The History of Douglas County CASA

1990: Juvenile Court Judge Jean R. Shepherd identified a need for a CASA program in Douglas County and started making phone calls

1991: Mary McDowell organized a Board of Directors and wrote the original Articles of Incorporation. A Volunteer Administrator was identified. Funding was obtained and Elaine Riordan became the agency's first paid director.

1992: The board moved into governance and monitoring role

1993: The committee structure was enhanced and strengthened

1995: The second director, Melissa Boisen, was hired

1997: The third director, Connie Keeling, was hired

2001: Douglas County CASA celebrated its 10-year anniversary

2002: A new stategic long-range plan was implemented

2003: Kerry Gaines was hired as the fourth director

2005: The board engaged in strategic long-range planning processes. CASA successfully completed National CASA Self-Evaluation process.

2006: Douglas County CASA celebrated its 15-year anniversary. CASA and CRB jointly established the Hon. Jean F. Shepherd Volunteer Award

2007: CASA awards the first annual Hon. Jean F. Shepherd Volunteer Award to Marty Smith

2008: Diana Seely Frederick was hired as the fifth director

2009: NCASA Self-Evaluation process successfully completed. CASA moved to new office space at 1009 New Hampshire, Ste. B in December

2010: Birthday Box program started for CASA kids. Mission Statement updated. New strategic long-range plan developed for 2011-2015. Jean Shepherd Room dedicated in the CASA office

2011: CASA Ambassadors group formed with Jill LaPoint as president. Adoption gifts and Christmas stockings provided for CASA kids. Shepherd Shoe Fund started in honor of Judge Shepherd's retirement. Douglas County CASA celebrated its 20th anniversary

2013: The CASA office expanded to Suite A on the first floor in February, making the office wheelchair accessible for the first time

2014: CASA hired a part-time Development Director

2015: CASA added two additional part-time advocate coordinators. Playhouse partnership was established with USD 497

2016: Douglas County CASA celebrated 25th anniversary, received car donation for staff use

2019: Erick Vaughn was hired as the sixth director

2021: Douglas County CASA celebrates its 30-year anniversary