CASA of Ventura County Names New Executive Director

New leadership for nonprofit that trains volunteers to advocate for youth in foster care
Ventura County, CA: Cassie Fernandez, a Kern County native, joined CASA of Ventura County as Executive Director in August 2020 with a wealth of experience and background in the nonprofit arena.
Fernandez will manage the CASA of Ventura County program, which recruits, screens, trains and supports volunteers who advocate in courtrooms and communities for abused and neglected court-dependent children.
Prior to joining CASA, Fernandez served as Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Golden Empire. She was also a director at the Kern County Sheriff’s Activities League, a program dedicated to helping improve the lives of children in underserved areas.
Fernandez also served as a law enforcement officer for seven years, has experience in mental health recovery services, an extensive background in finance and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management and Master’s in Business Administration.
The oldest of five children, she was first introduced to CASA when she was twelve years old. Her mother passed away and she tried to find her three youngest siblings in two separate foster homes. A dedicated CASA volunteer advocated for them and helped reunite her family.
Fernandez said, “I will never forget searching through the phonebook trying to call anyone who could tell me where my sister and brothers were, and without CASA we may never have seen one another again. I owe a lot to CASA and feel privileged to be able to give back.” Thanks to CASA and devoted foster parents she and all her siblings are still very close today.
She has always had a passion for service and feels CASA of Ventura County is a perfect match. Her background allows her to be an excellent leader for the program, as she wholeheartedly believes in CASA’s mission: that every court-dependent abused or neglected child should be safe, have permanence and the opportunity to thrive, and have a strong, compassionate volunteer Advocate.
Director of Development, Pam Knitowski, says, “We are very excited that Cassie has taken on the role of Executive Director at CASA of Ventura County! She brings an exceptional combination of expertise, passion and proven leadership to our organization. Cassie will not only continue the great work that CASA is already doing, but she will help us grow and expand our program so we can reach our goal of serving every foster child who needs an Advocate.”
About Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Ventura CountyCASA of Ventura County recruits, screens, trains, and supports volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities.

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