STAFF

As Executive Director of Women’s Support Services, I feel fortunate to be part of an agency that believes in helping to transform communities for the better. We do this by giving support and services to those experiencing domestic violence and abuse. Those in need are our neighbors, our friends, our families. When one life transforms for the better, so does the entire community.
— Dr. D. Elizabeth Mauro, Executive Director
Dr. D. Elizabeth Mauro

Dr. D. Elizabeth Mauro

Dr. D. Elizabeth Mauro, Executive Director

Dr. D. Elizabeth “Betsey” Mauro, Executive Director.  Betsey joined the WSS staff in January 2016, after a career in ministry and higher education, which also included work with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  Betsey is a native of northwestern Connecticut and is excited to be part of the important work of WSS.   She is committed to excellence in all WSS does and believes the services and support WSS offers clients and our communities can and does change lives for the better.


Ellen Axelrod

Ellen Axelrod

Ellen Axelrod, Hotline Counselor

Ellen initially joined WSS as a volunteer in the prevention education program area, which she feels has been a rewarding experience. She enjoys reading with the young children in our community. Ellen believes education is the catalyst for significant change in the world, and she is honored to be part of that process. In 2019 Ellen became a Hotline Counselor which she never saw coming her way. Although her role can be very challenging, Ellen is grateful to be able to directly help those who suffer from domestic violence. Working closely with the WSS team has shown her their high level of knowledge and resourcefulness, and she is proud to be part of such a dedicated and impactful group.


Deanna Barry

Deanna Barry

Deanna Barry, Prevention Education and Volunteer Coordinator 

Deanna joined the WSS team in April of 2018. She received her Masters of Social Work from the University of New England in Portland, Maine where she focused her studies on art and social justice, violence prevention, and community practice. Deanna brings positivity, energy, and a passion for relationship-building to WSS and is grateful to be part of a strong and empowering team.


Mary “Pixie” Brown

Mary “Pixie” Brown

Mary "Pixie" Brown, Hotline Counselor


Liz Davis

Liz Davis

Liz Davis, Adult Counselor Advocate

Liz came to WSS in September 2007. Liz has worked in the human services field for more than 29 years, with 16 of those focused in the field of domestic violence. Liz’s experience also includes substance abuse and HIV/AIDS work. As a formerly battered woman, Liz is passionate about the Battered Women’s Movement, her work with victims of domestic violence and our collective work for social change.


Louisa Dux

Louisa Dux

Louisa Dux, Fundraising Administrative Assistant

Louisa joined the WSS team in January 2017 as the Trade Secrets Administrative Assistant. From there, she moved on to Research and Administrative Development Assistant in the summer of 2017, then Fundraising Administrative Assistant in the Fall. When not at WSS, Louisa can be found either petsitting, or coxing for Litchfield Hills Rowing Club.


Virginia Gold

Virginia Gold

Virginia Gold, Program Manager

Virginia joined the WSS team in May 2017.  Virginia has a Masters in Social Work and has worked for the past 25 years in community organizing / non-profit agencies in MA, VT, and CT, including therapeutic foster care, community mental health, and hospice work.  She and her children have been back home in Cornwall for 3 years, and she is delighted to be part of the WSS team at this time.


Robert Kuhn

Robert Kuhn

Robert Kuhn, Community Outreach and Education Coordinator 

Robert joined WSS in March 2018 after a decade-long career as an independent consultant to businesses, nonprofits and academic institutions. Robert also brings to WSS years of experience in working with diverse and underserved populations, including the LGBTQ+ community. He has a passion for identifying and connecting people, organizations and groups as a tool for improving outcomes. At WSS, Robert combines this experience and passion in educating community groups, businesses, civic organizations and faith communities about the complex issues of intimate partner violence. Robert earned his law degree from Georgetown University and his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University. Robert and his husband live in Salisbury with their two dogs.


Shelly Ross Robbins

Shelly Ross Robbins

Shelly Ross Robbins, Director of Development

Shelly joined WSS in September 2016. Shelly has worked in the areas of women’s leadership development, economic empowerment, and conflict prevention and peacebuilding in Africa, Southeast Europe, Oceania, and the US. She has a BA in Economics and Urban Studies from William Smith College and an MA in Coexistence and Conflict from Brandeis University. Shelly lives with her family in Bedford, NY.


Kelly Rybczyk

Kelly Rybczyk

Kelly Rybczyk, Trade Secrets Event Coordinator and Financial Administrator

Kelly joined the WSS staff in June 2018.  After starting her career as a teacher, then staying home while her daughters were young, Kelly began her journey in nonprofit development in 2014.  Kelly earned her Master’s degree in Strategic Fundraising and Philanthropy in 2017.  She lives in Kent with her family and is excited to bring her fundraising and event planning skills to WSS, where she can make a difference for a mission that is close to her heart.


Jessica Troy

Jessica Troy

Jessica Troy, Hotline Counselor

Jess has been involved with WSS since Fall 2015 when she joined as an intern. She returned in the Summer of 2016 to join the staff as an advocate. Jess has worked in human services for 12 years; her areas of focus include persons with developmental disabilities and the geriatric population. Jess is a survivor of domestic violence. After working on her own healing, Jess felt a calling to join the battered women's movement. Jess is a licensed massage therapist and has a strong meditation practice. Jess holds a Bachelors in General Studies with a theme in Human Services and a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from UCONN. She is currently pursuing a dual Master's degree in Social Work and Women's Studies at Southern Connecticut State University. Jess received a Graduate Research Fellowship award focusing on the connections between domestic violence and mass shootings. She has retained her connection to WSS by serving as a Hotline Counselor.


Lisa Waldron

Lisa Waldron

Lisa Waldron, Family Violence Victim Advocate

In December 2012, Lisa joined the WSS staff. She spends most of her working days at Bantam Criminal Court advocating for victims of domestic violence. She has been a clinician, counselor/advocate, support group facilitator and DCF social worker. She brings expertise in the domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy fields.

I am proud to say that I am a formerly battered woman, and I believe that when one door closes another opens. Therefore, when I fled and made a better and safer life for myself and my son, it was important for me to give back to those experiencing Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). I feel strongly that self-identification and speaking out is a great force in healing from trauma and promoting social change. I have been a part of the WSS team since 2007 as the Adult Counselor Advocate. I am grateful to work for an agency focused on partnership, kindness, ethics, and a commitment to empowerment. Without the support of our community the progress in this field would not be possible. This is an incredibly strong agency with strong community support. I am privileged to support those whose power was taken from them at the hands of someone they love.
— Liz Davis, WSS Counselor Advocate