Chief Executive Officer, she/her
Mary Ellen leads more than 70 employees, and works closely with the 19-member Board of Directors to meet KCSARC’s vision and mission. Mary Ellen has been a visionary leader in changing the landscape of sexual assault services including prevention, education, and victim advocacy. She has built partnerships with key businesses, companies, local governments and organizations so that victims and their families have a voice. KCSARC is nationally recognized for effective and innovative services.
Mary Ellen holds a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Minnesota. She is a program graduate of Leadership Tomorrow and the Alki Foundation. She presently serves on the Seattle Archdiocese Review Board. Past board responsibilities include the Mental Illness Drug Dependence Oversight Board and the 2018 Seattle Chief of Police Search Committee, Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Sex Offender Management Committee, Women’s Funding Alliance, and Municipal League Seattle-King County
Larraine oversees, leads and plans client services programs, and supports a team of directors in clinical, advocacy, and prevention services. She started at KCSARC in 2007 as Clinical Manager, overseeing and supervising KCSARC’s therapists until joining the leadership team in 2022. She remains committed to providing research-based, leading-edge and high quality services for trauma survivors.
Prior to KCSARC, Larraine provided evaluation and therapy services for children and adolescents with sexual behavior problems.
Larraine received a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of British Columbia, a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Victoria and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Washington. Larraine is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and Certified Sex Offender Treatment Provider in the State of Washington. She is also a Child Mental Health Specialist.
Larraine is a professional member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.
Karen joined KCSARC in August 2018 to lead the fundraising and communications team in the creation, implementation, and evaluation of the agency’s private sector fundraising campaigns.
Karen has spent most of her career working in nonprofits, including 19 years at Seattle Children’s Theatre (SCT) where she served as Education Director, and later, as Managing Director, responsible for all administrative functions of the theatre, including development and marketing.
Karen has taught locally, nationally and internationally and has been an adjunct faculty member at Cornish College for the Arts and Seattle University’s MFA Arts Leadership program. Karen serves as board president of the Winifred Ward Memorial Fund, is a Childrens Theatre Foundation of America board member and vice president-elect for grants, and is Membership Chair of the Rotary Club of the Pacific Northwest Ending Sex Trafficking. In addition, Karen is the former board president of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA/USA).
She is a graduate of the Goodman School of Drama in residence at DePaul University.
In her spare time, Karen loves to tell interactive stories, especially to her favorite audience members, her grandchildren.
Veena oversees finance and human resources staff at KCSARC. Prior to joining KSCARC, she served in a similar capacity at Sightlife, the largest nonprofit eye bank in the world. Veena has held positions in finance and operations management over the past 15 years at various organizations such as Seattle Symphony, Lozier Homes, Friends of Youth, and Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations.
Veena originally hails from India and was raised in Atlanta, Georgia since the age of 8. She is a graduate of Communication, Finance and Accounting at Georgia State University. She is also certified in nonprofit management and is working on her CNP.
She volunteers at various nonprofits around Seattle, including Farestart, Hindu Temple Bothell and the Muslim Association of Puget Sound.
Veena’s passion for numbers and analysis has drawn her to spend all her free time on billiards and fantasy football.
Agustina oversees and provides supervision for all of KCSARC’s therapists and parent educators. She joined KCSARC in 2015 as a bilingual therapist at KCSARC, part of the Dando Voz (Our Voice) team that provides KCSARC’s services to clients in Spanish. Agustina also co-chaired the agency’s Anti-Racism and Equity Initiative.
Agustina is passionate about serving those who have experienced trauma, especially those in marginalized communities. She believes in bringing evidence-based practices to life in ways that are culturally relevant and honor clients’ communal and personal wisdom.
Following a diverse career in education, languages, and parenthood, Agustina obtained her master’s in social work from the University of Washington.
Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Agustina has lived in the Pacific Northwest long enough to call it home. When not at work, she can be found reading anything that comes her way, enjoying live music or practicing new dance steps.
Laura directs all client advocacy services, including KCSARC’s 24-hour Resource Line, legal advocacy and client support/intake programs. Prior to 2022, Laura managed the Resource Line, supervising and coordinating the advocates who staff the line and who provide support, crisis counseling and resources to callers.
Laura joined KCSARC in 1990 as a Child Advocacy Specialist after working several years as a Family Support Specialist in the Midwest. Laura has a Bachelor of Science in counseling and psychology. After 18 years providing comprehensive intake services, medical advocacy, parent education, and as a resource line advocate herself, she joined the management team in 2008.
Gurpreet oversees the day-to-day operations of the agency. She ensures the departments she manages are performing efficiently and effectively, and works with agency leaders on project planning. Prior to joining KCSARC, she held an operations role for seven years. She previously worked as a Practice Administrator for an anesthesia group that provided services to two large community hospitals.
Gurpreet holds a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in healthcare management and a CMPE (Board Certified Medical Practice Executive) credential.
In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family and cooking.
Kim provides supervision and coordination of the 24-hour Resource Line and the advocates that staff the line to support and provide crisis counseling and resources to callers.
Kim joined KCSARC in 2001 as a Client Care Specialist, Case Manager and Parent Educator. In this capacity, she was the first point of contact for clients seeking services after they have been sexually or physically assaulted.
Prior to working at KCSARC, Kim was a para-educator in a local school district working with children with emotional and behavioral challenges. She also has a business/banking background.
Megan has been with KCSARC since 2000, first as a legal advocate and then as manager of the legal advocacy program. She oversees a team of 20 legal advocates, including three legal advocacy supervisors, who assist clients as they navigate the criminal justice process. She and her team manage an overall caseload of about 1,200 at any given time, and assist over 2,500 survivors each year.
Megan also provides statewide and countywide trainings on legal advocacy, sexual assault and the criminal justice process, and participates in several statewide legislative work groups advocating for victim rights and sexual assault awareness.
Prior to KCSARC, Megan was a residential supervisor and counselor working with youth involved in long-term treatment for criminal, behavioral, and mental health issues. Megan has long been an advocate for youth, with experience implementing the positive peer program, group therapy and recreational therapy.
Megan has a bachelor’s degree in sociology with an interdisciplinary in criminal justice.
Chris oversees KCSARC’s prevention education program, a cornerstone piece of KCSARC’s mission to end sexual assault by shifting norms and behaviors that contribute to violence.
Chris began his career at KCSARC in 2002 as a prevention education specialist. In 2009 he left to attended graduate school at the University of Washington, earning a master’s degree in social work. Chris returned to KCSARC in 2016 as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and worked for five years as a trauma therapist, serving children and adult victims of sexual assault and abuse. In 2021, Chris jumped at the opportunity to apply a clinical lens to KCSARC’S prevention and education work in his current role.
In addition to KCSARC, Chris has worked as a counselor at Youth Care, a clinical care consultant with the Alzheimer’s Association, a mental health clinician for Full Life Care and a social worker for Providence Hospice of Seattle.
Laurel joined KCSARC in 2017, and oversees agency communications strategy, media relations and public policy. Prior to relocating to the Seattle area from New England, she was a communications consultant for nonprofits seeking to change public policy in the areas of affordable housing and homelessness, children’s oral health, gun violence, economic justice and taxation. Laurel’s background also includes public relations and advertising account management at agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Laurel earned a dual bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism and English from Syracuse University, and a certificate in digital marketing from the University of Washington.