Meet the VSC Team

Leadership Team

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Lui Damiani – Executive Director

Lui Damiani is a proven leader whose background in business and public service spans more than 25 years.  He has served the Central Florida community as a County Commissioner, corporate executive, small business owner, governmental manager, television host and homeowner’s association president.  His experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors has given him a well-rounded approach to problem solving and doing what’s right for the community.

Upon graduating from the Ohio State University in 1987, Lui moved to Orlando to put down roots and begin his professional career building a solid resume in business and public service. While working full-time, Lui attended UCF and earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration in 1994. He served as Chief Aide to former District 3 Commissioner Mary I. Johnson for eight years and was recognized with the county’s highest service honor, The Chairman’s Award.  It was during that time that Lui was instrumental in helping to establish the Victim Service Center.  Subsequently, Lui spent five years in the private sector as Corporate Marketing Director and Vice President of one of Florida’s largest woman-owned businesses and he has operated his own small real estate business for more than 12 years.  In 2010, Lui became an Orange County Commissioner where he championed a local ordinance to help service disabled veterans, helped to pass a human rights law, worked to reduce government spending, pushed for lowered government fees and allocated critical funding into economic development initiatives intended to assist small businesses and create jobs.

Throughout his career, Lui has served his various roles with character, honesty and passion earning him a solid reputation of integrity among his peers.  Today, as Executive Director of the Victim Service Center, Lui is honored to continue his service to the Central Florida community building collaborative relationships with business and governmental partners, and leading an extraordinary team of crisis intervention experts dedicated to helping those impacted by sexual assault, violent crime or traumatic circumstances.

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JoEllen – Program Director

JoEllen joined the VSC team as the Program Director in October 2013. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Florida & New York. JoEllen earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University and has over 15 years social work experience. JoEllen is credentialed as a Qualified Supervisor and is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. JoEllen values the importance of community partnerships and currently serves as the co-chair of the Orange County Sexual Assault Response Team; the Secretary of the Osceola County Sexual Assault Response Team; and the Treasurer of the Victim Service Coalition of Central Florida. JoEllen strives to continuously enhance the quality and scope of services provided and in this effort uses her experience as a Peer Reviewer for both the Department of Justice and The Council on Accreditation.

 

 

Rob Edit Robert – Accounting  & Operations Manager 

Robert comes to us from Maine and has almost 20 years’ experience as an accountant, business manager, and assistant controller. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts-Lowelland and has extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. He is very enthusiastic about helping others and is a great asset to the VSC team.

Therapy Department

Brandi – Lead Therapist

Brandi is the Lead Therapist at the Victim Service Center of Central Florida.  Brandi holds a Master’s Degree with Honors in Mental Health Counseling from Rollins College, where she earned the Outstanding Graduate Student in Counseling award.  She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the state of Florida and is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).  Brandi incorporates systemic awareness in her work and carefully considers clients’ lived experiences as part of their healing journey. She believes in the re-empowerment process for all survivors by facilitating an empathic and authentic therapeutic alliance. She supports every person’s right to peace and freedom in their lives.

Tamara “Tammy”  Therapist 

Tamara received her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) with the state of Florida. Tamara has experience working with co-occurring disorders, LGBTQ population, HIV/AIDS community, and survivors of abuse in an outpatient, residential, and transitional counseling setting. She has coordinated and facilitated forums in her community on various social and mental health issues including domestic violence, suicide and depression, and HIV/AIDS awareness. Tamara has a passion for the mental health field, community advocacy, and empowering individuals to overcome traumatic events and live purposeful lives.

Development and Communications Department

Natasha- Character Educator

Natasha first started with VCS as a volunteer and is now the Volunteer Coordinator! She has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida, and has recently earned a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Before taking the Volunteer Coordinator position, Natasha worked in the field as a Mental Health Targeted Case Manager, where she grew a passion for those who have endured trauma, as many of her previous clients have. Natasha has an overwhelming desire to help victims heal from trauma and believes that there is always hope for a brighter future for those who have endured any kind of suffering. Natasha knows the importance of volunteers and strives to let all volunteers know they are making a positive impact in someone’s life.

Joana- Grants Manager

Joana comes to the Victim Service Center with previous experience in non-profit management and grant writing. In her role as a grants manager, she hopes to maximize the funding potential of VSC by identifying new funding opportunities in addition to ensuring compliant, timely, and effective submission of grant related reporting requirements. Prior to this position, Joana worked as a case management director for the Lead Agency at United HomeCare® where she was responsible for the daily operations of the department ensuring the fulfillment of budget and contract requirements. She received her master’s degree in mental health counseling from Nova Southeastern University and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Florida International University.

Eliza– Volunteer Coordinator

Eliza has been actively volunteering since high school and is always seeking opportunities in the community she lives in to give back and be of service to others.  She is passionate about being able to serve those in vulnerable populations locally and around the world to improve health and better their lives.  This passion led Eliza to Australia where she earned a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) at the University of Melbourne.  Being down under gave Eliza the opportunity to advocate for Indigenous communities and other disenfranchised groups.  Eliza’s commitment to volunteerism and dedication to serve others will be highly useful in her recently acquired role of the Volunteer Coordinator.  She is elated to be part of the highly competent team at VSC and to share her passion for service with others.

Joshua Proffitt- Education Coordinator

Josh studied Political Science at Berea College in Kentucky before moving across the world to follow his passion for travel and community development as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal.   He comes to the Victim Service Center with a strong background in community outreach and engagement from his work with AmeriCorps, USAID, and the YWCA.  When he’s not training others in violence prevention, you can find him exploring the outdoors and getting lost on a long run.

Administrative Department

Laura  – Office Manager (Bilingual)

Laura has been our Office Manager for the Victim Service Center since 2002 and has over 20 years of professional experience in office administration.  She is responsible for day-to-day office management and sexual assault program support which includes working with the advocacy, therapy and SANE staff in Orange County and Osceola County.  She manages, coordinates and provides the front office and the Agency support functions to ensure effective and efficient operations in order to support the mission of the Victim Service Center of Central Florida.

 

 

Advocacy Department

 RhondaLead Crisis Counselor

Rhonda has been part of the VSC team for eight years. She has three graduate degrees, a Master of Human Services from Capella University, an MBA and Master in Administration of Justice and Security from the University of Phoenix. Rhonda has over 25 years of experience in criminal/military justice. She served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years.  After retiring from the Navy, Rhonda worked as the Director of a Residential Re-entry Center for inmates transitioning from federal prisons. Rhonda’s goal is to engage the entire community in activities that prevent sexual assault and crime.

 Orialis- Crime Victim Crisis Counselor (Bilingual)

Orialis earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. She discovered her passion for social justice and advocacy while minoring in Gender, Women, and Sexuality studies. Presently, Orialis is working on her MA in Mental Health Counseling at the University of Central Florida. Prior to working at VSC, she had the pleasure of working with survivors of sexual assault as a Crisis Counselor. Additionally, she received certification as a Sexual Assault Advocate from the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She stands in solitarity with survivors of trauma and respects and supports their individual journey towards growth.

Natasha  – Crisis Counselor

Natasha is a Certified Sexual Assault Counselor and a previous intern here at VSC. Natasha holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Stony Brook University, the State University of New York, where she dedicated time conducting research related to intimate partner violence. Natasha most recently attained her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Central Florida. She has experience working with both adolescents and adults who have been affected by trauma and suffering from a wide variety of mental health disorders. Natasha’s experience working in an inpatient mental health facility has further developed her skills in crisis intervention and de-escalation. Natasha has a passion for preserving social justice and advocating for victims of crime and trauma. She not only feels strongly in helping to empower victims to find healing through recovery but hopes to change the social culture surrounding sexual assault within the community.

Tamara  – Crisis Counselor (Bilingual)

Tamara received her Master’s in Social Work from Hawaii Pacific University and her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. Having worked with victims of human trafficking, Tamara has gained knowledge and experience in crisis intervention and in assisting victims of crimes. Tamara also has previous experience in advocacy work, case management and mental health counseling. During her career and scholastic endeavors she has grown a passion to inspire, encourage and help individuals who have experienced trauma. She believes that with the right support and resources any individual can persevere even in the worst of times. She aspires to be a part of this healing process with every victim. Tamara’s near term objective is to obtain her clinical licensure so that she can continue to best serve those in need. She has a heart to want to help others and enjoys fighting for equality and social justice. She believes everyone deserves and should get a chance at a peaceful fulfilling life.

 Rachael- Crisis Counselor

Rachael (they/them/theirs) holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling and a bachelor’s degree in psychology, both from the University of Central Florida. Rachael is a registered mental health counselor with the state of Florida, working towards licensure. Rachael has experience and passion for working with adolescents and middle-aged individuals experiencing crises. Rachael is driven to work towards social justice utilizing acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness, self-compassion, and strengths-based models. Rachael specializes in working with the LGBT population, specifically transgender individuals. Rachael is additionally a guardian advocate, a speaker for RAINN, and a board member of Trans Lifeline. Rachael is empowerment based and believes that under trauma and pain is the capacity for growth and joy.

Maria– Crisis Counselor (Bilingual)

María received her Master’s in Social Work from Interamerican University in Puerto Rico and her Bachelors in Social Work from University of Puerto Rico. Having worked with victims of human trafficking, domestic violence and have vast experience working in children protective services and mental health settings. María also has previous experience in case management and quality assurance. She believes people have the strengths and the power to overcome traumatic experiences and she has grown the passion to encourage people and provide them the right support and resources in order to help in their path to recovery. Maria’s near term objective is to obtain her clinical licensure so that she can continue to best serve those in need, she is a License Clinical Social Worker Registered Intern. María recognized that respect individual’s vulnerability empower people to conquer their story.

 María– Crisis Counselor (Bilingual)

María received her Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Ana G. Mendez University System, Puerto Rico in 2014 and her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from University of Puerto Rico in 2010. María has more than 6 years of experience providing counseling, family referral services for children and adults, ensuring maximum support for all victims, patients and families while enhancing their capacity for social functioning. María has a history of working with victims of sexual assault, traumatic circumstances, domestic violence, drug addiction, and at-risk children.  María believes that everyone has a life purpose and strengths that empower them to overcome traumatic experiences.  María has a passion to guide, encourage, and help with people’s needs as well as defend their rights as human against all type of violence. María aspires to obtain her Clinical Licensure as Clinical Social Worker from the State of Florida and continue serve populations in needs.

Sophia– Crisis Counselor

Sophia received her Master’s in Psychology from Capella University and her Bachelors of Science in Family and Child Sciences from Florida State University. Sophia has worked in management throughout the community with victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, physical, emotional, sexual abuse and homelessness. Sophia has 10+ years of experience with the non-profit sector and community outreach. She has a surmountable amount of experience in outreach management, crisis intervention and one on one work with survivors. Sophia has obtained previous experience in street and community outreach, case management and mental health counseling. Sophia has always had a passion in serving and assisting those in crisis. Though out her life and career experiences she has developed a true passion for people, especially those who have experienced trauma in their lives. She is a firm believer that every survivor has a voice and with the right focus, resources and support put into place, they can become resilient and succeed.

Medical and Forensic Services

Erin  – Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner

Erin started as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) with VSC and has now added on the role of SANE Coordinator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from University of Missouri St. Louis and is currently working towards completing SANE certification and a Master’s degree in forensic nursing. Erin enjoys providing compassionate care to victims of crime and being involved in their healing process.

Sexual Trauma Survivor Program

Amanda McCloud 2Amanda – Sexual Trauma Group Facilitator

Amanda McCloud is currently working in Orange County Corrections providing counseling services for female inmates. She has done sexual trauma counseling for more than 13 years at other local agencies and at Orange County Corrections Female Detention Center. Amanda holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology. She graduated from the University of West Florida. Amanda has worked as a counselor in juvenile and adult corrections for over 15 years. She also served in the United States Navy for 21 years. Amanda has done Mental Health work with numerous populations including Foster Care, juvenile inmates, adult inmates, community mental health, alternative school setting, and the military community.