- Rebecca Mooney
Rebecca Mooney holds a Master’s degree in Education from Lesley University and has worked in the field of prevention as a counselor and nonprofit manager for over 30 years, serving as the Executive Director of MAAV for close to 20 years. During her tenure, Rebecca has spearheaded a range of violence prevention programs in the schools and community, including bullying prevention, domestic and teen dating violence prevention, mentoring, peer mediation and peer leadership programs. Rebecca has served as a trainer, panelist and guest speaker on bullying and teen dating violence prevention for conferences sponsored by the US Department of Justice, Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Child Advocacy Center of Boston, Riverside Community Care and Boston Children’s Hospital, among others. In 2013 Rebecca had the honor of speaking at the White House as part of Teen Dating Violence Prevention Month. She lives in Melrose with her husband; they have two adult daughters and a new granddaughter!
- Liane Cassavoy
Liane Cassavoy holds a Master’s degree in Journalism from Boston University. She graduated with distinction, and, while a graduate student there, she won second prize in magazine writing competition sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists. She joined the staff of MAAV as the Outreach Coordinator in 2012.
Before joining MAAV, Liane worked as a freelance journalist, writing about a variety of technology and business topics. Her work has appeared in a variety of national and local publications, including PCWorld, Entrepreneur Magazine, About.com, and others. She also is the author of two business start-up guide books, which were published by Entrepreneur Press.
Liane resides in Melrose with her husband and three children.
- Alison Bryer
Alison Bryer is joining our team as the Mentoring Program Coordinator. Alison is a licensed clinical social worker with 20 years of experience working with youth and their families. She helped launch the Nurturing Families Program at the North Suburban YMCA in Woburn, a program that is very similar to our Melrose CARES Community Mentoring Program. Alison lives in Melrose with her family.
- Crystal Johnson
Crystal Johnson joined the MAAV team as a Safe Steps Counselor in April 2018. She holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Boston College with a Trauma Program Certificate. While completing her studies, she interned and subsequently works at DOVE, a domestic violence agency in Quincy, MA, where she provides crisis intervention, strengths-based trauma-informed counseling, and healthy relationship classes to survivors of domestic violence. Prior to this, Crystal served in a variety of trauma-focused settings, including the YWCA in Washington State as the Children’s Domestic Violence Advocate offering in-home counseling to children ages 3-18 who experienced domestic violence, and also at Newton North High School providing individual and group counseling to students on Individualized Education Plans (IEP). Her main therapeutic modalities include elements of expressive arts therapy, play therapy, narrative therapy and TF-CBT.
Crystal’s hope is to continue working with young children and families experiencing complex trauma, specifically domestic violence, in order to cultivate pathways to healing and safety. She specifically sees the need in providing accessible, quality services to communities of color, LGBQT+ young people, and low income communities, while striving to work on both a macro and micro level not only to support survivors, but to end the cycle of domestic violence.
Crystal currently resides in Boston spending a lot of her time de-stressing with her cats, Luna and Olive. She also enjoys backpacking, traveling, and finding new restaurants.
- Kelly MacDonald Willwerth
Kelly joined MAAV in February 2017 as our Administrative Assistant. She was born and raised in Melrose and attended Melrose Public Schools. She has her Bachelors degree in Education from Salem State University.
In addition to working at MAAV, Kelly is an Independent Business Owner with Beautycounter, educating people on the safety of their personal care products. Kelly also is a cancer survivor and, through that journey, has developed a real passion for helping others going through struggles in their life.
Kelly resides in Melrose with her husband and two children.
- Justine Romano
Justine Romano is a Support Group Leader at MAAV. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Boston College and completed her studies while interning at Boston Medical Center (BMC). Justine went on to work at BMC in various departments including inpatient trauma and general surgery as well as an outpatient social worker for those diagnosed with cancer where Justine was also facilitating many peer support groups for adults. Justine was part of the Child Protection Team at BMC during her transition to working for Massachusetts General Hospital where she is currently the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Social Worker. Justine has extensive experience working with adults, children, adolescents and families in crisis and coping with various stressors as well as interest and skill in facilitating groups.
Justine has volunteered with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) and has participated in training opportunities through Hospitals Helping Abuse and Violence End Now (HAVEN) at Massachusetts General Hospital as well as many other continuing education programs throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She currently facilitates a weekly support group for survivors of domestic violence through MAAV.
Justine resides in Boston and enjoys listening to music and spending time with family, friends, and her dog, Jaxon.
- Sara Serisky
Sara is a child, adolescent and family therapist with a private practice in Melrose, MA. She has been a Clinical Social Worker for over 15 years. She received her Masters Degree in Social Work from Simmons and post graduate school certification in collaborative family therapy from the Cambridge Family Institute.
Sara has been helping people recover from and cope with trauma in various ways for the past 24 years. Sara started her professional journey volunteering at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center and quickly developed a passion in helping people face and overcome their traumatic histories. She has worked in domestic violence, residential treatment, hospice, group homes and community mental health as both an individual therapist and as a program manager.
Sara loves to unwind on nature walks, loves to dance and is an avid reader. She lives in Melrose, MA with her husband, two children and her dog with whom she can be seen walking all over Melrose.