Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates Inc. (Henrico CASA) has named Jeannine Panzera to serve as its executive director, overseeing a program to provide court representation for children who have experienced neglect, abuse and other trauma.
Henrico CASA’s Board of Directors appointed Panzera effective Sept. 17, following the retirement of Barbara Herzog, who had served as executive director for the past 11 years.
Panzera has served Henrico CASA since 2010 and had worked as its program director since 2013. In that role, she provided leadership and oversight to staff and volunteer advocates. She holds a law degree from the University of Richmond School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University.
Henrico CASA cited Panzera’s experience, energy and creativity in helping the nonprofit organization begin its next phase of work, which includes raising awareness of the importance of keeping children safe from abuse and neglect.
“Jeannine brings her extensive CASA experience to the position of executive director, and the Board of Directors is delighted that she has taken on this role,” Board President Jon Ganues said. “Her energy and compassion for advocating for abused and neglected children will serve her well as she takes our organization forward and ensures we continue to provide a voice for vulnerable children in court.”
Panzera’s appointment comes as the organization prepares to implement a plan of strategic growth in development and outreach.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Henrico CASA and look forward to bringing enthusiasm, fresh perspective and experience to the dedicated team of Board members, caring staff and zealous advocates,” she said. “I believe that the organization is poised to build on the tremendous momentum of the past 25 years. Together, we will continue to expand upon Henrico CASA’s successes and work to ensure that any child who experiences abuse or neglect receives a caring advocate to fight for their best interests.”
Established in 1994, Henrico CASA advocates for children involved in cases before Henrico’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. The organization recruits, screens, trains and supervises volunteers to represent the needs of abused and neglected children, children in juvenile dependency proceedings and children in need of services or supervision. The volunteers promote safe, permanent homes for all children and educate the community about the needs of abused and neglected children.
Henrico CASA also works with other nonprofit organizations and agencies to promote support for and awareness of the needs of vulnerable children in the community.