The Impact of One
September 23, 2019
Pendleton, Oregon
Presented by Eastern Oregon CASA Conference
 
 
The Fetzer Foundation
 
Conference Registration
$50/person
Includes lunch
Hotel Reservations available through Wild Horse Casino
with a special CASA Conference Rate.  Call: 800-654-9453.
*Mention Booking #14800 or ORE CASA when calling to make reservations.
* No refunds unless conference were to be canceled.
Impact of One Speakers
Jenna App
Executive Director, CASA of Central Oregon
Jenna graduated from Vassar College and the University of Arizona College of Law. After law school, she clerked for the Alaska Court of Appeals and was a Fellow with the National Association for Public Interest Law. Before moving to Bend in 2013, she practiced law in Alaska and directed a lobbying and consulting practice largely focused on growing and developing nonprofits. Jenna loves living in Central Oregon, and spends her free time cycling, hiking, horseback riding and spending time with her family. 
Annie Blackledge
Executive Director, The Mockingbird Society
Annie Blackledge is driven by a life-long commitment to advocate for society’s most vulnerable people. She is an alumnus of the New York foster care system and has been a leader in education and youth services throughout her career. Prior to joining The Mockingbird Society, she worked for Casey Family Programs as a senior advisor with the U.S. Department of Education. Her portfolio was focused on vulnerable student populations including foster, homeless, justice involved and disconnected youth. While with the Department of Education she worked on several interagency initiatives and served as an advisor for two cohorts with the Clinton Global Initiative: America with the Disconnected Youth Workgroup. Most recently, Annie was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Washington State Department of Children Youth & Families’ Oversight Committee as the “best interests of the child” expert. Annie joined The Mockingbird Society with over 20 years of dedicated public service and continues to strive for meaningful change in the systems that impact the lives of youth and families.
Tracey Blood
Tracey has been an advocate for children and families in her community and across the state. She is an authorized facilitator for Darkness To Light’s Stewards of Children curriculum and contracted by the Ford Family Foundation’s Protect Our Children Program project to deliver trainings. She brings over 7 years’ experience in the human services field. In her prior roles, she has been the Executive Director of Grant-Harney County CASA and the founding Director of Frontier CASA, serving Wheeler and Gilliam Counties. She was also the Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Oregon, a statewide organization focused solely on the prevention of child abuse and neglect. She understands local systems, their geographical and cultural differences, especially issues facing rural and frontier communities.  A Portland State University Graduate, Tracey is proud to have a lifetime of experience living in frontier Oregon as a sixth-generation Oregonian. Most importantly, she is the proud mother of two confident and sassy children.
Jill Bower
Operations DirectorCASA of Central Oregon
Jill is a graduate of OSU Cascades,with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Sciences, specializing in Human Services. Jill currently serves as Operations Director for CASA of Central Oregon. Jill also maintains a connection with OSU Cascades as she works with them to collect and study resiliency data on children in foster care in Central Oregon.
Angela Fasana
Court AdministratorGrand Ronde Tribal Court
Angela Fasana is a member of the Tribal Nation of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and currently serves as the Court Administrator for the Grand Ronde Tribal Court and has done so for the past 19 years. Prior to her work in the Tribal Court, Angela worked as a Legal Assistant in the Tribal Attorney’s Office for approximately three years working primarily with the Tribe’s child welfare office and representing the Tribe in Tribal Court on dependency cases.  Angela received her Bachelor Degree from Portland State University in 1994, and a J.D. from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark in 1997. 
State Senator Bill Hansell (R-Athena)
Senator Bill Hansell is currently serving in his second term, representing the 29th district in the Oregon State Senate. Prior to his election to the Senate, he served for 30 years as a Umatilla County Commissioner.  From 2005-2006, he served as the President of the National Association of Counties in Washington, DC. During his tenure as NACO President, the promotion of CASA was one of Hansell’s top initiatives and brought national attention to the importance of CASA.  His family has farmed and ranched in Oregon since their arrival on the Oregon Trail in 1852. In addition, his wife Margaret was Umatilla County’s CASA Director for 12 years. They are the proud parents of six grown children and 11 grandchildren.

Pamela Heisler
Foster Care Advisory Commission

Pamela Heisler has 13 years of experience in the social service sector and is committed to achieving measurable results for children, youth, and families. She earned a Masters of Public Administration specializing in Nonprofit Management from Portland State University. As a result of her experience in the Oregon foster care system across 11 years, in 2008 she founded the Oregon Foster Youth Connection (OFYC), a program that unites current and former foster youth to improve the child welfare system through their own brand of advocacy, activism, and leadership. After seven years at Children First for Oregon Pamela joined the Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon as the Director of Programs and Partnerships where she engaged the community to develop the Elevating Prevention Blueprint- the first of its kind in the state. Most recently she acted as the Public Engagement Project Manager for the Department of Human Services, focused on projects related to training and support for foster parents, safety in care, and improving community engagement. Currently, Pamela is the Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Oregon and sits on the Board of Directors for Foster Youth in Action, which organizes a national, grassroots network of current and former foster youth. She lives in Milwaukie with her husband and daughter
Kat Mastrangelo
Secretary, Board of Directors, CASA of Central Oregon
Kat is executive director of Volunteers in Medicine and has more than 30 years of experience in economic development and health care administration. She holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Georgetown University, and a Masters in Public and Health Care Administration from Indiana University. She has served as the Executive Director for Volunteers in Medicine since 2008, after beginning her work there as a volunteer in 2004. Kat and her husband, Mike, and their three daughters moved to Bend in 2003. She has a long standing interest in serving vulnerable populations.
Lindsay Pearson
Preschool Program Specialist, Early Learning Division, Department of Education for Oregon State
Lindsay Pearson is a Preschool Program Specialist at the Early Learning Division (ELD) of the Department of Education for Oregon State. She works to coordinate the Oregon Prekindergarten (OPK) Head Start grants across the state and is currently working on projects such as a Tribal Transition to Kindergarten project and how to build mixed delivery inclusive classroom settings with Early Childhood Special Education. She worked for Mount Hood Community College Head Start for many years before coming to the ELD. Her educational background combines Early Childhood Education, Leadership, Social Science and Black Studies to create a unique perspective that leans heavily on equity and justice, trauma healing and resiliency and developmentally and culturally appropriate practices. She uses her 20 years of classroom experience to make the education tangible and applicable to the real lives of Oregon’s young children and their families.
Mary Ratliff
Project Coordinator, The Ford Family’s Protect Our Children Program
Mary is the contracted Project Coordinator for The Ford Family’s Protect Our Children Program. Protect Our Children uses a nationally acclaimed training curriculum: Darkness To Light’s Stewards of Children and Mary is an Authorized Facilitator. Mary brings over 11 years’ experience in the human services field, focusing on child abuse prevention and intervention strategies and child advocacy. Mary received a Master’s in Public Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon (UO). Her bachelor’s degree, also from UO, is in Family and Human Services, a journey she embarked on based on inspiration from her time as a CASA in Douglas County. She also served as the contracted grant writer for the Oregon CASA Network from 2014-2018. Mary is an active participant in community-building activities and has served on boards of directors for local nonprofits in a rural community as well as the Executive Committee for the Oregon Chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America and partners with the Child Abuse Prevention Collaborative on behalf of the Protect Our Children Program.
Shawna Rodrigues
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, State of Oregon
Shawna Rodrigues has worked on behalf of young children and their families for more than twenty years. Her focus is systems development and collaboration and includes extensive leadership experience in early learning programs and early childhood mental health. She has presented and worked at the local, state, regional, and national level. A former National Head Start Fellow (in Washington, DC) she facilitated the Federal Early Childhood/Child Welfare partnership. This work brought together staff from multiple Federal Agencies to increase collaboration among child welfare and early childhood systems to support and amplify positive outcomes for children prenatal to eight and their families. This work resulted in a live-streamed presentation at the National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, two Honor Awards for Interoperability, and $7 million in Discretionary Funding to support this cross sector work. Shawna is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been recognized by Boston University for her “Outstanding Contributions to the field of Social Work”.
Don Romes
Motivational Speaker
Don Rome is an energetic motivational speaker, a life coach, a small business owner and a U.S veteran. He has made it a life long journey serving our community, motivating others and encouraging our youth with helping them discover their strengths and leadership through public speaking.  Don is an award winning speaker but is most proud of his title as a father and husband.  As the founder and operator of potbelli.life a small screen printing company dedicated to lowering the national suicide rate. Don Rome is a strong believer that EVERYONE has a story to tell and by building your inner confidence and in return you will find your inner leadership.
Melissa Sampson-Grier
Cross Systems & Equity CoordinatorDepartment of Human Services-Office of Child Welfare Programs
Melissa Sampson-Grier currently works for the Department of Human Services – Office of Child Welfare Programs as the Cross Systems & Equity Coordinator. In her role, Melissa leads the racial equity efforts for child welfare. She guides leadership and staff from across the state on a journey towards equity by establishing safe spaces for on-going learning experiences, engaging in courageous conversations and networking.  She has presented Let’s Talk about Race (Pt. 1, 2 & 3) to over 3000 DHS staff, Tribal representatives and community partners statewide. Also included in her day-to-day is developing and implementing Anti-Racism Learning Sessions, collaborating cross-systems and developing leaders to champion the work. Prior to transitioning to the State, Melissa worked as the Foster Care Program Coordinator for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde for over ten years. She is a member of the Yakama Nation and proud alumni of Washington State University where she majored in Human Development and Sociology. Outside of work Melissa enjoys spending time with her three children, Brittany, Alayna and Eddie.
Wenonoa Spivak 
Deputy Director, CASA of Jackson County
Wenonoa Spivak joined CASA of Jackson County in July of 2013 and is the Deputy Director. Wenonoa was a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, Central America working in public health.  This experience instilled in her a belief in and dedication to social service and helping those most marginalized and at-risk. After leaving Peace Corps, Wenonoa worked in Texas as a domestic and sexual violence advocate and a social worker for families living in poverty and afflicted by alcohol and drug abuse. Wenonoa has worked as a CPS case worker in Arizona and Oregon and as a hospice educator and medical interpreter in Salem. She also taught Spanish at a community college while living in Salem. Wenonoa then moved overseas again to the Federated States of Micronesia where she taught ESL at their college. Just prior to her CASA work, Wenonoa was a university-level ESL and English instructor at a University in Ohio while working on her doctorate in Linguistics.  She holds a B.S. in Public Health, a Master’s in Education, and is a doctoral candidate in Applied Linguistics.  In her free time, Wenonoa enjoys mountain and road biking, kayaking, and traveling to non-English speaking countries.
Amy Stangel
Juvenile Counselor
Amy graduated from Lewis-Clark State College with the intent to teach, but  after a rough experience in a 6th grade long-term sub job, she decided to try something different.  An opportunity arose at the Wallowa County Juvenile Department and through experience and training she came to realize there were no “bad kids”, only kids with traumatic and chaotic experiences that affected every part of their lives.  Amy has worked for the Wallowa County Department of Youth Services for 13 years now, most recently focusing on training administrators, teachers, school staff, and k-12 students on ACEs and brain development, and how it affects social and emotional behavior in the classroom.  Amy has a passion for helping kids and families that have had traumatic childhood experiences,  and helping to educated the community on how to connect with them.
Judge Xiomara Torres
Multnomah County Circuit Court, Portland, Oregon
 
Kola Thompson and Willa Wallace 
Enough Iz Enough
When we first started this group we approached it with a fighter mentality. Kola and I both have fighting backgrounds, mine was amateur and her career is professional and active, so we know that mind set well. We recognized that our love for our community was stronger than any hate that came into it. We take an open minded approach to our projects, and make sure that our events are always advertised as all-inclusive and free to the public. Our histories may be complicated, but our mission is not. We want to serve the people in the best way we can. We have experienced the poverty, addiction, mental illness, domestic violence, and loss. We have lived it up close and personal. We know what it takes to pull ourselves out of some very serious situations, and we are blessed enough to be here to share those stories with others. This life led us both to learn how to fight back. Once we learned that we could physically handle a situation, we felt protected enough to take on healing our hearts. So today we stand before you strong; mind, body and spirit. We are ready to give back in the hopes of preventing a repeat or easing for others some of the struggles we ourselves went through.
Maria Weer
Alternative Education ProgramWallowa County
Maria graduated from University of Puget Sound with a degrees in Biology and Chemistry.  Intending on a future in Medicine, Maria deferred enrollment at OHSU to complete a volunteer teaching opportunity with Teach for America.  After 2-years in the classroom, she knew she had found her passion and went back to school to earn her Masters in Teaching and Administration.  Over the past 20 years, Maria has taught in traditional and non-traditional high school settings, where her love truly lies in helping to engage kids that feel disconnected, alone and are struggling to find focus and direction.  For the past 9 years, she has led the Alternative Education program for Wallowa County, where she has used her knowledge about ACES to better connect with students. 
Jason Wright
Permanency ConsultantEastern Oregon
Jason Wright is a Permanency Consultant for Eastern Oregon. Jason has worked for DHS/Child Welfare for about 13 years. During that time he has worked as a caseworker, supervisor, and now a consultant. While he is considered a Central Office employee Jason says he has the fortune to be stationed in Eastern Oregon. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family, friends, dogs, and enjoying the beauty of Eastern Oregon.