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Pam Strickland

Pam Strickland


Pam first became interested in the subject of Human Trafficking at a Missions Conference in 2006 where she learned about young girls being forced into prostitution in Asia.

Since then, she has led three Mission Trips to Moldova, where part of the team’s job was to educate the young people about trafficking, in an effort to prevent them from becoming victims.

Pam earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1990. Since then, she has been involved with the management of her family’s business-Electronic Services, Inc.

Pam speaks frequently to community groups, as well as conducting training for professional and pre-professional groups (such as social workers, counselors, teachers, law enforcement, nurses, physician’s assistants, and others).

Pam is passionate about preventing labor trafficking internationally by educating people about Fair Trade and responsible consumerism.

Pam is the Founder of the nonprofit and serves as its Chief Executive Officer.

Pam has been training professionals in North Carolina about the reality of human trafficking for more than a decade. Under her leadership, NC Stop Human Trafficking founded and facilitate the Pitt County Coalition Against Human Trafficking and the Pitt County Human Trafficking Multidisplinary Team, as well as becoming one of the founding organizations of the N.C. Demand Reduction Task Force.

Pam has spoken across the state in communities about what human trafficking is and how to prevent it. She has also developed curriculum for foster parents, guardians ad litem, human trafficking 101 for the community, and making the connection between human trafficking and pornography.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time her husband, son and their two dogs. Traveling, reading, and supporting the Tar Heels are other interests.

Melinda Sampson

Melinda Sampson

Chief Operating Officer

Melinda Sampson is a 2009 graduate of East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

She began a career in journalism in 2011 with Cooke Communications, LLC, becoming the editor of a weekly newspaper located in Belhaven, North Carolina. In 2013, she became the associate editor for a bi-weekly newspaper in Williamston, North Carolina, and by 2014, she became the assistant editor at a daily newspaper in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

In 2014, she visited several migrant farmworker camps in Wilson, Wayne and Lenoir counties where she discovered migrant farmworkers who came to the country under false promises and then were forced or coerced into working under dangerous and abusive conditions and living in relatively isolated and wretched labor camps.

It was through those migrant farmworkers’ stories that her interest in human trafficking was born.

In that vein, she wanted to become involved with NC Stop Human Trafficking. Sampson became the Community Outreach Coordinator for NC Stop Human Trafficking in June of 2018.

She has led sessions to empower caregivers to keep their children safe online and she has trained hundreds of law enforcement officers about the reality of human trafficking.

Sampson has developed a curriculum for health care providers to recognize and respond to human trafficking, as well.

She is a certified N.C. Victims Services Practitioner, graduate of the Pitt County-Greenville Leadership Institute, the recipient of the 2020 ECU 40Under40, and volunteers with an organization that works to respond to victims of violence.

Banesa Berumen

Banesa Berumen

Training and Outreach Coordinator

Banesa Berumen serves as the training and outreach coordinator for NC Stop Human Trafficking since 2022.

Born in California and living most of her life in Texas, she moved to North Carolina in 2018. She was raised by undocumented parents who worked grueling, long hours in the agricultural industry.

She watched her parents experience first-hand what it is like to be silenced and live with the vulnerabilities that play a large role in any type of human trafficking and exploitation. Through watching her parents lose their voices for fear of deportation, she has a deep understanding of the vulnerabilities that are prevalent in the immigrant communities in North Carolina.

She became involved with NC Stop Human Trafficking when she felt the compulsion to inform and advise the Latino community in this state about their rights and what labor practices are acceptable and what are not.

In her role as a training specialist, she will devote much of her time to reaching the Spanish speaking population in the state.

Berumen’s focus will also be on building strategic networks and promoting NC Stop Human Trafficking’s vision and advance its work statewide.


William Fontenelle

William Fontenelle

Training and Outreach Assistant - Intern

William Fontenelle is a senior at East Carolina University pursuing a bachelors of science degree in university studies, educational studies.

He has worked on numerous community service initiatives, including Adventure Leadership, Club Sports at ECU and at elementary schools throughout the state.

His educational background is in education and recreation and park management, and with his experience with Adventure Leadership and Club Sports, he is very active in the campus community. He provides a safe, supportive and welcoming persona while simultaneously holding people accountable to community standards. He fosters the belief in community growth and person development as he engages with others and the community he serves.

“Working with NC Stop Human Trafficking, I will be working with a fabulous team to educate people about human trafficking that is happening right here in North Carolina. I am passionate about building a community that is a safe environment for all. I am excited for the opportunity to work with a dedicated team of professionals working to abolish human trafficking,” William said about his new position at NC Stop Human Trafficking.



Mary Kate Corey

Mary Kate Corey

Development Coordinator

Mary Kate Corey is NC Stop Human Trafficking’s executive administrator.

She is a Greenville, N.C. native.

Since she was young, she has been passionate about volunteering in many different areas given her hands-on knowledge of the diversity of needs in the community.

She attended the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, where she joined Alpha Gamma Delta and the Cameron Executive Network.

She graduated in fall of 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a focus in marketing and sales.

In her career, she has served as a teaching assistant for first and third grades at St Peter Catholic Church and did seasonal work with Crystal Coast Country Club and Pink – A Signature Lilly Pulitzer Store.

Her skills in retail and fundraising combined with a professional demeanor, ambitious personality, and strong work ethic, makes her a wonderful asset to our team.

Ellie Bellia

Ellie Bellia

Community Outreach Assistant Intern

Ellie Bellia is a senior at East Carolina University double majoring in security studies and international studies with a minor in German. She is a member of the Kappa Delta sorority.

Ellie joined NC Stop Human Trafficking’s team as she is seeking a future career in international security and understands that human trafficking isn’t limited to one country, but is an entire global network that threatens the security of countries around the world – not just the United States.

“Unfortunately, human trafficking is only one of the security issues the United States faces. As I learned more about security studies in college, I realized that international cooperation is extremely important to a safe globalized community,” Ellie explained.

Ellie was born in Huntington, N.Y., and moved to Wake Forest, N.C., as a toddler. She has one sister who is a sophomore at UNC Wilmington. “I am supported by wonderful parents, Dave and Dina, who have been my rock since I can remember,” she said.

In her free time, she enjoys riding her horse, Dallas, exercising at the gym, and cooking. She has traveled to Mexico, the Bahamas, Czechia, and Iceland. She also spent a month studying abroad in Berlin Germany.