Board of Directors

S.A.F.E. is lucky to have such an active and committed Board of Directors. Our board works on a volunteer basis, putting together many of our fundraisers and providing oversight to our organization. 

Board meetings are held every other month on the third Tuesday of the month. They take place at Mountain Presbyterian Church at 5:30PM. The meetings are open to public. 

Deb. S. Curlette, Ph.D., S.A.F.E. Board President

Deb  began her teaching career as the Marketing/Distributive Education Coordinator at Crestwood High School, Dunwoody, GA. She was named CHS Teacher of the Year and Georgia Marketing Educator of the Year by the Georgia Vocational Association. She is retired from Clayton State University, Morrow, GA where she was an Associate Professor of Marketing Management Technology.  Curlette was chosen National Adviser of The Year by Delta Epsilon Chi, professional association for marketing majors. Post retirement, she taught marketing and advertising courses at for-profit universities. She also served as MBA Dean and Campus Dean.  Says Deb, “S.A.F.E. provides an invaluable service to our N GA communities and I am honored to serve this organization.”

 

Donna Grimsely, S.A.F.E. Board Vice President

Donna is herself a domestic abuse survivor. After fighting to overcome a crippling sense of shame, Donna became a record-setting industry leader in real estate sales. Starting in 1977, she launched her career as a residential, land, and commercial industry realtor and award-winning, top-selling real estate broker. 

Donna says, “I believe that every child, man and woman deserves to live in a safe environment. For thirty years, I never told anyone about my attackers because victims always blame themselves.  I am both grateful and proud to serve on the Board for SAFE. I believe in our mission, and I will do what I can to support our important work with those who are fleeing from, or recovering from, domestic violence.”

 

Gail Kreher, S.A.F.E. Board Secretary

Gail is a retired educator and television announcer. She taught Senior Research and Composition for 23 years in the Forsyth County GA School System and at Mill Springs Academy in Alpharetta, GA. She was nationally honored by Disney Corporation as one of the most creative teachers in the US. Before that and for ten years, Gail appeared as on-air TV personality Gail Janus. She delivered the nightly weather forecasts on WXIA-TV in Atlanta; WTNH-TV in New Haven, CT, and WSMW-TV in Worcester, MA. Gail says, “I believe in the important mission of S.A.F.E., and I am proud to be a small part of its significant contribution to the well-being of families and children in Union and Towns counties.”

 

Captain Doug Loyd, S.A.F.E. Board Treasurer

I was born in raised in Blairsville Ga. I have been married for 19 years and have 6 children. My wife Rachel and I are Foster Parents in the community and are in the process of adopting three girls and we have three boys that are our own. Im also currently the Youth Pastor at The Cross Church in Young Harris Ga, and have been in ministry for 22 years. Im very passionate about helping young people and being involved in the community.I am also a part of Union County Rotary and active Law Enforcement with 15 plus years experience. I am also currently the Captain of Union County Sheriff’s Office and manage several divisions with in the office. I have truly had the priviledge of helping in the community and being a public servant for along time. It is an honor and priviledge to be able to serve on The Board Of SAFE.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Mary Lynn McKenzie, S.A.F.E. Board Member

Mary Lynn is an active REALTOR in GA/NC serving with a “heart to home” professional standard that is reflected in her numerous awards and testimonials for the past 14 years. Prior to real estate, she worked in advertising, publishing, and marketing beginning at the age of 13 in her mother’s business “Print Designers” on Biscayne Blvd in Miami, FL. From typesetting to traveling the world with international magazines, Mary Lynn, has shined through her customer service whilst always being top in sales as well.
 
Her heart has always been towards children/families when she began volunteering at the age of 16 as a big sister in her own neighborhood to a 10 year old whose mother was incarcerated. She has also served as arts and crafts provider at local children’s residences (Kids In Distress in Ft. Lauderdale), at KITES (kids, infants, and toddlers emergency shelter), Loveland Homes (foster parent community/condo), and of course our very own SAFE in 2002 as a shelter volunteer, and for the past year as a Board Member.
Mary Lynn is currently also a CASA Volunteer for Towns/Union, an Ambassador for the Mountain Marty Party, and the founder/organizer of a local Meetup Group for hiking and adventures! She and her sister (Carol Barbour) create and donate Lucy Mac Sacs – lovely bags with goodies that their mother, Lucy McKenzie started in 2010 – to local chemo patients.
 
Awards: National Dean’s List 2000-2001, Phi Theta Kappa, 1st Place Campus-wide Essay Contest, Ethics and Critical Thinking. Real Estate: Ruby Award, Sterling Silver Award, Phoenix Award (10+ years in Million Dollar Club). 
“Every blessing I receive is an opportunity to share; every curse I endure is an opportunity to help someone else overcome.”
 

Norma Costello, S.A.F.E. Board Member

Norma started her career as a Registered Occupational Therapist, working in home health, nursing homes, and clinics. She attributes this period in her life as a time to understand self empowerment and personal growth in herself and others, and to see each person as a total combination of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.

After raising her 3 children, and subsequent empty nest, she became interested in empowering others through life coaching.  She received her certification in Strategic Intervention Life Coaching, a program that uses Tony Robbins’ strategies. She also became interested in Energy Healing work, and became a Reiki Master and Quantum Lightweaving® practitioner. She has done extensive work to develop her intuitive skills. In addition, she is an Independent Distributor of Young Living Essential Oils.

Norma uses a unique combination of life lessons, formal and informal education, and a myriad of classes, books and articles on personal development and spiritual growth to assist others on their life path. She loves the mountains, and appreciates nature, recently moving to the North Georgia area with her dog, Marley, and her bird, Buddy.

“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.” ― Kahlil Gibran

Norma was drawn to work with S.A.F.E., as an opportunity to serve this area of North Georgia.

Linda Chastain, S.A.F.E. Board Member

Linda is a domestic and sexual abuse survivor. It did take years to overcome the shame she has felt, but now she is happy and eager to help and anyone who is going through this horrid time.
 
 Her husband built their house 2 1/2 years ago in Blairsville and is loving living here. She have 1 son, 3 stepsons and 4 grandchildren. She worked 14 years with Special need students in Henry Co. She substitutes here in UC, mostly at the MS is Special needs Love my Job! They are my heart!