Our Board of Directors governs the California Court Appointed Special Advocate Association.
Each board member is a voting member, with the authority and responsibility to establish vision and direction, develop policies and procedures, ensure adequate funding, and monitor and sanction California CASA’s activities.
Please read their biographies below:
VICE CHAIR SHELLEY BROWN, a retired human resources executive with over 25 years of experience influencing talent acquisition and management and organization effectiveness in major high tech companies in the Bay Area. During the past 16 years, she has been an active community leader and volunteer with several nonprofit organizations, including Child Advocates of Silicon Valley. Starting in 2001, she has advocated for six children, helping one youth emancipate successfully from the foster care system, facilitating one child’s successful adoption, and helping four children re-unite with their families. She received an undergraduate degree at Stanford University and an M.B.A. from UCLA. She resides in Los Altos Hills.
KATY CARLSEN, MD, FAAP, had spent the better part of a decade in her fulltime pediatric practice when she realized that she wanted to do more to help children on a broader scale – particularly foster children. Her quest prompted her to leave Kaiser Permanente and accept a position as medical consultant for California Children’s Services, Placer County. She also became a volunteer assistant clinical professor with UC Davis Health System, training medical residents. She has served as a board member and past President of Ticket to Dream Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to benefit foster children. Since 2000, Katy has taught and supervised residents in the UC Davis pediatric continuity clinic; currently she is supervising these residents at the Sacramento County Primary care clinic location. In addition to her medical work, Katy has served on boards including Sierra Forever Families in the Sacramento region and as a Friends of CASA for Child Advocates of Placer County. Katy’s passion for improving the health care coordination of children and youth in foster care has guided her to work as co-chair of the Foster Care Committee for the California Chapter 1 of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which serves most counties in California. She resides in Granite Bay.
NANCY BANNING DOYLE has extensive knowledge of the foster care system in San Diego and Los Angeles Counties, having been a volunteer Case Assessment Program (CAP) File Reviewer at Voices for Children from 2008 to 2014 and a CASA in Los Angeles from 2005 to 2008. She also served as teacher at the San Diego Juvenile Court and Community Schools, as a commissioner on the San Diego Juvenile Justice Commission, and as a member of the San Diego County Grand Jury. Her board experience includes Voices for Children (the CASA program for San Diego and Riverside counties); Center for Plant Conservation at San Diego Zoo Global; Midland Center for the Arts in Midland, Michigan; Green Cancer Center of Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla; San Diego Children’s Hospital (now Rady Children’s Hospital) Auxiliary; the State of California Area Board XIII; and the San Diego County Commission on the Handicapped. She also served as the Founder and President of Scripps Clinic TSRI’s Charter Society, and was on the City of Del Mar’s Ad Hoc Development Review Process Citizen’s Committee. She resides in Del Mar.
TRACY FAUVER is the Executive Director of Yolo County CASA. As a licensed clinical social worker, Tracy has worked with and advocated for vulnerable populations since her start as an undergraduate student in Washington, DC. Tracy served as a CASA volunteer for four years while coordinating a transitional housing program for homeless families. She took over the Yolo program at a difficult time and has created a well-respected, highly collaborative, financially stable program. In her past eight years as the CASA program director, Yolo County CASA has doubled its revenues and more than doubled the number of active advocates and children served. In her role on the California CASA board, Tracy envisions California CASA programs developing individual and collective strength in advocacy so that each community recognizes and supports the value of CASA, which builds nurturing relationships to support children and build resilience for them and their families. She resides in Woodland.
BOARD TREASURER KEVIN GARDNER, a marketing consultant in Silicon Valley, has worked for more than 25 years in product marketing and marketing communications in the areas of semiconductors, networking, and decision support software. A past president of the California CASA board of directors and member of the board since 2004, Kevin has also served on the board of Child Advocates, Santa Clara County’s CASA program. He also chaired the advisory board of the Outlet Program in Mountain View, which provides support for LGBTQ youth. He started his affiliation with CASA in 1996 when he became a CASA volunteer for two teenagers aged 15 and 17. Kevin worked with these young men until they emancipated from the foster care system. He received his B.S. in Mathematics from Fairfield University, and currently resides in Palo Alto.
BOARD CHAIR JIM HATTER, Senior Vice President of First Bank in the Bay Area, has more than 25 years of increasing senior level experience in commercial banking, private equity finance, and investment banking activities. He has had considerable success in developing and managing start-up, turnaround, and high growth regional and global businesses, and managed sizable business units to increased profitability. Jim holds a B.S. in Investment Finance from California State University Northridge, and a M.B.A. from Pepperdine University, Malibu. He has served as a long-time volunteer and supporter of community affairs activities, including Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Primo’s Run for Education. Additionally, he was active in youth sports as a coach and a manager. He resides in Alamo.
J. MICHAEL HUGHES, Esq., a juvenile law attorney specializing in dependency, delinquency, and adoption in Orange County, California, has represented and advocated for children and parents’ rights in more than 2,000 cases. He has represented pro bono more than 100 Guardian Ad Litem cases and represented pro bono the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma in litigation involving Native American children. As a founding member of CASA in Orange County, he worked with the Junior League of Orange County to establish the program. For 25 years, he served on the Orange County CASA Board of Directors as president, secretary, and legal advisor. He has received the CASA Judicial Honoree Award and the CASA Children’s Champion Award. He resides in Newport Beach.
MARIE KENNEDY is Vice President, Communications & Marketing, at Dignity Health. There, she oversees executive communications and visibility, issues management, media strategy, and public relations, to deliver on Dignity Health’s mission to provide compassionate, high quality, and affordable patient-centered care with special attention to the poor and underserved. Marie has 25 years’ experience in corporate communications, public affairs, and advocacy as a strategic counselor and member of senior management with an understanding of how communications supports and drives operational objectives and goals. She has overseen staff of varying sizes with both direct and indirect reporting relationships, and has led organizations in adopting innovative communications practices, based on accountability and measurement. She also has a passion for social responsibility and understanding how large institutions can practice good appropriate social consciousness. She worked with the National CASA Association on various communications issues. She received her B.A. in Public Relations/Image Management from San Jose State University. She resides in Sacramento.
DON KLEINFELDER is Executive Director of Child Advocates of Placer County, where he has worked since 2006. Don has worked in the non-profit sector for over 25 years. Under his guidance, Child Advocates has grown from serving 25 foster youth in 2006 to over 500 foster and at-risk youth a year. Don is currently a board member for the Nonprofits’ Insurance Alliance of California and the Jack and Buena Hazard Foundation. Previously he was co-chair of the Placer Collaborative Network and chair of the Placer County Community Services Commission. He holds a MS in Hydrology/Hydrogeology from the University of Nevada-Reno and prior to entering the non-profit sector, worked in the private sector as a hydrogeologist, focusing on groundwater remediation. He resides in Rocklin.
ELISA MENDEL, Vice President for Strategic Customer Engagement at Kaiser Permanente, oversees their portfolio of products and services, designed to help employers improve the health and productivity of their employees through workforce health programs and interventions. She joined Kaiser Permanente in 1986 and has held a variety of leadership roles. Among her other areas of expertise is strategic planning. Elisa received her bachelor’s degree in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan. “The data about how CASAs help so significantly is overwhelming. You want every child in the system to have that support,” noted Ms. Mendel, who works with Kaiser’s largest customers, helping them to improve their employees’ health. She resides in Oakland.
KIM MOORE is a partner at Glynn Capital Management in the Bay Area. She is dedicated to supporting and adding value to the Firm’s private portfolio companies through business development and corporate development initiatives; and for managing and growing the Firm’s relationships with Fortune 1000 C-level executives. From 2013-2017, Kim was at Innovation Endeavors, an early-stage venture capital firm solely backed by Eric Schmidt. At Innovation Endeavors, Kim focused on business development and corporate initiatives in the U.S. and Israel. She supported over 100 private companies with an emphasis product/market fit, customer growth, and talent. Having experienced the foster care system firsthand, it is a passion of hers to help youth in the foster care system. Kim is the founder of REACH and serves on the Board of Together We Rise, HEAR, and Advanced Studies Scholarship Fund. She received her undergraduate degree with honors in Social Science from University of California, Irvine, and her Ed.M. from Harvard Graduate School of Education with a focus on Prevention Science and Practice. She resides in San Francisco with her husband and son.
WENDE NICHOLS-JULIEN, JD, is the CEO of Los Angeles CASA; prior to taking this position, most recently she was Executive Director of the California Conference for Equality and Justice (CCEJ) where she oversaw over education and conflict resolution programs that served over 7,000 people per year with a team of 20 staff and 250 volunteers. An attorney, Wende previously worked at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in the Government and Land Use division and as a law clerk with Public Counsel focusing on immigrants’ rights for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Wende holds a J.D. from USC Gould School of Law, an M.P.A. and Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Arizona State University, and a B.A./B.S. from the University of Arizona. Wende is trained in restorative practices and has a long history working in the field of youth development to dismantle systemic oppression and develop collaborative, creative solutions to better serve youth who find themselves in the jurisdiction of juvenile dependency and delinquency courts. Fluent in Spanish, Wende is also a certified mediator and a foster, adoptive and biological parent. She resides in Torrance.
SARAH DELANEY ROSENDAHL has expertise in public policy, legislative affairs, and government relations, and a long-standing interest in foster care and the CASA Movement. She is a public policy consultant currently focusing on solutions for the challenge of housing affordability in San Mateo County She has served senior staff for San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley and former California State Senator Joe Simitian. Sarah was a Board member of CASA of San Mateo County from 2007 to 2014 and from 2005 to 2012, she was a member, and served as Chair of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission. Sarah also chaired the State Public Affairs Committee for the Junior Leagues of California; and from 2000-2001, was President of the Junior League of Palo Alto-Mid Peninsula. Sarah received her MPP from Mills College, and her A.B. in History from the University of California, Davis. She resides in Atherton.
ROBERT SMITH is a writer and Court Appointed Special Advocate. He is a former partner and consultant with AON Hewitt, an international consulting firm, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of San Francisco; the USC Graduate School of Communication; and the California State University Graduate School, Fullerton. Robert is a past board president of CASA of San Mateo County and a former board member of Child Advocates, Santa Clara County’s CASA program. Robert has served as a CASA for 15 years, working with older CASA male youth to help them into jobs and independence. He resides in Hermosa Beach.
BOARD SECRETARY JAN-YU WENG is managing director and general manager at Applied Materials in Silicon Valley. In his more than 20 years at Applied, he has led several functions in operations, product development, technical product support, marketing, and program management. In addition, he has been a lifelong martial artist with a rank of 7th Degree Black Belt. As the head coach for the Cupertino Kung Fu Club, he has enjoyed sharing his experience, knowledge, and passion. He also serves as a board member of the United States Shuai- chiao Association. For more than 25 years, Jan-Yu has influenced the lives of many young children by mentoring and serving as a role model, while adopting the principles of Kung-Fu as it pertains to discipline, focus, commitment, and aspiring to being a good citizen in the community. He resides in Saratoga.