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Our Team

Rania Mankarious, Chief Executive Officer

Boston native Rania Mankarious was chosen to head Houston’s leading public safety non-profit organization, Crime Stoppers of Houston, in March of 2013.

As a first-generation American, Rania was born to Egyptian parents, Onsy and Samia Makar who encouraged hard work and community engagement. She is a graduate of Boston College where she received a dual degree in psychology and theology and a minor in pre-med; she went on to earn her Masters’ Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy where she graduated magna cum laude and interned at the Harvard University affiliated McLean Hospital, followed by a law degree completed at the University of Houston Law Center.

With an extensive resume consulting for clients, non-profit organizations and private public relations clients alike, Rania has a personal mission to serve families and engage the public to better society.

Beginning at Crime Stoppers in 2006 as an intern, Rania’s work set her apart. By 2013, she was asked to lead the organization as its next Executive Director. Together, with an incredible team, her legacy has been well established. Described by some as “Crime Stoppers on steroids,” her footprint has elevated the organization to new heights. In addition to expanding the reach of the Safe School Institute, the topics covered by the Safe Community Program, the launch of Parents Against Crime and the critically important Fallen Hero Program, Rania is most proud to have built the first-ever Crime Stoppers headquarters anywhere in the world. The Dave Ward Building, Crime Stoppers of Houston was officially opened January 2017 and is the first public safety, crime prevention facility of its kind – bringing together civilians and law enforcement as well as students and community members from every corner of our great city. Additionally, on this city block rests the first Harris County Sheriff’s Office Memorial Garden, a beautiful tribute to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

In 2018, Rania was named the first ever CEO of Crime Stoppers of Houston. While she has many achievements, she is most recognized for leading one of the most robust and successful school safety programs nationally. She has testified before the Texas State House of Representatives and Senate Committees on the topic of school safety as well as other legislative issues pertaining to public safety. Governor Greg Abbott called upon Rania to train the remaining 137 Crime Stoppers organizations statewide following the tragic shooting in Santa Fe. In 2018, she was asked to become a national advisor for Safe and Sound Schools, a nonprofit organization created by two families who lost children during the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

A receipt of many awards including a recent recognition for her work to end human trafficking in the Greater Houston Metropolitan area, she appears regularly on NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX as well as on radio shows locally and nationally as a public safety/mental health/family safety expert.

Nichole Christoph, Deputy Director

Deputy Director Nichole Christoph’s career as an administrator spans nearly two and half decades in both private and public sector management. Having joined Crime Stoppers of Houston in 2012 as an Office Manager, Nichole rapidly ascend the organizations ranks, and was appointed Deputy Director in 2013. Prior to joining Crime Stoppers of Houston, she held post at Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults for over ten years.

Citing a passion for helping other and a dedication to serving the community, Nichole proudly joined the Crime Stoppers of Houston Executive Staff. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends in her spare time.

Tania Cruz, Marketing and Communications Director

Tania Cruz joined Crime Stoppers of Houston in April 2015. As Marketing and Communications Director, she brings over 14 years of non-profit development, community relations and marketing experience. She is responsible for managing, developing and growing all aspects of marketing and communications that directly impact the Crime Stoppers’ mission, outreach and fundraising efforts.

Before joining Crime Stoppers, Tania was PR and Events Manager for Susan G. Komen Houston. She attended the University of Houston where she earned a BS in Health Education and Sociology Minor. In her spare time, she loves attending her son’s baseball and soccer games, volunteering at charity events, hosting family gatherings and tailgating at football games with family, friends, and colleagues.

Paige Hollek, Programs and Special Events Director

Paige Hollek joined Crime Stoppers of Houston in September 2016 and is our Programs and Special Events Director. Paige oversees the Safe School and Safe Community programs to ensure execution and growth, communicating with both programs to plan and seek out advancement. Her role also includes gathering and hosting the programs statistics and final reports. Paige is also responsible for planning and overseeing our program and fundraising events. She manages the logistics and preparation of all events.

Prior to Crime Stoppers, Paige had several years of experience in non-profit coordinating and intern experience with the media. She graduated with a BS in Communications and Journalism from Texas A&M University.

Andy Kahan, Director of Victim Services and Advocacy

Andy Kahan joined Crime Stoppers of Houston in June 2018 as its first-ever Director of Victim Services and Advocacy.

Prior to Crime Stoppers, Andy served as the Victim Advocate for the Mayor’s Office and Houston Police Department for 26 years before retiring and joining Crime-Stoppers of Houston to resume his career as a Victim Advocate. Andy Kahan received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in 1983 from the University of Houston. He worked as both a Parole and Probation Officer before becoming the first victim advocate in the country to work in a Mayor’s Office. His responsibilities included working with local crime victim’s rights organizations to facilitate the pooling of resources and the exchange of information, accompanying and representing victims before the Parole Board, putting crime victims in touch with local crime victims support and advocacy groups, and court accompaniment.

Cabell Wood, Senior Director of Development and Programming

Cabell Wood joined Crime Stoppers of Houston in September 2012 as Director of Development and is now the organization’s Senior Director of Development and Programming. She oversees major gifts, annual special events, corporate and foundation relations and annual giving programs. Cabell has eight years of experience in fundraising, development and special events for local non-profit organizations. Before coming to Crime Stoppers, she was Manager of Corporate Relations and Special Events for Sheltering Arms Senior Services, a division of Neighborhood Centers Inc. Cabell brings with her an expertise in fundraising and development and looks forward to furthering the mission to solve and prevent crime in the greater Houston area. A native Houstonian, Cabell graduated from The Kinkaid School prior to entering Vanderbilt University, where she graduated cum laude in 2005.

Mimi Zarenchansky, Strategic Operations Director

As of March 2013, Mimi Zarenchansky has been working with the great team at Crime Stoppers and learning so much about the nonprofit world. After graduating from Stephens College with a B.S. in Communications: Emphasis in Media Production, Mimi worked in the cable television industry for 2 years. She was able to produce her own cable real estate show while also working in the billing and traffic side of the advertising department of the cable company. She was then given the opportunity to learn the international import/export business from her father. Upon moving back to Texas, Mimi spent 10.5 years learning and living the import/export business and representing companies such as Maytag, Bissell, Dirt Devil, and more to the country of Argentina. They were then afforded the opportunity to represent a sugar substitute to the United States from Argentina and enjoyed that journey for many years. After that Mimi was ready for a new start and began working at Limb Design as their Traffic and Production Manager/ Director of Operations and was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn so much about the graphic design industry from the three principals over a 5.5 year period.

Jenna Fondren, Safe School Institute Manager

Jenna Fondren joined Crime Stoppers of Houston in June 2017 as Community Education Specialist and is now the Institute’s Manager. She oversees the Safe School Institute’s day to day operations, ensuring that students, parents, and school staff receive the most current and impactful crime prevention presentations and safety tips. In these presentations Jenna and the Safe School Team emphasize personal safety, anti-victimization, and how to safely and anonymously report crime and potential dangers on school campuses and in the community.

A native Houstonian, Jenna graduated from The Kinkaid School before attending The University of Texas at Austin where she earned a BS in Sociology and minored in Business Administration. She served on the executive committee of her sorority including position of President her senior year. Jenna also headed a council of students called The Darrell K. Royal Research Fund Legacy Council, whose goal was to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s Disease. She hopes to utilize the tools Crime Stoppers provides to reach and educate as many kids as possible.

Carly Gray, Development Manager

Carly Gray joined Crime Stoppers of Houston in November 2017. As Development Manager, Carly implements the organization’s long-term development plan and manages all fundraising aspects of special events. Additionally, Carly is overseeing the launch of Crime Stoppers of Houston’s first-ever Young Professionals Group.

Carly brought a for-profit background of marketing, communications, and graphic design to Crime Stoppers (initially joining as Marketing and Communications Manager), before falling in love with the nonprofit world and being drawn to Development. A native Houstonian, Carly graduated from The Kinkaid School prior to attending Baylor University where she earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Minors in Corporate Communication and History. Carly is passionate about the city of Houston and its community. She enjoys serving as a volunteer Young Life leader and a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo committee member.

Sydney Zuiker, Safe Community Program Manager

Sydney Zuiker joined Crime Stoppers of Houston in February 2018 as Community Education Specialist. She is now the organization’s Manager of the Safe Community Program. Sydney uses prevention and awareness programs to educate students ages kindergarten through high school, school administration staff, and community members throughout the Greater Houston Area. Originally from Austin, Sydney graduated from Hyde Park Baptist High School before attending The University of Texas at Austin where she earned a Bachelor of Social Work. She served on staff with Young Life during her college years, and was an AmeriCorps Education Award recipient. Before moving to Houston and joining Crime Stoppers, Sydney worked as the assistant to the Executive Director of the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians.  Sydney grew up with a passion for people that developed through her summers spent volunteering in Uganda over the past decade. She hopes to use her past experiences, as well as the resources Crime Stoppers provides to educate students on how they can stay safe, and thrive in Houston.

Kaitlynn Frey, Safe School Education Specialist

Kaitlynn Frey joined Crime Stoppers of Houston in October of 2019 as an Education Specialist. Kaitlynn uses prevention and awareness programs to educate students ages kindergarten through high school, school administration staff, and community members throughout the Greater Houston Area. Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, the military life moved her all over before she settled down in Louisiana where she would graduate high school, leaving as a Corvias Scholarship recipient and later, college. She graduated from University of Louisiana Monroe where she received a BS in Elementary Education and a MS in Forensic Psychology. She served on SEE AmeriCorps and Carmel Hill Foundation where these non-profit organizations focus on synergy, children and education. Before moving to Houston and joining Crime Stoppers, Kaitlynn was an elementary school teacher for Lufkin ISD and Houston ISD. She hopes to use her past experiences, as well as the resources Crime Stoppers provides to educate students on how they can stay safe, and thrive in Houston.

Stuart Hudson, Bookkeeper

Stuart Hudson joined the Crime Stoppers team in March of 2013 and takes care of all things financial for the organization.

In addition to Crime Stoppers, Stuart provides bookkeeping services to the I Am Waters Foundation, Yale Club of Houston, Health Outreach to the Middle East, Worldwide Institute of Medical Education, and the Arabic Church of Houston. She has also held numerous volunteer leadership positions such as Secretary of the Board of Bellaire Christian Academy, Treasurer of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, President of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Charitable Foundation, Treasurer of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Association and founding board member of Veritas Christian Academy.

Stuart holds a BS degree from Louisiana State University and is a certified Quick Books user with over 20 years of experience in bookkeeping for non-profit organizations as well as small businesses.

Elizabeth McChesney, Marketing Coordinator

Elizabeth McChesney joined Crime Stoppers of Houston in March of 2020 as Marketing Coordinator. She supports and enhances our current marketing efforts through strategy, photography and social media management. Additionally, see oversees the distribution of marketing materials to our statewide counterparts.

A native Houstonian, Elizabeth graduated from St. Agnes Academy before attending the University of Texas at Austin where she studied Studio Art and Art Education. While at university, she served as a Young Life leader in Northwest Austin where she dedicated her time to mentoring teenage girls. Elizabeth interned at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin for two years under the Community and Family Programs Director. While at the Blanton, she realized her passion for advancing community engagement through education and art appreciation. After graduation, she joined Thompson + Hanson in Houston where she had the opportunity to refine her skills in marketing, event planning and operations.

Elizabeth hopes that her passion for art and design will advance Crime Stopper’s efforts to educate, inform and engage our community.

Nayeli Moyeda, Safe School Education Specialist

Nayeli Moyeda joined Crime Stoppers of Houston in March of 2020 as an Education Specialist. Nayeli uses prevention and awareness programs to educate students ages kindergarten through high school, school administration staff, and community members throughout the Greater Houston Area.

She was born in Mexico and raised in Houston, TX where she graduated from the Chinquapin Preparatory School, a first generation student, before attending the University of Houston-Downtown where she obtained her MS in Criminal Justice and BS in Sociology. She is a member of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc as well as Alpha Phi Sigma, The Criminal Justice Honor Society.

Michaela Stanwood, Safe School Operations Specialist

Michaela Stanwood joined Crime Stoppers of Houston in January 2020 as an Education Specialist for the Safe School Institute and is now the program’s Operations Specialists. She is responsible for day-to-day logistics of the of the Institute such as overseeing scheduling, organizing and updating Safe School presentations, program research, and coordinating with the Manager on Safe School projects and events.

A native Houstonian, Michaela graduated from St. Thomas Episcopal School before attending The University of Mississippi where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After numerous years working in the Human Resources field, Michaela earned her Masters of Science in Forensic Psychology from Arizona State University. Michaela hopes to use her education, passion for psychology and the legal system, as well as the resources Crime Stoppers provides to educate students on how they can remain safe and excel in Houston. Michaela loves working with children and is an active volunteer and supporter for The Children’s Assessment Center in Houston.