Chief Executive Officer
After over 10 years of service to AVDA, Sherri Kendall has been named Chief Executive Officer of the agency. Kendall oversees AVDA’s Family Violence, Legal Advocacy and Battering Intervention and Prevention Programs. Kendall has specialized in working with domestic violence abusers for 27 years. She is both a survivor of domestic abuse and a veteran in the field, having worked in family violence programs in Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma. Kendall has created and coordinated Battering Intervention and Prevention Programs for both men and women, and served as Interim Director of a domestic violence shelter. She is an active member of the Texas Council on Family Violence, the Harris County Death Review Team and the Fort Bend County Crime Victims Response Team. She holds a Masters of Education in Counseling from the University of Houston-Victoria, a Masters degree in Personnel Management/Industrial Relations from the London School of Economics, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.
Chief Development Officer
KC Eynatten comes to AVDA with a history in the domestic violence field as well as years of work in various fundraising positions. After graduating from Illinois State University, she spent 26 years at State Farm Insurance in various roles, including Public Relations. While in her PR role at State Farm, she founded a nonprofit on behalf of State Farm called the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, an organization that helps its members understand the cycle of violence, know how to recognize it in a business environment, and be more prepared to properly respond.
After her children were grown, she left State Farm and moved to Houston, first serving as a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch; then executive director of The Rothko Chapel which included development; and ultimately worked in development at the Greater Houston Community Foundation.
She served on the Board of Directors, including Chair, of the Houston Area Women’s Center for several years.
Director of Litigation
Maisha Colter, JD, LCSW returned to AVDA in March of 2012 as the Director of the Litigation and directs the agency’s Legal Advocacy Program. Maisha has dedicated her professional life to advocating for the needs of children and families in crisis. Maisha has always found work that allows her to draw on the strengths of educational training in social work and law. Maisha attended school in New York graduating from Syracuse University with dual bachelors’ degrees in Social Work and Public Policy. After obtaining her Masters in Social Work from New York University, Maisha was a licensed social worker in Brooklyn, New York working tirelessly with children and families involved with the State’s Child Protective Services Authority. She later returned to Law School with the sole goal of securing a law degree to continue to advocate for families in crisis. She received her law degree from Rutgers University in 2001. After relocating to Texas 2003 she learned about AVDA and reached out to the Executive Director to volunteer, and was instead hired as the agency’s only staff attorney in 2004. She remained with the agency for almost 4 years and returned to lead the distinguish staff of attorneys and paralegals charged with fighting on behalf of countless victims of domestic abuse in Harris County.
Director of Advocacy Services
Barbara Urdiales, JD, MPA, joined AVDA in September of 2011 as Director of Advocacy Services. Ms. Urdiales has spent her legal career working in public interest law, beginning while a student in legal clinical programs at the University of Houston, and serving prior stints as Senior Attorney with Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program and Project Manager at Lone Star Legal Aid. Ms. Urdiales earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, a law degree from the University of Houston, and a master of public administration degree from the Kennedy School at Harvard.
Director of Battering Intervention and Prevention Program
Chastidy Patterson is a Beaumont, Texas native and University of Houston graduate. In 2002, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. After completing undergraduate studies, she pursued an advanced degree from Texas Southern University., earning a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology in May of 2008. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has experience in administering social and coping skills training, behavior and symptom management, crisis intervention, anger management, medication-related education, parenting and family skills training and resiliency and disease management. She has been a member of the AVDA team for three years.