 to join her father in creating an organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children. Ms. Khamisa recently began playing a vital part in the release of Tony from prison.

Ms. Khamisa is a respected administrator and social justice leader with a BA is Sociology from the University of Washington. She has seventeen years of administrative experience in program management, daily operational oversight, staffing and supervision, fiscal control, and board development. She is highly skilled in resource development strategies including donor outreach and management, fundraising, public relations, and donation database systems. As an educator, Tasreen is a dynamic public speaker and facilitator. She has excellent presentation skills with experience in conducting seminars, workshops, and training activities with children and adults. She has been instrumental in the development of educational programming designed to teach and support healthy social-emotional development especially with vulnerable, at-risk youth populations. Currently Tasreen has a very involved role within the California Restorative Schools Coalition that recently presented at the White House and is driven to introduce and expand effective restorative practice programs in schools across the state.

Tasreen is also a proud and active mother frequently volunteering at her children’s school, sports and community activities.

Through her commitment, perseverance, and leadership qualities, Ms. Khamisa has led TKF in becoming a nationally acclaimed and recognized organization. Being true to her brother Tariq’s philosophy of “living by giving,” Tasreen has found her path of forgiveness, joy, love and peace by living her passionate purpose to serve children.


Casey Myers, Founder & Executive Director, One Digital World

Casey Myers is the founder and Executive Director of One Digital World. Myers has spent over 15 years as a professional in educational settings from preschool through university and in subjects ESL through Calculus. Myers traveled to over 50 countries learning languages, experiencing cultures, and volunteering in hostels, schools, and refugee camps.

In 2017, Myers moved to Lesvos, Greece, the heart of the refugee crisis where she developed programs for children and adults living in Kara Tepe and Moria refugee camps.  Myers supported asylum seekers along the US-Mexico border during the 2018 migrant caravans and assisted with legal research and testimony on asylum claims with the Trans-Border Institute.  In 2019, Myers won University of San Diego's Fowler Global Social Innovation challenge with her concept of One Digital World classes preparing refugees for integration and self-reliance after living in refugee camps and shelters and in 2020 One Digital World became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.


Dana Topell, Chief Operating Officer, Jewish Family Service of San Diego

As Chief Operating Officer, Dana Toppel provides overall leadership for the impact-driven, multi-service organization with the bold vision of building a stronger, healthier, more resilient San Diego. Dana joined JFS in 2009 as director of older adult services, served as the divisional director of clinical services in addition to the chief program officer prior to assuming the role of chief operating officer in 2015.

With almost two decades of experience working with a variety of populations in both direct service and management capacities, Dana has a proven track record of program development, revenue generation, change management and leading strategic, innovative, high-impact organizations.

Dana is dedicated to advancing equity and participates in local, regional, and national conversations to advance efforts related to inclusive leadership, professional training, and ensuring access to opportunity for all.

A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Toppel holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in business administration from San Diego State University. She is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of California.

All are welcome to attend! FREE for YNPN members!