Debbie Fowler – President & Founder

Debbie is a woman who believes with all her heart that each of us is responsible and gifted to make a difference in the world in which we live. She is a wife, mother of three and is blessed with nine grandchildren. Her interests include painting, sewing, cooking and reading. She enjoys the outdoors and gardening, “It is where I feel most connected to God.” Debbie has a history rooted in service, professionally in the health care field and a lifetime of volunteering in nursing homes and schools.

Debbie is the author of Fragrance in the Desert, a memoir of her experiences working with runaway maids in Kuwait. Upon learning of the realities of human trafficking, not only globally but in our own backyard, she founded Eyes Wide Open NENY, Inc., a non-profit organization focusing on social justice. She has committed herself to bringing awareness to the community and has a vision for providing safe havens of healing and hope for women and girls who have been trafficked.

Erin's portraits of Patty 050Patricia Carley – Vice-President

Patty is a local artist and author of 4 books. She is currently the facilitator of an art program for developmentally challenged adults. Since learning about the terrible situation of human trafficking in our local area, she has dedicated her time and talents to raising awareness by educating the public and finding ways to assist the victims and survivors.




Sr FranSister Francine Dempsey – Board Member

Sister Fran has been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet in Albany, NY for 56 years. She is a retired educator, long-time justice advocate, a free-lance writer and a member of the Capital Region’s Anti-Trafficking Task Force.





Jeanne LaVoie – Board Member

Jeanne retired just over a year ago. Her background is in group health insurance and graphic design advertising. She has three children and six grandchildren. Her desire was to give back in the years ahead by becoming part of something meaningful. She was introduced to Eyes Wide Open by Patty & Debbie and embraced the opportunity. Her heart is open to learning more about human trafficking and helping in any way she can to fulfill their vision of healing and hope.



Heather McGraw – Board Member

Heather is an advocate for ending domestic violence and she takes it a step further by directly supporting the victims.  Her passion is to help heal their emotional wounds and build their confidence. Eyes Wide Open NENY’s mission and vision are natural fit for her personal devotion to end the abuse. She was introduced to the organization by a colleague and quickly began volunteering to lead fundraising initiatives, she has been dedicated to the cause ever since. Heather has a background in business and operations management along with producing corporate and fundraising events.