We are excited to welcome Lt. Daniel Cote and Francine Donnorummo as they join our current advisory board members Jeff Cecil, Sam Galloway III and Wayne Smith.

“Our advisory council consists of thoughtful community leaders who meet once a year to advise our board of directors regarding the impact of our programs and fundraising,” said Christy Ivie, founder of Christy’s Cause. “Lt. Cote and Francine Donnorummo are well-known and respected in the fight against human trafficking.  We admire their work in our community and are grateful for their guidance.”

Human trafficking is on the rise tied with arms dealing as the second largest criminal industry in the world and the fastest growing, according the US Department of Health and Human Services. Thousands of American children are at risk of becoming victims of child sex trafficking (US Department of Justice) with Florida ranking third in reported human trafficking cases (National Human Trafficking Resource Center).

Cote has been with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for 20 years and is currently a Lieutenant in the Major Crimes Unit. He is responsible for the management for five specialty units within the Major Crimes Unit to include the Special Victims Unit, Robbery Unit, Auto Theft Unit, Sexual Offender and Predator Unit, and the FBI Innocent Images Task Force. He has worked as a Detective in several specialty units including the Robbery Unit, District Criminal Investigations Division, and was a member of the Lee County Career Criminal Task Force. He has extensive experience in the investigation of human trafficking, adult and child sex crimes, child abuse, and spent several years working undercover in the Narcotics Unit and Highway Interdiction Unit.

Cote is a member of the Florida Sex Crimes Investigators Association, a board member of the Florida Gulf Coast University Human Trafficking Resource Center and a member of the Human Trafficking Task Force for the 20th Judicial Circuit.  He is frequently a key speaker for civic groups on the subject of Human Trafficking and Sex Crimes.

“I met Christy Ivie two years ago and have become a big supporter of her organization’s mission and genuine efforts to bring attention to the epidemic of human trafficking,” said Cote. “Christy’s Cause is one of the few non-government organizations that truly mirrors my personal beliefs in what it takes to combat human trafficking.”

Donnorummo obtained her Juris Doctor at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law and worked as a staff attorney with Northern Pennsylvania Legal Services. She began working in Florida in 1997 with the Domestic Violence Unit within Court Administration.  She began working with the Office of the State Attorney (SAO), 20th Judicial Circuit in 1998. During her tenure at the SAO she has tried more than 100 jury trials including several domestic violence murders, sexual batteries, child abuse, and child homicides. She is the Chief of the Special Victims Unit for the 20th Judicial Circuit. This supervisory role keeps her involved in cases throughout the five counties as well as provides the opportunity for her to educate and continue involvement in the community of which she serves including participation on several task forces associated with the women’s shelter, child abduction, child death review, and human trafficking.

Donnorummo is co-chair of the Human Trafficking Task Force, a multi-disciplinary effort to best meet the needs of the victims and the public subject to human trafficking trauma. Her role as a prosecutor entails continued involvement from the beginning of an investigation up to conviction of these cases. She is authorized to work as part of the US Attorney’s Office for crimes involving the exploitation of children. She works with both federal and state law enforcement agencies and attempt to coordinate their efforts and proceed accordingly.

“I look forward to working with Christy’s Cause and am grateful to have the opportunity,” said Donnorummo.  “We all need to work together to minimize the daunting task of eradicating child exploitation.”