SAFEchild Staff

Executive Director


Cristin DeRonja, M.Ed, LPC, NCC


Cristin DeRonja, SAFEchild’s executive director since 2015, joined the organization in 2004 and has served many roles. She has worked with first-time moms as a mentor for SAFEchild’s Welcome Baby program, drawn upon her family systems training as a program facilitator for several SAFEchild parenting groups, including the Nurturing Program and PLUS, and presented the Funny Tummy Feelings program in schools to first graders. Cristin was instrumental in establishing the SAFEchild Advocacy Center in 2010 and achieving SAFEchild’s National Accreditation in 2017.

A Raleigh native, Cristin received her bachelor’s degree in education and psychology from Vanderbilt University and her master’s in education and counseling at NC State.

Development Director


Stephanie Davage, M.Div.


Stephanie Davage joined SAFEchild in 2016, putting her 15 years of fundraising experience to work as the organization’s Development Director. Stephanie has worked as development manager for C5 Georgia Youth Foundation; special event director for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; executive director for the Miracle League of the Triangle; and pastor of outreach at Grace Community Church in Raleigh.

Stephanie grew up in Texas where she received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Sam Houston State University. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary.

Finance & Operations Director


Mary Poole, MA


Mary Poole joined SAFEchild in November 2022 with 20-plus years of experience in operations, financial and executive leadership. She was most recently executive director of operations for several Raleigh/Durham locations of a national gym. Mary previously spent 19 years at Artspace, and was the president and CEO from 2015 through 2020.

Mary received her bachelor’s in business administration from University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va., and a Master of Art in arts administration from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Program Director


Emily Ragland, MR


Emily Ragland joined SAFEchild in November 2022. A family life educator and coach, Emily most recently served as a parent and family support expert with communiTEAM LLC. She previously worked as the behavior support and student/family liaison at two charters schools in Lee and Orange counties.

Emily received her bachelor’s in philosophy, with a minor in African-American Studies, from Guilford College. She earned a master of youth, family and community sciences from NC State University.

Administrative Staff

Holly CookMarketing and Communications Coordinator

Evelyn HurtadoOperations Manager

Anna JacksonCapital and Annual Campaign Coordinator

Linda RaynorGrants Manager

Denine SchepperleyFinance and Human Resources Manager

Program Staff

Claudia Cortina-CzapPrevention Program and Volunteer Coordinator

Laura Goulian, LCSW – Intake Coordinator

Moms Supporting Moms

Krystal GradyProgram Coordinator


Stacey Sullivan, LCSW – Program Coordinator

Circle of Security Parenting

Laura Brimberry, MSW – Program Coordinator

Crianza con Cariño

Gladys D’EstefanoProgram Coordinator

Gaby Iduate – Program Assistant

Funny Tummy Feelings

Elizabeth ClarkProgram Coordinator

SAFEchild Advocacy Center

Gretchen WaltersProgram Coordinator

Elizabeth Witman, MD – Medical Service Provider

Heather Williams, MD – Medical Service Provider

Alex Flynn – Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Brenna Farley – Intake & Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator

Claire Whitted – Child Abuse Evaluation Specialist

Angie Mullis – Child Abuse Evaluation Specialist

Sunisha Santos – Child and Family Advocate

Mallory Rogers – Child and Family Advocate