SASS Board of Directors

Russell "Rusty" Tolley, JD Chair, Board of Directors

After earning his law degree with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law, Rusty was commissioned as a Captain in the U.S. Army, Judge Advocate General’s Corps. 

Following four years of military service, Rusty practiced law for twelve years at a large firm in Atlanta, GA, where he became a partner and was elected to serve on the firm’s Board of Directors.

In 1999, Rusty took a sabbatical from practicing law and moved with his family to the Southwest where he fulfilled a lifelong dream of working on a cattle ranch. 

Rather than returning to law practice, Rusty started a new career in law enforcement.  He served more than ten years as an officer with the New Mexico State Police and another six as Lead Investigator for the District Attorney’s Office, 6th District.  Rusty investigated multiple cases involving sexual abuse of children.  Trained as a forensic interviewer, he also conducted numerous interviews of child victims in cases investigated by other agencies. 

It was in this context that Rusty learned of the services provided by SASS.  He witnessed firsthand the dramatic, positive impact those services had on sexual assault survivors and their families.  He said he was honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve on SASS’ Board of Directors following his retirement from law enforcement in 2018 and subsequently to serve as Board Chair.




Susan J. McFeaters, PhD, LCSW-C Vice President of the Board of Directors

Susan is an Associate Professor at Western New Mexico University (WNMU) in the School of Social Work. Dr. McFeaters teaches in the MSW Program. She is a licensed clinical social worker with a specialization in health and mental health practice. She has spent many years working with children, families and communities impacted by chronic and life-threatening diseases, multiple disabilities and psychiatric disorders. 

Susan currently serves as the Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Silver Regional Sexual Assault Support Services in Silver City, NM. She is the past President of the Board.

Susan currently serves as the President of Faculty Senate at WNMU.  She has served on the Council of Directors for the Training Rural & Urban Health Professions Students Initiative for the Division of Community Behavioral Health, University of New Mexico, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Susan has also served on numerous Boards of Directors including the Maryland Chapter of National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Pennsylvania Chapter of NASW; the Virginia Satir Global Network; Chase Brexton Community Health Services in Baltimore City; and the Community Advisory Committee for the Pre-Release and Reentry Services, a component of the Montgomery County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Maryland.




Renee Howard Member, Board of Directors

Renee Howard worked for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture as a Market Development Coordinator for 17 years.  One day, while reading the author’s bio in a book that had brought great meaning to her life, she learned the author had “worked for 15 years as the administrator of a large university program” and instantly knew that was it.  She’s worked in higher education for 20 years at universities in North Carolina and Idaho, and now serves as the Advisor for the School of Education at WNMU. 




Carlos Lucero Board of Directors Treasurer

Carlos is a native of Silver City. He attended New Mexico State University where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration. Carlos has worked with Western Bank since 2015 and is currently a commercial loan officer and Assistant Vice President. Since joining the Board of Directors for SASS 5 months ago, he has been able to serve as Treasurer where he is able to contribute his financial expertise and perspective to help strengthen the non-profit’s financial footing. Carlos enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, and hiking.