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 and Operations Director


Mary Poole, MA


Mary Poole became SAFEchild’s Finance and Operations Director 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 degree 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


Amirah Saintyl, MS, MSW, LCSWA


Amirah arrived at SAFEchild in March 2024 with over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit, public and private sectors.

She most recently served as a facilitator for Wake County Department of Health & Human Services and as a clinician for Carolina Outreach.

Amirah earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice at William Paterson University. She has a Master of Science in justice and security from the University of Phoenix and a Master of Social Work from North Carolina State University. She is also a licensed clinical social worker-associate in North Carolina.

SAFEchild Advocacy Center Director


Heather Williams, MD


Dr. Williams became the SAFEchild Advocacy Center Director in August 2023 after joining SAFEchild’s medical team in October 2021.

A Board-certified child abuse pediatrician, she also serves as medical director-child maltreatment team for WakeMed Children’s Hospital. She was previously an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

A West Virginia native, Heather attended the West Virginia University School of Medicine after earning her bachelor’s degree at the school. She completed her general pediatrics residency and a three-year child abuse pediatrics fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH.

Administrative and Operations Staff

Anna Jackson | Annual and Capital Campaign Coordinator

Denine Schepperley | Finance and Human Resources Manager

Carrie Stopka | Administrative Coordinator

Marjorie Terry | Development Coordinator

Gretchen Walters | Operations and Resource Manager

Program Staff

Claudia Cortina-Czap | Prevention Program and Volunteer Coordinatormore information here

Juanita McGregor | Intake Coordinator

Moms Supporting Moms

Krystal Grady | Program Coordinator


Tammy Guthrie | Program Coordinator

Stacey Sullivan | Program Manager

Crianza con Cariño

Gladys D’Estefano | Program Coordinator

Evelyn Hernandez | Program Assistant

Growing Resilience Movement

Brenda Beatty | Community Outreach & Training Coordinator

SAFEchild Advocacy Center

Heather Williams, MD | SAFEchild Advocacy Center Director

Brenna Farley | Program Manager

Anish Raj, MD | Medical Service Provider

Alex Flynn, CPNP | Medical Service Provider

Colleen Jones | Medical Coordinator

Claire Whitted | Child Abuse Evaluation Specialist

Angie Mullis | Child Abuse Evaluation Specialist

Sunisha Santos | Child Abuse Evaluation Specialist

Mary Kate Riddle | Child and Family Advocate

Leah Wilson | Child and Family Advocate