Staff & Board Members

Jen Tarnowski

Executive 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.

Erica Autry Henderson, LMSW


Erica graduated from the University of North Georgia with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and from the University of Georgia with her Masters in Social Work. She has been involved with Rape Response since 2013 when she started as a crisis line volunteer and advocacy intern. She then began working for RRI in May of 2014. Since then, Erica has held the titles of Advocate, Educator, Volunteer Coordinator, Programs Director, and her current position as Therapist. In her free time, Erica likes to read, explore new places, and spend time with her family outside!

Erica provides trauma focused therapy and group support for survivors of sexual abuse/assault and their loved ones. She is trained in Brainspotting (Level 1) and is currently working towards certifications in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Expressive Arts Therapy.

Erica uses she/her pronouns.

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.

Sommer Floyd

Outreach & Education Advocate

Sommer received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a concentration in educational psychology & child development from Georgia Gwinnett College and is now pursuing her Master’s in Social Work at the University of Georgia. Since graduating, Sommer has worked in a variety of educational settings, completed research on topics in educational psychology, and served as a youth mentor for adolescents in the foster care system. Sommer joined Rape Response as a volunteer in 2021 before she transitioned into her previous role as the Mobile Advocate. In her current role as the Outreach & Education Advocate, Sommer oversees Rape Response’s Prevention Education Program, coordinates services for students, and provides advocacy and support to survivors and their loved ones. In her free time, Sommer enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.

Sommer uses she/her pronouns.

Sarah Marin

Campus Advocate

Sarah obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, with a minor in Education from Brenau University. She began volunteering with RRI in February of 2021 as a way to help survivors in her community. She is now the Campus Advocate & Outreach Coordinator. In her role, Sarah will serve as the primary advocate for the 4 Universities and 2 Technical Colleges in our 6 county radius. In addition, she will also schedule, coordinate and facilitate University/College outreach & awareness programs, develop campus resources for survivors of sexual violence, and provide advocacy as a trainer for campus professionals. In her free time Sarah enjoys hiking, shopping, binge watching Netflix shows, spending time with family, and fostering pets.

Sarah uses she/her pronouns.

April Aguirre Seid


April obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a minor in Sociology from the University of North Georgia. She now serves Rape Response as an Advocate. In her role as an advocate, she provides advocacy and comprehensive direct victim services to survivors and their loved ones throughout our 6-county service area. April is certified in Adult Mental Health First Aid and has been trained to provide initial help to someone experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, doing yoga, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.

April uses she/her pronouns.

Jeanne Buffington

Fundraising Manager

Jeanne served as the Chief Executive Officer for Rape Response, Inc. from 2010 to 2022. 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.

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