Meet Our Staff and Board

OUR STAFF

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.

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, Advocate Supervisor

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.

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.

Evelynne Swagerty, Advocate Supervisor

Evelynne is a recent retiree from Bank of America.  At Bank of America, Evelynne served as an Assistant General Counsel and Senior Vice President in the Bank’s Litigation Practice Group, with responsibility for the management of the Bank’s post-foreclosure litigation defense throughout the United States.  Prior to her position with Bank of America, Evelynne served as Senior Counsel with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and then as a litigator and senior counsel with BankBoston Financial and FleetBoston Financial.  Evelynne began her legal career as an Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth in the office of then Attorney General Shannon.  In addition to her law degree, Evelynne also has a Masters of Social Work (MSW) from Smith College School for Social Work in Northampton, Massachusetts.  Prior to practicing law, Evelynne worked for ten years as a psychiatric social worker (LICSW) at Massachusetts General Hospital where she provided direct psychiatric clinical services to individuals, couples and families at MGH through several of its inpatient and outpatient departments.  Evelynne joins the Boston CASA staff as a Lawyers Clearinghouse Fellow for 2017-2018 and can be reached at evelynne@bostoncasa.org.

BOARD MEMBERS

Joe Hanlon, Esq., Board President

Chief Compliance Office, Crescent Capital Group, LP.
Mr. Hanlon serves as the Chief Compliance Officer for Crescent Capital Group LP and is member of Crescent’s Executive Management team. Prior to joining the team, Mr. Hanlon was the CCO for the Fidelity Investments Equity and High Income Mutual Funds and Exchanged Traded Funds. Mr. Hanlon was at Fidelity Investments for 13 years in various Compliance capacities. Mr. Hanlon practiced law as a counselor and litigator for Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi from 1992 to 2001 where he focused on advising and representing insurers on regulatory matters and complex litigation. Mr. Hanlon received a JD from Boston College Law School and BS in Finance from Boston College.

Anne Harvey Kilburn, Board Vice President

Retired from business and publishing; current CASA volunteer
Anne has been an active CASA volunteer for 3 years. Her wide-ranging background has prepared her well for the role. About a decade ago, she retired from a successful business career in publishing where she held several executive roles to focus on raising her now teenage children and pursuing her social activist goals. She has a unique ability and passion for connecting people to bring about positive change. Aside from parenting, her work as a CASA is the most meaningful work she’s ever done. Anne especially enjoys her role as ambassador for Boston CASA, in spreading the word about how important and effective the program can be as a voice for vulnerable, disenfranchised children and their families. In her “free time” she writes social justice fiction and nonfiction. She graduated from Boston University with a B.S. in Journalism.

Herbert Lewis, MBA, CPA, Board Treasurer

Director of Financial Accounting and Operations, Boston University.
Herb served on the Board of Directors of Friends of CASA for approximately 15 years and currently is the Treasurer. He was inspired to join the organization by an acquaintance, a pediatrician who provided medical care for inner city youth. Herb joined the board and has remained actively involved with the organization since that time. He attended and worked at the National CASA Conference when it was held in Boston. He also assists children by active participation in the Masonic Youth Child Identification Program. Herb received a B.S. in Management from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from Boston University and is an administrator at Boston University. He is a board member of several other organizations and also serves as the Treasurer of a homeowner’s association.

Meghan L. Rhatigan, Esq., Board Secretary

Associate General Counsel, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.
Meghan became involved with the Boston CASA program in 2009 as a volunteer. In addition to the personal satisfaction that came from the experience, Meghan quickly appreciated the impact a CASA can have in a Care and Protection case. She joined the Board of Directors for Friends of CASA, Inc., in 2011 to help ensure that the Program continues to receive the support it needs. Meghan received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Notre Dame, and also serves on the Board for the Lawyers Clearinghouse, which provides pro bono legal services to nonprofit organizations, groups seeking nonprofit status, and guests of area homeless shelters.

Kush Das

Consultant at McKinsey & Company
Kush became involved with Boston CASA in 2015 when he began volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) & Guardian ad Litem to supplement his pro bono work involving access to health care and legal services in lower income communities. Professionally, Kush is a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he advises leaders in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors on strategic and business decisions. Before joining McKinsey, Kush was a corporate lawyer at Foley & Lardner LLP where he focused on health care industry clients and advised health care providers, including nonprofit organizations, on mergers and acquisitions and regulatory compliance matters. Kush is an alumnus of Georgetown Law, and as a student, he worked as an investigator and trial lawyer on behalf of indigent clients with criminal charges in the DC court system and with felony parole cases before the parole board. Kush also has a background in emergency management and has served as an Emergency Medical Services technician and supervisor in both a professional and volunteer capacity since 2007, including in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 2012.

Steve Davis – Bio coming soon.

Bryan Scott Ganz, Esq.

Founding Principal of Paramount Capital Group; manager, Scudder Bay Capital LLC (SBC)
Bryan joined the CASA Board in 2013. He has significant experience managing a wide array of businesses including his family’s tire business, Galaxy Tire & Wheel, Inc. From 1991 through 2006 Bryan grew Galaxy Tire & Wheel, Inc. from $19 million in annual sales to $550 million in annual sales before selling control of the company. He graduated with honors from Georgetown University’s Business School with a BSBA in accounting in 1980. In 1983 Bryan received his JD from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He was ultimately admitted to the New York Bar. After graduating from Columbia Law School in 1983, Bryan was a founding principal of Paramount Capital Group, an investment advisory firm that managed more than $500 million for a broad array of blue chip clients. In 2013, he took over the day-to-day management of Scudder Bay Capital LLC (SBC), a residential real estate portfolio company that was started by his late wife Susan Ganz who passed away in 2012 (Susan was a CASA volunteer advocate and Board Member). Bryan also formed Northeast Remediation LLC (NER) in 2013, a lead-paint, mold and asbestos remediation company. Since its inception in July of 2013, NER has become the number one residential lead paint remediation firm in Massachusetts. Bryan has served on the Board of Governors of “Citizens Against Government Waste”, a watchdog organization dedicated to promoting fiscal responsibility within Congress and also served on the board of U.S. Shipping, a publicly traded MLP and was head of the company’s audit committee.

Emily F. Hodge, Esq.

Attorney, Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP
An attorney with Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP. She is in the Litigation and Government Enforcement & Compliance groups, and her practice focuses on assisting individuals and corporations who are the subject of government investigations. Emily also devotes a significant amount of time to pro bono work, including her work as a CASA volunteer, as well as serving as co-chair of the firm’s partnership with the Lawyers Clearinghouse, which provides pro bono legal services to guests of local homeless shelters. Emily received her A.B. in Psychology from Harvard College, and her J.D. from Georgetown University. During college, Emily received her teaching certification for infant, toddler, and preschool-age children, and it was through this work that she first learned about the CASA program. Emily became a CASA volunteer in 2009 and joined the Friends of CASA, Inc., Board of Directors in 2011 to further her involvement with this critically-important program. Emily has also served as a volunteer teacher for the Citizen Schools program for the past five years, teaching ten-week Legal Apprenticeship programs for Boston area middle-schoolers.

Kristin MacEachern – Bio coming soon.

John J. Moriarty III

VP of Acquisitions & Development, JW Capital Partners, LLC
John J. Moriarty III is a Vice President at JW Capital Partners, a real estate development and investment firm founded in 2010 that focuses on the acquisition, development and repositioning of urban multi-family and hospitality assets on the East Coast. John has been intimately involved in the investments in approximately $100 million of assets and is in the planning and permitting stages of a further $500 million. In addition to his fundraising involvement with his alma maters, he has served as a mentor to an underprivileged youth through the Big Brother Big Sister Program. John graduated from Colby College with a B.A. in Sociology. He has been a supporter of Boston CASA since 2012 and relishes in his role as a CASA ambassador.

Alonzo Portlock

Former foster child and recipient of a Boston CASA volunteer; Social Worker, Department of Children & Families.
A “Double Eagle” Boston College Grad currently working with neglected and abused children for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Alonzo joined the Friends of CASA Board in 2006 and has assisted in many projects for both the local and National CASA Programs. Since joining, he has starred in the “Forgotten Children Video” for National CASA and has participated in many speaking engagements on behalf of CASA including the Harvard Club Event in New York City with CASA’s National Spokesperson Judge Glenda Hatchett and CBS Cold Case Star, Danny Pino, and at the New Hampshire CASA spring event. Alonzo is one of three founders of the Boston College Step Team, which conducts fundraising events to benefit the Boston CASA Program. Alonzo continues to serve as a positive role model for neglected and abused children looking to further themselves in society and hopes to one day obtain a law degree.

Clare Reilly

Nonprofit consultant
Clare became a Boston CASA volunteer in 2014 and joined the board in 2016. She has worked in the public health and non-profit sector in Boston for over 20 years, serving in many leadership capacities, including Executive Director of Women’s Lunch Place, a shelter for poor and homeless women, Division Director of Family Support Services at the Boston Public Health Commission and Director of the Maternal and Child Health Access Unit at Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She has spent her career serving vulnerable populations, in particular, women and children. Clare has a strong interest in the education of girls in the developing world, and is on the board of Nurturing Minds, an organization which runs a secondary school for girls in Morogoro, Tanzania. Clare is also Vice Chair of the board of the Shattuck Childcare Center in Jamaica Plain. She holds both a BA in Political Science and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts. Her spare time is spent in her jewelry studio.

Marvin Venay

Designer, The Venay Square
Marvin L. Venay is an advocate, political analyst, government liaison, public speaker, and in recent times he has taken a leap of faith to become an entrepreneur. Professionally, he owns a small business – sewing as the Designer of ‘the Venay square’ – a fresh and innovative custom pocket square line designed to empower its wearer to create conversation. Currently, he is the Director of Congregational and Volunteer Engagement for the Universalist Unitarian Urban Ministry in Roxbury, MA. He is the former Deputy Director of Government Affairs for then-Massachusetts State Treasurer, Steven Grossman. Prior to, he was the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Black & Latino Legislative Caucus (MBLLC), where, while working on issues for communities of color, he participated as a regular political commentator on Basic Black, a weekly television program featured on WGBH. Publicly, he has and continues to invest in communities in the City of Boston. He is a Trustee for Roxbury Preparatory Charter Schools, Board Member for Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA) for Children, President/District Director for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.’s New England Chapters overseeing 14 chapters, and member of the Boston Branch NAACP, to name a few. He is an Associate Minister at Morning Star Baptist Church and upon request preaches throughout the City of Boston. More importantly, Marvin is married and the father to an 18 (daughter, college freshman) and 9 (son, 5th grader) year old.