OUR FOUNDERS

Forever Found was begun by Shannon and Taylor Sergey when the Lord opened their eyes to the hidden reality of human trafficking and child prostitution at home and abroad. Their vision for anti-trafficking work started in 2008, and Forever Found was legally incorporated as a nonprofit in 2010.


Shannon's Story


When my eyes were first opened to this reality, God led me to begin volunteering with an aftercare home in Los Angeles County that receives girls rescued from child trafficking in the United States. Through hosting artistic workshops with these children, along with another advocate, my life was changed. Seeing these girls face to face, seeing their tears and smile, their laughter and pain changed my life forever.


One night we did an activity where we had each girl write a note of encouragement about every girl in the home, in an effort to encourage these children who have been broken emotionally, physically and spiritually. We then had each girl come to the front one at a time and we read the box full of love and encouraging words out loud to the child in front of everyone. The implication this simple act had in the girl’s lives was quickly apparent, and it was an inexplicable feeling to see a child burst into uncontrollable tears, simply at being told she is beautifully and wonderfully made. 


Yet there are thousands of children out there who have never heard these words. They have never heard that they are precious, that they hold great worth, and are beautiful and unique. Instead they have been sexually abused, assaulted, demoralized, imprisoned, and broken down in every sense of that word.


Learning this reality first hand broke my heart. I began to ask God to use me mightily, and to increase my faith. One day on my knees I surrendered all my gifts and desires for my personal life to use as he will. I said, “If you would use my gifts powerfully, I will give 100% of everything to you.”


And Forever Found was born. 


While watching me go through this journey of realization and surrender, my husband’s heart broke for these children as well, and we decided to follow the path God was so clearly laying in front of us and launch Forever Found in April of 2010. As volunteer after volunteer offered to brand our organization, produce the first album, design our artwork, promote our cause, print our promotional material for free, etc., it was clear that the Lord was leading his people to act (1 Corinthians 12:12). It is time we use the gifts God has given us to rescue these children who have not had the opportunity to even see the gifts God has given them.


“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 

1 John 3:16-18


*Taylor and Shannon Sergey live in Simi Valley CA where they are raising their three sons. They attend Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley.


Board of Directors


  • shannon sergey

    founder/chief executive officer

    Shannon Sergey serves as the President of Forever Found, a nonprofit organization she and her husband started in 2010. Since then Shannon has been featured in newspapers, online journals, radio stations and talk shows to raise awareness and support for child trafficking and prostitution. 


    Shannon is also a singer, songwriter and author who has devoted her talents to further the rescue and restoration of children trapped in sexual slavery. A devoted follower of Jesus Christ, Shannon lives each day with the desire to follow him and love his people as he has commanded. Her goal in life is to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” Matthew (25:23)


    Shannon studied Theology at Oxford University in England and received her Bachelors Degree in Journalism with a minor in Philosophy from Azusa Pacific University. She lives with her husband and her three sons in Simi Valley, CA. 

  • Taylor sergey

    co-founder

    As co-founder of Forever Found, husband, father and business man, Taylor Sergey brings a unique perspective to the Forever Found Board.


    Mr. Sergey received his B.S. in Business Marketing from Azusa Pacific University in 2007. Proceeding his graduation from APU, Mr. Sergey spent several years gaining business and management experience at L.A. Fitness, Osteem Dental Impants, Inc., and currently works in medical equipment sales. He is known to consistently go out of his way for the benefit of his clients and their medically fragile patients. 


    As a long time member of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, Taylor had the opportunity to become aware of the horrific reality of human trafficking and desires to use his skills and devotion to further the mission of Forever Found. 

  • sandra schmid

    second story manager

    Sandra Schmid -- Sandy -- has sacrificed much in the fight to rescue children from trafficking and prostitution, mainly in Thailand and Burma. She has voluntarily managed the administrative affairs of Life Impact International for over four years. For eleven years, Sandra worked as the assistant for bestselling author and international speaker Francis Chan. She served as the office manager and assistant to Executive Pastor Todd Nighswonger at Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley. Currently Sandy manages Second Story, a local thrift store completely run by volunteers. Proceeds from the donated items go directly to fund the efforts to prevent, rescue and restore victims of child trafficking. 


    Sandy’s devoted heart for hurting children and the Gospel, along with years of experience in management and Christian ministry, make her an invaluable asset to Forever Found’s Board of Directors. Sandy has been married for forty-three years to Ted Schmid; they have three adult married daughters and eight grandchildren. 

  • ted schmid

    second story financial manager

    Ted Schmid has almost 35 years of experience as a finance manager. He worked for 30 years as the Financial Controller for BWIP International, followed by working as the Vice President of Finance for New Gen Acquisitions MFG. in Costa Mesa. 


    Ted has been retired for the last 11 years, and enjoys time with his family and grandchildren and serving in the ministry his wife led them to…the fight against child trafficking. Ted’s years of financial management and accounting, and desire to sacrifice his time to the rescue of victimized children, are an incredible asset to Forever Found’s Board of Directors.


    Ted has been married for 43 three years to Sandy Schmid and they have three adult married daughters and eight grandchildren. 

  • karen simeri

    Karen Simeri has over sixteen years of teaching and management experience at the largest private elementary school in Simi Valley. She began teaching first grade at Grace Brethren Elementary in 1995. Within eight years she became vice principal, and currently serves as the Principal of Grace Brethren Elementary School. She feels blessed to work at Grace Brethren and appreciates the relationships formed over the years. She received her Liberal Arts Degree from California Lutheran University, holds her Masters in Science and Education and the California State Teaching Credential. Karen’s vast leadership skills and experience, along with her management expertise and heart for God’s children bring a unique and necessary perspective to Forever Found’s Board of Directors. 


    Born and raised in California, she has lived in Simi Valley since 1979. She has been married for 33 years to Art Simeri, and has been blessed with two wonderful boys, Erik and Bryan. In addition to two sons, she has an adorable daughter in-law, Liz. Their family loves to travel, houseboat and play together. 


    Karen has attended Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley since 1994, and her life verse is Phil 4:13 "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." 

  • joe melia

    Joe Melia defines himself first and foremost as a follower of Christ and servant to those in need. Joe has invaluable business skills and leadership experience after being in the construction industry and a business owner for over twenty-five years, with Melia Builders, Inc. 


    In the past few years, God has completely renewed Joe’s passion for Jesus. Joe’s desire to please, serve and surrender to God’s plan has completely changed his life. In addition to running his business, he also serves on the Board of three nonprofit organizations and mentors other men and woman with his wife Jody. Joe’s commitment to Christ and his ministry, along with his strong business expertise make him an incredible blessing to Forever Found’s Board of Directors. 


    Joe Melia has been married to Jody Melia since 2003 and they have three boys: Nicholas, Joseph, and Brandon. One of Joe’s life verses is Isaiah 12:2 – “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” 

  • julianne pinter

    ford harrison

    Julianne is an attorney devoted to truth and righteousness. In her day job, she fights for justice defending her clients as a trial lawyer in employment and civil rights cases. However, Julianne's true passion is fighting for justice for those without a voice, the orphans of the world, particularly those who are forced into slavery. Thus, she is committed to Forever Found's mission of preventing, rescuing and restoring children from human trafficking. In fact, her commitment extends to founding and developing businesses in order to raise revenue for this cause. Julianne is motivated by Esther who had courage to save her people, despite the risk to her own life, and the words that called her to take action in Esther 4:14 "...And who knows whether or not you have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this?" 


    Julianne believes with all her heart that she was born at this time on earth to help abolish the practice of child slavery. Will you join her? 


  • bryan thompson

    chief financial officer

    Bryan, a CPA, has been an accounting/finance executive for over twenty-five years. His extensive experience in working with successful entrepreneurs has equipped him with ability to help senior management teams leverage their organization's assets and employees to maximize efficiency. He is currently the CFO for Luxury Mortgage Corp - a subsidiary of the publicly traded Tiptree Financial. Prior to Luxury, Bryan served as the CFO for Prospect Mortgage as well as for Oakmont Mortgage and the CAO for Prospect Mortgage. He is a graduate of California State University, Northridge and is married with four children and two grandsons.