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Cotulla’s Kasey Brown takes reins at advocacy center
The Children’s Alliance of South Texas has announced the names of its new leaders in the advocacy organization that operates facilities across several counties.
Cotulla native Kasey Brown has been promoted from clinical director to executive director of CAST. Originally an English teacher, Brown spent two years in African missionary work at Khartoum, Sudan, where she discovered a passion for helping children. She joined CAST as a counselor in 2016 and was promoted to clinical director after three years.
“Kasey has been instrumental in the successful growth of the Alliance,” CAST noted in a prepared statement last week. “Her long-term goal for CAST is to become a key authority in the community on trauma and child sexual and physical abuse prevention and education.”
“Kasey is very involved in her community in her spare time,” 81st Judicial District Attorney Audrey Louis said of the organization’s new executive director. “She has been a dedicated leader at CAST for quite some time.
“Kasey was the natural choice to become the next executive director,” DA Louis added. “As a lifelong resident of Cotulla, she is dedicated to our communities and helping our children. We are blessed to have her at the helm.”
CAST Board President Donna Rayes, former district judge in South Texas, said CAST is celebrating Brown’s promotion, adding that the new advocacy center leader acted quickly in response to an immediate need arising from the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.
“Kasey was days before her official start date when she answered the call for help from Uvalde,” Rayes said. “True to our mission and true to her calling, Kasey provided trauma-based therapy for 14 straight days to the hurting families in Uvalde.
“That is who CAST is, and that is who Kasey is, too,” Rayes said. “We know that Kasey will continue to carry on the important work of CAST, and even take it to a new level.”
The organization has also announced the appointment of Frances Weiss as the new finance director. Weiss is credited with bringing a wealth of knowledge to the position. The Del Rio native has spent two decades providing full-service bookkeeping for a variety of companies and clients. She moved with her family to Jourdanton in 2013.
“Frances loves high-level competition of any kind,” CAST noted of Weiss’ pastimes and pursuits, “whether it be sports, stock shows or rodeos. She has a rich ranching history that dates back many years.”
The Alliance is also welcoming Bonnie Ramirez as development director. She joins the team after working most recently for the Karnes County Attorney’s Office. Her career history includes employment with the Beefmaster Breeders United / Junior Beefmaster Breeders’ Association, the International Brangus Breeders’ Association Texas Animal Health Commission, and the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, among others.
“Bonnie is passionate about many things,” CAST noted in its announcement last week, “making an impactful difference, being an advocate for causes that are near and dear to her heart, and bringing smiles to people’s faces are some of her passions.
“Bonnie is elated to join the dynamic team at CAST,” the organization reported. “She hopes to raise awareness about the child advocacy center, provide pertinent education regarding child abuse and neglect, and be a part of CAST’s phenomenal and heartfelt mission.”
Christina Martinez has become CAST’s new programs director to round out the new leadership team at the advocacy center. The Floresville native said she found her calling in 2016, when she started her service with CAST as a volunteer, “looking to fill some hours with giving back to my community.”
“Christina did just that and more,” CAST reported of its new programs director. “She soon became employed with CAST and served in many roles over a six-year span, learning the advocacy center inside and out.”
Most recently, Martinez served as development director for the organization and is described as having been “an integral part of the driving force that has helped grow the Alliance.”
In her new position, Martinez will oversee all agency programs.
“She leads a strong, dedicated and seasoned team,” CAST noted. “Christina is happy to return to CAST, serving in the programs director capacity.”
CAST representatives said they are pleased with the leadership changes and that they believe the shifts “promise to continue propelling the child advocacy center forward.”
Information on the advocacy center and its services to child victims of abuse and neglect in communities across the region can be found at castac.org. The organization is headquartered at 810 Main Street, Jourdanton, and can be reached at (830) 393-6290.