Staff

Drea Dowlin

Advocate Supervisor

Drea Dowlin joined Child Advocates-Denver CASA as an intern in 2018. Upon graduating from the University of Denver with a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Psychology with a minor in Spanish, Drea worked with Denver CASA as a Volunteer & Administrative Coordinator. Drea spent the last two years on the... Read more

Rachael Friedman

Community Engagement Manager

Rachael joined Child-Advocates- Denver CASA in August 2021. She is originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania (home of The Office!), and she received her bachelor’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies from Syracuse University. Rachael then served as a Community and Youth Development Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia where she worked at... Read more

Vonia Adams

Director of Programs

Vonia Adams serves as the Program Director for Child Advocates-Denver CASA. Vonia has a background with the foster care system and CASA through her previous position as the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program Manager with Lutheran Family Services, including serving as a CASA volunteer. Vonia graduated from Clark University in Worcester,... Read more

Hunter Nelson

Volunteer and Data Specialist

Hunter joined Child Advocates – Denver CASA in July 2021. She has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a minor in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from Arizona State University, and her Masters of Social Work with a concentration in Organizational Leadership and Policy Practice from the University of Denver. She... Read more

Kara Angelini

Director of Development

Kara joined Child Advocates-Denver CASA in June of 2021 as the Director of Development. Her background is in nonprofit development for child welfare organizations, most recently working with development data and strategy at Tennyson Center for Children in Denver. Prior to working in nonprofit development, she got her start working... Read more

Robert Statton

Board Member

Vice President, Bernstein Private Wealth Management

Ryan Gensler

Ryan Gensler is the Director of National Partnerships for CareerWise Colorado, working to expand modern youth apprenticeship across the US. His career in workforce began after his time as Marketing Manager and Director of Community Engagement for Intertech Plastics. Ryan was contracted by the Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance to build... Read more

Colin Ware

Colin Ware is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience working in the arts, higher education, academic medicine, and non-profit consulting. Colin holds an M.B.A. from UCLA and served as a major gift or planned giving officer for University of Washington and University of Montana prior to... Read more

Bek Coelho

Bek Coelho has been closely involved with the CASA organization since 2014 – serving on a multi-child case with Boston CASA and as a Development Committee member with Denver CASA. Bek, a Colorado native, spent nearly a decade on the East Coast, working in research at Boston Children’s Hospital and... Read more

Erika Parkinson

MSW Intern

Erika Parkinson, born in Colorado and raised in Texas, is a graduate student at the University of Denver seeking a Master of Social Work degree. Erika received her BFA in Modern Dance from Texas Christian University and would go on to perform as a professional dancer in Denver before going... Read more

Rachel Levy-Culler

Older Youth Program Supervisor

Rachel joined Child Advocates – Denver CASA in March 2020. She has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Appalachian State University and a Masters of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Rachel served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru and has worked in nonprofit... Read more

Tanja Wheeler

Board Member

Viviana Bracamontes

Bilingual Advocate Supervisor

Viviana joined Child Advocates – Denver CASA team in September of 2020 as an advocate supervisor. She graduated from Regis University in 2015, double majoring in Peace and Justice Studies and Sociology. Viviana has continued to fulfill her passion for serving others in her community in the capacity of a... Read more

Tiffany Edwards

Advocate Supervisor

Tiffany Edwards joined Denver-CASA February 16th, 2021. Tiffany graduated with a Bachelors in Feminist Studies with a Minor in Applied Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Most recently Tiffany graduated with her Masters in Legal Studies from the University of Denver with a focus was on Juvenile Law.... Read more

Brianna Holmes

Advocate Supervisor

Brianna joined Child Advocates – Denver CASA in August 2019 as an Advocate Supervisor. In 2014, she graduated from Northern Arizona University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Following graduation, she spent three years working directly with at-risk youth in a residential and alternative school setting. Upon relocation to Denver,... Read more

Karen Silverman

Executive Director

Karen Silverman has over 20 years of experience working in non-profit organizations with a background in children’s issue including child welfare, early childhood education, teen prevention and mentoring programs. From 2009 to 2014 she was the Executive Director of Smart Girl. Most recently, she was the Director of External Affairs... Read more

Dick Hulseman

Director of Operations

Dick has been involved with CASA for over ten years, first as a volunteer, then supervising CASA volunteers for programs in Denver and in Illinois. In a prior life, he had a varied career in the foodservice packaging industry. He has an MBA from Kellogg and a master’s in Organization... Read more

Selene Figueroa

Selene has a passion for advocacy and increasing institutional access for marginalized communities. She is entering her 6th year in the nonprofit world, and has dedicated her career on child advocacy, and has previously focused on barriers to education. While earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Law and Society at the... Read more

Sally Vizas

Director of Programs

Sally comes to Denver CASA with over 15 years of experience in Colorado’s nonprofit sector. Having spent 7 years in development, she has been working with youth or supervising staff and volunteers working with youth in Northeast Denver since 2010. Sally is passionate about social justice, youth development and working with... Read more

Shayla Covington

Lead Advocate Supervisor

Shayla joined Child Advocates – Denver CASA in 2014. Shayla graduated from Creighton University with her Bachelor’s degree in Theology, and she recently completed her Master’s degree in Social Change from Iliff School of Theology. Prior to her work with Child Advocates, Shayla worked with the Colorado Department of Human... Read more

Jackie Heins

Advocate Supervisor

Jackie joined Child Advocates-Denver CASA in March 2018 as an Advocate Supervisor. She graduated from New Mexico State University with a bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutrition. She began her career working in the restaurant industry with her husband, owning and managing a few different restaurant concepts. Jackie discovered her... Read more

Suzy Martin

Senior Advocate Supervisor

Suzy Martin joined Child Advocates – Denver CASA in 2015. She graduated from the University of Colorado with a BA in Psychology. Suzy has worked with adolescents for most of her career. Prior to her work with Child Advocates, she worked for several years with Adams County Department of Human Services... Read more

Caitlin McHugh

Vice President

Vice President Associate Attorney, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, LLP November 2015 Caitlin McHugh is an attorney in Denver at the firm Lewis Roca Rothergerber Christie LLP. Her practice is focused on commercial litigation.  In her work, Cait enjoys finding creative solutions to address her clients’ short and long term needs. ... Read more

Kirsten Stewart

Secretary

Kirsten Stewart has been a member of the Child Advocates – Denver CASA Board since November 2015.   She is a member of Sherman & Howard LLC and specializes in employee benefits law.  Kirsten’s interest in helping children in the child protection system began in 1996 when she was a law... Read more

Michael Holland

Treasurer

Michael Holland joined the Child Advocates – Denver CASA Board in 2014. In addition to serving on the Executive Board, he also serves as Treasurer. Michael is a Colorado native and graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. Michael strongly believes that every child... Read more

Roy Banes

Member

Director, Financial Planning & Analysis, Ball Corporation Roy Banes is the Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis at Ball Corporation where he has worked since 2010.  At Ball, Roy is a Finance leader focusing on strategic partnership in support of other business leads, and serves as the Finance lead... Read more

Melissa Cizmorris

Member

Associate, Akerman, LLP Melissa Cizmorris is an associate attorney with Akerman LLP, where she has been since 2011.  Melissa’s law practice centers around labor and employment, with a focus on multiple and joint employers.  Melissa also serves on Akerman’s Philanthropic Initiative team and is involved in numerous pro bono projects... Read more

Suzanne Sanchez

Member

Chief Human Resource Officer, Great-West Financial Suzanne Sanchez is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Empower Retirement. Sanchez is responsible for all human resources functions. In her role, she leads the company’s efforts to attract, engage and retain top talent in support of the company’s long-term strategic roadmap. This includes... Read more

Alexander Savinar

Board Member

Kendra Smith

Member

Senior Director, Business Development, TIAA Kendra Smith is a Senior Director at TIAA and has been with the financial services firm for over 25 years in various client facing, business management and product development roles.  Currently, she manages the health savings account (HSA) product offer.  She is also a member of the... Read more

Chris Vandall

Member

Senior Associate, Project Manager, OZ Architecture Chris Vandall is an Associate Principal and Sr. Project Manager at OZ Architecture where he has worked since 2005.  At OZ, Chris is a leader in the Resort/Hospitality/Mixed Use Practice Area, leads Social Responsibility and OZ Gives initiatives, and serves on the Sustainability Committee.... Read more

Wendy Withee

Member

Associate Product Manager, Fixed and Fixed Index Annuities, Jackson National Life Insurance Company

Jack Weixel

Member

Vice President, Point Logic Energy/ OPIS Jack Weixel is a Senior Director with IHS Markit and plays a key role in product development and client support focused on modeling real-time, short-term and long-term forecasts of natural gas supply, demand and storage. Jack comes to IHS Markit from OPIS where he... Read more