The CASA Team

CASA Board Members

  • Teresa Tardiff

    Executive Director

    Teresa Rothe Tardiff has been Executive Director of CASA for Children of San Luis Obispo County since 2005, and on staff since 2002. She is an attorney, a graduate of UOP McGeorge School of Law, and has undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Early Childhood Education. Before becoming a staff member, Teresa was a CASA advocate for 8 children. Teresa is an active member of the local Blue Ribbon Commission on foster care and Dependency Court Stakeholders. She served two years on the California CASA legislative committee and was previously an elected member of the Avila Valley Advisory Commission. In 2010 she was honored to receive the San Luis Obispo County Bar Association’s John L. Seitz Award for Community Service. Teresa is also a recent graduate of San Luis Obispo Leadership Class XIX. “I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of such a wonderful program that makes such a positive impact on the lives of children in our community. Our volunteer advocates are dedicated, caring people from all walks of life who share a commitment to helping children.”

  • Tom L. Dobyns


    Tom L. Dobyns has served as Chief Executive Officer of Mission Community Bank and Director of Mission Community Bancorp since November, 2011. His banking career started as a teller, commercial lender and branch manager at Bank of America almost 40 years ago, before assuming executive positions at First Interstate Bank of California, Great Western Bank and Home Savings of America. Most recently, he was president and CEO of American Security Bank in Newport Beach, California, before becoming CEO of Mission Community Bank. Tom also served for 22 years on the board of the Orangewood Children’s Foundation, an Orange County non-profit with a mission to provide life-changing programs and one-on-one support for abused and neglected children and at-risk families to end the cycle of child abuse.

  • Kelly Sanders

    Vice President

    Kelly grew up locally on the Central Coast. After graduating from area schools, she went on to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at UC Santa Barbara and a Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California. She currently serves as President of Movement for Life, locally known as San Luis Sports Therapy. In her personal time, Kelly enjoys snow skiing, outdoor activities, reading and spending time with her husband and two young children.

  • Debbie Peterson


    Debbie has been a local to San Luis Obispo since 1973. She received her Bachelor's in Business Administration concentrating in Accounting from Cal State Fullerton. Upon graduation Debbie returned to San Luis Obispo where she worked for the French Brothers in residential construction industry. In 1994 Debbie helped start Visual Systems / CygNet Software where she was the Director of Finance. After the company was acquired in 2011 by a Houston based company, she went to work for Mainstream Energy / REC Solar part time. Currently, Debbie is enjoying the semi-retired life and working part-time for Movement for Life. Debbie and her husband, Joel, have raised 2 children, Elyse and Kyle. Debbie has also served on the Board of the San Luis Obispo Swim Club and was on the Site Council at Los Ranchos Elementary School. She and her husband now reside in Avila Beach. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and crafts.

  • Stephanie Meyer


    Stephanie is a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch in San Luis Obispo and has been in the financial services industry since 2002. She moved to the Central Coast in 2001 and currently resides in San Luis Obispo with her husband Matt and son Tristyn.

    As an active community member, Stephanie is involved in various youth sports programs, and joined the CASA Guild and Board of Directors in 2012.

  • Juliette Duke

    Immediate Past President

    Juliette Duke is the Associate Director of Apartment Life in University Housing at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She received her Master’s Degree from the University of South Florida and her undergraduate degree from Barry University in Miami, Florida. Before joining the Board Juliette was a CASA Advocate and a member of the CASA Guild.

  • Chris Smith

    Executive Committee Member

    A board member of CASA since 2011, Chris serves on the Executive Committee as Treasurer. Prior to CASA, he served on the board of Laura’s House, an Orange County, CA organization which provides shelter and support services to battered women and children plus counseling, life skills education, and legal assistance. Chris is currently CEO of Detechtion Technologies.

    Chris Smith is a technology entrepreneur who has founded, launched and grown companies in partnership with private equity, venture capital and private investors. He graduated from Wake Forest University, where he studied Economics. Together with his wife, Patty, he enjoys supporting child education and development activities within his local community.

  • Amy Daane

    Board Member

    Amy graduated from Cal Poly with a Liberal Studies degree and then went on to get her California Bilingual teaching credential from Cal State East Bay. She taught bilingual kindergarten and first grade for several years in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. After moving to Los Angeles in 2000, she became a technical sales specialist with SBC where she designed and sold data networks. She earned her Cisco Certified Network Specialist degree and completed SBC's Data Credential Program while there. Amy and her family moved back to San Luis Obispo in 2004 and she continued to work with voice and data networks as an independent agent. In 2005 she began her work with CASA as a guild member. She started a children's clothing line, "Beans and Jam" in 2006. Amy currently is a successful real estate agent with Wilson & Co Sotheby's International Realty in San Luis Obispo. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two young daughters. She also is an active member of Bishop's Peak PTA.

  • Javier Cadena

    Board Member

    Javier moved to San Luis Obispo in 1986 from Santa Barbara, CA. He has started and operated six different restaurant concepts on the Central Coast. Most recently he enjoys business management, marketing and PR consulting for various industries. He has been involved with Cal Poly Leadership classes as a key note speaker and mentor to students. Javier sat on the Board of Directors for the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association in 2010 and has been awarded the SLO Beautification Award for his work. On his free time he enjoys playing guitar and spending time with his wife, Laurel, and two daughters. Javier joined the Board of CASA in 2012.

  • Andi Cummins

    Board Member

    Andi moved to San Luis Obispo in 2001 to attend Cal Poly. After graduating with a B.S. in Recreation Administration with a concentration in Special Event Management in 2004 she found a job in the wine industry. Since, she has co-created and co-operates Drake Wines--a family wine operation. With an event management background she also is on the fundraising committee of CASA's board and is enthusiastic about creating events that raise money so CASA can serve more foster children within SLO county. She resides in San Luis Obispo with her three young boys-- Charlie, Gus, and Leo, and husband, Mark . In her spare time she enjoys traveling, playing tennis, sailing, and frequenting her Santa Barbara wine tasting room. Andi has been a supporter of CASA for the past several years and was honored when asked to serve on the board.

  • Natalie Tartaglia

    Board Member

    Natalie grew up in Santa Barbara, CA before moving to San Luis Obispo in 1984. She has been in the commercial and residential real estate business since 1991 and is the broker for Tartaglia Realty. As a business woman, Natalie has been very involved with the Downtown Association as past Board President and an active member of the Chamber of Commerce as well as various real estate associations.

    Personally, Natalie enjoys her involvement in the local community as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters, a Rotarian in the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and as member of the Board of Directors for the Senior Nutrition Program. Natalie and her former husband Joe raised two children, Dominic and Ciera, both Cal Poly graduates and living locally.

  • Emilie Elliott

    Board Member

    Emilie Elliott is a recent transplant to the San Luis Obispo area, where she works as an attorney at Carmel & Naccasha LLP, primarily in the areas of business and intellectual property transactions, employment law and health care law. Emilie is also a registered patent attorney and has practiced in the areas of antitrust and unfair competition; commercial, entertainment and intellectual property litigation at firms in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Emilie earned her Bachelors of Science in Psychobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her J.D. from the University of Southern California, and also holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Creighton University, where she graduated number one in her class. Emilie makes her home in Arroyo Grande with her husband and two young daughters. She cares deeply about children and their welfare, and is excited to serve on the board of directors of CASA of San Luis Obispo County. In her spare time, she enjoys practicing yoga and barre, meditating, snowboarding and cooking.

  • Julie Kreowski

    Board Member

    A native to the Central Coast, Julie W. Kreowski has been First Vice President, Regional Manager and Paso Robles Branch Manager of Heritage Oaks Bank since August of 2014.

    She has been in the banking industry for 37 years and spent most of her career in North County. She has sat on the board of North County Boys and Girls Club and the Chamber of Commerce. She is an active participant in Relay for Life events and a member of Paso Robles Rotary.

    Julie and her husband Kevin live in Paso Robles and together have six children. In her off time she enjoys playing her guitar, hiking and spending time with family.


  • Melanie Barket

    North County Program Manager

  • Michelle May

    Event Coordinator

  • Jeanne Eggert

    Educational Advocate

  • Cathy Orton

    Resource Development Director

  • Susan Graves

    Grants & Development Coordinator

  • Courtney Haile

    Office Manager

  • Pete Skarda

    Advocate Supervisor

  • Diana Hernandez

    Advocate Supervisor

  • Gail Wechsler

    Advocate Supervisor

  • Heidi Turbow

    Mentor Program & Advocate Supervisor

  • Rosie Guzman

    Program and Grants Support Associate

  • Eli Salgado

    Mentor Program Associate

  • Celena Malarkey

    North County Program Support Associate

Volunteer Staff

  • Adrienne Walker

    Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator

  • Marjorie Curtsinger

    Office Support

  • Bernadette Tellefson

    Office Support

  • Allyson Krugh

    Office Support

  • Pam Wood

    Office Support

  • Elaine Wilcox

    Office Support

  • Vicki McPartland

    Volunteer Staff

  • Linda Rawlings

    Community Outreach