Meet Our Staff & Board

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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 [email protected] or 617-780-4055 ex. 102.

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LISA CAISSIE

Assistant Director

Lisa brings to Boston CASA her talent as a relationship builder and innovative problem solver to nurture small non-profits and develop them into thriving programs and organizations. In her 20 years of experience, Lisa has worked across nonprofit, local and state agencies and businesses, drawing on talents in operations, human resource management, volunteer program management and program development. No stranger to challenging roles, she has coordinated volunteers across the world for the American Red Cross, and served as the Ombudsman Director for the State of Massachusetts, where she was responsible for oversight of 53 nursing homes and elder care. Currently, as the Assistant Director of Boston CASA, she has supported the organization’s growth from 2 to 11 employees. She provides direction and day-to-day management of several key functions such as finance, administration, human resources, organization performance and/or compliance. Lisa prides herself on maintaining a productive and goal-oriented climate while confidently motivating, mobilizing and coaching people to meet high performance standards. With a personal and professional background in social justice, Lisa works tirelessly to transform organizations to become more inclusive and culturally competant. She is an avid coffee drinker, fancies herself a chef and hiker, and currently lives with her wife, son and dog in Roslindale. Lisa can be reached at [email protected] or 617-780-4055, ex. 101.

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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 [email protected] or 617-780-4055 ex. 105.

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ANNE SILVER

Program Manager

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 [email protected] or 617-780-4055, ex. 107.

JULIE GUEST

Advocate Supervisor

Julie Guest graduated from Roger Williams University with a B.A. in Anthropology, Sociology, and Spanish and received her Masters of Social Work (MSW) from Boston College in 2014. During her time at Boston College, she held a position as a policy intern at the Donaldson Adoption Institute. At this organization, she helped promote the advancement of policy positions and advocacy strategies related to adoption. Prior to joining Boston CASA in April 2018, Julie was a Program Coordinator at Silver Lining Mentoring, where she matched young people impacted by foster care with dedicated mentors in the community and helped to support these long term relationships. She began her career in social work as an in home therapist, primarily working with adoptive families around issues of mental health, trauma, attachment, loss, and joint problem solving. In 2011, Julie received a Fulbright Grant to conduct anthropological research for ten months in El Salvador. Her research focused on the social, political, and historical components that have influenced the cultural construction of adoption in El Salvador and contributed to its shifting intercountry adoption statistics. The conclusions gained from this research project have been helpful to adoption professionals and international policymakers as a guide to identify how current international child welfare service models could be redesigned to better serve Latin American countries. Julie is excited to work with Boston CASA and looks forward to contributing her diverse skills related to macro-policy research, clinical social work, and her personal commitment to serving young people with out of home experience. Julie can be reached at [email protected] or 617-780-4055 ex. 111.

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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 [email protected].

MUKESH BARAL

Advocate Supervisor, Transition Age Youth Specialist

Mukesh Baral has a Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He has a Master’s degree in English Literature from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He is a trained Mediator with an expertise in interpersonal conflict management. The desire to make a difference in children's lives has always appealed Mukesh, one of the reasons he joined CASA. Mukesh worked with unaccompanied refugee minors for five years, through Ascentria Care Alliance and experienced first-hand the impact child advocates and social workers have in enriching the lives of minors in the foster care system. He is a passionate advocate of children rights and believes in providing individualized services, not only the basic services, to help children reach their full potential. Fighting for social justice and being the voice of voiceless has profoundly shaped his career. He is a cofounder of Advocacy for Refugee and Immigrant Services for Empowerment (ARISE) and has advocated for culturally competent mental health services, and equal educational services, for refugees resettled in Worcester. He is a board member at Center for Nonviolent Solutions, a Worcester based nonprofit, working to build a culture of peace.  He started his career as an anchor and a television journalist and can be reached at [email protected] or 617-780-4055, ex. 108.

ADRIANA RAINES

Recruitment and Training Manager

Adriana brings over twenty-five years of professional and personal experience in the field of Child Welfare to Boston CASA. Adriana is a Licensed Social Worker with experience as a bilingual Master Trainer, Curriculum Developer, Community Engagement Specialist and youth mentor. Adriana’s mother was a first- generation immigrant who also served the community by providing foster care to children and youth. This lived experience allowed Adriana to discover her passion for helping other and she eventually became a Foster and Adoptive parent to three, now adult, children. Adriana began her professional career as a Foster Parent Recruiter and Trainer and quickly expanded to filling the critical need for a bilingual master trainer to provide effective and culturally sensitive training to child welfare employees serving children and youth across the state. Her passion for empowering through education has greatly influenced her many years of collaboration with social service organizations to develop courses, workshops and presentations that focus on helping to understand and “break the cycle” of child neglect and abuse. Adriana is a mentor for several youth organizations and a firm believer in the transformative power of community. Adriana is very dedicated to advocating for social justice and empowering families to achieve their full potential. She is committed to bringing people together in order to address challenges and find solutions as a community. Adriana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Education and can be reached at [email protected] or 617-780-4055, ex. 109

BOARD MEMBERS

STEVE DAVIS

Board President

Sr. Vice President , Life Sciences, Optum

Bio coming soon......

JOHN J. MORIARTY III

Board VP

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.

JAKE HIXON

Board Treasurer

Vice President, Crescent Capital Group, LP

Mr. Hixon is a Vice President of Crescent Capital Group LP focusing on direct lending. Prior to joining the team in 2014, Mr. Hixon was an Analyst in the Leveraged Finance group of NewStar Financial where he focused on executing debt investments in support of middle market private equity buyouts across a variety of industries. Mr. Hixon holds a BS in Economics and Finance from Bentley University.

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.

JOE HANLON, Esq.

Chief Compliance Officer, Crescent Capital Group, LP

Joe serves as the Chief Compliance Officer for Crescent Capital Group LP and is a member of Crescent’s Executive Management Team.  Prior to joining Crescent Capital, he was the CCO for the Fidelity Investments Equity and High Income Mutual Funds and Exchanged Traded Funds.  Joe was at Fidelity Investments for 13 years in various Compliance capacities.  He 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. Joe received a JD from Boston College Law School and BS in Finance from Boston College. He is the outgoing Board Chair for Boston CASA.

ANNE HARVEY KILBURN

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.

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.

BRIAN FERGUSON

Bio coming soon...

DEIRDRE KARLE

Bio coming soon...

HERBERT LEWIS

MBA, CPA, Board Emeritus

Director of Financial Accounting and Operations, Boston University

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