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Staff & Board Members

Staff Members


JEANNE BUFFINGTON 

Executive Director  

Jeanne has served as the chief executive officer for Rape Response, Inc. since 2010. She is a graduate of Mercer University with a degree in Organization Leadership. As Executive Director she advises and consults with the Board in fiscal management, policy development, implementation and agency operations while maintaining the authority, responsibility and accountability for the daily operations and management of Rape Response. Jeanne is responsible for grant acquisition, funding and fiscal management and ensures the agency’s responsibilities to its clients and the community are met. Jeanne volunteers with two great nonprofit agencies: Thumbs Up Mission and Adults Protecting Children. Additionally, she serves on the Advisory Board for Truett McConnell University Rielin and Salmen School of Nursing and the Fetterman School of Nursing at Toccoa Falls College. She is a past Rotarian, Wisdom Keeper, United Way Hall County and Still Waters Counseling board member. 

Jeanne uses she/her pronouns. 

EMAIL: JEANNE@RAPERESPONSE.COM


JEN TARNOWSKI

Advocacy Director 

Jen graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After graduating college, she worked at the Covenant House in Fort Lauderdale as a Case Manager, Assistant Coordinator, and then Grants Coordinator. She then moved to Georgia and worked as a Middle School Youth Minister in Snellville and a Youth Ministry Event Planner for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. She began working for Rape Response in 2017 as a Contract Educator, and then moved to the Campus Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator. She currently serves as the Advocacy Director, where she has served since 2019, supervising staff and providing intervention, support, and advocacy for survivors and their loved ones. Jen is a member of the Gainesville Rotary Club and serves on the advisory board for FullCircle Georgia in Forsyth County. She is a VIRTUS certified facilitator on prevention of child sexual abuse and is a trained OneLove Escalation facilitator. In her free time, she enjoys gardening and baking.

Jen uses she/her pronouns.

EMAIL: JEN@RAPERESPONSE.COM


ANGEL JACKSON 

Community Engagement Director

Angel graduated from the University of North Georgia in 2014 with a Bachelor Degree in Psychology. She started her time with Rape Response as a volunteer in 2013, and completed her college internship with RRI from January through May of 2014. She started working full time for Rape Response in November 2015 as an advocate, then transitioned to the Campus Advocate, and now serves as the Community Engagement Director. As the Community Engagement Director, she coordinates community outreach, education, and donations for the agency. She is a trained Darkness to Light (D2L) Facilitator and is also trained to facilitate OneLove Escalation. In her free time, she loves to crochet and do yoga. She also loves to garden and spend time with family.

Angel uses she/her pronouns. 

EMAIL: ANGEL@RAPERESPONSE.COM


REBECA RUELAS

Volunteer Program Director 

Rebeca earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business AdministraFFtion from the University of North Georgia in 2017. She began volunteering with Rape Response in 2011, and she has worked in the fields of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. She worked with Gateway Domestic Violence Shelter from 2012-2015, then worked for RRI from 2016-2018. Most recently, she was a forensic interviewer at Mosaic Georgia before accepting her current position as Volunteer Program Director at Rape Response. As the Volunteer Program Director, she coordinates the Volunteer Program and provides training, support, and supervision for Rape Response volunteers and interns. Rebeca is bilingual in Spanish and English and helps to provide support and advocacy services to the Hispanic community. In her free time, Rebeca enjoys painting, brunches, writing, and traveling to Latin American countries.  

Rebeca uses she/her pronouns. 

EMAIL: REBECA@RAPERESPONSE.COM


ARIEL DONALDSON

Campus Advocacy & Outreach Coordinator

Ariel graduated from Berkeley College, where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. After graduating from college, she began working at the Hall County District Attorney’s Office in the Northeastern Judicial Circuit and served as a victim/witness advocate. Ariel joined our team in February of 2019 as the Mobile Advocate, where she traveled to our six county service area to provide support to survivors and their loved ones. Currently, Ariel serves as the Campus Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator, providing support to faculty, staff and students at ten college campuses. She is a trained OneLove Escalation facilitator, and provides these trainings often to our campuses and community organizations. In her free time, she enjoys photography and spending time with her husband and kids.

Ariel uses she/her pronouns. 

EMAIL: ARIEL@RAPERESPONSE.COM


LAURA RODRIGUEZ

Bilingual Advocate 

Laura received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Texas Woman’s University, where she graduated in 2012. Laura received a job offer while finishing her last semester internship at the Dallas County Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, where she worked as Conservatorship Specialist II and Adoption Caseworker serving children in care. In 2017, Laura moved to Houston, where she worked as Case Supervisor for CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocate, becoming the ears and eyes for the Court, and the voice of the children she served. In August 2018, after moving to Georgia, Laura began working with Rape Response as the Bilingual Advocate. As an advocate, Laura provides crisis intervention, support, and advocacy to survivors and their loved ones. She focuses on providing outreach and awareness of our agency and services to the Hispanic communities in our service area. 

Laura uses she/her pronouns. 

EMAIL: LAURA@RAPERESPONSE.COM


BRITTANY PIRRELLO

Advocate & Social Media Coordinator

Brittany received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Spanish from Valdosta State University in 2019 (Go Blazers!). After graduating, she began working with Rape Response as a Contract Educator, teaching Healthy Relationship classes to middle and high school students. She became a full-time advocate in 2020, and now serves as the Social Media Coordinator and Advocate at Rape Response. In her current position, she provides support and advocacy to survivors and their loved ones and utilizes social media platforms to raise awareness and provide education about sexual assault. She is a trained OneLove Escalation Facilitator. In her spare time, Brittany enjoys spending time at the beach with her husband, playing fetch with her puppy, cross stitching, going to Disney, and gardening.

Brittany uses she/her pronouns. 

EMAIL: BRITTANY@RAPERESPONSE.COM


ERICA AUTRY

Intern Therapist

Erica graduated from the University of North Georgia with a Bachelor’s in Sociology, and she is currently receiving her Masters of Social Work from the University of Georgia, where she is expecting to graduate in May 2022. She has been involved with Rape Response since 2013, when she started as a volunteer. She completed an internship that year, and then began working for RRI in May 2014. Since then, she has held the titles of Advocate, Educator, Volunteer Coordinator, Programs Director, and her current position as the Intern Therapist. Prior to working at RRI, she worked at a bookstore, completed her bachelor’s degree, and had a baby (who isn’t a baby anymore!) Most of her grown up life has been at RRI. In her free time, she likes to read, binge podcasts, be with her kids and family and be outside! She has previously volunteered at the Regional Youth Detention Center as a mentor and group facilitator doing art and playing games with the kids there. Erica has training in perinatal mental health and is currently working towards certification as a doula. After graduating from the MSW program, she plans to work towards licensure as an LCSW. 

Erica provides trauma focused therapy and group support for survivors of sexual abuse/assault and their loved ones. 

Erica uses she/her pronouns.

EMAIL: ERICA@RAPERESPONSE.COM


CARRIE ANNE HUNT

Educator

Carrie-Anne uses the Let’s Talk© curriculum to educate students on Georgia laws regarding sexual assault, lowering risk of personal involvement, what constitutes a healthy relationship and how to make smart choices with social media.

Carrie-Anne uses she/her pronouns. 



SHORI MAGLIO

Educator

Shori uses the Let’s Talk© curriculum to educate students on Georgia laws regarding sexual assault, lowering risk of personal involvement, what constitutes a healthy relationship and how to make smart choices with social media.

Shori uses she/her pronouns. 



AMAYA WEEKES

Educator

Amaya uses the Let’s Talk© curriculum to educate students on Georgia laws regarding sexual assault, lowering risk of personal involvement, what constitutes a healthy relationship and how to make smart choices with social media.

Amaya uses she/her pronouns. 




MC WHITLOCK 

Educator

MC uses the Let’s Talk© curriculum to educate students on Georgia laws regarding sexual assault, lowering risk of personal involvement, what constitutes a healthy relationship and how to make smart choices with social media.

MC uses she/they pronouns. 



ABBY LOGGINS

Educator

Abby uses the Let’s Talk© curriculum to educate students on Georgia laws regarding sexual assault, lowering risk of personal involvement, what constitutes a healthy relationship and how to make smart choices with social media.

Abby uses she/her pronouns. 


Board of Directors

President: Melissa King
Vice President: Sally Walden-Crowe
Treasurer: Jeremy Perry
Secretary: Leigh Stallings-Wood

Members at Large:

Natasha Alvarado
Kris Brown
Debbie Edwards
Kevin Gaddis
Chris Gailey
Monica Hayman
Amanda Lammers
Gail Lane-Seabolt
Laura Major
Shelly Martin
Carol Martin
Sean McCusker
Ashton Meeks
Alyson Paul
Carol Shirley
Wanda Vance
Camille Viera
Trey Wood