Rebecca Mooney joined MAAV as the Executive Director in 1997. She 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 more than 30 years.
During her tenure at MAAV, 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 U.S. 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.
Rebecca lives in Melrose with her husband; they have two adult daughters and two grandchildren.
Alison Bryer joined our team as the Mentoring Program Coordinator in 2014. Alison holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Salem State University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development from Wheelock College. She has more than 25 years of experience working with at-risk youth and their families.
Alison began her career working with the Department of Children and Families as a case manager, and has continued to provide case management and therapeutic support for at-risk youth and their families in both in-patient and outpatient settings. As the staff Social Worker at the North Suburban YMCA in Woburn, she helped launch the Nurturing Families Program, which uses an evidence-based curriculum that brings parents and children together to establish healthier relationships.
In addition to coordinating MAAV’s Community Mentoring Program, Alison also facilitates our Healthy Relationships Program with 8th grade students, and is a certified MVP trainer.
Alison lives in Melrose with her family.
Liane Cassavoy joined MAAV as the Outreach Coordinator in 2012. She holds a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Boston University and a BA in English from Boston College.
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 guidebooks, which were published by Entrepreneur Press.
Liane lives in Melrose with her husband and three children.
Maura Conlan joined MAAV as the Administrative Assistant in 2020. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from St. Anselm College.
Most recently, Maura worked as an Administrative Assistant in the Melrose Public Schools, working in many of our five elementary schools as well as the Franklin Early Childhood Center. Through this work Maura grew to love her working in her community and is bringing that passion to MAAV.
Maura lives in Melrose with her husband and three children.
Madelyn Strike joined MAAV as an intern in March 2020. She graduated from Melrose High School in 2019, where she spent three years as a member of MAAV’s Student Action Board. Madelyn currently attends UMass Boston and is majoring in Human Services. After graduation, she plansto pursue a career in domestic violence prevention and education.
Josh Benjamin joined MAAV as the Men4MAAV Coordinator in 2021. Originally from New York, he received a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and French at Tufts University and a Master’s Degree in Teaching from Clark University.
Josh has been an elementary school teacher since 2008, starting out on the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota as part of Teach for America. Josh has also taught in Worcester and Lawrence, and currently teaches first grade to English language learners in Boston. In the classroom, Josh works with his young students on developing self-awareness, strong individual and community identities, and social-emotional tools to handle the challenges of childhood and beyond. He is also a published education writer, with credits including The Boston Globe.
Josh lives in Melrose with his wife, two children, and a hamster. As a family, they love hiking, camping, playground-ing, and otherwise enjoying time outside.
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.
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.