Board of Directors

Amoya Uter Haughton, MSW

Chief Program Officer

Janelle Thompson, LMHC, LPC

Chief Clinical Officer 

Shayla Madramootoo Smith, MSW

Chief Administrative Office 

Bio's : Top Row

Amoya Uter, MSW- Chief Program Officer

Amoya earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a concentration in human services at Syracuse University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work at Hunter College – Silberman School of Social Work. She is currently an assistant program director, working with survivors of on trauma in congregate settings. Focusing on the operational needs of the program and supporting staff in navigating their roles. She is experienced in trauma informed care; specifically, trauma responses, De-Escalation techniques when working with survivors, client centered practice and understanding the importance of family and community partnerships. Therefore, her passion is designing, implementing, and operating advocacy, policy, and education programs in various subjects- including empowering people’s lives, creating change for at risk populations and addressing the disparity in black maternal health both pre- and post-partum, in addition to the health of black and brown children that begins in the womb. Her goal is to lead with purpose and change the narrative on the impacts of trauma.

Janelle Thompson LMHC, LPC, NCC- Chief Clinical Officer 

Janelle Thompson, LMHC, LPC, NCC is a Licensed Therapist, Coach, and the Owner of  Simply Redefining Wellness and Counseling group practice. She is a West Indian and Brooklyn native who is a Strategist, Hope Dealer, Excuse Eraser, and Consultant you want in your back pocket. Over the last ten years, Janelle has enjoyed working in the private and nonprofit sectors with individuals of all ages, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds through mental health and public health. Whether serving in private practice,  the local community, or for a  Fortunate 500 company, Janelle strives to create a safe, empowering, and challenging atmosphere for all her clients. Her mission is to see her clients gain awareness, unpack their problems, heal, and redefine their most difficult moments into strength, grit, and purpose. 

Janelle received her Masters of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Alliance Graduate School of Counseling in New York and a Bachelor of Science degree at SUNY Old Westbury, where she studied Public Health. Janelle is licensed in New York State as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and in New Jersey as a Licensed Professional Counselor. She enjoys traveling, cooking, and listening to music during her downtime.

Shayla Madramootoo-Smith, MSW- Chief Adminstrative Officer 

Ms. Madramootoo-Smith is an Executive Director at HELP USA and is currently managing a Behavioral health shelter for displacement men. Ms. Madramootoo-Smith has been with HELP USA since July 2005 and has extensive experience working with individuals and families who have experienced domestic violence, child abuse, natural disasters, eviction, and homelessness. Ms. Madramootoo has beenworking in the social services field as a trainer, clinician, and administrator for over 20 years. Ms. Madramootoo-Smith obtained her undergraduate degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and master’s degree in Social Work from Stony Brook University school of Social Work. Ms. Madramootoo-Smith was the Co-chair of the Best Practice Committee, for the New York City Coalition of Domestic Violence Residential providers for 5 years and was an active member of the New York state Coalition against Domestic Violence. Ms. Madramootoo-Smith was also a Board member at the Shine Foundation, Inc., a financial organization that provided survivors of domestic violence with tools and information to live a financially healthy live. I enjoy traveling, playing board games, and spending time with my family.

Charlette Lopez, MIA

Board President

Tori Williams, LMHC

Board Vice President/DEI Consultant

Venus Watkins, MBA

Board Secretary

Veronica Marshall Thomas, MSW

Engagement & Outreach

Bio's: Bottom Row

Charlette Lopez- President / Board of Director 

Ms. Charlette Lopez is a Program Director for Women In Need Inc, NY.

 Ms. Lopez has over 14 years of experience in Social Services for Transitional Housing. Ms. Lopez prior position was the Director for Social Services at HELPUSA. She was the lead management of the staff as well as oversight of social workers, operational staff, and overall compliance, policy and planning. Prior to HELPUSA position, Ms. Lopez served as the Assistant Program Director of Children Community Services where she assisted with the management of a 75 person team within 12 Transitional Housing Shelters in New York.

Ms. Lopez is also an entrepreneur.  She is the founder and CEO at CHARLETTE LOPEZ ™️  Kenyan 🇰🇪 Mexican 🇲🇽 American 🇺🇸 Food Company launched in 2021. She is a chef inspired to bring authentic and delicious cuisine @jikonikwenu. She is also a member @hotbreadkitchen.

Ms. Lopez has her Master degree of Arts in International Affairs from City College of New York.

Tori Williams- Vice President/ Board of Director/ DEI Consultant 

Tori Williams, LMHC is a Licensed Therapist,  a woman of faith and a proud Brooklynite, with strong Afro-Caribbean roots ( !) Since graduating in 2017, Tori has worked within the non profit and private sectors with individuals of all ages, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds. If you ask her what her purpose is, she’d tell you it's to heal, teach and inspire, with a prioritized interest in supporting members of the African Diaspora. Tori’s style is an eclectic mix of down to earth, empathic, assertive and humorous; she prides herself on establishing safe, empowering and effortful atmospheres for all of her clients so that they can heal and flourish into the best version of themselves.

Tori received a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling at SUNY Albany and a Bachelor of Arts degree at Syracuse University where she studied Psychology and Communication Science & Disorders. Tori is licensed in New York State as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and is well versed in topics including but not limited to counselor development, crisis intervention, SPMI and psychosocial rehabilitation . She enjoys cooking, shopping and spending time with her tribe in her down time.

Venus Watkin- Secretary / Board of Director 

My name is Venus Watkins and I was born and raised in East Orange, New Jersey. I graduated from Caldwell University with my undergraduate degree in Business Administration - Management.  I earned my MBA in marketing from Walden University.  

I have over 30 years of administrative experience, 10 years of healthcare management experience and 2 years of sales experience.

I enjoy spending time with my family and attending Zumba classes.  My favorite sport is football.  I am passionate about helping others and making a difference in their lives.

Veronica Marshall- Director of Outreach & Engagement / Board of Director 

Veronica Marshall, MSW is a social worker by training and is an integral part of the community engagement team for the TRIUMPH Study. She also serves as a deacon at Bedford Central Presbyterian Church, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Clive E. Neil. She is detail oriented, inquisitive and open to feedback.

Veronica has a passion to help others. It's because of this passion that she decided to pursue a degree in Social Work. Her drive propels towards research in hope of positively impacting marginalized communities. She is a reliable , compassionate, and supportive.

Some of her hobbies are traveling to new places and observing the cultures of others. She is a plant lover and spends most of her spare time pruning her plants.