Jenna App, Executive Director
Jenna graduated from Vassar College and the University of Arizona College of Law. After law school, she clerked for the Alaska Court of Appeals and was a Fellow with the National Association for Public Interest Law. Before moving to Bend in 2013, she practiced law in Alaska and directed a lobbying and consulting practice largely focused on growing and developing nonprofits. Jenna loves living in Central Oregon, and spends her free time cycling, hiking, horseback riding and spending time with her family.
Leslie Fritch, Program Director
Leslie became a CASA in Sonoma County, CA in 1997 and has been an enthusiastic supporter and volunteer ever since. She received a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley with an emphasis in Ethnic Studies. After 10 rewarding years in the corporate world, Leslie realized that she needed to follow her heart and came to Bend in 2012 to work with CASA of Central Oregon. She is dedicated to ensuring that all children caught up in the foster care system have an advocate to speak up for them and protect their right to thrive in a safe and loving family throughout their childhood and into adulthood.
Jill Bower, Operations Director
Jill and her family moved to Redmond, Oregon in 2007. Jill is a graduate of OSU Cascades, with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Sciences, specializing in Human Services. Jill has been with CASA of Central Oregon since September of 2013. She started as an intern and was hired as a Program Coordinator in February of 2014. After working with over 80 volunteers who had advocated for hundreds of children in foster care, Jill was promoted to a more supervisory role as Senior Program Coordinator in 2016. Jill was recently promoted to Operations Director for CASA. Jill enjoyed working directly with the CASA volunteer advocates as they made a difference in the lives of children in need. Now Jill is kept busy helping the entire CASA community by ensuring the program is running at its best. After seeing the positive impact that a CASA advocate can have on a child, Jill decided that she too would be a volunteer advocate, and she currently volunteers for two children in foster care in Deschutes County. Jill has three children who keep her busy. In her free time, She loves to go camping, hiking, and spends as much time with her family as she can.
Debbie Bircher, Senior Program Coordinator
Debbie spent the majority of her childhood in Minnesota until she moved to Brookings, Oregon as a teenager where she finished high school and met her husband. She moved with her husband and children to Central Oregon in 1995 after visiting a relative and falling in love with the area. She is an avid outdoorswoman who prefers to spend as much time as possible with her camera in the woods along with her husband, sons and their four dogs. Debbie recently graduated from OSU-Cascades with a degree in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis on Human Services. She began as an intern with CASA in January of 2014, and in October was hired as the Crook County Program Coordinator. Debbie is excited to be a part of the CASA team and assisting advocates to ensure that every child residing in foster care has a voice in court.
Jen Jordan, Jefferson County Program Coordinator
Jen and her husband moved to Central Oregon this past spring after dreaming about doing so for many years. Throughout her life she has participated as a volunteer in Young Life, Prison Fellowship, FOCUS International Student Outreach and Art Literacy. In 2011, she fulfilled another dream and completed her degree in Social Behavioral Studies at George Fox University. The mother of four grown children, she is delighted to be a part of CASA and its mission of advocating for vulnerable children in our community. Her interests include learning Spanish, hiking, cycling, tennis, skate skiing and trying to ride the vintage Yamaha dirt bike her husband recently bought her.
Kaitlynn Jeppsen, Deschutes County Program Coordinator
Originally from Eastern Oregon, Kaitlynn moved to Central Oregon in 2006 and was immediately taken by the area for its wonderful people and beautiful views. She continued her education in Bend and graduated with the highest distinction from OSU-Cascades, earning a Bachelor of Science in human development and family sciences with a focus on human services. Additionally, she received an Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Central Oregon Community College. When she finds herself in the interludes between devotions of her career, she enjoys every moment with her family and friends, hiking the distinct Oregon landscape, floating the many local rivers, and listening to a variety of music. Kaitlynn hopes to take part in shaping a better world by ensuring the safety of all children and the advocacy of all those in foster care.
Michelle Solley, Development Director
Michelle's goal as Development Director for CASA of Central Oregon is to raise awareness of the important work our volunteer advocates do for the vulnerable foster children of Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties, and to help raise the funds to make it possible. As a consultant and a volunteer, she has worked with other nonprofits in Central Oregon, in community relations, special events, and fundraising. She was sworn in as a volunteer advocate last year and currently serves three local children in foster care. She and her husband Ray enjoy experiencing all the beauty, arts and culture Central Oregon has to offer. They have two young adult children.
Sarah Graziani, Training and Program Coordinator
After graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in Psychology, Sarah and her husband moved around the country while he played professional football before setting down roots in Bend. As a mother of three, she is a passionate about children's issues. She became an advocate in 2014, and quickly realized the indispensable need for advocacy within the foster care system. Sarah's current focus is on serving kids in Deschutes County, as well as training other advocates in Crook and Jefferson counties. In her spare time time, she can be found hiking the trails of Central Oregon, skiing the slopes of Mt. Bachelor, and devouring books in single sittings.
Penny Skoog, Administrative Assistant
Penny grew up in New Jersey and at the age of 14 started working in the kitchen of a nursing home. After finishing high school, she spent a little over a year in Hannover, Germany as an au-pair and was fortunate enough to do a little bit of traveling in Europe. Upon returning to the US, she worked at a neighborhood pharmacy for a couple years. attended Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, SC and earned a Bachelor's degree (with a focus on Sales and Meeting Management ~ Travel and Tourism) in Spring of 2000. While in Charleston, she also worked for the Chamber of Commerce in the visitor center. Eventually, she moved back to NJ and worked in a Residential Healthcare Facility (to which most of its residents had mild to moderate psychiatric conditions) as Assistant Administrator. Then due to a natural disaster the facility closed and she moved to Bend. Her work in a memory care facility prompted a desire to work on getting into nursing school. Her mother, as a CASA advocate for many years, expressed the important work that CASA does and encouraged Penny to volunteer her time whenever possible.
Jessica Treas, Family Find Coordinator
A native Oregonian, Jessica as spent the majority of her life living in the state. Jessica’s heart for children in foster care began as a teenager when she started babysitting foster children for a family in her neighborhood. As an adult, Jessica was a foster parent with MapleStar Oregon for 3 years, working mostly with youth involved in the Deschutes County Juvenile Justice system. She recently graduated from OSU Cascades with a degree in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis on Human Services. After completing her internship with CASA and the Family Finding program in December 2015, Jessica began working as the assistant Family Finding Coordinator. Jessica is glad to be part of a program that strives to help youth achieve relational permanency.