No more! Because we SASO.
YOU HAVE THE POWER TO HEAL AND TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE........
YOU HAVE THE POWER TO HEAL AND TRANSFORM YOU WORLD.......
Board of Directors
Michael has his PhD from Western Michigan University in Medieval History. He is an Assistant Professor of History (Medieval and Ancient) at Fort Lewis College where he teaches courses on medieval Europe, medieval women’s lives, ancient Rome and Greece, and the History of Gay Culture through the Media 1955-2005. He also has a joint appointment in Gender and Women’s Studies, where he has taught courses on Queer Theory, Transgenderism, and Female Masculinity. He is currently the coordinator of the John F. Reed Honors Program in which he has taught a course on Kenji Yoshino’s book Covering: The Hidden Assault on our Civil Rights, the History of Gay American through AIDS, as well as classes on Tolkien and the Da Vinci Code.
Michael began his association with SASO through trainings for SASO volunteers on domestic violence and sexual assault within the GLBTQ community. He has also co-presented in 2005 a workshop on Women’s Sexuality with Dr. Malach (English) and Dr. Brandt (Sociology) at Durango’s Women’s Fest. He helped advise PRISM, the GLBTQ student group at Fort Lewis, from 2005-2007. Some of his own academic research has looked at issues of social justice (and injustice) within medieval society, especially focusing on the lower-classes of society. He examines how they lived and survived in a time period that is often viewed as quite turbulent, and compares/contrasts that period with today’s when we still seem to maintain some of the same, or very similar, problematic issues of tolerance and persecution.
Born in Tennessee, Tom moved to Durango in 1986. At Fort Lewis College, he received a BA after studying Psychology and Education. Tom started his career in the judicial field in 1999 where he has had many different roles working with both juveniles and adults through supervision and investigations, and is currently a supervisor at the 6th Judicial Probation Department. He has been deeply involved with La Plata County Search and Rescue since 1995 and is an avid partaker in all that the southwest has to offer such as climbing, skiing, biking, running and boating. On his time off you would most likely see him out on family excursions in the backcountry with his lovely wife Robin and two wonderful children.
Chris Bettin-Financial Officer
Chris first moved to Durango in 1988 to attend Fort Lewis College, where he ultimately collected degrees in Business Administration, English Literature and Philosophy. He has been on the SASO board and its fundraising committee since October of 2009. Chris is an owner of The Wells Group Mountain Resort Real Estate Brokerage. Additionally, Chris teaches the real estate education course for La Plata County’s Regional Housing Alliance, and serves as the chair of the Legislative Committee for the Durango Area Association of Realtors. Chris is an amateur enthusiast of skiing, snowboarding, cycling, running, kayaking, fishing and guitar, but his favorite passion in life is spending time with his five-year-old son Dylan.
Lillian Ramey- Secretary
Lillian is an LCSW who obtained her MSW from the University of Texas in Austin in 1998. She moved to Durango 10 years ago and began working as a therapist in Community Mental Health. There she served in a variety of roles working with youth and adults and then moved into a position as Clinical Director. Through her time in community mental health Lillian has developed her specialty in treating individuals with complex issues including trauma, personality disorders, and grief/loss. Lillian is completing her certification in EMDR and also does consultation and training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Lillian now owns her own practice, Riversage Family Counseling, which provides therapy and consultation services to adolescents, adults, and the community. Lillian became involved in SASO as a result of her passion for working with survivors of trauma and her past experiences as a Rape Crisis Hotline volunteer. Outside of work Lillian enjoys mountain biking, rock climbing, and spending time with her two children and her husband.
Amy Sismondo- Member
After graduating high school, Amy received an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts from a small school in Pittsburgh, PA. She moved to Montana where she enjoyed living outside of Yellowstone National Park for five years before moving back to PA. She later decided to pursue a different career and obtained a BS in Accounting in 2009 from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. She interned with and was later hired on full time as an auditor for a regional accounting firm in Pittsburgh. Amy moved to Durango in the summer of 2010 after falling in love with Durango as well as one of its residents. She is currently working as the Finance Coordinator for the City of Durango. When not working, Amy enjoys staying active by hiking, camping, running, snowshoeing as well as exploring Durango and its surrounding areas.
Rita Warfield has lived in the Durango area for over 30 years. Rita currently is a Patrol Sergeant with the Durango Police Department and before that was the Chief Investigator/Sergeant over Investigations. Rita specialized in investigating sexual assault and domestic violence crimes. She is a Hostage Negotiator for the department, a Crisis Intervention Team member, and a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. She is also a Terrorist Liaison Officer trained through Homeland Security/Colorado Information Analysis Center and a member of the International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association. She was named Employee of the Year in 2005 for her work on several high profile criminal cases.
When not fighting crime, Rita enjoys gardening, traveling, camping, cooking, enjoying the Colorado outdoors, spending time with her family, and actively offering support and services to victims of violent crimes.
After attending high school in Jakarta, Indonesia, Angie moved to Durango and received her B.A. Business Administration and Marketing at Fort Lewis College. Most recently, Angie worked as the VP, Director of Marketing at Bank of the San Juans and is now pursuing her dream of owning her own marketing agency, MIX Marketing Strategies. Free time is spent volunteering with the Rotary and Rotaract Clubs, hiking, reading and traveling.
Kathy and her husband moved to Durango May, 1998. Kathy retired from Physician Assistant practice September, 2010 after 33+ years working in women’s health. Her last 4-5 years, she was the clinical coordinator of the SANE program and sexual assault examiner at Sexual Assault Services of NWNM in Farmington, NM. She performed sexual assault and child sexual abuse exams on 300 patients, including 170 exams on children less than 18 years old. She joins our board at SASO as an interested community member with medical expertise in these areas. She served as a member of the Child Multidisciplinary Team in Farmington and has worked closely with patients and their families, advocates, child support services, therapists, law enforcement personnel, social services, and prosecutors and the courts.
Dian had been in Durango since 2002, where she was hired and currently working at Fort Lewis College, as the Coordinator of Disability Services. Prior to coming to Durango, she worked at Idaho State University for 10 years as the Director of Disability Resource Center, Lead Sign Language Interpreter, Coordinator of Interpreters, sign language instructor, and helped create the Jan Anderson Gender Resource Center where she was also on the Board of Directors. Dian received her BA in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and M.S. in Deaf Education from Idaho State University. She has been a professional, nationally certified sign language interpreter for 30 years. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, she fell in love with the mountains and blue, blue skies of Colorado when she was 26 years old and moved out west. Dian has a passion to change society’s perception of people, who live with disabilities, from the Medical Model to the Social Model – shifting paradigms.
Ashley graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in political science before attending Texas Tech University School of Law where she earned a doctorate of jurisprudence. Ashley practiced complex commercial litigation for Yates Law Firm, LLC, in Denver, Colorado, for more than three years before moving to Durango. Ashley now owns her own law firm in Durango where she specializes in estate planning for families and individuals. Prior to joining the SASO Board, Ashley served as the vice chair for The Chanda Plan Foundation, a non-profit for which Ashley helped secure 501(c)3 charitable status.
Lisa Self- Member
After graduating from University of California at Berkeley with a degree in Mass Communication and Languages, Lisa went on to get another degree in Graphic Design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Before moving to Colorado with her husband in 1993, she freelanced multiple graphic design jobs and working for Nordstrom in their Visual Display department creating window displays, as well as, implementing store wide display themes.
After many years of healing from sexual abuse trauma that started at a very young age, her therapist recommended Lisa for a position at S.A.S.O. She completed the S.A.S.O. trainings to work both the Hotline as well as C.A.P.P. in 2005, and has been volunteering for both for 7 years, before becoming a Board Member in 2012.
She enjoys hiking, dancing (tap dancing since age of 4), snowboarding, knitting, painting, and printmaking.