President and Founder
Jennie Sutliff is the President and Founder of Women Sanctuary. With a Master’s Degree in Education, Jennie’s background is in teaching and educating children and adults of all ages. Through her various jobs in education she has developed unique curriculum, modified instruction for different ability levels, tutored ages 5-65, and successfully built and run a bridge program for students needing help completing high school before going to college. She is looking forward to expanding the Women Sanctuary community and helping educate everyone that comes through the doors. In addition, Jennie lives with her husband and two children, and also has a surrogate son who lives in NYC with his dads. LGBTQ equality and family rights are issues close to Jennie’s heart.
I have two little girls, ages 3 and 7. I am originally from western Canada and my husband is from England, and we ended up in Rochester about 15 years ago. I love the spring when everything is blooming and it isn’t too hot yet. Since I moved here I have found many great people and groups to help me through many journeys; buying a home, pregnancy, infant loss, breastfeeding, being a new mom, preschool searches, school searches, continuing education, making friends, community events, and exercising! I feel like as Women Sanctuary grows and evolves all of these things will be offered in one space for a growing community!
Terry Watson joined Women Sanctuary in Feb 2017. She has a BS degree in Business Management, and is currently retired after working many years in the financial world and owning a bookkeeping business. She previously served on the board at Patrick’s Place as Treasurer. She has done volunteer work at Life Span helping seniors with their finances and also volunteered at the American Red Cross. Currently does volunteer work at the Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society and the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. Terry likes helping women have equal opportunities for wages, jobs and education.
Pamela Ayers joined the Women Sanctuary board in 2016, having previously served on the Board of Directors for the Gates-Chili Cooperative Nursery school from 2011-2012, holding the position of Secretary. Pam is the Director of Service Development at Hillside Family of Agencies, a leading nonprofit provider of child and family services across Central and Western New York and in Prince George’s County, Maryland. In her role at Hillside,Pam directs a team of Project Management and Grant Writer staff to design new programs and secure funding in a cooperative, co-creative approach to meeting community need. Her team is responsible for growth, replication, and new development of services across an affiliation of four service-providing organizations. Prior to that position, Pam was the Clinical Manager at Hillside’s Residential Treatment Center program on Monroe Avenue in Rochester, NY. A native of Brockport, NY, Pam received her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 2002 from Syracuse University and her BS in Psychology in 1998 from Elmira College. Her most important job — as Mom of 2 children, ages 7 (Brianna) and 9 (Shawn) — keeps her fully occupied outside of her work life accept, of course, when she’s training for triathlons.
Shannon Rea joined Women Sanctuary towards the end of 2016. Her education and skilled training is in the field of occupational therapy to provide rehabilitation to individuals with physical, neurological, emotional, and/or behavioral injuries, limitations or impairments, disabilities, and to promote greater health and well being. Her specialization concentrates on the use of specific strategies, techniques, & adaptive equipment to achieve this goal. Being a woman, and facing daily challenges herself from having a disability, she knows firsthand about having to be strong enough to tackle difficulties each and every day.
“The ability to allow enough vulnerability to place oneself in an unfamiliar environment, meet new people while engaging in new activities can be absolutely frightening. Many people simply won’t chance the opportunity to discover new interests due to this fear. This is why I feel The Women’s Sanctuary is a place to bring all women together to create a smoother community flow and close any gaps through a diversity of theme based activities. The key is to accept people as they are, in the present moment, having no expectation but acknowledgment and respect.”
Lindsey Graser’s involvement with Women Sanctuary started with attending meditation classes and volunteering for events. Since then, she has become active in teaching Creative Wellness classes and workshops, as well as guided meditations. Lindsey has a Master’s Degree in Art Education from Nazareth, and Bachelor’s degree in English and Art from SUNY Geneseo. She brings with her an enthusiasm for the arts in creative expression, as well as a whole-hearted desire to connect and uplift women. She currently holds a position as Marketing Manager at Dorschel Automotive Group and is actively engaged in marketing and development for Women Sanctuary. You may see her 9-year old in tow, as her daughter Amelia often accompanies her during classes and volunteering. Being a single mom herself, she is passionate about providing support and positive outlets to other women in similar situations and life transitions.