Executive Director Mary Speta is a researcher, educator, speaker, and advocate in the movement to end commercial sexual exploitation. She serves as Executive Director of Amirah, Inc., a Massachusetts-based nonprofit providing exit and aftercare services to women who have experienced prostitution, sex trafficking, and commercial sexual exploitation. Mary utilizes her own lived experience of commercial sexual exploitation as well as her research on the commercial sex trade to break down myths, inform policy, and shape effective evidence-based exit ramps supporting individuals seeking independence from commercial sex. She serves on multiple legislative advisory and service provision committees throughout New England as a policy adviser and consultant on prostitution and intersectional issues. As an educator, Mary regularly speaks at universities, helping the next generation of service providers and policy makers understand the complexities of commercial sex in the United States. The work she enjoys most, though, is walking alongside other women exiting the commercial sex trade as a mentor and supporting them as they reach economic independence and walk the road of recovery. Mary is a candidate in the Doctor of Law and Policy program at Northeastern University, where her research focuses on the phenomenon of prostitution, the distorted impact of prostitution criminalization, and evidence-based policy approaches to supporting exit from the commercial sex trade. She also holds a master’s degree in arts and nonprofit administrative sciences from Boston University and completed her undergraduate studies at Gordon College.
Director of Client Services Tori Devine serves as the Director of Client Services at Amirah and is a member of the agency’s senior leadership team. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and holds an advanced standing master’s degree in social work from Salem State University. Tori has worked in human services for over 18 years and some of her professional experience includes, but is not limited to: program management & development, clinical oversight & supervision, addictions counseling, and crisis intervention training. She is especially passionate about serving her community while working in trauma-informed care settings that advocate for social justice and that work towards dismantling gender-based violence. Tori is also a long-time resident of the Massachusetts North Shore, and her Boston accent is most prevalent when speaking with other native Bostonians. In her spare time she loves spending time with the people she loves, traveling, being in nature, cuddling furry animals, watching local live theater, and making art. Some of the things Tori values the most include authenticity, community & connections, empathy, humor, progress not perfection, empowerment, and self-care. Tori’s primary love language is acts of service.
Director of Development Chet Harding is the Director of Development at Amirah. He has trained companies and organizations all over the world, to help teams improve psychological safety, engagement and leadership. Chet has a deep love for comedy, spending time with his family and all things sports. Having once shared the big screen with Rob Lowe, he is officially two degrees from Kevin Bacon.
Associate Director of Development Michael Distefano is the Associate Director of Development at Amirah, overseeing our church and faith-based partnerships. 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.
Annual Giving and Communications Coordinator Emily Patrick is the Annual Giving and Communications Coordinator. She received her degree from Texas A&M with a focus in Race, Gender, and Ethics, and shortly after pursued a graduate certification in Nonprofit Management with a concentration in Fundraising and Philanthropy. Her passion for helping others led her to serve with AmeriCorps where she mentored youth and worked at a nonprofit consulting company aiding in fundraising efforts. Emily is a recent transplant to Boston from Texas and is enjoying all Massachusetts has to offer—especially finding the best spots to hike and ski.
Office Manager Pamela McLellan is the part-time Office Manager. 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.
Case Manager Morgan Bae is the Case Manager. Morgan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Gordon College. Morgan is passionate about justice and values individuals as individuals - recognizing that each person comes with their own stories and journeys of healing. She sees the brokenness in the world yet finds such hope in the victories: both small and large, that can be seen in the day to day. Her experience with youth from various backgrounds has allowed her to see the importance of empowerment and beauty in walking alongside people as they encounter the highs and lows of life. In her free time, she can be found walking her two dogs, spending time outdoors, practicing photography, reading a good book, playing games with friends or sipping a good cup of coffee.
Program & Grants Coordinator Melissa Derac is the Program and Grants Coordinator for Amirah. She received her bachelor's degree in Public Health from UMass Lowell. Melissa has several years of experience as a customer service representative and has gained valuable organizational, communication and interpersonal skills. Melissa is passionate about being a useful resource within her community. In her free time, Melissa enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, and yoga.
Community & Volunteer Coordinator Bethany is a lover of people and an advocate for recovering women to know their purpose and incredible value. She has attended Summit International School of Ministry, and spent three years abroad in humanitarian aid, teaching, and directing a small Theatre. She now serves as Community Life and Volunteer Coordinator for Amirah's North Shore safe home where she seeks to get to know each individual. Bethany is a believer that fun is important, and that each person is worthy of time, attention and grace. Bethany loves to laugh, and her personal joys include sitting on the couch with family, taking long walks in the woods, and songwriting.
Operations Manager Shereen is the Operations Manager for Amirah’s safe home on the Northshore. She brings strengths and interests in organization, attention to detail, home maintenance and a love of decorating to her role at Amirah. Her life’s work is devoted to helping people grow in their confidence to explore and find their individual potential in a safe, respectful, and caring environment. Shereen has a degree in Sociology and a MA in School Counseling. Her experience includes working in residential programs for at risk youth and homeless families. She has also worked in the public schools providing support to students with learning disabilities. In her free time, Shereen enjoys spending time with her family. She loves gardening, exploring the outdoors, and walking her dog Marley on the beach.