Staff

Executive Director

Zachery Scott

Executive Director

Zachery Scott

Zachery joined AWBW as a seasoned nonprofit executive, having spent more than 15 years in leadership positions within social service organizations. Since his time as a Peace Corps Health Volunteer in Mozambique, Zachery has followed his passion towards supporting and advocating for vulnerable populations. He has enjoyed Director and Vice President positions with several Los Angeles nonprofits serving victims of child abuse as well as foster and homeless youth, most recently with The Village Family Services and prior to that, Violence Intervention Program.

An avid lover of nature, he believes in the importance of connecting with your surroundings and taking time to disconnect and listen to that "inner voice" within. Zachery is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and lives in Los Angeles with his husband, Lior, and their dog, Henry.

Windows Program Director

Rudy Hernandez

Windows Program Director

Rudy Hernandez

Rudy works closely with the Executive Director to guide the engagement & development of our nationwide community of Windows Facilitators and program partners of AWBW's trauma-informed arts programming. 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.

Training & Outreach Director

Christy Turek Rials

Training & Outreach Director

Christy Turek Rials

Christy leads AWBW's outreach efforts to potential program partners across the country, as well as the promotion, coordination, and facilitation of all Windows training offerings. Christy began her work with AWBW as a trained Program Facilitator with the Windows Program at YWCA-WINGS in West Covina, working with children and adult survivors 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.

Associate Director, Philanthropy & Comms

Patrick Pelz

Associate Director, Philanthropy & Comms

Patrick Pelz

Patrick provides a wide range of fundraising, marketing, and strategic support for AWBW. Prior to joining AWBW, he worked with a number of arts organizations across the country, including Washington National Opera, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Washington Ballet, Chicago Children's Theatre, and the Dallas Museum of Art. He is an avid horticulturist, doting cat dad, Oxford comma enthusiast, and holds a BA in History from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Marketing & Communications Manager

Emily Anne Evans

Marketing & 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.

Community Art Action Manager

Martine Philippe

Community Art Action Manager

Martine Philippe

Martine drives AWBW's strategy for developing individual and collective action powering care and cultural transformation toward social justice through key initiatives including Touchstone Journey and Social Justice Fellows. She is an accomplished arts administrator with a diverse skill set cultivated through a portfolio career approach. Martine's insight spans the arts, education, government, and non-profit sectors. She is a champion of arts integration and the provision of transformational experiences in the arts.

Program Assistant

Rachel Price

Program Assistant

Rachel Price

As the Program Assistant, Rachel provides comprehensive facilitator engagement and support for the Windows network of workshop facilitators and their art programs. Before joining AWBW Rachel was a Windows Facilitator at YWCA Greater Lafayette of Indiana, where she started the art program for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Rachel has facilitated workshops through A Window Between Worlds, SoulCollage®, and Inside Out Arts. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Purdue University and art therapy certificate coursework from Indiana University--Purdue University Indianapolis. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Training & Outreach Assistant

Kat Mardo

Training & Outreach Assistant

Kat Mardo

As part of the Training and Outreach department, Kat supports the building of our network of program partners. She holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from New World School For the Arts and considers herself a lifelong student and enthusiast of the ‘art of being human’. Her performance training and art studies sparked a specific interest in the useful and unique role that art plays in the development of emotional intelligence. Kat is particularly interested in the exploration of physical and verbal communication, language and storytelling as methods of creating tools that aid in navigating the landscape of emotional health and expression within the context of trauma. Her free time is devoted to reading, photography, hiking, travel, nature, thinking and talking.

Curriculum Specialist

Carla Vargas

Curriculum Specialist

Carla Vargas

As the Curriculum Specialist, Carla develops and designs workshops, worksheets, and resources for our Community of Practice. Carla attended California State University Long Beach for her undergraduate psychology degree and is now enrolled at California State University Fullerton for her Masters of Science in counseling. Carla has prior experience working as an AWBW facilitator, therapist trainee, outreach and youth client advocate at a domestic violence agency, and as an educator. Carla is passionate about working with youth and adolescents and uplifting the voices of BIPOC folxs through art and creativity.

Founder; Strategic Vision & Partnership Advisor

Cathy Salser

Founder; Strategic Vision & Partnership Advisor

Cathy Salser

Cathy is a professional artist who founded the organization in 1991. She has driven AWBW’s overall mission and growth for over 30 years, including fiscal oversight, human resource management, and program planning.

Cathy 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.

Recognizing her decades of leadership and commitment to using art as a tool for healing, the Board of Directors sees the role of founder, Cathy Salser, as integral to the success and growth of A Window Between Worlds; this includes counseling leadership in the visioning and strategic growth of the organization, her public advocacy for our programs and their impact across the country, and serving as a co-chair of our Advisory Board.

Cathy founded AWBW by holding a space and a circle of leadership, each person invited to create their own “window between worlds” through art. From the beginning, it has been this circle of leadership, now known as our community of practice, that is A Window Between Worlds.

The board and staff wish to recognize our founder’s dedication, past, present and future, to holding this space for growing and evolving leadership transforming trauma in our own ways, lives, bodies, communities and activism.

Board of Directors

Board Chair

Stacia Kato-Takayesu

Board Chair

Stacia Kato-Takayesu

Stacia is a graduate of the Riordan Leadership Institute and joined the board of AWBW in 2017. Proud mother to a transgender daughter, she advocates for LGBTQ rights, particularly at the intersect with Asian American Pacific Islander populations. As a trained facilitator with AWBW, she has witnessed first-hand how much creating art can heal. Professionally, she serves The Capital Group Companies as a Senior Business Analyst.

"For me, AWBW is Personal Transformation, Leading Transformation, & Transforming towards a more sustainable future."

Board Secretary

Sunny Cho

Board Secretary

Sunny Cho

Sunny has been involved with AWBW since 2004 in various roles, including a trained facilitator. She witnessed firsthand how this safe, non-judgmental “Window of Time” empowered and healed participants, even across the language barrier. As a survivor of childhood violence, her interests and commitment have always been in serving organizations that are dedicated to empowering individuals and communities through building hope, resilience, and long-term social change. She is a Management Analyst for the City of Los Angeles.

Board Treasurer

Richard Crowe

Board Treasurer

Richard Crowe

Richard Crowe has over 25 years of experience in the Accounting and Financial arenas. After graduating from Florida A & M University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Accounting and Finance and passing the Certified Public Account examination, Richard began working for Chase Bank as a finance specialist evaluating complex loan transactions in overseas markets. After a multi-year stint at Chase, he then earned a Master’s in Finance from the prestigious University of Chicago. After the University of Chicago, Richard moved to Los Angeles and worked several years in finance in the entertainment space at both Twentieth Century Fox and The Post Group. Richard then joined Columbia College Hollywood in 2003 as Chief Financial and Operating Officer when the school’s enrollment was at an all-time low. Richard was instrumental in turning around the college and increasing its enrollment to record levels. Richard is currently VP of Finance/CFO at Advancing Justice Los Angeles, a civic and social services nonprofit in Los Angeles.

"For me, AWBW is Impact, Transformation, Joy, & Acceptance."

Board Member

La Shonda Coleman, LCSW

Board Member

La Shonda Coleman, LCSW

La Shonda was trained as an AWBW art workshop facilitator in 2016 and is currently the co-chair of our Advisory Board.

An award winning international speaker and educator, she serves as an administrator within Pepperdine University. In addition to overseeing the University’s response and prevention of sexual violence and sex-based discrimination, La Shonda provides leadership and supervision for the Health, Wellness and Resilience departments and leads the University’s Student Care Team.

She earned her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Southern California with a concentration in Community Organization, Planning and Administration. She advanced in her clinical career to earn her state license as a social worker and established a private practice where she has worked tirelessly to empower communities and individuals to prevent violence and foster healing for those that have been impacted by interpersonal violence and racialized trauma. In her practice, La Shonda has developed an expertise in the areas of somatic based therapeutic healing and interpersonal violence prevention. She is the Founder of Trauma & Healing In Colour (THIC), a program designed to empower people to flourish amidst adversities through education, training and wellness programs.

She cherishes her four beautiful children and loving husband who motivate and inspire her daily.

"For me, AWBW is Impact, Compassion, & Collective Wellness."

Board Member

LaVette Eaddy

Board Member

LaVette Eaddy

LaVette is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Project Jumpstart Inc. a non-profit that provides resources to teen parents, homeless youth and young adults between the ages of 14-20 where we believe in helping others “turn their low into a high”. Her experience prior to joining A Window Between Worlds' Board includes 15+ years in Health Care Financing, Revenue Cycle Management and Policy creation with internal and external partners. She enjoys bowling, reading and traveling in her spare time.

"For me, AWBW is Awareness, Connection, & Community."

Board Member

Yvonne Hsieh

Board Member

Yvonne Hsieh

Yvonne has been involved with AWBW since 2010 as a volunteer, event host, advisory board member, finance committee member and personnel committee member and trained facilitator. As she watched AWBW grow and evolve through the years of her involvement, she is excited to join the Board of Directors to further AWBW's mission. Yvonne has spent the better part of her professional career in banking and consulting for tech companies in Asia and the United States. She earned her BA from Tufts University and MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.

"For me, AWBW is Transformation, Impact, & Sharing."

Board Member

Shelley MacKay

Board Member

Shelley MacKay

Shelley brings nearly 10 years of collective fundraising and sales experience to her AWBW board service. She currently works as the Senior Philanthropy Advisor at Liberty Hill, a social justice foundation, which funds grassroots organizing in Los Angeles. There, she manages a portfolio of major donors and donor advised fund holders, both fundraising and advising around their social justice giving to and beyond the foundation. Previously, she most recently worked as the Major Gifts Officer at Equality California, where she fundraised for LGBTQ civil rights at the local, statewide and national level. As an Independent Insurance Broker, Shelley worked with families and seniors to provide protection through life, disability, and Medicare products, while creating partnerships with local pharmacies, senior centers, and organizations, to offer educational and advisory services to community members.

Across sectors, Shelley’s career has continuously centered advising and building key relationships and partnerships. She deeply values the human connections that uplift social justice, as we strive together to create a more just future.

Shelley has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Mills College and is currently a graduate school candidate at California State University, Northridge in their Masters of Public Administration and Non-profit Management program.

"For me, AWBW is Opportunity, Transformation, & Connection."

Board Member

Evie Tuft

Board Member

Evie Tuft

Evie Tuft has been involved with AWBW since 2022 as a Board member. She is lead counsel for aerospace and defense at McKinsey & Company and has over 15 years of diverse legal experience advising nonprofits and for-profit companies. Previously, a deputy general counsel at an international NGO in disaster relief and counsel to a nonprofit Federally Funded Research and Development Center in aerospace and defense, she uses her strong regulatory knowledge and risk mitigation acumen to guide teams through complex matters. She brings her passion for helping others in need and building capacity through AWBW’s transformative healing arts program. Evie was recognized as Legal Elite, Nevada Business Magazine, and Rising Star, Mountain States Super Lawyers.

Non-Voting Member

Zachery Scott

Non-Voting Member

Zachery Scott

Zachery joined AWBW as a seasoned nonprofit executive, having spent more than 15 years in leadership positions within social service organizations. Since his time as a Peace Corps Health Volunteer in Mozambique, Zachery has followed his passion towards supporting and advocating for vulnerable populations. He has enjoyed Director and Vice President positions with several Los Angeles nonprofits serving victims of child abuse as well as foster and homeless youth, most recently with The Village Family Services and prior to that, Violence Intervention Program.

An avid lover of nature, he believes in the importance of connecting with your surroundings and taking time to disconnect and listen to that "inner voice" within. Zachery is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and lives in Los Angeles with his husband, Lior, and their dog, Henry.

"For me, AWBW is Providing Support, Building Community, & Centering Wellness."

Advisory Board

    • Alyce LaViolette
    • Christy Turek Rials
    • Jerry Soto
    • LaVette Eaddy
    • Rudy Hernandez
    • Suzanne Brogger
    • Andrew Watt
    • Daniel Sarpa
    • John DeLoof
    • Lina Paredes
    • Saima Abbas
    • Teresa Smith
    • Asim Rasheed
    • Emily Anne Evans
    • Katie Cordano
    • Lucy Tschachtli
    • Sandra Mueller
    • Torrey Miller
    • Carolyn Coleman
    • Heidi Seidner
    • Kim Cummings
    • Martine Philippe
    • Sherisa Dahlgren
    • Yvonne Hsieh
    • Cathy Salser
    • Jamie Escoto
    • La Shonda Coleman
    • Namuyaba Temanju
    • Stacia Kato
    • Zachery Scott
    • Christi Helmstetter
    • Jan Blacka
    • Laura Baker
    • Nellie Newman
    • Susan Lee
    • Alyce LaViolette
    • Carolyn Coleman
    • Christy Turek Rials
    • Heidi Seidner
    • Jerry Soto
    • Kim Cummings
    • LaVette Eaddy
    • Martine Philippe
    • Rudy Hernandez
    • Sherisa Dahlgren
    • Suzanne Brogger
    • Yvonne Hsieh
    • Andrew Watt
    • Cathy Salser
    • Daniel Sarpa
    • Jamie Escoto
    • John DeLoof
    • La Shonda Coleman
    • Lina Paredes
    • Namuyaba Temanju
    • Saima Abbas
    • Stacia Kato
    • Teresa Smith
    • Zachery Scott
    • Asim Rasheed
    • Christi Helmstetter
    • Emily Anne Evans
    • Jan Blacka
    • Katie Cordano
    • Laura Baker
    • Lucy Tschachtli
    • Nellie Newman
    • Sandra Mueller
    • Susan Lee
    • Torrey Miller
    • Alyce LaViolette
    • Asim Rasheed
    • Cathy Salser
    • Christy Turek Rials
    • Emily Anne Evans
    • Jamie Escoto
    • Jerry Soto
    • Katie Cordano
    • La Shonda Coleman
    • LaVette Eaddy
    • Lucy Tschachtli
    • Namuyaba Temanju
    • Rudy Hernandez
    • Sandra Mueller
    • Stacia Kato
    • Suzanne Brogger
    • Torrey Miller
    • Zachery Scott
    • Andrew Watt
    • Carolyn Coleman
    • Christi Helmstetter
    • Daniel Sarpa
    • Heidi Seidner
    • Jan Blacka
    • John DeLoof
    • Kim Cummings
    • Laura Baker
    • Lina Paredes
    • Martine Philippe
    • Nellie Newman
    • Saima Abbas
    • Sherisa Dahlgren
    • Susan Lee
    • Teresa Smith
    • Yvonne Hsieh
    • Alyce LaViolette
    • Andrew Watt
    • Asim Rasheed
    • Carolyn Coleman
    • Cathy Salser
    • Christi Helmstetter
    • Christy Turek Rials
    • Daniel Sarpa
    • Emily Anne Evans
    • Heidi Seidner
    • Jamie Escoto
    • Jan Blacka
    • Jerry Soto
    • John DeLoof
    • Katie Cordano
    • Kim Cummings
    • La Shonda Coleman
    • Laura Baker
    • LaVette Eaddy
    • Lina Paredes
    • Lucy Tschachtli
    • Martine Philippe
    • Namuyaba Temanju
    • Nellie Newman
    • Rudy Hernandez
    • Saima Abbas
    • Sandra Mueller
    • Sherisa Dahlgren
    • Stacia Kato
    • Susan Lee
    • Suzanne Brogger
    • Teresa Smith
    • Torrey Miller
    • Yvonne Hsieh
    • Zachery Scott