Working to end violence

Ashley Dunn
President & CEO

Ashley Dunn joined The Center in January 2022. She holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy from Bay Path University in Massachusetts and a Master of Science in Marital and Family Therapy. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. Previously Ashley served as the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director for Almost Home, Inc. a non-profit organization in Brighton, Colorado. Almost Home provides Emergency Assistance programs and services to households at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness. During her tenure at Almost Home, she initiated the first domestic violence programming in the region. She implemented Trauma-Informed Care programs, services, and employment practices to best meet the needs of those experiencing homelessness, including the victims of violence. Before joining Almost Home, Ashley served as Vice President of Housing Stabilization Programs at Way Finders, Inc. in Springfield, Massachusetts. She also worked as a clinician with group addictions and recovery therapy for Rushford Behavioral Health in Middletown, Connecticut. In addition, she managed intensive in-home counseling and crisis intervention services for Youth Villages, Inc. in Massachusetts and Tennessee. While working in these positions, she gained valuable experience addressing and resolving complex problems with limited resources. She has a strong track record of implementing creative and effective programs that meet the needs of a diverse and ever growing client base. Ashley is sensitive to the needs of a diverse clientele from many backgrounds and cultures. While working in the housing and mental health sector, she saw first-hand the relationship between housing instability, domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

Abby Ribeiro
Director of Client Support Services

Cheryl Kunst
Director of People & Culture

Cheryl Kunst joined The Center as Office Manager in 2008. Today, she is the Director of People & Culture, working closely with the other management team members, administrative staff and volunteers. Her efforts continue to provide the ultimate employee experience through onboarding, ongoing planning of All Staff training that focuses on professional development, managing employee benefits, and managing employee recruitment. Cheryl previously managed the office of the Public Works & Engineering Departments for the City of Danbury. Prior to that position, she managed the part-time administrative office of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Danbury for many years. Cheryl holds a B.A. in English from San Diego State University.

William Montero
Chief Finance & Administrative Officer

William Montero joined The Center in January 2017. As CFAO, he is responsible for all administrative and financial matters of the Organization. Bill came to us with 25 years of financial experience, most recently as Chief Financial Officer of Dental Associates of CT. He brings a dynamic skill set which includes strategic planning, treasury management, financial reporting, analysis, and budgeting. He has the ability to work across all functional groups to solve operational and financial issues and facilitate balanced decisions. Bill holds a B.A. in Accounting from Western Connecticut State University.

Samantha Conetta Flynn
Chief Development Officer

Samantha Conetta Flynn joined The Center in August 2012. As CDO she plans, coordinates and directs all development activities and major fundraising events, as well as assists with communications and outreach projects. She holds a B.A. from Western Connecticut State University, a certificate in Fundraising from New York University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration through Marist College.

Matt Austin

Director of Community Impact

Matt is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University with a B.A. in English with a minor in Theater Arts. He is certified in Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Counseling. Matt has been heavily involved in the Fairfield County arts community over the last 15 years, working with many local theaters in a variety of capacities; including organizing various education programs.  At The Center he served as a Prevention Educator, Education Coordinator and ultimately Director of Education, Training & Outreach. Before joining The Center full time, he was a volunteer with our Act Out theater program.

As the Director of Community Impact, Matt provides strategic direction for all community initiatives, and represents The Center on various community collaborations.

Contact Information: 203.731.5200 x226/matthew.a@thecenterct.org

Cara Mackler

Director of Campus Advocacy, Prevention education, and Training (CAPT) Programs

Cara joined The Center in 2016 as a Prevention Educator. She now serves as the Director of CAPT Programs for The Center.

Previously, Cara worked as a Peer Advocate at the Violence Prevention & Advocacy Services at the University of Rhode Island, and Prevention and Communications Intern at the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence before moving to Florida where she worked as the Coordinator of Volunteer Programs for Community Youth Development. Cara also worked at Selah Freedom with survivors of sex trafficking in a residential facility and as a facilitator for the My Life My Choice prevention education program for at risk youth.

As Director of CAPT Programs, Cara oversees all campus, prevention education and training program services at our main office, the satellite office at Western Connecticut State University and the Danbury campus of Naugatuck Valley Community College. Cara is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island where she earned her B.A. in both Sociology and Gender Studies. She is certified as a domestic violence and sexual assault counselor.

Contact Information: 203.837.3939/cara.m@thecenterct.org