Verde Valley Sanctuary Introduces New Executive Director

The Verde Valley Sanctuary Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Jessye Johnson has taken the helm as the organization’s Executive Director.

Jessye has a rich history of serving children, families, and survivors of domestic and sexual violence as a seasoned nonprofit leader with deep roots in Arizona.

Jessye Johnson

Jessye has over two decades of experience within the violence against women movement, with the last ten (10) years as an executive leader for local and statewide nonprofit organizations. Throughout her career she has assisted in the passage of critical legislation to help survivors of domestic and sexual violence, acquired and administered millions of dollars in local, state, and federal grants, and provided model policies and protocols to other agencies across the state in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more than eight years, Jessye served as the Chief Strategy Officer for the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. Among her projects, Jessye was the subject matter expert for the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission’s Injunction Against Harassment and Order of Protection overhaul project leading to the development of the AzPOINT system. She also served as an appointee to the Arizona Governor’s Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Task Force and responsible for developing statewide protocols related to sexual assault evidence kit collection, retention, and testing.

Verde Valley Sanctuary is excited to welcome Jessye and begin this new chapter.

“We are thrilled to have selected Jessye, and we are excited by the opportunity to benefit from her experience and leadership,” said David Hanke, Board Chair of Verde Valley Sanctuary. “Not only does Jessye bring a strong network of partners and the know-how to get things done as a nonprofit executive in the Verde Valley; she is also passionately committed to Verde Valley Sanctuary’s mission and an inspiring leader.”

“I am both humbled and excited for the opportunity to serve as Executive Director of Verde Valley Sanctuary,” said Jessye Johnson. “I look forward to working with its board, staff, and stakeholders, building upon its foundation of excellence to further strengthen and grow the organization to optimize outcomes for the benefit of survivors and the community. Domestic and sexual violence are unfortunate realities in every community, and Verde Valley Sanctuary has been a steadfast support for survivors in the Verde Valley for nearly thirty (30) years.”

Jessye joined Verde Valley Sanctuary in her new role in late March, and there will be opportunities for the organization’s supporters and community partners to engage with her in the coming months.

To reach Executive Director Jessye Johnson, please call (928) 634-2511 or email at For more information about Verde Valley Sanctuary or to make a donation, contact Community Development Director Tracey McConnell at (928) 282-2755,, or visit the website We would love to hear from you!

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