2023 Elder Abuse Conference Image

Elder Justice

Keeping Seniors SAFE:

Seniors Avoiding Financial Exploitation

2023 Annual Elder Abuse Conference

The 2023 Annual Conference covers a range of topics, prevention strategies and cases related to financial exploitation.  We welcome professionals who assist seniors with the prevention of elder abuse.  Join us to learn how to better assist seniors and to further your education.

6th Annual Conference

June 9, 2023
8:45 am – 3:30 pm
Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center
Abingdon VA

Organized and Planned by the
Southwest Virginia Elder Justice Task Force

$40 FEE


Magistrates/ClerksMagistrates/Clerks will submit their credit hours electronically through the e-Registration system after the conference.  Their supervisors will then review and approve those credit hours.  
AttorneysApproved for 4.0 credit hours by the Virginia Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board.
Guardian Ad Litem5 hours approved for Continuing Education Credits for Guardian Ad Litem
Law Enforcement6 hours approved for Career Development for Law Enforcement
Adult Protection ServicesAPS workers will receive a certificate of attendance after the conference (with hours attended) to submit to their supervisor for approval of continuing education hours up to 6.0 credit hours.

For Continuing Education Certificates and Certificates of Attendance,
Please visit the registration table after the conference.

A Special Thank You to Our Sponsors:

Virginia Law Foundation Logo
Bank of Marion Logo
Anthem Logo
Aetna Better Health of Virginia Logo

For more information, please contact:

Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society
Director of Development
email: gcody@svlas.org
phone: 276.783.8300, ext. 2011

About Our Presenters

Paul Greenwood

Paul Greenwood
Retired Deputy District Attorney
Elder Abuse Prosecution Unit
San Diego District Attorney’s Office

Retired Deputy District Attorney Paul Greenwood was a solicitor in England for 13 years. After relocating to San Diego in 1991, he passed the California Bar and joined the DA’s office in 1993. For twenty-two years Paul headed up the Elder Abuse Prosecution Unit at the San Diego DA’s Office. In 1999, California Lawyer magazine named Paul as one of their top 20 lawyers of the year in recognition of his pioneering efforts to pursue justice on behalf of senior citizens.

Paul has prosecuted over 750 felony cases of physical, sexual, emotional, and financial elder abuse. He has also prosecuted ten murder cases, including one death penalty case.

In March of 2018, Paul retired from the San Diego DA’s office to concentrate on sharing lessons learned from his elder abuse prosecutions with a wider audience. In October of 2018, he was given a lifetime achievement award by his former office.

Paul now spends much of his post-retirement time speaking on behalf of AARP nationally, consulting on elder abuse cases, and providing trainings to law enforcement and Adult Protective Services agencies across the country and internationally. He is also involved as the criminal justice board member of National Adult Protective Services Association.

David Godfrey

Dr. Brenda White Wright
Motivational Speaker, Story-Teller and Diversity Trainer

Brenda is a motivational speaker, story-teller and diversity trainer with over 40 years of experience in business management, board and organizational development, human resources, multicultural issues, race relations, youth initiatives, community relations, resource development, and radio and television. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Communications, a Master’s Degree in Reading and Storytelling, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from East Tennessee State University (ETSU).  For over twenty years, she served as President and CEO of Girls Inc. of Kingsport, a United Way agency. In that capacity, she was named by The Business Journal as one of the region’s “Twenty-Five Powerful Female Executives.”

Annette Clark

Dana Fleitman (M.A. Ed. H.D.)
Training and Awareness Specialist
Stalking Prevention, Awareness and Resource Center (SPARC)

Dana has been with the Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC) since 2018. In her role as Training and Awareness Specialist, she provides training and technical assistance to multidisciplinary professionals across the country on recognizing and responding to stalking. Dana is a skilled trainer who leads in-person and online workshops on topics including stalking behaviors and dynamics, stalking on campuses, the use of technology to stalk, risk assessment, and safety planning. With a focus on public awareness, Dana also authors original resources – including ready-to-use curricula, discussion guides, and publications on stalking – and leads SPARC’s National Stalking Awareness Month efforts each January, designing and creating SPARC’s social media campaigns as well as infographics and videos year-round.

Judge Martin

Pamela B. Teaster
Director of the Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology

Pamela is the Director of the Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology and the Interim Department Head for Human Development and Family Science. Her areas of scholarship include the abuse of elders and vulnerable adults, guardianship, end-of-life decision making, ethical treatment of older adults, and public policy and public affairs. She has published over 250 scholarly and translational articles, reports, and book chapters and is the editor/author of 7 books.

Judge Martin

Shannon Sneary Alabanza
Director of Training
Fairfield Center

Shannon has been providing communication training and conflict intervention services for over 25 years. Facilitating dialogues and difficult conversations through her role as a mediator, facilitator, or restorative justice practitioner, Shannon is committed to providing spaces for individuals and groups to listen and to feel heard, and to increase their conflict competency. As Director of Training at the FairField Center, she coordinates the certified mediation training program and has developed and implemented multiple workshops and trainings for managers, employees, and families geared towards better communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution. Shannon’s undergraduate degree is in social work and she will graduate from George Mason University’s Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution with a Master’s in Conflict Analysis and Resolution in May, 2023. Shannon also serves as an adjunct faculty member teaching negotiation and mediation skills for the graduate program at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. 

8:45 amWelcome & Introductions
Joseph R. Carico, Esq., Executive Director, Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society
9:00 amOpening: KEYNOTE
“It is NOT Just a Civil Matter”
“How to overcome resistance when investigating reports of elder financial exploitation”

Paul Greenwood, Retired Deputy District Attorney, San Diego, CA
Paul Greenwood will draw upon his 22 years of prosecuting elder financial exploitation cases to demonstrate why alleged exploitation may not only be a “civil issue”. Greenwood will point out certain misconceptions that can hinder successful investigations. For example, he will discuss how to overcome the argument that a victim “consented” to the transaction and will show how undue influence is often used to induce a victim to part with their hard-earned savings.
10:15 amBreak & Session Change
10:30 amBreakout Sessions (Choose 1 Room)

“Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places” A deeper dive into romance scams and other contemporary fraudulent activities
“A deeper dive into romance scams and other contemporary fraudulent activities”
Paul Greenwood, Retired San Diego Deputy District Attorney, San Diego, CA

For the past 5 years, Greenwood has devoted much of his post prosecution career to helping jurisdictions develop elder justice teams to combat the escalating crimes being perpetrated through social media, the internet, and e-mails. He will provide an in-depth study of,romance scams, but also look at other emerging ruses, and will demonstrate how a local network of committed professionals can make a difference in identifying suspects and following the money.

“Expanding justice through a restorative practice lens”
Shannon Sneary Alabanza, Director of Training, Fairfield Center
When vulnerable people are harmed by criminal wrongdoing, there is a particular need for justice. Ideas around what justice means, however, are varied. Viewing justice through a restorative lens offers alternative approaches to the usual court proceeding. Crime harms people and relationships; restorative justice seeks to put those harms right, to the extent possible. This can be achieved by empowering those most affected to participate in a justice process that holds those responsible accountable in a meaningful, collaborative, and productive way. This workshop is an introduction to restorative practices with interactive elements and ideas on implementation within various contexts and settings.
11:45 amLunch Break
12:30 pmBreakout Sessions (Choose 1 Room)

“What We Know and Don’t Know About Elder Fraud and Exploitation: Insights from Research and Practice”
Dr. Pamela Teaster, Director of the Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology and the Interim Department Head for Human Development and Family Science

This presentation will use research and practice to explain exploitation as well as frauds and scams.  In addition, caregivers and others will leave with helpful tips and strategies for preventing and intervening when someone has been exploited or scammed.

“Stalking and Older Adults”
Dana Fleitman, Stalking Prevention and Awareness Resource Center

We all have a role to play in identifying stalking and supporting victims and survivors. Developed in collaboration with the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), this session examines stalking in the context of elder abuse – its prevalence, dynamics, implications, and resources available for survivors. As a result of this session, viewers will be better able to recognize stalking behavior, understand how stalking impacts older adults, and identify resources to improve their response to stalking.
1:45 pmBreak
2:00 pmCLOSING: “Keys to Preventing Burnout and Reducing Stress with Humor, Humility, and Heart” 
Dr. Brenda White Wright, motivational speaker, storyteller, and diversity trainer. Former CEO of Girls, Inc. of United Way

Everyone, specifically restorative justice practitioners, need opportunities to get off the carousel of life’s persistent challenges and changes to de-stress, recharge, and refocus their energies to circumvent susceptibility to “crash and burn.”  This interactive presentation will provide participants with specific keys to revitalizing their physical and emotional batteries that improve personal and professional effectiveness with humor, humility, and heart.   
3:15 pmCall to Action
Gary Cody, Director of Development, Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society

All in this Together

Adult Protective Services and Financial Institutions’ Efforts to Combat Elder Financial Exploitation


KEYNOTE: It is NOT just a Civil Matter – Paul Greenwood
Looking for love in all the Wrong Places – A deeper dive into romance scams and other contemporary fraudulent activities – Paul Greenwood
Expanding Justice through a Restorative Practice Lense – Shannon Alabanza
Stalking and Oldder Adults– Dana Flietman
What We Know and Don’t Know About Elder Fraud and Exploitation: Insights from Research and Practice – Pamela Teaster
CLOSING: Keys to Preventing Burnout and Reducing Stress with Humor, Humility, and Heart – Dr. Wright