The New Life Center leadership team is comprised of some of the most qualified and compassionate people in the domestic violence space. Meet the team behind the scenes of Arizona’s largest domestic violence shelter.
Myriah Mhoon is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Arizona’s largest domestic violence shelter, New Life Center. For the past 12 years, Mhoon has dedicated her professional life to working with the most vulnerable populations. During her career, Mhoon has been a direct service provider as a social worker, and became a statewide leader working at the Arizona Governor’s Office. Mhoon had the privilege of overseeing the Arizona Governor’s Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women and has worked with the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence on statewide initiatives. During her three-year tenure in the Governor’s Office, Mhoon led the domestic violence awareness campaign, Lighting Arizona Purple. In 2016, Mhoon sat on Arizona’s Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Task Force, guiding the Governor’s Office with recommendations to combat the backlog of rape kits in the state.
David Villaseñor is a non-profit finance professional with more than 30 years’ experience in management accounting, financial reporting, and business management with proven skills in financial analysis, team leadership and project management. As the Chief Financial Officer for New Life Center, David advances the mission of the organization through strong internal controls, sound financial policies that promote sustainability, minimize risk, and maintain regulatory compliance. David understands that fiscal budgeting, accurate financial reporting, and efficient accounting procedures inform leaders and program staff to make good decisions. David is proud of his ability to work cooperatively and collegiately with program and management staff to achieve the goals of objectives of the organization while maintaining strong internal controls and compliance. Since 2004, he has chosen to work for non-profit organizations whose missions transform lives and change society.
Chief Strategy and Administration Officer
Jessye Johnson brings to New Life Center two decades of experience in the violence against women movement with a decade of that in executive leadership. Her expertise spans the local, state, and national levels; program development and implementation; grant-writing and administration; legislative and systems-based policy advocacy; strategy development and execution; and best-practice nonprofit management. Some of Jessye’s most notable professional accomplishments include being an apointee to the Arizona Governor’s Office Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Task Force, leading the first statewide workgroup that authored the first draft of the Arizona Domestic Violence Service Standards, providing subject matter expertise for the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission’s efforts to revise the order of protection system and process in Arizona including changes to legislation and development of the AZPOINT system, and numerous national workgroups on domestic violence and its intersections with various systems.
Residential Services Director
After finishing her bachelors degrees in Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of Arizona, Olawumi dove deeper into the field of public health. Olawumi holds a masters degree in Public Health from A.T. Still University. As a steward of public health, Olawumi works to create opportunities for marginalized communities to improve their health and wellbeing. She works with communities to identify their needs, develop strategies to close health disparities thus creating positive change that is grounded in diversity, equality, and inclusion. Olawumi has worked in various populations and settings including hospitals, victim’s assistance, adult and children’s behavioral health, refugee/immigrant communities, life coaching, and curriculum development.
Training and Capacity Building Manager
Angela Rose is the Training and Capacity Building Manager for New Life Center. Prior to this position, Angela served for 13 years as the Victim Services Manager for a municipal Prosecutor’s Office, overseeing advocacy services to approximately 4,000 victims of crime annually. Angela has also worked in community based agencies in various roles including a domestic violence advocate, transitional housing case manager supervisor, and mobile crisis response. Angela trains on various topics related to advocacy and victimization for the Arizona Coalition of Victim Services, APAAC, and other advocacy organizations and previously served on the Executive Board for the Arizona Coalition of Victim Services.
Amy Scanlon is currently the Outreach Director at New Life Center. Amy earned a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from City University in Bellevue, Washington. She has been working in the field of child abuse and family violence since 1998. Her career started as an Investigator for Child Protective Services. Amy held a specialized caseload of child fatalities, sexual abuse, and felony physical abuse of children. In 2007 she became the Program Coordinator at a hospital-based Child’s Advocacy Center. Amy was instrumental in implementing a hospital-wide abusive head trauma prevention program and educated the community and professional partners on topics related to child abuse. She has served on multiple taskforces to include child fatality reviews, abusive head trauma, commercial exploitation of children, child abduction response teams, and drug endangered children. She holds a position as an Executive Board Member with the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Washington.
Board of Directors
BOD President, Forensic Nursing Manager, Honor Health
Community: our local area has so many amazing resources and together we can provide options and a path for success when someone is ready to make change in their life. I am most passionate about building a community and professionals prepared to help and someone is ready.
Bryn K. DeFusco
Managing Attorney, DeFusco Law, P.L.C.
Equity – NLC’s dedication to marginalized communities. This is important to me because I believe in equality and feel we have a lot of work do when it comes to serving those who’ve not had the same privileges as others.
Executive Vice President with BMC Capital, a leader in commercial real estate finance.
Community – Being a helpful member of your community and providing time and resources to those in need is the foundation for real, actionable change.
President, Mil Geospatial, LLC
Compassion – Our shared humanity, empathy and ability to feel another’s pain as our own is what allows us to stake the first step in healing. The love for others I see at New Life Center is inspiring and a voice used for kindness often rings loudest.
Director of Distribution Operations, SRP
Resilience – New Life Center recognizes that traumatic events can lead some people to isolate themselves. They understand by connecting with compassion and trustworthy relationships, can help give the individual a sense of reclaim hope and resilience.
Purchasing Manager, Valley Forge & Bolt Mfg Co.
Resilience – I have personally watched NLC adapt and effectively respond to a vastly changed community around them. What started as a grassroots effort 35 years ago has now grown into an advocacy that serves thousands of families locally and nationally each year. NLC meets every challenge with trauma-informed care programs, outreach services to help victims get out of harrowing situations and training for local agencies who are on the front lines of the fight every day.
Victim Services Administrator, Mesa PD | Mesa Family Advocacy Center
Compassion – I believe that lasting change starts with connecting through compassion. Understanding that our experiences are individual, valuable and everyone deserves kindness and grace.
Matthew C. Whitaker, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO, Diamond Strategies, LLC.
Equity – Recognizing that violence disproportionately impacts marginalized populations and solutions are effective when they are accessible to all, is critical to serving our entire community. We have to practice cultural humility, become aware of unique socio-cultural dynamics like this, avoid one size fits all solutions, and respond in ways that give people what they need, rather than what we want them to have.
Amanda Williams, LCSW
Behavior Health Manager, Mountain Park Health Center
Community – I believe that to support a survivor of abuse, we must work together as one. From the city and state leaders, first responders to local organization and volunteers. Together we can create a community, and environment, that is safe and support for everyone.
VP of Human Resources, American Title Service Agency
Community – New Life Center and its leadership has become a recognized authority in educating the community on how to provide trauma-informed responses and resources to those who have been subjected to domestic violence.