Rebecca Macfarlane, Executive Director
We are welcoming Rebecca as our new Executive Director November 1st, 2023. She will be the fourth Director in our 42 year history.
Rebecca has more than a decade of experience with CASA in Nashville, Tennessee. She started her CASA journey as a volunteer in 2011 and served as the Program Director at CASA Nashville. Over her 4 years in that role, she has been largely focused on organizational change, recruitment of diverse volunteers, and building a team of capable, committed Advocate Supervisors. Rebecca has also served as a nonprofit consultant working for CASA Boards of Directors around strategic planning, grant writing and leadership development. She has worked with Tennessee State CASA and National CASA delivering leadership trainings and conference workshops. Rebecca’s energy and experience is invaluable as we continue to focus on growing and strengthening our Rochester/Monroe County program. We are delighted to welcome her to our community.
Maria Garcia, Advocate Coordinator
Maria joined CASA in October of 2023 as both an Advocate Supervisor supporting our volunteers on cases, and as our Advocate Coordinator recruiting new volunteers. Maria was most recently working as a Program supervisor for the Juvenile Reporting Center. She has extensive years in the legal and non for-profit professions including working with Legal Aid, Ibero, Catholic Family Center, Monroe County FACT and Pathways.
Maria remains a huge advocate for the local latino/a/x community and recently completed the Latino Leadership Development with United Way. She is the class representative for the class of 2023 and will be working with the United Way board and Monroe County Language Access coalition. Maria was born and raised in Rochester, attended Franklin HS, and graduated from SUNY Brockport as a Spanish Education Major with minor in criminal justice administration. This has given her a unique perspective on the local community. She has firsthand experience working with various school districts including RCSD.
Maria is a proud mother of 4, and lives in Rochester with her Husband Michael.
Lea Hamasaki, Advocate Supervisor
Lea joined CASA in 2022 after working in a variety of social service roles over the previous 10 years. This work has encompassed a wide variety of sectors from working with teen parents to the chronically unhoused population.
Lea has personal experiences with the world of family court: from her own childhood and adolescence and then as foster/ adoptive parent. These experiences have shown her the need for children and teens to have advocacy throughout the Family Court process.
Lea lives in the city of Rochester with her wife, children, a dog and several cats and is also a grandparent now.
Ashley Trott, Program Assistant
Ashley is our first Program Assistant, joining us in October 2023. Our program is growing and additional administrative support is needed.
Ashley Trott has a degree in Human Services which she is excited to apply to this position. Formerly she worked in the Pharmaceutical industry coordinating clinical trials. She has trained to become an Advocate and will be responsible for supporting recruitment of volunteers and visibility of the program as well administrative tasks.
Outside of CASA, Ashley loves to make memories with her family, work out and travel.
Justin Wilson, Program Coordinator
Justin joins CASA with eight prior years of experience from a variety of social service roles, working primarily with disadvantaged populations. Prior to CASA, he has worked at Trillium Health and Pre-Trial Services Corporation in Rochester, along with additional case management and direct service positions in Chicago. He served two years in AmeriCorps from 2010 to 2012. He completed the PRIDE in Leadership training at the United Way of Greater Rochester as well.
As a former foster parent, Justin understands the need for advocacy in the Family Court system. As part of that role, in addition to his role as a Diversion Counselor at Pre-Trial Services Corporation and an Education Mentor within Chicago’s Cook County Jail system, Justin came to understand both the resources available and the lacking supports for many of our families. He is acutely aware of the needs of our LGBTQ communities. Helping others to understand and navigate systems, identify solutions, and improve their lives has always been his passion.
Justin is married and lives with his husband, Mike, in the city of Rochester.