About Us

CASA Staff


Mary Jean Seyda


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Mary Jean has been with CASA since 2001, and has an extensive background in homeless service program design, development and management. 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.

Trina Clayeux

919.307.3452 | email hidden; JavaScript is required

Trina joined CASA’s senior management team in June 2019.  She and her family moved from Washington State, where Trina worked with young people experiencing homelessness and and others, providing workforce development services, education training, and affordable housing assistance.  Trina holds a doctoral degree in Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University, as well as a master’s in Public Administration and a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Administration. At CASA, Trina oversees the agency’s day-to-day operations, including property management, administration, and programs.  

Debbie White

919.307.3426 | email hidden; JavaScript is required

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.

Annie Baumann-Mitchell

Special Projects Coordinator
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Annie has volunteered or worked in housing for six years, including working as a housing specialist for the Chicago Housing Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher program.  She holds a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning.  As CASA’s Special Projects Coordinator, Annie works closely with community partners on new projects, generates funding reports, and develops internal programs.  She interned at CASA in 2016 and joined CASA’s full time staff in June 2017.

Jess Brandes

Senior Director of Real Estate Development
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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.

Phil Brickle

Landscape Manager
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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.


Karen Chandler

Leasing Specialist
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Karen joined CASA’s staff in December 2017.  She brings 15 years of social work experience and 7 years of experience working with affordable housing for seniors to the team.  Karen works with tenants in Wake County.  She’s a member of the Southeast and National Affordable Housing Management Associations and is a Certified Professional of Occupancy.  Karen was raised in the Bull City (Durham, NC) and is passionate about being of service to others.


Bill Ciesielczyk

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 CASA, Bill owned a tree cutting business.

Brandy Darovich

Housing Specialist
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Brandy started at CASA in February of 2020. She has a wealth of experience that she brings to our leasing team: She worked for three years as a caseworker in food and nutrition, she has two years experience in low income housing recertifications with the housing authority in Ohio, and has ten years of experience in customer service. Brandy is fairly new to the area, having moved from Ohio in March of 2019.

Kathleen DeRubio

Office Manager and Volunteer Coordinator
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As Office Manager, Kathleen oversees CASA’s administrative activity and technology as well as 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.

Emma Hansen

Donor Coordinator
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Emma joined the CASA team in April 2019 after working for several years on food insecurity throughout the US and leading a national program that equipped small farms and farmers markets to accept food stamps. As CASA’s Donor Coordinator, Emma is a key player in acknowledging the generosity of our supporters, planning events, working with volunteers, telling tenant stories, and keeping the fundraising department running smoothly. Emma is new to the Triangle, having moved here from the Washington DC area recently. She is passionate about equity and social justice issues and is beyond proud to contribute to CASA’s affordable housing mission.

Missy Hatley

Senior Director of Resource Development
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Missy joined CASA in January 2014 to create our philanthropic program and to advance our affordable housing mission. She started her fundraising career more than 15 years ago, as a staff member at One80 Place, a homeless shelter, soup kitchen and health clinic in Charleston, SC. For five years prior to joining CASA, Missy worked at Habitat for Humanity of Wake County. She holds a Masters in English from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and a Bachelors degree from North Carolina State University. Missy is a passionate advocate for the role that donors can play in creating opportunities and lasting change for their neighbors.

Joyce Hicklen

Program Director
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Prior to joining CASA in 2004, Joyce was a Mental Health Substance Abuse Counselor. Currently she works in partnership with service agencies across the Triangle, and she serves as a bridge between CASA’s tenants and the many agencies who provide services for them.  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.

Latrise Hines

Leasing Specialist
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Latrise brings over 20 years of customer service experience to her position as a leasing specialist for Raleigh tenants at CASA.  She has also spent 15 years serving her community as a volunteer and event coordinator.  Latrise has worked in Supportive Housing for more than five years.  She is dedicated to providing excellent service to CASA’s tenants and lots of laughter to the office!

Jermaine Hunter

Maintenance Technician
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Jermaine learned most of his maintenance skills on the job by observing others and working hard.  He loves people and provides great customer service to our tenants.  He is originally from New Jersey and has lived in North Carolina for 10 years.  Jermaine works in Wake County, completing work orders and getting apartments ready for new tenants.

Divida Johnson

Leasing Specialist
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Divida joined CASA in September 2018.  She brings 14 years of HOA property management experience and 10 years of social work and affordable housing experience to the team.  She is a certified Housing Counselor and Occupancy Specialist with the Section 8 program, and she has managed transitional housing and provided case management to people experiencing homelessness.  She is dedicated to providing excellent customer service and works with CASA tenants in Wake County.  Divida grew up in Raleigh and is passionate about her commitment to helping others.


Ashley Louden

Leasing & Communications Specialist
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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.

Sharon Marshall

Leasing Administrator
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Sharon assists prospective tenants, processes applications, and maintains our applicant pool. Sharon also assists tenants with rent payments and fields their maintenance requests. Sharon has been with CASA since 2001 after working in telecommunications for 28 years.

Annie McNeil

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Annie joined the CASA team in March 2019.  Before she arrived at CASA’s front desk, Annie worked in health care for nearly thirty years.  She brings a deep commitment to providing excellent customer service and care for every visitor to CASA’s Raleigh office.  Outside of work, Annie enjoys spending time with family and friends, singing in her church choir, and going to the movies.  She celebrated her 50th birthday with CASA this summer!  

Kelly Myers

Senior Maintenance Supervisor
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Kelly works directly with our tenants to keep their homes safe and in good condition. She addresses maintenance requests, conducts safety inspections, undertakes preventative maintenance, and helps tenants 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.

Jeremy Ritter

Maintenance Tech
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Jeremy joined CASA’s Team in December 2017 after doing maintenance work for a conventional real estate company.  Jeremy works out of the Durham office, taking care of work orders and getting apartments ready for new tenants.  Jeremy had only a year’s experience when he came to CASA, but he has a passion for learning and he’s a quick study.  His favorite part of the job is making a tenant smile.

Neil Ritter

Project Manager
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Neil joined the CASA team in 2010, bringing with him 13 years of facilities maintenance and Project Management experience from the conventional rental housing industry. He served as CASA’s Facilities Director for nine years, coordinating the day to day maintenance operations for CASA including work orders, make readies and preventative maintenance. In June 2019, Neil became CASA’s Project Manager, focusing on new construction and rehabilitation development projects.

Janice Verbic

Staff Accountant
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Janice oversees CASA’s day to day accounting operations including the integration of the property management and fundraising functions into the corporate financial records.  She records incoming receipts, reviews all bills, and processes outgoing payments.  She prepares the monthly grant requisitions and monitors the activity on our tenants’ registers.  Prior to joining CASA in 2010, Janice spent most of her career in public accounting.  She had been a Certified Public Accountant for over 20 years and is a US Air Force veteran.

Kim Westermann

Annual Fund and Communications Manager
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Kim joined CASA in December 2015. Kim works to engage the community in CASA’s housing mission. 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.  She holds Masters degrees in Theological Studies and Social Work.

Evelyn Worthy

Senior Director of Property Management
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Evelyn has over 25 years of experience managing affordable housing, most recently a mixed financed, HOPE VI portfolio that included LIHTC’s, PHA, HOME, Targeted and Market rate units. She joined CASA’s staff in 2018 as the Director of Property Management, overseeing the leasing and maintenance teams. She holds multiple industry certifications including Specialist in Housing Credit Management (SHCM), Blended Occupancy Specialist (BOS) and Public Housing Manager (PHM).  As CASA grows, she will work to ensure our policies, procedures and best practices are in place so we can continue to solve homelessness one person or family at a time.