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.
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
Maria de Lourdes Carrillo obtained a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Puerto Rico. She carries a social work license in Puerto Rico, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Illinois, and a Licensed Master Social Worker in the State of Texas, where she has been residing for the last 11 years. Her post-graduate education includes Marriage and Family Therapy from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, the core courses in Infant Mental Health/Early Childhood Trauma and advanced training in trauma-informed interventions and service delivery, among other trainings. Lourdes has over 30 years of experience in the field with 21 of those years in the continental US. She also has over 10 years of management experience. Her work experience ranges from medical and psychiatric services, domestic violence/sexual assault counseling/therapy services, conducting comprehensive assessments related to early childhood trauma and permanency for children in the foster care system, and directing a facility that provides residential substance abuse treatment for adolescents, most of them involved in the judicial system. Lourdes has provided trainings and presentations in areas related to trauma, interpersonal violence and cultural issues.
Lourdes has been in Houston for the last 6 years, and joined AVDA in March 2019. She brings her vast experience, knowledge, passion and commitment to AVDA.
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
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