Charles Lerner, Executive Director
Charles has been with Boston CASA since January of 2012. Prior to becoming Boston CASA’s first Executive Director, he was the Program Director at CASA of Santa Cruz in California. Charles has over a decade of experience in management positions for organizations serving children and youth in foster care. He is also a trained marriage and family therapist with a background in mental health. As a previous foster youth, adoptee and professional in the child welfare field, he has been part of the foster care system his entire life. It is his belief that the role CASA volunteers play in the lives of these young people is like no other. “Few strategies for addressing the challenges of children in care are as effective or have more influence in my opinion. I have met countless CASA volunteers, supporters and staff across the country and every single one of them has exuded unparalleled passion for their advocacy on behalf of children”. Charles can be reached at Charles@bostoncasa.org or 617-780-4055 ex. 102.
Lisa Caissie, Assistant Director
Lisa is an accomplished non-profit management professional with over 17 years of experience in program management and has spent much of her career designing and implementing Volunteer Programs. Before joining Boston CASA, Lisa worked for The Trustees of Reservations, where she led the organization in developing best practices for working with volunteers to care for the organization’s 109 reservations. She is recognized within the non-profit sector for increasing volunteer/donor retention and strengthening paid and volunteer staff relationships. She is passionate about volunteerism and has helped the following organizations strengthen their programs by connecting more effectively with their community volunteers: Women’s Lunch Place, American Red Cross, YWCA and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. Lisa joined CASA in July 2013 and is honored to be part of a committed group of people working tirelessly on behalf of children. Lisa can be reached at Lisa@bostoncasa.org or 617-780-4055, ex. 101.
Julie Dennehy, Senior Advocate Supervisor/Training and Evaluation Specialist
Julie has dedicated her professional career to serving and advocating for vulnerable children and families and has accumulated over 20 years’ experience working in the fields of child welfare, early care and education, and public policy. She earned her BA in Child Development and Human Services at Northeastern University and a Masters of Management at the Heller School of Social Policy at Brandeis University, combining a master of public policy in child and family services and a master of business administration. Before joining Boston CASA, Julie worked as a Research Associate at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College. Her research included: access to affordable child care and youth programs; school and community-based partnerships; alternative summer school opportunities; children’s health insurance expansions; and domestic violence. Her research has focused on improving programs, and policy-changing and contributed to changes in Massachusetts legislation so more youth have access to high quality programs and mentors. She was also a VISTA*/Americorps volunteer and Mickey Leland Hunger Fellow with the Congressional Hunger Center. Julie has been a Boston CASA volunteer since 2013 and joined the Boston CASA staff as Advocate Supervisor in July 2015. Julie can be reached at Julie@bostoncasa.org or 617-780-4055 ex. 103.
Annie Hayes, Development Associate
Annie is a dedicated nonprofit professional who is passionate about serving the community, particularly its most vulnerable youth and their families. Prior to joining Boston CASA in 2017, Annie contributed to the fundraising efforts of Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester as their Grant Writer and Development Coordinator. She also regularly provided administrative assistance to Bay State Community Services, a social services agency in Quincy, and has worked in varying capacities for nonprofit organizations dedicated to preserving cultural heritages. Annie is delighted to work with a group of staff and volunteers who are so strongly committed to protecting and advocating for our local youth. Annie can be reached at Annie@bostoncasa.org or (617) 780-4055 ex. 109.
Amanda Hess, Administrative Coordinator
Amanda is extremely passionate about giving a voice to vulnerable children. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and minor in Psychology from Texas State University, she worked for over 10 years in the for profit sector improving operations and increasing growth for small to medium businesses and corporate clients. She comes to Boston CASA with seven years of international volunteer experience focusing heavily on social and humanitarian issues. Having recently moved with her husband from Austin to Boston in June 2017, Amanda is excited to bring her knowledge and experience to the Boston CASA program and support a truly committed team who advocates for children in the foster care system. Amanda can be reached at Amanda@bostoncasa.org or (617) 780-4055 ex. 106.
Jeremy Lockett, Advocate Supervisor
Jeremy Lockett graduated from Skidmore College in 2016 with a major in Government and with a minor in International Affairs. During his time at Skidmore, Jeremy concentrated on child welfare and immigration policy. As a foster care alumnus, Jeremy is driven to work within the child welfare system to empower, advocate for, and support youth, young adults, parents, and service providers. Jeremy is passionate about combating youth homelessness, maintaining sibling bonds and lifelong connections throughout youths’ time in care, and connecting all the players involved in youths’ lives to positively change the child welfare system. On an individual level and the macro level, Jeremy wants to make the system more human and humane. Jeremy has worked with foster parents, transition age youth, and many direct care providers. He is excited to work with Boston CASA and influence the advocacy work that CASA volunteers provide to youth and young adults. Jeremy can be reached at Jeremy@bostoncasa.org or (617) 780-4055 ex. 108.
Mandy Mulliez, Volunteer/Communications Coordinator
Mandy is passionate about advocating for children and helping to find solutions for families in crisis. She lived in France for three years and worked at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development before moving back to her home state of Texas, where she worked for several years in public relations. She volunteered at a foster group home in Dallas for four years, working closely with children immediately after they had been taken into state care. She moved to Boston with her husband and two children in 2010 and worked at the Head Start program in Roxbury, as well as doing freelance photography and writing. Mandy trained to be a CASA in 2014 and subsequently joined the staff in the spring of 2015. She is thrilled to work with such a dynamic group of people and interact with individuals who work on the front lines of advocating for the best interest of children in foster care. Mandy can be reached at Mandy@bostoncasa.org or 617-780-4055 ex. 105.
Dakota Roundtree-Swain, Advocate Supervisor
Dakota graduated from Emmanuel College with a double major in English and Sociology with a minor in Gender Studies in 2016. As a foster alumna, she is extremely passionate about foster care policy and advocacy. She has been working in areas pertaining to Child Welfare on a variety of levels including policy work, legislative testimony, connection building among foster youth and alum, and interning at the Department of Children and Families. In her honors thesis, she conducted a full-scale qualitative research study on the experiences of youth transitioning from foster care system and into adulthood. This study analyzed their feelings about their participation in the system, their perceptions about the system, and how prepared they felt to transition out of the system at 22. Dakota can be reached at Dakota@bostoncasa.org or 617-780-4055 ex. 104.
Anne Silver, Program Team Lead
Anne began her connection with Boston CASA in 2013 as a volunteer advocate. Anne graduated from Boston College with a BA in English and immediately continued her education at New York University School of Law, earning a JD in 1992. Despite spending much of her more than 20-year career in a variety of legal and corporate compliance roles in the financial services arena, Anne always had an interest in social services and related public policy, which she nurtured through several volunteer opportunities – including with Boston CASA. Anne joined the Board of Directors for the Parent/Professional Advocacy League, Inc., an organization which supports and advocates for improved access to and availability of resources for families with children experiencing emotional, behavioral and mental health challenges, which subsequently led to her joining the organization as Director of Operations in 2014. Anne joined the Boston CASA staff in February 2017. She hopes to bring her knowledge of the challenges that families experience accessing services for their children and the children’s mental health delivery system, including the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI), to supporting children in the child welfare system and their caregivers. Anne can be reached at Anne@bostoncasa.org or 617-780-4055.