Community Advisory Committee

The Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention Community Advisory Committee serves as a source of community partners’ expertise and insight to inform IFIP priorities and provide feedback. Members have non-profit, practitioner, and/or community perspectives and advise the Institute on grassroots and local perspectives, engaging partners, and translating research into action.

Gene Ananiev, PhD

Lab Director, Small Molecule Screening Facility Madison, Wisconsin

Dr. Ananiev is a competitive shooter and a scientist. He has a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology and works full time as a researcher in the field of drug discovery. His academic and personal background gives him a unique perspective on research and firearm policy. As a competitive shooter, he is deeply concerned about the erosion of individual rights to keep and bear arms in the U.S. As a scholar, parent, and full-time employee of an educational institution, he is also deeply concerned with security and safety. He is interested in studying the effectiveness of firearm laws both in the U.S and globally.

Bell, Tia

Tia Bell, MA

Founder and CEO, T.R.I.G.G.E.R. Project Washington, District of Columbia

Tia Bell became familiar with the struggles of at-risk youth early in life as the oldest child of an adolescent mother in Washington, D.C. Overpowered by crime, defeat, and disadvantage, 7 out of 10 Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) were lived before the age of 10 years old. By the age of 17, firearm violence caused dozens of loved ones pain or silence including her mother, who is a survivor, and her late uncle. In Tia’s determination to find significance in life’s pain she found peace on the court winning Gatorade Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007 while attending HD Woodson Senior High School she earned her an invitation to serve as a scholastic member of the Wolfpack Women’s Basketball Club. In 2011, Tia received her Bachelor’s of Science in Sport Management from NC State University. Following multiple acute knee injuries which ended her basketball career, Tia was afforded the opportunity to become the first in her family to complete high school, college and now pursue a Master’s degree. It was during this difficult shift that she discovered herself and her calling to serve and support the young. Tia has gained meaningful experience in undergraduate admissions, college access, school counseling, coaching, and firearm violence prevention. As the Founder of FOuR, LLC and The T.R.I.G.G.E.R. Project, today she lives to prevent firearm violence through the intersection of positive youth development, public health, cultural responsiveness. In this light, youth are positioned to create and design solutions of holistic healing for the youth, from the youth and STOP the spread of the disease of firearm violence.

Nichole Carter, MS

Chief of Staff, Bright Star Community Outreach Chicago, Illinois

Nichole Carter currently serves as the Chief of Staff for Bright Star Community Outreach. Nichole brings over 25 years of experience within the public and private sector, impacting individuals’ and families’ lives through housing, education, and social service initiatives. The last 15 years have focused on the nonprofit space. Nichole has worked in youth development through the Knoxville Area Urban League; before coming to Bright Star Community Outreach, she worked to help build infrastructure in small local nonprofits. Mrs. Carter is a graduate of Spelman College, where she received her BA in English. Nichole furthered her academic career and attained a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy. As a former counseling practitioner, Nichole understands the need to consider the individual and the systems that affect the individual. She brings the system approach when developing and assessing programs within Bright Star. Mrs. Carter is a 2021 fellow of the Civic Leadership Academy through the University of Chicago.

Her nearly 7-year career with BSCO has included: staff management, program administration, training, and grant writing. Nichole’s mantra is “Changing the World, one family at a time .”She is grateful that she can work to accomplish this through her responsibilities at Bright Star Community Outreach.

Sarah Derwin

Health Educator, Marquette County Health Department

Marquette, Michigan

Sarah Derwin is a public health educator who has worked with the Marquette County Health Department since 2009.  She has experience implementing public health interventions in the areas of childhood injury prevention, suicide prevention, opioid overdose prevention, substance abuse prevention, child passenger safety, tobacco prevention, breast and cervical cancer screening, family health education, and firearm safety. As the project director for multiple health department based grants, she has expertise in the community-based implementation of best practice suicide prevention strategies including gatekeeper training, counseling on access to lethal means, and postvention.  As the lead for the Marquette County Suicide Prevention Alliance, Ms. Derwin maintains a network of community partner and tribal relationships across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Sarah was recently selected by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to be one member of a 19-member commission focused on improving suicide prevention in the state of Michigan. Sarah has a unique understanding of the role firearms play in a rural area.  She focuses on approaching the topic of safety first as a gateway into decreased rates of all firearm injury and death. As a resident of a rural community and parent of two children from a local tribe, Sarah is an advocate for interventions that are reflective of both cultural and rural values.

Avery Peeples, MSW

Senior Advisor, Mayor’s Office, City of Detroit

Detroit, Michigan

Avery Peeples (she/her/hers) is an experienced political and government affairs professionals with demonstrated success in policy and program development, advocacy, strategic planning and project management. Avery serves a Sr. Advisor under Mayor Mike Duggan, City of Detroit. Currently, she manages a portfolio focused on promoting community health and mitigating community violence. Prior to her six years of public service to the City of Detroit, Avery received a Master of Social Work in Social Policy and Evaluation from the University of Michigan.

Maureen Reddy

Investigative Consultant, retired FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC)

Detroit, Michigan

Maureen Reddy is a 30 year veteran of law enforcement. Maureen received a degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University and subsequently attended the Law Enforcement Academy at Lansing Community College after being hired as a Police Officer in Jackson, MI.  After working as a Police Officer, Maureen spent 27 years with the FBI investigating Violent Crime and White Collar Crime. She spent time in Chicago as a Special Agent from 1991-2006. During this time she became the Crisis Negotiation Team Leader. In 2006 Maureen transferred to FBI Headquarters in Washington DC where she was a Supervisory Special Agent in the International Operations Division assigned to oversee Legal Attache (Legat) offices in Asia, to include Tokyo, Beijing, Canberra, Jakarta, Manila, Phnom Penh, and New Delhi. In 2008, Maureen transferred to LegatTbilisi in the Republic of Georgia as the Assistant Legal Attache. Maureen worked closely with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) in Georgia, along with the MIA in Armenia and Azerbaijan. In 2011, Maureen received the Medal of Merit from the MIA in Georgia. In 2010 Maureen transferred to the Detroit Division of the FBI and supervised the Healthcare Fraud squad and Coordinator for the FBI National Academy in Detroit. In 2015, Maureen became the Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) overseeing the Violent Crime Program and SWAT Team Program in the Detroit Division. Maureen retired from the FBI and started a consulting firm with her husband.

Jonathan Garvey

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Analyst

Lansing, Michigan

Jonathan Garvey serves as the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Analyst for the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. In his role, Jon serves as liaison for the Michigan Governor’s Challenge – a state-level collaborative effort within the national Governor’s Challenge to prevent suicide among service members, veterans, and their families. Jon also facilitates the Michigan Veteran Connector Program, which helps businesses, schools, community organizations, and healthcare institutions identify service members, veterans, and their families among their populations, and connect them to benefits earned through dedicated service.

A 16-year U.S. Army Veteran (2004-2020) with assignments in artillery, cavalry, and infantry units, Jon has served on multiple combat and operational tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jon received his commission as an active duty artillery officer through Michigan State University’s ROTC program and holds a bachelor’s degree in social science.