Staff

Founder

Cathy Salser

Founder

Cathy Salser

Cathy is a professional artist who founded the organization in 1991. She has driven AWBW’s overall mission and growth for 27 years, including fiscal oversight, human resource management, and program planning. She has been nationally recognized for her work using art as a healing tool for domestic violence survivors, and has been honored with the Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund Award, the Bank of America Local Heroes Award, the President’s Award from the Women’s Caucus for Art, the Betty Fisher Award from the LA Domestic Violence Council, and the Karen Cooper Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.

Interim CEO

Sonya Lowe, MBA

Interim CEO

Sonya Lowe, MBA

Sonya oversees the entire operations of AWBW. She most recently was the Vice President of Human Resources and Operations with the professional employer organization, Hire Strategic Human Resources, where she handled VIP and Fortune 500 clients. Sonya holds a BA in Communications from California State University, Long Beach. she completed an MBA with Organizational Development and Leadership concentration at Ashford University, Forbes School of Business. She has served on the Board of various national organizations and is involved in her community by volunteering at local high schools and offering free resume and job search classes at the South Bay Workforce Investment Board and other nonprofit entities. She was also part of a taskforce responsible for providing strategic and customized consulting to business leaders to integrate diversity, inclusion and cultural competency into how they conduct business, serve customers, and measure progress. Her career success is defined by an innate enthusiasm for seizing challenges and driving projects while aligning the human resources function along the lines with the mission and business goals of the organizations she serves.

Director of Programs

Suzanne Curtis

Director of Programs

Suzanne Curtis

Suzanne guides the development and delivery of all aspects of AWBW’s trauma-informed programming to best serve AWBW’s national network of art workshop facilitators (the Community of Practice) and their participants. Previously, she worked for The Children’s Nature Institute in Beverly Hills as the Communications and Volunteer Coordinator, where she helped recruit, train, and manage more than 300 volunteers a year. She also raised more than $30,000 for an anti-racism organization in Knoxville, TN. She has worked in the entertainment sector, both in film and regional theatre. She holds an MFA from UCLA and a BA from the University of Tennessee.

Director of Development

Christopher Crease, MA

Director of Development

Christopher Crease, MA

Christopher oversees all facets of AWBW’s development efforts. He has over twenty-three years of experience in nonprofit administration, program design/evaluation, community engagement, organizational development, revenue generation, digital marketing, social media engagement, and change management. Before moving to Los Angeles, Christopher managed over 12 branch offices and all the fund-raising efforts of the Texas Gulf Coast Greater Houston Red Cross. Most recently, he has worked with YWCA Greater Los Angeles, Family Service Association and The Campbell Center. He holds a BS in Education from the University of Louisiana and a MA in Education from University of Phoenix. Christopher is an enthusiastic advocate on issues related to building the nonprofit community, strengthening families, and empowering youth and adults.

Adult Program Manager

Christy Turek Rials

Adult Program Manager

Christy Turek Rials

Christy coordinates all aspects of the Adult Windows Program, from developing goals and objectives to program implementation, documentation and evaluation. Christy began her work with AWBW as a trained Program Facilitator with the Women’s Windows Program at YWCA-WINGS in West Covina, working with children and adult victims of domestic violence as part of their Outreach and Shelter Programs. Christy has facilitated groups with incarcerated survivors of domestic violence as well as with celebrities dealing with substance abuse on VH1 Celebrity Rehab. She holds a BA in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton.

Children's Program Manager

Rudy Hernandez

Children's Program Manager

Rudy Hernandez

Rudy coordinates all aspects of the Children’s Windows Program, from developing program goals and objectives to program implementation, documentation and evaluation of Children’s Windows Facilitators across the country in providing effective healing arts interventions. Before making his way to AWBW, Rudy was a trained AWBW Program Facilitator at Women's and Children's Crisis Shelter, an emergency domestic violence shelter in Los Angeles County. While there, Rudy coordinated workshops and regularly contributed to AWBW's expanding curriculum. Rudy holds a BA in Liberal Studies and an MA in Education Curriculum and Instruction from California State University, Long Beach.

Marketing and Communications Manager

Emily Anne Evans

Marketing and Communications Manager

Emily Anne Evans

Emily Anne coordinates and implements our marketing strategies for events, social media, press relations, programs, and community engagement. She holds a BFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in photography and visual communications. She also attended SAIC's graduate program in art therapy. She has mostly worked as an entrepreneur, having started a record label, a design and photography studio for non-profits and artists, an artist co-op, and later a marketing company for small family businesses.

Staff Accountant

Trini Nuñez

Staff Accountant

Trini Nuñez

Trini maintains financial reports and general ledgers for AWBW, making sure AWBW is audit compliant. After 20 years of corporate work at Home Savings of America, she joined the nonprofit sector. She worked for Rainbow Services and Haven House, both partners of AWBW. In 2001, while at Haven House, she was trained as a Facilitator and has been involved with AWBW in multiple capacities ever since. To her, AWBW is the gift that keeps on giving. She has had the opportunity to see so many women, men and children grow, including herself and her family. Trini is stronger because of the workshops she has participated in and held for others.

Community Relations Coordinator

Whitney Romberg

Community Relations Coordinator

Whitney Romberg

Whitney coordinates community relations for AWBW. She works with volunteers to help set them up for success including coordinating tasks, answering inquiries, development support, and working at volunteer events. She also creates content for AWBW's social media. Whitney holds a BA in Studio Art from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a concentrations in photography, painting and drawing. An advocate for marginalized individuals and creatives, Whitney has dedicated her career to the nonprofit sector serving the community in various ways, as well as creating engaging, empowering art events designed to help others tap into their inner creativity.

Program Assistant

Angela Simmons

Program Assistant

Angela Simmons

Angela manages our art supplies, including coordinating and prepping materials for trainings, workshops, and community outreach events. She graduated from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and has had numerous jobs in Fashion Merchandising, Wholesale Apparel Sales, and Newspaper Advertising Sales. She has volunteered hundreds of hours for various causes, including 5 years for AWBW before joining our staff.