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About Us

Board of Trustees
 

Trudy Doyle, President

Somerset Executive County Superintendent of Schools, (Retired)

Trudy is an educator who began her career teaching second grade and later served as Superintendent of Schools in Bedminster and Assistant Superintendent in Hopatcong. As the mother of two grown daughters, a son, and a grandmother of three boys, Trudy sought volunteer work that would benefit her community and reflect her beliefs as a parent. “I chose Safe + Sound Somerset because I believe that everyone deserves respect and safety in relationships and I wish to help fulfill the agency’s mission to provide help, hope, support and safety to survivors of abuse who need us.” 

 

Sheila Breeding, Vice President

Allstate NJ, Human Resource Manager (Retired)

 As a leader in financial services, Sheila co-designed the strategy to reform the NJ auto insurance market. She collaborated on a strategic plan and reform agenda for the Somerset County Business Partnership during her tenure on the Executive Board and as Legislative Committee Chair. In retirement, she fights for women's rights, nourishes the spiritual souls of advocates at Christ Presbyterian Church in Martinsville and sings her heart out with The Deer Ridge Singers. “We must fight cultural blindness to domestic violence in our neighborhoods, towns and in the workplace. Silence is complicity. We've all got to find our voice and speak out." 

 

Nicholas Dimakos, Esq., Secretary

Norris, McLaughlin & Morris, P.A.

Nick lives and practices law in Somerset County. Through his involvement with Safe+Sound Somerset, he hopes to bring more attention to the widespread problem of domestic violence. “The birth of my daughter made tangible for me the need to take action to protect the vulnerable in society. The fact that she has a one out of four chance of being a victim of domestic violence is unacceptable.” 

 

James Berg, CPA, Treasurer

Senior Manager, WithumSmith+Brown, PC

For more than 15 years, James has been helping clients navigate through complicated accounting and tax issues. James is a lifelong NJ resident and currently lives in Monroe with his wife, Tiffany, and two sons. “It is the responsibility of each of us to take a stand against domestic abuse. By working together, our voice becomes more powerful and we can help break the cycle of violence.” 

 

Diane English

Friends of the Shelter, President

Diane has been an advocate for domestic abuse survivors for more than 40 years. Long before an agency was established, Diane and other women in the community rotated the responsibilities of answering a hotline and providing safe shelter for women and children in their homes. Since then, she’s served as Board President of the Resource Center (now Safe+Sound Somerset) and joined the Friends of the Shelter, a group of 50 women who raise money solely for the agency’s shelter. Diane also volunteered at Planned Parenthood. She earned her degree in Interior Design and Art History while volunteering and accomplished a successful career in interior design. “I believe that every person has the right to live an autonomous life. I’ve focused my volunteer services to provide victims of domestic abuse the tools to live a life free of the fear of being victimized by another human being.” 

 

Annette Geller

Allstate NJ, Human Resource Manager

Annette works in Somerset and resides in Middlesex County with her husband and daughter. She became involved with Safe+Sound Somerset after learning of the invaluable services that they provide to survivors of domestic abuse. “We need to ensure that all are educated about the insidious nature of domestic violence. It is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated.” 

 

Susan Root, MBA

IEEE, Director of Conference Business Services & Strategic Programs

Susan is a California native and has resided in Somerset County, NJ for over 20 years. She is a creative and successful businesswoman, wife and mother of two beautiful daughters. She feels it’s an honor to be on the Board of Safe+Sound Somerset and hopes that the mission of the agency will be realized in her lifetime. “Domestic abuse touches us all whether we know it or not. It’s time to talk about it, expose it and eradicate it. #livesafesound” 

 

Susan Sturges Spagnola, Esq.

JP Morgan Chase (Retired)

Susan credits her support system—a loving family—with empowering her to become one of four women in her law school class and the first woman lawyer at a Wall Street financial firm. She served on the boards of Skidmore College and Dickinson School of Law. Since retiring from Wall Street, Susan has provided pro bono legal services to the non-profit sector. Susan and her husband Gary have two daughters who are social workers. They are upstanders raising upstanders,  two girls and three boys who respect and support each other, and others as well. “While in law school, I had a summer internship at legal aid where my assignment was studying the incidence of domestic violence and the effectiveness of orders of protection. The number of incidents was staggering. It exposed me to a world that I never knew existed—a world I wanted to help change. Now, years later, hopefully I am.” 

 

Denise Coyle, Esq.

Assemblywoman

Denise is a former member of the New Jersey General Assembly, Somerset County Freeholder and Branchburg Mayor, with an extensive record of community service; spanning a wide range of concerns from energy and environmental issues to eldercare and women’s health. During her tenure as Freeholder, Denise led efforts to balance economic growth and environmental conservation. She was instrumental in the founding of the Somerset County Business Partnership, Somerset County Regional Center Partnership and Economic Development Incentive Program. Denise has been recognized for her contributions by diverse organizations such as the Americans for Prosperity, Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women and the New Jersey Conference of Mayors. Denise lives in Basking Ridge with her husband and they have two adult daughters. “We must all take responsibility to bring about change; to keep our friends, neighbors and colleagues safe from domestic violence.” 

 
Beth Siegert

Siegert & Associates 

Beth Siegert has held a research role in a forensic psychology practice for over 13 years. Prior to this she worked in the financial and software industries. In her current role at Siegert & Associates, LLC, she is dedicating her time to studying and researching cases (civil and criminal) in which various pathways to violence are essential to understand. She has also been studying and conducting Threat Assessments for the past 10 years, and has recommended management processes. She regularly attends the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals conferences held in California, Florida and New York. She is a Principal in Threat Assessment Management Experts and currently serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors for ATAP’s North East Chapter. Beth has a keen interest in consulting and training individuals and groups in Health, Corporate, Campus and Government environments as well as expanding the services they provide. Beth and her husband reside in Branchburg Township with their lovely dog. They have three beautiful daughters, two son-in-laws, three lovely granddaughters and a terrific grand-puppy! "It is more useful to be aware of a single shortcoming in ourselves than it is to be aware of a thousand in somebody else," His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama 

 

Staff and Volunteers Make It Happen

Christine Morrell, Executive Director

While Christine was new to domestic abuse advocacy when she started at Safe+Sound in 2013, public service has always been the focus of her career and volunteerism. Christine’s previous leadership roles include Mayor and Councilwoman of the Town of Clinton, fundraising for a rare cancer and co-founder of both the Clinton Emergency Services Foundation and the Clinton Education Foundation. Christine was Vice President of the NJ Conference of Mayors and serve on the legislative land use committee for the League of Municipalities. She is a former trustee of the Red Mill Museum Village. Christine has three grown children and lives in Califon with her bulldog. “I’m grateful every day for the opportunity to work with a talented and passionate team of professionals who empower survivors of abuse to break the cycle of violence. The incredible strength and resolve of our clients and their children are nothing short of inspiring. Individually and as a community, we can end abuse once and for all.” 

 

Our Team

Safe+Sound Somerset is proud of its highly dedicated and qualified team of diverse professionals and volunteers. Whether an advocate in our emergency shelter, a counselor, an administrative staff member or an advocate that provides support to clients in court, each of us share a commitment to empowering survivors and engaging the community to end abuse.

 

Get to Know Us

“I’m honored to work with survivors and their children living in our safe house. Watching them grow, empower themselves and use their strength and perseverance to reach their goals reminds me of why I chose this field.”
—Britnie, Hotline Coordinator and Residential Advocate

“When clients enter our office, they’re immediately greeted by a counselor with a smile, a hug and an aura of warmth and belonging. A burden is lifted off of their shoulders, and the fear and uncertainty in their eyes disappears. I’m proud to be a member of this team of people who are dedicated to care, trust and the unceasing drive to have everyone’s voices be heard.”
—Alexis M., Administrative Assistant

“Watching my Spanish-speaking survivors group bond together, help each other heal and give each other strength to break away from abusive relationships brings joy and satisfaction to my work.”
—Susan, LSW, Bilingual Counselor 

“The courage and tenacity of every survivor I’ve met in my ten years at Safe+Sound Somerset have inspired me to keep serving our community.”
Sue, Coordinator of Domestic Violence Advocacy for ten years

“The strength, resilience, and beauty of the survivors I work with teaches me so much and is the reason I am so passionate and dedicated to this work.”
Ana Diaz, MA, Director of Programs

“When I speak to groups about domestic abuse, oftentimes a woman will come up to me and say, ‘Thank you; Safe+Sound Somerset changed my life.’ Uplifting stories of survivors are a reminder of the important role Safe+Sound Somerset plays in the community, providing victims the opportunity to overcome their challenges regardless of who they are and what they have endured. These individuals motivate me every day.”
Veronica Finlay, Development Director

“I believe we can ‘be the change we want to see in the world.‘ I chose to work with domestic abuse survivors because there are too many women without a voice in the criminal justice system.”
Ana Mendez, JD, Domestic Violence Advocate

“It is a gift to work with the children living in our Safe House. Every day they teach me the power of resilience and capacity for growth. Through our work at Safe+Sound Somerset, I envision that we are moving toward a culture that’s based on non-violence and equality.”
Alexis, MSW, LSW, Residential Youth Program Coordinator