Staff & Board Members
Our Center for Refugee Services is proud to have these amazing board and staff members. They selflessly volunteer their time and services to benefit the community.
We are happy to have them be a part of the team
Margaret Costantino, MA, LPC
Executive Director and Board Member
Margaret is a lifelong resident of San Antonio and has spent over 20 years as a career counselor in higher educational settings.
She has three years of experience working in a community mental health program that she co-founded in San Antonio, Texas.
She has worked with the resettled refugee population in San Antonio since 2008, teaching ESL, citizenship classes, and addressing their psychosocial needs.
She earned her Master's in Counseling from the University of Texas at San Antonio and is a licensed professional counselor.
She also has 6 years experience teaching at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Board President and Assistant Director
Jean is a retired pharmacist, earning her BS in Pharmacy at the University of South Carolina while husband Jody was assigned at Fort Jackson, SC.
During Jody's 20 years as an Army officer, Jean was active as a per diem pharmacist, a Red Cross volunteer at military bases, and a community and chapel activities volunteer. The Sherrill's retired to San Antonio in July of 1993, where Jean began her 18 year career as a pharmacist with CVS Caremark Mail Order Division.
She retired again in April, 2011. In 2008, Jean became aware of the significant refugee influx into San Antonio and began to serve at the Center for Refugee Services as ESL teacher, transportation provider, and addressed other needs of the community.
In July, 2014, Jean organized the all-volunteer craft shop, World Mosaic Market, at CRS to provide a sales outlet as well as work experience for our many talented local refugee artisans.
Assistant Director and Board Member
Diana Kellerman retired from USAA Investment Management Company where she ran the fixed-income (bonds) research department.
Diana holds professional designations of Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting (magna cum laude) from Southwest Texas State University.
Diana’s first career was in psychiatric social work. She holds a Master’s in Social Work from Tulane University.
"Ayad's photo was taken by the photographer, SHOWN, who is a refugee from Afghanistan.”
Ayad Kaisi is a refugee from Iraq. He has a college degree specializing in the petroleum industry. Mr. Kaisi is the former owner and CEO of Ayad Al Kaisi Bureau - Hospital Supplies and Contracting.
Ayad has lived in the U.S. for more than a decade. He has taught the Arabic language and culture to many organizations who have sent missionaries to the Middle East.
Mr. Kaisi suggested teaching the Arabic language as a class with Bible Study Fellowship International. He started such a class as a Group Leader in 2018 in San Antonio, TX.
Dr. Veena Prasad, PHD is a long time resident of San Antonio. She was a researcher at the UT Health Science Center. During her tenure at UTHSCSA , she was on the board of the International Alliance, an organization that helped settle researchers who visited the University for training.
She has organized several fundraisers for United Way, the India Association, Bexar County Justice center along with her daughter Miss Sapna Prasad.
She teaches music and is very involved in local charitable organizations.
She also conducts religious Hindu ceremonies such as weddings, naming ceremonies, and the like.
She enjoys singing and playing the Veena, which is a musical Instrument.
Brooks Von Biberstein, JD
Brooks von Biberstein is fairly new to the San Antonio area. She grew up in North Carolina but lived for many years in Boston.
Brooks is an attorney in private practice. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned a BA in English and a Juris Doctor.
She has been involved in social justice advocacy throughout her life and feels fortunate to have the opportunity to work with refugee families who are struggling to establish a new life in Texas.
Howaida M. Werfelli, MPH, CHES
Howaida M. Werfelli, MPH, CHES serves as the Founding Executive Director of SALVERE . She holds Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Middle Eastern Studies from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Master’s degree in Public Health from The University of Texas School of Public Health.
She is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Management, Policy and Community Health Practice from The University of Texas School of Public Health.
She has seven years’ experience working on federal grants including SAMHSA/CSAP and US Department of Education. She has severed as the PI on several grant funded projects.
She has management experience and has led several teams to successful completion of grant funded projects. She also has focused experience conducting HIV-related epidemiologic studies. She has authored 2 papers and has presented at local, state, and national conferences on her work.
Marla Dial Moore
Marla joined the CRS Board of Directors in July 2019, after more than a year serving as a volunteer for the organization in several different capacities (ESL teacher, fundraiser planning committee, special event presentations, etc.)
Marla is a multifaceted communications professional who has always been fascinated by languages and cultures. Her interest in serving refugee community of San Antonio was shaped in part by a 16-year career with a geopolitical analysis and forecasting company, where she gained an understanding of the many different conflicts that create refugee flows to our city.
Since moving to San Antonio in 2012 (living close to CRS facilities), she has seen refugees on a daily basis and considers them to be her neighbors.
Marla holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Angelo State University.
Maurya Villarreal was raised in San Antonio, TX. After completing her BA in Psychology and a Religious Studies Certificate at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW), she was awarded the Outstanding Academic Achievement in Psychology award from UIW. She holds a Six Sigma Black Belt certification in Project Management.
After graduation Maurya spent several years teaching in San Antonio private religious schools. In 2008 she began volunteering at the Center for Refugee Services, a nonprofit dedicated to helping legally resettled refugees. Maurya began serving on the Center for Refugee Services’ Board of Directors in 2012, and then served as board president from 2016-2018. In 2016 she completed the Certificate for Lay Pastoral Caregivers Community of Hope (lay chaplaincy program) in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.
Maurya worked with the State of Texas doing case management work at the Health and Human Services Commission from 2016-2018. In 2018 she began working as a Program Support Manager at the Center for Refugee Services to present. She currently works with refugees from all over the world on a daily basis, both in her job and through her church, St. Francis Episcopal Church, which focuses on community outreach for both refugees and other neighbors in need. Maurya received the Trauma Healing Institute Certificate as a facilitator in 2018, and is now facilitating healing groups in San Antonio.
In her downtime she enjoys planning events, singing and cooking.
Jill Rips began volunteering at CRS in 2017 as an ESL teacher and grant writer. She became a fulltime staff member, one of 2 Program Support Managers, in 2018 and continues to serve in that position, with principal oversight of maternity and public health related programs, grant writing and program evaluation.
Prior to CRS, Jill served in a variety of Public Health research and service delivery programs for most of her career. Jill has a BA in Anthropology from Wesleyan University, an MA in Anthropology from the New School for Social Research (NY, NY) and a MPhil in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University (NY, NY).
A native San Antonian, prior to moving home in 1999, Jill had over 15 years of experience in HIV/AIDS, reproductive, and general public health work both domestically (New York City) and internationally, including the publication of articles in scholarly journals and books. Additionally, Jill oversaw federally funded asthma health education and childhood obesity prevention programs among Dominicans living in NYC. She taught Cross Cultural Perspectives on Health and Illness and The Social Construction of Women’s Health at Columbia University’s School of Public Health and Teacher’s College in New York City.
In San Antonio, Jill was the Deputy Executive Director of the San Antonio AIDS Foundation for 16 years, where she also served as Director of Development, had program development, evaluation, and oversight, as well as general agency operational duties. Jill has been involved in establishing syringe exchange as a public health intervention in San Antonio and served on the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District’s Advisory Board of Health and the HIV/Syphilis Task Force.