Our Team

Meet Members of Your Kiva Centers Team

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Meet Our Kiva Team

The Kiva Centers’ focus is the development, promotion, and delivery of healing communities for people experiencing different social class impacts like trauma, mental health, and substance use.

Your dedicated team in the trauma-informed, peer support community.


Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director

Pronouns: She/Ella

Brenda Vezina is the Chief Executive Officer of Kiva Centers. Kiva Centers’ mission and vision are achieved through her dynamic leadership and close community involvement. She has over 30 years of experience working within communities of people who have experienced mental health issues, substance use, and all traumatic experiences as a program creator, administrator, and direct service worker. She was a founding member of the National Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice. Brenda has led the United States in several federal efforts to center an understanding of community-run trauma healing in policy implementation. Brenda is a Board Member of the National Association for Rural Mental Health and an Advisory Committee Member for Brandeis University’s Lurie Postdoctoral Fellowship in Disability and Health Policy. She is the Executive Producer of the 2014 “Voice Award” honorable mention documentary What Happened to You, which speaks to the cause and effect of childhood trauma and public health. Brenda has supported the creation and implementation of peer-run organizations and Clubhouses around the world. 


Chief Operating Officer

Pronouns: They/Elle

Vesper Moore is a community activist, survivor, trainer, and writer. They have been a part of the Kiva Centers for several years and have been instrumental in the Kiva Centers’ growth as an organization. They have brought the perspectives of survivors to national and international spaces. They have experience working as a consultant for both the United States government and the United Nations in shaping strategies around trauma, intersectionality, and disability rights. They gave an address on “Intersectionality as a Human Rights Issue” for the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). They have been at the forefront of legislative reform to shift the societal paradigm around mental health.

Vesper concentrates on building social movements and public knowledge to facilitate and sustain systems change. They are a skilled certified trainer of Intentional Peer Support and the MA Certified Peer Specialist Training. They have supported the development of peer-run organizations in different parts of the world. They have been a lecturer for many universities and institutions across the United States. They are a very well-known leader in peer support and are known as a powerful advocate. Vesper is also a skilled chess player and enjoys the late 80s/early 90s goth fashion, music, and film.

Donna Macomber-Cassidy


Director of Administration

Pronouns: She/Her

A Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP), Certified Peer Specialist (CPS), and person with lived experience with mental health and trauma issues, Donna has worked in the mental health recovery field for 27 years.  Donna was a 2008 Eli Lilly Reintegration Award recipient for Mentor-ship.  She is currently the Director of Operations at the Central Mass RLC and Kiva Center, and is a trained WRAP facilitator, Hearing Voices Network facilitator, and Human Rights Advocate.  Donna is a firm believer in “nothing about us without us.”

Donna’s favorite author is Jane Austen, and she likes to spend time with her 4 grandchildren, read, cook, figure out crossword puzzles, and watch really bad monster movies (such as Tremors, Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus, and Sharknado).

Jasmine Quinones
Director of Programming & Peer-Run Respite Services

Pronouns: She/Ella

Jasmine Quiñones has been with the Kiva Centers for several years. Jasmine oversees the Kiva Centers Peer-Run Respites and has been a central part of the critical impact they have in communities throughout Massachusetts and supporting the inspiration these Peer-Run Respites offer to communities around the world. She received the Angel Award in the Massachusetts South County Community Health Networking Area for two years in a row for excellence in community collaboration. She has been recognized by the Salvation Army for her collaborative community work as well as being recognized as an “unsung hero” of the Salvation Army’s Disaster Relief team. Jasmine has had the honor of working alongside ASSMCA Puerto Rico’s Services Administration for Mental Health and Addiction bringing the Kiva Centers model of Trauma-Informed Peer Support to their populations in need. Because of Jasmine’s coaching and dedication to the cause, Puerto Rico will soon be opening peer-run centers inspired by the Kiva Centers model throughout many areas of Puerto Rico. Outside of work, Jasmine is a mother of two wonderful children, who she loves to dote on. The beach is her happy place, where she goes to recharge her soul.




Aroldo Ferreira


Certified Peer Specialist Program Director

Pronouns: He/Him

Aroldo is the Massachusetts Certified Peer Specialist Program Director, responsible for all the logistics for the Peer Certification process for the state of Massachusetts. Including managing and delivering quality training practices to prepare prospective CPS’s the certification process.
Prior to this position, Aroldo has worked as a Program Coordinator and Director of Multicultural Affairs. For the Central Mass Recovery Learning Community since January 2010. Aroldo coordinated all Kiva’s meetings, built Peer facilitators’ teams, and brought Peer Support to different communities, such as the Latino, Brazilian, Young Adult, LGBTQIA, and others.

For these years, Aroldo has been a lead multi-lingual trainer for the Central Mass RLC, teaching different Peer-oriented workshops, such as Trauma-Informed Peer Facilitation training, Wellness Recovery Action Plan, Parenting Journey, Trauma and Healing Dialogues, and others.

Aroldo is inquisitive about people’s cultures and has as a priority to understand different values, beliefs, and habits, to help diversify groups with mutual support.

Aroldo is known to be happy and outgoing. He strives to keep up the quality and integrity of our Peer-Run services throughout the Peer certification process as well as throughout the community. Overall, he is driven by the belief that everybody can achieve a fulfilling and meaningful life of their choice and that Peer to Peer support is an essential part of this process.

Joyce Lafortune


Office Manager & Certified Alternative Health Practioner/Teacher

Pronouns: She/Her

Joyce has been with Kiva Centers for almost 11 years. As Office Manager, she strives to have things run smoothly and efficiently.

Joyce has received several certifications while with Kiva Centers, however, most of her education and certifications were acquired prior to the position of Alternative Health Practitioner. These modalities played a big role in her well-being. And she lovingly shares with any who is interested.

Outside of work, Joyce is a mother, grandmother, and friend. Her family means the world to her.  She enjoys warm weather, so in Spring, Summer, and Fall you will find her outside doing “something” whenever possible. Favorite things are planting things and getting her hands in the dirt and of course, playing golf. Her“peaceful places” are by the ocean/water and mountains or walking in nature.

Joyce’s motto: “If I can contribute in any way to help to make someone’s life a bit easier and happier, then I am achieving my goal.”

Lindsey Vezina


Director of Quality Management/Interim RLC Director

Pronouns: She/Ella

Lindsey Vezina is the Interim Director of our Kiva Worcester Center and has been with the Kiva Centers for over a decade. She brings her qualifications and expertise as a certified Trauma-Informed Yoga Instructor to all of our centers. Lindsey is trained by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) and has organized multiple Trauma-Informed Peer Facilitation Training as well (TIPS) in addition to her involvement with the Certified Peer Specialist Training (CPS).

Her mental health career began in NYC at the Chelton Loft Clubhouse as a community coordinator. She is active in advocacy for the fair treatment of all persons, particularly in mental health, domestic violence, and childhood trauma. She is interested in art, basketball, travel, spending time with her family and friends and particularly with her Pomeranian, Alice. Lindsey is a Boston sports team aficionado, and never misses the opportunity to attend live games and support her favorite teams.

Kristina Walters


Certified Peer Specialist Program Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her

Kristina Walters has worked in the peer support community for over ten years.   She has a vast array of experiences, from working at a Recovery Learning Community to an inpatient hospital setting.  Kristina has been with the Kiva Centers for over a year. Her current position is the Coordinator for the Massachusetts Certified Peer Specialist training.  She has a love and passion for her work. Inspiring and encouraging people is her life-long dream and her current position is by far her favorite. She loves interacting with incoming students and discovering how people’s lives are changed after taking the training.  Kristina’s first love though is her family.  She shares her life with her husband.  Her nephew is the light of her life and the main reason she pushed through some of her darkest moments.  Kristina comes from a large family, being the oldest of 35 cousins and still counting. Her favorite thing to do is be together with her whole family, which she often does.

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