Women In Distress Leadership Team is composed of a dedicated Board of Directors and Trustees, as well as an executive staff who together strive to fulfill our mission. The Board of Directors consists of highly dedicated individuals representing our diverse community with various professional backgrounds including executives, domestic violence survivors, legal experts, law enforcement, government officials, financial professionals, and high-profile community philanthropists who oversee our President and CEO, Linda L. Parker, Ph.D.
Dr. Parker joined Women In Distress in 2020 with a wealth of professional experience in both human service and domestic violence services and as an educator and administrator at the university level. Notably, her vast experience includes Executive Director of Victim Services at the Peace River Center in Lakeland, Florida; director and vice president positions at William Penn University in West Des Moines, Iowa; and adjunct professor at both William Penn University and the Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire. Earlier in her career, Linda was a domestic violence advocate at Children and Families of Iowa and worked as a counselor for women transitioning from prison.
Most recently, Dr. Parker was elected by her peers to serve as board chair of a newly formed statewide coalition, Florida Partnership to End Domestic Violence (FPEDV), whose membership includes all Florida state-certified domestic violence centers.
Dr. Parker earned her BA degree from Grandview University in Des Moines and has master’s and doctorate degrees in psychology from Walden University in Minneapolis.
Board of Directors
- Billie Grieb, Community Volunteer, Chair
- Sean Riley, UBS Financial Services, Vice Chair
- Maria K. Guttuso, Treasurer, JM&A Group
- Amanda Pires, Wells Fargo Bank, Secretary
- Linda L. Parker, Ph.D., Women In Distress, President & CEO
- Marilyn Camerota, Memorial Healthcare System
- Michelle Claverol, BBX Capital
- Stephanie J. Coker, Broward Sheriff’s Office
- Linda Garrett, Community Volunteer
- Angela Kelsey, The Kelsey Group
- Paul Leikert
- Cecile Leroux
- Carla Lowry, Esq., Lowry at Law
- Julissa Merette, BS, MAA, Broward Health
- Beatriz “BJ” Prillaman, Community Volunteer
- Drew Saito, Locality Bank
- Marla Schaefer, Sarabi Family Office
- Phyllis Thomas, The Thomas Family Foundation
- Jill A. Wallace-Ross, D.O., Nova Southeastern University
Board of Trustees
- Beatriz “BJ” Prillaman, Chair, Community Volunteer
- Dr. Richard Bernstein, Broward College
- Anne Chervony, BFC Financial Corporation
- Joanne Gaines, Centennial Bank
- Kathleen Grace, CFP, United Capital/Goldman Sachs
- Lois Herman, Community Volunteer
- Cynthia Imperato, CGI Consultants
- Emily Jaffe, Rewards Network
- Karen Leikert, Wells Fargo Bank
- Karen Sylvester, JM Family Enterprises
- Judith Thiel, Philanthropist
- Josette Van Putten, Community Volunteer
- Keriann Worley, Entercom Radio Group
Women In Distress Staff
Women In Distress employs over 75 full-time and part-time members of the community under the direction and leadership of President & CEO Linda L. Parker, Ph.D.
All staff and volunteers are trained and certified according to the Florida statute for “Victim Advocate Privilege” and also maintain an additional 24 hours of training annually. Women In Distress requires all staff and volunteers privileged to go through Core Competency Training, which provides 24 of the 30 training hours required for all domestic violence advocates to be registered for domestic violence victim/advocate privilege pursuant to Florida Statutes 90.5036 and 39.905. Staff, volunteers and interns at Women In Distress also participate in six hours of observational learning.
- Linda L. Parker, Ph.D., President and CEO
- Shena Kitt, Chief Operations Officer
- Jeffrey Metcalf, Chief Development Officer
- Vanessa Bongiorno, Chief Financial Officer
- Juliana Chereji Dunn, Esq., IFP Program Director
- Diane Penha-Smith, Director of Human Resources