Vice President of Marketing & Behavior Change Communication
Gwen joined Darkness to Light in 2015 and is a graduate of the College of Charleston with a focus on corporate and organizational communication. Passionate about health and wellness, she’s managed health and welfare programs at a state and national level to better support grassroots community initiatives. Gwen has championed the causes of medically underserved communities, particularly the visually impaired. Recognizing that access to affordable healthcare is the key to a healthy community, she helped market the first non-profit community operated and oriented health plan in the South, created through a provision in the Affordable Care Act. In her free time, Gwen is a group fitness instructor, loves to sing songs by Heart on Rock Band, and hang out with her spouse and son.
Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
I was told by a friend in middle school that I looked like Diane Lane, who also happens to be an odd actress for a middle schooler to know by name. So I guess it would have to be her.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
My mother comes from a large family, so Christmases at my grandparent’s house were always fun and provide great memories.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Katelyn N. Brewer
High energy, entrepreneurial executive, Katelyn N. Brewer, is passionate about empowering people, organizations, and communities to enhance the impact of social movements. As President & CEO of Darkness to Light, the nation’s leading advocate for the prevention of child sexual abuse, her expertise in transforming organizational cultures, achieving programmatic scale, and implementing behavior change communication lends invaluable insight to the larger conversation of child protection as a collective adult responsibility.
Since 2016, Katelyn’s leadership has resulted in exponential growth in programmatic reach and increased standing as a chief influencer in the space of child safety. Through education, advocacy, and research, Darkness to Light continues to revolutionize the way society keeps children safe from abuse.
Previous to Darkness to Light, Katelyn was Chief of Operations for Washington, D.C. based Children of Fallen Patriots, a foundation committed to supporting the children of military veterans, with a focus on increasing transparency and accountability. Prior to that, Brewer worked with Africare as Director of Strategic Engagement, managing Johannesburg-based programmatic activity and regional business development initiatives for Southern and Eastern Africa.
Katelyn’s dedication to innovation, emerging technologies, and cross-team alignment empower nonprofits to achieve critical social goals. Her work has resulted in sustainable change for communities, both nationally and internationally. Katelyn continually demonstrates that grassroots community initiatives lay the groundwork for organizations to expand their missions globally.
Katelyn is a graduate of Wheaton College in Boston, MA with a bachelor’s in International Relations and French. She lives in Charleston, SC, with her spouse.
Jennifer Burri, M.S.
Jennifer is passionate about protecting children and life-long learning. For three years, Jennifer worked as a music educator at title one schools in the suburbs of Chicago. There, she led district curriculum changes, trained teachers on software implementation, and managed the music program. She has worked for various nonprofit organizations creating curriculum for after-school programs.
In 2017 Jennifer graduated with her Master’s of Science degree in Music Education from Indiana University where she studied learning theory, evaluative assessment, and education philosophy. She received her Bachelor’s in Music Performance from San Jose State University. Jennifer grew up in the San Francisco bay area. She enjoys gardening and spending time with her husband and furbabies (Hansel the cat and Tony the dog).
What did you want to be when you were little?
I wanted to be a flight attendant, so I could travel all over the world.
What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?
The most beautiful place I’ve ever been is Squamish, just north of Vancouver. My husband and I went rock climbing and had a blast!
Jessica Chevis, GPC
Jessica joined Darkness to Light in August 2020. As Grants Manager, she guides Darkness to Light’s institutional giving efforts, collaborating with team members across the organization to identify, secure, and steward grants from foundations, corporations, and government agencies. Prior to joining Darkness to Light, Jessica worked in the arts and higher education fields as a grant professional and proposal writer, generating support for programs, operations, and capital projects from institutional and individual donors. Her work at the LSU Foundation, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, UC Berkeley’s Cal Performances, and the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans has yielded several million dollars in funding.
Jessica earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Loyola University New Orleans and her master’s degree in arts administration from the University of New Orleans. She is Grant Professional Certified (GPC) by the Grant Professionals Certification Institute and is a member of the Grant Professionals Association. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys going on adventures with her very active rescue pup, getting lost in good books, traveling, and volunteering as an adult literacy tutor. She currently resides in Baton Rouge, LA.
What did you want to be when you were little?
A Broadway star, but I settled on the very realistic dream of doing musical theater during high school instead.
Something that may surprise you…
I’m a seventh-generation New Orleanian. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Director of Partnerships
Ashley Nicole Cook is a motivational speaker, author, and advocate. After enduring shocking backlash for disclosing her child sexual abuse experiences and naming her abuser, Ashley realized there was an opportunity to help others navigate through disclosure and healing. She is an Authorized Facilitator for Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children® and is devoted to addressing individual and social factors that influence adults’ willingness/ability to take action to prevent child sexual abuse.
As Director of Partnerships, Ashley utilizes her drive and commitment to this work to coordinate relationships with existing partners and leverage those relationships to greater collective impact. She helps maintain relationships with business partners, enhances quality of partner interactions, identifies opportunities for new alliances, and works with senior leadership to develop strategies for raising revenue and awareness.
As an experienced motivational speaker, Ashley frequently shares her experience as a survivor of child sexual abuse, particularly in the faith community. As a volunteer she serves on the Board of Directors for the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence. Using her story of resilience, she mentors students who have experienced childhood trauma.
The darkest moments of Ashley’s life became the launching pad for her mission to end child sexual abuse and her commitment to help amplify voices of survivors.
Social Behavior Change Program Coordinator
Andrea DeBell, M. Ed.
Andrea joined Darkness to Light in 2021 as the Social Behavior Change Program Coordinator. She spent most of her life in the education field in different capacities such as a teacher, school administrator, and online program coordinator. She earned her B.A. in Education and Languages from Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and an M.A. in Education with a concentration in Instructional Technology from Baylor University.
Being originally from Brazil, Andrea witnessed a large number of children of all ages living on the streets, which sprouted a passion and lifelong mission to help provide better lives for children. Since then, she has purposefully worked in organizations that help provide a safe environment for children and/or endeavor to create equitable and just solutions for childcare.
In her spare time, Andrea enjoys going on hikes, spending time with her family, watching movies, and taking long walks while listening to audiobooks.
Two of my favorite quotes: “We rise by lifting others” and “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”
Something that may surprise you… I am into wellness and mindfulness. I have been meditating for over 15 years and practicing yoga since my teens.
Prevention Education Coordinator
Sarah Eadon, MSW
Sarah relocated from Cleveland, OH in 2017 to work as an AmeriCorps VISTA for a small non-profit in Charleston, SC. A native Ohioan, Sarah holds an MSW from Case Western Reserve University and a BA in Psychology from Ohio State University (Go Buckeyes!). Before moving to the Lowcountry, she served as the Director of Social Work for the CWRU Student-Run Free Clinic and spent a year living in Holland working as an au-pair for a family of five. Prior to Darkness to Light, Sarah worked for almost three years as Program Manager for a non-profit that focused on providing grief support programs to children and was a member of a task force charged with creating a grief support toolkit for the National Alliance for Grieving Children.
Through her service as a VISTA, Sarah found her passion for non-profit organizations and has utilized her skills and experiences to support nonprofits build capacity to expand their reach in the community. She loves the opportunity and enjoys volunteering with organizations like the Junior League of Charleston and Charleston Hope. After working with domestic violence survivors and Veterans, Sarah found a passion for supporting & empowering survivors of trauma and is thrilled to work at Darkness to Light. In her free time, Sarah enjoys kickboxing, training for half marathons, or going on adventures with friends and family.
What did you want to be when you were little?
I absolutely love basketball!! As a kid, I was determined that I was going to be in the WNBA, despite being slightly height-challenged.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
Our family trip to the UK! It was filled with fun, family, and a newfound love of ham sandwiches with buttered bread. It was so much fun to run around the Edinburgh castle and see some of the country where my Great-Grandparents lived!
Social Behavior Change Manager
Lia joined Darkness to Light in 2019 as the team’s Social Behavior Change Manager. In this role, she is responsible for using a data-driven approach to assess and address conditions that advance prevention-oriented cultures. From partnering with municipalities to co-creating with communities, Lia helps to develop suitable and sustainable behavior change solutions.
As an award-winning public health professional, Lia has chaired community coalitions and directed multidisciplinary behavior change initiatives throughout the Carolinas. Prior to Darkness to Light, she was responsible for guiding community champions and industry leaders in the development of tobacco prevention policies, securing grants to support community garden development work, strengthening community relationships to enhance injury prevention efforts, directing the efforts of a multi-year community health assessment, and implementing evidence-based programs to address county-wide priority health issues.
Lia is certified as both a Change Management Professional and a Health Education Specialist. She graduated from Mississippi State University with a master’s in health promotion and a bachelor’s in communications. In her free time, Lia loves to do karaoke with friends or play board games with her husband, daughter, and son.
One of my favorite quotes… “When in doubt, do the generous thing.”
Something that may surprise you… In 2011, I made a list of all my fears, then I scratched out the title and turned it into my ‘Year of Yes’ list. I discovered that living a fearless existence is like having a superpower.
Carol grew up in Lancaster, SC. She lived in Missouri, Kentucky, and Alabama before returning to her home state and has lived in Charleston, SC for 25 years. Carol graduated from Charleston Southern University with a Bachelor of Science and from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Religious Education. She has served as the Executive Director for a 24-hour crisis helpline, worked in and served on the Program Advisory Group for the second revision of Stewards of Children®. A Stewards of Children® Authorized Facilitator since 2007 and a Certifying Instructor since 2008, she recently joined the Darkness to Light team full-time as Programs Quality Assurance Specialist. As a teenager, Carol admired the bohemian lifestyle (a.k.a. hippies), Gloria Steinem, and Ralph Nader. She’s been referred to as a rebel with a cause. Today her cause is the prevention of child sexual abuse. Carol and her husband Marty have raised three awesome young adults.
Lindsey was born and raised in the rural settings of Minnesota. She received her BBA and MBA from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Prior to Darkness to Light, Lindsey spent five years working for a military non-profit that focused on education, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. Through this experience, Lindsey realized her love for non-profit organizations and the joy that comes from serving a meaningful mission. Honing in on her operational skills, Lindsey joined Darkness to Light as the Operations Manager and is thrilled to be part of such an enthusiastic team, supporting an undeniable mission.
What did you want to be when you were little? Growing up on a farm I thought for sure I would be a Veterinarian!
What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on? Hands down, Glacier National Park in Montana – the beauty is breathtaking and the activities are endless!
Lead Research Consultant
Dr. Kim Longfield
Dr. Kim Longfield has more than 25 years of experience in research and international development. Her areas of expertise include translating evidence into practice, stakeholder engagement, strategic advising and communications, research and evaluation design, and capacity building. She has worked in social marketing, behavior change, social franchising, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and family planning, safe abortion, maternal health, child health, malaria, tuberculosis, non-communicable diseases, gender empowerment, and governance.
Kim consults through her company, Databoom, helping Darkness to Light continue to improve stakeholder engagement and develop strategic communications backed by evidence. She also designs studies to generate insight, evaluate impact, and identify practical solutions for organizations working in resource poor settings. She excels at presenting complicated information to a range of audiences and using evidence to inform decision-making.
Prior to founding Databoom, Kim served as Director of Strategic Research and Evaluation at Population Services International, a global health nonprofit with $600 million in annual revenues and offices in more than 60 countries around the world. She led the organization’s evaluation agenda to answer questions of strategic importance, including the impact, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, scale, and quality of social marketing programs. Her work has been used to develop, monitor, and evaluate programs, analyze health markets, and advocate for standard measures across organizations. She is the author of more than fifty published journal articles, reports, book chapters, and working papers. Kim has a Ph.D. in Sociology and International Health and an MPH in International Health/Health Communication and Education, both from Tulane University.
Prevention Education Manager
Steve Mandell joined Darkness to Light in July 2018. He spent nearly 25 years in education, most recently serving as Head of School at Pinewood Preparatory School in the Charleston, SC area. Steve has held numerous other administrative posts in schools ranging from Guidance Director to Chief Financial Officer. Prior to his career in education, Steve spent 10 years in private industry working in the international shipping segment. Steve holds an M.Ed. in Leadership and Administration from the University of South Carolina and a B.A. in Legal Studies from the University of Massachusetts.
Steve has helped Darkness to Light as a consultant, providing quality prevention resources and training to education professionals across the country. In addition to his work in Educational Outreach, Steve has also consulted as a Coordinator for Partners in Prevention, Darkness to Light’s designation for organizations or businesses that have committed the time and effort to educate themselves on how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. An organization receives the Darkness to Light Partner in Prevention distinction when they have successfully met the annual guidelines established by Darkness to Light.
Steve became a Darkness to Light Authorized Facilitator (2017) and Certified Instructor (2019) as a way to equip adults with the tools to help prevent child sexual abuse and to train future generations to become facilitators themselves. He aligns his commitment to “teaching them to fish” so they can go out into the world and help as many people as possible combat this horrible health issue of CSA. In addition to promoting the Partners in Prevention program, Steve trains as many teachers and staff in K-12 schools and university education programs as his schedule can allow, while helping other Facilitators make those connections. He also has worked with educational organizations to deepen their commitment through policy development and site consultation.
Steve’s passion for this work is fueled by his love for schools and a lifetime commitment to keeping children safe
Fun Fact: Steve was elected to the state chapter of the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2009 in recognition of his decades of coaching and organizing in his favorite sport.
Director of Curriculum Design
Rhonda Newton, M.Ed.
Rhonda joined Darkness to Light in September 2020 as the team’s Director of Curriculum Design. In this role, she is responsible for advancing the scale and impact of Darkness to Light’s prevention work by increasing the current course catalog of adult-focused training. She assesses new technologies, researches adult learning trends, and works with a variety of stakeholders across departments to analyze requirements needed to meet learning objectives and behavior change targets.
Rhonda brings with her over a decade of experience as an educator, curriculum specialist, and instructional designer at both the K-12 and university level. She has her B.A. in French and Spanish, an M.Ed. in Learning and Technology, and her Ph.D. research is centered around game-based learning and prosocial skill development.
Rhonda is a passionate individual with a personal mission to create safe, welcoming spaces for all individuals, whether that is virtually or in real life.
What did you want to be when you were little?
I wanted to be a teacher. Turned out I did become one and I loved every minute of that journey.
Something that may surprise you…
I write fantasy fiction and romance short stories in my free time.
Social Behavior Change Research & Evaluation Specialist
Amy Nguyen is a public health researcher. In her role at Darkness to Light, she is responsible for research and evaluation required for innovative programming that can better address the social dimensions of child sexual abuse prevention. She will oversee efforts to develop and test innovative behavior change solutions to improve prevention behaviors in adults to better protect children. She is responsible for ensuring that all of Darkness to Light’s decisions are informed by data.
Prior to Darkness to Light, she worked as a researcher on various projects focused on the impacts of environmental stress, such as poverty and acculturation, on children and families. She aided in the implementation and evaluation of programs to help build resilience in children and families who face heightened levels of stress. Similarly, Amy also worked on research examining adolescent development and how aspects of urban neighborhoods, school, and family contexts affect an adolescent’s resilience, beliefs, and behaviors.
Amy acquired her Masters of Science in Public Health (MSPH) focused on Health Education and Health Communication from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with a certificate in Health Advocacy. She received her Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University in Biobehavioral Health with a minor in Psychology. She is passionate about advocacy, adolescent mental and sexual health, immigrant health, and social behavior change programming. Beyond public health, Amy’s other passion is photography where she aims to create timeless, creative, and fun portraits that depict the stories of those around her.
Cindy came to Darkness to Light in 2020 from the tourism industry in Charleston. Originally from Memphis, TN, she graduated from the University of Memphis with a BBA in Accounting and a minor in Finance. Since relocating to Charleston over thirty years ago, she has many years of accounting experience in various industries ranging from ophthalmologists to auto repair shops to churches. Cindy is also experienced in customer service as she followed her passion for reading and served as a manager at Barnes and Noble for a time.
Cindy is thrilled to be a member of the Darkness to Light team and is very enthusiastic about providing support to the passionate professionals who educate others about the prevention of child sexual abuse. Cindy is the proud parent of three successful, adult sons and one black and tan miniature dachshund. In her spare time, she reads and watches entirely too much Netflix.
Executive Assistant to the CEO & Board Liaison
Augustine brings to the team a wealth of experience. She is exceptionally skilled at team and project management; she pays attention to the smallest of details and overall execution. Augustine’s initiative, organized approach and ability to prioritize tasks will allow those she supports to achieve their goals and reach their objectives. Augustine has the unique ability to focus on the details while still being able to see the bigger picture. As a learner, Augustine relishes the challenge of learning new software or applications and as technology changes, she is one of the first to adopt and embrace new skills.
What do you do in your spare time? I love to spend time gardening, canning, and preserving. I am very passionate about growing food organically for my family and friends.
What is your favorite quote? “There is no happiness in life if what you believe is not what you live by.”
Social Behavior Change Communications Consultant
Donna is a seasoned health marketing and social behavior change (SBC) specialist with more than 20 years of global health and private sector experience across a range of health and development topics including: adolescent sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, maternal and child health, HIV and family planning. Her areas of expertise include: designing and implementing marketing and communication strategy, Human Centered Design and capacity building using adult learning techniques.
Donna consults through her company, Changeable, helping Darkness to Light identify innovative, feasible, problem-based solutions to the complex human behavior challenge of child sexual abuse.
Prior to consulting, after nearly 10 years in private sector healthcare marketing in the United States, Donna lived and worked in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda designing and managing health communication and advocacy programs, including a regional health communication project for youth with Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs. Upon returning to the United States, Donna held senior leadership positions at Population Services International including Deputy Director for HIV and TB where she provided technical support to over 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, and southeast Asia. She has an MPH from Columbia University.
Director of Finance & Operations
Brad Stubbs, MBA has over 15 years leadership experience in accounting and finance operations as well as general business operations with high growth apparel companies in the private sector. With 11 of those years being spent at the multi-billion dollar, multi-national corporation Under Armour and the last five years with an apparel startup company that has taken the fishing industry by storm, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to Darkness to Light.
Previously as the Senior Director of Operations at Marolina Outdoor, the parent company of Huk Performance Fishing and Nomad Outdoor, Brad used his expertise to grow the company from the ground up, building the company from inception in 2014 to $50 million in revenue by 2018. He created and managed everything from the enterprise resource planning system that ran the business to setting up the back end of multiple eCommerce websites to hiring and managing customer service teams, to overseeing all fulfillment operations which included a 3rd party warehouse, as well as handling all of the accounts payable. Brad brings extensive knowledge in ensuring that strategic vision translates into profitable operations by analyzing positive data trends and highlighting areas of improvement, all while prioritizing the customer experience.
Brad earned his Executive MBA from Loyola College’s Sellinger School of Business and a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Frostburg State University.
In his spare time, you can find Brad spending time with his two daughters or on the water fishing.
Marketing Content Coordinator
Anna Warner is a journalist and photographer with a passion for visual storytelling. She has written articles and shot photographs for numerous publications, including Beyond the Wall: Migrants, Migration and the Border, a long-form investigative journalism book on the impact of Mexican migration to Southern California. Most recently, she presented research at the national AEJMC conference in Washington, D.C. on the visual representation of refugees in association with terrorist events in the European media. She also cares deeply about social responsibility— she has participated in urban relief efforts and teaching English to Middle Eastern refugees in Greece, contributed to social development efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda, and volunteered with DACA students in Southern California migrant communities. Anna recently moved back home to Charleston from Los Angeles and is excited to join the Darkness to Light team. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Integrated Media and an unhealthy obsession with finding the perfect cup of coffee
What did you want to be when you were little? I wanted to be a lot of things, but most often it switched between becoming an artist or Lois Lane. I guess I kind of figured out a way to get the best of both worlds.
What’s one thing people might not know about you? I’m a PADI certified scuba-diver— I love the ocean!
Deputy Director of Communications
Katherine Lee Wood
Born and raised in Charleston, SC, Katherine has been with Darkness to Light since 2013. Before she joined the Darkness to Light team, Katherine earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at the University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks!). She became interested in the non-profit world when she studied abroad in Italy and was introduced to the organization Invisible Children. After college graduation, Katherine moved to San Diego to intern with Invisible Children, eventually joining the staff as the Marketing/Media Coordinator. While there she worked on the KONY2012 campaign, which is one of the most viral video campaigns of all time with over 100 million views in 6 days.
Originally starting in the Programs Department at Darkness to Light, she eventually joined the Communications Department as the Digital Marketing Specialist where she managed our social media and digital marketing. Now as the Deputy Director of Communications, Katherine serves as the project lead for communication campaigns and special projects, and executes content strategy for the organization.
What did you want to be when you were little? A pop star!
Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without? My Cat, Sir Chesterfield