Staff Directory

Meet our Team

Julie Bowditch

Executive Director

Julie comes from a family created primarily through foster care and adoption which has impacted her passion for child welfare, family rights, and supporting vulnerable youth. Born and raised in Central Mass, she is an active champion for local businesses and nonprofits and enjoys facilitating and fostering connections within her network. Julie appeared on the Worcester Business Journal’s 2023 “Power 50” list, received two keys to the City of Worcester in 2022, was honored as an inaugural Country Bank “Woo Star” in 2021, and was a Worcester Business Journal “40 Under Forty” recipient in 2019. Julie is president emerita of Women in Development of Central MA and supports several other local nonprofits in a volunteer capacity. After serving on our board for three years, Julie joined our team as the executive director in early 2022.

Lynn Barrieau

Assistant Director

Lynn graduated from Providence College with a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Health Administration. She earned a Masters Degree in Counseling from Fitchburg State College and teaches Psychology part-time at Mt. Wachusett Community College. Lynn joined CASA Project Worcester County in April 2001 and has transitioned through several roles during her tenure here. She began as an Advocate Supervisor and now works as our Assistant Director. Lynn also acted as the Interim Executive Director for several months and her knowledge of the ins and outs of CASA, the Worcester Juvenile Court, grant writing, human resources, and much more is unparalleled. CASA is lucky and grateful to have such a dedicated staff member!

Kris Wilhelmy

Administrative Officer

Kris is a former paralegal who joined CASA Project Worcester County in 2006 as a part-time Case Assistant. Kris is now CASA’s Administrative Officer and she assists the case supervisors in maintaining the CASA database and case files, coordinates the donor database, and collaborates with all of her colleagues to complete miscellaneous tasks daily. Kris also has a hand in coordinating CASA’s annual fundraisers, campaigns, and special events. CASA Project Worcester County is grateful for all of her contributions over her 15 years with the nonprofit. Kris loves the work she does at CASA and she is inspired by her three sons and amazed by the CASA Volunteers to continue with her career path.

Karlene Cudak

Development and Communications Manager

Karlene graduated from Providence College in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies and a double minor in Spanish and Latin American Studies. Her concentration was specific to international collaboration and community-based learning. Before joining CASA Project Worcester County, Karlene taught Spanish for two years in the MA public school system. She joined the CASA team in September 2021 as a part-time Development Associate, then transitioned to the full-time position of Operations Coordinator in January 2022, and now works as the Development and Communications Manager.

Jordyn Becker

Program Manager

Jordyn graduated from Slippery Rock University in May of 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She completed an internship through the Department of Children and Families in a Response Unit. She then worked for the Department of Children and Families from August of 2017 to November of 2018 as an Ongoing Social Worker. Jordyn joined the staff at CASA Project Worcester County as an Advocate Supervisor in November of 2018 and is now a Lead Advocate Supervisor. Her dedication to lending a helping hand and advocating for children in her community inspire and motivate the staff and volunteers she works with at CASA.

Vani Wacher

Operations Coordinator 

Vani graduated from Rutgers University in May of 2018. She joined the CASA team in March of 2024 as the Operations Coordinator. With experience in both the tech industry and nonprofits, Vani has a unique skillset that will be a great asset on the CASA team. She also brings valuable insights from working with children and youth in Philadelphia, as well as relevant experience serving as a Civic Scholar in New Jersey. Vani’s dedication to uplifting vulnerable populations in her community is strengthened by those around her at CASA, which further inspires her to strive to support the growth and advancements of the organization overall.

Gloriann Switzer

Outreach Coordinator

Gloriann’s journey at CASA began in 2017 as a Volunteer Advocate. Since then, she has become a licensed social worker and received a Bachelor of Science from Worcester State University in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Child Advocacy. She also minored in Sociology and Addictions Counseling. Prior to joining the CASA team in 2022 as a Program Associate, Gloriann worked in the public school system for over 25 years in various roles.

In 2023, Gloriann transitioned to the position of Outreach Coordinator. In this role, you might see her at community events sharing information about CASA’s mission, including our unique volunteering opportunity. There is no doubting Gloriann’s passion for advocacy and her dedication to youth in Worcester County and to CASA Project Worcester County as well! She also treasures spending time with her family, and friends

Krissie Shaw

Program Associate

Krissie graduated from Worcester State University in 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies. She has always been passionate about advocating for the children in her community and supporting them on their paths to bright futures. Krissie worked in daycare for a decade prior to joining the CASA team in 2023 as a Program Associate. Her dedication to amplifying the voices and best interests of children and youth in Worcester County pointed her to CASA Project. Krissie never felt she could answer the “what do you want to be when you grow up” question, until her journey brought her to CASA, where she is devoted to furthering our mission each day.

Kendra Mensah

Program Associate

Kendra is a Worcester native and is committed to promoting innovative approaches of interaction with her neighborhood. She graduated from Bridgewater State University in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a concentration in victimization. In her undergraduate studies, she worked closely with criminal defense attorneys and learned about the intricacies of the criminal justice system, reintegration, and victimhood. Prior to joining the CASA team, Kendra worked as a case manager at an emergency residence with adolescent children where she tracked their individual progress. Her passion for advocacy led her to CASA Project Worcester County where she now works as a Program Associate. Kendra looks forward to using her experience to continue making a difference in people’s lives and further CASA’s mission.

Lili Barkow

Development Associate

Lili is a senior at Clark University in Worcester. She will graduate in 2024 with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. Following her graduation, Lili will begin an accelerated Master of Public Administration program at Clark University. Lili’s dedication to empowering youth has led her to work with many nonprofits in the Worcester and Boston areas for the past seven years. She started volunteering with CASA Project in the fall of 2021, assisting with administrative tasks and brand awareness strategies. In summer 2022, Lili became an intern and conducted research on the barriers and outcomes for LGBTQIA+ foster youth for academic credit. In June of 2023, she became a volunteer advocate, and most recently joined the CASA team in October 2023 as a Development Associate. 

Jim Steele

Lead Advocate Supervisor

Jim joined CASA Project Worcester County as a volunteer in 2010 after a 32-year career at UPS. Jim brings a wide range of experience in union relations, management development, and business processes to CASA. Jim was added to the CASA staff in the fall of 2011 and supervises cases in the Worcester Juvenile Court as a Lead Advocate Supervisor.

Kerriann Fagerquist

Lead Advocate Supervisor

Kerriann received a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Anna Maria College. She worked as a police officer for 15 years – first in Holden, then in Sudbury. Her passion for advocating and supporting children in the community brought her to CASA Project Worcester County in 2016. Kerriann began at CASA as an Advocate Supervisor and now works as a Lead Advocate Supervisor.

Theodette Gasasira


Advocate Supervisor

Theodette graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a bachelor’s in Public Health. She is also trained as a school teacher for multiple class levels where she provided counseling, guidance, and clinical support to foster children and families. She worked with World Vision to monitor and report on children victims of neglect, abuse, domestic violence, mental health, and parental substance abuse prior to joining the CASA team. She provided crisis intervention and advised rural women on their local rights and responsibilities. At CASA Project Worcester County, Theodette is an Advocate Supervisor who works with individual CASA Volunteers who have been appointed to court cases in Worcester County.

Eric Howarth

Advocate Supervisor

Eric is a life-long Worcester County native and joined the CASA team in 2024 as a part-time Advocates Supervisor. He is also a UMass Amherst alumnus, earning his bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2020. Eric is currently working to complete the Master of Public Administration program at Clark University. He is committed to supporting vulnerable populations within Worcester County and his passion and skillsets are valuable assets to our community.

Barbara Brennan



Barbara graduated from Fitchburg State with a bachelor’s in business/accounting and Nichols College with an MBA. She spent 30+ years working within accounting and the manufacturing industry, primarily and held positions as an accountant, accounting manager, an assistant controller.

After retiring in June 2020, Barbara wanted to do something more fulfilling and to work part-time. She was attracted to CASA and was very grateful to be hired into the role of Bookkeeper, which allows her to use her business acumen, in addition to providing support in annual fundraisers, special events, and supporting case supervisors and all staff in support of CASA’s Mission