- Focus Areas + Initiatives
Jenny Puestow – Director of Safe Kids Georgia
Jenny Puestow has 15+ years of nonprofit management experience and is currently serving as the Director of Safe Kids Georgia and Program Manager of Child Advocacy under the auspices of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Her primary responsibility is to ensure the financial and governmental compliance oversight of the State Office, ensuring alignment of the mission, vision and strategy.
Previously, as Manager within the Child Wellness Department at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, she was responsible for the implementation of programs impacting kids in the community and in schools, and she led the development of the Children’s Water Safety Program.
As the Director of the Developmental Disabilities Program at The Georgia Advocacy Office, she was responsible for the statewide coordination of protection and advocacy services on behalf of Georgians with developmental disabilities. Her greatest honor while with The Georgia Advocacy Office was serving as Advisor to self-advocacy groups, People First of Georgia and People First of Atlanta.
Jenny holds a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management, a Master of Science in Conflict Management, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She is a trained mediator, facilitator and ombudsman.
Laura Coleman – Operations Coordinator
Laura received her Bachelor of Science degree from Toccoa Falls College in Communications. Her previous work history includes the Department of Family and Children Services, Legacy Link, and Circle of Hope. During that time, Laura also joined the local volunteer fire department and returned to school to obtain her Firefighter 1 and Paramedic degrees. Recognizing that she had a passion for fire safety, she was then hired with the Forsyth County Fire Department where she served as a Fire Prevention Training Officer. While at the fire department, she assisted her agency in adopting and implementing the Safe Kids program in Forsyth County.
She is active in her community serving as a Firefighter/Paramedic with Lumpkin County Emergency Services and an instructor for the Georgia Fire Academy.
Mahwish Javed – Program Coordinator
Mahwish holds a Master’s degree in Public Health Informatics (MPH) from University of Illinois at Chicago & Masters of Science degree in Agriculture. She has hands-on public health experience in the field of the built environment, community health and social determinants of health. Previously, as a Public Health Analyst with Desighning4Health, she worked on analyses for the Health Design Assessments and for Healthy Food Access in South Carolina and Delaware.
She is a member of Healthcare Association of Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce (Cumming, GA) and has worked on key initiatives including “Walk with a Doc” & “5K Boulder Dash”.
She started her career in a non-for-profit, as an evaluation analyst for UNICEF by working on Universal Primary Education (UPE) especially for girls between the ages 5- 10 years.
Later she worked as a Project Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist with UNDP program activities in the areas of Health, Social Mobilization and Women and child health geared towards polio eradication, routine immunization and malaria prevention and control.
Kristy Jennette – Program Coordinator
Kristy is a versatile non-profit professional with over ten years of experience; overseeing recruitment, program implementation, health initiatives, budgeting, process development and partner relations. She is recognized for her vast knowledge in program development, project management and event execution.
Prior to this role with Safe Kids Georgia for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Kristy was Director of Programs at Junior Achievement of Georgia. There she served as a member of the organization’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Advisory Group and was the 2017 recipient of the Circle of Leadership Award. Her innovative planning, insistence on excellence and ability to nurture relationships leads to long term solutions and success. She brings a unique and forward-thinking perspective from her diverse career experiences that include Communities in Schools of Atlanta, Norfolk Community Services Board and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Kristy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Old Dominion University and a Master’s degree in Education from Cambridge College.
Debbie Mekonnen – Program Consultant
Debbie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion from the University of Georgia. After interning for Safe Kids Georgia, she was hired to serve as a Program Consultant for the organization. Debbie has several years of volunteer experience and a strong passion for public health education particularly the importance of preventing unintentional injuries among children. She continues to show her desire to provide aid to children and families by traveling to different counties across the state of Georgia and educating residents on best practices in Child Passenger Safety. Debbie has a strong background in program development, technical writing, and community engagement.