Working Together on Behalf of Child Victims

Dedicated to delivering the services and the care they need, with the professionalism they deserve

Meet the SungateKids Team

Mariel Abreu, BSW

Multi Disciplinary Team Coordinator/Family Support Program Director

Born and raised in San Diego, CA, Mariel Abreu completed her undergraduate degree in Social Work from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ. After working in the behavioral health non-profit sector of San Diego, Mariel moved to Denver in 2015 to pursue her Master’s Degree in Social work at the University of Denver. Over the past eight years, Mariel’s work has primarily focused on the impact of trauma on mental health and well-being, as well as supporting families in navigating complex systems.
Before beginning her role as the Multi-Disciplinary Team Coordinator at SungateKids in 2019, Mariel worked as an Intensive In-Home Family Therapist and Residential Social Worker. Mariel uses her unique skill set to guarantee that families never feel alone or unheard during the Forensic Interview process, and that they leave SungateKids with the information and tools necessary to begin healing. In addition, she
supports successful collaboration between outside agencies to ensure the investigation process is completed with the best interest of the families’ in mind, and that the diverse needs of our community are met.
Mariel is a proud dog lover who enjoys skiing and hiking in the mountains, and listening to live music.

Aylen Fair-Alfaro

Family Support Coordinator

Aylen Alfaro-Fair joined Sungatekids in 2021, bringing with her invaluable knowledge and experience from her work as a bilingual Case Manager at Denver Children’s Home. At Sungatekids, Aylen is proud to serve as the only bilingual Family Support Coordinator. Aylen is passionate about working with children and families who are impacted by traumatic experiences and supporting them by providing resources that are relatable and accessible. Aylen uses her unique skill set and genuine care for others to guarantee that families never feel alone during the forensic interview process, and that they leave SungateKids with the tools necessary to begin their healing journey. During her free time, Aylen enjoys the outdoors with her family, traveling, and cooking.

Deirdre Arnholz, M.D.

Pediatric Medical Consultant

Dede obtained her MD from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and completed her training in Pediatrics at St Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. After completion of her training she worked for several years in Phildelphia, and came to Denver in 1996 to train as a fellow in Child Advocacy and Protection at Children’s Colorado. She has since worked in Denver as a primary care pediatrician at Childrens’ Hospital, Kaiser Permanente and currently at Denver Health.
In her spare time she plays tennis, cooks and reads and volunteers as mentor to several refugee families in Denver. She lives with her husband and small dog, and has one daughter who is currently a second year medical student.

Jodi Byrnes-Klaus, MA, LPC

Forensic Interviewer

Jodi joined SungateKids in 2019 with over 20 years of experience working with children and families. Prior to joining SungateKids, Jodi was the Forensic Interview Program Director at the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center for 9 years. Jodi brings with her an extensive knowledge of community resources as well as her long-standing working relationships with law enforcement, child protective services professionals and other agency personnel throughout the metro area. She is a licensed professional counselor in the State of Colorado. Jodi has presented at conferences throughout the country and is dedicated to maintaining and applying best practices in forensic interviewing.

Lisa Cesario

Forensic Interviewer

Lisa Cesario joined the SungateKids team in 2006, and brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge. Lisa has experience working with children who have been victims of neglect, emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Prior to joining SungateKids, Lisa worked as a caseworker on the Sexual Abuse Recovery Team for Arapahoe County Department of Human Services, where she worked with clients, families, law enforcement, medical and treatment staff, the court system and other collateral agencies. This invaluable experience provided Lisa with a comprehensive understanding of victims and cases from a multi-faceted approach.
Lisa is a graduate of Colorado State University at Pueblo and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology and a minor in Social Work. Lisa has received special training in working with victims of sexual abuse and offense-specific treatment for perpetrators.
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Hannah Fisher-Tachouet, MSW, SWC

Therapist, Family Support Coordinator

Hannah was born and raised in Sebastopol, California and moved to Ashland, Oregon in 2014 to get her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Southern Oregon University. After moving back to Southern California in 2018, she worked as a Behavioral Specialist and volunteered at a Children’s Advocacy Center. Hannah moved to Denver in 2020 to earn her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Denver with a concentration in Children and Youth.
While getting her Master’s degree, Hannah interned at SungateKids as a Family Support Coordinator and after graduation was hired in 2022 in a dual role as both a Family Support Coordinator and Therapist. She is currently a Social Work Candidate (SWC) and trained in Child & Family Traumatic Stress Interventions (CFTSI). Hannah focuses on trauma-informed care and meeting families at their needs level.
Outside of work, Hannah loves traveling, reading, and hiking.
Diana Goldberg | SungateKids | Child Abuse Awareness, Support & Advocacy

Diana Goldberg, JD

Executive Director

Diana is privileged to have served as the Executive Director of SungateKids since 1996. Since that time, she has been pivotal in building the staff into a competent and dedicated team of professionals as well as overseeing and directing the growth and development of SungateKids' programs and services. In addition to her responsibilities at SungateKids, Diana serves on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Children's Alliance, the statewide organization of children's advocacy centers, and was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper in 2018 to sit on the statewide Human Trafficking Council.

Diana is a graduate of Columbia University and the University of Virginia School of Law. She practiced law with the firm of Davis Graham & Stubbs and with the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Denver (now Colorado Legal Services) prior to her career in nonprofit management. She served as the Executive Director of the Central Visitation Program before joining SungateKids.

Erin Katz | SungateKids | Child Abuse Awareness, Support & Advocacy

Erin Katz, JD

Director of Prevention Programming

Erin Katz serves as the Director of Prevention Programming. She has spent her entire career working to protect children from child abuse and has interviewed thousands of children regarding allegations of abuse during that time. Prior to joining SungateKids in 2013, she served for over a decade as an Assistant District Attorney in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office in New York City. As a member of the Special Victims Bureau, she prosecuted a caseload of sex crimes, elder abuse, and child physical and sexual abuse cases. Erin is a graduate of Goucher College in Baltimore, MD and earned her law degree from The American University, Washington College of Law in Washington, DC. She enjoys spending time traveling and exploring Colorado with her two daughters and her ridiculously cute Bernedoodle, Sunny.
Leslie Ludolph | SungateKids | Child Abuse Awareness, Support & Advocacy

Leslie Ludolph, MS

Assistant Executive Director

Ohio native and a former speech pathologist, Assistant Director Leslie Ludolph came in through the same door as the families served by SungateKids. “As a teacher and special educator I reported many cases of child abuse and became interested in the higher incidence of abuse among children with special needs. So, in 1997, I started volunteering with SungateKids.”

That volunteer stint turned into a paid staff position in 2000 and ultimately into her role as Assistant Director. Leslie holds a B.S. in Communications from The Ohio State University and a Master’s in Speech Pathology from California State University.


Katrina Morman-Biggs

Prevention Specialist

Katrina Biggs joined Sungate Kids in 2019 bringing years of experience working with children and families. She has worked at Arapahoe County Department of Human Services, both on the Crisis Hotline Unit and then as a Caseworker on the Sexual Abuse Recovery Team. She later became a Victim Advocate on the Special Victims Unit for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s office. She has a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology.
At Sungate Kids, she is a Prevention Specialist offering presentations of SungateKids SafeKids abuse prevention and education program.

Carole O'Shea

Family Support Coordinator

Bio coming soon

Madeline Scott

Prevention Specialist, Family Support Coordinator

Dulce Solis

Bilingual Forensic Interviewer

Dulce joined SungateKids in 2022 with over 13 years of experience working with children and families. Prior to joining SungateKids, Dulce was the Forensic Program Coordinator at a Child Advocacy Center in the Denver Metro area and has been providing forensic interviews for over 10 years. Dulce is dedicated to the continued research and application of best practices of forensic interviewing.

Steffanie Walstra, LCSW

Director of Clinical Services

Steffanie Walstra MSW, LCSW has been a team member with SungateKids for seven years and now serves as the Director of Clinical Services. Steffanie earned her Master of Social Work from University of Denver and her Bachelor of Psychology from Michigan State University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Colorado and is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Having previously worked as a Victim Advocate at SungateKids before taking on the role as Clinical Director Steffanie has a unique perspective of working with families in both an advocacy and clinical setting. Steffanie focuses on meeting clients where they are at by being open-minded and approachable. These qualities are coupled with a strong working knowledge of what survivors of trauma face throughout their healing process. Steffanie believes in working as a team with families to create a collaborative environment to promote understanding, hope, and healing. Steffanie's passion is working with survivors of sexual abuse and empowering people to find and use their voices.

A native of West Michigan, Steffanie moved to Colorado in 2011 and enjoys being outside, swimming, hiking, cooking with her husband.

Stacy Wasserman

Parent Coach, Prevention Specialist

Stacy Wasserman is SungateKids’ resident Parent Coach as well as a Prevention Specialist. Stacy joined the SungateKids team in July 2018, following a career in informal youth education and early childhood education. Stacy’s dedication to the betterment of children of all ages and commitment to best practices in education led her to SungateKids. Working with children and their families in such an empowering way is Stacy’s passion. She lives in Denver with her husband and two children.

Avery Wiley

Office Manager

Bio coming soon!

Kristen Zhu, MS, LPC


Kristen Zhu is a clinician in the Therapeutic Support Program at SungateKids. Kristen earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Syracuse University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Psychology from Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai, China. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate in the State of Colorado. Kristen is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Synergetic Play Therapy, as well as other therapy modalities she can use based on client’s individual needs for their therapy journey. Having previously worked in a community outpatient setting, Kristen has worked with a variety of age groups and gained insight into how community systems impact individuals and families. Kristen is passionate about working with clients who are impacted by traumatic experiences and advocating for what they need in their healing.
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