Nick Sayner, MPA
CEO and Founder
Nick Sayner, The Difference Principle's CEO, brings experience, education and a long list of list of accomplishments working with nonprofit organizations in the County, State and Nation. Nick began his career with Wisconsin Community Services (WCS), formerly Wisconsin Correctional Services, as a volunteer in 1995. He worked in various capacities of the pretrial services program while at WCS, ending his tenure as manager of the release planning program in 2001.
Nick joined Justice 2000 in 2002 where he held multiple positions including release planning case manager and supervisor, forensic tracking case manager, program coordinator and held the position of Pretrial Services Program Director before taking the position as Division Director when Justice 2000 merged with Community Advocates in January, 2010. In addition to his many years in pretrial services with WCS and Justice 2000, Nick expanded his career path in the criminal justice field that encompasses his current active membership in Milwaukee County’s Community Criminal Justice Council (MCCJC).
In August of 2010 he was asked by the MCCJC executive committee to serve on the Evidence Based Decision Making policy team and was soon selected to co-chair a working sub-committee focusing on pretrial services. In 2010, the National Institute of Corrections selected Nick to take part in both the “Orientation for New Pretrial Executives,” and the “Short Term Technical Assistance Training Seminar,” certifying him to act as a NIC Pretrial Services Technical Assistance provider. In November 2011 Nick was elected to an at large board member position of the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (NAPSA) the professional membership organization for pretrial practitioners. In 2012, Nick was invited to take a position on the State of Wisconsin’s Problem Solving Court Subcommittee of the State’s Community Justice Council. Finally, in 2013, Nick completed a Master of Public Administration Degree with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management from the Keller Graduate School of Management.
Edward Gordon, JD
COO and Founder
Edward Gordon co-founded The Difference Principle in 2013 and currently serves as the agency's Chief Operating Officer. Edward began his career in the criminal justice field at Justice 2000 in 2003 after receiving bachelor’s degrees in Social Philosophy and Psychology from Marquette University. Edward started as a Forensic Case Manager, though he quickly advanced through the growing agency -- serving as a Team Leader, Program Coordinator, Assistant Program Director, Program Director, and Division Administrator before leaving Justice 2000 to co-found JusticePoint in 2012. Through JusticePoint, Edward has had the opportunity to craft an agency dedicated to demonstrated outcomes and program impact. Since founding the agency, Edward and his colleagues have grown JusticePoint from having a $50,000 annual budget in 2012 to a $5.5 million annual budget in 2015.
To build on the success of JusticePoint, Edward co-founded several additional nonprofit organizations to compliment the social justice work of JusticePoint, including Justice Initiatives Institute in 2013, Third Coast Legal in 2014, and The Problem Solving Court Fund, also in 2014. To provide administrative oversight and leadership as well as to create a mechanism for cost sharing among the sister corporations, Edward and his colleagues founded The Difference Principle as a nonprofit agency whose function is to provide administrative services for all of the subsidiaries, including administration, human resources, accounting, fund development, grant writing, IT, and benefits negotiation/administration.
Edward received his graduate education at the Marquette University Law School, where in addition to his coursework Edward gained practical experience in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Negotiation, Immigration, and International Jurisprudence before earning his Juris Doctorate in May of 2010. Edward currently represents pretrial services on various policy workgroups of the Milwaukee County Community Justice Council as well as in Milwaukee's ongoing Evidence-Based Decision Making Initiative. Edward has been a speaker at several national conventions in the fields of mental health and criminal justice and regularly provides technical assistance and consulting to justice systems seeking to start or refine criminal justice programs and interventions.
Carolyn Parkinson, JD, MSW
Director of Behavioral Health
Carolyn Parkinson joined The Difference Principle as the Director of Behavioral Health programs in October of 2018. Carolyn brings many years of experience in behavioral health, social welfare, and program development and management. Prior to joining TDP, Carolyn was employed by the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction as the Director of the Wisconsin Educational Opportunity Program where she oversaw statewide college and career readiness programming for economically disadvantaged and first generation prospective college students. Prior to working for the state Carolyn spent several years as a practicing Family Law attorney. Carolyn also served as a School Social Worker for MPS and as the Coordinator of MPS’s Homeless Education Program. Earlier in her career Carolyn was a psychotherapist in private practice providing individual, group, and family counseling to youth, adults, and families. Carolyn holds a Juris Doctorate (JD) from the Marquette University Law School and an MSW from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.
Julie Murdock, MSW, SPHR
Director of Human Resources
Julie Murdock joined The Difference Principle as Director of Human Resources in January of 2014. Julie brings many years of experience in non-profit management to her position. She has over 18 years of experience in Human Resources, Program Direction and Operations Management. Julie holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Julie has managed the Human Resource function for small non-profits and for agencies with over 200 employees. She has had direct oversight of programs and personnel since first being promoted to a management position in 1996 at a local nonprofit. Julie’s comes to The Difference Principle with a great amount of experience and knowledge in Human Resource law and practice, fair and sound personnel practices, benefits administration, staff development and overall nonprofit leadership. She also brings experience in coordinating and writing training curriculum for employee development. Julie is part of the Non-Profit Human Resource Leadership group in Milwaukee.
Vicki Lupo, MS
Director of Quality Management
Vicki Lupo joined JusticePoint in January of 2013 as its Pretrial Program Director. Vicki served as the Pretrial Program Director where she was responsible for the oversight and management of all of Milwaukee County’s Pretrial Services until joining JusticePoint’s Executive Team as Director of Quality Management in late December of 2017. In Vicki’s role as Pretrial Program Director she oversaw the implementation of several of Milwaukee County’s Criminal Justice initiatives which included furthering the use of risk assessments for pretrial, re-designing pretrial supervision, expansion of Early Interventions and the development of a new database system for all of Milwaukee County’s pretrial criminal justice programming. In her current role Vicki is committed to bringing evidenced based programming, practice, and policy to local jurisdictions and agencies within the criminal justice system. Vicki has served on several of the Milwaukee County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s subcommittees and attended the National Institute of Corrections Pretrial Executive training. Vicki has 12 years of service in the Pretrial Services field and has her Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Erin King, BS
Director of Justice Programming - Wisconsin
Erin King joined The Difference Principle in January 2019. She has more than 25 years of experience in the corrections field. While earning her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, she worked in a juvenile residential treatment center. She began her service with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections in 1994 where she served as an adult probation and parole agent for seven years until she was promoted to Corrections Field Supervisor in 2001. In 2011, she worked with the Office of the Secretary’s Reentry Unit as a Program and Policy Analyst - Cross Divisional Coordinator. In 2012, she assumed the role of Assistant Regional Chief for Probation and Parole in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – a position she held for three years prior to joining The Carey Group as their training coordinator. Erin is now the Director of Justice Programs at JusticePoint and continues to work with The Carey Group as a trainer. Erin provides skill-based instruction on evidence-based principles and practices, COMPAS risk assessment tool administration and scoring, Four Core Competencies, Carey Guides and BITs, the Supervisor’s EBP BriefCASE, and the 10 Steps to Risk Reduction. Additionally, Erin is certified to evaluate corrections programs using the Correctional Program Checklist (CPC). She has particular interest and expertise in victims’ rights and advocacy, community justice, evidence-based decision making, dosage probation, the role of corrections in early justice interventions, and Behavioral Health Treatment Court.
Daniela Imig, MS
Director of New Initiatives
Daniela Imig joined The Difference Principle Executive Team in November 2018 and brings with her over ten years of experience in the Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice fields. At TDP, she is responsible for managing the implementation of all new programming, including determining and deploying all necessary agency resources for new programs such as training and quality management. She is the lead hiring recruiter for all staff required for new programs. A key component of Daniela’s role is assisting system stakeholders with program design and startup and making necessary adjustments to program policies/practices as needs arise during the implementation process. Daniela is centrally responsible for facilitating communication between JusticePoint and local stakeholders to promote the smooth execution of new evidence-based JusticePoint programming. She has completed the National Institute of Corrections Pretrial Executive training and is certified as a Technical Assistance Provider for jurisdictions implementing the Public Safety Assessment. Daniela earned her Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). In addition to her work at The Difference Principle, Daniela is an Adjunct Lecturer at UWM where she teaches several Criminal Justice courses.
Mark Haase, JD
Director of Public Policy
Mark Haase joined the Difference Principle in Fall 2019 and possesses over a decade of public policy experience. He was most recently a Director of Government Relations with the state of Minnesota and prior to that, led his own consulting and lobbying firm where his clients included the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Minnesota Corrections Association. Prior to 2014 he was Vice President and Policy Director for the Council on Crime Justice where he led programs in victim and offender services, research, and policy reform. He co-founded the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition, a coalition of organizations bringing attention to the barriers to reintegration faced by people with criminal records.
Mark’s criminal justice policy leadership has led to the passage of a number of bipartisan reforms, including limiting public and private employer use of criminal records on employment applications; a nation-leading law expanding grounds for juvenile and criminal records sealing; limitations on employer liability for hiring individuals with criminal records; and major reforms to drug sentencing laws.
Mark received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota, and Master’s and Juris Doctor Degrees from the University of Saint Thomas. Prior to law school, he served as a U.S. Coast Guard and Army Reserve Officer.