Our Team

Joelle Kirtley- Co-Founder/Chief Executive Officer/Board Secretary

Joelle’s career has seen her teaching, leading, and developing in various roles and across multiple continents both in academia and in nonprofit. She is determined to use her diverse skills and experiences in program development, data analysis, curriculum development, and teaching, as well as her own love of learning, to the betterment of every life Mass Liberation touches.

Todd Davis- Chief Technical Officer/Director of Legal Services/Board Treasurer

Todd has been working in the public interest in one form or another since 2007. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a network analyst and team lead for nearly eight years. He then became a lawyer and has worked in criminal defense, dependency, and immigration law. He is dedicated to ensuring positive outcomes for those individuals whose personal histories create barriers to success and is excited to use his technical and legal skills to that end.

Brad Nemer- Board Chair

Brad Nemer has led product design and development in global corporations and still-in-the-garage startups. He strives to solve problems from the core rather than simply treat symptoms, and above all believes in individuals’ potential to grow beyond past challenges and thrive.

Daron Kirven- Board Director

Daron has been the Program Director of a constantly growing and expanding reentry organization in North Texas for over 26 years.

Donato Clay- Board Director

Donato is both a Defense Attorney and a Healthcare Administrator with diverse and valuable operations experience.

John Brown- Board Director

John Brown is a psychologist and advocate for community-based, peer-to-peer behavioral health systems.  Bilingual, he spent nearly twenty years in Costa Rica, where he continues to work with underserved, refugee and immigrant populations, and splits his time with a home in Sacramento, CA, where he is the Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness for Yolo County.  His work on behalf of re-entry populations has included country-specific HIV service guides for undocumented patients in immigration detention, as a founder of the New Mexico Peer Education Program, and as a consultant to community health centers which provide walk-in and culturally sensitive detox and addiction treatment for uninsured and undocumented patients.

Kim Martinez- Board Director

Kim has built a career helping early stage companies evolve and scale-up to more sustainable and stable long term organizations.  She has over 20 years of experience building businesses across several industries such as technology, medical devices and healthcare services.  She currently serves as the COO of Traditions Behavioral Health, a Psychological Corporation, where she is helping the company expand services across the United States.  Kim is a licensed professional engineer in the state of California and holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Our Story

Jay was born into the country’s poorest congressional district, the South Bronx, and moved to Texas when he was fourteen. He harbored a great deal of anger from childhood trauma, and he was a calculating, ambitious young man. He directed this anger and drive toward antisocial behavior and hustling. At nineteen years old, he was sentenced to fifty years in State Prison. Seven years into his sentence, Jay decided to make a change. He used those same driven character traits to foster something he realized he had lacked, empathy for others. While incarcerated, Jay became a peer mentor and educated himself with every book he could borrow from the small prison library. He worked to understand others in a different way, meeting them where they were. He worked to make himself a better citizen. He made parole at his first opportunity, and decided to continue to make empathy his path. He has been working in various reentry and social services efforts since his own return to society. 

 

Jay met Joelle working together at an employment preparation service on Skid Row in Los Angeles that served the city’s homeless and reentry populations. Joelle came to social services through a winding and indirect path through academia. Teaching and building life-changing relationships is her internal drive. Every individual has the right to experience compassion and joy, and it is Mass Liberation’s purpose to help others meet these potentials. 

 

Todd is the third member of the founding team. Growing up, Todd watched his father, struggling with mental health issues, interacting with the justice system time and time again. Motivated by these interactions and by others he saw in his rural community, Todd chose to go to law school to become a defense attorney, after serving in the military. He believes in fair and effective representation for every individual and brings that passion to reentry efforts.

 

In 2019, Jay, Joelle, and Todd decided to work together to build community and affinity for the population they were most passionate about: those individuals reentering society from America’s prisons.