Meet Our Staff
Chief Executive Officer
Stephanie Clark is the CEO of Amirah. She is a passionate advocate for victims and survivors of sex trafficking, working to provide not only a place for aftercare to exist for these individuals, but develop a greater system of aftercare within our communities. She has a desire to see both global and domestic changes in the view of women. She came to Amirah after serving for four years as an Associate Pastor on the North Shore of Boston. Prior to that, she was a small business owner. She is a writer, public speaker and advocate. Stephanie has represented the field of survivor aftercare at the United Nations and is currently spearheading the formation of the coalition of aftercare services. She presented at the Tri-County Human Trafficking Conference in Killington, VT, provided testimony to the Massachusetts State Judiciary Committee, and has been called upon by local leaders within this movement to bring insight for best practices when working with survivors. She has her undergraduate degree in biblical languages from Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.
She comes to New England from Michigan. She and her husband, Dave, enjoy hiking together with their two daughters. In her down time, she loves to read a good book with a cup of tea while Nina Simone is playing in the background.
Chief Program Officer
Heather Thornburg is the Chief Program Officer of Amirah. Most of her adult life has been spent raising and homeschooling her children (she has triplet girls!) and volunteering for various non-profits. She has an undergraduate degree from Northwest University and a Masters in Counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Because of her own emotional healing and her work in healing ministries and counseling, Heather’s heart is to walk with the broken through their own journeys of healing. Heather’s experience and witness of wounds to women - as well as being mother to three beautiful daughters - has given her a heart for seeing women become strong, fearless daughters of the King.
She relocated to the North Shore from the Seattle area. She has been married to her husband, Chuck, for over 20 years. She enjoys classic jazz, cooking, watching football, and hanging out with family and friends.
Chief Impact Officer
Mary Speta is the Chief Impact Officer of Amirah. She is passionate about elevating women and women’s issues both locally and globally, working to change systemic mindsets that so often enslave. Because of her own story of healing, Mary has a heart for helping other women find freedom and healing from trauma. She is a graduate of Gordon College, where she studied music performance and eventually discovered a passion for development and storytelling. After working as a development officer with arts and cultural organizations in New England, she has joined Amirah’s team and is thrilled to spend her days advocating for the women of Amirah. Mary also holds a master of administrative sciences from Boston University.
Mary thoroughly appreciates all types of music and is an avid foodie. She enjoys traveling, exploring new places and meeting new people, and is eager to learn new things about life wherever she goes.
Sarah Broughton is a Program Clinician for Amirah's North Shore safe home. She earned her bachelors degree in psychology from Gordon College and her masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in trauma from Lesley University. After completing an internship and volunteering with Amirah, Sarah is thrilled to now be at the home full time. It is her passion to support women who have been exploited to discover their immeasurable worth and find healing. Sarah's professional work has been centered around providing counseling and supporting survivors of trauma. She believes that trauma erodes one's sense of self and safety in the world, and is passionate about helping to restore each of these through genuine relationships, excellent therapy, and reliance on God.
When she is not working, Sarah loves to spend time with her friends and family, explore the outdoors, and spoil every cat she meets (especially her own).
Cristina Oliver is a Program Clinician for Amirah's North Shore safe home. She received her MSW at the University of New Hampshire with a focus on trauma. She has advocated for survivors of domestic and sexual violence for the justice they deserve through multiple agencies locally and globally. Cristina was a volunteer for Amirah while completing her MSW and continued her education through prevention, outreach, and aftercare. Her passions are to empower women on their healing journey while helping survivors find themselves in a Christ-centered environment.
Cristina has recently relocated to the North Shore. Originally from Connecticut, she has a love for travel and exploration, expressive arts, and has three cats: Kitty, Ziggy, and Marley.
Outreach Leader & Staff Accountant
Cheri Crider is our Outreach Leader and Staff Accountant. Her administrative gifting has enabled Amirah to achieve the level of excellence for which it is known. Having escaped commercial sexual exploitation 40 yrs ago, she knows both the heartache and the triumphs of healing from trauma.
Today, Cheri lends her experience to universities to develop curricula to protect vulnerable youth from exploitation. As an advocate and speaker, she facilitates resiliency groups to empower women in prisons and carries the message to end human trafficking in all its forms. Her dream is to see Amirah duplicate its model worldwide until the every survivor is free. Cheri is a talented Segway Rider whose favorite animal is the Unicorn!
Community Life Coordinator
Sarah is the Community Life Coordinator for Amirah's North Shore safe home. Sarah graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with an M.A. in Intercultural Studies specializing in International Development & Children at Risk. Over the past decade, she has had the pleasure of working and learning alongside a number of justice-focused organizations, including World Vision and UNICEF. Much of Sarah’s work has been centered on the improvement of child well being accomplished through empowerment and education. Sarah sits on the board of Boston Faith and Justice Network.
Sarah met her husband of more than 10 years, Nathaniel, while working in the remote Nevada desert (it’s a good story). Sarah, Nathaniel and their two children reside in Lynn with their dog Covelo.
Susan Alley is the Home Manager for Amirah. Susan received her BS in nursing at Seattle Pacific University. After working in nursing for 20 years, she became a full time mom of 7 children. She has volunteered for several agencies working with women and children who have experienced trauma. Susan is a deaconess in her church and works part-time at an agency for pregnant and parenting teens. She feels particularly passionate about walking alongside people working through the many obstacles in life. She has volunteered for Amirah since it first began and has been a vital part of the home life running smoothly.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, taking long walks, going to the beach, and learning new things.
Program Administrative Assistant
Pamela McLellan is the part-time Program Administrative Assistant for Amirah's North Shore safe home. She is a recent transplant to New England from Virginia. She has worked in administrative roles in a wide range of settings, including government contracting, technology, construction, property management, interior design and church care. Her primary role as mom to four spirited kids has given her a wealth of experience in scheduling, logistics, mediation, taxi driving and crisis management. Pamela has a passion to see others set free through the healing power of Christ. She is excited to bring her administrative and organizational experience to the transforming work at Amirah.
Pamela has been married to her husband, Corey, for 20 years. In her free time she enjoys running, hiking, bargain hunting, restoring historic homes and discovering all the local ice cream places on the North Shore.
Regional Impact Director, Connecticut
Michael Distefano is the Regional Impact Director of Connecticut. As a pastor for more than five years in both Houston, TX and Washington, DC, Michael’s heart is to see God’s love for humanity and His passion for justice reflected in the church. As a pastor, Mike’s great joy comes in mobilizing the people of God to meet the needs of their city. Mike’s involvement as a volunteer in the world of anti-trafficking spans more than 10 years and includes prevention through Love 146 + the End It Movement and liberation efforts through Redeemed Ministries in Houston, TX. Michael was a volunteer at Amirah while acting as the Justice Student Committee Chair at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary from 2014-2017. He joined Amirah’s staff in 2019 through what he felt was a direct call from God to minister to survivors and elevate the church. He has degrees in Management and Entrepreneurial Studies from Texas A&M University and a Masters in Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
He enjoys reading, writing, and anything that feels like “adventure” - canoeing, hiking, mountain biking, and skiing. He loves his family and is deeply committed to pie (apple, razzleberry, - you name it) and ice cream.