Benita Williams, MSW, LSW, is a Pennsylvania licensed social worker who has over 28 years of experience in the field of Child Welfare. Benita earned her Bachelor of Social Work and Masters of Social Work degrees from Temple University. For 20 years Benita worked for the Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services (DHS) in a variety of positions starting out as a Social Worker and worked her way up to the third highest ranked position at DHS as Operations Director. Most recently she served as the Vice President of CUA and Child Welfare Services for Bethanna, a private Child Welfare agency. firstname.lastname@example.org
Teresa Smith, LSW, PhD, is the Project Director for the Northeast Regional CAC. Teresa joined the NRCAC staff in June 2011 after more than twenty-five years of employment with Pinnacle Health Systems in Harrisburg, PA. Teresa was a Co-founder and Director of the Children’s Resource Center at Pinnacle Health Systems, an accredited CAC, and has served as President and Executive Board Member of the PA Chapter of CACs and MDTs, an accredited Chapter of the National Children’s Alliance. Teresa’s Doctoral Dissertation involved research on multidisciplinary child abuse team leaders and case reviews. Teresa@nrcac.org
Sue Ascione, MS, is a Training Specialist with Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center. Sue provides training and technical assistance to developing and established CACs and MDTs in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Prior to her joining NRCAC, she was the Executive Director of the CAC in Lawrence County, PA for 15 years and served in several capacities (child/adult therapist, supervisor, and assistant director) at the Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County for 13 years. As a member of the PA Chapter of CACs and MDTs, Sue helped develop and implement the Continuous Practice Improvement Program (CPIP) in Pennsylvania and mentored several CPIP teams. She also helped develop and implement the TECH Smart program designed to help parents keep their children safe in the digital world. Sue has trained on many topics, including the Role of MDT coordinator, Steps to Building a CAC, minimal facts interviewing and the effects of domestic violence and sexual abuse on children. Sue@nrcac.org
Michele Mullen, LCSW, is a Training Specialist with Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center. Michele provides training and technical assistance to developing and established CACs and MDTs in the 9 northeast states. Michele creates and delivers local, state, and regional trainings on Victim Advocacy: Working with Children, Caregivers and the MDT; Vicarious Trauma/Building Resiliency for Child Abuse Professionals; National Children’s Alliance (NCA) Standards for Accreditation; and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Michele also conducts onsite training and consultation with multidisciplinary teams and CAC staff regarding Multidisciplinary Team Development, Strategic Planning and Board Development. Michele works with the NRCAC team to coordinate agency branding, webpage, marketing materials, and social media presence. She is the responsible for creation, design and edits of educational videos to share nationally with CACs: (1) The Importance of the Medical Exam; (2) The Role of the Victim Advocate; (3) Building a Better Case Review (https://www.nrcac.org/resources). Michele received the Maine Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers’ Children’s Advocate Award in April 2020. Michele joined NRCAC in September 2014 after 17 years with the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office/Children’s Advocacy Center in Massachusetts. Michele began as a Victim Advocate before moving to the CAC Director role and was dedicated to the development of a fully accredited Children’s Advocacy Center in 2010. Prior to working at the DA’s Office, she worked with domestic violence survivors. Michele@nrcac.org.
Tony DeVincenzo is a Training Specialist with the Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center. In that role, he provides training and technical assistance to Child Advocacy Centers and Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Teams throughout the Northeast Region of the US. In addition to his work with individual Advocacy Centers and Multidisciplinary Teams, Tony has presented workshops on a variety of topics related to Child Advocacy at regional and national conferences.
Prior to his current position, Tony served as the Director of Programs and Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator from Deirdre’s House, the Child Advocacy Center for Morris County, New Jersey. In that role, Tony oversaw a variety of programs and services offered at the Advocacy Center and coordinated the multidisciplinary response to child abuse in the community. He also conducted numerous professional trainings and community presentations related to child advocacy.
Before working in the child advocacy field, had a 25-year career in law enforcement in New Jersey. He began his career as a patrol officer with the Roseland Police Department and then served as a Detective with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. As a detective, Tony worked in a variety of units including juvenile/missing persons, and the major crimes unit, but spent a majority of his career investigating crimes against children. During that time, he also served as forensic interviewer and was an active member of the Morris County MDT. Tony retired from law enforcement in 2013 as a Lieutenant supervising the Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit, Internet Crimes Against Children, and Megan’s Law Unit.
In addition to his law enforcement career and his roles in Child Advocacy, Tony is an adjunct faculty member at local colleges teaching courses related to Criminal Justice and Child Advocacy. Tony@nrcac.org
PROJECT INITIATIVES SPECIALIST
Ilana Lezama-Beausejour is the Project Initiatives Specialist for the Northeast Regional Children's Advocacy Center. In this position, Ilana will be working on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives and annual data needs assessment projects. Ilana has served in the field of Social Work for several years in different capacities, from working with children within the child welfare system on behavioral therapy modalities to training foster parents on social-emotional skills and diversity. She has worked within the Juvenile Justice System and devised a program to serve vulnerable youth. She has a passion for making an impact on individuals and enhancing systems that serve people. Ilana firmly believes her purpose is to make a difference in the lives and organizations that she encounters by extending herself as a beacon of light. Ilana has obtained her Master's degree in Social Work from Fordham University with a dual concentration in Clinical Work and Organizational Leadership. Ilana@nrcac.org
Katelyn Waltimyer is the Project Manager for the Northeast Regional Children's Advocacy Center. In this position, Katelyn fills a wide range of administrative roles, with a focus on training management, event production, and grant logistics. Prior to joining the NRCAC team in 2018, Katelyn obtained a bachelor's degree in Music Education and a minor in Theatre from Penn State University and served as a daycare and K-5 music teacher. Katelyn@nrcac.org
Brittany Ramos is the Project Coordinator for the Northeast Regional Children's Advocacy Center. She is responsible for various administrative duties, fiscal oversight, and technology support of the NRCAC Training and Technical Assistance Project. She has a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in Social Welfare and Psychology from The City College of New York. Before joining the non-profit sector, Brittany’s background diversely entailed operations and logistics for a tech start-up, project management in sales and services, as well as client relations and experience for over ten years. Brittany@nrcac.org
Myia Hill is the Communications Manager with Northeast Regional Children's Advocacy Center. In this position, Myia manages NRCAC's branding, marketing materials, website, and social media presence. She has worked in the non-profit sector for over 9 years in the primary areas of development, communications, and marketing. Myia obtained her bachelor’s degree in Marketing from SUNY Oswego. Myia@nrcac.org