Meet Our Board of Directors
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sharif Walker is a champion for social innovation and community sustainability. With more than 20 years of experience, he has been transforming communities by providing equitable resources, facilitating tough conversations and developing quality programming that enrich the lives of Chicago’s most vulnerable and under-served populations. With specialties in conflict resolution, direct service and neighborhood revitalization strategies, Sharif partners with community stakeholders and civic leaders to help youth and families thrive through systematic urban inequalities and socioeconomic transitions. Sharif's work has been recognized by the Black United College Fund of Illinois, Taproots Inc., Chicago Public Schools and more. Sharif resides in Chicago's Austin community with his wife and daughter.
Maha McDiarmid currently serves as the Chief Program Officer at ICOY (Illinois Collaboration on Youth). Her years of work in nonprofit includes experience as a direct care provider in residential living for over ten years and extensive skills in providing training and continuing education. She holds a master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University. Before joining the team at ICOY, Maha worked in training and operations with CASA Kane County. At CASA, Maha provided the training, continuing education, and support necessary for volunteers to become the Court Appointed Special Advocate / Guardian Ad Litem (CASA / GAL) for children entering the foster care system. As the Chief Program Officer at ICOY, she supports the work of the Prevention and Intervention, Trauma Initiatives, and Training Teams.
Running, building campfires, cooking, and spending time with friends and family are just a few of the things that Maha enjoys doing in her free time.
As Director Alumni Programming at UCAN, Prestina Singleton supports and advocates for youth and former youth in care by providing assistance to clients aged 21 and over as they live in independence from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and from other youth and family programs.
A UCAN alumnus, Prestina serves as a client advocate in Illinois and nationwide and builds partnerships with sponsors and support organizations by securing in-kind donations. She is a liaison to alumni and other related personnel to seek financial support for UCAN. She also serves as a client advocate in the juvenile court system.
Prior to this role, Prestina served as a child and family support specialist at UCAN, 150-year-old youth services agency based in Chicago’s North Lawndale community. In that role, she focused on serving parenting teens and as a client advocate in the juvenile court system. She created reports based upon parenting techniques, financial responsibilities, and developmental activities; referred services to provide greater stability; wrote parenting curricula that integrated parenting assessment of a client’s childhood in addition to incorporating basic parenting skills.
A Chicago native, Prestina earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from Chicago State University and a master’s degree in social work from Chicago State University.
She is a member of the Child Welfare Advisory Committee, the UCAN Programming Committee, and the Illinois Children’s Justice Task Force
Jessica N. Hudspeth was born and raised in Paducah, Kentucky. She graduated from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and a minor in Legal Studies. She then earned her Juris Doctor from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 2008. She is currently the owner and managing partner of Hudspeth Law Office, LLC in Salem, Illinois, where she handles cases in many areas of law, but focuses on family law litigation, including divorces, allocation of parental responsibilities, adoptions, and support. She is also a mediator and approved Guardian ad Litem for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Illinois.
Jessica is married to Timothy Hudspeth, former partner of Hudspeth Law Office, LLC and current Marion County State’s Attorney. They are the proud parents of two children, both adopted. Jessica and her husband reside in Odin, Illinois, where they enjoy a number of outdoor activities with their children.
Steve has always advocated that any child is capable of success with the appropriate support. To that end, he has sought out opportunities to volunteer and promote initiatives that drive this mindset and, to that end, is honored to be a Member of the CASA Board. He is a CPA who has spent his career working for companies as a finance leader or consulting for companies to maximize finance through technology enablement. He has been able to leverage his career experiences to volunteer as the Treasurer for CureAHC, a foundation devoted to curing AHC (Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood) a complex, rare neurological disease. Steve and his wife, Allison, have two grown children and reside in Naperville, IL.
Over the past 11 years, Mechiko has functioned in the capacity as Executive Director of CASA of Southwestern Illinois. During her tenure, CASA of Southwestern Illinois has expanded its service geography to a highly diverse 4-county program. Ms. White has been the recipient of 3 community champion awards: NAACP of East St. Louis, Racial Harmony and Delta Sigma Theta - Community Heroes. These 3 community champion awards have been symbolic of her unconditional passion and commitment to social services. Ms. White's has devoted over 35 years "Helping Others", professionally.
Mechiko is a single mother with 1 adult child who works as an EMT Technician. She enjoys old movies and reality shows for relaxation.
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.
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.
Terri Zenner Greenberg
Terri Zenner Greenberg is the Executive Director of CASA Lake County and has been part of the organization since its inception in 1994. She has held all positions at CASA and has been Executive Director since 2001. She has received numerous awards including the National CASA Executive Director of the Year and the Lake County Journal Forefront Winner. She has grown the program from a staff of 2FTE to a staff of 20, the budget of $70,000 to a budget of 1.7 million and increased the volunteer base from 50 to over 300. She has mentored many new Executive Directors, served on several National CASA committees and continues to be a resource for directors in her region.
Spending time with family, hiking, yoga, reading, and traveling are a few things Terri enjoys doing in her spare time.