With a full-time staff of 14 individuals, CASDA advocates have a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences to draw upon. The following is a list of our full-time staff members and their individual areas of expertise, as well as some comments they shared in Spring 2017 about their positions, passions, vision and community involvement.
Kelly Burger – Executive Director
If the job has existed at CASDA, then Kelly has done it. She has been at the agency for over 25 years. In addition to overseeing general operations, Kelly represents CASDA in many community groups.
Kelly says: “I have been with CASDA for 26 years. I began my career at CASDA as the Shelter Program Director for 8 ½ years and have since been the Executive Director for the past 17 years.
“I am responsible for the overall coordination and implementation of agency operations. I am also responsible for the implementation and evaluation of agency programming, finances, and public relations.
“My passion is ensuring that victims and survivors of abuse have a safe, confidential place to go to when they need support and resources.
“My vision is to advocate for a community effort to end violence.
“I will soon be graduating from the UW-Superior Leadership Program. I am a past Rotarian. I currently sit on several Coordinated Community Response Teams.”
Dana Doyle – Director of Program Services
Dana helps emergency shelter clients meet their immediate needs and plan for their future safety while supervising all shelter staff, four program coordinators, two full-time advocates and day-to-day shelter operations.
Dana says: “I supervise all our programs except for the legal program.
“My passion is my family and the clients we serve.
“I am also close to retirement so my vision is me lying on the beach, relaxing and enjoying my time!
“My job requires me to attend many community meetings and serve on many committees that work with issues of mental health, AODA, homelessness, domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse awareness/prevention.
“I am a Canadian citizen, Native, with a commitment to the movement and a passion to help others. I supervised a treatment home for Native youth for over 20 years until I moved to the U.S. We dealt with child abuse, sexual assaults and suicides, as well as many mental health issues.”
Amber Popplewell – Sexual Assault Program Coordinator
Our Sexual Assault Program Coordinator is our resident expert on sexual assault. She works with victims in one-on-one appointments and by co-facilitating our educational/support group.
Amber says: “As the Sexual Assault Program Coordinator, I am responsible to our grantors for maintaining a minimum of 60 clients who receive “direct client services.” In 2016 I provided services to 120+ clients, 91 of whom were victims of sexual assault, specifically.
“I chair two committees in Douglas County: the Sexual Assault Response Team (multi-disciplinary team of first responders) and the Sexual Assault Coordinated Community Response Team (community based multidisciplinary team working towards education and prevention in Superior and Douglas County). I provide criminal justice advocacy and accompany clients to court as they navigate the criminal justice process in pursuit of perpetrator accountability. I provide advocacy services to local college campuses and ensure Title IX compliance. I provide advocacy services to victims who are incarcerated in our local prison, as well as individuals currently in the jail system. I ensure that we have a 24-hour hospital response to three area hospitals. I keep all staff and community partners up to date on new legislation, needed changes in our response, and best practice techniques to ensure victim centered and trauma informed responses to survivors of sexual assault.
“My passion is making a positive impact and change in my community, and raising a child to do the same!
“My vision is a community dedicated to awareness and prevention of sexual assault/domestic violence/child abuse, as well as raising my child in a good community that strives to do better everyday.
“To impact community policies and/or procedures, I regularly review response protocols whether in the hospitals or out on the streets with police. We aim to identify gaps, and better serve all survivors in our community.
“I started at CASDA as a volunteer in the summer of 2011. I was the sexual assault program intern for Fall 2012 and Spring 2013. CASDA held the Shelter Case Manager position vacant for one month (enough time for me to graduate from WITC), making me a full time staff member May 20th, 2013. I have now been a full-time staff member for 4 years and assumed my current position in September 2015. I love what I do at CASDA. My coworkers, clients, and community partners are the silver lining to the difficult work we do everyday.”
Martina Tendrup – Domestic Abuse Program Coordinator
An experienced advocate working mainly with domestic abuse victims, this advocate provides support, advocacy, and referral information to assist clients as they work towards greater self- sufficiency.
Martina says: “When we have systems that work together, we create a happier society, one that prioritizes the safety and health of all individuals; we work to lift one another up, rather than tearing each other down.
“I love my work, and I’m honored to be able to help people when they are working through difficult times. My hope is that someday work like mine will not be a necessity, and we will no longer live in a world that normalizes violence. I will continue to work toward that end as I advocate with individuals whose voices have been lost in the fray, and encourage them to strengthen that voice so they can be heard, now and in the years to come.”
Joanne Sanders – Shelter Program Coordinator
Our Shelter Program Coordinator provides comprehensive case management services as well as assistance in short- and long-term goal planning for shelter clients.
Joanne says: “My responsibilities are endless. My main goal is to help our residents with anything that they need to become self sufficient. I also help them set short- and long-term goals. Education is key. I wear many hats in this position. But that is it in a nutshell.
“My passion is to help women and children who find themselves in a situation. I’ve been there, so I know how hard it is to navigate through the systems when you need help.
“My vision…hmmm… I can’t stop DV (domestic violence) in the world as much as I would like to… I guess my vision is to see people educated on DV in their communities and when clients leave the shelter, to be able to live in peace and feel safe.
“As for community involvement, I am on many different committees: Behavioral Health Coordinated Community Response Team (CCR), Alchohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) Community Coalition, Human Services Advisory Committee, and Anti Poverty Coalition (APAC). I also table at different events and run our bi-annual donation drives at Walmart in the spring and SuperOne in the fall. We also just added a new donation drive in August at Sams Club. We provide education and related statistics on display boards at the drives.
“One of the reasons I am on all of these committees is to raise awareness in our community and make things happen. It takes a village.
“I have been at CASDA for 4 years.”
Ruth Hunter – Shelter House Manager
The House Manager is responsible for providing supportive services to adult and child residents in our emergency shelter, assisting callers on the 24-hour helpline, and providing facility maintenance.
Ruth says: “As an advocate my primary responsibility is to listen to, validate and empower our clients. As the Shelter House Manager it is also my responsibility to make sure that things around shelter are taken care of (anything broken needs to be fixed, clients and advocates do chores to keep shelter clean – generally try to make sure that things run smoothly in shelter). I also do the grocery and supply shopping, I make sure that food is being rotated and used so it’s not being wasted, and I do monthly food shelf stats and daily client stats.
“As a survivor myself, I have dedicated myself to helping others. There is absolutely no better feeling than watching a woman who came through our doors feeling broken and seeing herself as a victim become empowered, recognize her strengths and realize that she is NOT a victim, she IS a survivor. Being able to play even a minor part in that healing process IS my passion.
“I hope for more recognition that domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse are happening everywhere. We need everyone to stand up and get involved, whether through advocating, volunteering or donating, if we ever hope to stop the violence. We receive wonderful support from our community and I hope that it not only continues but grows.
“As full-time staff we are all asked to cover different outreach events. (This is how I initially met our current Sexual Assault Program Coordinator, working at an event almost 6 years ago). Because I am the only full-time staff member that doesn’t work the typical Monday – Friday schedule, I am not able to table at many events. But every year I am able to staff the WITC Job Fair in April with my Director of Program Services, Dana. I also attend anything related to our community food banks. Finally, I have to keep my Food Safe certification up to date so that I can pick up weekly donations from Kwik Trip.
“After being a paralegal in Rhode Island for many years I moved back to Wisconsin and became the office coordinator for my father’s businesses. After sustaining a brain injury, I was unable to work for a few years (and definitely couldn’t go back into law with my memory issues) so I was connected with the W-2 program. Through them I was asked if there was anywhere that I have ever wanted to work and/or volunteer and I said CASDA as I had received help from them in the past. They set it up for me to begin volunteering almost immediately!! So I started volunteering in the office for CASDA back in August of 2011. After that I was hired as a Shelter Fill-In Advocate and began working for CASDA in February 2012. Now, as of September 2013, I am the Shelter House Manager. I have absolutely no plans to leave this position or CASDA as I LOVE my job and feel that this is where I was destined to end up.”
Jaramy Hansen – Paralegal
The paralegal supports victims as they navigate the court system and provides answers to questions from clients and staff on legal matters. He is also our resident expert on restraining orders.
Cynthia Sweetnam – Attorney
In addition to providing legal advice, the attorney offers representation for clients in family law matters such as divorce, custody/placement issues, and restraining orders.
Sherry Boock – Children’s Program Coordinator
The Children’s Program Coordinator provides supportive services to child and teen victims and witnesses of abuse. She provides safety planning assistance as well as help with healthy communication skills, setting boundaries and improving self-esteem.
Sherry says: “I have only recently rejoined the CASDA team. In the recent past, I had worked in the Shelter Program here as an advocate but for the majority of my working life, I have worked with kids. As a daycare and preschool teacher, I was always drawn to the kids who needed a little extra support, the so-called “naughty” ones. That led me to work in an elementary school as a special education para-educator, working with those kids who required behavioral and educational support. My position here allows me to broaden my scope to not only support and educate children but their families and the community as well.
“CASDA’s Children’s Program offers its clients advocacy, crisis counseling and a safe, trusting and confidential chance to work on emotion management, self-esteem, safety planning, and goal-oriented progress. As victims and/or witnesses of abuse and assault, children are confronted with a barrage of very specific issues and need a strong support system in order to work through them. I provide that necessary support. My program is available for children ages 4-18 as well as parents who would like support in understanding and coping with a child affected by abuse or assault. In addition to working with individual clients, I am also teaching protective behaviors, aspects of teen dating violence, and healthy boundaries in area schools. I’m always working to strengthen relationships between CASDA and the community to provide support to as many children and families as possible.
“Some have asked me if this job is depressing, simply knowing there is a need for a Children’s Program at all. Though it can be terribly sad, it is not depressing. It ignites a passion in me. It is everyone’s wish that my program and our agency weren’t necessary but until there is an end to violence, I’m going to support and educate these kids, their families and my community to the best of my ability.”
– Triage Advocate
The Triage Advocate provides initial crisis intervention for victims and survivors of abuse who contact us through our 24-hour help line, web site, or in person. S/he provides support, peer counseling and information and referrals.
Denise Selden – Outreach Advocate
The Outreach Advocate provides ongoing support, peer counseling and information and referrals to long-term clients who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and/or child abuse. She provides these services via community-based advocacy — collaborating with community partners, accompanying clients to goal-related appointments, and making in-home visits to safe locations.
Jill Hinners – Community Engagement Coordinator
While the Community Engagement Coordinator does work with clients, her main focus is coordinating the efforts of our volunteers, assisting with fundraising activities and overseeing CASDA’s Public Education and Internship Programs.
Jill says: “As Community Engagement Coordinator, I am responsible for engaging the wider community with CASDA’s mission by recruiting and coordinating volunteers and interns; directing the Public Education Program; developing and implementing CASDA’s social media strategy; and participating in fundraising efforts, such as grant writing and special events. I also provide direct client services as needed.
“I am passionate about helping people of all ages and backgrounds find safe ways to disclose, discuss and recover from abuse. I am passionate about learning (and I learn from the amazing advocates and survivors around me, every day). I am also passionate about using my skills, such as writing, to serve a critical community need. Finally, I am passionate about trying to stay grounded in a positive outlook — continually coming back to the ideas of hope and possibility.
“With respect to CASDA’s mission, my vision is for a community, country and world where non-violence is the norm, and abuse is not tolerated OR, if it occurs, victims feel safe talking about it because it is a given that they will be believed and supported, and that perpetrators will be held accountable.
“In my role, I frequently represent CASDA in the greater community, such as presenting in classrooms and attending community events. However, I don’t belong to any community task forces as some of my colleagues do. Outside of CASDA, I belong to a local Toastmasters club where members learn and practice public speaking and leadership skills. I am also on the board of the Spirit Lake Poetry Series because I am a word nerd who believes in the value and power of poetry!
“I think that my program’s impact starts with individual awareness because so many people introduced to CASDA become one more ambassador for our mission and services, helping us expand our reach and communicate what we do throughout the community. The more people who understand what we do and its importance, and understand that yes, abuse does happen here and we need to talk about it openly, the more effective we can all be at ‘advocating for a community effort to end violence.’
“I have been at CASDA 4 1/2 years. In a mid-life career change, I switched from a retail/customer-service focus to a human-service focus. I was hired at CASDA as the Volunteer Coordinator. About two years ago, my position expanded into other areas, too, and was re-named “Community Engagement Coordinator.”
Kim Marble-Follis – Bayfield County Outreach Coordinator
As the sole CASDA staff member in our Washburn office, Kim provides support to rural survivors of domestic violence and further extends our reach as a community resource.