Want Breaking The Chains to present for your organization?
Who We Are

Our Agency

We are a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization located in California’s Central San Joaquin Valley. We work with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to Provide Hope, Healing, and Restoration to lives impacted by Human Trafficking.

The BTC campuses are a remarkable example of our community’s dedication to helping juvenile and adult victims exit re-occurring systems of exploitation. BTC operates a beautiful, safe house that provides long term shelter to lives impacted by human trafficking, a trauma treatment center that is equipped with an executive office, reception area, counseling offices, a large classroom/recreation area, childcare center, and a gym; law enforcement focused impact center, ER shelter, mobile command unit, and newly opened rural community offices. Our stellar trauma-informed services and evidence-based curriculums are operated by an army of volunteers and 12 paid staff members. This allows us to offer trauma-informed services regularly to an average of 75 survivors and their family’s every day. It has been amazing to see the vision launched just seven years prior come to life in such a short period. Please know that community support has been and continues to be essential to all that we do, and we believe that together we can break the chains of human trafficking in the lives of these precious survivors forever.

Our Founders
Debra Rush
Debra Rush
Founder / Chief Executive Officer

Debra Rush is the Founder and CEO of Breaking the Chains. Her insight and experience into this daunting industry are the driving force behind Breaking the Chains’ founding. Debra, too, is a survivor of human trafficking. In 1999, she was rescued and taken to a confidential location, which isolated her from the region where she had been held captive. Unfortunately, at that time, no avenues or efforts were in place to expose human trafficking, and there were limited resources available to help her cope with the specific trauma she had endured. In 2008, after years of guilt and shame, she found the courage and strength to begin her healing journey. This spurred her quest to rescue individuals trapped in human trafficking and who may believe there is no way out. Debra, who has a degree in Human Services, works closely with the Fresno Police Department’s Trafficking Task Force. She is an alcohol and drug counselor and a national trauma expert. Debra has gained notoriety as a passionate community leader, a proud alumnus of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Fresno Class XXXIII (33). She humbly holds the 2018 California State Woman of the Year and has just become a published author. Although she has accomplished much since her transformation, Debra’s most cherished achievement is being the proud wife of Mark Rush and the doting mother of seven beautiful children.

Tiffany Apodaca
Tiffany Apodaca
Co–Founder / Chief Operational Officer

Tiffany Apodaca is the Co-Founder and Chief Operational Officer for Breaking the Chains. Her passion stems from the subjection to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that she experienced as a child – abuse that started at the young age of four and continued into her late teens. As a result of these assaults on her mind, soul, spirit, and innocence, Tiffany became drug dependent, homeless, and a flawed decision maker which led to her entering into one unhealthy relationship after another. Through divine providence, Tiffany received wise counsel, and now, speaks publicly about her journey, bringing hope and healing to women who, too, have been subjected to sexual abuse. Tiffany has a certificate through Courage World Wide International for CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children), which complements her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Master’s Degree in Christian Leadership through Grand Canyon University. Tiffany Apodaca is the adoring wife of Tony Apodaca, and dedicated mom of five daughters and soon to be six grandchildren.

Our Team
Jennifer Duarte
Jennifer Duarte
Human Resources

Jennifer is our human resources assistant. She was born and raised here in the central valley. After High school, she went to the California State University of Fresno and graduated with a B.S. in Criminology with an option in Law enforcement. While at Fresno State, Jennifer also received a certificate in victim services. Jennifer has volunteered at The Heart of the Horse in Clovis, CA, by helping youth with disabilities by riding horses. Her passion for helping our individuals and making a difference has brought her here. Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family and traveling during her free time.

Kasey Iapichino
Kasey Iapichino
Juvenile Case Manager

Kasey Iapichino serves as Administrative Support & Victim Advocate for Breaking the Chains. Her passion for people and serving others radiates when she enters a room. When Kasey isn’t serving our clients she enjoys spending time with her children and husband.

Sybil Kolbert
Sybil Kolbert
Trauma Programing Facilitator

Sybil’s extensive experience as a trauma professional and counselor has been foundational to our trauma treatment processes at BTC. She truly does value each and every client in her care and has helped everyone at BTC launch to new heights.

Carol Bertuccelli
Carol Bertuccelli
On Campus Crisis Counselor

This amazing human being came to BTC with more than 30 years of trauma counseling experience . She has been a mentor and a guide to some of Fresno’s finest leaders, and now she has taken her spot as a jewel in our crown.

Jacky Zavala
Jacky Zavala
Non-Residential Case Manager/Victim Advocate

Jackelyn, better known as, “Jacky” is always ready willing and able to come along side of our clients to provide exceptional advocacy and case management services. Being the rope that clients can hold onto in their moments of greatest need is no easy task, we are very grateful for her heart to serve and her ability to impact lives.

Jacqueline Flores
Jacqueline Flores
Residential Case Manager/Victim Advocate

Jacquie is always available and ready to help her clients climb over extraordinary obstacles and begin soaring to new heights. Her experience and gentle disposition brings much needed peace to the chaos that our clients have experienced. The BTC team would not be complete without her.

Cynthia Lawrence
Cynthia Lawrence
Emergency Services Case Manager

Cindi is the newest addition to the BTC team! This incredible thriver has an unstoppable passion to provide hope healing and restoration to lives impacted by human trafficking, and we are beyond blessed to have her on our team!

Sarai Cardenas-Yanez
Sarai Cardenas-Yanez
BTC's Parlier Campus - Case Manager

Sarai’s passion to combat human trafficking and walk beside those affected is evident in everything she does. Her extensive knowledge and experience in this field has been the perfect touch for our newly opened Parlier campus.

Bernadette Aganza
Bernadette Aganza
House Manager Supervisor

How awesome is it to get to do life with our incredible survivors!  Bernadette is attentive, caring, and always willing to be a shoulder to those who need her the most. We love our Mama B!

Shalon Fayne
Shalon Fayne
House Manager

Shalon is extremely kind and loves to serve others especially when it comes to the clients at BTC. She is a graduate from California State University, Fresno with her Bachelors in Victimology.

Alexis Jaime
Alexis Jaime
House Manager

Alexis is cool calm demeanor, is warm and inviting. The connection she is able to make with our clients transcends anything that could ever be taught in a classroom.

Malissa Schartoff
Malissa Schartoff
House Manager

Malissa,

Is a lived experience expert and BTC graduate whose life is a stellar example of what can be done through community collaboration and support. She pulls from her own experience to help guide and direct the clients we serve at our confidential safe house. We are honored to have her on our team and guiding us into tomorrow.

BTC Board of Directors

Don Eskes - Board President
Curtis Chastain - Vice President
Richard Herrinton - Board Treasurer
Sandra Carnahan - Board Secretary
Soyla Griffin - CEO, Valley Health Team
Nick Yovino - Retired City of Fresno Planning and Development Director
Miiko Anderson - Fresno County Assistant District Attorney
Darius Assemi - Granville Homes President
Mark Salazar - Deputy Chief of Police Fresno CA

Our Partners