Since being founded in December 2013

we've gathered the world's experts in extraction operations and in anti-child trafficking efforts to bring an end to child slavery. O.U.R.'s Underground Jump Team consists of former CIA, Navy SEALs, and Special Ops operatives that lead coordinated identification and extraction efforts. These operations are always in conjunction with law enforcement throughout the world.

Once victims are rescued, a comprehensive process involving justice for the perpetrators and recovery and rehabilitation for the survivors begins.

It is time for private citizens and organizations to rise up and help. It is our duty as a free and blessed people.

Domestic Services
O.U.R. salutes our nation's law enforcement officers and prosecutors at the federal, state and local levels who protect our country's children. Law enforcement professionals skillfully investigate, arrest and prosecute those who violate children. Our nation's police efforts to protect children in the U.S. are light years ahead of many, if not all other countries. O.U.R. acknowledges the expertise and extraordinary work done by these dedicated men and women who bravely battle the scourge of child sexual exploitation. O.U.R. shares the mission to save children and seek justice for those who victimize them, therefore O.U.R. is committed to enhancing law enforcement efforts by providing resources where budget shortfalls prohibit a child pornography, child exploitation or human trafficking operation from going forward. O.U.R. will also provide or facilitate child exploitation investigative training in U.S. jurisdictions where a need exists. Collaborating with law enforcement will reduce duplication, promote best practices and avoid other potential issues which might arise without close coordination. O.U.R. is privileged and honored to support our nation's heroes in this important cause to deter, disrupt and dismantle child exploitation and the trafficking of children in our nation's communities.


Click a section below to learn more about O.U.R.

O.U.R. Promise

To the children

who we pray for daily, we say:
Your long night is coming to an end.

Hold on. We are on our way.

And to those captors and perpetrators,
even you monsters who dare offend God's
precious children, we declare to you:
Be afraid. We are coming for you.

To those who have read this far,
we plead with you: Donate to our cause
Donate. We can't do this without you.

The Process

  1. Assess the feasibility of rescue. This must take into account the willingness of local authorities to work with us since we not only want to save the children but arrest the perpetrators as well. We also want everything to be done legally and above board.

  2. Research the location, the children and the background of those who are running the sex ring. We also search for vetted care facilities that will take the children once they are rescued and not only give them food and shelter but rehabilitate them as well. In some instances the children are able to return to their families.

  3. Design a strategy for rescuing the children. This is the logistical part of the process. As former CIA, Navy Seals, Special Agents, etc., we have a very unique skill set to make this happen safely, efficiently and legally. We provide local law enforcement training to support and sustain anti-trafficking operations.

  4. Take action. Obviously this is the most dangerous part of the operation but one well worth taking. In some instances we go undercover and arrange to "buy" a child as if we were a customer. After the purchase, we move in with the police, arrest those responsible and rescue the children. In other cases, we may act as a "client" looking for favors, etc. Again, we work with local authorities to make sure everything is done to protect the children and that the perpetrators are arrested.

  5. Recover the children. These children's lives will never be the same. Their innocence has been stolen and they need help to readjust to a better world. Therapy can be provided as well as food and shelter at a pre-screened facility.

  6. Arrest, try, and convict the perpetrators. We follow this process every step of the way to make sure they don't traffic children again. In many cases the perpetrators were sex slaves and victims of trafficking themselves and know no better way to survive. We hope to break this cycle.

We are not a government agency.

We are a non-profit 501(c)3 organization
that relies one hundred percent on
donations to save children.

And, we do it because
no child should be a sex slave.

Timothy Ballard is the Founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.). He also serves as O.U.R.'s Jump Team Commander for rescue operations. Ballard spent over a decade working as a Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security where he was assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and deployed as an undercover operative for the U.S. Child Sex Tourism Jump Team. He has worked every type of case imaginable in the fight to dismantle child trafficking rings. Ballard has worked undercover in the United States and in multiple foreign countries to infiltrate child trafficking organizations. In this effort he has successfully dismantled dozens of these organizations and rescued countless children from sex slavery. He is an expert at managing Internet investigations, particularly those dealing with file-share networks where pedophiles and traffickers go to trade in child pornography. He has trained hundreds of law enforcement officers and has testified before the United States Congress on best practices to liberate children from sex slavery. 

Ballard has been featured on many national news outlets to discuss his efforts to combat child trafficking. He has appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, The Meredith Vieira Show, CBS Nightly News, ABC Nightline, and CNN Headline News, MSNBC, The Glenn Beck Program, as well as many local news shows.

Ballard is the best-selling author of "The Covenant: One Nation Under God," and is the author of the sequel to that work, "The Covenant, Lincoln, and The War." He has taught American and International Politics courses at Imperial Valley College, San Diego State University and American Heritage School. He has been featured regularly on both local and national TV and radio programs to discuss American history and politics and the role America has played in defending liberty at home and abroad. He has often commented on how his academic work in American history has provided him the inspiration and motivation to rescue children--to carry on the American tradition of liberating the captive. He recently received the distinguished George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.

After serving a church mission to Chile, Ballard graduated Cum Laude with a BA in Spanish and Political Science from Brigham Young University. He went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude with an MA in International Politics from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He resides in California with his wife and children.

Jerry Gowen was named Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) in November 2014. In this role, he is responsible for development, IT, marketing, communications, donor relations, partnerships and contributing to the organization’s strategy.

Prior to joining O.U.R., Gowen managed communications for Symantec Corp., a Fortune 500 publicly-traded software company with 21,000 employees and $7 billion in annual revenue. During his 10 year career at Symantec, Gowen was responsible for creation and execution of the public relations and social media strategies for 2 of the company's largest business units. He is recognized as one of the top trade media relations experts in the U.S. and was named Top Tech Communicator of the Year.

Prior to Symantec, Gowen served as Senior Public Relations Manager for PowerQuest Corp. and Global Communications Manager at Legato Systems, Inc. Gowen has also served as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University and Washington State University, teaching courses in communications, public relations, marketing, information technology and statistics.

Gowen earned his BA in Public Relations with a Minor in Business Management at Brigham Young University in 1998 and was recognized as the Outstanding Graduating Senior in Communications. He earned his MBA at Washington State University in 2010 and was presented with the Chancellor’s Award for Student Achievement.

Gowen is fluent in Spanish and resides in Utah with his wife and 6 children. He is active in the community supporting the Boy Scouts of America and local youth soccer programs.

Michael Ottoman joined the Operation Underground Railroad after a twelve-year career with the federal government, during which he worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. Department of State. While serving as an intelligence officer, he tracked issues related to chemical and biological weapons programs and proliferation, and counterterrorism against the homeland. He also analyzed the political transition in Iraq after the fall of Saddam, and subsequent U.S. counter-insurgency efforts. At the CIA, Ottoman regularly provided short and long-term intelligence analysis to US Presidents, senior cabinet officials, and the National Security Council.

In his role as a Foreign Service Officer and diplomat, Ottoman served overseas tours in Madrid, Spain, Caracas, Venezuela, and Mexico City, Mexico, where he specialized in the fight against terrorism, illegal narcotics, organized crime, and human trafficking. During these overseas tours he organized and facilitated state and other official visits for President Obama, Vice President Biden, and then Secretary of State Rice.

Before his government career, Ottoman worked in television broadcasting, and later supported international schools in Luxembourg and Switzerland. He holds a B.A. in International Studies from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and a M.A. in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California, where he first met OUR Founder and CEO Tim Ballard. Ottoman is married and has two daughters.

Born and raised in the Midwest Jessica found her calling in life when she was 13 years old on a church mission trip in the inner-city of Brooklyn, New York. Following high school she worked for 15 years in six different states in the area of social work empowering youth in foster care, areas of mental health and human trafficking. Her primary focus has been helping children and youth heal from trauma and empowering them in their hopes and dreams for the future. She also has first-hand experience being a therapeutic foster parent for children that experienced severe neglect, abuse or human trafficking.

Jessica has been able to serve in several different parts of the world including England, Zambia, Uganda, Thailand, Cambodia, Haiti, Dominican Republic, India, and Mexico. In college she double majored in Biblical Studies and Family Education at Multnomah University. She completed the Arts Bridge Scholar grad level program at the University of Utah and is certified in the Teaching Family Model. Jessica has a strong belief that there is always hope for everyone and sometimes it just takes one person pouring into someone that can be forever life-changing.

Jonathan Lines joined Operation Underground Railroad in October 2016 after retiring from federal law enforcement where he served honorably for 25 years. As O.U.R.'s Executive Vice President of Operations he directs efforts throughout the world in saving children from the evils of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. Jon is a proud alum of Arizona State University where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Justice Studies with an emphasis in Business Administration. He later received a Master’s Degree in Homeland Security and Defense from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Much of his graduate degree curriculum stressed taking a multi-disciplinary approach to combatting threats at both national and international levels. This collaborative approach includes contributions from governments, military, law enforcement, the intelligence community, NGO’s, private business, and stakeholders from every level of society, including private citizens and volunteers who are the key to all good that is ever accomplished. He employed this holistic strategy in his very fruitful law enforcement efforts and now brings this approach to O.U.R. in combatting the scourge of human trafficking and the exploitation of children.

As a dedicated and decorated special agent, Jon served in the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Jon’s law enforcement career was punctuated by numerous prestigious awards for investigative and operational excellence, including a DHS Secretary’s Award for Excellence, and the DOJ Office of the Inspector General’s National Award of Merit, the highest honor an agent can receive. Jon began his law enforcement career with DOJ in Arizona and finished his quarter century run in Utah as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of DHS, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). He was a pioneer of sorts, charged with shaping HSI in Utah, which was created as the investigative branch of DHS soon after the tragic events of 9/11. Jon was instrumental in establishing HSI from its infancy in Utah to what is now a reputable and prolific force in the Utah law enforcement community. Jon’s law enforcement experience covered a wide array of complex investigative endeavors. In addition to leading many federal national security criminal investigations, Jon was an accomplished undercover operative who later oversaw a regional undercover program as a HSI manager. Jon led those under his command to be perennial leaders in all categories of statistical productivity, emphasizing innovation, efficiency, and accountability. Numerous critical initiatives conducted under his direction were adopted as national models and his leadership helped distinguish the Utah HSI offices as among the highest producers in the nation.

Jon has a proven history of fostering prolific partnerships. He sat on many law enforcement governing boards and task forces to include the Utah Trafficking in Persons task force headed up by the Utah Attorney General’s office. He counts his most meaningful collaborative successes in the child exploitation investigations realm where his agents were integral members of Utah’s nationally renowned Internet Crimes Against Children task force. He also spearheaded productive coalescences with state and local law enforcement agencies in transnational gang enforcement. In a span of three years, a gang task force he created removed over 800 violent gang members from Utah communities. Jon has shared his experiences in creating and sustaining task forces in forums throughout the United States such as the National Association of Chiefs of Police conferences, the National Sheriffs Association conferences, various Gang Enforcement conferences and as a frequent guest instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. He also peddles his passion for law enforcement as an Associate Professor at Salt Lake Community College.

Jon loved being a cop and will forever cherish being a part of that unique fraternity, but he will not relinquish his role in safeguarding others. His track record of building coalitions and partnering to solve problems will enhance OURs efforts to save more children’s lives and expose those who victimize our children.

Jon adores his family. He has a beautiful wife, Kimberly, of 32 years, and four children, two boys and two girls. He also has five grandchildren. Jon’s family is his pride and joy. It is their love, support and patience which have allowed him to dedicate a quarter century of safeguarding the nation, and now children around the world. His hobbies include sports, movies, historical literature, gardening, and his newfound passion of Pickleball. 

Cherstyn Monson Stockwell joined Operation Underground Railroad in 2016 as their Director of Development. After graduating from Brigham Young University, Cherstyn moved to Washington, D.C., where she lived for 10 years working for two conservative members of the House of Representatives and the Senate. After her time in Washington, she worked with a political action committee in Orange County, California, involving individuals, business owners, and organizations support of philanthropic causes, political candidates and community needs. In 2007, Cherstyn moved to Salt Lake City and joined the Utah Association of Realtors as Director of Operations. In 2013 she joined a public policy center called Sutherland Institute as their Operations Manager and Development Manager and then joined the GFC Foundation as their Partner and Government Relations Manager. Cherstyn has served as a delegate in her local precinct, a co-chair of her local high school’s community council, as well as other community service roles and opportunities. Cherstyn and her husband, Matt, are the parents of six children.

Tevya has a great deal of experience in accounting and operations management for small and mid-size companies, as well as large entities such as the University of California. However, her value goes far beyond accounting. Her ability to quickly recognize and deal with problems in all areas of Administration has enabled her to be successful both as an employee, as well as founder of several startup companies. Those qualities combined with exceptional interpersonal skills and attention to detail make her an invaluable member of the O.U.R. Team. She lives on a small ranch with her husband and four children, and enjoys riding horses, working on the ranch and engaging in outdoor activities.

Emily was born and raised in Southern California and runs the Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) Los Angeles office.

After receiving her Bachelors degree in Communications, Emily moved back to Los Angeles where she worked for several years as a Recruiter for Red Bull North America out of their headquarters in Santa Monica.

Emily became passionate about nonprofits when she had the opportunity to work with Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) on their yearly event, Stand Up 2 Cancer. She also spent time volunteering for Project PLAY!, a non-profit that provides funding for sports, music and art youth programs in Los Angeles.

As the current Director of Marketing & PR for Operation Underground Railroad, Emily has found her true passion in ending child sex slavery around the world. When she is not working she enjoys paddle boarding, hiking, yoga and spending time with her husband and dogs.

Kelli Houghton grew up on the east coast but has enjoyed living in seven states throughout the U.S. She has a master’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Work (LCSW). She has been actively involved in the international community for the past seventeen years developing programs and advocating for policies related to preserving families and protecting children.

She has served as the Director of Youth and Family programs for UFI, Director of International Voice for Youth (IVY), Director of the International AIDS program, Stay Alive, a Hospital Administrator managing social work, interpreting services and spiritual care, and currently is serving as the President of United Families International. Kelli has organized and presented at international conferences including various United Nations conferences, International Global Health Conference in Washington, DC, Global Family Conferences in Australia and Spain, and directed the Emerging Leader Program at World Congress of Families IX in Salt Lake City. Kelli and her husband, Dr. Carl Houghton, have four adult children.

"A man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race."
 
Jen has a deep passion for serving her fellow men. She has served in many different organizations locally, as well as internationally. She currently sits on the board of a Haitian orphanage.  She worked in the Events industry for 7 years before joining the O.U.R. team. She has a drive and a passion for creating events that are memorable, as well as beneficial to funding O.U.R.'s needs. She has worked in the corporate, academic, non-profit, and group and incentive world of event planning.
In her spare time she enjoys being outside taking advantage of all that mother nature offers.

Raised in the mountains of Star Valley, Wyoming, Tyler's life was forever changed when he witnessed severe physical and sexual exploitation of children in the Dominican Republic.

Tyler received degrees in Spanish and Healthcare Administration from Utah State University and Brigham Young University-Idaho and is currently pursuing an MBA from the University of Wyoming. Tyler’s history of volunteer work includes serving with organizations like Kingdom Global, The Tim Tebow Foundation, The Make A Wish Foundation, Idaho Falls Rescue Mission, and the Children’s Tumor Network. Tyler has since served all over South America. He is fluent in Spanish.

In 2014, Tyler returned to the Dominican Republic and founded Gifts of Grace, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing the exploitation of children in the Dominican Republic. The foundation fights trafficking by empowering vulnerable children who can’t attend school and are often exploited because of the lack of education. The foundation seeks to remove the hurdles preventing children from attending school by paying tuition, paying for legal services to obtain birth certificates, and purchasing required uniforms.

Tyler now works with aftercare and considers it an honor to work for Operation Underground Railroad and witness the liberation and rehabilitation of God's precious children. When he isn't fighting exploitation he enjoys hiking the Grand Tetons, developing nature photography, attending rock concerts, supporting the Spurs and the Packers, and enjoying a nice burger from Five Guys.

Jani has a lifelong passion for education, both as a learner and a teacher. When she gains knowledge or a new skill, she can't keep it to herself; she has to share it. Since graduating with a degree in public health she has spent her professional career learning about and supporting great causes. However, her true joy comes from finding new ways to get people involved in the causes she loves. She believes in everyone's ability to make a difference and loves creating opportunities for people to see just how much good they can really do. Her experience as a community outreach coordinator, team leader at a residential center for at-risk youth, and as a volunteer coordinator for a major county's rape crisis team has taught her just how important it is to bring like-minded people together in support of something bigger than themselves.

 

Jani is an eternal optimist who's always excited for a new adventure. She lives in San Marcos, California with her husband and four children.

Heidi Fransen joined Operation Underground Railroad as Community Relations Manager after two years of volunteer fundraising for the organization. As a mother of three young children, she felt a strong draw to spreading the cause and still believes there is no greater effort than rescuing children from slavery. Heidi was raised with a global view of the world as she lived six years in Tokyo Japan and two in Shanghai, China. She graduated from BYU-Idaho with Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Communications. Heidi and her family reside in Rexburg, Idaho, home of the Run to Break The Chain 5k/10K/Half Marathon and OUR Sweet Stand, which she started in 2015 to raise awareness & funds for O.U.R. 

Chelsie Hightower is a well known dancer originally from Orem, Utah. She was a fan-favorite and finalist on Fox's hit TV show, So You Think You Can Dance, where she still makes appearances as a choreographer and all-star. Two of the pieces that were choreographed for her and her partner were nominated for Emmys. She moved straight to Dancing With the Stars where she performed for nine seasons and, while there, was nominated for an Emmy for a dance she choreographed along with Derek Hough. Her partners have included everyone from Olympic athletes to world renowned entertainers.

She was the face of Reebok's dance line and a multitude of other product endorsements, including Latisse and other national brands. She was featured in the Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition with her partner, Ty Murray, where she had a two page spread and has also graced the cover of many national dance and fitness magazines. Dance continues to be a major part of Chelsie's life, and she hopes to inspire as many people to a healthier and happier life through movement and fitness.

When I was made aware of the enormous scope of human trafficking, and more specifically the involvement of children in it, I couldn't let it go. The day I became a father, it felt like a primal switch was flipped. There's little I wouldn't do to secure the safety of my own children. O.U.R.'s mission to do just that for children who have been involved in modern day slavery speaks to that same feeling. I'm proud to support O.U.R.'s dedicated operatives who literally risk their own lives and dedicate countless hours to work for the betterment of those affected by human trafficking. To date they've helped save more than 250 kids worldwide. This is a fight I can get behind.

"Even though I'm only 13 years old, I want to do what I can to raise awareness about Operation Underground Railroad! Being an Abolitionist means that I'm sharing my voice to help bring an end to human trafficking. Shouldn't you be doing that too?? #OURrescue"

Brooke White, the quirky rhaspy¬voiced blonde, moved to LA from her native hometown of Mesa, AZ in hopes of becoming a singer-songwriter. After a handful of years spent chasing the dream, writing songs, cutting hair in her bathroom and nannying twins, she finally landed her big break when she was granted a golden ticket to perform on the nation's biggest stage, where millions of viewers formed an emotional bond and welcomed her barefoot at the piano style into their homes on a weekly basis. Since her Top five finish on American Idol, Brooke has continued to pave her own path as a relevant independent artist in the entertainment industry. She started her own record label "June Baby Records" and has independently released 6 records including 3 EP's from her band Jack and White. She has played live for thousands, touring the nation from arenas and theaters to clubs and radio stations. She has hosted live from the red carpet for TV guide, judged Miss America, starred in two TV movies: Change of Plans that aired on FOX and Banner 4th of July for the Hallmark Channel. She currently co-hosts The Girls With Glasses Show, a whimsical web channel and lifestyle series alongside model and actress Summer Bellessa that can be found on YouTube, Ulive and The Design Network. Her most recent song "Something Divine" written nearly 10 years ago about discovering your worth, has been recorded and released also as a music video on the Mormon channel.

On a personal note Brooke and her husband Dave Ray, have been married for over 10 years and welcomed their first child, daughter London also known as "Londy Loo", in May of 2012. The one-time nanny has come full circle, living and loving the roll of a lifetime, now juggling her passions with motherhood. Today her efforts are focused less on massive commercial success and more upon utilizing her talents and platform to truly connect with people in a more honest and hopeful way as to fulfill her greater purpose to uplift others and help them feel less alone. Brooke feels she was "divinely inspired" to find Operation Underground Railroad, after she was generously gifted $20,000 by Foundation Entertainment (a production company she had worked with on Change of Plans) to give to a charity of her choice. After several months of searching and praying for the right charity to donate to, she happened to see a friend's (Stephanie Nielsen) Instagram post about Operation Underground Railroad and their efforts to rescue children from human trafficking.

As a protective mother of a sweet daughter of her own, this struck a chord and knew she had found the right one. While she was grateful to give the gift she was given to O.U.R. she also felt compelled to give something of herself and involve her community, which inspired her to make a special record "Never Grow Up: Lullabies and Happy Songs." Each song is an original collaboration with generous and talented artists such as Mindy Gledhill, David Archuleta, Deana Carter, Leigh Nash, Carly Smithson, Daniel Tashian, Lucy Schwartz, Jack Matranga and the late Michael Johns. Utilizing Pledge Music, "Never Grow Up" garnished incredible support from friends and fans and in just a month was able to more than double the original donation and spread awareness for the cause. All of the proceeds raised and continue to be raised (Via iTunes, Google Play etc.) all go towards Operation Underground Railroad. Brooke's work with O.U.R. isn't done, she is fully committed for the long haul as an "abolitionist" in the fight to end child sex slavery and human trafficking.

<p><span>Born and raised in Chicago, after a troubled youth, Marisol found her way onto the stage at the age of 19. Since then, she has starred in numerous films and television shows. She has been a series regular on seven prime time television shows for ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and Showtime including Steven Bochco&rsquo;s Blind Justice, Fox&rsquo;s award winning 24 and recently, ABC&rsquo;s GCB. Her film credits include Vegas Vacation, Can&rsquo;t Hardly Wait, Felon, Scream 2, and Bowfinger to name a few.</span><br /><br /><span>Marisol is currently balancing her humanitarian work while recurring on the largest television dramas in the world CBS&rsquo;s NCIS, CBS&rsquo;s Criminal Minds and MTV&rsquo;s Teen Wolf. </span><br /><br /><span>Marisol has been fighting human rights abuses for over a decade. She has traveled to DC and lobbied for new legislative bills addressing human rights violations. She hosted the 11th and the 12th Human Rights World Educational Tour in Washington DC, produced the Youth for Human Rights Hero Awards, hosted the Citizen Commission on Human Rights Awards celebration, and helped launch a juvenile criminal rehabilitation program in her hometown of Chicago, as well as partnered with other human rights organizations to lend her voice and name in anyway she can. She was awarded the Spirit of the Community Award from the Association for Better Living and Education for her work on juvenile criminal rehabilitation, as well as Illinois State House Resolution HR1023, recognizing not only her work as an actress, but also her humanitarian efforts. She has also lent her support to imperative Federal and State trafficking legislation to help crack down on how the country deals with child sex trafficking. Her passion is now dedicated to putting an end to the most egregious human rights violation, human trafficking. </span><br /><br /><span>When Marisol began hearing of specific instances of children having been trafficked, abused and exploited, she had to do something about it. While attending many red carpet events for humanitarian issues, Marisol found herself wondering why she didn&rsquo;t see many red carpet events to shine a light on human trafficking, to raise funds for the cause, and educate others on the issue. In typical fashion, she decided to start her own nonprofit organization and produce her own events to raise awareness and partner with organizations that are doing incredible work in this field, while garnering media attention in order to share their heroic work with the world.</span></p>

Mr. Williams is an internationally recognized, award winning media personality, decorated former naval officer, inspirational speaker, author, entrepreneur and advocate for patients worldwide. Williams earned his degree in General Engineering and minor in International Security Affairs from the United States Naval Academy. In 2011 Williams founded the neuroscience technology company, Neurohabilitation, Inc, which is now a subsidiary of Helius Medical Technologies, Inc. The company is working with the US Army to further research to potentially treat TBI and clinical trials are in progress in multiple locations. Williams is also a principal of Pure Blue Resources, LLC, an innovative renewable energy technology company. Williams serves as a Special Envoy to the United Nations Save Our Sharks Coalition and as a board member to the Fisher House Foundation, The Freedom Festival and Military Adaptive Sports, Inc, host of the 2016 Invictus Games.

Julianne has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a background in teaching and mentoring children. She loves being part of O.U.R.’s efforts and cannot imagine a greater cause than saving and rescuing children from slavery. She has been on the Board of Directors from the birth of O.U.R. and feels honored to be part of the organization.

Stephen was born in Edmonton Alberta Canada and Moved to California at 15 years of age. He graduated college with an MS in Mechanical Engineering. He has worked in the Computer Peripherals Industry, Medical Electronics Device Development and Manufacturing, The Automation Industry and Irrigation Control. He currently owns and runs a company that manufactures a banding castration tools for cattle. He married his high school sweetheart Toni Risser and they have 8 children and 25 grandchildren. He has always been involved in community, church and scouting and currently serves as Scoutmaster and Scouting District Commissioner. He has been associated with Tim Ballard for years before O.U.R. was formed.

Dr. Marc Reynolds is a native of Los Angeles, received his undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music degree with an emphasis in Opera Directing from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree with an emphasis in Opera Directing at The University of Texas at Austin.

As a Stage Director, Marc Reynolds has enjoyed recent success in directing operatic works for professional and academic organizations. His work has received awards and nominations from the press and critics.

As an educator Dr. Reynolds has taught for The University of Texas at Austin, The Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program, Brigham Young University, Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Sparkling City Light Opera’s Vocal Arts workshop. He was a founding associate director for The University of Texas at Austin’s Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program.

Marc is currently the opera director at Utah Valley University, associate director for Utah Lyric Opera, and on staff for The Cornish American Song Institute and The Utah Lyric Opera Summer Workshop. He also maintains a private voice and acting studio. 

John Moreland began his professional career in law enforcement in Southern California. In 2003, Mr. Moreland founded PICS/Avetta, a supplier compliance software firm. Under John’s leadership, PICS acquired the largest firms in the world as customers (including BP, American Airlines, John Deere, ExxonMobil and Goodyear) and created the critical infrastructure that powered the industry-wide shift to a compliance based supplier marketplace.

With more than 20 years of executive experience, John leverages deep domain expertise in risk management, health and safety, compliance, and law enforcement. He is credited with developing a global platform that has streamlined and simplified an often-redundant supplier prequalification process. A trailblazer, visionary, and innovator, John grew the firm from a single-person operation to the world’s leading provider of risk management solutions and created the fastest growing supplier marketplace in the world.

 

O.U.R. Promise

To the children

who we pray for daily, we say:
Your long night is coming to an end.

Hold on. We are on our way.

And to those captors and perpetrators,
even you monsters who dare offend God's
precious children, we declare to you:
Be afraid. We are coming for you.

To those who have read this far,
we plead with you: Donate to our cause
Donate. We can't do this without you.

Process

Tap on an icon to learn more

  1. Assess the feasibility of rescue.

    This must take into account the willingness of local authorities to work with us since we not only want to save the children but arrest the perpetrators as well. We also want everything to be done legally and above board.

  2. Research the location

    We also search for vetted care facilities that will take the children once they are rescued and not only give them food and shelter but rehabilitate them as well. In some instances the children are able to return to their families.

  3. Design a strategy

    This is the logistical part of the process. As former CIA, Navy Seals, Special Agents, etc., we have a very unique skill set to make this happen safely, efficiently and legally. We provide local law enforcement training to support and sustain anti-trafficking operations.

  4. Take action.

    Obviously this is the most dangerous part of the operation but one well worth taking. In some instances we go undercover and arrange to "buy" a child as if we were a customer. After the purchase, we move in with the police, arrest those responsible and rescue the children. In other cases, we may act as a "client" looking for favors, etc. Again, we work with local authorities to make sure everything is done to protect the children and that the perpetrators are arrested.

  5. Recover the children.

    These children's lives will never be the same. Their innocence has been stolen and they need help to readjust to a better world. Therapy can be provided as well as food and shelter at a pre-screened facility.

  6. Arrest, try, and convict the perpetrators.

    We follow this process every step of the way to make sure they don't traffic children again. In many cases the perpetrators were sex slaves and victims of trafficking themselves and know no better way to survive. We hope to break this cycle.

We are not a government agency.

We are a non-profit 501(c)3 organization
that relies one hundred percent on
donations to save children.

And, we do it because
no child should be a sex slave.

Team

The Team

Tap on a photo to learn more

  • Tim Ballard

    Founder & CEO

    Timothy Ballard is the Founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.). He also serves as O.U.R.'s Jump Team Commander for rescue operations. Ballard spent over a decade working as a Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security where he was assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and deployed as an undercover operative for the U.S. Child Sex Tourism Jump Team. He has worked every type of case imaginable in the fight to dismantle child trafficking rings. Ballard has worked undercover in the United States and in multiple foreign countries to infiltrate child trafficking organizations. In this effort he has successfully dismantled dozens of these organizations and rescued countless children from sex slavery. He is an expert at managing Internet investigations, particularly those dealing with file-share networks where pedophiles and traffickers go to trade in child pornography. He has trained hundreds of law enforcement officers and has testified before the United States Congress on best practices to liberate children from sex slavery. 

    Ballard has been featured on many national news outlets to discuss his efforts to combat child trafficking. He has appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, The Meredith Vieira Show, CBS Nightly News, ABC Nightline, and CNN Headline News, MSNBC, The Glenn Beck Program, as well as many local news shows.

    Ballard is the best-selling author of "The Covenant: One Nation Under God," and is the author of the sequel to that work, "The Covenant, Lincoln, and The War." He has taught American and International Politics courses at Imperial Valley College, San Diego State University and American Heritage School. He has been featured regularly on both local and national TV and radio programs to discuss American history and politics and the role America has played in defending liberty at home and abroad. He has often commented on how his academic work in American history has provided him the inspiration and motivation to rescue children--to carry on the American tradition of liberating the captive. He recently received the distinguished George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.

    After serving a church mission to Chile, Ballard graduated Cum Laude with a BA in Spanish and Political Science from Brigham Young University. He went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude with an MA in International Politics from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He resides in California with his wife and children.

  • Jerry Gowen

    Chief Operating
    Officer

    Jerry Gowen was named Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) in November 2014. In this role, he is responsible for development, IT, marketing, communications, donor relations, partnerships and contributing to the organization’s strategy.

    Prior to joining O.U.R., Gowen managed communications for Symantec Corp., a Fortune 500 publicly-traded software company with 21,000 employees and $7 billion in annual revenue. During his 10 year career at Symantec, Gowen was responsible for creation and execution of the public relations and social media strategies for 2 of the company's largest business units. He is recognized as one of the top trade media relations experts in the U.S. and was named Top Tech Communicator of the Year.

    Prior to Symantec, Gowen served as Senior Public Relations Manager for PowerQuest Corp. and Global Communications Manager at Legato Systems, Inc. Gowen has also served as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University and Washington State University, teaching courses in communications, public relations, marketing, information technology and statistics.

    Gowen earned his BA in Public Relations with a Minor in Business Management at Brigham Young University in 1998 and was recognized as the Outstanding Graduating Senior in Communications. He earned his MBA at Washington State University in 2010 and was presented with the Chancellor’s Award for Student Achievement.

    Gowen is fluent in Spanish and resides in Utah with his wife and 6 children. He is active in the community supporting the Boy Scouts of America and local youth soccer programs.

  • Michael Ottoman

    SVP of Rescue
    & Recovery

    Michael Ottoman joined the Operation Underground Railroad after a twelve-year career with the federal government, during which he worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. Department of State. While serving as an intelligence officer, he tracked issues related to chemical and biological weapons programs and proliferation, and counterterrorism against the homeland. He also analyzed the political transition in Iraq after the fall of Saddam, and subsequent U.S. counter-insurgency efforts. At the CIA, Ottoman regularly provided short and long-term intelligence analysis to US Presidents, senior cabinet officials, and the National Security Council.

    In his role as a Foreign Service Officer and diplomat, Ottoman served overseas tours in Madrid, Spain, Caracas, Venezuela, and Mexico City, Mexico, where he specialized in the fight against terrorism, illegal narcotics, organized crime, and human trafficking. During these overseas tours he organized and facilitated state and other official visits for President Obama, Vice President Biden, and then Secretary of State Rice.

    Before his government career, Ottoman worked in television broadcasting, and later supported international schools in Luxembourg and Switzerland. He holds a B.A. in International Studies from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and a M.A. in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California, where he first met OUR Founder and CEO Tim Ballard. Ottoman is married and has two daughters.

  • Jessica

    Director of
    Aftercare

    Born and raised in the Midwest Jessica found her calling in life when she was 13 years old on a church mission trip in the inner-city of Brooklyn, New York. Following high school she worked for 15 years in six different states in the area of social work empowering youth in foster care, areas of mental health and human trafficking. Her primary focus has been helping children and youth heal from trauma and empowering them in their hopes and dreams for the future. She also has first-hand experience being a therapeutic foster parent for children that experienced severe neglect, abuse or human trafficking.

    Jessica has been able to serve in several different parts of the world including England, Zambia, Uganda, Thailand, Cambodia, Haiti, Dominican Republic, India, and Mexico. In college she double majored in Biblical Studies and Family Education at Multnomah University. She completed the Arts Bridge Scholar grad level program at the University of Utah and is certified in the Teaching Family Model. Jessica has a strong belief that there is always hope for everyone and sometimes it just takes one person pouring into someone that can be forever life-changing.

  • Jonathan Lines

    President of
    Operations

    Jonathan Lines joined Operation Underground Railroad in October 2016 after retiring from federal law enforcement where he served honorably for 25 years. As O.U.R.'s Executive Vice President of Operations he directs efforts throughout the world in saving children from the evils of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. Jon is a proud alum of Arizona State University where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Justice Studies with an emphasis in Business Administration. He later received a Master’s Degree in Homeland Security and Defense from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Much of his graduate degree curriculum stressed taking a multi-disciplinary approach to combatting threats at both national and international levels. This collaborative approach includes contributions from governments, military, law enforcement, the intelligence community, NGO’s, private business, and stakeholders from every level of society, including private citizens and volunteers who are the key to all good that is ever accomplished. He employed this holistic strategy in his very fruitful law enforcement efforts and now brings this approach to O.U.R. in combatting the scourge of human trafficking and the exploitation of children.

    As a dedicated and decorated special agent, Jon served in the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Jon’s law enforcement career was punctuated by numerous prestigious awards for investigative and operational excellence, including a DHS Secretary’s Award for Excellence, and the DOJ Office of the Inspector General’s National Award of Merit, the highest honor an agent can receive. Jon began his law enforcement career with DOJ in Arizona and finished his quarter century run in Utah as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of DHS, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). He was a pioneer of sorts, charged with shaping HSI in Utah, which was created as the investigative branch of DHS soon after the tragic events of 9/11. Jon was instrumental in establishing HSI from its infancy in Utah to what is now a reputable and prolific force in the Utah law enforcement community. Jon’s law enforcement experience covered a wide array of complex investigative endeavors. In addition to leading many federal national security criminal investigations, Jon was an accomplished undercover operative who later oversaw a regional undercover program as a HSI manager. Jon led those under his command to be perennial leaders in all categories of statistical productivity, emphasizing innovation, efficiency, and accountability. Numerous critical initiatives conducted under his direction were adopted as national models and his leadership helped distinguish the Utah HSI offices as among the highest producers in the nation.

    Jon has a proven history of fostering prolific partnerships. He sat on many law enforcement governing boards and task forces to include the Utah Trafficking in Persons task force headed up by the Utah Attorney General’s office. He counts his most meaningful collaborative successes in the child exploitation investigations realm where his agents were integral members of Utah’s nationally renowned Internet Crimes Against Children task force. He also spearheaded productive coalescences with state and local law enforcement agencies in transnational gang enforcement. In a span of three years, a gang task force he created removed over 800 violent gang members from Utah communities. Jon has shared his experiences in creating and sustaining task forces in forums throughout the United States such as the National Association of Chiefs of Police conferences, the National Sheriffs Association conferences, various Gang Enforcement conferences and as a frequent guest instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. He also peddles his passion for law enforcement as an Associate Professor at Salt Lake Community College.

    Jon loved being a cop and will forever cherish being a part of that unique fraternity, but he will not relinquish his role in safeguarding others. His track record of building coalitions and partnering to solve problems will enhance OURs efforts to save more children’s lives and expose those who victimize our children.

    Jon adores his family. He has a beautiful wife, Kimberly, of 32 years, and four children, two boys and two girls. He also has five grandchildren. Jon’s family is his pride and joy. It is their love, support and patience which have allowed him to dedicate a quarter century of safeguarding the nation, and now children around the world. His hobbies include sports, movies, historical literature, gardening, and his newfound passion of Pickleball. 

  • Cherstyn Stockwell

    Director of
    Development

    Cherstyn Monson Stockwell joined Operation Underground Railroad in 2016 as their Director of Development. After graduating from Brigham Young University, Cherstyn moved to Washington, D.C., where she lived for 10 years working for two conservative members of the House of Representatives and the Senate. After her time in Washington, she worked with a political action committee in Orange County, California, involving individuals, business owners, and organizations support of philanthropic causes, political candidates and community needs. In 2007, Cherstyn moved to Salt Lake City and joined the Utah Association of Realtors as Director of Operations. In 2013 she joined a public policy center called Sutherland Institute as their Operations Manager and Development Manager and then joined the GFC Foundation as their Partner and Government Relations Manager. Cherstyn has served as a delegate in her local precinct, a co-chair of her local high school’s community council, as well as other community service roles and opportunities. Cherstyn and her husband, Matt, are the parents of six children.

  • Tevya Ware

    VP Finance

    Tevya has a great deal of experience in accounting and operations management for small and mid-size companies, as well as large entities such as the University of California. However, her value goes far beyond accounting. Her ability to quickly recognize and deal with problems in all areas of Administration has enabled her to be successful both as an employee, as well as founder of several startup companies. Those qualities combined with exceptional interpersonal skills and attention to detail make her an invaluable member of the O.U.R. Team. She lives on a small ranch with her husband and four children, and enjoys riding horses, working on the ranch and engaging in outdoor activities.

  • Emily Evans

    Director of
    Marketing & PR

    Emily was born and raised in Southern California and runs the Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) Los Angeles office.

    After receiving her Bachelors degree in Communications, Emily moved back to Los Angeles where she worked for several years as a Recruiter for Red Bull North America out of their headquarters in Santa Monica.

    Emily became passionate about nonprofits when she had the opportunity to work with Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) on their yearly event, Stand Up 2 Cancer. She also spent time volunteering for Project PLAY!, a non-profit that provides funding for sports, music and art youth programs in Los Angeles.

    As the current Director of Marketing & PR for Operation Underground Railroad, Emily has found her true passion in ending child sex slavery around the world. When she is not working she enjoys paddle boarding, hiking, yoga and spending time with her husband and dogs.

  • Kelli Houghton

    Development
    Manager

    Kelli Houghton grew up on the east coast but has enjoyed living in seven states throughout the U.S. She has a master’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Work (LCSW). She has been actively involved in the international community for the past seventeen years developing programs and advocating for policies related to preserving families and protecting children.

    She has served as the Director of Youth and Family programs for UFI, Director of International Voice for Youth (IVY), Director of the International AIDS program, Stay Alive, a Hospital Administrator managing social work, interpreting services and spiritual care, and currently is serving as the President of United Families International. Kelli has organized and presented at international conferences including various United Nations conferences, International Global Health Conference in Washington, DC, Global Family Conferences in Australia and Spain, and directed the Emerging Leader Program at World Congress of Families IX in Salt Lake City. Kelli and her husband, Dr. Carl Houghton, have four adult children.

  • Jen D.

    Events Manager

    "A man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race."
     
    Jen has a deep passion for serving her fellow men. She has served in many different organizations locally, as well as internationally. She currently sits on the board of a Haitian orphanage.  She worked in the Events industry for 7 years before joining the O.U.R. team. She has a drive and a passion for creating events that are memorable, as well as beneficial to funding O.U.R.'s needs. She has worked in the corporate, academic, non-profit, and group and incentive world of event planning.
    In her spare time she enjoys being outside taking advantage of all that mother nature offers.
  • Tyler

    Aftercare Assistant

    Raised in the mountains of Star Valley, Wyoming, Tyler's life was forever changed when he witnessed severe physical and sexual exploitation of children in the Dominican Republic.

    Tyler received degrees in Spanish and Healthcare Administration from Utah State University and Brigham Young University-Idaho and is currently pursuing an MBA from the University of Wyoming. Tyler’s history of volunteer work includes serving with organizations like Kingdom Global, The Tim Tebow Foundation, The Make A Wish Foundation, Idaho Falls Rescue Mission, and the Children’s Tumor Network. Tyler has since served all over South America. He is fluent in Spanish.

    In 2014, Tyler returned to the Dominican Republic and founded Gifts of Grace, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing the exploitation of children in the Dominican Republic. The foundation fights trafficking by empowering vulnerable children who can’t attend school and are often exploited because of the lack of education. The foundation seeks to remove the hurdles preventing children from attending school by paying tuition, paying for legal services to obtain birth certificates, and purchasing required uniforms.

    Tyler now works with aftercare and considers it an honor to work for Operation Underground Railroad and witness the liberation and rehabilitation of God's precious children. When he isn't fighting exploitation he enjoys hiking the Grand Tetons, developing nature photography, attending rock concerts, supporting the Spurs and the Packers, and enjoying a nice burger from Five Guys.

  • Jani Dix

    Volunteer
    Coordinator

    Jani has a lifelong passion for education, both as a learner and a teacher. When she gains knowledge or a new skill, she can't keep it to herself; she has to share it. Since graduating with a degree in public health she has spent her professional career learning about and supporting great causes. However, her true joy comes from finding new ways to get people involved in the causes she loves. She believes in everyone's ability to make a difference and loves creating opportunities for people to see just how much good they can really do. Her experience as a community outreach coordinator, team leader at a residential center for at-risk youth, and as a volunteer coordinator for a major county's rape crisis team has taught her just how important it is to bring like-minded people together in support of something bigger than themselves.

     

    Jani is an eternal optimist who's always excited for a new adventure. She lives in San Marcos, California with her husband and four children.

  • Heidi Fransen

    Community Relations
    Manager

    Heidi Fransen joined Operation Underground Railroad as Community Relations Manager after two years of volunteer fundraising for the organization. As a mother of three young children, she felt a strong draw to spreading the cause and still believes there is no greater effort than rescuing children from slavery. Heidi was raised with a global view of the world as she lived six years in Tokyo Japan and two in Shanghai, China. She graduated from BYU-Idaho with Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Communications. Heidi and her family reside in Rexburg, Idaho, home of the Run to Break The Chain 5k/10K/Half Marathon and OUR Sweet Stand, which she started in 2015 to raise awareness & funds for O.U.R. 

Ambassadors

Tap on a photo to learn more

  • Laurie Holden

    Actress

  • Chelsie Hightower

    Dancer

    Chelsie Hightower is a well known dancer originally from Orem, Utah. She was a fan-favorite and finalist on Fox's hit TV show, So You Think You Can Dance, where she still makes appearances as a choreographer and all-star. Two of the pieces that were choreographed for her and her partner were nominated for Emmys. She moved straight to Dancing With the Stars where she performed for nine seasons and, while there, was nominated for an Emmy for a dance she choreographed along with Derek Hough. Her partners have included everyone from Olympic athletes to world renowned entertainers.

    She was the face of Reebok's dance line and a multitude of other product endorsements, including Latisse and other national brands. She was featured in the Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition with her partner, Ty Murray, where she had a two page spread and has also graced the cover of many national dance and fitness magazines. Dance continues to be a major part of Chelsie's life, and she hopes to inspire as many people to a healthier and happier life through movement and fitness.

  • Kaskade

    Artist/Producer

    When I was made aware of the enormous scope of human trafficking, and more specifically the involvement of children in it, I couldn't let it go. The day I became a father, it felt like a primal switch was flipped. There's little I wouldn't do to secure the safety of my own children. O.U.R.'s mission to do just that for children who have been involved in modern day slavery speaks to that same feeling. I'm proud to support O.U.R.'s dedicated operatives who literally risk their own lives and dedicate countless hours to work for the betterment of those affected by human trafficking. To date they've helped save more than 250 kids worldwide. This is a fight I can get behind.

  • Lexi Walker

    Singer

    "Even though I'm only 13 years old, I want to do what I can to raise awareness about Operation Underground Railroad! Being an Abolitionist means that I'm sharing my voice to help bring an end to human trafficking. Shouldn't you be doing that too?? #OURrescue"

  • Brooke White

    Singer/Songwriter

    Brooke White, the quirky rhaspy¬voiced blonde, moved to LA from her native hometown of Mesa, AZ in hopes of becoming a singer-songwriter. After a handful of years spent chasing the dream, writing songs, cutting hair in her bathroom and nannying twins, she finally landed her big break when she was granted a golden ticket to perform on the nation's biggest stage, where millions of viewers formed an emotional bond and welcomed her barefoot at the piano style into their homes on a weekly basis. Since her Top five finish on American Idol, Brooke has continued to pave her own path as a relevant independent artist in the entertainment industry. She started her own record label "June Baby Records" and has independently released 6 records including 3 EP's from her band Jack and White. She has played live for thousands, touring the nation from arenas and theaters to clubs and radio stations. She has hosted live from the red carpet for TV guide, judged Miss America, starred in two TV movies: Change of Plans that aired on FOX and Banner 4th of July for the Hallmark Channel. She currently co-hosts The Girls With Glasses Show, a whimsical web channel and lifestyle series alongside model and actress Summer Bellessa that can be found on YouTube, Ulive and The Design Network. Her most recent song "Something Divine" written nearly 10 years ago about discovering your worth, has been recorded and released also as a music video on the Mormon channel.

    On a personal note Brooke and her husband Dave Ray, have been married for over 10 years and welcomed their first child, daughter London also known as "Londy Loo", in May of 2012. The one-time nanny has come full circle, living and loving the roll of a lifetime, now juggling her passions with motherhood. Today her efforts are focused less on massive commercial success and more upon utilizing her talents and platform to truly connect with people in a more honest and hopeful way as to fulfill her greater purpose to uplift others and help them feel less alone. Brooke feels she was "divinely inspired" to find Operation Underground Railroad, after she was generously gifted $20,000 by Foundation Entertainment (a production company she had worked with on Change of Plans) to give to a charity of her choice. After several months of searching and praying for the right charity to donate to, she happened to see a friend's (Stephanie Nielsen) Instagram post about Operation Underground Railroad and their efforts to rescue children from human trafficking.

    As a protective mother of a sweet daughter of her own, this struck a chord and knew she had found the right one. While she was grateful to give the gift she was given to O.U.R. she also felt compelled to give something of herself and involve her community, which inspired her to make a special record "Never Grow Up: Lullabies and Happy Songs." Each song is an original collaboration with generous and talented artists such as Mindy Gledhill, David Archuleta, Deana Carter, Leigh Nash, Carly Smithson, Daniel Tashian, Lucy Schwartz, Jack Matranga and the late Michael Johns. Utilizing Pledge Music, "Never Grow Up" garnished incredible support from friends and fans and in just a month was able to more than double the original donation and spread awareness for the cause. All of the proceeds raised and continue to be raised (Via iTunes, Google Play etc.) all go towards Operation Underground Railroad. Brooke's work with O.U.R. isn't done, she is fully committed for the long haul as an "abolitionist" in the fight to end child sex slavery and human trafficking.

  • Marisol Nichols

    Actress

    <p><span>Born and raised in Chicago, after a troubled youth, Marisol found her way onto the stage at the age of 19. Since then, she has starred in numerous films and television shows. She has been a series regular on seven prime time television shows for ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and Showtime including Steven Bochco&rsquo;s Blind Justice, Fox&rsquo;s award winning 24 and recently, ABC&rsquo;s GCB. Her film credits include Vegas Vacation, Can&rsquo;t Hardly Wait, Felon, Scream 2, and Bowfinger to name a few.</span><br /><br /><span>Marisol is currently balancing her humanitarian work while recurring on the largest television dramas in the world CBS&rsquo;s NCIS, CBS&rsquo;s Criminal Minds and MTV&rsquo;s Teen Wolf. </span><br /><br /><span>Marisol has been fighting human rights abuses for over a decade. She has traveled to DC and lobbied for new legislative bills addressing human rights violations. She hosted the 11th and the 12th Human Rights World Educational Tour in Washington DC, produced the Youth for Human Rights Hero Awards, hosted the Citizen Commission on Human Rights Awards celebration, and helped launch a juvenile criminal rehabilitation program in her hometown of Chicago, as well as partnered with other human rights organizations to lend her voice and name in anyway she can. She was awarded the Spirit of the Community Award from the Association for Better Living and Education for her work on juvenile criminal rehabilitation, as well as Illinois State House Resolution HR1023, recognizing not only her work as an actress, but also her humanitarian efforts. She has also lent her support to imperative Federal and State trafficking legislation to help crack down on how the country deals with child sex trafficking. Her passion is now dedicated to putting an end to the most egregious human rights violation, human trafficking. </span><br /><br /><span>When Marisol began hearing of specific instances of children having been trafficked, abused and exploited, she had to do something about it. While attending many red carpet events for humanitarian issues, Marisol found herself wondering why she didn&rsquo;t see many red carpet events to shine a light on human trafficking, to raise funds for the cause, and educate others on the issue. In typical fashion, she decided to start her own nonprofit organization and produce her own events to raise awareness and partner with organizations that are doing incredible work in this field, while garnering media attention in order to share their heroic work with the world.</span></p>

  • Montel Williams

    Media Personality

    Mr. Williams is an internationally recognized, award winning media personality, decorated former naval officer, inspirational speaker, author, entrepreneur and advocate for patients worldwide. Williams earned his degree in General Engineering and minor in International Security Affairs from the United States Naval Academy. In 2011 Williams founded the neuroscience technology company, Neurohabilitation, Inc, which is now a subsidiary of Helius Medical Technologies, Inc. The company is working with the US Army to further research to potentially treat TBI and clinical trials are in progress in multiple locations. Williams is also a principal of Pure Blue Resources, LLC, an innovative renewable energy technology company. Williams serves as a Special Envoy to the United Nations Save Our Sharks Coalition and as a board member to the Fisher House Foundation, The Freedom Festival and Military Adaptive Sports, Inc, host of the 2016 Invictus Games.

Directors

Tap on a photo to learn more

  • Kelly Wilson

  • Julianne Blake

    Julianne has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a background in teaching and mentoring children. She loves being part of O.U.R.’s efforts and cannot imagine a greater cause than saving and rescuing children from slavery. She has been on the Board of Directors from the birth of O.U.R. and feels honored to be part of the organization.

  • Stephen Fairbanks

    Stephen was born in Edmonton Alberta Canada and Moved to California at 15 years of age. He graduated college with an MS in Mechanical Engineering. He has worked in the Computer Peripherals Industry, Medical Electronics Device Development and Manufacturing, The Automation Industry and Irrigation Control. He currently owns and runs a company that manufactures a banding castration tools for cattle. He married his high school sweetheart Toni Risser and they have 8 children and 25 grandchildren. He has always been involved in community, church and scouting and currently serves as Scoutmaster and Scouting District Commissioner. He has been associated with Tim Ballard for years before O.U.R. was formed.

  • Marc Reynolds

    Dr. Marc Reynolds is a native of Los Angeles, received his undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance and a Master of Music degree with an emphasis in Opera Directing from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree with an emphasis in Opera Directing at The University of Texas at Austin.

    As a Stage Director, Marc Reynolds has enjoyed recent success in directing operatic works for professional and academic organizations. His work has received awards and nominations from the press and critics.

    As an educator Dr. Reynolds has taught for The University of Texas at Austin, The Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program, Brigham Young University, Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Sparkling City Light Opera’s Vocal Arts workshop. He was a founding associate director for The University of Texas at Austin’s Butler Opera Center Young Artist Program.

    Marc is currently the opera director at Utah Valley University, associate director for Utah Lyric Opera, and on staff for The Cornish American Song Institute and The Utah Lyric Opera Summer Workshop. He also maintains a private voice and acting studio. 

  • John Moreland

    John Moreland began his professional career in law enforcement in Southern California. In 2003, Mr. Moreland founded PICS/Avetta, a supplier compliance software firm. Under John’s leadership, PICS acquired the largest firms in the world as customers (including BP, American Airlines, John Deere, ExxonMobil and Goodyear) and created the critical infrastructure that powered the industry-wide shift to a compliance based supplier marketplace.

    With more than 20 years of executive experience, John leverages deep domain expertise in risk management, health and safety, compliance, and law enforcement. He is credited with developing a global platform that has streamlined and simplified an often-redundant supplier prequalification process. A trailblazer, visionary, and innovator, John grew the firm from a single-person operation to the world’s leading provider of risk management solutions and created the fastest growing supplier marketplace in the world.

     

Board of Governors

  • Heidi Miller

    Chair

  • James Viray

    Co-Chair

  • Jorge L. Romero

  • Barry Milkovich

  • Alex Davis

  • Karl Ryser

  • Randy Larsen

  • Alberto Puertas

  • Vicente Fox

  • Larry Anderson

  • Jared Douglass

  • Adam Kessler

  • Mike Jensen

  • Douglas Turley

  • Greg Mech

  • Gary Hays

  • David Parker

  • Rick Maingot

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