Susan Baker, Executive Director
Susan moved to the Wenatchee Valley from Seattle in 1992. It certainly did not take her long to make an impact in the community – in 1994 she started the Chelan-Douglas CASA Program with then-Superior Court Judge Carol Wardell. Now years later, Susan serves as the Executive Director and ensures the financial stability and policies of the Program along with providing guidance and support to volunteers and staff.
A former foster parent, Susan has twelve children, a growing number of grandchildren and great grandchildren,and a wonderful husband named Don. Sue has a true love of kids and has always worked with children, many that have been victims of abuse or that have special needs. As she explains, “My training is in nursing, but my love is the CASA Program, our dedicated volunteers, and the children that we advocate on behalf of. I share many frustrations regarding the protection of children and their need to have a voice – not only in the dependency court, but also within the community and with the law makers.”
Susan is a recipient of the Wenatchee Valley Civil Rights & Social Justice Award and the Chelan Douglas Counties Bar Association’s Volunteer Legal Services Award. She has over 30 years of Guardian ad Litem experience, starting with the King County GAL Program and has served three years on the Washington State CASA Board of Directors. As many people can attest, Susan keeps a hectic schedule. However, when she does have some free time, Susan can be found quilting and visiting with her grandkids.
Debi Cawdery, Administrative Coordinator
Serving as the Chelan-Douglas CASA Program’s Administrative Coordinator, Debi never has a lack of things to do. She assists volunteers with court reports, lets volunteers know when they have a hearing coming up, and sends the reports out to all parties. Debi also completes case paperwork and is the go-to person for requesting case discovery such as Department case notes, medical records, and dental records.
Debi has always had a love of children and has raised nine children of her own, six of whom were her adopted foster children. Because children have such a special place in her heart, Debi enjoys her work at CASA. “After doing foster care for 12 years, CASA fit into my next phase in life. It is important that kids have a voice and CASA provides that voice,” she explains.
When she’s not busy at the office, this Wenatchee native enjoys either spending time with her grandchildren, sewing, reading, or enjoying a Denny’s breakfast with Pete, her husband of over 34 years.
Arlene Grover, Volunteer Coordinator/Trainer
Arlene has been a member of the Chelan-Douglas CASA Program staff since 2007. As our Volunteer Coordinator, she leads our efforts in the recruitment and training of new volunteers. She also provides ongoing training opportunities for our volunteers and helps organize our special events and fundraising activities, including our Rock n’ Rowl for Kids!, the CASA Christmas Stocking Project, and Adoption Day.
Arlene’s adult life has been centered around children and families, so working for the CASA Program is a great fit for her. Holding a degree in education, Arlene enjoys watching volunteers learn during their first case and putting their training to work. Arlene enjoys networking with caring adults who believe in giving back to their community.
Arlene enjoys spending time with her husband, Roger, and her two adult children. She loves reading and is a huge Seahawks fan….Go Hawks!!
Heather Baker – ATEEM Program Coordinator
Heather Baker has been involved with the CASA Program since she was a teenager. Volunteering in high school to help with different CASA projects including the Christmas Sock Project and Rock n’ Rowl for Kids. From 2010-2012 Heather was the AmeriCorps Volunteer for CASA. After completing two years of service with Intermountain AmeriCorps she started working for CASA part-time. She now works full time as the ATEEM Program Coordinator. Heather also co-chairs the committee for CASA’s Christmas Sock Project.