Center for Trauma Resilient Communities Faculty

photo of David McCorkle

David McCorkle

Founder, Faculty

David McCorkle is a veteran Broadway performer who brings training to life wherever he goes. As a senior faculty member at the Sanctuary Institute in Yonkers, New York, David trained organizations in The Sanctuary Model® across the United States and in Malta, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. His experience with organizations caring for victims of trauma in domestic violence shelters, homeless and migrant shelters, psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment centers, schools, community mental health, and family support centers has given David a unique insight into the effects of trauma across a diverse spectrum of people and organizational situations.

David has been the principal trainer of The Sanctuary Model® for Crossnore School & Children’s Home since 2008. David and the Crossnore Sanctuary trainers devised the Train the Trainer program so that ongoing training could be offered to staff year-round. He co-founded the Center for Trauma Resilient Communities, a program of Crossnore School & Children’s Home, in 2018.

In addition to his work with the Sanctuary Institute and Crossnore, David maintains a private therapy practice in New York City. He has been published in Psychiatric Quarterly, The International Journal for Therapeutic and Supportive Organizations, Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, and he co-wrote a chapter on traumatic loss in Loss, Hurt, and Hope: The Complex Issues of Bereavement and Trauma in Children by Lorelei Atalie Vargas and Sandra L. Bloom. He is also the co-author of two Sanctuary psycho-education curriculums, Learning SELF Through Films and Youth Training Manual: Learning from our Heroes. David has been the keynote speaker at the Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care and has presented on non-violence and conflict resolution at conferences, on webinars, and in person at many agencies throughout the Sanctuary network.

David is a native of North Carolina and graduated from Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C. He is a proud father and grandfather and lives in New York City with his husband, Ernest Hood. He taught Sunday School for 20 years and is active at St. Marks in the Bowery in their Arts and Social Justice outreach ministries.

Click HERE to download David McCorkle’s bio.

photo of Beatriz Vides

Beatriz Vides

Founder, Faculty

Beatriz Vides shares the story of resilience and survival with the many children and families she has worked with throughout her career. She was a child during the civil war in El Salvador before moving to the United States, giving her a distinct and personal understanding of the effects of trauma.

As a faculty member for the Sanctuary Institute in Yonkers, NY, Beatriz achieved prominence in adapting the theories of The Sanctuary Model® into daily practice in multiple settings. Her work in schools, residential programs, community-based programs, and hospitals has helped to create healing communities across the United States. Beatriz has worked as a consultant with Crossnore School & Children’s Home since 2014. She co-founded the Center for Trauma Resilient Communities, a program of Crossnore School & Children’s Home, in 2018.

Beatriz also has 30 years of experience working with children and families in New York City, as well as rural upstate New York, and around the country. She served as Director of Child Care Services for Astor Services for Children. Her work has also taken her to Nepal and South Africa. Beatriz is a sought-after trainer who uses experiential methods and creativity to create a learning community and she has helped create trauma-informed schools in New York State, New York City, and North Carolina.

Beatriz earned her B.A. from Hunter College and SUNY Albany and has completed additional graduate studies at SUNY Albany. She is active in rescuing abused and neglected animals.

Click HERE to download Beatriz Vides’ bio.

photo of Brett Loftis

Brett A. Loftis, JD

Founder, Faculty

It doesn’t take long after meeting him to understand his passion for protecting the most vulnerable children. As the Chief Executive Officer of Crossnore School & Children’s Home, Brett Lofits leads an organization that is dedicated to growing healthy futures for children and families. His experience working in a residential program for at-risk children and as a Guardian ad Litem in South Carolina; a youth minister in Texas; and an attorney and the Executive Director of the Council for Children’s Rights in Charlotte, NC positioned him well to assume the executive role at Crossnore in 2013.

Brett’s executive leadership and strategic planning with the Board of Trustees led Crossnore to a successful merger with The Children’s Home in Winston-Salem, NC to become Crossnore School & Children’s Home in 2017. Services have expanded to underserved counties in western North Carolina through a satellite office opened in Hendersonville, NC in early 2018. He co-founded the Center for Trauma Resilient Communities, a program of Crossnore School & Children’s Home, in 2018. The Center for Trauma Resilient Communities helps organizations embed and embody the science of trauma resilience. Brett works across the nation training organizations to become trauma-informed and to build trauma resilience for their staff and clients.

Brett received his undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Political Science from Furman University. His passion for children eventually sent him to Wake Forest University School of Law to continue his career in child advocacy. In 2018, he was appointed to the North Carolina Child Well-Being Transformation Council by Senator Philip E. Berger and in 2019, he was asked to serve on the Board of the Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice. He is past chair of the Board of Trustees for Benchmarks NC, an alliance of agencies helping children, adults and families. Locally, Brett also serves on the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Board of Directors and is past president of the Avery County Rotary Club. Brett also speaks statewide and nationally about child welfare, trauma and resilience, as well as leadership development.

Brett and his family live on the Avery county campus of Crossnore School & Children’s Home and in his free time, he loves to coach youth soccer and basketball. Brett’s greatest love is his wife, Sally, and their three sons, Will, Elijah, and Lawson.

Click HERE to download Brett Loftis’ bio.

shenandoah chefalo

Shenandoah Chefalo


Shenandoah Chefalo’s early childhood and subsequent placement into foster care has given her a personal insight into the trauma that children in our nation experience every day. As an author, coach, and nationally-recognized speaker, Shen advocates for foster children everywhere she goes. She also encourages and challenges those in power on state and federal levels, as well as those providing care, to provide the best care possible for these children. With a lengthy career as a paralegal and director of a law firm, Shen has also seen the legal side of children’s care and how much more trauma may be experienced as a child’s case proceeds through the court system.

Shen has been the owner and chief training advocate of two firms in Michigan offering business and life coaching, consultation, and training across the United States. She has consulted with both private and public sector clients providing group and one-on-one training and coaching, workshops, webinars, and keynote speeches. Shen is particularly adept at helping clients identify and address issues, as well as achieve goals, specifically related to the topics of trauma and adversity.

In addition to her work, Shen has authored three books: Setting Your Vision and Defining Your Goals (2013), Garbage Bag Suitcase (2016), and Hiking for Stillness: Healing Trauma One Step at a Time, expected to be published in 2019. Shen earned a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science, Human Resources, & Society from Michigan State University, and is a 2011 graduate of Coach U in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a member of the Michigan State Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and currently serves as the State Chairman of DAR Schools.

Shen is married to Gerry and the couple have one daughter, Sophia. The Chefalos enjoy adventure and their travels have taken them around the globe. They especially enjoy their family trips during the Christmas holidays and in 2018, they will be hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano in Tanzania. This trip will also raise awareness for children in foster care and funds for Crossnore School & Children’s Home.

Click HERE to download Shenandoah Chefalo’s bio.