SENIOR MANAGMENT TEAM
Executive Director – email@example.com
Mary Forman Flynn joined the Rowan Center in May of 2018 as Interim Executive Director. She has over thirty years of experience, in for profit and nonprofit management. Mary served as the Executive Director of the Darien Community Association (DCA) for many years, and prior to that was a management consultant for an international consulting firm with clients throughout the Far East. Mary is a graduate of Bucknell University and lives in Darien.
Director of Education, Outreach and Operations
Jessica was inspired to join The Rowan Center after a bystander intervention incident in which she was a key eye-witness. She was subsequently honored by The Rowan Center and joined the volunteer hotline service for a year before becoming a full-time staff member in 2017. Jessica schedules all of the community education, organizes the outreach, and supports the Executive Director with operational policies and procedures. She brings with her two years of retail management and five years of experience in education. Jessica received a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a minor in Theater from The University of Rhode Island and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Sacred Heart University.
Manager of Counseling and Advocacy / SAFE Coordinator
Juana Yanes is the Manager of Counseling and Advocacy. Juana has a Bachelor’s Degree from Southern Connecticut State University and received her Masters of Science in Criminal Justice from Iona College. Juana is responsible for providing both English and Spanish crisis intervention to victims of sexual assault and their families throughout the community. She also manages The Center’s SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners) Program within our two area hospitals. Prior to joining The Rowan Center, she worked as a Community Service Specialist for Community Action Agency of Western Connecticut, helping low-income families and individuals overcome poverty and improve self-sufficiency.
Melissa Gallaher-Smith, Development Associate, supports the fundraising mechanics of The Rowan Center by assisting the coordination of events, appeals, and outreach to community partners. Melissa joins the Rowan Center staff after a three-year term on the Board of Directors in fundraising capacities, including as event and committee Chairperson. After studying English Literature and Language at The College of William and Mary, Indiana University, and SUNY-Stonybrook, Melissa worked primarily at home raising her two daughters. She has been a committed community volunteer, serving as PTO President, and as a member of SPEF’s Odyssey of the Mind Steering Committee. Melissa is thrilled to continue working to support The Rowan Center’s mission.
Marie, Prevention Educator, is responsible for raising awareness surrounding any and all aspects of sexual violence while simultaneously providing individuals with the tools necessary to react appropriately if they or someone they know has been affected by sexual violence. This is done through thought-provoking and discussion-based education programs and workshops. Marie holds an MA in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice from Queen’s University Belfast and BA’s in both International Studies and History from SUNY Potsdam.
While in undergrad, Marie also minored in Pre-Law and Political Science. Her research centered around the systematic use of sexual violence during the Yugoslav Wars spanning the 1990s and the recognition of rape as a crime against humanity within the international legislative sphere.
Fallon, Community Educator, is dedicated to raising awareness of sexual assault and violence prevention within our local communities. Her mission is to challenge the social norms that contribute to sexual violence through interactive group discussions, empathy and education. Due to her involvement as a mentor with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Westchester she decided to change careers from the design industry in order work towards ending sexual violence.
Furthering her understanding of this field she is also pursuing her Master’s Degree in Social work at Fordham University. Prior to working with The Rowan Center Fallon was a Campus Outreach Coordinator at the Boston Area Rape Crisis during her undergraduate years at Lasell College.
Bilingual Crisis Counselor
Evelyn Morales is our Bilingual / Bicultural Crisis Counselor and Advocate. She is responsible for providing services such as: crisis intervention, counseling, and support groups to victims of sexual assault and their families in both English and Spanish. Evelyn has her Bachelor of Science in Human Services and Education from the Metropolitan college of New York. Prior to joining The Rowan Center, Evelyn worked at the Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County and Norwalk Housing Authority Child Development & School Readiness Programs as the Family Service Worker/Advocate. For 15 years Evelyn also worked at F.E.G.S in New York in the Welfare to Work program as the Bilingual / Employment Guidance and a counselor with clients of all walks of life.
Adult Crisis Counselor
Marsha Placide is The Rowan Center’s Adult Crisis Counselor and Advocate. Her responsibilities include providing primary and secondary victims of sexual assault with counseling and advocacy services in English and Haitian-Creole. Marsha’s services targets the elderly, homeless, disabled, and sex trafficking population. Prior to joining The Rowan Center, Marsha worked as a Manager and Community Support Specialist with Keystone House, Inc. servicing adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. She also has experience working as a Certified Nonviolent Crisis Prevention Instructor for the Crisis Prevention Institute. Marsha studied at the University of Bridgeport and holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Services.
Adult Crisis Counselor
Nora Reyes is The Rowan Center’s Adult Crisis Counselor and Advocate. Her responsibilities include providing primary and secondary victims of sexual assault with counseling and advocacy services in English and Spanish. Nora also works as a Safehouse residential counselor/advocate, in which she services victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Nora studied at the University of Bridgeport and holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
Support Group Coordinator/Bilingual Educator
Kelly is responsible for co-facilitating support groups for primary and secondary survivors of sexual assault in both English and Spanish. She was hired as the Bilingual Educator to provide the Spanish-speaking community in our area with education and resources regarding sexual violence. Prior to becoming a staff member, Kelly became a Certified Sexual Assault Crisis Advocate through The Rowan Center’s training program and was an active hotline volunteer.
Adult Crisis Counselor and Advocate
Claudia Hason is The Rowan Center’s Adult Crisis Counselor and Advocate. Her responsibilities include providing primary and secondary victims of sexual assault with counseling, crisis intervention, support groups, and advocacy services in English. Claudia’s services are directed primarily to the college population, LGBTQ+ community, and Domestic Violence victims. Prior to joining The Rowan Center, Claudia worked as a victim advocate and residential staff member with The Grace Smith House, which provides residential and non-residential advocacy services for domestic violence victims and their families. She also worked as a victim advocate at the Rowan Center for Victim Services at Family Services in Poughkeepsie, NY. Claudia studied at Marist College and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree, majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Social work.
Alyssa DAmato, Community Educator, is responsible raising awareness about sexual violence across lower Fairfield county. This is done through education with a wide range of community members including: students K-12, parents, and professionals. Alyssa has her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Human Development & Family Studies from the University of Connecticut. Inspired by the belief in the power of young people to enact change, Alyssa did different types of prevention work in communities; she served two years of Americorps with City Year, Washington D.C. and worked to promote positive, healthy youth development and leadership through a nonprofit in New Haven, C.T. She first entered this field of work through volunteering as a Crisis Counselor & Advocate in the New Britain/Hartford area of Connecticut, where she grew up.