Meet Our Board of Directors
Chris is the CEO of the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, a nonprofit charged with supporting businesses and growing the economy in Central Illinois. He has worked in public service jobs for over 20 years, including homeless services, youth services and local government. Chris grew up in Burbank, CA. He received his B.A. in political science from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado – Denver. Chris, his wife and two daughters have lived in Peoria for over 15 years.
Kate has been an advocate for children in Illinois for more than 20 years. She has worked in child welfare as a case worker, supervisor and manager and spent the most recent 10 years advocating for improvements to child welfare policy, practice, and legislation. Kate has a B.A. from Shimer College, an MA from the University of Chicago – School of Social Service Administration, and a JD from Loyola University Chicago where she was a ChildLaw Fellow.
Missy currently serves as the Executive Director of Dispute Resolution Institute, a nonprofit that provides mediation services throughout Illinois. Since she was a child, several members of Missy’s immediate and extended family have fostered, adopted and/or taken guardianship of children involved with DCFS. These experiences led her to study child welfare and her first career as a foster care case manager in St. Louis City. She also has volunteered as a GAL, a CASA for Williamson County, and as a mediator in abuse and neglect cases. Missy has a Bachelor’s in Social Work from Saint Louis University and a Juris Doctor degree from Southern Illinois University School of Law. Missy, her husband, daughter and two cats live in Southern Illinois.
Lynn is the co-owner and President of Nova Fire Protection, Inc., a family business that designs and installs commercial and residential fire protection sprinkler systems across the Chicagoland area.
Social service has been a core principle of Lynn’s life and she has been a consistent advocate for children through association with various non-profits as well as experience as a school social worker. Lynn joined CASA Lake County as a volunteer advocate and soon joined the staff as an advocate manager. She has a B.A. from Northeastern Illinois University and MSW from Loyola University Chicago- School of Social Work.
Board of Directors
Linda is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago specializing in the treatment of children undergoing surgery for acute and chronic conditions, with a particular focus on neonatal patients. Her passion for children’s law and policy, including health related legislation for children with special health care needs, has spurred her advocacy efforts for this population. She completed a Health Policy Certificate at Thomas Jefferson University in 2016 and is in the final stages of completing a Masters of Jurisprudence in Children’s Law and Policy at Loyola University of Chicago School of Law. She is a member of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners’ (NAPNAP) Health Policy Committee, was a 2018 NAPNAP Advocacy Scholar, and has spoken locally and nationally on a variety of children’s policy and advocacy related topics. Linda and her cat live in Chicago, Illinois.
Board of Directors
Ellen began her volunteerism with CASA in Wichita Falls, TX where she became a teen specialist. Ellen worked on the cases of two teenage girls facilitating each case to a place of stability. Upon moving to Illinois, Ellen continued her CASA work with teens in the Will county office.
Ellen is an ICF Certified Coach, using her skills to work with both private clients and organizations to implement a coaching mindset into both the culture and the interpersonal relationships they participate in or lead.
Ellen is a businesswoman who runs a steel brokerage company. She has three grown children and will be celebrating 30 years of marriage this year.
Board of Directors
Christopher Monroe is a Financial Services Representative with Lakeshore Financial Group in Chicago and Peoria. Chris began volunteering with his father at ten years old and this is where he discovered his passion to serve others. Chris has served on several boards such as the Peoria Art Guild and the Center for Prevention of Abuse. One of his greatest accomplishments was to bring CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) to Peoria County. He spent two years as the Steering Committee Chairman and served as the founding Board President for five years.
Chris graduated Cum Laude from Wabash College in Indiana and currently resides in Washington, IL with his wife, Heather, and their four children and four cats. Chris’ wife, Heather, works at the practice and oversees the day to day operations.
Board of Directors
Robert Anderson is a retired DuPage County Circuit Judge. He graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a B.A. Degree and a J.D. Degree. Bob spent most of his career as a Judge working with children and families. He worked closely with CASA of DuPage for many years while hearing Juvenile matters. While serving as a Judge, Bob was honored for his work in violence prevention, promoting education, his work on domestic violence issues and on juvenile issues. He is an adjunct professor at Loyola University School of Law where he teaches Family Law. He is a Past President of the Illinois Judges Association and, previously served as the Chair of the DuPage County Circuit Court Family Violence Coordinating Council. He is lucky enough to be married to Irene Bahr, a Past President of the Illinois State Bar Association. They have three wonderful grown children and two adorable grandsons. Bob is honored to be able to continue to help children and families by serving on the Board of Illinois CASA.
Gloria Kelley, MBA, has served as the Executive Director of CASA Kane County for over a decade. During her tenure of leadership, Ms. Kelley has worked closely with her team and Board of Directors to build CASA Kane County into the largest CASA program in Illinois. Focusing on the pillars of People, Processes, Technology and Finance – Ms. Kelley always seeks to expand the CASA organization to ensure that the need of every child in foster care is met – and that every child has a voice in the courtroom.
Pamela was hired to open the CASA of Peoria County program in July of 2005 by the founding board of directors. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates which recruits, trains and supervises community volunteers to advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children moving through the juvenile court system. Since that time the program has grown significantly. An aggressive plan to grow CASA of Peoria County was adopted in 2011 by the board of directors for our Organizational 2015 Vision to serve more children each year. In 2018 CASA expanded to the full Tenth Judicial Circuit. Peoria County has over 1,000 and Tazewell has over 400 pending abuse and neglect cases in the juvenile court system.
Pamela is a single mother of five children and has 14 grandchildren. She enjoys entertaining, gardening, time with family and friends.
Mariah Hayes is the Executive Director with CASA of Franklin County. Mariah started as Advocate Coordinator in 2001 and has been the Executive Director with CASA of Franklin County for 15 years. Mariah also was on the National CASA Rural Advisory Committee and is honored to serve as the Southern Regional Representative with Illinois CASA.
Mariah received her Bachelor Degree in Social Work from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. She has been blessed to live in Benton, IL with her family for most of her life and looks forward to raising her children in the community where she works.
Mariah stated “It has been a blessing to be a part of the CASA mission since 2001. Over the years it has been a great joy to see the impact CASA Advocates have with the children they are court appointed to serve. To see these Advocates truly give their time, talent and heart to make an impact on the most vulnerable population, abused and neglected children, is awe inspiring and truly life changing!”
CiCi Fisher Chalus
For the past ten (10) years, CiCi has served as the Executive Director of LaSalle County Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA). In this capacity, CiCi has had the privilege of serving on the National Leadership Council while co-chairing its Rural Leadership Council. Ms. Chalus also participated on two NCASAA sub-committees: Quality Assurance for re-draft of Standards of Compliance, and, development of Logic Model frameworks.
As leisurely, personal interests, Chalus also enjoys gardening, soaking up the sun, and home improvement/rehab projects - a self-professed HGTV junkie. She and her husband of 50 years maintain a 5 acre farmette specializing in farm-to table, private treaty sales of pork, lamb, and chicken. Together, they are licensed foster care parents and parents to three sons who were much harder to raise than pigs and sheep.