Who We Are

Established in 2009, TAT started with a simple yet powerful belief: that every truck driver can be a crucial ally in the fight against human trafficking.

Since then, TAT has grown to encompass a greater portion of the transportation industry, forming deep alliances to maximize collective effort through programs that include innovative training, partnerships with law enforcement and advocacy efforts. Using targeted systems change as our model, we’ve raised awareness about trafficking, who it targets and its signs, and equipped individuals to take action whenever their lives intersect with it and its victims.

At TAT, we’re driven by the belief that together, we can make a difference. Our focus on collaboration, education and action fuels our mission to end human trafficking and restore dignity to survivors. Join us as we work to dismantle trafficking networks and bring perpetrators to justice.

Our Mission

TAT stands committed to educate, equip, empower and mobilize members of key industries and agencies to combat human trafficking.

Our Team

Our team members are the heart and soul of our organization, tirelessly working to achieve our mission in ways that affect lasting and impactful change in the fight against human trafficking. Each individual brings a unique set of skills, experiences and unwavering commitment to our cause. Get to know the passionate individuals who drive our efforts forward and join us in making a difference in the fight against modern-day slavery.

Staff
Board of Directors
Advisory Committee
Esther Goetsch
Executive Director

External Affairs


Kylla Lanier
Deputy Director, Senior Director of External Affairs
Maggie Dawson
Public Sector Engagement Specialist
Dylan Wecht
Public Sector Engagement Specialist
Liz Gray
Training Specialist/Survivor Leader
Hilary Benanzer
Data Analyst
Brandy Belton
Freedom Drivers Project Director
Micah Larsen
Freedom Drivers Project Specialist
Darrah Thomas
Communications Manager

Programs & Strategic Initiatives


Annie Sovcik
Senior Director of Programs & Strategic Initiatives
Sara Sefried
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Lexi Higgins
Director of Industry Engagement (Transit, Motorcoach, School Transportation)
Kelley Alsobrook
Training Specialist/Survivor Leader
Louis Greek
Training Specialist

Industry Training & Outreach


Laura Cyrus
Senior Director of Industry Training & Outreach

Heather Fry
Director of Industry Training

Molly Griffiths
Corporate Engagement Manager

Chris Moreno
Industry Training Program Specialist 

Amanda Haggerty
Data Administration Specialist

Operations


Lyn Leeburg
Communications Director

Susan Dold
Director of Finance and HR

Arianne Singleton
Administrative Specialist

TAT’s Board of Directors is a source of encouragement, strength, wisdom, experience, business acumen and a gateway to the industries and organizations they represent. The Board of Directors serves to promote the mission of TAT and is the policy-making body for the organization.

Scott Perry
Chair
Suddath Global Logistics

Gareth Aiken
Director
FedEx Ground

Don Blake
Director
Inland Kenworth US, Inc.

Debi Boffa
Director
TravelCenters of America

Joe Boyle
Director
UPS Corporate Transportation

Linda Burtwistle
Director
Executive Chair of Coach USA

Josh Holland
Director
Bridgestone

Sara Rajtik
Director
American Trucking Associations

Chief Tommie J. Reese, Sr.
Director
Alabama Attorney General’s Office

Antoine Sadler
Director
Walmart Transportation

Stephanie Wicky
Director
Ryder

Esther Goetsch
Executive Director
TAT

Gary Clark
Board Member Emeritus
Bridgestone

Bruce DD MacRae
Board Member Emeritus
UPS

The TAT Advisory Committee is comprised of members who come from diverse backgrounds, professional spheres, and experiences in fighting human trafficking. They provide thought leadership, lived experience expertise, business leadership, resource activation and consultation to TAT’s leadership and team.

Doug Estrada
Chair
Walmart

Elisabeth Barna
EAB Strategies

Kristin M. Beck
Holcim U.S.

Joy Friedman
The Missing Peace

Kellylynn McLaughlin
Professional Driver
FMCSA Women of Trucking Advisory Board Member

Candice Shaw
Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre

Harneet Sihota
Kam-Way Transportation, Inc.

Whilna Stewart-Franklin
UPS Canada

Arian Taylor
Ballard Inc.

Our Journey

2009

The Beginning

TAT (Truckers Against Trafficking) is founded as an initiative of Chapter 61 Ministries by Lyn Leeburg, her four daughters, Kirsta, Kylla, Kendis and Karin, and a family friend, Crystal Chandler.

Our Story

2009

First Truck Show

TAT attends the Big Rig Truck Show to reach the trucking industry where they gather, helping them realize the important role they could play in fighting human trafficking.

Kylla Lanier and Kendis Paris at the Great American Truck Show in 2015

2010

Early Champions

Ryder becomes TAT’s first major trucking partner and facilitates an introduction to Bridgestone. These two industry leaders open doors for TAT to state trucking associations throughout the U.S.

2011

External Investments

TAT receives its first grant from the Greenbaum Foundation.

2011

It’s Official!

TAT is incorporated as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Kendis Paris becomes TAT’s first executive director and establishes a board of directors with representatives from the trucking industry.

Kendis Paris in semi truck

2012

Building Public-Private Partnerships

TAT hosts its first Coalition Build in Orange County, CA in partnership with the FBI and the California Trucking Association.

2012

Recognized for Innovation

TAT wins the Global Centurion Norma Hotaling Award for Innovative Demand Reduction.

2013

Saving Lives

TAT names its first annual Harriet Tubman Award winner: Tracy Mullins, a general manager of the Petro Stopping Center in Spokane, WA, for her actions which helped prevent human trafficking from taking place.

Harriet Tubman Award

2013

Training Video

TAT produces its first industry-specific human trafficking training video, which it distributes to the trucking industry free of charge, becoming the basis of its industry training model.

Over-the-Road video screenshot

2013

Model Creation

TAT works with the Iowa Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division to create the Iowa MVE model.

2013

Recognized for Impact

The United Nations lists TAT as one of the 100 best anti-human trafficking practices in the world.

2014

On the Move

TAT debuts its mobile exhibit, the Freedom Drivers Project, at the Great American Trucking Show (GATS) in Dallas, TX.

First Freedom Drivers Project trailer

2016

Training Law Enforcement

TAT facilitates its first law enforcement training with Maine State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement.

Freedom Drivers Project at the Arizona Coalition Build

2016

Reaching the Next Generation

Ohio becomes the first state in the nation to include TAT training as part of the entry-level CDL curriculum.

2017

Model Replication

TAT replicates its industry-engagement model across borders (Mexico) and industries (bus and energy).

2017

Creative Approaches

Kenworth Truck builds and auctions off the first Everyday Heroes Truck to raise funds to support TAT’s work.

Everyday Heroes auction

2018

Addressing Demand

TAT launches its Man-to-Man Campaign.

2018

Force Multipliers

TAT begins partnering with manufacturers and shipping companies to reach their carriers.

2019

New Frontiers

TAT expands to Canada as the country establishes its own national human trafficking hotline.

Esther Goetsch and Heather Fry hold signs to indicate that TAT has expanded into Canada.

2019

TAT Champion Awards

TAT creates three annual awards to honor the outstanding efforts of its partners who have significantly furthered our mission.

2020

Training Milestone

TAT registers over 1,000,000 people as trained.

2022

New Leadership

TAT’s Founding Executive Director, Kendis Paris, steps down and the board of directors appoints long-time TAT employee, Esther Goetsch, as TAT’s new executive director.

Esther Goetsch, Executive Director of TAT

2024

Fifteen Years

TAT updates its logo and mission statement to more accurately communicate its current scope, goals and impact.

Learn More

Our Story

Lyn Leeburg sent her four daughters, Kirsta Melton, Kylla Lanier, Kendis Paris and Karin Larsen the book “Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade–and How We Can Fight It” by David Batstone and urged them to read it. Horrified by what they learned, they resolved to find an innovative way to disrupt human trafficking networks and support the recovery of victims.

From Lyn’s childhood days at her family motel in El Paso, Texas, she knew truck drivers to be dependable people of good character. Beyond that, she knew the extraordinary reach of the industry, as millions of truck drivers traverse the roadways daily. As traffickers use the same roadways and gas stations as everyone else, truck drivers are uniquely positioned to recognize and report this heinous crime.

In 2009, Lyn, her daughters, and a family friend, Crystal Chandler, founded TAT (Truckers Against Trafficking). While initially started as an initiative of Chapter 61 Ministries, TAT’s founders quickly discerned the impact the trucking industry could have in the fight against human trafficking, as both the industry and the anti-trafficking movement embraced its theory-of-change. Incorporated as its own 501(c)(3) organization in 2011, Kendis became its first full-time employee and executive director. Lyn continued as TAT’s director of communications and Kylla became TAT’s deputy director.

Fifteen years since its founding, TAT has grown from an idea seeded by a small team of volunteers to an organization that has trained over 1.7 million people on human trafficking. As a result, TAT-trained professionals have made thousands of calls to law enforcement and helped in the recovery of hundreds of victims. TAT’s work has expanded beyond the trucking industry to include the bus and energy industries, as well as law enforcement and government agencies. TAT’s impact continues to increase exponentially, as its industry and law enforcement partners carry the TAT message forward and work alongside TAT to raise awareness about human trafficking within their communities and networks.

The TAT founders
(Front from left) Lyn Leeburg, Kylla Lanier
(Back from left) Kirsta Melton, Kendis Paris, Karin Larsen
Crystal Chandler
Crystal Chandler