Leadership

First Step StaffTerri L. Mercer - B.S. Ed., R.T.C., Executive Director Terri Mercer co-facilitates the Passages class and leads the First Step team by providing the overall direction and leadership of the agency. She resolves personnel issues and acts as the official spokesperson for the agency. She also develops and administers all program activities of the agency in accordance with agency policy. Mercer holds a Bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Findlay and was Reality Therapy Certified in 1992 by the Institute for Reality Therapy, Los Angeles, CA. She is well known in the state of Ohio as a practitioner, teacher, and innovator of programs and services in the field of domestic violence. She has had more than 20 years of experience in consulting and teaching in the areas of family dynamics, parenting, child development, mental retardation, teenage pregnancy, and interpersonal development. Mercer has been active at the state level on domestic violence, having served as an officer and board member of ACTION OHIO, a member of the Ohio Women’s Budget Coalition, and as a member of the Institute of Reality Therapy. She has been responsible for the initial and continuing development of the Passages psycho-educational program that has received acknowledgment from the Institute for Reality Therapy as an innovative and effective method to address the needs of victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. Thomas Tobin, B.S. SW., Community Resource Coordinator Tom Tobin co-facilitates the Passages class and leads the 24/7 Dad program. Tom has a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from Bluffton University. He is a lifelong resident of Fostoria father of 3, member of St. Wendelin Parish and Fostoria Arts Council. Mary Jacquot, A.A. Ed., Shelter Services Coordinator Mary Jacquot has an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education and has more than 15 years experience at First Step. Her duties include supervising the agency residential program and shelter intakes, oversees residential case management, and provides follow-up services. Sarah Shook, A.A. CJ., Victim Advocate Sarah Shook has an Associate's Degree in Applied Business Criminal Justice. She has a year's worth of experience with First Step doing advocacy. She offers victim advocacy services for Seneca, Sandusky, Wood, and Wyandot Counties.