Gina Godbehere, Co-founder
Gina Godbehere is the Bureau Chief of the Northwest Valley Bureau in the Community Based Prosecution Division of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. She has over two decades of experience both as a trial attorney and in assignments with a wide variety of bureaus, including Pretrial, Juvenile, Gang, and the Repeat Offender Unit, during which she has tried every type of felony case including first degree premeditated murder. Throughout her twenty years of service with MCAO, Gina has played an integral role in developing the first Juvenile Drug Court, in implementing the Juvenile Transfer Offender Program, and is the Co-Author and Creator of the Ultimate Trial Research Notebook used by prosecution agencies throughout Arizona. Gina is Maricopa County’s designated Bias Crimes Prosecutor, and she actively trains prosecutors and law enforcement officers throughout the state. Gina was born, raised, and currently resides in the West Valley. She graduated from Cactus High School, before receiving a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies and a Juris Doctorate degree from Arizona State University's College of Law in 1995.
Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux, Co-founder
Dr. Lily Matos DeBlieux was born in New York, N.Y. where she attended elementary school and two years of high school. Her family then moved to Isabela, Puerto Rico where she completed high school and college. Lily’s educational preparation includes degrees in Elementary Education (BA), Educational Leadership and Supervision (MA and PHD), all from the University of Southern Mississippi and a BA in Business Administration from the University of Puerto Rico. Her experiences are varied and include serving as a teacher, elementary principal, middle school dean of students, assistant superintendent, adjunct university professor, English as a Second Language Instructor, director of religious education at a military base, business owner, and community volunteer. Lily owned a technology company for six years before returning to her true love: education. Dr. DeBlieux was appointed as the first bi-lingual, Latina Superintendent of the Pendergast Elementary School District in May 2014. Dr. DeBlieux is involved in community organizations including: The Hispanic Leadership Institute, Glendale West Rotary, Leadership West Class XX11, City of Phoenix Youth and Education Commission, Glendale Chamber of Commerce, and others. Lily is sought after as a motivational speaker, and in 2015 she founded the organization Si No Yo, Quien? LLC, to provide training to empower women to reach new heights in their personal and professional lives. She is married to Earl, a retired chaplain who served 30 years in the United States Air Force. She has two children; Joel, a Network Engineer and business owner living in Fort Myers, Florida and Dr. Linda, a Pharmacist living in Tucson, AZ. She is also the proud grandmother of Evangeline.
Kristi Riemer, Operations Chief
Kristi Riemer is a 16-year veteran of the construction industry with a special passion to support and engage with the youth community. As Marketing Manager and Client Relations Specialist for GCON, Inc., she guides the company, which has earned top recognitions for employee engagement and corporate philanthropy, in client relationships, community outreach, project pursuits, marketing productions, and event management.
Kristi was honored to be selected as a member of Class 26 by Leadership West, an elite group of change-makers that helps business, non-profit, and government leaders leverage their time, talents, and personal capital to solve community problems. She is completing the 10-month Flagship Program, which focuses on regional awareness, targeted leader to leader relationship-building, and leadership skill development.
Kristi currently serves as the Executive Director for the annual Speak Up Stand Up Save a Life Youth Conference. This movement encourages young people to “speak up to a trusted adult about depression, suicide, grief, abuse and bullying” by emphasizing peer intervention, reporting, and the importance of telling a trusted adult. Kristi was introduced to Speak Stand Save during its inaugural year by a coworker who co-founded the event and shared her contagious passion for its critical and hands-on mission. Her first official role with this small but mighty organization was managing event registration, a surprisingly involved task, which included coordinating the participation of more than 100 schools and registering over 2,500 students for the conference. After experiencing the first event, Kristi truly fell in love with the vision and mission - she was “hooked!” She continues to support the current registration team today, ensuring program success by sharing lessons-learned and collaborative problem-solving.
Kristi’s personal hope for Speak Stand Save is to spread the message nationwide, showing young people that there are better solutions to bad situations. She endeavors to let children know that there are good people out there who really will stop what they are doing, listen, and help - and she is one of them!
Grace's story begins when she was bullied from kindergarten all the way to her 8th-grade year. During her 7th grade year, Grace began to cut herself. Grace hid her cutting from her family and friends. Grace would cover herself up with bracelets, long sleeve shirts, and at times sweaters. Grace's parents would ask why she was wearing clothing with long sleeves in Arizona. Grace would use the excuse that her classrooms were always cold. Grace kept her grades up and had great relationships with her friends and family. This also masked her secrets. The school counselor wasn’t alerted about Grace’s cutting until a close friend noticed some of the scars on her arms.
Grace was able to get the appropriate help and was able to recover from her bout with self-harm. During the transition between her 7th and 8th-grade years, Grace had a small relapse but again with the help of her loving, supportive and now more knowledgeable family she was able to recover. During Grace's 8th grade year she was selected to participate in the school district's Superintendent's Student Council where she was also a student member of the school districts governing board.
Grace continued to thrive and along with her success came more bullying. This time she became the target of a cyberbully when someone made Vine videos about her. Grace was prepared this time with the coping skills she gained through therapy and was determined to bring about change. With the support of her teacher, friends, and the assistant principal of her school, Grace decided to use this negative attention to create a positive shift in school morale. Grace organized and presented an anti-bullying assembly for her peers.
In 2017, Congressman Raul Grijalva recognized Grace for her leadership efforts to prevent bullying after being the youngest graduate from Valle del Sol’s Connect2Lead Youth Leadership Program, awarding her with the Congressional Certificate of Recognition. Grace is currently a thriving sophomore in high school. Grace loves music and is a member of her high school's choir. Grace continues to be an advocate for children that are victims of bullying, and supports suicide prevention, and other youth social initiatives such as the Speak Up Stand Up Save a Life Youth Conference, Westview High School Student Ambassadors, and March for Our Lives.
And a special thank you to all of our amazing Planning Committee Members:
Addis Laws Jr., Amanda Denardo, Amanda Steele, Andrew Jones, Beth Beringhaus, Brad Snyder, Caleb Holman, Cas Facciponti, Chris Payseno, Chuck Montgomery, Ezra Williams, Gerry Hills, Grace Martinez, Greg Payseno, Gwen ParkerIvy Kusler, Jack Brickhouse, Jennifer Copeland, Jennifer Johnson, John Byrd, Johnny Martinez, Joseph Ortiz, Kaycee Krell, Kerry Pohlmeyer, Kristi Riemer, LeAnn Hull, Lindsay Harrelson, M.J. Johnson, Marin Schmitt, Nedda Shafir, Norma Parraz, Rachel Harding, Ray Pohlmeyer, Regina Robles Sande Roberts, Sarah Ruf, Sebastian Munoz, Tanya Rouintan, Thad McGrew, Tiffany Fisher, Timesha Moore, Tracey McGrew, Tracy Grewe, Veronica Hubley, Yolanda Martinez; and the organizations they represent: Nations Group, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Operation Shockwave, Dion Initiative for Child Well-Being and Bullying Prevention, Pendergast School District, Glendale Fire Department, Pendergast School District, Phoenix Public Library, Grace's Table Foundation/Westview H.S. Student Ambassadors, Chartwells K12, Estrella Mountain Community College / GCON, Grand Canyon University, Tolleson Union High School District, Andy Hull's Sunshine Foundation, St. Joseph's Hospital & Medical Center, NNR Multicultural Business Development, Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, and the Milwaukee Brewers.
Special thank you to our founders
Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life was founded by Gina Godbehere, Dr. Lily DeBlieux, and Jennifer Vogel Rogers.