Meet the Team:
Senior Special Agent (Retired) Russell W. Strand, CFP-A, is the Executive Director of Certified FETI and Managing Partner and co-founder of Strand Holistic Innovative Forensic Techniques (SHIFT) LLC. Russell is an internationally recognized expert in child abuse and sexual assault investigations, domestic violence intervention, human trafficking, critical incident peer support, forensic interviews, trauma response, and culture change. He is also the creator of the Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview (FETI).
As a career law enforcement professional, trainer, educator, writer, and consultant, Russ has distinguished himself as an integral member of the criminal justice community his entire adult life. He began his law enforcement career in 1975 as a military police patrol officer, performed duties as a military police investigator, and retired 22 years later as a senior special agent in the United States Army Criminal Investigations Command. Russ was recognized for his efforts by his peers and leadership throughout his military career. He was awarded the Military Police Regiments highest awards including the Order of the Marechaussee Medal in Silver and was inducted into the United States Army Military Police Regimental Hall of Fame. Russ also received the End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) Visionary Award. He has personally trained and educated in excess 400,000 civilian and military multidisciplinary professionals from local, state, federal and national/international organizations.
To Learn More about Russ:
Myra Ferechil is Co-Founder/ Managing Partner of Strand Holistic Innovative Forensic Techniques (SHIFT) LLC. Along with her partner, Russell Strand, she provides consultation, training and assistance to agencies and service providers.
In her previous position as CEO at Victim Witness Services (VWS) for Coconino County, Myra’s focus was to drive the sustainable growth of VWS in three areas: Vicarious Trauma Prevention, Evidence Informed Practices, and the Expansion of Geographic Reach.
Under her lead, she more than doubled the operating budget, she tripled the number of victims served during immediate crisis, she increased services to rural areas of the county and opened two satellite offices. She added new services including counseling and a K-9 advocacy program.
Myra has had success in improving the systems response to victims of trauma in her eight years as a lead team member in the local Coordinated Response Team. She co-founded the Coconino County Domestic Violence fatality review board, which later became the state model. She assisted in the process that lead to DV risk assessments being used by local law enforcement and by the hospital, she assisted in establishing DV strangulation exams in her area.
Through her work with FETI (Forensic Experiential Trauma Interviewing) she has participated in bringing training to over 600 first responders in Arizona from over 50 different agencies and is now a part of the Certified FETI program.
Prior to her work at Victim Witness Services, Myra was the Director of Community Based Services for Northland Family Help Center (NFHC). During her eight years at NFHC, she provided legal advocacy for women fleeing domestic violence. She also created two sexual violence prevention programs, one targeting men as allies. The other empowering alcohol serving establishment owners and staff to be effective bystanders which is now called the Arizona Safer Bars Alliance and has really begun to have a national level impact.
Myra is a visiting faculty member at Coconino Community College and Northern Arizona University where she teaches issues of violence, ethnic and gender studies, sex and dating and applied intersectionality. She has also taught social justice classes in the Coconino County Detention Center working with men on issues of violence and healing. She is very proud to be an Ethnics studies professor in Arizona.
Myra is the recipient of the 2015 Woman of Excellence Award, 2014 and 2012 Northern Arizona University Community Partner Awards, 2013 Ruby Award, and the 2007 Martin-Springer Moral Courage Award. Myra Lives in Flagstaff Arizona with her partner Russ, two sons and dog, Yeti.
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Yeti St. Claire Ferechil Strand began his career as a K-9 Victim Advocate in 2015 at Victim Witness Services for Coconino County in Arizona. His primary job was to work in a partnership with their clinical director to provide support to victims during counseling sessions and assist victim advocates working with victims of crime and other traumatic experiences.
In 2018, Yeti expanded his career and became the first Certified FETI support dog and now manages their support animal program with the goals of: expanding “support animal” to enhance the goals of Certified FETI in providing a map of safety, trust, and genuine empathy.
Yeti works hand in hand with Certified FETI practitioners by lending emotional support and comfort to participants who are disclosing very difficult experiences. He specializes in providing a regulated neurosystem to participants so that their mirror neurons will be an external source of calming peace that may be mirrored and replicated. Yeti also provides the same support to Certified FETI practitioners as they may experience cumulative trauma facilitating disclosures of high stress and trauma experiences.
Yeti is a certified Coco Pups graduate and also attended a portion of a graduate school at “Guide Dogs for the Blind”. His initial goal was to be paired with someone who needed an extra set of eyes, however, when he learned about trauma and neuroscience, his knew he wanted to work in trauma response instead. Further, he isn’t really interested in full time work because, as a natural philosopher, he is dedicated to spending great amounts of time “thinking” about the world in mindful mediation.
To learn more about Yeti and what he can do for you