Staff List

Meet the Team at ALSO

Everyone who is part of the ALSO culture — from our staff to our partners to the individuals and communities which we serve — operates on the basis of a uniquely lived experience and that people are the experts in their own lives. Our collaborative alliance celebrates these differences, utilizing each unique background and expertise to create a cross-programmatic knowledge base with deep layers of meaning. Learn more about the ALSO team below.

Executive Department 

  • Lori Crowder, Executive Director
    Lori has worked for over two decades on both local and national initiatives to end gender-based violence. Lori joined ALSO in 2007. As Executive Director, she designs and manages efforts to prevent and intervene in both community violence and gender-based violence for in-risk populations through training, technical assistance and community-building, both locally and nationally. Lori started her career in New York City, managing an initiative designed to address prisoner reentry and domestic violence for the Vera Institute of Justice. While there, she oversaw training, technical assistance and research to build the capacity of jurisdictions around the country to provide cross-sector support for returning prisoners and their families. Prior to this, she managed social services for public housing residents in Queens. Her research focuses on the impact of correctional supervision on intimate partner relationships. Lori’s selected publications include “Managing Ties and Time: Men’s and Women’s Reports of Relationships during Incarceration and Reentry” (dissertation, 2018); and “Prisoner reentry and intimate partner violence in the African American community: The case for culturally competent interventions. Journal of the Institute of Justice and International Studies,” (2004, co-author with Oliver, Williams, and Hairston).

    Lori has taught social work courses at the City University of New York and at the UIC Jane Addams College of Social Work. She currently teaches social welfare policy courses in the MSW program at Governors State University. Lori received a B.S. from the University of Texas at Arlington, an M.S. from Columbia University’s School of Social Work, and a Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams College of Social Work.

Fiscal Department

  • Yesenia Acosta, Budget Coordinator
  • Alma Cordova, Payroll Coordinator
  • Giovanni Jimenez, Fiscal/Payroll Assistant
  • Evelyn (Lynn) Lebron, Payroll Assistant
  • Maria Morales, Fiscal Assistant
  • Alesia Rivera, Fiscal Assistant
  • Seomara Sanabria, Senior Finance Manager
  • Eliana Vazquez, Fiscal Coordinator
  • Silvia Villeda Herrera, Director of Finance
    Silvia has worked in the finance field for over two decades. Silvia joined the Alliance of Local Service Organizations, ALSO, in 2007 after working for several years in sales and accounting of the profit sector. Silvia started her fiscal adventure in the non-profit sector in 2007 at ALSO, where she held several fiscal positions, maximizing private and public financial resources to serve the community. Currently, Silvia serves as Finance Director, responsible for overseeing ALSO's finances, leading and developing strategic financial plans to support the organization's growth, and helping communities that are oppressed, marginalized, and suffer injustices.

    Born and raised in Mexico, Silvia received her B.B.A. from the University of Michoacan (UMSNH). In Mexico, she worked at Pemex, the petroleum company of Mexico, where she was trained in several roles in sales, fiscal, and administrative departments. Before working at ALSO, Silvia worked in the travel industry, where she explored and learned roles as a travel agent and accountant focused on the profit sector of the U.S. Currently, she is studying for a Master of Divinity at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

People and Culture Department

  • Britt Clinard, IT Manager
  • Marisol Giraud, Interim Director of People and Culture
    For over a decade, Marisol has been a team member at ALSO. She has worked in various roles, such as Senior Manager of Operations and Events and the Event Manager under the STAAR Project. She is now serving as the Interim Director of People and Culture, where she brings her expertise to the forefront. Her experience working for a private practice such as Judd Lofchie and Associates, the founder of the non-profit Streetwise publication, the Government of Puerto Rico - Fomento, and her extensive travels have given her a unique perspective on the importance of listening and engaging with others. Marisol oversees daily operations and contributes to creating a welcoming environment. 

    Originally from Puerto Rico and raised in the Humboldt Park and Logan Square neighborhoods of Chicago, Marisol is fluent in English and Spanish and understands the importance of empowering individuals to voice their opinions and live healthier and safer lives. Marisol studied at Northwestern Business College (AAS) and continues her professional development at the University of Illinois Springfield (BBA).

  • Valencia Jackson, People and Culture Manager
  • Zarena Leblanc, Training and Community Engagement Manager

Policy and Justice Initiatives Department

The STOP Technical Assistance to Administrators Resource (STAAR) Project is managed by the Policy and Justice Initiatives Department. Learn more here: STAAR Project Website

  • Mary Malefyt Seighman, Director of Policy and Justice Initiatives
    Mary is the Director of Policy and Justice Initiatives at the Alliance of Local Service Organizations (ALSO). In this role, she leads the Policy division, and manages the STAAR Project, the Legal Services program, and the Communications team. Mary is an attorney who has devoted 25 years to gender-based violence policy and response improvement, and keeps the goals of safety, autonomy, restoration, diversity, equity, and inclusion at the center of her work.

    Over the course of more than two decades of work, Mary has held several roles including leading the National Center on Full Faith and Credit as Senior Attorney to promote survivor safety and systems change related to protection orders and firearms; served as Director of Grant Programs a state violence prevention agency; conducted dozens of trainings around the U.S. for advocates, attorneys, policy-makers, law enforcement, prosecutors, and courts; and co-wrote a handbook for attorneys on representing survivors living with the effects of trauma.

    Mary is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School (JD), and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (BA), and is licensed to practice law in Maryland.

  • Sami Hausserman, STAAR Program Coordinator
  • Shosh Pojawa, STAAR Program Assistant

Safe Homes Department

The Underserved Technical Assistance Project is managed by the Safe Homes Department. Learn more here: Underserved Project Website

  • Cristina Damiani, Director of Safe Homes
    Cristina has worked for over two decades within nonprofits and government agencies, playing an active role in efforts to end domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of interpersonal violence. Cristina joined ALSO in 2015 and since then has held several roles, including working on ALSO's STOP/STAAR Project and the Consolidated Youth and Engaging Men Technical Assistance Projects. Currently, Cristina serves as the Director of Safe Homes responsible for overseeing the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women-funded Underserved Technical Assistance Project and ALSO's local direct services domestic violence programming, which addresses the intersection of community violence and intimate partner violence in underserved communities in Chicago.

    Before working at ALSO, Cristina was the co-director of the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center (OCVLC), a nonprofit specializing in victim rights legal and advocacy services. While at this organization, Cristina managed its budget and operations while providing bilingual advocacy services to crime victims, including those experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Cristina’s experience also includes working for Puerto Rico’s Office of Courts Administration coordinating program development and implementation to enhance system responses to domestic violence in this jurisdiction. Most notably, this work allowed her to serve in a seminal role in the planning, implementation, and subsequent expansion of Puerto Rico’s first specialized domestic violence court. Cristina started her professional career at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York City. At Vera, Cristina contributed to the Judicial Oversight Demonstration Initiative (JODI) and the Peer-to-Peer Exchange Projects, national technical assistance projects funded by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.

    Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Cristina holds a B.A. in Law and Society from the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington D.C. and a M.A. in Anthropology from the Hunter College of the City University of New York. Cristina is proud of her cultural and linguistic roots, which inform how she perceives and is perceived as she walks through life moments. Cristina’s deep commitment to ending all forms of violence and abuse is supported by three core beliefs, which are that: all human beings are interrelated; everyone should have equal access to what they need to thrive; and violence and abuse will not end until everyone is free from violence and abuse.

  • Jayla James, Underserved Project Program Coordinator
  • Antonella Santostefano, Senior Program Manager for Safe Homes
  • Topher Williamson, Underserved Project Program Specialist

Safe Streets Department

  • Linnette Acosta, Safe Streets Program Specialist
  • Michael Anderson, Outreach Worker
  • Carlos Andino, Outreach Worker
  • Latanya Aytch, Victim Services Advocate
  • Latoya Baines, Safe Streets Case Manager
  • Lance Barnes, Outreach Worker
  • Victor Beaudion, Outreach Worker
  • Daniel Bonilla, Outreach Worker
  • Isaac Booker, Outreach Worker
  • Angel Castro, Outreach Worker
  • Joanna Childers, Safe Streets Case Manager
  • Orlando Cintron, Outreach Worker Lead
  • Prince Coakley, Outreach Worker
  • Luis Cotto, Outreach Worker Lead
  • Anthony Dejesus, Outreach Worker
  • Christine Escalera, Outreach Worker
  • William Estrada, Outreach Worker
  • Jillona Flowers, Resilience Case Manager Supervisor
  • Terry Gage, Outreach Supervisor
  • Sandy Garvin, Outreach Worker
  • Eric George, Outreach Worker
  • Gerardo Gonzalez, Jr., Outreach Worker
  • Angelica Hardy, Resilience Program Manager
  • Darrell Johnson, Associate Director of Safe Streets
  • Iony Johnson, Safe Streets Case Manager
  • Jessica Johnson, Crisis Response Specialist
  • Tracey Jones, Crisis Response Specialist
  • Lashonda Matthews, Outreach Worker
  • Harold Mcbeth, Outreach Worker
  • Cierra Mcgee, Outreach Worker
  • Rolando Otero, Outreach Supervisor
  • Jose Pizarro, Director of Safe Streets
  • Zoilo Ramos, Outreach Supervisor
  • Sasha Ramos, Outreach Worker
  • Sophia Ridgner-Williams, Safe Streets Coordinator
  • Luis Rodriguez, Outreach Worker
  • Alexia Roman, Safe Streets Case Manager
  • Maribel Romero, Safe Streets Case Manager
  • Thomas Ross, Outreach Worker Lead
  • Steven Rucker, Safe Streets Program Manager
  • Samuel (Sammy) Santana, CVI Scaling Program Manager
  • Timothy Smith, Outreach Worker
  • Marcus Spires, Outreach Worker
  • Kevin Terry, Outreach Worker
  • Jesus Vargas, Crisis Response Specialist
  • Frederick Wallace, Outreach Worker