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Leadership

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President & CEO
Patricia Zachman

Patricia A. Zachman has served as the President & CEO (formerly Executive Director) of the Women’s Center since 1993. She received her M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of New Hampshire in 1980 and has over 35 years of management, counseling and program development experience. During her tenure, she has overseen the Center’s expansion of services provided to adults and children, established satellite service sites to better meet the needs of victims in the Center’s southern Litchfield and lower Fairfield County service towns, and formally partnered with Western Connecticut State University to provide domestic violence and sexual assault direct and educational services to the entire campus community.  

In addition to her responsibilities with the Center, Pat has served as President and member of the Board of Directors of the statewide Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence; served on the Steering Committee of the Greater Danbury area Coalition Against Domestic Violence; was a founding member of the Executive Committee of the Executive Forum in partnership with Western Connecticut State University; served as a member of the Board of Commissioners for CityCenter Danbury and participated in a variety of other community coalitions and collaborative efforts.

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Director, Programs & Operations
Sharon Chappuis

Sharon Chappuis joined the Women Center team in 1991. She began as a counselor advocate working with adults and children and currently serves as the Director of Programs and Operations. She has masters degrees in Counseling and Psychology from the University of Bridgeport. Sharon holds certification as a sexual assault and domestic violence  counselor, in group facilitation, and as a supervisor for counselors/ therapists.

During her tenure at the center Sharon has served on the Board of Directors of Connsacs (the statewide sexual assault coalition) and provided domestic violence training and shelter consultations on a national level. Currently she serves on the advisory board for the local multidisciplinary investigation team, and is a member of the Connecticut counseling Association, The Greater Danbury Advisory Council, and the Greater New Milford Social Services Committee.

While at the center she has been involved with the creation of many new programs and groups, including the expansion on the WCSU campus and offering support groups for male survivors. On her vacations Sharon has been known to visit other centers in other states to bring back new ideas and resources.

Melanie Danyliw The Women's Center Danbury

Director, Training, Program Development & Volunteer Services
Melanie Danyliw

Joining the Women’s Center in 1991, Ms. Danyliw conducts domestic violence and sexual assault certification training for agency staff and volunteers, sensitivity training for community professionals, and serves as the  agency’s legislative liaison to CCADV and CONNSACS. During her tenure, she was part of the CT AIDS Education & Training Center at Yale School of Nursing’s CME training team, conducted POST police recertification training, and was a member of the core team at WCSU tasked with developing campus procedures for response to dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.  Melanie holds her BA from Emmanuel College.

Melanie’s advanced trainings include Northwestern University’s Mentors in Violence Prevention program, CDC and the National Social Norms Resource Center primary prevention, combating sex trafficking, animal cruelty links to interpersonal violence, RICADV’s Safe and Strategic Use of Technology, UCONN’s TARGET trauma training, and the Salons Against Domestic Violence Cut It Out program.

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Director, Administration & Human Resources
Cheryl Kunst

Cheryl Kunst joined the Women’sCenter as Office Manager in 2008. Today, she is the Director of Administration & Human Resources, working closely with the other management team members and administrative staff & volunteers.  She also manages all of the Women's Center's social media and public relations.   She holds a BA in English from San Diego State University.


Finance Manager
Robert Whearty

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Director, Facilities & In-Kind Donation Program
Alex Lopes Massa

Alex has been with the Center since May 1990 and has a B.S. in Justice & Law Administration from Western Conn State University. Alex was initially hired as the Family Violence Victim Advocate and has held several positions such as a Bi-Lingual Counselor Advocate and Shelter Manager. Currently, she holds the title of Director of Facilities & In-Kind Donation Program.

In addition to providing direct service to Portuguese speaking clients, Alex oversees the maintenance issues for both the shelter and the 2 West building. Other tasks include coordinating the in-kind donations, holiday program, and generating statistical reports.

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Development Director
Samantha Conetta Flynn

Samantha Conetta Flynn joined the Women’s Center in August 2012.  As Development Director she plans, coordinates and directs all development activities and major fundraising events as well as assists with communications and outreach projects.  She holds a B.A. from Western Connecticut State University, a certificate in Fundraising from New York University and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Public Administration through Marist College.

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Program Manager, Education & Outreach
Ann Rodwell-Lawton

Ann earned her Master's in Social Work from Hunter College with a concentration in community organization, planning and development. She is certified as a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Counselor, and has extensive knowledge of child sexual abuse prevention programming. Previously, Ann was a Community Educator at the D.C. Rape Crisis Center where she conducted child sexual abuse prevention presentations in the community, reaching over 8,000 children per year.   

Ann has worked with individuals living with HIV/AIDS and with individuals experiencing homelessness. She also has experience facilitating sexual health workshops, and trainings to develop political advocacy skills.

As the Program Manager of Education and Outreach, Ann oversees the Prevention Educators and manages scheduling of community education programs.