Renee Branson, MA, CReC, Executive Director
Renee joined SARA as Interim Executive Director in August 2020. She has been part of the Charlottesville non-profit community for years, having served as a Program Director at ReadyKids and as Associate Development Director at the Miller Center Foundation. Renee has experience as a teacher, therapist, and counselor, including training law enforcement, mental health and social service providers, and travel/tourism professionals on human trafficking and child exploitation. She is a Certified Resilience Coach (CReC) with a BS in Education from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Colorado Denver.
Sarah Delgado, Administrative Coordinator
Sarah graduated from the University of Virginia in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Environmental Science. During undergrad she worked in the Virginia State Parks system in Williamsburg, VA and then moved into retail banking for 10 years, providing financial education and support in Charlottesville. Wanting to give back more of her time to the community, she joined the SARA staff in March 2020. She is excited to help the staff with their mission and finding ways to support the local community to help to end sexual violence.
Bass Wolf, Philanthropy Coordinator
Bass joined the SARA team in October 2018, after relocating from Asheville, NC. He served as the Crisis Advocate Coordinator with Our VOICE in Asheville and spent some time writing “The North Carolina Approach to PREA”, a manual that focuses on building relationships between jails and rape crisis centers to prevent and respond to sexual assault in confinement settings. Bass enjoys approaching this work of ending violence through collaboration and creativity.
Marni Barish, Therapist
Marni joined the SARA team in 2018 as the Clinical Child Advocate. Marni has a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of South Florida and completed her internship with a trauma counseling concentration. She has a CDA in early childhood education from St. Thomas University and worked for 18 years in early childhood, serving as a teacher and then as assistant director. She has worked both nationally and internationally in outreach, education, case management, coaching and mentorship of sex-trafficking survivors. She co-created the first anti-sex-trafficking museum in the United States used as an education resource for this issue. Marni is passionate about the empowerment of survivors and considers it both an honor and privilege to walk alongside some of the most courageous and resilient of people.
Lindsay Detlie, LCSW, Clinical Coordinator
Lindsay is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been involved in gender-based violence work since 2008. She first became involved in domestic and sexual violence agencies as a volunteer, where she helped administratively in the training of new volunteers. While in grad school, she worked on campus with the gender-based violence advocate and helped to provide training to student-run prevention education groups. Her clinical internship at the YWCA Richmond provided her the opportunity to work directly with individuals impacted by domestic and/or sexual violence. She received her Master’s in Social Work in May 2015 and wanted to continue to work with this population. She moved to Charlottesville in early 2016 to join the SARA Direct Services Team. Lindsay provides therapy from a client-centered and relationally based framework. She integrates psychodynamic psychotherapy with elements of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Internal Family Systems, and experiential modalities. She began training in Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) as of 2018. Lindsay believes that all clients have the inherent ability to be well and sees her role as a guide who walks with clients on their journey for healing and wholeness.
Gleibys Gonzalez, JD, Advocacy Coordinator
Gleibys joined SARA as the Direct Services Advocate in April of 2016. After graduating college, she worked for Legal Aid here in Charlottesville, and also volunteered at domestic violence shelters in Staunton and Charlottesville. She left Legal Aid to attend American University, Washington College of Law, where she served on the Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law, as co-president of the Women’s Law Association, and received her JD in 2002. After graduating law school, Gleibys spent several years at home caring and advocating for her son, who was diagnosed with autism. In 2008, she went to work at the Baha’i Office of Public Affairs in Washington DC, where she served as the Representative for the Advancement of Women. As the AOW representative, Gleibys worked in collaboration with other NGOs to advance treaties, legislation, and policy that focused on women’s rights, such as the Convention on the Elimination on all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Violence Against Women Act, and the International Violence Against Women Act. Gleibys is bi-lingual in Spanish, is a very busy mom of two, and a passionate advocate for trauma survivors.
Jessica Harris, Outreach Advocate
Jessica joined the SARA team in January 2019 after relocating from the Baltimore area in Maryland, where she spent most of her career working in law enforcement as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst. In that time, she worked with the statewide anti-human trafficking task force and was exposed to the devastating long term effects of sexual assault and commercial sexual exploitation. After seven years as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst, she had a desire to move from law enforcement work to victim advocacy with under-served communities. As the Outreach Advocate, Jessica is excited for the opportunity to work with an organization who is so focused on eliminating sexual violence for all.
Christine Paquette, Child and Family Advocate
Christine joined the SARA team in June 2019 after relocating from Fredericksburg, VA. After attending George Mason University, she moved to Pattaya, Thailand to work with women affected by human trafficking to teach them life skills and English language skills. When she came back to Virginia, she worked at RCASA in Fredericksburg as a Crisis Responder. In this role, she offered support to sexual assault survivors by accompanying them to the local Emergency Room to address urgent needs and to ensure they understood their rights. One of Christine's greatest priorities is to create a space where a survivor and their family feels safe and comfortable to receive information and to begin the healing process.
Michelle Wright, Rural Advocate
Michelle joined SARA in December 2019. Prior to joining the staff, she worked in Richmond as a trust administrator for beneficiaries with special needs. Her role as trust administrator was to assist the beneficiaries to reach their goals and overcome any barriers to them living their best lives, while also protecting their public benefits. Prior to working in Richmond, Michelle worked for many years as a paralegal at a local Charlottesville law firm assisting clients while also encouraging them to participate in their own advocacy. Michelle has a BA in International Studies from Wheeling Jesuit University and a MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She has lived in Albemarle County for over 20 years, raised her family here and is excited to be working in her community again. She looks forward to providing strong advocacy and the care that all survivors deserve.
Sheri Owen, Director of Community Outreach
Sheri received her undergraduate and Master’s degree from Radford University in Music Therapy with a concentration in voice performance. Upon graduation, she worked at Old Dominion University and The College of William and Mary in Residence Life where she responded to sexual assaults on campus. While at Old Dominion University, she helped develop and was co-founder of the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) System of self-defense. For the next ten years, she traveled and trained police departments all over the country to teach the RAD System for women and children in their communities. She came to SARA after working for the City of Charlottesville and is thrilled to be working with an amazing organization whose mission is to eliminate sexual violence.
Lexie Groves, Crisis Services Coordinator
Originally from Illinois, Lexie graduated from Millikin University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. She spent most of her undergraduate career working in housing and other aspects of student affairs. From there, Lexie worked as a Residence Hall Director at a small liberal arts college in Green Bay, WI. In her role, she had the opportunity to challenge students throughout the discovery of themselves with social justice and diversity trainings. Lexie's motto is "share love," and she believes that every person deserves safe, healthy, and positive love. As the Crisis Services Coordinator, Lexie is excited for the opportunity to connect with the community and empower everyone to eliminate Sexual Violence.
Laurie Jean Seaman, Director of Prevention
Laurie Jean has served as a Prevention Educator since 2010, helping adolescents, schools, parents, and youth-serving organizations prevent first-time perpetration of sexual violence among the next generation. Laurie Jean holds a Bachelors in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. After graduation, as the Housing Operations Manager for Polaris Project, Laurie Jean supported the healing of survivors of sex trafficking in Washington, DC. Her work with survivors of sex trafficking and sexual assault led her to believe that prevention is not optional, but necessary. A strong proponent of affirmative consent and social norms change through community action, she works with the community to make it a place where all people are treated with dignity and worth, where empathy and listening are practiced by all and for all, and where it is common to speak out for gender equality and healthy sexuality.
Jada Cox, Bystander Empowerment Specialist
Jada is a recent graduate from James Madison University. Although she has received her Bachelors degree in Hospitality Management, she finds herself passionate in helping others. She started working at SARA in order to promote the Green Dot initiative, and aims to reflect her values in her career. She knows that prevention work is a major step in cultivating change, and hopes to provide support to high school students as she continues the Green Dot program.
Carley Wilson, Community Prevention Specialist
Carley Wilson recently joined SARA's prevention team after previously working in Athletics at UVA for four years, supporting student-athletes in their academic and personal development. She graduated from Virginia Tech with her Bachelor's in English, and Masters in Higher Education & Student Affairs. Carley is incredibly passionate about creating an impact in the community through prevention work, and being a change in the culture to make spaces safer, and healthier for everyone.
Note: Please be aware that e-mail is not a secure means of communication. If you are seeking services, please call our 24-hour hotline at (434) 977-7273 or our office at (434) 295-7273 during Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Melinda Baumann, President
User Experience Librarian, UVA Library
Kimberley Martin, Vice President
Marketing Director, Carter Myers Automotive
Alexandra Timmons, CPA, Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair
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Defines Fineout, Secretary, Board Development Chair
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Associate Broker, Nest Realty Group
Sarah Jenkins, Member
Mentoring Coordinator, Maxine Platzer Lynn Women's Center at UVA
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Assistant Professor, University of Virginia
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Creative Director, Brightworks Marketing
Shellie Taylor, Member
Attorney at Royer Caramanis, PLC
Henry Young, Member
Attorney at Scott Kroner, PLC
Anne Coughlin, Policy Action Committee Member
Professor of Law, University of Virginia
Helen Dwyer, Development Committee Member
Director of Operations, Jefferson Scholars Foundation
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Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Virginia
Jennifer King, Development Committee Member
Chief Operations & Compliance Officer, Chase Inv. Counsel Corp.
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Senior Commercial Executive, C&F Bank
Kerry Rock, Development Committee Member
Lead Technical Support Specialist, Department of Corrections
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Owner, Balance Chiropractic
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Membership Sales Manager, Boar's Head Resort
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Managing Principal at Stairway Partners LLC
Connie Brennan, Advisory Committee Member
Nelson County Board of Supervisors; Nurse Practitioner, ret
Camille Burnett, MD., PhD., Advisory Committee Member
Asst. Professor of Family, Community and Mental Health Systems, UVA School of Nursing
Deborah Healey, MD., Advisory Committee Member
Peggy Plews-Ogan, MD., Advisory Committee Member
Assoc. Professor of Medicine, Dept of Medicine Division Chief, Gen Medicine, Geriatrics & Palliative Care, UVA