CASA Santa Barbara County Staff

Executive Director

Kim Colby Davis

Executive Director

(805) 739-9102, Ext. 5981
kim@sbcasa.org

Background & Education: In 2006, Kim Colby Davis began volunteering for CASA of Santa Barbara County, first as an advocate for children, and then in the office, helping with events and publicity. Before long, she became part of the CASA staff, eventually on a full-time basis. At the end of her first year with CASA, the total of new volunteers increased by over 53% and the number of children served increased by nearly 65%. Fast forward to 2016, Kim is the Executive Director for CASA of Santa Barbara County, Kim has lead the team to achieving growth that includes more than doubling the number of children served. With a team of 12 CASA staff, they now lead a volunteer force of more than 300 community volunteers.

Clubs, committees, or social groups: Currently, Kim is serving on the Board of Directors for the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum, and is a member of the North County Advisory Committee for CALM. She is a graduate of Leadership Santa Barbara County, and served on the Santa Barbara County Blue Ribbon Commission on Foster Care, and the Child Abuse Prevention Council. Kim was honored with the “Woman of Excellence” award in 2014 in the category of “Women of Spirit.”

Hobbies & Interest: In her spare time, Kim enjoys traveling with her husband, gardening and spending time with her many nieces and nephews.

Development Director

Tim Bigelow

Development Director

(805) 845-8364, Ext. 5984
tim@sbcasa.org

Background & Education: Tim was in the investment business for more than 20 years. Tim graduated with a B.A. from University of Rhode Island, where he received the Presidents Award for Academic Excellence. Tim also studied Behavior Finance in the Executive Program at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Clubs, committees, or social groups: Healing Opportunities CFO, Harvard Club of Southern California, Self-Realization Fellowship, CFA Institute

A few words that best describe Tim: Friendly, kind and present

Hobbies & Interests: Reading, hiking, running and spending weekends with my two boys Mason and Reese.

Why CASA is important to Tim? "To do what I can to serve the most vulnerable in the community."

Recruiting and Outreach Director

Crystal Moreno

Recruiting and Outreach Director

(805) 739-9102, Ext. 2594
crystal@sbcasa.org

Background & Education: Crystal obtained her BA in criminal justice and an AA in liberal studies. She has 15 years of professional experience working with children and youth. Her previous work experience includes Teen Court Program Manager, Adolescent Residential Counselor and Preschool Instructor.

Clubs, committees, or social groups:  Crystal is a Lompoc Valley Leadership graduate, Class of 2015 and Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club. 

A few words that best describe Crystal: Enthusiastic, loyal and observant

Hobbies & Interests: Crystal enjoys planning parties, traveling, and playing board games with her daughters, Alyssa and Alexa. 

Why CASA is important to Crystal: "CASA is the only advocacy program that gives a voice to children in foster care. It’s my love of children and a strong interest in the legal system that makes CASA a perfect fit for me. Being a mother myself, I want to make sure every child experiences the same unconditional love, safety and forever home that I provide to my own children."  

Associate Director

Aaron Pankratz

Associate Director

(805) 739-9102, Ext. 2598
aaron@sbcasa.org

Background & Education: Aaron Pankratz brings with him a passion for serving vulnerable populations. In his career, he is most proud of the people he has served. This includes people from a wide background including street children in Zimbabwe, people with disabilities of all ages, inner city youth and most recently senior citizens on the Central Coast. His passion comes from growing up with a brother with disabilities who was adopted out of an abusive home.

A few words that best describe Aaron: Dedicated and wise

Hobbies & Interests: Aaron volunteers at his church and homeowners association board. His family, including three children, keep him busy and bring him joy daily. In his free time, Aaron enjoys cycling as fast and far as he can (about 5,000 miles a year).

Why CASA is important to Aaron: "I believe that standing with a child through difficult circumstances is one of the noblest tasks and the rewards for all involved can't be matched."

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Marissa Acker

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

(805)739-9102, Ext. 2595
marissa@sbcasa.org

Background & Education: Originally from Southern California, Marissa graduated with a degree in Graphics and Interior Architecture and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting at Golden Gate University. Marissa brings to CASA a variety of skills, including a creative eye for graphic design.

Clubs, committees, or social groups: Marissa is actively involved at her children’s school and church. Her prior volunteer experience includes fundraising efforts with Bakersfield Museum of Art and Toys for Tots.

A few words that best describe Marissa: Loving, passionate, persistent, and observant.

Hobbies & Interests: Marissa enjoys teaching fitness classes and motivating others to be healthy, volunteering, and traveling with her family.  

Why CASA is important to Marissa: "In the most traumatic and difficult of circumstances, I believe it is important that a child feel they have a voice. Being an advocate for a child is the most compassionate way a volunteer can provide consistency and bring love into a child’s life. I strongly believe every child should be heard, no matter the life circumstance, and deeply respect the work CASA does on behalf of children in foster care." 

 

Office Manager

Joy Bat

Office Manager

(805) 739-9102, Ext. 2597
joy@sbcasa.org

Background & Education: Joy has a degree in accounting from Western Governors University and more than 15 years of administrative and bookkeeping experience.

Clubs, committees, or social groups: CASA's Volunteer Recruitment Committee

A few words that best describe Joy: Friendly, encouraging, diplomatic and happy

Hobbies & Interest: Joy loves craft fairs, digital scrapbooking and vast scenic movies. On warm weather weekends, Joy and her husband can be found on their Harley Roadking enjoying local views, festivals and art shows.

Why CASA  is important to Joy: "CASA is important to Joy because of her love for the mission statement, the board, the advocates and the employees." 

Advocate Supervisor

Cozetta Blow

Advocate Supervisor

(805)739-9102, Ext. 4628
cozetta@sbcasa.org

Background and Education: Cozetta, also know as "Cozy", brings 21 years of experience in the Social Services field working with domestic violence victims, mental health patients, alcohol and drug addiction services, sexual assault victims, at risk teens, and homeless population. She has obtained advanced training in Human services, alcohol and drug studies, family studies and social work specializing in Domestic Violence and family services.

A few words that best describe Cozetta: Compassionate, kind, friendly

Hobbies and Interests: Cozetta loves to spend time with her family, walking on the beach, and horseback riding.

Why CASA is important to Cozetta: "Working for CASA, allows me to be able to solely focus on the needs of the child and be a voice for so many children who have had their voices silenced by trauma, neglect and abuse."

Advocate Supervisor

Cassy Brezner

Advocate Supervisor

805-739-9102
Cassy@sbcasa.org

Background & Education: Cassy earned her BA in Sociology at the University of California Santa Barbara and her MA of Clinical Psychology at Antioch University. Upon graduating from UCSB she worked for Family Care Network in their transitional housing program helping youth as they emancipated form the foster care system. During that time, Cassy also became a CASA volunteer. After completing her graduate studies, Cassy became a registered MFT intern and during the past four years, has worked with various agencies.  

A few words that best describe Cassy: Friendly, kind and easygoing

Hobbies & Interests: Cassy loves to lift weights, hike, dance, walk on the beach, and hit balls at the batting cage. Oner her greatest loves is figure skating. As a child, she was a competitive figure skater and loves to skate for fun as an adult.

Why CASA is important to Cassy? "CASA is important because it gives a voice to the voiceless. CASA offers hope, consistency and support to the most vulnerable population in our community."

 Advocate Supervisor (Bilingual)

Lorena Chavarria

Advocate Supervisor (Bilingual)

(805) 739-9102, Ext. 2596
lorena@sbcasa.org

Background & Education: Lorena has 17 years of experience in human services field. Prior to joining the CASA team, She attended Hancock College and worked for Domestic Violence Solutions 911 Response Team and Community Action Commission as an independent living program case worker.

Awards or recognition received: First Response Advocate Award

A few words that best describe Lorena: Compassionate, friendly, hard working and spiritual

Hobbies & Interests: Lorena loves to spend time with her family, enjoys going to church, and being outdoors. She also spends her weekends hiking and taking in all the beautiful weather and scenery the Central Coast has to offer.

Why CASA is important to Lorena: The advocacy and support that a child receives from a CASA Volunteer is remarkable. A CASA Volunteer makes a lifelong impression on a child. I’m truly honored to work with such awesome and dedicated people.

Development Assistant

Katie Elicker

Development Assistant

(805) 845-8364, Ext. 4625
katiee@sbcasa.org

Background & Education: Originally from Orange County, Katie is currently a senior at UC Santa Barbara double-majoring in communications and global studies. Her passion for helping others is rooted in her 13 years of Girl Scouts, where she earned the Gold Award. Upon entering college, Katie joined the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, where she served as the Chief Financial Officer. 

Hobbies & Interests:  In her spare time, Katie enjoys the beautiful Santa Barbara weather at the beach and spending time with her family and friends. 

A few words that best describes Katie: Motivated, compassionate, outgoing and hardworking.

Why CASA is important to Katie: "CASA is important to me because it allows me to serve the children in my community by doing work that I enjoy. CASA gives children hope by providing them volunteers to ensure their best interests are being met. I believe in the CASA program and the voice it gives to children, and am so excited to be a part of it." 

Court Officer

Maite Garcia-Arone

Court Officer

(805) 739-9102, Ext. 2593
Maite@sbcasa.org

Background & Education: Maite has consistently worked in the field of serving children and families in struggle and trauma. After graduating from Cal Poly, she began a fourteen year span in the District Attorney's Office as a Victim Witness Advocate, Truancy Social Worker and finally Truancy Program Supervisor until the program's funding ended. She has worked for the past six years as an integral part of the attorneys who represent children in the Dependency system and here she first learned about and fell in love with CASA's mission.

A few words that best describe Maite: Compassionate, determined and creative.

Hobbies & Interests: Maite is a singer and performs with her husband as well as writes and records music with him in their home studio. She loves creating mosaics, her dogs, home restoration projects and cooking for her family.

Why CASA is important to Maite: "CASA is important to me because it is soulful work that aligns with my values of integrity, altruism and fierce need to be doing something meaningful for children in our community." 

Senior Advocate Supervisor (Bilingual)

Maria (Coco) Landeros-Rico

Senior Advocate Supervisor (Bilingual)

(805) 739-9102, Ext. 2592
coco@sbcasa.org

Background & Education:  Coco joined the CASA team in 2006. Prior to her employment at CASA she worked with children ages 3 through 18 as a mental health case worker. Coco has a degree is in psychology with an emphasis in counseling from Christian Heritage College in San Diego.

A few words that best describe Coco: Loyal and compassionate

Hobbies & Interests: Coco's life revolves around her children. She enjoys walking, playing, singing and reading. In her spare time she spends a lot of time cleaning up after them.

Why CASA is important to Coco: "CASA’s provide a safe haven for their child even if it's just an hour from life's stressors."

Advocate Supervisor

Brittany Maikrzek

Advocate Supervisor

(805) 739-9102, Ext. 2591
Brittany@sbcasa.org

Background and Education: Originally from Michigan, Brittany moved to California at the age of six and grew up on Vandenberg AFB where her father was stationed in the military. Brittany currently attends Allan Hancock College and plans to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology online through Brandman University. This past year Brittany had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to kindergarten students in China.

Clubs, committees, or social groups: Brittany is currently an advocate for sexual assault survivors at the North County Rape Crisis and Child Protection Center.

A few words that best describe Brittany: Kind and caring

Hobbies and Interests: Traveling, reading, hiking, going on adventures, and spending time with family.

Why CASA is important to Brittany: "Every child deserves to have their voice heard and CASA gives them that power." 

Senior Advocate Supervisor

Tristin Sherman

Senior Advocate Supervisor

(805) 845-8364, Ext. 5983
tristin@sbcasa.org

Background & Education: Tristin graduated from Westmont College with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. Before coming to CASA she worked at Noah's Anchorage, a local residential youth crisis shelter for over three years. Tristin has worked with children in some capacity since age 15.

Clubs, committees, or social groups: Tristin is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Santa Barbara County and 2016 Emerging Leaders Program in Santa Barbara, CA. 

A few words that best describes Tristin: Kind, compassionate, tender-hearted, driven, hardworking, dedicated, loyal

Hobbies & Interest: Tristin is a huge sports fans, with loyalties to The Los Angeles Kings hockey teams (Stanley Cup champs 2012 and 2014!) and The Kansas City Chiefs. Tristin loves to read books, spend time in the outdoors, watch movies, and rock out to some country music.

Why CASA is important Tristin: "To have a CASA means to have that extra watchful eye, to have someone who will stick with that child. What is so great and unique to CASA is that our volunteers are actually officers of the Court, which means that they get to write reports directly to the Judge and be a voice for that child in Court. To see the difference an advocate can make in the life of one child makes my job worth it."