Shawn Wright, Board Chair

Elected: Spring 2018 Partner, Blank Rome LLP Elected Shawn M. Wright concentrates her practice in the area of white-collar criminal litigation, with a specific focus on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and international anti-corruption laws; criminal antitrust; public corruption; and government contracts matters. She represents corporations, boards of directors, and corporate executives in a wide range of internal and government investigations, audits and risk assessments, parallel proceedings, and before enforcement agencies and bodies such as the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and other authorities. Shawn’s practice includes internal compliance program development for the FCPA, including establishing workplace compliance policies and procedures, due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, third-party relationships, and other transactions. She also conducts internal investigations and provides counsel on violations of the Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”). Additionally, she represents companies and nonprofit organizations and their boards of directors regarding corporate governance, compliance, and internal controls issues. Shawn is a member of the Women President’s Organization – Greenbelt Chapter, which supports and promotes women-owned companies. She is also a tutor and mentor to diverse women law students. She is an enthusiastic football and basketball fan, both professional and collegiate.

Santina Rocca, Vice Chair/Treasurer

Elected Winter 2019: Founder and CEO of Lumina Executive Coaching and Consulting Group LLC. Santina is an executive leadership coach, consultant, and speaker helping executives and high potential leaders thrive in demanding, fast-paced environments to achieve their professional goals. With over 30 years of experience, leading teams of professionals with Big 4 accounting firms internationally, and with the PCAOB (US audit regulator), Santina’s first-hand expertise provides a unique opportunity to help professionals navigate challenges and competing demands. Santina earned her Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University, Honors Bachelor of Commerce from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and MBA (Luxury Brand Management) from ESSEC Business School in Paris, France. She is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC), a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, and a Certified Public Accountant (California).

Gilbert A. Smith, CPA, PMP

Elected: 2022 Gilbert A. Smith, CPA, PMP, Management Professional, holds a Public Trust security clearance. Mr. Smith is a member of the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc., the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Project Management Institute. Gilbert serves as Board Chair of Shiloh Legacy Bequest Fund and is on the Board of Victory Village Development Corporation. He served as an Executive Council member, Treasurer, and member of the Publications and Conference Committees of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). He previously served as Chair of the Finance and Audit committee of ASALH, Chair of the Trustee Board and Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee of Shiloh Baptist Church, Chair of Victory Village Development Corporation, and Chair of Howard University Accounting Advisory Counsel. Gilbert is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Project Management Institute, and the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. In 2008, Gilbert was recognized as the Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year by the Metro Washington, DC Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. He formerly served as President of the Metro Washington, DC Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc., Treasurer for Emmaus Services for the Aging, Inc., Treasurer of Crittenton Services of Greater Washington, and member of the Greater Washington Urban League Finance Committee.

Sara Adland

Elected: Fall 2021 Principal, New Product Development, Strategy and Growth at UnitedHealth Group. Sara leads UHG’s new product development to improve Provider experience across the business. Prior to joining UHG in 2019 Sara spent 5 years at Planned Parenthood Federation of America leading their healthcare innovation and business development strategies and growth. As a healthcare executive Sara has worked in inpatient and ambulatory care settings as well as in Government Relations. Her career started on the Hill working for Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) during the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Sara is a native Washingtonian and holds an MPH from the University of Michigan and received her Bachelor of Arts from Haverford College.

Beverly Allen, Esq.

Elected: Spring 2013 General Counsel, Inovalon Inc. Beverly R. Allen is an attorney with more than 20 years of legal, business and consulting experience across multiple industries. Beverly joined the My Sister’s Place Board of Directors in 2013 and was initially drawn by the core mission of the organization as well as the opportunity to support and make a difference in the community. “I believe that being a part of this board enables me to give of myself in a meaningful way while working toward the shared goal of breaking the cycle of domestic violence.” Currently, Beverly is the General Counsel and Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer at Inovalon, a leading data analytics and healthcare technology company. In this role, Ms. Allen is responsible for the planning, management, execution and oversight of all legal, compliance, risk management and privacy functions. Beverly has also worked with corporate, government and not-for-profit entities on various strategic, operational and transformative initiatives across multiple sectors.

Amy Berger

Elected: Fall 2019 Amy Berger is currently teaching English to adult immigrants at the Washington English Center (WEC), where she has been teaching for the past fifteen years. She also served as a WEC board member for seven years. During that time, she was Vice Chair of the Board and Development Chair. As head of the Development Committee, she chaired four major fundraisers which raised over $100,000 per event. She is now an Emeritus Board Member. In Amy’s other volunteer work, she served as a Board member of the Jewish Council for the Aging, tutored DC elementary school children through Reading Partners, mentored at-risk students at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School, and was the found and co-editor of a bi-weekly publication for parents at Georgetown Day High School. Prior to “retiring” from the paid work force to pursue volunteer work and family matters, Amy was a lawyer/ lobbyist at two DC law firms, Legislative Counsel at the National Science Foundation, Legislative Counsel to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, Deputy Director of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, and a lobbyist for the American Association of University Women.

Deborah Berkowitz

Elected: Winter 2022 Fellow at Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. She is a worker safety and health policy expert and recently created and directed the worker safety and health program at the non-profit National Employment Law Project. Her past positions include serving as chief of staff and then the senior policy advisor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (2009-2105). Debbie was also the health and safety director at the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and the health and safety director of the Food and Allied Service Trades Department of the AFL-CIO. For over three decades, she has worked with national and state partners to develop successful policies and campaigns that improve conditions for vulnerable, low-wage workers in dangerous industries, including temporary workers.

Jenny Brody

Elected: Fall 2018 Partner, Brody Kling pllc Jenny Brody has practiced family law in Washington, DC for more than ten years. As the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, from 2008 to 2016, Ms. Brody provided legal assistance to hundreds of domestic violence survivors in Civil Protection Order cases, as well as in divorce, custody and child support matters. As a member of the DC Superior Court Counsel for Child Abuse and Neglect Panel, Ms. Brody represented children as a court-appointed Guardian ad litem and also represented adoptive parents in adoption petitions. Ms. Brody has devoted substantial time to improving the court system, as a participant in the DC Superior Court Domestic Relations and Domestic Violence Implementation Committees. She also played a role in promulgating Guardian ad litem Practice Standards, through the Council for Court Excellence and in DC Superior Court. Ms. Brody is a recognized expert in domestic violence and family law issues, presenting numerous training programs in these areas for lawyers, judges, social workers, medical professionals and domestic violence advocates. Prior to practicing family law, Ms. Brody worked in private practice, at Rogovin, Huge & Schiller and at Powers, Pyles & Sutter. She also served as an attorney at the United States Department of Justice, Civil Appellate Staff. She clerked for the Hon. Irving L. Goldberg, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Faye Cobb

Elected Spring 2023

Faye Cobb recently joined the Board in March of 2023 to support My Sister’s Place and their mission to end violence and empower lives. She brings with her over 30 years of senior-level experience in budgeting, finance, and public policy within the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government. Currently, Faye serves as a Clerk on the Committee on Appropriations for the United State House of Representatives. In this role, she supports Members of Congress in the drafting of legislation that funds the federal government’s vital activities. Faye lives by the words of the great Shirley Chisholm, “service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth”. With that in mind, in addition to her official duties, Faye has served in a leadership capacity on several national nonprofit organizations, including Drifters, IncorporatedFaye received a B.S. from the University of Maryland and was a previous fellow with the American Political Science Association.   

Shelley Guiley

Elected: Winter 2022 Founder and Managing Partner of Barrett Cove Advisors and a Senior Advisor to Hunter Point Capital’s SVG team. Previously, Ms. Guiley served as Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Fundraising at The Carlyle Group Inc. , a private equity, alternative asset management and financial services company, where she led the execution of Carlyle’s fundraising strategy from July 2010 to June 2021. Shelley has over twenty years of experience in the financial services industry, primarily in the Investor Relations field. Shelley earned her B.S. in Commerce from The University of Virginia and an M.B.A. from The Tuck School at Dartmouth College. In Shelley’s other volunteer work, she served as a Board member for Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington and a Board and Investment Committee member of Concord Hill School.

Michelle A. Kisloff, Esq.

Elected: Fall 2007 General Counsel, Optum Health Michelle has served on our Board for nearly a decade and has been working on domestic violence issues and advocacy for more than 20 years. “In law school, I helped women go to court to obtain Civil Protective Orders in court. I quickly saw that the court orders are an important step, but women need more than legal help alone to get on their feet and away from their batterers. I was thrilled to connect with My Sister’s Place, which provides DV survivors and their children with a safe place to live and connects them with the counseling and social services they need. MSP makes a big impact on our community, and I am proud to be a part of it.”

Rebecca Carr Rizzo

Elected: Winter 2022, Special Counsel, Pillsbury Law. Rebecca Carr Rizzo counsels clients to ensure compliance and avoid litigation and investigates and defends clients against discrimination, harassment, retaliation and whistleblower claims. Rebecca also counsels clients on and litigates employment contracts, including non-competition agreements.

Diana Rubin

Elected: Winter 2022 Speechwriter for Lisa Marsh Ryerson, the President of AARP Foundation, the largest charitable affiliate of AARP. She is a longtime advocate for women and families, serving as a Commissioner of the Montgomery County Commission for Women and Chair of its Policy and Legislative Committee and on the board of the Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women. Diana also served as Associate Counsel to the Senate Appropriations Committee for Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, as Staff Director for the Save Lives, Not Tobacco Coalition and as a Vice President of Public Affairs at Porter Novelli. She began her career as a litigation associate at Wilmer Hale.

Michael Sahakian

Elected: Spring 2023 

Michael Sahakian is a Regional Investment Advisory Manager for the Greater Washington and Maryland regions within the Foundations and Endowments Specialty Practice. Since joining in 2015, he has provided leadership and oversight to the Investment Advisory and Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) roles for clients and team members. Michael is responsible for the articulation and implementation of the disciplined and consistent investment process employed by the Foundations and Endowments Specialty Practice in the Greater Washington and Maryland geographies. Over his 25-year career, he has held leading and senior investment positions including investment management for institutional type of accounts, consultative type services for retirement oriented accounts, specialist for OCIO services for institutional/not for profit clients and director of client service and marketing for a small regional equity boutique. 

Along with joining the Board of My Sister’s Place in 2023, Michael has served as the chair of the investment committee for the St. Mary’s Apostolic Church in Washington, DC for the past 10 years, and is currently a board member for Montgomery County Community College, located in Gaithersburg, MD. He holds a B.S. in Major Business Administration/Finance from the University of Richmond and a Master of Business Administration in Investments/Finance from George Washington University. 

Elaine Scivetti

Elected: Spring 2023 

Elaine Scivetti is a business lawyer with over 20 years of transactional experience. She focuses her practice on commercial finance across various industries, with an emphasis on financing in the healthcare, real estate, and manufacturing sectors. She represents commercial banks and other lending institutions in a variety of complex commercial lending transactions, including asset-based, cash-flow, and securitizing financings. In addition, she represents borrowers in connection with acquisition loans and unsecured and secured general purpose / working capital borrowings and recapitalizations.

Elaine began her career as a traditional corporate lawyer, with an emphasis on mergers and acquisitions and related stockholder and contract matters. She continues to represent clients on general business matters, including structuring complex transactions and negotiating commercial contracts. While in law school, she served as executive director of the Boston University Law Review. She holds a JD from the Boston University School of Law and a BBA from James Madison University.

Bailey Williams

Elected: Summer 2018 Associate Director, Savills Studley Bailey Williams joined the Board in 2018 to help create and support safe environments for women who are seeking an escape from dangerous situations. “As the father of two girls, I want to be an example for them, and support healthy homes and relationships that are free of violence.” Bailey is a native Washingtonian, and an Associate Director at Savills Studley, a commercial real estate advisory firm that exclusively represents tenants. He serves the real estate needs of law firms, non-profits, associations and technology companies nationwide. Bailey received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Amherst College and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.

Advisory Board Members

David Collins

David Collins has an associate’s degree from American University in marketing. He spent the next 20 years working in finance for corporations such as Gannet, Cemex and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. With his father, he started the John Collins Foundation ten years ago and has worked with such organizations as the Boys and Girls Club of Pinellas County Florida, United Way of Tampa, and various other non-profits. He became President of Foundation last year and has served on several nonprofit boards as well as committees. He has supported and been affiliated with MSP for almost five years providing financial and advisory support.