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.
Kevin Gardner, Board Chair
Katy Carlsen, MD, FAAP, Vice-Chair
James Hatter, Treasurer
Sarah Delaney Rosendahl, Secretary
Please read their biographies below:
SHELLEY BROWN is a retired human resources executive with over 25 years of experience influencing talent acquisition and management and organization effectiveness in major high tech companies (Ariba Inc., Aspect Communications, Hewlett Packard) 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 served as a CASA and over that time advocated for six children, helping one youth emancipate successfully from the foster care system, facilitating one child’s successful adoption, and helping four others reunite with their families. She and her husband founded the Reddere Foundation, an organization that strives to improve the quality of public schools. She also serves on Stanford’s School of Education Advisory Council. 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 (VICE-CHAIR) had spent the better part of a decade in her fulltime pediatric practice at Kaiser Permanente when she realized that she wanted to do more to help children on a broader scale, particularly foster children. Her quest prompted her to become a medical consultant for California Children’s Services in Placer County. She has served as a board member and past President of the Ticket to Dream Foundation, a nonprofit benefitting foster children. Since 2000, Katy has taught and supervised residents in the UC Davis pediatric continuity clinic. In addition to her medical work, Katy has served on boards including Sierra Forever Families in the Sacramento region and Child Advocates of Placer County. Katy’s passion for improving the health care coordination of foster children has guided her to work as co-chair of the Foster Care Committee for the California Chapter 1 of the American Academy of Pediatrics. 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 (San Diego) from 2008 to 2014 and a CASA in Los Angeles from 2005 to 2008. She also served as a 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 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 bolster resilience for them and their families. She resides in Davis.
KEVIN GARDNER (CHAIR OF THE BOARD) is a marketing consultant in Silicon Valley who has worked for more than 25 years in product marketing and 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. In 2005, he won a National CASA award for Excellence as a Board Member. 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.
MICHELLE GRIFFIN is a strategy consultant with over 25 years of experience. She served as Senior Vice President – Competitive Strategy with the global advertising agency Foote, Cone & Belding, and was responsible for marketing and strategic planning for a Fortune 500 company. She has advised numerous early stage ventures and nonprofit organizations. Michelle is a member of the California CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates Association) Board and a Director Emeritus of the International Board of Directors of JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). She also serves as a CASA for a Bay Area youth. Michelle received a BS in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco, and an MBA from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business. She resides in Mill Valley, California.
JAMES HATTER (TREASURER), Senior Vice President, First Bank Northern California Commercial Banking Group, has more than 25 years of 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. 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 served from 2015 to 2019 as Board Chair of California CASA. He resides in Alamo.
MARIE KENNEDY is Chief Communications Officer at West Health, where she advances West Health’s mission to enable seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life, and independence. At West Health, Marie leads all strategic communications and public affairs initiatives. Previously, she held executive communication roles focused on healthcare at Dignity Health, Edelman, Baxter International, Amgen and Amgen Foundation, and Genentech, among others. In addition to her service on the California CASA board, Marie is on the nonprofit boards of The Lily Project and the Council on Accreditation. Marie has lived throughout California and the Asia-Pacific region. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from San Jose State University. She resides in San Diego and Sacramento.
DON KLEINFELDER is Executive Director of Child Advocates of Placer County, where he has worked since 2006. Don has contributed his talents to the nonprofit 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 nonprofit sector, worked in the private sector as a hydrogeologist, focusing on groundwater remediation. He resides in Rocklin.
ELISA MENDEL, who serves at Kaiser Permanente as Vice President for Strategic Customer Engagement, 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 supports and adds value to the firm’s private portfolio companies through business development and corporate development initiatives, managing and growing relationships with Fortune 1000 C-level executives. From 2013-2017, Kim worked at Innovation Endeavors, an early-stage venture capital firm solely backed by Eric Schmidt, and focused on business development and corporate initiatives in the U.S. and Israel. Having experienced the foster care system firsthand, it is Kim’s passion to help youth in the foster care system. She is the founder of REACH and serves on the Board of Together We Rise, HEAR, and the 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 (focus on Prevention Science and Practice). She resides in San Francisco.
WENDE JULIEN, JD, is the CEO of CASA of Los Angeles, the county that has the largest number of foster children in the nation. Prior to taking this position, she was Executive Director of the California Conference for Equality and Justice (CCEJ) where she oversaw education and conflict resolution programs that served over 7,000 people per year. 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 Nonprofit Management from Arizona State University, and a B.A./B.S. from the University of Arizona. Fluent in Spanish, Wende is also a certified mediator and is herself a foster, adoptive, and biological parent. She resides in Torrance.
ALLYSON PFEIFER joined DoubleLine in 2009. She is responsible for managing the Investor Services team and the client on-boarding process. She specializes in institutional separate account and sub-advisory client service. Prior to DoubleLine, Ms. Pfeifer was a Vice President in the Mortgage Group at TCW. In addition, she chaired a Sustainability Team to reduce the carbon footprint of the firm and coordinated regular volunteer opportunities for community engagement. Since 2013, Ms. Pfeifer has served as a member of the Board of Directors of CASA of Los Angeles, sitting on both the Gala and Marketing Committees. She has been the Chair of the Evening to Foster Dreams Gala supporting CASA of Los Angeles for 2018 and 2019. She holds a BA in Mathematics-Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is originally from Concord, California.
SARAH DELANEY ROSENDAHL (SECRETARY) 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 the challenge of housing affordability in San Mateo County She has served as 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; 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.
JAN-YU WENG is a Senior Vice-President and General Manager of the Semiconductor Business Unit at CRC, Inc. a materials and components technology company in Santa Clara. Previously, he spent 22 years at Applied Materials, Inc. a Fortune 500 company that provides semiconductor, flexible display, and solar industries with precision equipment and services. Jan-Yu has also been a lifelong martial artist with a rank of 7th Degree Black Belt. As Head Coach for the Cupertino Kung-fu Club, he teaches and cultivates the Chinese kung-fu style of Shuaijiao. He is also a Board member of the U.S. Shuai-chiao Association. Through years of teaching in the community, Jan-Yu has been a mentor and role model, influencing the lives of many children while adopting the principles of kung-fu as it pertains to discipline, focus, commitment, and being a good community citizen. He has been on the Board of California CASA since 2012, most recently as a member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Development Committee. He resides in Saratoga.