Maisha Colter, Chief Executive Officer


With more than 11 years of service to AVDA, Maisha Colter became AVDA’s Chief Executive Officer on August 1, 2019. She has dedicated her professional life to advocating for the needs of children and families in crisis.

After attaining a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Public Policy as well as a Masters in Social Work from New York University, Colter became a licensed social worker in Brooklyn, NY, where she tirelessly worked with children and families involved with the Child Protective Services.

After a few years, she pursued her law degree from Rutgers University and graduated in 2001. In 2003, she moved to Texas, learned about AVDA, and reached out to the Executive Director to volunteer and was instead hired as the agency’s only staff attorney in 2004. She remained with the agency for almost four years and returned in 2012 as Director of Litigation to lead a staff of attorneys and paralegals who fight on behalf of victims of abuse, later becoming Director of Legal Advocacy Program.

Sherri Kendall, Ex Officio Chief Executive Officer


Sherri Kendall has been with AVDA since 2002. Kendall has over 30 years of professional experience in the domestic violence field, spending much of that time in specialized work with domestic violence abusers in Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. Kendall also served as Interim Shelter Director in Oklahoma prior to her move to Texas. Kendall is also a survivor of domestic violence.

Kendall has served as AVDA’s Battering Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP) Director, as well as Deputy Director, and became its CEO in 2012, announcing her retirement summer of 2019. She is currently Area Director of Region 7 for Texas Council on Family Violence. She serves on various local and statewide task forces, including the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and its Adult Fatality Review Team; the Public Policy Committee of Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV); Project SAFE (a collaborative effort of TCFV and the Department of Family and Protective Services); as well as the Fort Bend Crime Victims Response Team.

She holds a Masters of Counseling from the University of Houston-Victoria and a Masters in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations from the London School of Economics. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor.

Pamela Dickson, Director of Legal Advocacy Program


Pamela Dickson received her undergraduate degree in Political Science at the University of Houston and thereafter earned her law degree from the highly-accredited Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. She joined AVDA as a staff attorney in 2013, becoming Managing Attorney in 2015 and Director of Legal Advocacy Program on August 1, 2019.

A native Houstonian, Dickson brings to AVDA extensive years of experience in representing the underserved community. She worked for Dallas Legal Aid, Legal Services of North Texas and other legal clinics representing the poor, the elderly and the terminally ill. Dickson also worked for the Office of the Attorney General and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to ensure that the children of Texas are supported and protected. Her wealth of experience and two-plus decades of practicing law in every capacity guarantee AVDA’s clients a source for excellent advocacy and knowledge about family law matters. Dickson has dedicated her career to helping others, and her continuance of that dedication is seen in her commitment to AVDA.

Milisa Alexis-Flores, Managing Attorney


Vicki Rendall, Director of Battering Intervention and Prevention


Lourdes Carrillo, Director of Advocacy & Counseling Services


Lauren Summerville, Director of Development


Lauren Summerville joined AVDA in 2018 as the Director of Development. She brings over 15 years of marketing and development experience with seven years spent in non-profit, specifically higher education. Summerville received her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English Literature from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, VA. She is committed to raising awareness about domestic violence in the greater Houston community and is dedicated to AVDA’s mission to end abuse

Marie Jacinto, Director of Community Awareness and Prevention


Nicole Franklin-Jones, Director of Outreach


Nicole Franklin-Jones has been with AVDA since 2014. A native Houstonian, Nicole holds degrees in Child Psychology (BA) from Texas Southern University and in Art and Organizational Management (MA) from the University of Phoenix and is a Youth & Family Certified Life Coach. She has 30+ years of experience working and founding community efforts to broaden opportunities for today’s at-risk youth. As AVDA’s Outreach Director, she is dedicated to educating the community on the effects of domestic violence in an effort to end intimate partner abuse for adults and youth.

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1001 Texas Ave., Suite 600 Houston, TX 77002
P: 713-224-9911
F: 713-715-6935 | 713-715-6945


1001 Texas Ave., Suite 600 Houston, TX 77002 P: 713-224-9911 F: 713-715-6935 | 713-715-6945

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