Sally Kimel-Sheppard, LCSW

executive director

Sally has worked for over 20 years in the field of child abuse and sexual assault. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Appalachian State University and a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Georgia. She has been the Executive Director of The Cottage since 2008 and instrumental in growing The Cottage to what it is today. Sally has served on professional boards, including the board of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia. She also works to develop statewide policy around sexual assault and child abuse. Sally knows that survivors are not alone and strives for The Cottage to be a place of support and healing for those affected by child abuse and sexual assault.

Sally uses she/her/hers pronouns.

Phone: 706-546-1133 Ext. 222


Lori Karr

Lori Karr

Victim’s Assistance Program Counselor

Lori has a Bachelor Degree from The University of Georgia in Child and Family Development. She has worked with children and families for over fifteen years in a variety of settings. She joined our team as the Family Advocate in September of 2009 and has since been trained in Finding Words Georgia to also conduct forensic interviews. Lori currently works with the Victim’s Assistance Program for The Cottage. The Victim’s Assistance Program provides assessments and therapeutic interventions to child and adolescent survivors of child abuse. Lori also provides support and education to caregivers. Lori is also an authorized trained facilitator in the Darkness to Light Stewards of Children training program as well as Protecting Our Children and Prevent Child Abuse’s Circles of Safety.

Lori uses she/her/hers pronouns.

Phone: 706-546-1133 Ext. 230


Alicia Chandler

Alicia Chandler

Director of Child Services Program

Alicia is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. She has also earned her Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Criminal Justice from Columbus State University. Alicia has dedicated her career to helping the victims of sexual assault and abuse, first as a Police Detective specializing in crimes against women and children and now as a Forensic Interview Specialist. Alicia conducts training on these subjects to law enforcement, community groups and those in the child advocacy field all over the United States. Alicia began conducting Forensic Interviews in 2007 after completing her training in Finding Words GA.

Phone: 706-546-1133 Ext. 225


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Annelise Allgood, LCSW

Clinical Director

Annelise is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work from the University of Georgia. She was born and raised in Athens Clarke County. She has spent much of her professional career assisting children and families through crisis intervention, treatment planning, resource acquisition, and mental health therapy. Annelise oversees all clinical services for the child and adolescent program and provides family advocacy to caregivers and families. She is nationally certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and provides therapy services to children and adolescents who have experienced trauma.

Phone: 706-546-1133 Ext. 229


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Linnea Ionno, MPA

Director of Adult Services Program

Linnea received her Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in Art History and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Connecticut. She went on to complete her Master of Public Administration with a certification in Nonprofit Management at the University of Georgia. Linnea worked as an Outreach Advocate and Community Involvement & Volunteer Coordinator at Project Safe, a local nonprofit working to end domestic violence. Linnea first started working with the Cottage as a Hotline Volunteer and On-call Advocate before being hired to be the Advocate for Adult Services in 2015. Currently, Linnea serves as the Director of Adult Services.

Linnea uses she/her/hers pronouns.

Phone: 706-546-1133 Ext: 224


Mary Dulong

Mary Dulong, LMSW

Groups Coordinator and therapist

Mary is a Licensed Master Social Worker who received her bachelor's degree in Sociology with a concentration in Human Services from Framingham State University and a master's degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia. Mary served as a clinical intern during her graduate program, before becoming a therapist and the Groups Coordinator at The Cottage. She organizes and oversees all therapy group sessions for survivors and their families.

Mary uses she/her/hers pronouns.

Phone: 706-546-1133 ext. 226


Laila Schüler

Laila Schuler

Bilingual Advocate

Laila is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Laila first began her career helping the community with the Athens Clarke County Police Department as a police officer and then transferred to Investigations as a Detective investigating Sex Crimes and Crimes against Children and was a part of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Laila has obtained training and certification as a Forensic Interview Specialist along with a variety of specialized training that involve working with families and children who have been victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. As a bilingual Advocate, Laila continues to work with adults, families and children who are survivors of sexual assault and child abuse and facilitates prevention and education outreach in the LatinX Community.

“El silencio, silencia la justicia”

Phone: 706-546-1133 Ext: 221


Kacey Long

Kacey Long, MSW

adult advocate, LGBTQ Coordinator, Sex Trafficking Coordinator

Kacey graduated from University of Michigan with a masters of Social Work in 2017 with a concentration in Social Policy & Evaluation and a minor in Community Organizing. She has been working with survivors of sexual assault and human trafficking since 2012 and has focused since 2015 within the intersections of LGBTQ identifying folks who have experienced sexual violence and human trafficking. Her background consists of community education and outreach, conducting research to create state and local policy, and creating comprehensive and accessible resources regarding the reporting process, both to local police departments and through university and Title IX processes.

Kacey uses she/her/hers pronouns.

Phone: 706-546-1133 Ext: 227


Jessica Farriba

Jessica Farriba

Forensic Interviewer

Jessica is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in social work. Jessica spent years abroad working with children in vulnerable situations and has now directed her career at The Cottage as a forensic interview specialist. Jessica began conducting forensic interviews in 2017 after completing her training in Child First. She works with our partner agencies to conduct forensic interviews for children and is committed to being a piece of the puzzle in the fight against child abuse.

Phone: 706-546-1133 Ext. 223


Allia Siler

Allia Siler, MSW

Family Advocate

Allia earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish, and a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia. Allia works with parents and caregivers of children and teens effected by child abuse, advocating for them through the investigative forensic interview and medical exam process, and working with them through the healing process and connecting them with resources and services. Allia provides therapy for children and teen clients of The Cottage.

Allia uses she/her/hers pronouns.

Phone: 706-546-1133 Ext. 236



Thelma & Louise

Thelma and Louise came to The Cottage from the Athens Area Humane Society in September of 2018.  They have taken on the important job of providing support to both the clients and staff of The Cottage.  They do so with loving snuggles.  Thelma and Louise tend to seek out those that are in need of a sweet animal to pet while talking about hard topics.  These ladies stay in the administrative area of The Cottage and do not come into contact with those that may be allergic to or scared of our feline friends.