Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA Staff

Alan Hallman

Alan Hallman

Executive Director

Alan began working as the Executive Director in May of 2017. Alan joined Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in the child welfare arena and non-profit world. Alan gained valuable experience before starting with NWRM CASA by serving 5 ½ years as a child protection worker and parenting group facilitator in Grand County. Prior to that he worked for several nonprofits aiding youth both domestically and abroad, and has been afforded many opportunities to speak at nonprofit events throughout the United States raising awareness and funds to support local children and youth. He received his undergraduate degree in Speech Communication and completed his Master’s degree in the area of Transformational Leadership.

Alan and Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA are looking forward to continuing to work with children in Grand, Routt, and Moffat counties, as well as expand their efforts in reaching these communities. In addition to serving as the executive director for CASA Alan is an avid skier and can be seen coaching for Winter Park Competition Center on weekends as well as spending time outdoors with his wife and four young children.

“I am dedicated to this work because it provides vital services to our children and youth and enrichment to our community.” Alan Hallman

Jill M. Hunstad

Jill M. Hunstad

Moffat County Volunteer Coordinator

Jill Hunstad started with CASA September 2019. Her positive attitude is contagious and serves her well in her work with the children we serve. Jill’s professional background is nearly 32 years as a legal secretary, paralegal and Court Clerk as well as working inside the church venue as a Women’s Ministry Counselor and Bible Study Teacher. Jill was a Guardian Ad Litem in the early 1980s before the GALs were attorneys. She worked for the program a little over five years before starting their family. Her heart has been to return to the CASA program for many years and she recently became a CASA Volunteer before accepting the position as Volunteer Coordinator.

Jill has been happily married for nearly forty years and has two adult sons – one a police officer and one a middle school English Teacher. She has four grandchildren and has lived in Colorado for four years. Her passionate hobby is breeding, raising and training German Shepherds. Jill is a motivational public speaker and recently published a book about their family traveling to Nairobi Kenya as volunteer missionaries for the Church of the Nazarene in the late 1990s.

Deborah Tramitz

Deborah Tramitz

Routt County Supervised Visitation Monitor

Deborah is the Supervised Visitation Monitor in Routt County. Deborah brings a passion and commitment to working with children and families, having many years experience, including providing supervised visitation. Deborah completed the Certificate Training Program offered by the Supervised Visitation Network and will complete the Nurturing Parenting Skills Program for families in supervised visitation in October, 2019. The philosophy of the program emphasizes the importance of raising children in a warm, trusting and caring environment. Within the program, customized programs are created to meet the specific needs of families. Implementation of the Nurturing Parenting Programs will offer a curriculum designed to enhance those values and Deborah is excited to offer this opportunity to families.

Nettie Dugwyler

Nettie Dugwyler

Supervised Visitation Program Manager

Nettie is beginning her second year as Program Manager for the Rocky Mountain Center in Grand County. She previously spent 14 years as the Parenting Visitation Supervisor and Life Skills Instructor for the Department of Social Services of Grand County. She graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a BA in psychology with a minor in sociology and had taken several graduate level courses in child development and education thru Regis University. Nettie received her 24 hour certification thru the Supervised Visitation Network in the fall of 2018.

Nettie is currently facilitating the Incredible Years class with her husband, Jack. They live in Granby with their three children.

Lauren Rising

Lauren Rising

Routt County Program Coordinator

Lauren has been with Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA since October 2019 after working for nearly 9 years in the child welfare field. She oversees the Routt County CASA program, recruiting, training, and supervising CASA volunteers. Lauren received her B.S.W. from the University of Wyoming. Lauren lives in Steamboat Springs with her husband and 3 children.

Board of Directors

Nicole Stone, President
Routt County
 
Madeline Landgren, Vice President
Routt County
 
Wendy Rogers, Treasurer
Routt County
 
Gigi Dominguez, Secretary
Grand County
Diane Ehlert
Grand County
 
Shaylyn White
Moffat County
 
Talitha “TJ” Appenzeller
Routt County

Karen Stillion
Moffat County

If you would be interested in joining our Board of Directors and live in one of the counties that we serve, please contact Alan Hallman at alan@kidscasa.org.

Why Do People Support CASA?

To get others excited about supporting our nonprofit for last year’s Colorado Gives Day, we’d kicked off by having a little fun by asking our volunteers, board members, corporate sponsors, and past donors (everybody!) to share their reasons why they support CASA. Please click the blue side arrows (forward/backward) to view the different stories.

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Jenny's Story

I grew up in an unstable, chaotic environment; I often thought that if I had someone looking out for me, someone on my side, things would have been better for me. As an adult, I felt drawn to helping kids in similar circumstances but did not know how I could help until I ran across a CASA brochure. The timing was wrong for me to volunteer but I never forgot about CASA and its mission. Fast forward ten years and was reminded of CASA again and the timing was perfect; I signed up to volunteer after hearing an NPR story about human trafficking. The child I volunteer for is too young to know who I am, or what I do, but I do and it means the world to me that I can be there for him and his family.
– Jenny, Moffat County Volunteer

Shaylyn's Story

I have been supporting CASA for the last 2 years. I believe in what CASA stands for and what it does within each community. Every child deserves their voice to be heard.

– Shaylyn, CASA Board Member

Alie's Story

I started volunteering for CASA and our Dancing With The Stars event 6 years ago. At first I thought helping with this big fundraising event would just be a fun way to give back. During the process I began to realize how incredibly important CASA is for children needing a voice. I am so proud to be a part of this organization and the amazing work they do. During the last 9 months I have had this phrase running through my head “Not Everyone Is Safer At Home”. CASA depends greatly on fundraising to continue the work they do with children. Please consider donating to this very crucial non-profit!

 

– Alie, DWTS Committee Member

Alan's Story

It’s March 2012. I’m a young child welfare caseworker sitting in a black cushioned swivel chair with an attorney on my right, another one on my left, and two more attorneys on the other side of the court room, both with their clients present. Anxiously reviewing my notes and re-reading my court report, which determined the fitness of a young mother and father, I believed I completed everything I was supposed to, It was all done to the letter of the law and in accordance with my education and training. The judge enters the room. hears from all parties in the case, and I was overwhelmed with how sterile this tender situation of determining a child’s childhood was. I struggled with the idea of everyone in a room making a case, and a judge filtering all of it through assessments and legislation, for a child who was not even in the room. The nausea began as I felt the weight of my report’s inadequacy juxtaposed with a judge’s reliance on my professional opinion that all the while lacked what I really *felt*. Two seats down sat a woman who was noticeably quiet, clearly a part of the proceedings, but uniquely set apart as if almost for an entirely different motive. When the judge called on this “CASA” she stood. leaned into the mic, and what boomed forth was unfiltered. uncompromising voice of the child not bound by legalism or shackles. It was raw, it was unnervingly human, and it was as if a child entered the middle of an adult conversation to stop everyone on a dime with their unabashed truths. In this moment I found myself surprisingly jealous. because she had the ability as a volunteer advocate to truly bring the child’s voice to the table.

From this moment forward I supported CASA knowing they provide something for our most vulnerable population that no one else can provide, an unapologetic, no-strings-attached voice for the child.

– Alan Hallman, NWRM CASA’s Executive Director

Wendy's Story

I “danced” in CASA’s fundraiser, Dancing with the Stars, a few years ago. I was able to see the impact that CASA has on children and I fell in love with their mission. I became a committee member because I want to help ensure that funds are raised to support children during their most difficult time and to give them hope. Not all children are safer at home, so I hope you will join me in supporting CASA.

– Wendy Wade, The Steamboat Group corporate sponsor and CASA Committee Member

Gigi's Story

I was just recently selected for the CASA Board of Directors for Grand, Routt, and Moffat counties. I am very excited to serve on the board of directors of such a vitality important non-profit organization.

There is nothing more important than service to children in our communities, especially those that are facing very difficult family situations. CASA provides adult volunteer advocates to help these children in need navigate challenging circumstances. Nothing is more powerful than providing children with a one on one relationship with an adult role model that can give them the support and guidance that they so desperately need. I will support CASA as a volunteer board member, advocate for the organization, and I will also make a financial contribution to CASA so that the organization can continue to provide a very valuable service to the children in our community.

– Gigi Dominguez, Board of Directors

Phyllis's Story

I joined CASA when it was just starting in Steamboat. I had been looking for a way to give back to children in our community. My son was away at college and I wanted to be able to share some of the knowledge I learned being a parent. I had noticed as he went through school that there were some kids who didn’t have strong advocates in their lives and they often either slid behind in their academics or were not able to take advantage of outside activities that would showcase their strengths. Our community has many resources and an excellent team of professionals who work together to support children in abuse and neglect cases. Everyone works toward the same goal to ensure the child is safe and supported; however, as a CASA I was a different part of the team, I was not a professional but simply a volunteer community member who only worked with one family at a time. These children have many people involved in their lives but the role of a CASA is to get to know them outside of these settings and to understand and advocate for their needs and preferences. The best part of being a CASA was seeing the children run out of school to greet you and tell you that they were looking forward to their visit all day. Being a CASA doesn’t require special skills, these kids enjoy knowing that we are there solely for them and it makes them feel valued and important. It was the highlight of my week to spend time with these children and to know that simply being a consistent adult who supported them unconditionally improved their trust in the environment around them.

– Phyllis, CASA Advocate, Past Board Member, and Dancing with the Stars volunteer

Lauren's Story

In 2010 I began working as a child welfare caseworker, around the same time NWRM CASA started providing Court Appointed Special Advocacy to children in the 14th Judicial District Dependency and Neglect Cases. As a caseworker, I always appreciated the work of CASA’s in the lives of the child. The CASA volunteers bring a unique perspective, humanity, and the child’s voice to the courtroom which can sometimes be lost. Throughout the years of working alongside CASA volunteers I was continually amazed by the way in which they could get to know the children and ensure their voices were heard and their best interests served. In 2019 I was fortunate to join the CASA team as the Routt County Program Coordinator. In the last year I have seen volunteers go above and beyond in their tireless work for children and am beyond grateful for their dedication and desire to help change a child’s story. Our volunteers come from all walks of life; some employed, some retired, some with children, some without, most have no experience in the child welfare field. but they all share a desire to advocate for the most vulnerable and voiceless members of our community; children who have experienced abuse or neglect. I invite you to speak up for these children we serve, either through a financial gift, or through a gift of your time as a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate.

– Lauren, Routt County Program Coordinator

Annes's Story

I recently completed my training to become a CASA and have started my first assignment. After searching for the right volunteer opportunity in my retirement, I landed on CASA because I was so inspired by the opportunity to really make a difference in a kid’s life. I learned from other CASA experiences that it is possible to truly change the course of an individual’s life – from one of neglect and abuse to one of love and fulfillment. It is truly a gift for me to spend some of my time this way – it brings me happiness and I feel like my work is truly creating a little more joy in my kid’s life.

-Anne Warhover, Routt County Volunteer

Shelly's Story

Being a life-long educator and a parent of four, my life has been defined by children. Children are God’s greatest blessing. I have loved, nurtured, taught, nursed, counseled and encouraged hundreds of children over the years and nothing gives me a greater sense of fulfillment or joy. When I retired from my profession and found my children grown and gone, I also found an emptiness in my life. CASA has replaced that emptiness giving me the gift of working with children again. Volunteering with CASA affords me the chance to do the things I’ve found most meaningful in my life with children who are in desperate need. CASA offers support to children that no other agency can provide – full time advocacy for voices that might otherwise go unheard.

– Shelly, Grand and Routt County Volunteer

Madeline's Story

I give to NWRM CASA because I know that my financial support provides kids in our communities with the support they need during some of the hardest times of their life. Our staff, volunteers, and facilities are essential to maintaining safety, stability, and hope for the future for all kids in our community. I give to NWRM CASA and I hope you will too!

– Madeline, our new CASA Board Vice President

Nicole's Story

I have been a supporter of NWRM CASA for the last 8 years because I believe strongly in the mission to help children in our communities. Children are the future and anything that helps them become stronger is a worthy cause to me.

– Nicole, CASA Board President

Melissa's Story

I became a CASA to give children the voice they may not otherwise have in a system that mostly overlooks them. I want the kids I work with to know there is at least one person who cares about them just because, no strings attached. And giving a voice to my kids has made sure they are living in safe, happy, loving homes.

– Melissa, Moffat County Volunteer

CASA Volunteer's Story

I became interested in becoming a CASA volunteer after hearing about the program from a friend who was a volunteer. I retired from teaching and as a Christian, I prayed for guidance and whether I should volunteer. Things fell into place and I felt it was God sending me to CASA. I have only worked with two cases and I don’t always feel I am making a difference with the children, but I do think my voice being heard about things in the cases is one that would not be heard if I was not a volunteer and there have been decisions regarding the care of the children that I initiated. So even if the children don’t realize what I have done, I know I have made a difference in their lives. I have learned much about the court system and it is difficult to understand the decisions made at times, but I truly feel CASA volunteers are making a difference in many lives.

– Moffat County CASA Volunteer

Jill's Story

I became a CASA Volunteer years ago because I was a legal secretary at the time and there was a letter in a domestic legal matter where a child had written, mommy & daddy, please don’t fight over me. I asked the attorney I worked for if he knew what a Guardian Ad Litem was because the Court appointed the little boy a Guardian Ad Litem. I learned it was the position we call a CASA Volunteer today.

I was a GAL for several years and all of my cases were sexually abused little girls. As their CASA Volunteer, I was able to place these fragile, broken vessels into loving homes and found relatives they didn’t even know they had. I stopped being a GAL when I started my own family. But I always prayed, “Dear God, let my little girls be okay. I pray they have grown up to be “OK Women – wherever they are today.”

Fast forward over 30 years and I learned GALs were now called CASA Volunteers and I volunteered again in the Moffat County office. After about 3 months the Volunteer Coordinator position became available and I applied. I have worked on several cases in the year+ I have been here. I am blessed to oversee some wonderful volunteers. I know I am exactly where God wants me to be and these volunteers are doing amazing work for children. I am thankful for them and thankful for our wonderful organization, Court Appointed Special Advocates.
– Jill, Moffat County Volunteer Supervisor