MEET THE TEAM

MICHELLE WEIDNER

Executive Director

Weidner has over 20 years of experience in public relations, writing, and nonprofit advocacy. She is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, in which she served as a radio and television broadcaster for the American Forces Network. She has a Master of Public Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, summa cum laude, from Northern Illinois University. She and her husband experienced a medically-based wrongful allegation of abuse in 2010 due to a radiological interpretation error.

DIANE REDLEAF

President

Redleaf is the principal at Family Defense Consulting , the co-chair of United Family Advocates (a bipartisan federal policy advocacy group for families in the child welfare system), and a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. She founded and led legal advocacy at the Family Defense Center in Chicago for 12 years, until 2017. She is the author of They Took the Kids Last Night: How The Child Protection System Puts Families At Risk.  She is a graduate of Stanford Law School, where she was an Articles Editor of the Stanford Law Review, and Carleton College, magna cum laude.

ALAN NOVICK

Vice President

Novick  has litigated extensively in the trial courts in child protection cases, including cases involving complex medical and psychological issues. He has a Juris Doctorate and Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois

TONY LAWLOR

Secretary & Treasurer

Lawlor is the owner of Lawlor Consulting Group LLC and the co-founder and former Associate Director of SYESA, a Chicago social services agency that helps youth in foster care transition to successful adulthood. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and is currently seeking a Master of Arts in Evangelism and Leadership at Wheaton College. A former ward of the state himself, he experienced a medically-based wrongful allegation in 2013.

TARA CRADY

Member, Board of Directors

Crady is a Crisis Therapist for the Children's Home Association of Illinois and a former Forensic Interviewer at Tazewell County Child Advocacy Center. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Government from Illinois State University. She and her husband experienced a medically-based wrongful allegation in 2015 as a result of medical misdiagnosis.

MARY BRODERICK

Family Advocate
Member, Board of Directors

Broderick is the President/Owner of ClearView Research, Inc. and is a former board president of the Family Defense Center. She has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She and her husband experienced a medically-based wrongful allegation of abuse in 2003, due to a radiological interpretation error. As a volunteer Family Advocate, Broderick helps families navigate the child welfare system. 

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