STAFF & FACULTY

Safe & Together Institute Faculty Trainers and Coaches provide onsite and offsite training and technical assistance to improve practice skills and knowledge of individual practitioners related to domestic violence-informed practice. Trainers and coaches also provide systems level consultation on a wide variety of issues including specialist position development, data collection, co-located advocates, training and service delivery, systems coordination and leadership development.

Staff

David Mandel, MA, LPC Executive Director
With over 25 years’ experience in the domestic violence field, David’s international training and consulting focuses on improving systems' responses to domestic violence when children are involved. Through years of work with child welfare systems...
Heidi Rankin, MPA Associate Director
Heidi has over 20 years experience in the sexual and domestic violence field. She has worked in crisis counseling, program and policy development and advocacy in both the United States and Canada. As a member of the Prince Edward Island...
Brittany DiBella, MSW, DVS Head of Operations and Events, Evaluation & Resource Development Manager
Brittany DiBella has been Safe & Together Institute faculty since 2015. She assists with the development of curricula and facilitates training on the Safe & Together™ Model for child welfare and domestic violence professionals. Brittany has over eight years...
Ruth Stearns Mandel Communications and E-Learning Manager
Ruth Stearns Mandel has been in training and implementation since 1995. Her career began as a middle school teacher in post revolutionary Nicaragua. As a teacher in a developing, post war country she became dedicated to issues surrounding...
Anna Mitchell Safe & Together United Kingdom Lead
Anna Mitchell’s interest in women’s issues began when she studied a degree in Geography with Gender Studies at Edinburgh University in 1996. After working in various women’s organisations she went on to gain her Social Work...
Shelly Napoletano Flynn, MSW Trainer Certification Program Manager
Shelly Napoletano Flynn began at Safe & Together Institute in July 2018 as the Trainer Certification Program Manager overseeing the Institute’s Certified Trainer Expansion. Shelly’s professional career includes over twenty years of experience in the field of child...
Ingryd Flores Technology and TCP Administrator
Ingryd began at Safe & Together Institute in June of 2019. Ingryd holds a degree in Social Behavioral Science. She expanded her educational background to include a Bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in History from the University...
Leah K. Vejzović, LMSW E-learning & Events Development Coordinator
Leah has been working as a social worker in the fields of child welfare and domestic violence victim advocacy since 2007. She has experience as a child welfare services provider, a domestic and sexual assault victim advocate...
Dana Schmersal Evaluation & Curriculum Development Coordinator
Dana Schmersal has been involved in child and family policy and programs for nine years, most recently managing Safe & Together trainings for child welfare staff across the state of Ohio. She has worked directly...
Peju Thompson Accountant
Peju Thompson has been with Safe & Together Institute since July 2020 providing international accounting support for Safe & Together Institute’s business overseas. Peju holds a Bachelor of Arts degree...
Jacob Linzenbold Resource Development, Events & Evaluation Administrator
Jacob Linzenbold has been with the Safe & Together Institute Staff since March, 2021 and currently holds the title of Resource Development, Events & Marketing Administrator.
Lindberg Chambliss Events Logistics Administrator
Lindberg joined Safe & Together Institute in June 2021 as Events Logistics Administrator. His professional career includes over fifteen years of experience in live music event coordination...
Colleen Jameson Resource Development Specialist
Colleen has 20 years of experience working at the intersection of mental health, domestic violence, and education. She has worked as an educator and advocate in DV shelters...
Minh-Chau Truong Virtual Academy Customer Experience Specialist
Minh-Chau has been with the Safe & Together Institute since June of 2021 as the Virtual Academy Customer Experience Specialist. Her time with eLearning in the non-profit sector...
Alison Simari Administrative Assistant for the Trainer Certification Program
Alison joined the Safe & Together Institute in August 2021 as an Administrative Assistant for the Trainer Certification Program. Prior to this, she provided almost a decade...

Faculty

Kari Akins, MSW
Kari Akins, MSW, has over 15 years’ experience in the child welfare system where she has served in multiple capacities including screening, intake and assessment for direct service, and community response and outreach at an administrative level.
Ashley Bowers, MSW, LSW
Ashley Bowers, MSW, LSW, has been a Trainer with the Safe & Together Institute since 2012. She facilitates training and consultation services around the Safe & Together™ Model for child welfare professionals. Ashley is a licensed...
Kristi Burre, MA
Kristi Burre has almost 20 years of experience in the field of child protection and has been specializing her focus on the co-occurrence of child maltreatment and domestic violence since 2009. In addition to her continued direct involvement with...
Rhonda Dagg BSc, BSW
Rhonda Dagg has over 20 years of experience working in the child welfare field in a variety of roles including front line worker, supervisor and business analyst. In her current role as a...
Lórien Castelle
Lórien Castelle has been an activist and advocate for social justice focusing on ending gender-based violence for over two decades. She has had the honor of working with several national organizations across the United States...
Lisa Fleischer, MSW, LSW
Lisa began her career in child welfare in 2003. She has served in the role of caseworker and supervisor, working long-term with families as well as supervising an Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)/Alternative Response (AR) Unit...
Sarah L. Heuser, MS
Sarah Heuser, MS, has nearly 25 years of experience working in the domestic and sexual violence field. Her roots are in direct service work with survivors in grass roots service agencies focused on crisis intervention, counseling-advocacy...
Danielle Martin, MSW
Danielle Martin has more than 20 years of experience working with children and families within child welfare, early childhood development and domestic violence settings. Her work with at-risk children and families has involved...
Beth Ann Morhardt
With over 20 years of experience in the domestic violence field, Beth Ann Morhardt has worked with both child and adult victims/survivors in many roles including Child Advocate, Children’s Community Educator, Adult Advocate, Shelter Services...
Amy Wood, MSW
Amy Wood has been a certified trainer for Safe & Together Institute since March, 2012. Amy received a Master of Social Work degree from Ohio State University. She has nearly 20 years of experience in the child welfare field. She is currently a...
Casie Burke, MSEd, PC
Casie Burke, MSEd, PC, has been a trainer of the Safe & Together™ Model since 2012. She has experience training and working with child welfare agencies, as well as other community partners who support child welfare agencies surrounding the Safe...
Dorothy Striker
Dorothy Striker has twenty years of professional experience in the field of child welfare and domestic violence. In a career that has spanned frontline casework to policy and program development, Dorothy has been involved in major family...

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