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In October 2019, a group of people were sitting in an Orlando hotel conference room attending a discussion panel that described the enormity of Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation. These crimes happen around the world, but one person described what she and a group of people were doing to fight this problem in Washington. Starting in Seattle, Heather Tuininga launched a new model for funding the fight against exploitation with a vision to expand across the country. Motivated by the discussion, the size of the problem in the Orlando area and the simple, repeatable model, three people from the Central Florida area were inspired to start SAFE in Central Florida.
To facilitate a passionate alliance of purpose driven partners that produce and fund anti sex trafficking solutions in Central Florida.
To eradicate sex trafficking and exploitation in Central Florida by identifying the greatest funding needs on the landscape.
SAFE in Central Florida
Karen Lane, Darrell Lane, and Greg Snyder attend Impact 2019 and hear SAFE in Washington Founder Heather Tuininga talk about the creation and vision of SAFE – then decide to start a chapter in Central Florida.
With the assistance of the National Christian Foundation (NCF) to understand the Impact Model and how it could work for SAFE, advisory board and a strategic plan was initiated.
SAFE in Central Florida is officially launched. The Strategic Alliance to Fight Exploitation is formed and includes like-minded organizations, business, and individuals in partnership to eliminate human trafficking in the Central Florida area.
June - December 2021
Phase One Announced
Capitalizing on the experience and wisdom of an advisory board and survey of the Alliance members to identify strategic and urgent gaps in the local fight, the initial request for proposals (Phase One) is announced. Local, vetted non-profits already in the fight submit their projects for potential funding. Five projects are selected, and a fund-raising strategy is formed and executed.
January - March 2022
Phase One Funded
The five Phase One projects in the areas of: housing for survivors, employment, identity documentation, centralized directory of services and holistic care are fully funded; plans for Phase Two begin based on greatest-need feedback from SAFE Alliance members.
SAFE Executive Committee
The Executive Committee provides guidance to the Alliance, creates and manages the phases of the strategy, issues and reviews Requests for Proposals (RFP), issues grants to nonprofits partners chosen to execute a specific phase of the strategy.
Karen Lane retired in 2018 from her position as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy after over 30 years in the Energy Industry with Siemens Gamesa, Siemens Energy, and Westinghouse Electric.
Karen has served on various Boards over the years. She was a Director on the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Board of Directors and a member of their executive committee from May 2016 to April 2018. She has also served on the Board of the Orlando Science Center, Financial Executives International and Institute of Internal Auditors.
Since retiring, Karen and her husband Darrell, have focused on expanding their effort at their local church, spending more time with family and traveling. Karen continues her mentoring of women through her associations from her work environment, church and personal contacts. In addition, Karen and her husband volunteer for IDignity and are now Co-Founders of SAFE in Central Florida.
Karen and Darrell have been married for over 35 years and have resided in the Central Florida area for over 30 years. They have two adult married children with five grandchildren.
After a 40+ year career as an executive for Siemens Energy and now in the “rewirement” phase of his life, Greg strives to balance his time between serving on leadership teams for multiple US and international ministries, consulting and spending time with his family. On the ministries front, he is a board member for a girl’s home in Guatemala (Prince of Peace), his local church/pre-school, a ministry bringing water and food sustainability to farmers in Malawi (African Windmill Project) and now SAFE in Central Florida. He is also consulting for multiple global companies focused on the transformation of the electric sector from large central generation stations to renewable and distributed energy sources. Greg also enjoys speaking to both secular and ministry groups on the importance of balance in your life and “rewiring” instead of retiring.
Greg and his wife, Pam, have been married for over 37 years, currently live in the Orlando area and they have a daughter who is pursuing a graduate degree having recently returned from being a full-time missionary in Guatemala.
The third co-founder, Darrell Lane, retired in 2018 from 30 years as a software engineer with over 20 years with Orlando Health. Darrell’s purpose has always been to use his skills in technology in industries that were focused on helping others. He found that purpose fulfilled at Orlando Health where he used his technical skills to support clinicians so they could focus on patient care.
Since retiring, Darrell wanted to continue to give to others and expanded his hobby in wood turning into a business (Wood Turns) which donates net proceeds to charity.
As mentioned in Karen’s bio, they have expanded their volunteering at church and nonprofits, been married over 35 years with two adult married children and five grandchildren. Additionally he still keeps up with some of his other hobbies, photography and scuba diving.
M. Diane Checchio graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Central Florida and has a Juris Doctorate Degree from Stetson University College of Law. Ms. Checchio spent two years with the Orange County State Attorney’s Office as an Assistant State Attorney successfully prosecuting misdemeanor, juvenile, sex crimes, and felony cases. In 2001, she co-founded the Law Offices of Checchio & Stone, P.A., where she practiced criminal, civil, and family law for ten years. Ms. Checchio joined the Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution in 2011, where for 6 years she prosecuted cybercrimes, sex crimes, drug trafficking, and white-collar crimes; however, her main focus was prosecuting human trafficking cases. In 2015, Ms. Checchio received the Human Trafficking Prosecutor of the Year award from Florida’s Statewide Council on Human Trafficking.