Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center (STAC)


STAC is a coordinator and service provider for victims of human trafficking.


Our mission:

  • Work with existing agencies and organizations as a single point of contact for those who are assisting victims, and
  • Collaborate to provide needed services to victims such as shelter, case management, health care, legal services, education, job assistance, and counseling.


Our scope:

  • To help human trafficking survivors in the 2nd Judicial Circuit of Florida (Leon, Gadsden, Jefferson, Liberty, Franklin, and Wakulla.)


Who we help:

  • Victims of sex trafficking or labor trafficking.
  • Children and adults without regard to gender or gender identity.
  • Citizens and non-U.S. citizens.


Local, state and federal law enforcement representatives, as well as social service providers, know it can be extremely challenging to identify and assist victims of human trafficking because of their diverse needs and because human trafficking is a hidden reality.


STAC was created to fill these needs and meet this challenge.


Who we work with:


  • The Big Bend Coalition Against Human Trafficking (BBCAHT), an information-sharing coalition comprised of federal, state and local law enforcement, state agencies, the faith community, and social services agencies and led by the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida;

  • The FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights who has been providing direct services to immigrant trafficking victims, particularly legal representation and case management, and has been a leader in Florida and nationally in the area of human of trafficking; and

  • Community groups and others who want to learn more about trafficking and assist trafficking survivors.


Why STAC is needed:


Once identified, human trafficking victims often require extensive and long-term assistance. Victims have immediate needs such as safety, clothing, shelter, food, legal help, and medical care. Unless these victims are helped, they will be vulnerable to being trafficked again.


STAC is organizing to provide vital case management assistance to victims over both the long and short terms in collaboration with others. Our goal is to help each victim to not only survive the tragic events of the past but also to rebuild their lives and to thrive.


Connect with us:


STAC is a new organization, formed in Spring 2015. We are building a foundation for work in the greater Leon County area and greatly appreciate your support. We welcome your questions and feedback. For inquiries, please contact Mary Vancore at

Our Team:

Robin Hassler Thompson, JD, MA, Board President, is an attorney and consultant whose work focuses on human trafficking and violence against women. She provides consultation, education and outreach to key professionals in the justice system, social services, and health care as well as to other community leaders and policy makers locally, nationally, and internationally. 


Vania Llovera, MS, Board Director, Secretary, oversees the case management for victims of crimes at the FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights and assists clients with the preparation and filing of U-visa, VAWA and T-visa applications.  She has worked for the Center since 2001 and since 2005 teaches in Adult & Community Education, regularly incorporating human trafficking education into her lesson plans. 


Pamela C. Marsh, JD, Board Member, is the former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. While in that position, she founded the Big Bend Coalition Against Human Trafficking (BBCAHT) and led the way for the area’s first coordinated approach to human trafficking. She is a partner at Berger Singerman, a local law firm.


Ann Phipps, Board Member is a social activist, community organizer, and philanthropist. She has served on the boards of numerous non-profits and social services organizations. Her work to date is foundational to helping build the community awareness and support for assisting victims of human trafficking in our area. Maybe add a couple of more thoughts?


Sabrina Rodriguez de Conte, Board Member, is the Community Engagement Manager of PACE Center for Girls Leon and has over nine years of nonprofit experience managing and overseeing programs. Sabrina is an active member of the Big Bend Coalition Against Human Trafficking and works to build awareness of the realities of human trafficking in and around the local community and to facilitate healing for survivors of human trafficking.

Darby Kerrigan Scott, JD, Board Member, is the Executive Director of the Tallahassee Legal Aid Foundation. She formerly served as a Program Director for the Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights where she provided legal representation to asylum seekers, victims of torture and victims of crime. She is active on local anti-human trafficking initiatives, including speaking on the topic to the legal community.

Gwen Williams, PhD, MSW, Board Member, is a victim advocate who offers support during times of crisis and trauma.  She serves as an educator for law enforcement, social service agencies, faith communities, and to students in higher education; and as an author writes on topics of domestic violence, victimology, and faith.


Keith Wilmer, Board Member, is the Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) for the Tallahassee Regional Operations Center of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.  ASAC Wilmer is a veteran law enforcement officer with over 28 years of experience.  He oversees all investigations within the Tallahassee Region and is the co-chair of the Big Bend Coalition Against Human Trafficking Law Enforcement Committee.


Terry Coonan, JD, Special Advisor, is the Executive Director of the FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights. He has done leading work nationally on human trafficking, designing and delivering trainings for numerous national and state agencies. 

Kelly Otte, MPA, Special Advisor is the Executive Director of PACE Center for Girls in Leon County. She has more than 25 years working in domestic and sexual violence programs in Carson City, NV; Norfolk, VA; Jacksonville, FL and Tallahassee. She is the Founder of The Oasis Center for Women & Girls and the inaugural Executive Director for United Partners for Human Services.


Mary Vancore, MS, Victim Assistance Director and Coordinator, has worked in the social justice arena and victim services field through her work in Florida at the State Court Administrator’s Office, the legislature, serving as the Governor’s Victims’ Rights Coordinator, and as the Attorney General’s Bureau Chief in the Victims’ Compensation Bureau and the Victims’ Advocacy and Grants Management Bureau.

Graciela Marquina, MSW, Victim Assistance Coordinator, has been assisting victims of human trafficking since 2011. She is a skilled researcher and interviewer, has expertise working in non-profit agencies, and provides training and education on human trafficking to communities around the state and the globe including both NGO’s and governmental agencies.



October 28, 2020
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