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Senior Leadership Team

Safe Horizon is managed by fiercely dedicated individuals who bring expertise, compassion and thought leadership to our work.

Senior Leadership Team

Pilar Bernabé – Garcia, She/Her/Hers Vice President, Finance & Controller

Pilar Bernabé – Garcia joined Safe Horizon in 2000 and rejoined in 2007. Pilar currently provides oversight of accounting operations, including payables, receivables, payroll, budget, and tax preparation while developing appropriate tracking methods for revenue and expenses. Through previous roles at Safe Horizon, she has had oversight for grants reporting, planning, and budgeting of the agency’s budget and fiscal administration of over 200 contracts from government and private sources. Pilar was previously at The Research Foundation of The City University of New York (RFCUNY) and at the Ms. Foundation for Women. She received a B.A. in Accounting from Brooklyn College.

Mia Briones, She/Her/Hers Vice President, Individual & Community Engagement

Mia joined Safe Horizon in 2023 and is responsible for the individual, corporate, and event giving programs. Mia was previously the Director of Major Gifts at Harlem Children’s Zone and a major gifts fundraiser at the International Rescue Committee where she raised over $20 million in primarily unrestricted funds for the organization. Mia specializes in raising funds and resources for human rights and social justice missions and has also worked and volunteered in Mexico City, Cameroon, and Tanzania. Mia received a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.I.A. from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Kristina Coleman, She/Her/Hers Vice President, Child Advocacy and Mental Health Programs

Kristina Coleman joined Safe Horizon in 2022. She is responsible for overseeing all five Child Advocacy Centers (CACs), the Counseling Center, the Child Trauma Response Team (CTRT), and the innovative project A Safe Way Forward. Kristina previously worked as a Program Director at Children's Village. She has over 13 years of experience working within child welfare systems and has played a key role in advocating for changes in policies that impact thousands of children and their families. As an advocate for youth, Kristina continues to educate on prevention and reunification for children and their families. She received an M.P.A. from Hunter College, an M.S.W. from Hunter College Silberman School of Social work, and an L.C.S.W. from Hunter College.

Hannah Collins, She/Her/Hers Associate Vice President , External Communications

Hannah joined Safe Horizon in 2023. She oversees all external communications, campaign, and brand content, from audio and visual content to social media, website, and email communications. Hannah was previously at the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, where she worked closely with federal partners to transition the brand to 988 in 2022, oversaw all external communications, internal network communications, paid media campaigns, and public relations. Hannah has over 20 years of communications experience, spanning Australia, Africa, and the U.K., with a decade in the nonprofit sector. Her career history spans the mental and emotional health sector, the disability sector, arts and culture, hospitality and manufacturing industries. Hannah received a B.A. in Communications from the University of Adelaide and an M.A. in Journalism from Charles Sturt University.

Maureen Curtis, She/Her/Hers Vice President, Criminal Justice and Court Programs

Maureen Curtis joined Safe Horizon in 1986. She has over 30 years of experience working in the field of victimization and has extensive knowledge of victims' rights within the criminal justice system. Maureen is responsible for development and oversight of Safe Horizon’s Criminal Justice Programs with a staff of more than 200 co-located in family court, criminal court, Family Justice Center, Supervised Visitation Program and precinct locations city-wide and manages a budget of more than 20 million. She has designed and provided training for law enforcement and community members on topics such as victim safety, offender accountability, housing options, and the criminal justice response to domestic violence. Her experience working in NYPD precincts led to an expansion of programs and creation of the Crime Victim Assistance Program (CVAP) that places Advocates in every NYC police precinct and provides services to all victims of crime. Maureen has been instrumental in creating and introducing new practices for Safe Horizon staff in their work with clients, including training for supervisors in the implementation of client-centered practice, and providing support and guidance to help staff develop their skills and enhance their knowledge. She received an L.C.S.W. from Hunter College and an M.P.H. from Hunter College.

Michelle M. Lawrence, She/Her/Hers Director, Anti-Racism Organizational Development

Michelle M. Lawrence first joined Safe Horizon in 2014. She became the Director of Anti-Racism Organizational Development in 2018. Michelle plays a leading role in Safe Horizon’s work to address systemic racism and move us towards being a more racially equitable and inclusive workplace and organization. She is part of our Anti-Racism Steering Committee, and works closely with internal working groups and affinity groups in developing and coordinating an annual action plan, leading conversations about racism throughout the organization, and partnering with external consultants to further our work to create lasting, measurable change. Michelle continues her Anti-Racism education by being an active member of the Mary Pender Greene’s Executives Undoing Racism since 2018 and attending similar spaces. She was selected to part of New York Nonprofit Selection Committee 2019 Excellence Awards for her DEI expertise. Michelle completed the New York City Racial Equity Labs with Race Forward in 2019. Michelle graduated from the Leadership Fellows of New York in the Winter 2023 and was asked to return as a Mentor in 2024. She has been working for over 18 years in the domestic violence field and was previously the Childcare Center Supervising Coordinator for our Domestic Violence Shelter Administration Program. Michelle received a B.A. in Human Services with a concentration in Child Welfare from New York City College of Technology.

Michael Polenberg, He/Him/His Vice President, Government Affairs

Michael joined Safe Horizon in 2008. He is responsible for directing the agency's legislative and budget advocacy on the federal, state and local levels. Michael draws on his over 30 years of advocacy work in New York to reduce barriers that victims and survivors face when charting paths to safety and healing. He has worked at several nonprofit human services organizations and at the New York City Council. The relationships and partnerships Michael has forged over more than three decades of advocacy work allow him to achieve meaningful change for victims and survivors across the state. Michael received a B.A. in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Michele Richard, She/Her/Hers Vice President, Community and Digital Services

Michele Richard joined Safe Horizon in 2019. She oversees the Community Programs, Hotline, Safe Chat, Helpline and DOVE Initiative. Michele previously served as the Senior Director of the Safe Way Forward Program. She has worked in intimate partner violence for over 20 years and has always been passionate about working toward safe home environments. Michele was previously at STEPS To End Family Violence and had extensive work focusing on Teen Dating Violence. Michele was among a team that created an accountability program for adolescent men that were causing harm to their partners or mothers. Michele received a M.P.A. from New York University.

Olga Rodriguez-Vidal, She/Her/Hers Vice President, Domestic Violence Shelter Operations

Olga Rodriguez-Vidal joined Safe Horizon in 2007. She has spent over 16 years within Safe Horizon’s domestic violence shelter programs in growing leadership roles. Olga is proud to work at Safe Horizon and to continue the very important work of providing safe spaces for survivors and their children. As a Feminist, Olga has always been passionate about women’s rights and helping women and children who experienced abuse. Olga received a B.A. in Psychology and an M.P.A. from Metropolitan College of New York.

Vicky Royter, She/Her/Hers Vice President, Information Technology

Vicky Royter joined Safe Horizon in 1993. She provides organization-wide vision and leadership for developing IT and Telecommunications strategic and operational initiatives, directs the planning and implementation of enterprise IT systems to support the organization’s mission, leads projects to improve cost effectiveness, service quality, and provide innovative solutions to program technology. Vicky has over 30 years of technical experience with in-depth knowledge of IT management and technology, application development, infrastructure and telecommunications, cyber security, project management and user support. She received a M.S. in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from Belarussian Polytechnical University and holds certificate in Executive Cybersecurity from Rutgers University and was awarded Crain’s Notable Women in Technology Award in 2019.

Samuel Saunders, He/Him/His Vice President, Real Estate and Facilities

Samuel Saunders joined Safe Horizon in 2020. He manages the entire real estate lifecycle for Safe Horizon and leads the team who manages a real estate portfolio of over 50 agency facilities including 8 residential shelters, over thirty individual residential units, and multiple office sites. Samuel oversees renovations, construction, and build-out projects, ensuring the facilities are not only functional but also prioritize the safety and well-being of residents, staff, and visitors. He has over 17 years of experience working in real estate and a proven track record of using his skills to advance real estate initiatives for those in need. Samuel previously played a key role at organizations like the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services and Operation Hope, championing projects that provided safe and secure housing options. He received an M.C.R. from CoreNet Global and a B.A in Business Administration from Pace University.

Gaudí Tomasino Senior Director, Internal Communications and Project Management

Gaudí Tomasino joined Safe Horizon in March 2020. As the Senior Director of Internal Communications and Project Management, Gaudí implements mission-driven internal communication strategies across various platforms. In addition to her internal communications leadership, and as a member of the executive office, she is responsible for implementing critical projects and Board of Directors engagement. Gaudí's extensive experience in both Safe Horizon and the telecommunications industry spans various roles in operations, technical support, and communications. Notably, Gaudí launched a successful Hispanic employee resource group and championed numerous diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and corporate social responsibility initiatives. Her passion for DEI is further evidenced by her previous work as a Linguistics instructor in Latin America. Gaudí is a proud alumna of the City University of New York (CUNY), where she received a M.A. in Philosophy and B.A. in Philosophy and Spanish Literature both from Queens College.

Sebastien Vante, He/Him/His Associate Vice President

Sebastien Vante joined Safe Horizon in 2015. He leads Safe Horizon Streetwork Project which delivers comprehensive case management, daytime respite, and crisis shelter services for thousands of runaway and homeless young people in New York City. Sebastien has nearly 15 years of experience working with juvenile justice system-involved and at-risk individuals, LGBTQIA+ communities, and unaccompanied, chronically unhoused youths. He has served in HIV Prevention and Reproductive Health as a facilitator of evidence-based interventions on federal, state, and local levels, including the NYSDOH, AIDS Institute, ACS, and the CDC. Sebastien's work with BIPOC-identified young men has been highlighted in several presentation forums and media outlets, including workshops at the National Harm Reduction Conference, news stories, and articles.

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