Staff and Board
El Futuro has recruited an expert team of dedicated clinicians. El Futuro’s bilingual staff provides culturally appropriate care in a professional environment, where clients are treated with dignity and respect.
Clinic Manager, 919-688-7101 ext 649
TeleHealth Clinical Coordinator, (919) 688-7101 ext 679
Robert was born and raised in Queens, NY. He served in the U.S. Army from 2006 to 2012. During his enlistment, he deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 and 2009. He earned a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice from Penn State in 2014.
Robert has experience working with nonprofits and he hopes to use his extensive experience in technology and logistics to help grow the TeleHealth program.
In his free time, Robert enjoys rock climbing, kayaking, reading, watching movies, and spending time with his wife.
Kerry Brock, MPA
Director of Advancement and Strategy, (919) 688-7101 ext 632
Francisco Contreras, LCSWA, CADC
Therapist, (919) 688-7101 ext 680
In his free time, Francisco enjoys woodworking projects, playing pool, cooking ethnic food, and dancing salsa.
Authorization Specialist, (919) 688-7101 ext 608
Clinical Assistant, (919) 688-7101 ext 700
She first heard about El Futuro from a family friend and is excited to be able to work somewhere that shares her mission and professional goals where she can keep learning!
In her free time, Yessica likes to watch movies, spend time with friends and her husband, and hangout at the lake paddleboarding and swimming!
Marita Malm Morgan, PhD, LCMHCA
Therapist, (919) 688-7101 ext 610
Juan Prandoni, PhD, LPA, HSP-PA
Training Director, (919) 688-7101 ext 658
When Juan was 18, he did an internship in the child and adolescent inpatient unit at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, which pushed him toward wanting to work with more severe mental pathologies. This experience also made him want to shoot for a PhD. Before coming to El Futuro, Juan completed his predoctoral internship at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth NJ. In his free time, Juan enjoys playing and watching soccer — he’s a huge Liverpool fan — backpacking, and hanging out with his cats, Francis and Clara.
La Mesita Project Manager, 919-688-7101 ext 673
Ismael Santillano, MA Ed.S, LCMHCA
Case Manager Lead, (919) 688-7101 ext 650
Katy Sims, MD
Katy’s dedication to psychiatry comes out of her realization that whole-body health often has to start with sound behavioral health — you can’t work on someone’s diabetes if they’re too depressed to make lifestyle changes. She especially likes working with Spanish-speaking populations because of how much being able to deliver treatments in their native language means to these clients.
In her free time, she fosters border collies with her husband, knits, sews, weaves, and crochets, and spends a lot of time outdoors — also with the dogs!
Leigh Sweet, PHR
Human Resources Manager, (919) 688-7101 ext 678
Leigh has three children and sometimes their hobbies — gymnastics, volleyball, ballet, and horseback riding become her hobbies. For her, her main hobby is staying connected to her friends.
Jandira Zaki, MSW, LCSW
Therapist, (919) 688-7101 ext 664
Outpatient Therapist Ext: 693
Mary grew up in Durham back when downtown still smelled like sweet tobacco. She was raised in a social activist home which is where she originally got involved with the immigrant communities arriving to North Carolina. She has a degree in English Literature and Spanish Area Studies from Kenyon College and a Master’s degree in International Relations and Peace Studies as a Rotary World Peace Fellow. She has 15 years of experience supporting the missions of NGOs such as TeenSmart International, Catholic Charities, UNESCO, and the Latin American Youth Center. She is passionate about ensuring health and well-being for all communities and has supported families as a doula and childbirth educator. Mary and her husband have lived and traveled in many different countries, but now split time between Durham and Costa Rica with their three children.
Randy was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Investigations and a Masters of Science in Counseling. He holds a license in Family and Marriage Therapist in Puerto Rico and recently received his Clinical Mental Health Counselor license in NC. Randy most recently worked at a center that specializes in domestic violence services. Prior to that, he worked as a crisis counselor in Puerto Rico and was deployed by FEMA during the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Randy was looking for a center that was more engaged with the Latinx community and with a broader clinical scope. That desire led him to El Futuro.
Sabrina Aguilar-Simon, MS
Clinical Project Manager & Case Manager
Christa Atkinson, MSW, LCSW, E-RYT
Therapist, (919) 688-7101 ext 628
Executive assistant, (919) 688-7101
Access Coordinator, (919) 688-7101 ext 605
Dennis Duke, LCSWA
TeleBehavioral Health Therapist Ext 689
Dennis grew up in El Salvador and moved to the US when he was 15 years old. He went to school at NC State University, where he earned a Bachelors and a Masters degree in social work. Dennis served 4 years in the Marine Corps and 3 years in the California National Guard, where he served a tour in Iraq. He has been working as a School Social Worker in Lee County for the past seven years and works part-time as an ESL instructor at a local community college. Dennis comes to El Futuro with an interest to serve the Latinx community and to provide cultural-appropriate services. In his free time, he likes to watch sports on TV, spend time with his family and pets, and woodworking.
Molly Hayes, MEd, LCMHCS
Director of Clinical Enhancement Services, (919) 688-7101 ext 614
Molly lived in the Dominican Republic for several years as a child, but is native to Asheville, North Carolina. She has degrees from rival North Carolina universities: UNC-Chapel Hill (BA in International Studies) and North Carolina State University (Master’s in Counselor Education with specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling). Molly has been connected with El Futuro since it’s inception when she worked as a volunteer along with other caring and dedicated people to help bring the dream of El Futuro alive. In 2011 she joined El Futuro as a full-time clinical counselor. In counseling with her clients she uses her training in attachment based therapies, person-centered therapies, trauma processing therapies and mindfulness based practices to help facilitate healing and growth. Molly also has advanced training in clinical supervision and is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (LPCS). She provides clinical supervision and guidance and is also part of the programming and administrative team at El Futuro. She loves the diverse and creative ways she is able to bring to the mission of El Futuro to life through the various roles she fills. When not at El Futuro, Molly enjoys exploring food, culture and the outdoors with her husband, taking movement classes at the YMCA, cooking and eating healthy food and getting lost in a great book.
Clinical Project Manager, 919-688-7101 ext 661
Advancement Associate, 919-688-7101
Madi was born in New Jersey, but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Exercise Science. She took Spanish classes in high school, but really learned a majority of her Spanish from an internship in Ecuador where she worked for a year with an NGO. She considers herself to be at a beginner level but enjoys hearing the language and learning new words. She is excited to join us at El Futuro and feels El Futuro is a perfect blend of her past experiences in nonprofit and administrative work with the added bonus of allowing her to become more involved with her local community.
She enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and camping. She also loves to be creative with baking, crochet, knitting, and sewing.
Sarelli Rossi, MHA
Director of Operations, (919) 688-7101 ext 603
Outpatient Therapist, (919) 688-7101 ext 669
Originally from Miami, Rachel received her undergraduate degree from UNC Asheville in Nonprofit Development, a degree she created in their interdisciplinary studies department. She recently completed her Masters in Social Work from Appalachian State University. Growing up in a Cuban-Israeli family, Rachel learned some Spanish at home, but really became fluent when she moved to Galicia, Spain after college to teach English and work at a Panaderia. After coming back home from Spain, Rachel worked at a group home for children in foster care, which inspired her to pursue a career in social work. She is especially interested in international relations and creating global community, previously working at USCRI in Raleigh towards these ends.
Rachel enjoys spending quality time with her cat, Jude, watching movies, hanging out on a river, listening to podcasts, and singing!
David Lucas “Luke” Smith, MD
Psychiatrist and Executive Director, (919) 688-7101 ext 604
Lynn Tovar, PhD, LCMHC, NCC
Therapist, (919) 688-7101 ext 626
Clinical Services Manager ext: 691
AmeriCorps Community Engagement and Garden Coordinator
Hayley loves to read, cook with her husband, spend time outdoors, and crochet every now and again. Her biggest hobby is playing with her 9 month-old Great Pyrenees, Lola. She enjoys reading short stories in Spanish, as I believe they help her improve her grammar. She really likes Sebastian Yatra, the Colombian singer. Her husband and she danced their first dance to one of his songs.
Triana Barrios Gutierrez
Clinical Project Manager, (919) 688-7101
Triana was born and raised in Cartagena, Colombia where she completed her undergraduate education, obtaining a Computer Systems Engineering degree from La Fundación Universitaria Politécnico GranColombiano. Her first formal work experience was as a project manager at ECOPETROL, the national Columbian oil company. In 2009 Triana relocated to the Raleigh area and has resided here ever since. In 2010 Triana began working at the Latino Community Credit Union, where she witnessed the many struggles that the Latino population, and specially the undocumented portion of this population, face.
In her free time, Triana enjoys going to the movies, running, riding bikes and spending time with her husband and two kids, here and in her native Columbia.
TeleHealth Administrative Assistant 919-788-6101 ext 688
Courtney Crawford, MSW, LCSW
Director of Outpatient Clinical Services and Therapist, (919) 688-7101 ext 623
Technical Assistance and Consultation Program Lead
Communications Manager, (919) 688-7101 ext 684
Clinic Manager, 919-688-7101 ext 705
Cecilia Ordóñez, MD
Psychiatrist, 919-688-7101 ext 648
Dayhana Ray, LCMHCA
Therapist, (919) 688-7101 ext 667
She has always been interested in helping people, and was drawn to the mental health field after working at a Domestic Violence Agency for four years. She said getting her masters to be able to work as a clinician is one of the best decisions she’s ever made. At her previous position she worked mainly with Latinx survivors and is excited to be able to continue to serve the Latinx community at El Futuro.
In her free time, Dayhana enjoys relaxing with some sewing or crocheting projects!
Grants Development Manager
JJ Richardson grew up in Massachusetts but has spent most of her adult life in North Carolina. She graduated from Clark University with a B.A. in International Development and Social Change. Following her interests and passions over the last 20+ years, JJ has worked as a journalist, teacher, farmhand, educational program director, communications manager, and most recently, a grant writer and reviewer. She has traveled extensively and for four years lived in Puerto Angel, Oaxaca, Mexico, which is where she met and married her husband. Part of a bilingual and bicultural family, she is passionate about supporting immigrant families as they navigate life in the United States. She is the Secretary of the Board of Directors of ISLA (Immersion for Spanish Language Acquisition).
JJ loves to garden and in her spare time can be found with her husband and two sons swimming in the Eno, hiking in the woods, or relaxing at the beach. She is thrilled to have landed at El Futuro and feels grateful for the opportunity to work with such a dynamic organization and community!
Clinical Assistant, 919-688-7101
Dalila started working at El Futuro two years ago and has been an integral part of our front desk team ever since. She grew up in Puerto Rico and Colorado Springs, and remembers wanting to be a teacher when she was younger. When she got a little older, Dalila’s dream was to be a social worker, and she worked in social services in Colorado Springs and Durham. When Dalila first heard about El Futuro she realized its mission was close to her heart. She was interested in learning more about the world of nonprofits and loved that El Futuro helps the Spanish-speaking community in Durham. She said this is a place she hopes to grow old in. In her freetime, Dalila adopts whatever her kids’ hobbies are in the moment, but also likes to take “me time” to dance and swim.
Cristal grew up in Durham and Hillsborough and recently completed the Community Interpreter program at Durham Tech, where she is also finishing her Associate’s Degree in Applied Sciences. Cristal previously worked at The Center for Global Learners at Durham Tech, helping students select classes and providing information about the ESL classes and programs. Cristal came to work at El Futuro because the services resonate with her beliefs and morals, mental health is very important to her and she wants to be part of a team that is helping the community and clients. She really likes El Futuro’s work environment and how everyone here has the Latino community’s best interest at heart. Cristal enjoys drawing, painting, cooking, and hiking. She likes to hang out with her family and friends, sing karaoke and dance. She also loves reading, movies, and shows.
Pablo Silva, MA, CSAC
Substance Use Therapist, (919) 688-7101 ext 675
In his free time, Pablo enjoys watching Houston Astros baseball and Dallas Mavericks basketball because they have Puerto Rican players on their team!
Magdalena Straub, MS, LMFT
Therapist, (919) 688-7101 ext 639
Case Manager, (919) 688-7101 ext 619
Project and Clinical Assistant
Jaeleen was born in Santa Ana, California but grew in a small town outside of Winston Salem and went to college at North Carolina State University where she majored in Communication Media and International Studies with a concentration in Global Sustainability and Development. After graduating from NC State, she served an 11 month service term with El Futuro as their Bilingual Community Engagement and Garden Coordinator and really enjoyed getting to learn more about the mental health field and nature can play an important factor to positive mental health. She enjoyed her time with El Futuro and wants to keep making connections in the community. In her free time Jaeleen enjoys trying new restaurants, going to art museums and visiting her family.
Nilda “Nena” Peragallo Montano, DrPH, RN, FAAN – Chair
Dean, UNC School of Nursing
Cecilia Barja Chamas, MPP – Vice Chair/Secretary
Richard Bruch, MD – Member Treasurer
Consultant, EmergeOrtho, P.A.
Kevin FitzGerald, MPA – Member
Manuel Nieto, MBA – Member
Wayne Holden, PhD – Member
Karlina Matthews, MBA – Member
Hope Williams, JD – Member
Staff Attorney, Legal Aid of North Carolina
Jenni Owen, MPA – Member
Director of Strategic Partnerships, Office of NC Governor Roy Cooper
Rosa Gonzalez-Guarda, PhD, MPH, RN – Member
Associate Professor, Duke University
Lister Delgado, MBA, MS – Member
Merywen “Wenny” Wigley, MSc – Member
Associate Compliance Director at IQVIA
Luis Alvarez – Member
Owner of Bull City Brick and Luna Night Club, Vice President of Mante Masonry