Board of Directors
CASA First is fortunate to have the dedication of an involved and compassionate Board of Directors, all of whom support CASA First with generous contributions. This group of community and business leaders is responsible for financial oversight, goal setting, policy development, and fundraising. The CASA First Board members meet regularly and dedicate additional time to attend outreach and fundraising events.
Deborah Schroder, MS, President
Deborah currently chairs the Art Therapy and Counseling Department at Southwestern College and serves on the Licensing and Therapy Practice Board for the State of New Mexico. She is the author of Little Windows into Art Therapy: Small Openings for Beginning Therapists. Deborah co-facilitates the CASA First "Reflective Practice" monthly peer group for our volunteers working with traumatized children.
Andres Paglayan, RN, Vice President
Andres brings knowledge of technology, entrepreneurial skills and behavioral health expertise to CASA First. He co-owns EMR-Bear behavioral health record system. Previously, he was Director of IT at Women’s Health Services and an IT consultant and trainer for the Supreme Court of New Mexico. Andres emigrated from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Santa Fe with his family in 2001. He was an MD degree candidate in Argentina and obtained his RN degree in New Mexico.
Lisa Buckley, MSW, Secretary
Lisa brings a strong background in the areas of trauma informed care, interpersonal neurobiology and organizational development to her work with CASA. She has a MSW in Planning and Development and a B.S. in child development and is currently working on her Phd in Organizational Development. Previously she worked for Presbyterian Medical Services (PMS) as a Supervisor in Quality and Health Outcomes. Lisa is also a member of the Sangre de Cristo Chorale.
Spencer Wright, Treasurer
“As a New Englander, it was instilled in us that we must give back to the community in which we live.”
Spencer is a retiree from the State of New Mexico and was an investment professional, managing a portion of the teacher’s pension plan and having full responsibility for the state’s liquid assets. He previously was the operations manager for a small family business in Vermont, and was an investment banker with a focus on 501(c)3 organizations, working extensively with CFOs and boards in capital planning and financial strategy. Spencer has volunteered on a number of boards including with Alta Mira, as the treasurer of Assistance Dogs of the West, and served as the board chairperson for the Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan and also volunteers in the Santa Fe County Detention Facility with a mental health organization.
Julia Broggi, JD
Julia is an attorney at Holland & Hart LLP and a member of the New Mexico Bar Association. During law school Julia worked with an advocacy clinic in Arizona representing children in abuse and neglect proceedings. With regard to her CASA work, she says, "I'm interested in making sure that children's voices are heard in what can be complicated and confusing legal proceedings." Julia holds a JD from the University of Arizona and a BS from the University of Houston.
Cynthia Melugin, PhD
Cynthia has a doctorate in political science from Duke University and worked as a foreign policy consultant in Washington, DC before moving to Santa Fe in 1999. Since coming to Santa Fe, she has taught political science at the University of New Mexico and the College of Santa Fe and served as the Development Director at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. She is currently a Senior Policy Analyst at the Behavioral Health Services Division of the New Mexico Human Service Department and specializes in issues of mental health, substance abuse and homelessness. "CASA Volunteers are truly unsung heroes. They work diligently, inside and outside the courtroom, to improve the circumstances of children in the foster care system. I am honored to support their efforts and the work of the incredible CASA First staff."
Tina became involved with CASA First by serving on the Development Committee and has agreed to serve as the new chair of this important board committee. She has a strong background in the volunteer sector and has served the Santa Fe Public Schools and St. Michael's High School. Tina became familiar with CASA through her son’s fraternity at UNM and their philanthropic cause: the CASA program in Albuquerque. She is a Eucharistic Minister and Reader at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis, teaches religious education to kindergarten age children, and volunteers to raise awareness and to curb domestic violence, drug use and alcoholism.
Tony Guiles, MD
Tony is a retired Pediatric Anesthesiologist who has served CASA First for over ten years, including previously as Board President. Tony is also a former CASA Volunteer Advocate and has seen first hand the need and impact of CASA First advocacy. He serves on the Board of Directors for El Centro Community Health Clinic in Northern New Mexico. During his free time, he enjoys traveling and hiking. Tony earned his MD at the University of North Carolina.
BOARD MEMBER EMERITUS
George has extensive community expertise and board experience. He served on Citizens Review Board (NM and Santa Fe County) for child abuse and neglect case oversight, Las Clinicas del Norte and the Talpa Water Association. George was a Foreign Service Officer for 26 years and was stationed all over the world including the Middle East and Russia. In addition to volunteering with multiple non-profits, he is a commercial real estate owner and enjoys wood carving and his ranch in his free time. George and his Wife Edith, whom he met in the foreign service live in Santa Fe and Rio Arriba county and George is committed to addressing the needs of our rural communities, especially the ones affecting vulnerable children. Mr. Flores has been affiliated with CASA First since 1996 both as a Volunteer Advocate and a Board member.
We are grateful to these community leaders for their efforts on behalf of children in the foster care system