Happi Grillon serves as Executive Director of CASA Philadelphia. Over her 20-year tenure serving the greater Philadelphia community, Happi has worked in a variety of settings with programs serving youth from early childhood to adolescence. Happi began her postgraduate career at Youth Service, Inc. (YSI) working with young women in group home placements. She moved on to be a supervisor and then program director at YSI, overseeing the foster care and mother baby group home programs. She later oversaw the crisis nursery, Teen Success, and truancy prevention programs. Most recently Happi worked at Northeast Treatment Centers as Intervention Director with the Community Umbrella Agency (CUA). Happi graduated from The University of Vermont and earned a Masters of Social Work degree from Temple University and is a graduate of the Bryn Mawr College Non-Profit Executive Leadership Institute.
Trish Kinkle serves as Program Director at Casa Philadelphia. Trish has served at risk youth in Philadelphia for nearly two decades. Beginning in Kensington where she created and implemented a program for young girls designed to promote self-esteem and healthy relationships and then serving as an afterschool program director. In addition to her work at CASA, Trish and her husband are vocal advocates for people struggling with substance use and are adoptive and biological parents to three beautiful children. A graduate of Virginia Tech, Trish received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Temple University.
Ashley serves as CASA Training Specialist, in charge of quarterly volunteer trainings, as well as Manager of CASA’s unique Educational Decision Makers Program. Before moving to Philadelphia and getting involved with CASA, Ashley was a teacher. She has taught students in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Bronx, New York and Exton, Pennsylvania. She is passionate about education, volunteering and advocacy. Ashley also volunteered with Mighty Writers and worked with the “Change Course,” a literacy engagement program for youth and the “Stories Alive” program that facilitates video reading sessions for incarcerated parents and their children, at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Ashley earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from King’s College London and her Master of Science in Education from Herbert Lehman College of The City College of New York.
Annie is a CASA Supervisor. She brings her prior experience as a case manager at NET, a behavioral health technician/ substance abuse counselor at Kirkbride and as a foster care permanency planning social worker at JJC to her work at CASA. Annie has a passion for advocacy for the children involved in the child welfare system and believes that “laughter is the best medicine” and can be observed making someone laugh at any time of the day. Annie earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Millersville University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Social Work at West Chester University.
Rachel McLaughlin, MSW – Advocate Supervisor
Rachel joined the staff at CASA in July 2020. Rachel is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. She brings her internship experience at the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research with Project PENN and the Foster to College programs with her to CASA. She was also a social work intern at KIPP West Philadelphia Elementary School and with Herico County Public Schools in Virginia and a foster child group facilitator with Greater Richmond SCAN. In addition to her Penn MSW, Rachel has a BSW from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Maelena Arthur, MSW – Advovate Supervisor
Maelena joined the staff at CASA in July 2020. She brings her experience as a foster care case worker with Chester County Children, Youth, and Families Services, and as an In-home case worker with Chester CYF. In addition, Maelena has experience as a clinical social work intern with Merakey Children’s Services and as an intern with Episcopal Community Services. Maelena is a graduate of the Temple University MSW program and earned her BSW at West Chester University.
Elizabeth (Liz) Cleary, MSW – EDM Supervisor
Liz joined the CASA of Philadelphia staff in November 2020. She brings with her many years of child welfare experience working with refugees and unaccompanied refugee children in the foster care system as a case manager, community resource development specialist and as a resource parent educator with Lutheran Children and Family Services and Bethany. She also has experience as a volunteer manager with the Mitzvah Circle Foundation. Liz was an agricultural volunteer and regional representative for the Peace Corps in Niger. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Kutztown University and a Masters in Social Work from Temple University.
Renee joined the staff at CASA in October 2021. Renee is a graduate of Arcadia University where she earned a BA in Psychology. She brings 6 years child welfare experience at Chester County Department of Children, Youth and Families with her to CASA. She was also a Supervision Counselor at Community Service Foundation in Trevose, PA for 4 years and a Therapeutic Staff Support at Northwestern Human Services/Merakey.
Claudia Baker serves as Advocate Recruiter charged with increasing the number of CASA’s in Philadelphia. Claudia began with CASA as a volunteer hoping to improve the outcome for at risk youth in Philadelphia. Previous to joining CASA Claudia was a full-time mother and volunteer with Lower Merion School district actively recruiting and organizing parent volunteers in the district. She has a professional background in writing, fundraising and nonprofit management. Claudia has a degree in Behavior Science from Drew University and studied at New York University’s School of Non-Profit Management.
Yael serves as Program Coordinator with responsibilities that include managing the onboarding of new volunteers as well as data management. Yael has an educational and professional background in data analytics and business operations, but desired to work for an organization supporting the City’s children in need of foster and adoptive families. Yael began with CASA as a volunteer, then joined the staff as a part-time assistant before moving to full time staff as Program Coordinator. She is involved with the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, and always looking for opportunities to positively affect the lives of children through mentorship and volunteer work. Yael has a BS in Biomedical Sciences from Texas A&M and an MS in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Penn State University.
Jessica Chan, BS – Advocate Support Coordinator
Jessica joined the staff at CASA as our Advocate Support Coordinator in November 2021, to engage and support current active volunteers. Jessica began volunteering with CASA Philadelphia 2012 while majoring in PreK-4th Grade elementary education at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. Jessica observed over 150 hours in elementary school classrooms in Philadelphia public and private school and student taught at a title 1 school in South Philadelphia. Jessica was also a part of CASA Philadelphia’s EDM pilot program that launched in 2015. Jessica also holds an Associate of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Outside of CASA Jessica enjoys traveling and experiencing new foods and cultures all around the world.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CAROLINE ROSCH HOOVER | PRESIDENT Managing Director, Portfolio Management & Operations, Reinvestment Fund
JOSHUA MANN | VICE PRESIDENT Senior Project Manager, Vanguard
MIA MARKO, ESQ. | SECRETARY Associate, Pepper Hamilton LLP
JOSHUA KISVER | TREASURER Chief Financial Officer, ECFMG
CHRISTINA BALES, MD | Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
JONATHAN DAVID, MBA | Director, Customer Programs, PGW
FRANCES EGLER | Senior Director of Programming and Communications, Kimmel Center
SHAMYUNE JONES, ESQ. | Vice President and General Counsel, Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority
NOREENA S. LEWIS, JD | Program Manager, Community Pediatrics and Advocacy, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
NICOLE SABATINO | Teacher, School District of Philadelphia
AMY SMITH | Principal, Kittleman & Associates
MICHELLE WHALEN | Director, Sterling Capital Management LLC
AKI VEAL | Director, Upsell Communications, Lifecycle Marketing, Comcast Corporation
DOUG GERMAN | Vice President HR, CSL Behring
ELIZABETH SAMET | SVP Creative Director, The Philadelphia Inquirer