National CASA Conference logo

2013 Awards of Excellence

National CASA is pleased to honor outstanding individuals and programs that provide hope to abused and neglected children with the Awards of Excellence. These awards commemorate the exceptional contributions and dedication of child advocates, program directors, judges and board members.

G. F. Bettineski Child Advocate of the Year

Alison Wilcox

CASA of Los Angeles, Monterey Park, CAVolunteer Alison Wilcox

 

“Alison seeks no attention or accolades for her amazing work—she only seeks to help others. She is a true gift to CASA of Los Angeles, the dependency court, and the foster children for whom she advocates.” ~ Dilys Tosteson Garcia, Executive Director, CASA of Los Angeles

 

In 10 years of service to CASA of Los Angeles, Alison Wilcox has exemplified all the qualities that one would like to see in an extraordinary CASA volunteer. She approaches each case with objectivity and tenacity, never wavering in her efforts to ensure the needs of a child take priority over systemic policies. In her work with children and families, she is perceptive and patient, balancing a deep sense of compassion with good judgment and common sense.

 

In the courtroom, Alison stays calm when chaos swirls around her. She focuses on what's best for her CASA children and makes powerful and insightful recommendations to the judge.

 

Alison is not only a powerful voice for her CASA children in the courtroom and the community, she is also a driving force behind CASA of Los Angeles’s ability to increase its reach and serve more children. In addition to her service as a volunteer advocate, Alison volunteers her time as a volunteer recruiter, screener, trainer and coach. In the words of her executive director, “Alison is an all-around CASA volunteer!”

National CASA Board Member of the Year

Randy Roland
CASA of Collin County, McKinney, TXBoard member Randy Roland

“Randy is always thinking about how to engage community volunteers as advocates and ensure the public realizes the vital role we play for the health and vitality of children and families in the community. It is hard to think of another individual who has done more for our program as a board leader for CASA!” ~ Susan Etheridge, Executive Director, CASA of Collin County

Randy Roland has overseen a period of growth and increasing prosperity during his seven years on the board of CASA of Collin County. Serving as a board member, president, treasurer and advisory board member, Randy’s leadership, vision, and community connections have brought new supporters and volunteers to the program, and increased its stature in the community. His contributions have been instrumental to the CASA program’s ongoing ability to serve 100% of the children in the local child welfare system.

A long-time resident of Collin County, Randy has forged relationships with influential community and business leaders that have helped the CASA program increase its visibility, diversify and build its revenue stream, and become more influential on the state and national levels. During his tenure, CASA of Collin County completed a successful $1.2 million capital campaign, purchased and renovated an office building and remained a healthy and fiscally sound organization despite a tumultuous economy.

Randy joined the CASA program because in his job as assistant police chief. He felt frustration that law enforcement is unable to focus on the needs of the victims of crimes, especially children. Through his service to the CASA program, children in Collin County are better off today.

Kappa Alpha Theta CASA/GAL Program Director of the Year

Ann Marie Foley Binsner
CASA/Prince George’s County, Hyattsville, MDCASA director Ann Marie Foley Binsner


“Ann Marie continues to demonstrate outstanding leadership and teamwork qualities. We greatly appreciate her talents, invaluable support, and care for the residents and youth of this county.” ~ Gloria Brown, Director, Prince George’s County Department of Social Services

Ann Marie Foley Binsner is a stunning example of both an efficient manager and a passionate advocate. She has woven together fiscal responsibility, best practices, bridge-building, and awareness-raising in her work as director of CASA/Prince George’s County.

Ann Marie has directed CASA/Prince George’s County since it began operations in 2001. Her energy and dedication to the CASA mission have been a driving force behind the program’s success and continuous improvement. As just one example, Ann Marie is raising standards for transition planning for emancipating youth. Under her leadership, CASA/Prince George’s County has implemented Fostering Futures, developed an Emancipation Manual that is being distributed to all transitioning youth, and created an “Emancipation Checklist” that is being used for all transitioning youth in care.

In the community, Ann Marie proactively seeks opportunities to raise awareness regarding child welfare issues. Under her leadership, the CASA program has provided trainings to DSS workers, Legal Aid attorneys and other service providers, bringing best practices to the forefront. Ann Marie also worked with other local CASA programs to develop a campaign that brands CASA in the DC Metro area and increases public awareness of child welfare issues.

Ann Marie Foley Binsner is an exemplary servant leader who has proven her dedication to creating the best possible community for all citizens.

National CASA Judge of the Year

Hon. Kathy Delgado
17th Judicial District
CASA of Adams & Broomfield Counties, Brighton, COHon. Kathy Delgado


“Judge Delgado is respected by her colleagues as someone who is knowledgeable, compassionate, innovative and committed to the work of the juvenile court.” ~ Jennifer Mendoza, Juvenile Court Programs Coordinator, 17th Judicial District

The quality that makes Judge Kathy Delgado stand out above the rest is her clear and obvious passion for children. She brings a spirit of collaboration and a sense of heart to the juvenile courts, and treats children and youth with kindness, dignity and respect.

Judge Delgado routinely introduces programs that are new, innovative and untested. Others may come to the table with skepticism, but her passion ultimately wins them over.

One of Judge Delgado’s first ground-breaking initiatives was to encourage youth and adolescents to attend court so that their voices may truly be heard. Under her leadership, abused and neglected children are now given a true voice in court, a sense of empowerment, and an understanding of the processes that often control their lives. Judge Delgado takes away the scariness of the judge and the courts. She helps children better understand the process through welcoming practices including holding “Kids & Judges Days,” when children can relax in an informal environment.

A true friend and supporter of the CASA program, Judge Delgado not only helps recruit, swear-in and honor volunteers, she also ensures that the CASA program is always at the table and involved in projects that involve abused and neglected children. Through her actions and her words, Judge Delgado demonstrates her unwavering commitment to the well-being of children in her court. 

Promising Practices Spotlight

“CASA Quarterbacks”
Richland County CASA, Columbia, SCRichland County CASA Quarterbacks


“Nothing has enriched our program like the CASA Quarterbacks. Our children receive better service because of them. These guys do whatever it takes for our kids—and they never drop the ball!” ~ Melissa Bowman, Program Manager, Richland County CASA

The first team of CASA Quarterbacks was formed in 2005, when a group of 13 active male volunteers committed to not only serving children but also recruiting additional male volunteers. Today, the team is 100 members strong—and growing, with the addition of 10 new men each quarter.

The primary volunteer recruitment activity for the CASA Quarterbacks is to host quarterly “tailgate” events—public information-sharing sessions where team members describe the value of child advocacy to potential volunteers. At these events, Quarterbacks each sport a custom designed football jersey and carry a football bearing the first names of the children they have advocated for. The number of names on the footballs they carry is a point of pride for team members, a symbol of their commitment to the children they have served. The quarterbacks also help train and support their new volunteers.

The CASA Quarterbacks are frequently called upon to share this highly replicable model with other CASA programs. In 2012 they were honored with a “Best in Philanthropy” award from Columbia Metropolitan Magazine.

2013 National CASA Awards of Excellence Nominees

Congratulations to all of the individuals who were nominated to be recognized with an Award of Excellence:

G.F. Bettineski Child Advoacate of the Year

Bonnie Blair, Heartland CASA, Grand Island, NE
Millie Bush, CASA for Children, Inc, Canton, GA
Patricia Cahill, CASA of Orange County, Santa Ana, CA
Kathleen Cook, Northern Essex County CASA Program, Lawrence, MA
Brandi Cropper, Voices for Children, San Diego, CA
Colleen Dowd, CASA, Inc. of Nashville/Davidson County, Nashville, TN
Dale and Geri Ensinger and Festul, CASA of Northwest Arkansas, Springdale, AR
Terri Erickson, CASA of Lonoke County, Lonoke, AR
Carol Foutch, Yamhill County CASA, McMinnville, OR
Pierre Gaston, CASA of Tulare County, Visalia, CA
Patricia Golembiewski, Child Advocacy Services CASA, Hammond, LA
Maria Gonzalez, CASA of Lucas County Ohio, Toledo, OH
Alvin Jay Haman, CASA at large, Palmdale, CA
Dale Hedges, CASA of the Tennessee Heartland, Oak Ridge, TN
Tomika Holmes, CASA/Prince George's County, Hyattsville, MD
Sharon & Bob Huckins, CASA of Adams & Broomfield Counties, Brighton, CO
Kimberly Irvin, CASA of Collin County, McKinney, TX
Cynthia Leman, CASA Lake County, Vernon Hills, IL
Robin Lively, CASA of Adams & Broomfield Counties, Brighton, CO
Cynthia MacKay, CASA of Linn County, Albany, OR
Laton (Ernie) Mahan, CASA of Peoria County, Peoria, IL
Virginia "Gini" Maulfair, Sacramento CASA Program, Sacramento, CA
Sandy Morrissett, CASA of Central VA, Bedford, VA
Carolyn Muscari, 8th Judicial District Court -CASA, Las Vegas, NV
David Partin, Kershaw County Guardian ad Litem Program, Camden, SC
Annie Robinson, Child Advocates, Inc., Indianapolis, IN
Pat & Vince Serio, CASA of the Eastern Panhandle, Inc, Martinsburg, WV
Marilyn Stockton, Monroe County CASA, Bloomington, IN
Deirdre Stogdill, Richland County CASA, Columbia, SC
Linda Swartz, Dallas CASA, Dallas, TX
Alison Wilcox, CASA of Los Angeles, Monterey Park, CA
Barbara Wittenberg, Guardian Ad Litem, 10th Judicial Circuit, State of Florida, Bartow, FL

 


 

Kappa Alpha Theta Program Director of the Year

Jackie Boissonnault, CASA of Westchester, Tarrytown, NY
Melinda Brown, Guardian ad Litem, Green Cove Springs, FL
Gloria Bunce, CASA Kane County, Geneva, IL
Beth Cardina, CASA/GAL Program of Summit County, Akron, OH
Susan Etheridge, Texas CASA, Austin, TX
Ann Marie Foley Binsner, CASA/Prince George's County, Hyattsville, MD
Kyleen Gee, Muskegon County CASA, Muskegon, MI
Martha Gershun, Fasbinder & Associates, Overland Park, KS
Zane Grant, CASA of Pueblo, Pueblo, CO
Paige Greene, Richland County CASA, Columbia, SC
Marcia Hilty, Florida Fifth Judicial Cricuit Guardian ad Litem Program, Ocala, FL
Kate Kelley, Northern Hills Area CASA Program, Spearfish, SD
Colleen McGauley, CASA of Kern County, Bakersfield, CA
William Ore, Guardian ad Litem, Reidsville, NC
Candice Pierce, Solano County Child Welfare Services, Fairfield, CA
Cheryl Vallee, CASA of the Capital Region, Esperance, NY
Mandy Zalich, CASA of Westmoreland, Inc., Greensburg, PA

National CASA Board Member of the Year

Emma Lou Brent, CASA of South Central Missouri, Rolla, MO
Charles Bussard, PA CASA Association, Summerdale, PA
Kathryn Bussing, Jackson County CASA, Kansas City, MO
Jim Gibson, CASA of Central Louisiana, Natchitoches, LA
Harris Gilbert, CASA, Inc., Nashville, Nashville, TN
Randy Roland, CASA of Collin County, McKinney, TX
David Rubin, CASA of Travis County, Austin, TX

National CASA Judge of the Year
Kathy Delgado, CASA of Adams & Broomfield Counties, Brighton, CO
Robert Fracchia, CASA of Solano County, Fairfield, CA
Kathleen Giesler, Ottawa County CASA, Port Clinton, OH
Frank Sullivan, 8th Judicial District Court CASA, Las Vegas, NV
Karen Townsend, San Juan CASA Program, Farmington, NM

 

National CASA Association | 800.628.3233 | 100 West Harrison, North Tower, Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98119 | staff@casaforchildren.org

National CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) ©2015. The National CASA logo, CASA ®, "A Powerful Voice in a Child’s Life," "Stand Up for an Abused Child," "Speak Up for a Child," "Light of Hope" and "Give the Light of Hope to a Child" are all registered trademarks of National CASA.