OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
CAROL MERNA, Executive Director
Carol began serving as Executive Director for The Center for Prevention of Abuse in March 2015. Before joining The Center, Carol served the 18th Congressional District for more than 25 years working in, and overseeing, the constituent and community service operation for three members of Congress. During her tenure in the congressional office, she enjoyed doing advocacy work, building strong and lasting professional relationships, and providing leadership. She enjoys doing the same with those whom The Center for Prevention of Abuse serves, those who provide support, and people and organizations who share The Center’s meaningful vision and mission for peace. Carol has been awarded the 25 Women in Leadership, Federal Executive of the Year, Illinois Rural Partner of the Year and 40 Leaders Under Forty.
JOYCE DERENZY, Associate Executive Director
Joyce joined The Center in 1996 and has served in a variety of capacities: Elder Abuse Caseworker, Elder Abuse Supervisor, Regional Ombudsman, and Director of Adult Protective Services. In 2009, Joyce was recognized by Channel 25 as one of 25 Women in Leadership. In 2011 she was the recipient of the YWCA Valeska Hinton Quality of Life and Human Rights Award. In 2012, she received Common Place’s Love In Action Award and in 2015 she received the Kathleen Quin Award which is awarded for commitment to coalition building and information sharing, to promote elder abuse awareness, education, policy, or practice.
OLGA BECKER, Director of Administration
Olga joined the Center in 2007 as a senior level administrator with 20 years experience in not-for-profit management. She is responsible for the coordination of administrative operations including grant compliance, program development and service related functions. Olga has worked in the domestic violence field for 30 years and is an Illinois Certified Domestic Violence Professional. She has served on various state-wide committees and task forces, and currently serves on The Board of Directors at the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
MARY BETH JACKSON, Director of Business Operations
Mary Beth has been at The Center since 1993. She began her career as Martha Herm’s Administrative Assistant and was promoted to Director of Operations in 1999. She worked side by side with the architectural firm and contractors during the building phase of the administration building and the Next Step Transitional Housing apartments. Mary Beth is currently the Director of Business Operations and is responsible for the fiscal functions of the agency – Accounts Payable, Payroll and management of 45 individual government/community grants.
SARA DILLEFELD, Director of Domestic Violence Family Centered Services
Sara has been with The Center since 2006. She is an Illinois Certified Domestic Violence Professional and has devoted over 9 years to working with children and families affected by domestic violence. She helps supervise The Center’s two shelters and oversees the domestic violence counseling and case management for both children and adults utilizing our services. She is an active speaker on domestic violence and specializes in educating our community on children’s exposure to violence.
MARCIA BOLDEN, Director of Prevention Services
As the key driver of Prevention Education initiatives for The Center, Marcia’s administrative oversight includes providing school-based violence prevention programming to more than 22,000 youth in the tri-county area, as well as specialized training for professionals and community residents. She brings extensive managerial and directorial expertise working with non-profit organizations, educational institutions and the public and private business sector and is known by her colleagues for building consensus, empowering people, and fostering positive change. Serving as past Legislative Affairs and State Relations chairwoman of the Illinois Association of Education Opportunity Program Personnel, Marcia has received numerous awards and recognition for her visionary leadership and advocacy efforts including the 40 Leaders Under 40 Award for top leaders in the tri-county area. She is a graduate of Illinois State University and the University of Phoenix where she earned her BSW and MBA.
HEIDI VAN HEUKLON, Clinical Director
Heidi has been with The Center since 2004. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with 10 years of experience in providing individual, group, and family counseling, and with over 16 years of experience in the field of domestic violence and sexual assault. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Western Illinois University she began working as a domestic violence caseworker at The Center. Heidi earned a Master’s degree in Human Development Counseling at Bradley University and has since worked in the Sexual Assault program providing therapy to children and teens, and their significant others.
JULIE BOLAND, Director of Sexual Assault and Advocacy Services
Julie has been an advocate for victims of violence since 1986. Her responsibilities include overseeing the Sexual Assault Services Program, the Order of Protection offices within each of the courthouses in Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties and the 24 hour medical advocacy response program to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Julie has worked closely with Illinois Imagines for the past 5 years which is a collaboration of The Center’s sexual assault program, self advocates and disability service providers working to improve the response to sexual assault survivors with disabilities.
HOLLY KOZINSKI, Director of Adult Protective Services
Holly is the director of the Illinois Department on Aging’s Adult Protective Services Program, which provides services to seniors and adults with disabilities who are being abused, neglected or financially exploited. Holly has been with The Center since 1997 and has worked as an Elder Abuse Caseworker, Outreach Coordinator, and Supervisor within the Adult Protective Services department. Holly is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Women Studies. Holly has a background of working in both domestic violence and sexual assault prior to coming to The Center. Holly participates in several community committees including Caring Connections, The Adult and Disabilities Resource Network, and the Peoria County TRIAD. Holly has also been recognized as one of the area’s 25 Women in Leadership.