Christine Castillo, Executive Director

Chris earned her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from Sonoma State University, with external work for the Master’s Degree in psychology. Chris has over 35 years of experience with nonprofit organizations in Sonoma County, working with diverse populations and cultures, most recently working with the Youth Business Week of California (YBW). She is committed to eliminating myths and stereotypes surrounding sexual assault and bringing our community together to become better informed, educated and able to speak out against sexual abuse. Chris will continue to pursue her passion for community collaboration.

You can email Chris at

Intervention Team

Carol Callens, Crisis and Intervention Manager

Carol earned her Bachelor’s degrees in multicultural studies and English from Chico State University. Her training in sexual assault, relationship violence, and exploitation includes two years as a certified domestic violence counselor, working with focus on family, building healthy relationships with the victims and their children. She spent time working with victims of trafficking abroad in South America and more recently worked in San Mateo County, where she helped with small group facilitation and management, as well as helping individuals with mental illness gain independence.

You can email Carol at

Georgina Tello Bugarin, Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, Verity & Petaluma Police Department

Georgina earned her Associate’s degree in social and behavioral science and paralegal studies from the Santa Rosa Junior College. Her experience includesGeorgina bw many years working in a managerial position, as well as volunteering for different organizations in our community. Her commitment to Verity began as a volunteer in the fall of 2013. She was hired as the Crisis Line Coordinator in June 2014 and became a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate in 2015. Georgina is excited to apply her bilingual skills to help others.

You can email Georgina at

Camille Rodrigues, Senior Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, FJCSC

Camille earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology and a certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego. She began working in social services as a volunteer then coordinator for a character development program at Juvenile Hall which inspired her passion for working with youth. Camille also helped to develop youth service-learning programs as an intern at different nonprofits. After graduation, she went on to work in a crisis intervention group home before becoming a case manager for youth transitioning out of foster care. Camille then earned her domestic violence counselor certificate and worked as an advocate for families living in transition. Her most recent position was as an advocacy supervisor of court appointed special advocates who represent youth in the reunification process. Camille left San Diego in 2016 to pursue her Master’s degree in Human Rights Education at the University of San Francisco.

You can email Camille at

Mariele Ponticiello, Bilingual Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, FJCSC

Mariele began volunteering with Verity in 2014 as a crisis line counselor and advocate. At the same time, she continued her advocacy work of the FamilyOCEANE Justice Center of Sonoma County as an advocated for Spanish- and English-speaking individuals. Her previous experience includes teaching ESL in Bogota, Colombia, and working with children, adolescents, and adults. She is currently working toward a B.A. in Computer Science and Humanities, which allows her to pursue her studies in foreign languages, including American Sign Language, French, and Spanish. She began working as the Crisis Line Coordinator in July 2015 and transitioned into her role as Victim Advocate in February 2016.

You can email Mariele at

Stephanie Manieri, Bilingual Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, FJCSC

Stephanie is currently working towards earning Bachelor’s degrees in biology and public health from Dominican University. She has been an active member of her community, volunteering in local clinics and supporting local movements. She also volunteered to work abroad in clinics in Tijuana, Mexico. Stephanie’s desire to work with Verity stems from a strong passion for advocacy on women- and child-related health problems. She started as the agency’s Crisis Line Coordinator before becoming an Advocate. After graduation, Stephanie plans to work toward a Master’s degree in public health, public affairs, or social justice, in an effort to create systemic change in her community.

You can email Stephanie at

Jessica Stillman, Sexual Assault Victim Outreach Advocate

Jessica earned her Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from the University of San Diego before earning her Master’s Degree in Public Health. Her experience includes many years working to support family health in many ways, through direct and consistent relationship engagement, by connecting children and their families to community social and health service. She served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador for 2 years as Health Specialist. Jessica enjoys traveling and reading the Harry Potter books.

You can email Jessica at

Genevieve Hightower, Human Trafficking Victim Advocate

Genevieve is originally from Sacramento, where she graduated from Sacramento State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Social Work. She has experience working with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, as well as experience working with victims of elder abuse. She also has a history of working part-time at the Sonoma County Juvenile Hall, so she has gained considerable experience working with victims of sexual assault and human trafficking inside the facility. Outside from my work, she enjoys listening to music, cooking, eating what she cooks and hiking. She loves to be active, and enjoys being outdoors in nature. She is very dedicated to helping all of Verity’s clients and looks forward to contributing to this agency.

You can email Genevieve at

Metzli Perez-Flores, Crisis Line Coordinator/Administrative Assistant

Metzli is currently working towards earning her Associate’s Degree in Human Resources Management from Santa Rosa Junior College.  She has been an active member in her community, volunteering at local events such as Levi’s Granfondo and helping community members around her. She loves lending a hand to those in need. Metzli is bilingual in Spanish and English, and enjoys applying this ability everywhere she can.  Verity has sparked her strong passion for advocacy for women, men, and children’s wellbeing and mental health.  After getting her Associate’s Degree, she plans to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Justice in order to create a change in her community.

You can email Metzli at

Verity Counseling Staff

Sharon Bergeron, MFT, Clinical Supervisor

Sharon has her Master’s degree in psychology and has been a marriage and family therapist in Santa Rosa for more than 30 years, providing clinical services to adults, adolescents, and children who suffered from aggression, abuse, neglect and traumatic loss. Her experience includes work with several treatment guidelines, including trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic, humanistic, strength-based collaborative approaches and Jungian psychology. In addition to working in private practice, Sharon oversees and teaches graduate students in the MFT program at the University of San Francisco. She also has a Master’s degree in English/Creative Writing and trusts in creative power, the restorer of the human psyche.

You can email Sharon at

Amanda Silva, Director of Programs and Counseling Services Manager

Amanda earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Sonoma State University. Her professional experience includes administration, human resources, training development and ver_amanda_web_90x112Amanda earned a BA in Psychology from Sonoma State University and is
currently working on a Masters in Social Work at CSU Long Beach. Her
professional experience includes administration, human resources,
training development and delivery at both start-up and Fortune 500
technology firms. She is a California State Certified Rape Crisis
Counselor and a trained Girls Circle facilitator. Her volunteer work
includes two years as a volunteer for the Family Connections, a
program dedicated to supporting families transitioning out of
homelessness. Her commitment to the mission of Verity began with a
year and a half as a California State certified rape crisis counselor
volunteer and serving on the Sonoma County Human Trafficking Task

You can email Amanda at

Amanda Abud, Bilingual Therapist and Human Trafficking Therapist

Amanda Abud, MA, LMFT is a licensed, bilingual Marriage and Family Therapist, who has focused her career on working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.  She spent several years as a program manager and case manager for domestic violence shelters in San Luis Obispo and Marin counties, before obtaining her Master’s in Counseling from Sonoma State University.  She worked as a Child Therapist and Clinical Manager at the Child Parent Institute from 2011-2017, focusing her work on treating survivors of child sexual abuse and helping children and families develop strategies to communicate about and overcome the impact of trauma on their lives.  She began providing counseling services at Verity in 2017 to serve the Spanish-speaking community and survivors of human trafficking. Amanda utilizes an integrative approach, applying evidenced based practices through a lens cultural awareness, and a client centered, Feminist framework to promote empowerment, understanding, and healing.

Counseling Interns and Trainees

Ann Clark

Ann began her work with Verity as a Trainee in 2012, and graduated from Sonoma State University in 2013 with a Master’s degree in Counseling – Marriage and Family Therapy. She is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern whose work focuses on recovery from trauma, including developmental traumas of childhood. Ann uses a variety of interventions, drawing primarily from CBT, Narrative, Motivational Interviewing, and Mindfulness work. She also has experience counseling individuals in recovery from substance abuse and codependency. Recent studies and training in neuroscience inform Ann’s belief that our brains can be rewired to create more opportunities for joyful living. Ann also believes that life-changing events have deep wells of potential growth, and she feels privileged to serve as a guide and co-creator of new narratives for clients moving through them.

Katherine Nguyen

Katherine is a registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern and Professional Clinical Counselor Intern with a Master of Arts in Psychology from Brandman University.  Prior to joining Verity, Katherine worked as a therapist at Catholic Charities with individuals, couples, and families to address a myriad of challenges, including depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction, and mental and physical abuse.  She also facilitated a women’s group on domestic violence and has experience teaching anger management skills.  Drawing upon techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Katherine believes in a collaborative approach where individuals build upon their existing strengths and play an active role to craft a life worth living. Katherine is fluent in Vietnamese.

Sarah Caldwell

Sarah earned her Bachelor’s Degree in History of Art at Sonoma State University in 2009, and decided to go back to school in 2011 to study Psychology. She was hired at Sweetwater Spectrum in 2012 to work with adults with autism.  She began to explore her passions by volunteering with different agencies around the Sonoma County. At her favorite, the YWCA, she answered the hotline and facilitated a support group for a year. Sarah has also worked for agencies such as Anova and Emerald, where she was an aide to children at different places on the social and learning spectrums.  Sarah is attending Dominican University to earn her Master’s Degree in marriage and family therapy is very excited to be part of the team of Verity.

Prevention Team

Kristen Bricker, Prevention Manager

Kristen earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Humboldt State University in 2013 anKristend her Master’s degree in sexuality studies from San Francisco State University in 2015.  She began volunteering with Verity as a prevention educator in 2010. Her previous experience volunteering includes sexual health education, focusing on the importance of prevention education to healthy sexuality. In July 2015, she was hired as the Prevention Manager, and continues to work in schools and communities to promote healthy relationships and the prevention of violence.

You can email Kristen at

Joyce Galindo, Bilingual Prevention Educator

Joyce was born and raised in New Jersey, but moved to Petaluma, California as a teenager. She obtained two Associates Degrees in Humanities and Social & Behavioral Sciences from the Santa Rosa Junior College before graduating from Sacramento State University in 2015 with a B.A. in Sociology. Her previous work experience includes working with migrant students to help them achieve academic success in high school and earn a higher education. She also has experience working with autistic children as a Behavioral Interventionist. During her free time, she loves spending time with her two young sisters and traveling. She also enjoys visiting Golden Living Center in Petaluma to spend a few hours doing activities with senior citizens. In the future, she would like to go back to graduate school to obtain her Master’s Degree in either School Counseling or Marriage & Family Therapy.

You can email Joyce at

Zach Neeley, Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM) Facilitator

Zach earned his J.D. from Fordham Law and was admitted to both the California and New York Bars. Zach previously worked for legal aid in New York, advocating for children in abuse, neglect, and delinquency cases through direct litigation in court and helping them to receive appropriate educational, medical health, mental and housing services. In California, Zach represented clients seeking restraining orders for domestic violence and co-facilitated a class about law and life skills for youth of San Mateo. Before joining Verity as an employee, Zach volunteered with Verity’s Prevention Department.

You can email Zach at

Military Veterans Team

Zoë Latham, Lead Clinician of the Forgotten Warriors Project

Zoë is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a rich background in social welfare. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at the University of Wisconsin, she worked in the inner city of Milwaukee for the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, the largest AIDS service organization in the midwest. Zoë worked with those who were homeless, HIV positive, and dealing with mental health and addiction issues. Following a move to California she earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University in Santa Barbara and began working with the Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse with teenagers who were mandated to treatment by the juvenile justice system. Zoë took 3 years “off” to care for her elderly parents and was with them to the end. Now, happy to be back in her beloved California, Zoë is excited to take up the work of the Forgotten Warriors Project and feels honored to be able to work with veterans in our community.

You can email Zoë at


Caitlin Quinn, Communications Coordinator

Caitlin was raised in Sonoma County and graduated from the University of California,Caitlin Quinn Berkeley, in 2015, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a minor in public policy. While studying at Cal, she was involved with the student organizing, government affairs, and nonprofit work for a variety of progressive causes in the Bay Area and Washington, D.C. After a year of getting reacquainted with what Sonoma County has to offer, Caitlin decided she wanted to do meaningful work in the community where she grew up, and joined the Verity team in July 2016. She enjoys reading, hiking, and exploring Sonoma County with her dog.

You can email Caitlin at

Group Facilitators

Kim Bickert, Women’s Support Group Facilitator

With a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Mary Washington, Kim Bickert first joined the team of Verity as a facilitator for the Healthy Relationships group. She became a certified substance abuse counselor in the State of Virginia in 2012 and is currently scheduled to graduate from Sonoma State University in May 2015, with a Master of Arts in Mental health counseling clinic. Since 2004, she has worked with adults and adolescents experiencing homelessness, trauma of sexual abuse, serious mental health problems, suffering, abuse and distorted thinking patterns. She utilizes case management skills, cognitive-behavioral, person-centered therapy and psychoeducation/support to elicit change to improve skills to deal with psychosocial issues.

Joyce Galindo, “Girls Circle” Facilitator

See entry above.

Barbara Lapidus, “MyStrength” and “Healthy Relationships” Group Facilitator

Barbara earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from San Francisco State University, and will receive her Associates of Arts degree in Human Services: Advocacy from Santa Rosa Junior College in 2017. Barbara has a background in human resources, school administration, and advocacy, and wishes to apply her human services skills within the community here in Sonoma County. She is currently working with incarcerated youths as part of the My Strength and Healthy Relationships programs, supporting teens in creating a healthier future for themselves from the inside out. Barbara is committed to supporting survivors and working to change the cultural paradigm that fosters sexual violence in our society.

Caitlin Quinn, “Girls Circle” Facilitator

See entry above.

Amanda Silva, “Girls Circle” Facilitator

See entry above.

Jessica Stillman, “Girls Circle” Facilitator

See entry above.

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