Board of Directors

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement for Board of Directors

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are key elements of the recruitment strategies for board members for CASA of Monterey County.

When considering prospective board members, the current board will review the composition of the board and assess our progress towards fulfilling the following ideals:

Diversity: To strengthen board deliberations and decision-making, the board will recruit individuals who draw on their skills, talents, perspectives, and diversity of viewpoints, that comes from different life experiences and cultural backgrounds, including individuals with the first-hand experience with issues faced by youth served by CASA.

The individual leaders who compose CASA of Monterey County’s Board reflect our organization’s values and beliefs that those who are empowered and entrusted with the important decisions of the organization shall:

· embrace the principles of social justice and advocacy, as they relate to the children/youth served by the juvenile dependency and delinquency programs.
· genuinely and sincerely value children and youth in our society, and the importance of nurturing their growth and development; and
· commit to understand, accept, and value the importance of the cultures from which children in the foster care system come.

Inclusion: The CASA of Monterey County Board is committed to building a culture of trust, candor, and respect. To cultivate an inclusive culture all board members are encouraged to bring their perspectives, identity, and life experience to their board service. The CASA of Monterey County board welcomes and celebrates differences and sets a standard that all board members are equally engaged and invested, thereby sharing power and responsibility for the organization’s mission and the board’s work.

Equity-focused: Board Members should be aware of how systemic inequities have affected our society, and the foster care system specifically, to avoid blind spots that can lead to flawed strategies. Guided by this commitment to equity, the board shall create powerful opportunities to deepen the organization’s impact, relevance, and advancement of the care and services provided for youth in the foster care system.

JENNIFER ROSENTHAL, Board Chair, is a passionate, aggressive attorney who will protect and fight for your rights.  She comes from a family of attorneys and has extensive experiences as both a civil litigator and criminal defense lawyer.  She began working in her father’s law firm at a young age and quickly realized she had a passion for justice and being a voice for those who were not given an opportunity to use theirs.  Jennifer joined the CASA of Monterey County Board of Directors in 2014 and served as Board Vice-Chair 2017-2019 before being elected Board Chair, effective July, 2019.

PATTY ROSS, Vice-Chair, is a Realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty. She was a CASA advocate from 2009 to 2011, chaired an awareness/fundraiser, Fiesta de CASA, for the past 3 years, and is also on the board of the Carmel Sunset Center Cultural Center. She is a graduate from Northern Illinois University with a BS in Education, and has 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren. Patty joined CASA of Monterey County’s Board of Directors in 2010.

CATHERINE GRIGGS, Board Secretary, and husband Ken, own and operate Griggs Nursery located in Carmel.  Catherine enjoys spending time with her two young children and family.  Catherine joined CASA of Monterey County’s Board of Directors in 2017 and currently serves as Board Secretary, effective July, 2019.

MARTHA GUSTAVSON, Board Treasurer, is the Financial Controller at Scudder Roofing and Solar. Prior, she was a CPA with Hayashi Wayland. Martha holds a B.A. in business management economics from UC Santa Cruz and a M.S. in Taxation from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Martha joined the CASA of Monterey County Board of Directors in 2018, and currently serves as Board Treasurer, effective July, 2019.

ELIZA DECIANTIS has resided on the Monterey Peninsula since 2003.  She spent 22 years in television set design, and currently owns landscape design company InsideOut Landscape Design.  Eliza was instrumental in developing a crisis intervention center and hotline in Darien, CT, and has served as a Big Sister in the Big Brother, Big Sister program.  Before joining as a CASA board member, Eliza served on the CASA of Monterey County’s Development Committee, and we look forward to her continued participation and support on this team.  Eliza joined CASA of Monterey County’s Board of Directors in 2020.

DON FREEMAN has been practicing law since 1971 and serves as the managing partner of Perry & Freeman Law Office, which was in established in 1973.   Don served as the Carmel-by-the-Sea City Attorney from 1985 through 2017; and as the Seaside City Attorney from  1984 to present.  Don joined CASA of Monterey County’s Board of Directors in 2016.

SIOBHAN GREENE is President/CEO of Hospice Giving Foundation, focused on end-of-life care and services.  She specializes in nonprofit executive management and board governance.  Her career includes working with children, mental health services, marketing, and non-profits.  Before joining the Foundation, Siobhan was Executive Director of CASA of Monterey County for over seven years, and for three years was CASA’s Director of Development.  Siobhan served on California CASA Board of Directors, was President of the Rotary Club of Carmel-by-the-Sea (2016), and is past-Commissioner for Monterey County’s Juvenile Justice Commission, having been Chair in 2012.  Siobhan joined CASA of Monterey County’s Board of Directors in 2018.

ETHAN HARE, Past Chair, started off in small construction companies working as a laborer and apprentice carpenter.  He then founded Weekend Warriors, which evolved into Hare Construction Inc. His favorite aspects of the job are constantly learning, problem solving and satisfying customers in a difficult field of work. Ethan joined the CASA of Monterey County Board of Directors in 2012, and served a 2-year term as Board Chair 2017-2019.

GIANNA JACKSON has spent most of her career in technology sales in Silicon Valley.  For the last 20 years, she has been with OpenText where, year over year, she is recognized as one of the top account executives globally. Born and raised on the Monterey Peninsula, in 2013, she welcomed the opportunity to move “home” with her husband where they raise their two young daughters.  She has supported and benefited various other local nonprofit organizations including Big Sur Land Trust, Monterey Museum of Art, and Stevenson School. Gianna joined CASA of Monterey County’s Board of Directors in 2016.

LANCE KOEHLER moved to Monterey in 2005 and obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University Monterey Bay. He has over 15 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industries on Cannery Row, Fisherman’s Wharf and the city of Monterey. Lance has served on the Cannery Row Business Association since 2010 and is the current Board President. He has also worked closely with the Monterey County Health Department to establish the Food Safety Advisory Council in Monterey. Lance has fundraising experience and has organized and hosted benefit dinners at Louie Linguini’s Restaurant since 2017 for CASA of Monterey County.  Lance joined CASA of Monterey County’s Board of Directors in 2020.

DANNY LITTLE. Danny Little is an attorney at Noland, Hamerly, Etienne, & Hoss, where he primarily focuses on business and real estate transactions, real property issues, and healthcare matters for clients in the Central Coast.  Danny and his wife, Amanda, a Salinas native, moved from Austin, Texas to Monterey County in 2018.  Danny holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (2011) and Juris Doctorate (2015) from the University of Texas.   Danny joined CASA of Monterey County’s Board of Directors in January 2019.

AERIN MURPHY is an experienced civil attorney, handling cases ranging from representing victims of domestic violence to representing Fortune 500 companies in complex civil litigation.  In her off-time, Aerin enjoys spending time with her husband, toddler daughter, and menagerie of animals, in addition to lending a hand in the family winery. Aerin joined the CASA of Monterey County Board of Directors in 2016, and served 2017-2019 as as Board Secretary and 2019-2020 as Vice Chair.

PETE SCUDDER and wife Karen, founded Scudder Roofing out of his Prunedale garage in 1982. Today, the award winning, multi-million dollar roofing company represents the highest standards in the industry. When he’s not working on roofs, you will usually find Pete volunteering his time to organizations like the Boy Scouts or CASA of Monterey County, and spending time with his close-knit family.  Pete served on  CASA of Monterey County’s Board of Directors from 2010 to 2019, and due to his dedication to CASA, is recognized in designation as Board Chair Emeritus.

SHANNON STEVENS, born and raised in California, graduated from San Jose State University and has assisted several non-profits over the years.  Her accounting career began 10 years ago with Hutchinson & Bloodgood, LLP, where she continues as an accountant.  Shannon loves spending time with her children and riding horses. Shannon joined CASA of Monterey County’s Board of Directors in 2017.

ERIN WHITE is the Director of Philanthropy and Community Partnerships at York School in Monterey, CA. Prior to York School, she was the Development Director at Santa Catalina, where she has helped spearhead a $50 million capital campaign for major facilities and endowment projects. Prior to working in Development, worked in Admissions at her alma mater, Loyola University Maryland, and at Santa Catalina. She has also served as a dorm parent and adviser during her tenure at Santa Catalina and resides on campus with her husband and two children.  Erin joined CASA of Monterey County’s Board of Directors in 2017.

JEANNETTE WITTEN has been practicing law since 1998 and serves as the Managing Partner of Hudson Martin Ferrante Street Witten & DeMaria PC.  Voted by the Monterey County Weekly reader’s as the best Attorney in Monterey County for 2012-2018, Jeannette has been recognized as one of the most 25 influential people in Monterey County.  Jeannette is also very active in the public sector, supporting and benefiting numerous charitable organizations.  Jeannette served on  CASA of Monterey County’s Board of Directors from 2007 to 2017, and due to her dedication to CASA, is recognized in designation as Board Chair Emeritus.