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Staff

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. In addition, 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.

Rebecca Howard - Program Manager

Rebecca Howard’s overall philosophy in operations is that the only way to improve the performance of the company is by nurturing the performance of its people. She is trained and follows Six Sigma practices and strongly believes that success begins with training and development at every level.

 

With more than Sixteen years of call center experience with marketing/ Sales and Customer satisfaction, she offers a unique combination of knowledge, expertise, and technical skills to help excel satisfaction while streamlining processes. Rebecca has spent most of her career working with commercial clients such as Gerber Life Insurance, AT&T, DirecTV, SiriusXM, HBO, Starz, Showtime, Cinemax, and NFL Sunday ticket to name a few.

 

Rebecca found her true passion at Leadership Academy, becoming an SME for her company. She went to train Program Managers. Supervisors, and Trainers across the United States and Mexico. Developing core values and processes that allowed them to continue to grow in their careers and impact their leadership team.

Ramona Mello, LICSW - MSW Intern Field Supervisor

Ramona Mello, LICSW, has taken the “independent” portion of her social work license seriously; after many years working in private mental

health agencies, she more recently moved into self-employment.  Throughout her 25-year career, she has gained extensive knowledge and experience working with diverse populations in various settings. 

Ramona enjoys program development and oversight and finds particular fulfillment in supervising interns and masters-level clinicians working toward their independent licensure. In addition, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience with the next generation of clinicians coming into the field. Her supervisory style involves partnering with supervisees to blend new technology and treatment strategies with tried and true methods, empowering them to develop their own unique therapeutic practice style.    

 

Ramona is active in adult athletics and fitness activities, spends quality time with her dog, Mowgli, and participates in many sports carpools.  In her ‘spare time,’ she volunteers at her daughter’s school library and sits on the junior member committee for a local community organization.  

Christine Rizza - Training & Development Director

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.

Natalie Schrager - Human Resources Director

Natalie Schrager is an experienced human resources generalist with over a decade of experience.  She comes to Samaritans  Southcoast from Rave Mobile Safety, a software application company providing emergency alert systems, and previously worked at Advenir Living and South Florida Paper Products.  At Samaritans, Natalie manages the full spectrum of HR services for prospective employees and staff.  


Natalie is passionate about helping others, humans, and animals.  She is an animal lover and activist and rescues stray and injured animals.  


Natalie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Sociology/Anthropology from Florida International University.  She loves her career because it aligns with her passion for supporting others, breaking down mental health stigma, and positively contributing to the greater community. 


A lifelong Floridian, Natalie resides in Miami, FL, with her family - human and animal. 

Anthony Shaw - Program Manager

Anthony Shaw is based in Las Vegas but is originally from Los Angeles, CA.  For the past 21 years, Anthony has held various executive-level leadership roles within the contact center industry, including Director, Candidate Services, and Global Director of Contact Centers.  He has excellent leadership and managerial capabilities, including the ability to listen with an open mind and resolve conflicts with a focus on analytical skills and the ability to address problems quickly.

 

Anthony obtained his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Phoenix.

Amanda M. Souza, LICSW - Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Clinician

Amanda has fifteen years of experience in the social work/mental health field. She has held a variety of roles throughout her professional career, including within a local social service agency as a case manager, mentor, therapeutic mentor, after-school daycare intake coordinator and site coordinator, and therapist, in a public school setting as a school adjustment counselor, and in private practice under a group practice and as a sole proprietor. She is currently employed as a therapist in her local private practice, which began in 2020. 

 

She earned a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in MA and RI and holds a School Adjustment Counselor/Social Worker license in MA. 

 

Amanda is a firm believer and advocates for mental health, psychoeducation, and social-emotional learning initiatives. She has a strong will to help others in any capacity she can. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and Postpartum Support International (PSI). 

 

Amanda is an avid New England sports fan and loves a variety of music. She can often be found spending time with her family and friends, hosting events, attending concerts and sporting events, going to the beach, and volunteering at her daughter's school. She resides in Massachusetts with her husband and two children. 

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