Board of Directors 


Gina Despres, MA

Retired educator

Vice President

Marybeth Ferrarini, RN, JD, CPHRM

Southcoast Health


Lissa Singer, APRN, MBA, CPC-I 

First Physician Corp


Kate C. Miller, MPP

Representative Antonio Cabral, Massachusetts House of Representatives


Barbara Beckmann,  LICSW

Child and Family Services, Inc.

Zachary Boyer

Coastline Elderly Services

Michaela DeMattio, MA candidate in Clinical Psychology

Bridgewater State University

April C. Funches

Bristol County District Attorney's Office

Darcy H. Lee

Samaritans Southcoast 

Ex Officio 

Jocelyn M. Oliveira, CISR Elite, CPPL, CPIA

Partners Insurance Group LLC

Anna Schierberl Scherr, PhD

UMass Dartmouth, Brown University



Leadership Team

Darcy H. Lee - Executive Director

Darcy H. Lee began her career at the John F. Kennedy Library and Foundation in Boston, going on to work as Press Aide to U. S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, after which she worked in fundraising and as a consultant for different organizations including Clark University, Orchard House - Home of the Alcotts, Pilgrim Hall Museum, and the Women's Fund of Southeastern Massachusetts, among others.  She served the Plymouth County region as Executive Director of Mayflower RSVP.


Lee is the author of two books - the award-winning Ghosts of Plymouth, Massachusetts (2017) and The Fantastic, Fabulous, Funny, and Factual Follies of a Facebook Friend (2010). 

She serves on the boards of the Fall River Area Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families, the Rotary Club of Fall River, and the Mattapoisett Museum.  Lee is a member of the National Association of Crisis Organization Directors and the New Bedford Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  She is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Southcoast and a Paul Harris Fellow through Rotary International. 


Lee has a BA in history from Marymount College at Fordham University and lives in southeastern Massachusetts.

Christine Rizza - Volunteer Manager

Christine Rizza, a lifelong resident of Southeastern Massachusetts, comes to Samaritans Southcoast from the Fall River YMCA, where she served as the Member Services Director and Livestrong Director, an intense program for cancer patients, as well as running the Diabetes Prevention Program and Dance program. 

She was the owner of Somerset Dance Center for 20 years, a school of dance for people of all ages and all levels of dance. Rizza served proudly as a member of the Dance Teachers Club of Boston and the Dance Masters Association.  After selling her business in 2006, she went to work for the Dighton-Rehoboth school department in the field of special needs working one on one with elementary school-aged children and doing in-home ABA therapy in the community.   She also runs a successful art business teaching adult and children art classes and selling her artwork. 


Rizza's volunteer experience includes SouthCoast Serves, the Veterans Association of Bristol County, St. Vincent’s Services, Boy Scouts of America, and developing a robust and active cancer survivor alumni program with more than 100 members.

She brings a lifetime of experience motivating and supporting people through her work as a teacher, trainer, and coach.  A suicide loss survivor, Rizza is passionate about suicide prevention and sees this position as an extension of her personal mission to help others.