Elizabeth Leet Jackson, Esq.

Bio coming soon.

Kristi Rolak Poyner

Bio coming soon.

Barbara Flanigan

Barbara Flanigan is a retired Certified Public Accountant, who was the owner of her own public accounting firm, Flanigan & Company, for over 25 years. The firm specialized in tax and accounting issues for small businesses and their owners, as well as estates and trusts and their administrators. The firm’s clients included corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, sole proprietorships and non-profit organizations. Prior to establishing the firm, she was a Tax Manager at Sacramento’s largest local CPA firm. She holds a Master of Business Administration Degree, Concentration in Accounting from San Diego State University, where she graduated with honors.

Barbara has served on the board of Family Promise of Sacramento for several years and is a former board member of the Sacramento Estate Planning Council. She served for two years as a CASA Volunteer to a youth in the foster system and is a member of the CASA Finance Committee.

Jeannie Benoist

Jeannie Benoist brings over twenty years’ experience and a passion for leading business transformation initiatives through leadership development, organizational change management (OCM) and project management, She also motivates professionals to achieve their full potential through project management, leadership, business analysis and human resources courses at Sacramento State College of Continuing Education. <br><br>

Jeannie is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), an active member of the Association of Talent Development Sacramento and National Chapters and is certified in the Change Management process in accordance with Prosci® methodologies and tools.

Jeannie is dedicated to giving back to her community. Previously she spent six years volunteering as a Mentor with People Reaching Out, mentoring two at risk high school students through their graduation. She also served on the board of directors for the Junior League of Sacramento and is currently in her seventh year as an active member as well as a new member of the National Charity League. Most importantly, Jeannie previously served six years on the Sacramento CASA board, including serving as President. Jeannie is grateful to have another opportunity to support this phenomenal organization. The positive impact CASA has had on the children in the foster care system, giving them a voice when they didn’t previously have one, will make a difference for generations to come.

Diane Koellen

Diane Koellen is the President of White Star Construction Inc., a commercial general contractor in the Sacramento area established in 1995 that is committed to constructing quality projects. White Star has been the contractor of choice for such projects as The Falls Event Center Elk Grove, Paychex Headquarters, Level One Communications/Intel, GEICO Insurance, California Correctional Peace Officers Memorial and the California Department of Corrections. White Star has business and professional clients that range from high profile technology companies to local entrepreneurs.

Feeling that it is important to give back to our community and help others, Diane has been involved with several local non-profit organizations. She is a past Board Chair for Make a Wish of Sacramento & Northeastern California, a founding member of the Circle of Red for the American Heart Association, a 100+ Women Who Care member, a Red Rover volunteer, a Pet Partners volunteer and a Sutter Paws on Call volunteer.

Diane has been a CASA Board member since 2018 and served as board secretary prior to becoming vice president. Diane believes that CASA provides structure, guidance and mentorship in the life of an at risk child; something she strongly supports.

Diane has Bachelor of Science degrees in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and has a California Contractor’s B license since 1995.

Kimio Bazett

After nearly twenty years dedicated entirely to the restaurant business, Kimio decided he needed a change, and a new challenge.

Like so many others, the Pandemic caused Kimio to reevaluate the direction of his professional life, though not in the way that one might expect. He realized that his passions for customer/client service, relationship building, mentorship, and the community around him were stronger than ever. What he never imagined was that during unimaginable hardship, he was able to lead his businesses from survival, to sustainability, and ultimately see them grow and thrive.

He hopes to infuse every client relationship with the same level of service, strength, communication, and perseverance that has carried him to this point. Kimio prides himself on operating with the highest level of integrity and character at all times.

Within the Turton Team, Kimio carries the unique perspective of a small business owner, restaurateur, and multiple-time lessee, SBA borrower, and a personal guarantor. He can expertly counsel clients on the start-to-finish process of opening a business and create value by helping them to avoid the pitfalls that result in lost time and money.

Kimio’s community involvement includes 10+ years on the Midtown Association Board of Directors + Executive Committee + Midtown Central Chair, Region Restaurants Board, Responsible Hospitality Institute – Sacramento Delegation, and CASA Board of directors + External Relations Committee.

Kimio lives in Downtown Sacramento with his fiancé, Alina, and their dog, Eli. In his free time he enjoys riding and racing bicycles of all types, traveling, cooking, dining out, and growing friendships, both old and new.

Kymla Birchette

Bio coming soon.

Deborah Collura

Deborah Collura has held many leadership roles at several broadcast stations across the country where she has a proven track record of ratings excellence and market share success.

In 2022, Deborah was named President and General Manager of CBS News and Stations’ local businesses in Sacramento, including KOVR-TV, KMAX-TV, the CBS News Streaming Channel and

Collura’s General Manager role represents a return to Sacramento, where she previously spent five years as the assistant news director at KCRA-TV from 1986-1991.

Prior to her Sacramento position, Deborah Collura served as the Vice President and General Manager for WGCL and Peachtree TV, the CBS Meredith affiliate in Atlanta, GA. Deborah led a dynamic group of journalists in one of the fastest growing cities in the country as they navigated the COVID crisis, social unrest, and the World Series. During her tenure, the station was awarded two regional Edward R. Murrow awards for Overall Excellence and Breaking News.

Prior to WGCL, she served as President and General Manager at WCNC, the NBC station in Charlotte, N.C. During her 5-year tenure, WCNC won several prestigious Edward R. Murrow Awards including Excellence in Digital Media. WCNC’s digital media platform became the No. 1 web channel in the Charlotte market.

Before heading to Charlotte, Collura was the VP of News for KPRC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Houston, where she guided the station to the No. 1 position in the market. In addition, she was Corporate VP of News for Post-Newsweek Stations (now Graham Media) where she oversaw all news operations for six media properties.

Collura held senior positions at WDIV in Detroit, WTVJ in Miami and KSTP in Minneapolis. She also worked as the Assistant News Director at KCRA in Sacramento, WTEN in Albany, NY. and KSDK in St. Louis. 

Her passion for journalism and multi-media content innovation has led to her being awarded a George Peabody, Alfred I du Pont as well as several Emmys for investigative reporting. Because of her commitment to the communities she serves, WCNC was part of a collaborative Knight Foundation project and was lauded for its multi-part series on Charlotte’s affordable housing crisis.

Collura received a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northern Illinois University. She is also a graduate of Kellogg Executive Leadership program at Northwestern University. Deborah is a recipient of the Silver Circle award.

Deborah joined the CASA board in 2022 when she on boarded at the duopoly.

Deborah takes immense pride serving on the board. She believes CASA’s mission in helping children and their community service is what sets them apart from other organizations.

Not to mention the CASA Crab Dinner and fundraiser each year is one of the best events in the Sacramento community.

Debbie Holden

Debbie Holden is SAFE Credit Union’s Community Development Manager overseeing a team focused on community connections with employers, associations, and chambers in the Sacramento region.  Her 30+ years in management, business development, marketing and communication is essential for growing the SAFE CU Workplace Financial Wellness program.  Her passion is connecting all areas of business, supporting both small and large enterprises, providing their employees with the opportunity of financial freedom.  

Debbie has served on several local boards including service as Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange (SRBX) Board President, NAIOP Director, and Align Capital Regional Tri Chair. She received the 2018 Women of Influence Award from CREW.  Debbie values the partnerships formed throughout her tenure serving our community. 

As a CASA Board member, advocacy for and representation of foster youth, ensuring they have the support needed and the funds raised so no child is left without a voice, is her number one priority. 

Theresa Holden

Bio coming soon.

Eric Jones, CPA

Eric Jones is the Office Managing Partner of the Sacramento Office at CohnReznick, LLP—a national accounting, tax and advisory firm. He has more than 16 years of public accounting experience. Eric specializes in providing domestic tax, financial accounting, and tax consulting services in several industries including: multi-family affordable housing, commercial real estate, business real estate, not-for-profit, and hospitality. He manages Federal and state compliance with partnership tax allocation requirements; tax planning; and tax compliance reviews for partnerships and corporations. Eric also has significant experience in planning and supervising tax engagements for multi-tiered partnerships, limited liability companies, and syndicated real estate funds.

Eric is passionate about volunteering and helping in the community and he supports organizations such as WEAVE, The Child Abuse Prevention Center and Habitat for Humanity to name a few. He feels it is critical to give the children of CASA a voice that they may not have otherwise.

Brochton Kaveny

Bio coming soon.

John McPherson, PhD

John is the Deputy Director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine. His expertise lies in DNA sequencing and cancer genomics and he was involved in sequencing the first reference human genome. His current interests lie in bringing advanced genomic technologies to clinical application in personalized diagnosis and targeted treatments in cancer.

John believes that children are our greatest asset and represent the future of our communities, nation and the world. Ensuring that each child has an equal opportunity to reach their full potential is essential and CASA’s mission to give children a voice in the decisions being made for them through the courts supports this goal.

Francesca Negri

Bio coming soon.

Jeanne Reaves

Jeanne Reaves entered the banking field when professional opportunities for women were few. From a secretarial position at Wells Fargo, she soon showed the desire and aptitude to succeed. She welcomed the challenge of learning new responsibilities and forming new relationships. In her tenure at Wells Fargo, Jeanne’s role advanced from secretary to Note Department Supervisor to Assistant Vice President/Loan Team Leader, to Assistant Vice President/Commercial Loan Officer and finally to Assistant Vice President/Assistant Manager.

The Bank of Alex Brown recruited Jeanne in 1983. There, she rose from Vice President/Loan Administrator, to Senior Vice President/Loan Administrator, to Executive Vice President/Loan Administrator. In 1989, The Bank of Alex Brown merged into First Interstate Bank, where Jeanne served as Vice President/Real Estate Manager, covering territory from Bakersfield to the Oregon and Nevada borders. She joined River City Bank in 1990 as Senior Vice President/Credit Administrator. River City Bank’s board of Directors appointed Jeanne President and CEO in 1998.

Jeanne was the CEO of River City Bank for a decade; under Jeanne’s leadership, the bank’s assets grew to one billion dollars, making River City the largest locally-owned bank in the Central Valley. Equally adept in the board room and the break room, Jeanne fosters a familial company culture. She personally demonstrated that every employee, regardless of position, was valued as a contributor. Following her example, the bank became a respected leader in sound business practices and in Sacramento’s philanthropic community.

Her accomplishments and prominence in corporate and nonprofit sectors have been widely recognized and honored. Named one of Sacramento Magazine’s “Fifty Most Powerful People” and honored by the Sacramento Metro Chamber as “Sacramentan of the Year” in 2009, Jeanne draws upon her vast business talents to help many organizations succeed.

Benush Venugopal, MBA, ME

Benush is a Principal with Deloitte and serves as lead partner of Deloitte’s California and Washington strategic accounts. He specializes in large scale technology enabled government transformation initiatives and is instrumental in delivering a number of award winning and successful client engagements. He is passionate about programs that support vulnerable children and has led a number of events to raise money to support at-risk kids.

Benush holds an MBA and a Masters in Economics. He lives in Sacramento with his wife and two daughters.

Carol Noreen, JD

Carol has served as executive director of CASA Sacramento since June 2006. She is a graduate of UC Davis and the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She has practiced law in both the public and private sectors, with emphases in insurance and employment litigation. Carol is a former fellow of Sierra Health Foundation’s Health Leadership Program, Class X and a 2022-2024 term member of the National CASA/GAL Association’s Suburban Leadership Council. She has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children and young adults in the foster care system.

Carol has partnered with the Juvenile Court to facilitate the expansion of the CASA program to serve juvenile justice involved youth and nonminor dependents in Sacramento County. She is committed to focusing the agency’s efforts in the areas of permanency, educational advocacy and preparing our young people for safe and supported transitions to adulthood.


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