Executive Director, Co-Founder
As a co-founder, and an 18 year veteran of public safety, Steffani knows first hand the ins and outs of the struggles first responders face, and the barriers often encountered when contemplating the need for help. As the daughter of a now-retired Detective, and the wife of a current police Sergeant, she also knows quite well the unique emotional & logistical difficulties families can face on the home-front while their responders are away at work, and the turmoil they can often arrive home with.
As a former career-EMT, public safety dispatcher, and military medic, Steffani has a deep passion for public safety, and all that comes with it. With a PTSD diagnosis herself, she has spent years fighting to overcome its affects, alone and as silently as she could; but its time to change that stigma, and erase all of what we once believed about fighting in silence. Its time to see it for what it is: a workplace injury!
Steffani brings full transparency and honesty about her own struggles with PTSD, flashbacks & nightmares, addiction, and losses of things she once cherished in life, all in hopes of unlocking something in others, so they may never feel the pressure or need to struggle in silence themselves, and to normalize these often-difficult conversations. She is available 24/7, and a full-time staff member of Project 109.
As co-founder, police sergeant, and a 17 year veteran of a city police department, George brings a unique perspective to the world of mental health & the first responder.
George knows intimately the personal battles which can arise from post-traumatic stress, cumulative stress, and PTSD, & how it can directly affect the whole responder. His passion has truly become extending his hand to those who need a lifeline, as he knows what it feels like to be there himself.
With strong background in patrol, community policing, the Explorer program, school resources, supervisory roles, and CIT, George is able to connect with people on a deeply human level. With a specific mission of presenting honest transparency himself, he has set out to destroy the stigma surrounding PTSD and mental health, and rebuild our perspectives, views, and feelings toward treating our mental workplace injuries.
Amy has been a police dispatcher for 21 years, and has taken a strong interest in mental health, as the difficult times throughout her own career have really brought that into focus. Amy came aboard as a Director of Project 109 right away, offering immediate planning, goal setting, and forward motion for this organization. She is part of Project 109's backbone.
In her spare time, away from the console, Amy spends her time in nature. With formal education in biology and wildlife, and career experience as a nature educator, she brings a unique knowledge and skills to Project 109.
Meditative practices, walking, hiking, kayaking, and gardening are where we can find Amy outside of her workplace, and she is excited to bring these things to others through Project 109!
Dory Dzinski, LPC.
Director, Clinical Coordinator
State Licensed Professional Counselor, Dory Dzinski was quick to get involved with the mission of Project 109, and has a true passion for assisting others through difficulties, while always maintaining that genuine human element. In addition to Dory’s state licensure, she is also a Nationally Board Certified Counselor, the EAP Provider for Vintech, a leading EMS staffing company, and a member of Connecticut’s Behavioral Health Response Team, Region IV, which is a partnership of Yale, UConn, and DMHAS. She is one of our most valued professional partners on the Project 109 team.
With almost 20 years experience, Dory specializes in grief, loss, transitions, new beginnings, and goal completion, while having a strong background in working with first responders and their immediate family. With her trauma focused, humanistic, integrative, and existential treatment techniques, Dory’s unique perspectives and experiences lend themselves nicely to creating a space of safety, compassion, empathy and true understanding of the difficulties those in public safety routinely face.
Dory enjoys spending time with her dog, Archie, and the duo is currently working toward their Therapy Canine certification.
Peer Team Coordinator
Michael Critelli was one of the first to jump aboard with Project 109, to volunteer his knowledge and experience! As a current and long-time firefighter, Lieutenant, and police dispatcher, Mike brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Project 109 team. Also the Peer Team Coordinator for his volunteer fire department, he has developed a strong passion for helping his fellow responders navigate the trials and tribulations so many of us go through in this field, both personally and professionally. Mike is also a member of the Connecticut Firefighters Peer Support Network.
Valerie Flynn, MSW.
Addictions Program Coordinator
Photo & Bio coming soon, friends!
Stand by to stand by!
Stand by to stand by!