The Crisis Center Staff
“What one has, one ought to use: and whatever he does, he should do with all his might.”
– Marcus Tullius Cicero
(319)351-2726 ext. 109
As Executive Director, Becci is responsible for the overall management of The Crisis Center of Johnson County, operating under the strategic direction established by the Board of Directors. She has over 40 years of experience in nonprofit management and is a strong advocate for the development of partnerships and collaborations among nonprofit organizations
Becci is originally from LaPorte City, Iowa and holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Northern Iowa.
Fun fact: Becci’s first day at The Crisis Center was June 23, 2008, which coincided with the peak of the Iowa City area floods that summer.
Communications and Development Director
(319)351-2726 ext. 108
Sara oversees all communications and development activities at The Crisis Center. Sara began her career as the editor of a small, weekly newspaper before moving into political communications. This eventually led her to switch to political fundraising. She left politics in 2013 for nonprofit development and is passionate about creating strong relationships with supporters. Sara is a native of Johnson County and has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa.
Fun Fact: Sara brought her daughter, Ruby, to her first ComiCon when she was just 15-months-old and has recently converted her husband, Rob, into a fan of Star Trek.
Stewardship & Events Coordinator
(319)351-2726 ext. 105
Julia serves as The Crisis Center’s Stewardship and Events Coordinator, managing donor interactions and special events. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation: Inclusive Recreation from The University of Iowa in 2016. In addition to her B.A, Julia pursued certificates in Fundraising and Philanthropy Communication, and Event Planning.
Fun fact: Julia loves to travel and is nearly halfway to her goal of traveling to all 50 states by the age of 30!
Grants and Research Manager
(319)351-2726 ext. 114
As Grants and Research Manager at The Crisis Center, Jess directs research and data analysis to support decision making and operation improvement. She also researches, writes, and monitors grants and contracts to ensure effective and compliant use of funds by The Crisis Center of Johnson County.
Fun fact: Jess loves The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Community Outreach Coordinator
Liz Orton is the Community Outreach Coordinator at The Crisis Center, focusing on partnering with universities and other organizations to grow our service area and volunteer recruitment. She has a BA in Psychology from Roosevelt University and professional experience as a corporate recruiter.
Fun Fact: Liz used to work at American Girl Place Chicago. Recently she led a week-long American Girl summer camp to teach third-grade girls about American history.
(319)351-2726 ext. 131
Russ Duccini is responsible for building and equipment maintenance for The Crisis Center. He coordinates contracted work, supply ordering, and assists with various community and student volunteer groups.
Fun fact: Russ has a culinary background and has competed in numerous cook-off competitions. He has won a few local C.A.S.I. (Chili Appreciation Society International) events as well!
(319)351-2726 ext. 107
Angie is responsible for everything related to the operations of the Crisis Center. Bookkeeping and financial reports, purchasing, building maintenance, staff benefits and payroll (our favorite!) are just a few of her many areas of expertise.
Angie joined the Crisis Center in September 2010. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from St. Ambrose University and is a native of Durant, Iowa.
Fun fact: Angie and her daughter, Abby, share the same birthday.
Sarah Benson Witry
Food Bank & Emergency Assistance Director
(319)351-2726 ext. 118
Sarah supervises staff, volunteers, operations and purchasing for the Food Bank & Emergency Assistance programs. She had been a Crisis Center volunteer for almost six years prior to starting her position in October 2008.
Sarah completed her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Iowa in May 2009 and is a native of Ames, Iowa.
Fun fact: Despite growing up in Cyclone country, Sarah is a faithful Hawkeye fan.
Food Bank Coordinator
(319)351-2726 ext. 120
Sydney is responsible for planning and directing the operations of the Food Bank program and managing its volunteers in a fun, fast-paced work environment. She supervises the Food Bank Floor Manager and works collaboratively with the Emergency Assistance Coordinator to ensure quality service delivery to clients, volunteers and donors.
Sydney completed her Health and Human Physiology, BA and Interdepartmental Studies, BA at the University of Iowa in May 2017.
Fun fact: Sydney loves adventuring, with some of her favorite travels being backpacking the Grand Canyon and canyoning in the Swiss Alps.
Emergency Assistance Coordinator
(319)351-2726 ext. 117
Danielle oversees the Emergency Assistance Program, supporting and supervising her wonderful weekly volunteers, and managing Emergency Assistance funds.
Danielle joined The Crisis Center in 2017. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Iowa State University. She has previous experience providing Emergency Assistance at a shelter in Ames.
Fun fact: Danielle’s favorite food is pho and she spent 2016 teaching in China.
Jennifer De La Cruz
Mobile Pantry Coordinator
(319)351-2726 ext. 129
Jennifer oversees The Crisis Center’s Mobile Pantry Program. The mobile pantry currently provides monthly food assistance at eight different sites within Johnson County.
Fun fact: Jennifer is a proud co-owner of four fish.
Food Bank Floor Manager
Allison is responsible for supporting the daily operations of the Food Bank program and its volunteers. Her job primarily entails assisting Sydney in supervising, training, and on-boarding Food Bank volunteers. Allison is from Chicago, where she gained experience in hospitality and student affairs. She is currently studying Art History at the University of Iowa.
Fun fact: Allison loves to play board games with her husband and their two cats.
Director of Crisis Intervention Services
(319)351-2726 ext. 102
Beau has been with The Crisis Center since 2002, first serving as a volunteer in the Crisis Intervention program before taking on duties as its coordinator. Now as Crisis Intervention Director, Beau oversees the growth and sustainability of The Crisis Center’s mission locally, regionally, and nationally.
Beau is an Iowa City original and holds three degrees from the University of Iowa in Business Marketing, Business Management, and German.
Fun fact: Beau is fluent in German, and can cuss in over six languages.
Volunteer Training Coordinator
(319)351-2726 ext. 136
Sara started with The Crisis Center as a volunteer in 2007. She coordinated the Crisis Intervention Program as it became one of the first crisis centers to offer crisis chat services nationally. Sara is a Master Trainer for Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, having conducted more than 30 trainings. Sara has an MSW from the University of Iowa.
Fun fact: Sara once found an abandoned baby possum, raised it, and re-released it back into the wild.
Crisis Intervention Program Coordinator
(319)351-2726 ext. 133
Mobile Crisis Outreach Coordinator
(319)351-2726 ext. 132
Rochelle is the full-time Mobile Crisis Outreach Coordinator at the Crisis Center of Johnson County. She holds master’s degrees in Social Work and Health & Disability Rights. She wrote her thesis on access to and quality of youth disability services in Johnson County. She is passionate about advocating for the rights of persons experiencing mental illness.
Mobile Crisis Outreach/Follow-Up Counselor
(319)351-2726 ext. 134
Mobile Crisis Outreach/Follow-Up Counselor
(319)351-2726 ext. 139
The role of our Board of Directors is to provide guidance and strategic oversight to management. Directors may serve two consecutive three-year terms and appointments follow our fiscal year, July to June.
Jeremy James, Chair
James Investment Group, Inc., North Liberty, Iowa
Amy Hospodarsky, Vice Chair
MidWestOne Bank, Iowa City, Iowa
Brent Bonner, Treasurer
Hills Bank, North Liberty, Iowa
University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, Iowa City, Iowa
University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City, Iowa
NXT Bank, Iowa City, Iowa
Community volunteer, North Liberty, Iowa
District Representative, Congressman Dave Loebsack; Iowa City, Iowa
MidWestOne Bank, Iowa City, Iowa
Attorney – Mears Law Office, Iowa City, Iowa
Retired, Iowa City, Iowa
Meld Marketing, Iowa City, Iowa
Karen M. Shemanski
Director, UI Administrative Services, HR, University of Iowa, Solon, Iowa
Community volunteer, Iowa City, Iowa
Coordinator, Staff Development & Diversity Programming, University of Iowa Libraries, North Liberty, Iowa
Jan Leff, Development
Deb Droll, Finance
Stephen Hennesy, Program Oversight
Harry Olthoff, Program Oversight
Al Leff, Finance