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:
CHAIR, JIM HATTER, is the Managing Director for Opus Bank in San Francisco. Previously he served as City President for BBVA Compass leading commercial banking offices in San Francisco and San Jose. Jim has more than 30 years of increasing senior level experience in commercial banking, corporate finance, private equity finance and investment banking activities. Jim holds a B.S. in Investment Finance from California State University Northridge, and an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University, Malibu. He is active in the CFO Networking Group, Consultants and Advisors Network and the Hill House Group. Jim 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.
VICE CHAIR, SHELLEY BROWN, a retired human resources executive, has more than 25 years experience influencing organizational effectiveness in major high technology companies. During the past 12 years, she has been an active community leader and volunteers with several nonprofit organizations, including Child Advocates of Silicon Valley. Since 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. Currently, Shelley is a board member emeritus with the American Red Cross – Silicon Valley Chapter and serves on the American Red Cross National Philanthropy Board. She also serves on the boards for the Center for Excellence in Nonprofits (CEN), the Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT), the Reddere Foundation and as a member of the Stanford University Graduate School of Education Advisory Board and the Krause Center of Innovation (KCI) Advisory Board. She received an undergraduate degree at Stanford University and her M.B.A. from UCLA. Shelley has been fortunate to travel all over the world and to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Mt. Whitney (CA), Yosemite’s Half Dome (three times), and to hike the Tahoe Rim Trail and many other trails in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
SECRETARY, JAN-YU WENG, a managing director and general manager at Applied Materials. In his >15 years at Applied, he has worked in several functions in operations, 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 20 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.
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 led her to accept a position as the medical consultant for California Children’s Services within Placer County. She also became a volunteer assistant clinical professor with UC Davis Health System, training medical residents. She additionally went on to serve as a board member and past President of Ticket to Dream Foundation, a registered nonprofit organization that raises donations to benefit foster children. Since 2000, Katy has taught and supervised residents in the UC Davis pediatric continuity clinic. In 2009 she became part of the UC Davis medical team supervising residents at Effort Inc. Oak Park Community Center, since renamed WellSpace Health. In addition to her medical work, Katy has served on several volunteer 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 with her colleague Rachel Weinreb, MD, FAAP as co-chair of the Foster Care Committee for the California Chapter 1 of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which serves 48 out of the 58 counties in California. She is excited to serve as a board member of California CASA in order to help improve the lives of foster children and youth as only having a CASA can do.
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. Ms. Fauver took over the Yolo program at a difficult time and has created a well-respected, highly collaborative, financially stable program. In her past six 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.
KEVIN GARDNER, a marketing consultant in Silicon Valley, has worked for 25 years in product marketing and marketing communications for semiconductors, networking and decision support software. A past president of the California CASA board of directors, Kevin currently serves on the board of Child Advocates, Santa Clara County’s CASA program. He also chairs 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 continues the relationship by spending an afternoon each week at the park with his former CASA child’s 3-year old son. Kevin also enjoys hiking, biking and sometimes kayaking.
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’s represented pro bono more than 100 Guardian Ad Litum 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 more than 25 years, he has 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 is also a member of National CASA, ISPCAN (International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect) and the National Association of Council for Children. When Michael’s not working, he’s enjoying time with his family and spending time outdoors swimming, hiking and snorkeling.
MARIE KENNEDY, is Vice President of Communications & Public Relations at Dignity Health, one of the nation’s largest health care systems, its mission to provide compassionate, high quality, and affordable care to all. Marie has more than 25 years of experience in communications, public affairs and advocacy as a strategic counselor and member of senior management with an understanding of how communications drives operational objectives. Marie’s previous roles include principal of CCO Sweet!, her own strategic communications consultancy and chief communications posts at Amgen, Genentech, and Baxter International, bioscience division. In today’s non-traditional world of communication, Marie has transformed communications organizations to meet the needs of the 21st century, within the challenge of highly regulated sectors. She has a passion for social responsibility and how large organizations can practice appropriate social consciousness. As a part of this passion, Marie served on the National CASA Board of Trustees for four years, where she led the board team that hired National CASA’s current CEO and developed a unifying national narrative. Her other philanthropic board work serves vulnerable women and children including for The Lily Project, improving the health and well being of girls and women in Nicaragua, and the Council On Accreditation, a nonprofit, human service accrediting organization; and she works on behalf of needy dogs. Living throughout the Asia-Pacific Marie has spent most of her life in the San Francisco bay area, returning in 2017 after 15 years in Southern California. Marie holds a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from San Jose State University. She enjoys her adult children working in various careers in different states; and loves the outdoors and traveling.
Don Kleinfelder is Executive Director of Child Advocates of Placer County. Don has worked in the non-profit sector for over 30 years, including 23 years as Executive Director. 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. Under his guidance, Child Advocates of Placer County has grown from serving 25 foster youth in 2006 to 500 foster, delinquency and at-risk youth each year. In addition, Don oversaw the creation of two Child Advocates programs that serve low-income families: Family Mentors, which matches at-risk parents with Mentors who help them develop the life skills necessary to successfully rebuild their families and prevent their children from entering or re-entering the child welfare system, and Prosper Placer, a collaboration between Childs Advocates of Placer County and local churches that supports low-income families by matching them with two to three volunteer “Allies” who help the families by sharing their knowledge, connections, and friendship. 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 is also an active CASA volunteer working with his fifth foster youth, a 14-year-old boy who can eat like a horse.
ELISA MENDEL, national vice president for HealthWorks & Product Innovation, at Kaiser Permanente, oversees their portfolio of products and services, designed to help employers improve the health and productivity of their employees through worksite programs and interventions. She joined Kaiser Permanente in 1986 and has held a variety of leadership roles. Elisa received her bachelor’s degree in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan. In her off hours, Elisa spends as much time outdoors as possible, running, walking, hiking and traveling around the world.
KIM MOORE is the Operating Partner at Glynn Capital Management. She is dedicated to supporting and adding value to the Firm’s private portfolio companies through business development and corporate development initiatives. Additionally, Kim is responsible 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. Previously, Kim worked at Asana and Olive Grove Consulting. Kim is the founder of REACH and on the Board for foster care focused organizations including: California CASA, Together We Rise, HEAR and Advanced Studies Scholarship Fund. Kim 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 Prevention Science and Practice.
WENDELYN (WENDE) NICHOLS-JULIEN, is the Chief Executive Officer of CASA of Los Angeles with an impressive resume of leadership and advocacy credentials. Previously, Ms. Nichols-Julien served as the 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 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.
SARAH DELANEY ROSENDAHL, is a consulting public policy specialist. Her work currently focuses on solutions for the challenges of housing affordability in San Mateo County. Previously she was a senior staff member for State Senator S. Joseph Simitian and for San Mateo County Board of Supervisors Member Don Horsley. Among her foci were affordable housing including agricultural workforce housing, homelessness, nonprofit collaboration, and foster youth systems change. Sarah also has almost thirty years of leadership experience with nonprofits. She is a long-time member of the Junior League of Palo Alto Mid-Peninsula, having served as President of the organization. She chaired the State Public Affairs Council for the Junior Leagues of California. As a co-founder of Rebuilding Together Peninsula, she understands the complexities of building and maintaining nonprofits’ capacity to fulfill their missions. She had served on the boards of both Rebuilding Together, the national organization’s board and Rebuilding Together Peninsula. Sarah’s volunteer work has also focused on supporting youth. She served on the CASA of San Mateo board and chaired the San Mateo County Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission. After completing her CASA board term, Sarah served as an advocate for a young girl returning to her family after a childhood in foster care. Sarah holds a Bachelors Degree from UC Davis and a Masters in Public Policy from Mills College. When not working or volunteering, Sarah loves to spend time with her husband and adult sons, traveling, reading, working on her family’s history, and getting out in nature in our county, state and national parks.
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. For fun, Robert hikes and bikes in the Santa Monica Mountains.