About UsCASA Staff
Chief Executive Officer
Debra has been CASA’s leader since 1995. Prior to entering the nonprofit world, Debra was the construction division director for a computer software firm. Debra has served on numerous regional task forces regarding housing and poverty issues. For her leadership and service, Debra received the 2007 William C. Bass Award from Better Homes for NC and has been inducted into the YWCA Academy of Women. Debra is a former Chair of the Wake County Partnership to End Homelessness.
Mary Jean Seyda
Chief Operations Officer
Mary Jean has been with CASA since 2001, and has an extensive background in homeless service program design, development and management. She oversees the day-to-day operations at CASA. Prior to joining CASA, Mary Jean was the Homeless Services Coordinator for Wake County, served as co-chair of the Wake County Continuum of Care, and helped to craft the Wake 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness. Mary Jean served for six years on Orange County’s Partnership to End Homelessness and chaired the task force for three years. In 2014, the Chapel Hill Town Council appointed Mary Jean to the Town’s Housing Advisory Board to assist the Council in promoting and developing a full spectrum of housing opportunities that meet the needs of the community.
Chief Financial Officer
Debbie brings twelve years of public accounting experience to CASA and has broad knowledge of accounting system design for both non-profit and for-profit entities. Debbie has specific experience with construction and housing development issues, and provides an additional skill set for implementing housing development projects. Debbie joined CASA in 2005.
Arnetta has been with CASA since 2005 and came to us with five years of experience working for large property management firms. At CASA, Arnetta oversees all the leasing activity and compliance requirements in our properties. Arnetta is also involved in the Triangle Apartment Association through serving on their Public Relations Committee, and she is a board member for A New Lease on Life. In 2013, Arnetta was appointed by Raleigh’s mayor to serve on the City of Raleigh’s Fair Housing Hearing Board.
Jess serves as CASA’s project manager, overseeing and coordinating development activity from project conception and funding through the completion of construction. She previously worked at a respite care facility for persons who are homeless in D.C., and came to North Carolina to pursue her Masters in City and Regional Planning. in 2017, Jess was recognized as a community leader when she was named one of the Triangle Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Leadership Award winners. Jess has worked at CASA since 2008.
Utilizing his past work experience owning his own landscaping company, Phil works to keep our landscaping and communal areas looking good inside and out. He has been with CASA since 2004.
Senior Leasing Specialist
Lisa joined the CASA Leasing Team in September 2016. Lisa’s first property management job was in 1991. Since then, she has worked in the conventional housing market, for Wake County and Raleigh Housing Authorities, in Residential Services for the Mental Health Association, and in Housing Services for The Arc of NC. She is a Certified Professional of Occupancy and also holds a Fair Housing Compliance Certification.
Preventative Maintenance Technician
Bill was working at Sunnybrook Village when CASA purchased that development in 2015, and since then Bill has expanded his role as a Preventive Maintenance Technician for CASA, working at several of our Raleigh properties. He makes sure tenants have properly functioning smoke detectors and air filters, and that common areas and grounds are clean and safe. Prior to working in property management, Bill owned a tree cutting business.
Andy joined CASA in 2016 after working for decades in construction and home remodeling. As a member of our Maintenance Team, Andy spends most of his time at our properties making repairs and addressing tenants’ maintenance requests. He helps tenants to understand how the appliances and systems in their homes function, conducts preventative maintenance, and helps to prepare vacant units for new tenants as quickly as possible.
Office Manager and Volunteer Coordinator
As Office Manager, Kathleen oversees CASA’s administrative activity and technology. She works with our Accounting Team to satisfy the many requirements of our government loans and grants, and does the financial administration for several CASA programs. A member of the CASA team since 2001, Kathleen also contributes to special projects including volunteer activities, communications, fundraising support, and student engagement.
Director of Resource Development
Missy joined CASA in January 2014 and is responsible for engaging people, businesses, foundations, and communities of faith in supporting CASA’s housing mission. Missy has fourteen years of experience working in nonprofit development and communications. In 2004, she joined the staff of a homeless shelter, soup kitchen and health clinic in Charleston, SC where her interest in addressing the need for safe, affordable housing soon became a passion. For the five years prior to joining CASA, Missy worked with Habitat for Humanity of Wake County.
Senior Leasing Specialist
Larayshea joined CASA in the spring of 2016 as the leasing specialist for CASA’s properties in Durham and Orange Counties. She has eight years of experience working in affordable housing at Housing Authorities in Wilson, Charlotte, and Durham and as a Housing Choice Voucher Program Housing Specialist with HUD. She recently worked as a Housing Locator/Case Manager for the SSVF program (Supportive Housing for Veteran Families), assisting homeless veterans and recruiting new landlords for the program. Larayshea is a Certified Asset Public Housing Property Manager, Certified Housing Choice Voucher Specialist, and is also certified in Asset Management and Project Based Financial Management.
Senior Leasing Specialist
Veronica came to CASA in 2010 after 12 years of working in conventional rental housing, including work as Housing Manager for an Orange County property now owned by CASA. As one of CASA’s Leasing Specialists, Veronica deals directly with tenants daily, and she communicates frequently with service providers to address tenant needs both before and after they are housed. Veronica also provides leasing services for CASA’s workforce units. She is a National Apartment Leasing Professional and has a Certificate in Tax Credit Housing.
Lead Maintenance Technician, Wake County
As a member of our Maintenance Team, Bill works directly with our tenants each day to make sure their homes are safe and in good repair. As a Lead Maintenance Tech for Wake County, Bill assists our Facilities Director with overseeing subcontractors, scheduling unit “make-readies”, and providing safety inspections and preventive maintenance. Bill has over 20 years of construction experience and is OSHA certified in construction and CFC certified. He also served for 15 years in the fire service in New York and has a degree in Fire Protection and Technology. Bill has been with CASA since 2010 and is a US Army veteran.
Leasing & Communications Specialist
Ashley was born and raised in North Carolina. She’s a graduate of ECU with a degree in Women’s Studies. Ashley’s commitment to volunteer work led her to look for a career with a nonprofit organization after 10 years at Old Navy. Ashley brings a dedication to excellent customer service to serve tenants and prospective tenants at CASA. Ashley joined the CASA team in November 2016.
If you’ve visited CASA’s office or called us on the phone, chances are good that the person who greeted you with a smile was Sharon! She staffs our front desk and provides a great deal of education to callers and visitors about how CASA works, and she educates prospective tenants about our application procedures. Sharon assists tenants with rent payments and fields their maintenance requests. Sharon has been with CASA since 2001 after working in the corporate world of telecommunications for 28 years.
Lead Maintenance Technician, Durham/Orange Counties
Kelly is a member of CASA’s Maintenance Team, and works directly with our tenants every day to keep their homes safe and in good condition. She addresses maintenance requests, conducts safety inspections, undertakes preventative maintenance, and assists tenants to understand how the appliances and systems in their homes function. Prior to joining CASA in 2000, Kelly worked with youth and adults with special needs at Dorothea Dix Hospital. Kelly is a licensed General Contractor and a licensed Home Inspector.
Neil joined the CASA team in 2010, bringing with him 13 years of facilities maintenance experience from the conventional rental housing industry. He also worked as a Project Manager for a general contracting company, where he provided oversight of large renovation projects. As CASA’s Facilities Director, Neil coordinates the day to day maintenance operations for CASA including work orders, make readies and preventative maintenance. Neil works alongside CASA’s asset management team and provides input to all the property budgets. On the housing development side, Neil acts as CASA’s project manager for most of our renovation projects.
Prior to joining CASA in 2004, Joyce was a Mental Health Substance Abuse Counselor for eight years. Currently she works in partnership with service agencies in Wake, Durham and Orange Counties on community collaborations, and she serves as a bridge between CASA’s tenants and the many agencies who provide services for them. Additionally Joyce does extensive grant reporting, and she is active in leadership roles both within Wake County’s Partnership to End Homelessness and the Coalition to End Homelessness in Durham. She has a Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling.
As Property Accountant, Janice tracks and processes income and expenditures for CASA’s more than 300 units, and monitors all the financial activity in each of the tenant registers. She is also a part of the asset management team and assists with creating property budgets. Prior to joining CASA in 2010, Janice spent most of her career in public accounting. She has been a Certified Public Accountant for over 20 years and is a US Air Force veteran.
Annual Fund and Communications Manager
Kim joined CASA in December 2015. Kim works to engage donors in our growing housing mission and to raise CASA’s visibility in the Triangle region. She also manages our website and social media communications. Kim has a variety of nonprofit experience, including previous positions with Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, InterAct of Wake County, and Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network.
Karla has been a passionate advocate for homelessness issues in Wake County for many years. She brings seven years experience with Housing Authority management and six years working with Housing Choice (Section 8) vouchers. Karla manages CASA properties in Wake County. She joined CASA in September 2016.