Russell and Myra Strand are a
team teaching dynamic duo!
Their co-presentations are, both, entertaining and cutting edge. They are always updating their presentations with new information from the research that they do. Learning is a lifelong journey.
Senior Special Agent (Retired) Russell W. Strand, CFP-A, is a managing partner and co-founder of Strand² Squared LLC and founding faculty of Certified FETI. Along with his wife and partner, Myra Strand, he provides consultation, systems auditing, training and assistance to agencies and service providers.
Russell is an internationally recognized expert in child abuse and sexual assault investigations, domestic violence intervention, human trafficking, forensic interviews, trauma response, neuroscience and policing and culture change. He is also the creator of the Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview (FETI).
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.After his retirement as a senior special agent, Russ was appointed the Chief of the U.S. Army Military Police Behavioral Sciences Education & Training Division where he worked for 20 years retiring in 2016.
As the point-person in the Department of Defense and Department of the Army in the law enforcement fight against domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual violence, he distinguished himself by development and implementation of numerous training courses and programs across the entire department to include an 8-day child abuse investigations course, 1-week domestic violence intervention course, and a 2-week sexual assault and prosecution course some of which have been described as the “gold standard’ within the Department of Defense. These courses have also been much sought after by civilian professionals across the nation.
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.
He is unconventional in his thinking and implementation of numerous promising best practices. This includes the Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview, also known as FETI. Development of FETI followed decades of studying and conducting forensic interviews which culminated after his response to the 2009 Fort Hood mass murder, wherein he provided critical incident stress debriefings and victim interview support. This innovative approach to interviewing victims of trauma, has been instrumental in leading an international culture change to incorporate trauma-informed practice in response to all traumatic experiences. FETI was utilized in the Harvey Weinstien case. It is a game changer.
Russ is highly respected and sought-after speaker internationally, who has personally trained & educated more than 500,000 professionals in his career. He has been sought out by Congressional staffers and primaries who have been interested in his forward-thinking sexual assault investigations programs and approaches that not only assisted the Department of Defense but also leads the nation in efforts at reducing sexual assault prevalence while increasing offender identification and accountability. Thus, Russ has briefed numerous Congressional staffers and members of Congress including the Congressional Woman’s Caucus.
Russ was selected by the Secretary of Defense to serve on the Congressionally mandated Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault as a member of the Comparative Systems Subcommittee. Russ served on this committee for 8 months examining response to sexual assault crimes across the country and made numerous crucial recommendations to national leaders to improve multidisciplinary response to sexual assault for military and civilian professionals.
Russ was a featured subject matter expert in “The Invisible War” documentary on sexual assault in the military, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Length Documentary in 2013. He and his work have also been featured in numerous publications, various nationally recognized media outlets and news organizations, books, and educational videos
Because of his tireless efforts to protect victims of crime within the Department of Defense, across the nation, and around the world, he was selected to receive the 2012 End Violence Against Women International Visionary Award. He also received the St. Luke’s Health Systems Forensic Committee Visionary Award for years of executive direction, education, and leadership in providing effective multidisciplinary training, education, and expert consultation.
Russ graduated magna cum laude from Excelsior College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice.
Russ is unconditionally dedicated to continuing his work to build a world that doesn’t currently exist. A world in which every victim of abuse and trauma has confidence in reporting their experience and has a genuine voice that is truly heard. A world where every perpetrator of abuse is held accountable for their actions. A world in which all professionals responding to trauma and abuse are properly educated and feel confident in all they do. And a world in which we significantly reduce or eliminate all forms of criminal violence and abuse.
Russ lives in Flagstaff, Arizona with his wife and partner, Myra and son and dog.
To Learn More about Russ:
Myra Strand is Co-Founder/ Managing Partner of Strand² Squared LLC. Along with her partner, Russell Strand, she provides consultation, training and assistance to agencies and service providers. Together, they provide education and training to 1000s of professionals both nationally and internationally annually.
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 Mitigation, Evidence Informed Practices, and the Expansion of Geographic Reach. She had a central focus of applying trauma informed response and care.
Under her lead, she more than doubled- nearly tripled– 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 and establishing funds for “pop-up services”. She added new services including counseling, trauma sensitive yoga, emergency financial assistance to address immediate crisis needs and a K-9 advocacy program. In 2013, when she started, there were nine staff members, when she left in 2018 there were nearly 30 people on VWS payroll.
Myra has had success in improving the systems response to victims of high stress and trauma in her eight years as a lead team member in the local Coordinated Response Team and the Sexual Assault 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. She also brought significant training to her community in the area of human sex trafficking and response.
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. Myra was recognized for her work with FETI by “Latinas Rising” and featured by the Arizona Community Foundation.
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 people fleeing domestic violence as a legal document preparer. In that role, she assisted victims of domestic violence in civil court by preparing divorce and custody paperwork.
Myra created two sexual violence prevention programs, one targeting men as allies in 2006. The other, in 2007, empowering alcohol serving establishment owners and staff to be effective bystanders which is now evolved to be called the Arizona Safer Bars Alliance and has had a national level impact and is hosted by the Arizona Department of Health Services and the University of Arizona. She supervised the runaway/homeless youth outreach program and a primary prevention program focused on youth.
For over a decade, Myra was faculty member at Northern Arizona University, and more recently, Coconino Community College where she taught 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 and husband, Russ, two sons and dog, Yeti.
To Learn More about Myra:
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 an Strand² Squared LLC practitioner support dog. Yeti works hand in hand with Strand² Squared LLC staff 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 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.