Staff

executive Staff


Connie Ricketts

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

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Connie’s CASA journey started when Connie and her husband Dennis witnessed firsthand the impact that a CASA volunteer had on the life and outcome of her youngest daughter’s CPS case.  Proud parents to three children adopted from Child Protective Services in Grayson County, Texas, Connie and Dennis served as foster parents for over ten years. After closing their home to foster children, Connie became a CASA Volunteer for Collin County CASA knowing that she would provide a “voice” for the children she would serve.  Connie went on to serve as a Board Member for Collin County CASA and as a member of staff.  Her CASA journey continued at Essex County CASA of Massachusetts for 7.5 years as a Program Director and then led her to CASA of Galveston County in October 2015.

Connie’s passion for the prevention and awareness of abused and neglected children has been recognized in many high-profile awards including the Children’s Champion of the Merrimack Valley (2015), the Liberty Bell award from the Galveston Bar Association, and in her nomination for The Galveston Daily News Citizen of the Year award in 2020. In addition, Connie has served her Texas CASA region as the Regional Representative to the Texas CASA Board (2019 – 2022), the Children’s Justice Task Force in Texas from 2018 – 2021 and is a certified Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Practitioner and has achieved the Non-Profit Leadership Certification from the Texas A&M University Center for Philanthropic Leadership Institute.

Connie believes that CASA volunteers are extraordinary in their service to children who have experienced abuse and neglect, and she is fully committed to seeing that all the children in Galveston County that need a CASA will have one appointed.  Outside the office, Connie enjoys spending time with family (ask her about her grandson!), enjoying the outdoors and listening to a good book.  

Kasey Warren

Recruitment and Training Lead

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Growing up in a family that fostered and adopted kids, Kasey has a heart for those in foster care, leading to her graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Victim Studies from Sam Houston State University. Kasey’s passion also led her to CASA of Galveston County, where she started her career as an intern and now helms the organization’s Recruitment and Training efforts. Kasey is the first face most new advocates meet at an information session and is the person that oversees their training to ensure that they are well equipped for the rewarding role of Advocate.

In her free time, Kasey is a ferocious competitor in cornhole, enjoys movies & video games, jams out at concerts with her fiancée and can also be found playing with her Covid cat, Ziva.

Ratha Liladrie

Director of Marketing & Development

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A proud graduate of Florida State University (Marketing/Multinational Business) and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Ratha is a seasoned storyteller, skilled in sharing the stories of others in a meaningful way that spurs engagement and action.  She is often described as “enthusiastic and driven” – most notably in her past leadership role at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum and in her role as project manager at the nation’s largest deathcare provider.

Ratha is dedicated to making a difference in her community and telling the important stories of children and families affected by foster care. Away from the office, Ratha enjoys time spent with her husband and kids, traveling, and trying new cuisines.

Alli Hines

Program Assistant

Email: allison@casagalveston.org

Alli was born and raised in Dickinson, experiencing events that derailed their childhood. These events are what influenced their desire to start a career in supporting children. They graduated from College of the Mainland with an Associate of Arts in General Studies and plans on eventually getting a Bachelor’s degree to support their passions. Alli is very grateful for what CASA does and is happy to be on the staff.

Outside of work, Alli loves listening to music and podcasts, playing Scrabble with their family and friends, cooking (and mastering) vegan meals, and being a part of the non-profit organization, Higher Up Texas.

Advocacy Team


Alaine Nix

Director of Advocacy

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Alaine is a trailblazer – the first female in her family to join and excel in the United States Army as a Military Police Officer. After her time in the military, she pursued her associate and bachelor’s degrees, graduating from Stephen F. Austin State University while gathering experience in young childhood settings, intermediate schools and juvenile centers. While working on the CASA team, Alaine recently graduated with her master’s degree with plans to continue higher education at a later date.

Alaine is passionate about helping children and their families and utilizes her wealth of knowledge, experience and education to lead the CASA Advocacy team in advocating for children and their families.  She is dedicated to making a difference and having a positive impact in her community.  Outside the office, Alaine can be found spending time with her daughter and spoiling her former rescue pets and enjoying a cup of coffee with a good book in hand.

Kristin Orsini

Collaborative Family Engagement Lead

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Kristin began her CASA of Galveston County journey as an Advocate Supervisor and when she learned about Collaborative Family Engagement – a light bulb went off! Kristin fell in love with the CFE approach and became the CFE Lead for the organization. She works hand in hand with advocates, children and families to make important connections and has her own special connection to the work that she does – her own mother and grandmother were taken in and adopted by others.

Near and dear to Kristin’s heart are her faith, her kids, and being able to recharge outdoors hiking and camping, or at sporting events. A Fort Worth native, she now calls Galveston County home.

Devin Siordia

Program Manager

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After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from University of Texas San Antonio, Devin worked for Seton Home, a shelter for teen mothers and their children who were in the foster care. While there, she heard numerous stories of the children in care and knew she wanted to do more.  Devin moved to Child Protective Services as a Family Based Services Specialist in Bexar and Harris counties and then joined the CASA team with her ultimate goal to make a difference in the lives of children and their families.

Born into a military family, Devin grew up oversees but Texas has always been her home. Devin enjoys spending quality time with her three children, various arts and crafts and her faith is central to her. 

Jennifer Martin

Advocate Supervisor

Email: jennifer@casagalveston.org

Jennifer had the desire to be a CASA advocate for a long time, frequently seeing ads on tv and in the newspaper but the time never seemed quite right – a working mom with young children, she was unsure that she could juggle all the responsibilities.  Fast forward a few years Jennifer made the decision to put her career on hold and became an active PTA mom, spending six years on the PTA board; chairing many different positions and being awarded the Campus Volunteer of the Year Award in 2019.  When her younger daughter entered middle school, Jennifer pivoted to volunteer for CASA instead of returning to her career and after two rewarding years in the volunteer advocate role, she joined the staff as a CASA Supervisor to continue making a difference in the lives of children.

Jennifer is a native of Galveston County, growing up in Santa Fe and now residing in League City.  She is the mother of two beautiful daughters – her older daughter is finishing up her education degree and her younger daughter plays volleyball, softball, and travel basketball – resulting in Jennifer spending most of her free time sitting in a gym or a softball field!

Joanna Mendoza

Advocate Supervisor

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Joanna is a University of Houston graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communications and public relations. She started her career in the print media industry and continued on to the County of Galveston where she worked with over 230 volunteers. The dedication and friendship of those volunteers inspired her to listen to her heart and become a CASA advocate and in that role, Joanna realized she had found her purpose, and shifted careers to become an Advocate Supervisor.

Joanna is an integral part of our Legislative Advocacy Team and serves as CASA of Galveston County’s Legislative Advocacy Team Lead. She believes it to be imperative for legislators to be well informed in order to establish new policies and improve the child welfare system. Joanna loves law and politics and likes watching presidential debates for fun.

She is a self-proclaimed rockhound who collects rocks and minerals from all over the world and in her spare time, Joanna enjoys solo hiking and spending time with her adventurous pet bunny. Joanna has never met a stranger and appreciates every connection she makes along the way. If you happen to see her at the office, court, or out in public, stop by and say hi!

Sitinna Blankenship

Advocate Supervisor

Email: sitinna@casagalveston.org

Sitinna moved from the East Coast to Houston, Texas in 2021 with her husband to pursue her passion of working in social services. Before becoming a CASA, she was working with domestic violence survivors and finding them safe shelters to get away from their abusers. Sitinna is excited to do all that she can within her role as a CASA to speak up for the children and advocate for them as they are the future of our world. 

Outside of work, Sitinna enjoys going on excursions/adventures with her husband, getting Boba tea with friends, and training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She also enjoys traveling and trying new foods from around the world.  

Amelia Smith

Advocate Supervisor

Email: amelia@casagalveston.org

Originally from Alabama, Amelia moved to Texas from the Alabama, Florida, and Georgia line in 2012.  As a former foster child, Amelia’s lifelong desire to work with children in the foster system was formed early – seeing the ups and downs of being a foster child lit a fire in her to do something to make a positive change in as many lives of children and families as possible.

Amelia’s goal is to help the children and families not become a statistic and to help them break the cycle. Prior to moving to Texas, Amelia was a GAL for the Jackson County, Florida for six years. Outside the office, Ameila is married to Brent and is a mother, grandmother (the lights of her life!) and a pet mom to 3 dogs, a cat and 7 chickens. 

Kate Sonnier

Advocate Supervisor

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Kate’s passion for kids in need started in the 6th grade when she received a PAL – a mentor and someone that truly cared and was a consistent person in her life. Along with her PAL, she also had a guardian with a huge heart! These special role models helped shape Kate to be the kind of person who wanted to do the same for others and led her to CASA. At CASA, Kate quickly knew this was the path she was meant to walk and that she would help kids realize their potential and to instill faith in themselves no matter their circumstances. Kate strongly believes that every child deserves to have someone in their corner who can help ensure their voice is heard.

Kate is a native to Galveston County, growing up in Santa Fe, Texas. When she has free time, Kate is a momma to 1 and enjoys spoiling her 2 dogs. Kate considers her friends to be family and they are a huge part of her life!