Board of Directors
Our board and staff members are committed to the mission and vision of our organization.
Click on the names to learn more.
Deborah Armstrong joined CASA of Clackamas County in August 2018 as an
Administrative Assistant and will be working on several projects throughout her
employment. She came to CASA of Clackamas County through a program
connecting the Corporate world to the Non-Profit world, called Encore. Deborah
was previously employed at Intel, but when she retired from Intel, she decided to
enter into the Non-Profit world. Encore helped connect those dots. Through this
program, she is able to work part-time for a full year at CASA with funds coming
from Intel. A Win-Win-Win all around! Deborah’s interest in helping those in need
was inspired by her family members who have worked in the Mental Health field
and became aware of how much need was out there in various capacities. Having 2
grown daughters of her own, she has a soft spot for children. In her spare time,
Deborah enjoys cooking for her husband, family, and friends and collects cookbooks
from her various travels.
Robin Christian joined CASA of Clackamas County as executive director in January 2016. After a twenty-five year career in the corporate world, Robin made the transition to working in nonprofit as a way to do more than tell her children who she wanted them to be in the world. It was her way of showing them who she hoped they would become.
Robin spent nine years as executive director of Children First for Oregon, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, multi-issue child advocacy organization. It was during her tenure at Children First that Robin became acquainted with many current and former foster youth and learned first-hand of the challenges they faced growing up in care. This experience laid the foundation for Robin’s desire to make a positive impact on the lives of kids in foster care and made leading CASA of Clackamas County the next logical step to making just such an impact.
Robin has two children, a son who lives in Connecticut and a daughter who lives in Portland and works for Nike. Robin grew up in Brooklyn but has now lived on the west coast longer than she ever lived on the east coast. However, Robin says you can take the girl out of Brooklyn but you can’t take the Brooklyn out of the girl.
Dawn trains, supports, and supervises approximately 35 CASA volunteers, serving approximately 60 children. She also manages the program’s database and provides statistics for reporting and grant writing. She was born an advocate and having her own diverse background, felt CASA was a good fit for her. Dawn began volunteering for CASA of Clackamas County in 2007 and was hired in 2014. At 40 years old, she started college to get her associates degree. In 2016, she graduated with honors from Clackamas Community College receiving an Associates of Sciences/Human Services and a drug and alcohol counseling certificate (CADC1). She enjoys spending time with family and friends. She is most proud of her children--two teenage boys--Tommy and Charlie. As she would say, “They are my world!”
Shari began volunteering for CASA of Clackamas County in 2002. Shortly after, she was hired as office manager, then supervisor of CASA volunteers. Currently, she is the Program Director, overseeing the volunteer program and program staff.
“I am asked many times how I can do this difficult work of advocating for abused and neglected children. I explain that I cannot do anything about the past and what has already happened to these children before they came into care, but I can help make a difference in their lives now to help them have a better future. Each time a child returns to a safe home or is placed in a safe, permanent home, is validation to the important work we do here at CASA of Clackamas County. Validation that we do, in fact, make a difference.”
When Shari is not advocating for children, she enjoys reading, hiking, taking road trips, yoga, and kayaking. She is the mother of three grown sons and a cat.
Melanie Hempel is a CASA manager who began volunteering as a CASA in 2011. Because she has seen the impact being a CASA has in children’s lives, she is committed to supporting CASAs and to engage in getting more CASAs for the children in care. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Counseling from San Diego Christian College and is interested in the neurological functions of the brain as it relates to attachment and trauma-informed care. Melanie is often enjoying the beautiful PNW outdoors with her husband and two children on their hobby farm.
Rachel Lowe is our Community Engagement Coordinator. She works directly with our directors to accurately communicate our mission to our community of donors and volunteers through social media, event planning, and community outreach. She graduated from Simpson University with a Bachelor's in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. People are her passion and she strives to provide excellent administrative and customer service skills while maintaining the integrity and positive and genuine demeanor in the workplace. Outside of work, you will find her investing in her family (particularly her wonderful twin sister who has special needs), fawning over any dog, drinking locally brewed coffee, or singing exuberantly in the car."
Tiffany Mitton, Senior CASA Manager and Training Manager, truly believes that children are our future, our most valuable resource, and that each child has worth as an individual. It is our opportunity and responsibility to support and help each child become a happy, successful adult. In addition to raising four children, Tiffany spent many hours volunteering in a variety of school, community, and church positions before joining CASA.
Carolyn Olson is a CASA Manager at CASA of Clackamas County. Prior to becoming a manager, she was a CASA for five years. Her case focus during this time was older children. She has been married 31 years to her wonderful husband Jeff who she met in college; they have two wonderful daughters and two adorable little dogs. Carolyn loves to travel, play with her pups, socialize, and has a passion for Pinot. In addition to her managerial duties at CASA, she leads the Fostering Futures program - a program designed to teach CASA’s how to best work with the older youth and prepare them for independent living. Carolyn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emily Porter is a CASA Manager at CASA of Clackamas County. In that role, she supports volunteers in their case activities and court report writing. Before she was in this position, she spent years working with children of many ages and backgrounds. She believes very strongly that our community changes for the better when we support our kids, and that caring for children in foster care is our responsibility as community members. She lives in rural Clackamas County with her husband on their family’s farm where they raise animals and garden. She loves to learn how to do things herself. Her and her husband like to spend time working outside and playing with their dog, Penny.
Ali Salzer is CASA’s Program Support Assistant. She provides daily assistance and support to program staff and volunteers and keeps the CASA office running smoothly. You can find her at the front desk and any time you call our office. She has a background in community-centered research, educational outreach, and community development. Ali has served as an AmeriCorps volunteer in rural Oregon. She believes in doing impactful work that makes a tangible difference in people’s lives. Now living in Portland, Ali spends the rest of her time drinking coffee and petting her dog. Ali holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology from the University of Arizona.