Meet the board and staff who make the exemplary work of our CASA Volunteers and Bridges to Success Coaches possible.
Piedmont CASA Board of Directors
Chair: Crystal Shin
Vice-Chair: Joel Reich
Treasurer: James Gelly
Secretary: Kristin Cummings Streed
Members at Large:
Meara M. Habashi
Siri S. Russell
Kimberly C. Emery
Carol B. Hurt
Edward M. Wayland
Kate Duvall joined Piedmont CASA in June 2021. Previously, she was the Director of Student Affairs at the University of Virginia School of Law. Prior to joining the Law School, Kate practiced law with the JustChildren program at the Legal Aid Justice Center and served as the Hunton Andrews Kurth Pro Bono Fellow. In those roles, she represented youth and families involved in the courts system. Kate holds a BA degree and a JD degree from the University of Virginia. Kate and her husband have two young children, a puppy, and two cats. In her free time, she enjoys reading, volunteering in the community, and spending time outdoors.
Leah Cole joined Piedmont CASA as a Bridges Coach in June of 2017. She earned her B.S. in Elementary/Special Education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and her M.Ed. in Educational Psychology at the University of Virginia. Prior to her start at CASA, she worked with youth ranging from K-12+ in various roles: middle school English and high school special education teacher; tutor; summer community program director/counselor; and sponsor/coach for youth service clubs, track teams, and ski clubs. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, writing, drawing, and hiking/canoeing.
Lexie Boris joined Piedmont CASA in August 2013. She brings 20 years of marketing experience to the organization. She has worked for numerous agencies from Roanoke to metropolitan Washington DC, and was a founding partner in the Wordsworth Agency, a firm specializing in theatrical clients including The Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, and the Shakespeare Theatre. Before coming to Piedmont CASA, Lexie served for four years as the communications director for VCCA (Virginia Center for the Creative Arts) in Amherst, Virginia. She also partnered in an antique shop and managed large, mixed-use real estate projects. Her hobbies include reading history, writing science fiction, and rehabilitating wildlife.
Ann Douglas Irby joined Piedmont CASA as the Event Coordinator in September of 2023. She earned a BA from Randolph-Macon College and an MT in early childhood education as well as a post-master’s certificate in educational leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to joining PCASA, she worked as an educator and administrator in public school systems in Virginia and Texas. Ann Douglas and her husband enjoy living in Charlottesville with their two children and two energetic puppies. She loves a good beach day, reading, the occasional needlepoint project, and spending time with her family.
Sue Hoover joined Piedmont CASA in April 2019. Previously, she worked for CFA Institute as the editor of Connexions, and as the digital editor of the Enterprising Investor blog. Prior to CFA Institute, Sue practiced real estate and labor law. She holds a BA degree from Lehigh University and a JD degree from the Washington College of Law, American University. She also earned the CFA Institute Investment Foundations™ Certificate and a Certificate in Journalism from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Sue and her husband live in Albemarle County and have two children. In her free time, Sue enjoys reading, yoga, running, and spending time at Smith Mountain Lake with her family.
CASA Volunteer Supervisors
Kati Naess became a CASA Supervisor at Piedmont CASA in January 2011. Kati was born and raised in Germany. She has a degree in Medical Technology from the University of Munich. She came to the United States as an exchange student to the University of Vermont, where she met her husband. Kati was a Supervisor with Child Advocates in Houston, TX for five years, and after that a Supervisor with CASA for Children in DC for two years. She also served as a Volunteer for Piedmont CASA for two years. Kati lives in Ivy with her dog and cat. Kati has three grown children and six grandchildren. In her spare time she takes care of three of her grandsons. She loves the outdoors, gardening, cooking, skiing and sailing.
Sherri Rosser joined Piedmont CASA as a Supervisor in July 2015, having already served as a CASA Volunteer for 2.5 years. Sherri lives in Louisa. She earned her Associates of Science degree in General Studies from Piedmont Virginia Community College. Prior to working at Piedmont CASA, Sherri worked as an educator for Louisa County Public Schools and served as Executive Director and tutor at Reading Window School, a nonprofit youth literacy organization in Louisa County. She enjoys taking day trips, relaxing at the Outer Banks, backyard birding, gardening, and reading.
Alison Taravella joined Piedmont CASA as a Supervisor in February 2017. She previously served as a CASA Volunteer during her undergraduate studies at UVA, where she earned a degree in Psychology. Prior to coming to Piedmont CASA, Alison worked as a Therapeutic Day Treatment provider through Region Ten and, before that, worked with families at a residential treatment program for adolescent boys. She and her husband live in Albemarle County and are the parents of two awesome kids. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, playing with her family, watching Netflix and being outside.
Bridges to Success Coaches
Gwen Jones joined Piedmont CASA in May of 2017 to work with the Bridges to Success Program. As a foster parent herself, she recognized the need for youth in foster care to have a Life Coach to guide them in their transition to adulthood. Gwen has been in the teaching/coaching field her entire life. After graduating from Bowdoin College, she obtained a Ph.D. at Purdue University and then taught at the University of Virginia for seven years. Along the way, she has also coached and officiated youth and high school sports. In her spare time, she loves to cook and read, officiate high school soccer and football games, garden, and start the Women’s 4-miler program over from scratch every year.
Rory Macgregor has lived in the Charlottesville area since 2016. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, and a post-graduate diploma in Elementary Education from the University of the Highlands and Islands. Prior to leaving his hometown in the Highlands of Scotland, Rory spent time working as a special education teaching assistant before becoming a 5th grade teacher in 2015. Since living in the US, he has provided in-home counseling for children with developmental disabilities, and has spent 5 years working as a children’s mental health case manager through Region Ten. In his spare time, he can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife, daughter and dog Cash. He also enjoys playing music with friends and musicians in the area, playing soccer, and cheering on his beloved Glasgow Rangers.
Prior to living in Virginia, Ashlie Muñoz Nieves lived in North Carolina where she earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology from NC State University. It was there she developed her belief that every child has the potential to achieve much more than they imagine for themselves. Ashlie wanted to serve students in public schools, so she pursued a Master's degree in Counselor Education at UVA. Before joining Piedmont CASA, Ashlie was an elementary school counselor for three years. She currently lives in Crozet. In her free time, she enjoys the movies, going to musical events, laughing at good memes, and playing with her pug, Dorado.
Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs)
Piedmont CASA has MOUs with the Multidisciplinary Teams, the Family Drug Treatment Court, and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts of Albemarle and Charlottesville.
Multidisciplinary Teams (MDT)
Piedmont CASA is one of three agencies (SARA and ReadyKids) who are members of the Charlottesville and Albemarle Multidisciplinary Teams (MDT) that meet monthly and staff cases involving child sexual abuse and/or serious physical injury. This interdisciplinary collaboration among police departments, Child Protective Services (CPS), prosecutors, and mental health professionals helps to improve the investigation and prosecution of child abuse and ensures the provision of appropriate mental health services to child victims. Each team member brings special expertise and case knowledge. The attending CASA Supervisor pays attention to the children’s safety, stability, and mental health needs.
Best Practice Teams
Piedmont CASA is a member of the Charlottesville, Albemarle, and Louisa County Best Practice teams, which help implement the Court Improvement Program in dependency cases and provide regional training to improve practice in the dependency courts.
Family Drug Treatment Court (FTC)
A CASA Supervisor is a member of the Family Drug Treatment Court Team, a collaborative project between social services, Piedmont CASA, Region Ten Community Services Board substance abuse treatment, and the Court. It is designed to protect children from abuse and neglect precipitated by the substance abuse of a parent or caregiver. This interdisciplinary team develops case plans that encompass the parent's treatment, family service needs, the child's safety, physical and mental health needs, and intensive judicial monitoring. CASA Volunteers are assigned to children whose parents are in FTC, and Piedmont CASA staff and volunteers participate in FTC case management team meetings and court hearings to ensure the children's needs are considered in the treatment plan.
Louisa Interagency Council (LIAC)
The Louisa Interagency Council was formed to develop strategies to keep citizens informed about the needs of the community, the resources that are available, and how they can become involved or get access. Piedmont CASA consistently attends community awareness events organized by the LIAC.
ReadyKids and SARA
Piedmont CASA collaborates with the VOCA (Victims Of Crime Act) Treatment Counselors at ReadyKids to make referrals, address individual children's therapeutic needs and progress, and provide cross-training and consultation about children's mental health issues, the legal system, child welfare and court processes. We also consult and cross-train with the Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) around child sexual abuse issues.
Greater Charlottesville Trauma-Informed Community Network (TICN)
Piedmont CASA is a founding partner of the Greater Charlottesville Trauma-Informed Community Network. Its mission is to improve trauma-informed care by educating professionals and the community on the prevalence and impact of trauma and by advocating for trauma-informed systems of care.
National CASA Association
The National CASA Association provides leadership to nearly 900 state and local CASA programs. Across the country, nearly 60,000 highly trained CASA Volunteers serve as powerful advocates for children who have been abused and neglected. We are changing their stories...one child at a time.