Jessica C. Brayden, Chief Executive Officer
Selected by the Board of Directors in early 2008, Jessica Brayden brings over 20 years of not-for-profit management experience to New England’s first domestic violence agency. Serving as the Executive Director, Ms. Brayden oversees all aspects of programs and management ensuring efficiency, fiscal and service accountability, and the organization’s innovative growth. Ms. Brayden’s career has focused on program development and stabilization and she has distinguished herself through creative change management and strategic programmatic growth. Ms. Brayden has been an advocate for healthy communities, not only by providing safety to all those experiencing domestic violence, but also addressing the many social dynamics that contribute to domestic violence. Ms. Brayden is active in the local community, serving on several boards including the Somerville Chamber of Commerce and Riverside Community Care. She has received numerous awards for her leadership, including the coveted Fox 25 Hometown Hero Award. Ms. Brayden is a sought-after domestic violence expert, often asked for her commentary on related issues from the local print and broadcast media such as WBUR, WCVB, WFXT, The Boston Globe, Somerville Journal and periodicals such as Working Mother Magazine. Ms. Brayden holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Salem State College and a Master of Business Administration from Endicott College.
Darcie DeLuca, Director of Finance and Administration
Ms. DeLuca is responsible for overseeing RESPOND’s finance, human resources and information technology functions. She brings over 15 years of financial experience in both for profit and nonprofit industries. Ms. DeLuca has expertise in financial control and reporting, audit, budget creation/monitoring and deposit and loan operations. Her experience includes risk management, budgeting and asset/liability management. Ms. DeLuca holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from Suffolk University and a Master of Business Administration from Endicott College.
Victoria Helberg, Director of Programs & Services
Victoria Helberg has been providing services to survivors of domestic violence for the past 14 years. She is a passionate and dedicated support to our clients and our staff. During her tenure at RESPOND she has worked with survivors from all over the world and helped them find success. Ms. Helberg is certified to conduct and score high risk assessments. She has provided numerous trainings in the community on domestic violence, high risk assessment and safety planning. Ms. Helberg has years of experience working alongside law-enforcement and district courts. Prior to beginning her work at RESPOND, Ms. Helberg worked in child care administration. She has worked with at-risk families for the past 25+ years. During this time she has established working relationships with many community partners. These relationships are life-saving when working with the high risk survivors, allowing her to make quick and smooth connections to the needed services. Ms. Helberg has dedicated her career to addressing short-term and long-term safety needs of survivors of domestic violence.
Heather Lonks Minty, Director of Philanthropy & Engagement
Heather Lonks Minty is Director of Philanthropy and Engagement at RESPOND, Inc. Ms. Minty is responsible for organizational fundraising and donor engagement, including direct mail, individual giving, corporate and foundation support, and special events. Ms. Minty has spent nearly a decade working for nonprofits across the globe, first starting at Hampton Court Palace in England. Locally, Ms. Minty has led fundraising efforts at the Boston Athenæum, as well as the Boston Arts Academy Foundation, and she serves on the Board of Directors of Women in Development of Greater Boston and is Co-Chair of its Marketing and Communications Committee. Ms. Minty holds a B.F.A. in Electronic Media from Long Island University Post and an M.A. in Public History from Royal Holloway, University of London.
Tanina Dawidowicz, Law Enforcement Partnership Coordinator
Tanina Dawidowicz has dedicated her career to supporting survivors of both domestic and sexual violence. Ms. Dawidowicz started out with the New Bedford Police Department through an internship in their Domestic Violence Unit, which was an eye-opening experience for her. It helped her realize that domestic and sexual violence prevention work was her calling. After graduating with her Bachelor’s degree in Crime & Justice Studies, she secured a position as a DV/SA Counselor & Outreach Specialist with YWCA Northeastern Massachusetts. In this role, Ms. Dawidowicz was tasked with teaching youth in her community how to identify unhealthy relationships. While working full-time in this role, she completed a Master’s degree followed by a graduate certificate in Domestic Violence Prevention. First joining RESPOND as a Domestic Violence Counselor and Civilian Advocate, Ms. Dawidowicz is excited to bring her years of domestic violence and prevention expertise and leadership to the Law Enforcement Partnership Program were she will serve as its Coordinator.
Nabieu Sandi, Emergency Shelter Coordinator
Nabieu Musa Sandi has an eloquent profile in working with underserved populations. Mr. Sandi began his career over 20 years ago, first working as a Residential Counselor and Case Manager. Over the past two decades, Mr. Sandi has held various leadership roles including Human Rights Coordinator and various Program Director positions.
In these roles, Mr. Sandi has supported individuals facing domestic violence, mental health challenges, developmental delays, and other complex life circumstances. Mr. Sandi continues to be guided by his passion for justice, and compassion for those dealing with difficult life circumstances. It is this passion and drive that brought Mr. Sandi to RESPOND, eager to broaden his knowledge and impact on the work to end domestic violence and make his own contribution to the agency’s vital mission, especially in its Emergency Shelter Program.
Jennifer Wolter, Manager of Community-based Programs
Ms. Wolter oversees the development of our work with Sheriffs’ Departments and the Department of Correction, including the inaugural Survivors of Abuse Feeling Empowered for Re-entry (S.A.F.E.R.) program at the Suffolk County House of Correction. She came to RESPOND over 15 years experience in education, both as a teacher and school administrator. While in these positions, she worked closely with young adults who had experienced trauma, developed health and wellness programming, youth leadership opportunities, residential services, and general community building. This passion led her to RESPOND, Inc. where she enjoys helping empower others to follow their passions and live happy, healthy lives. She now works to expand our reach and build stronger, trauma-informed, gender-specific support for both men and women in custody. Jennifer recognizes the complex relationship between victimization and criminalization. She works hard to provide maximum support for incarcerated and detained individuals who have experienced abuse and to set them up with skills and resources for success after their release from custody. She has a BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University and is a Certified Teacher in Massachusetts. She is continues to enjoy sharing her compassion for others through counseling and program development at RESPOND.