Meet Our Board of Directors
Bert recently retired as Development Director at Northern Public Radio in DeKalb. His career included 30 years in public park and recreation management, Executive Director of the Decatur Area Arts Council and Executive Director of Macon County CASA, where he learned firsthand the impact of CASA. Bert received his undergraduate degree at University of Illinois, MS from Aurora University, and Certificate in Fundraising Management from Indiana University. Bert joined the IL CASA board in 2016 and was elected President in 2017. Bert, his wife Kathy, and dog Sammi frequently travel to Phoenix, to visit two beautiful, talented granddaughters.
Chris is the CEO of the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, a nonprofit charged with supporting businesses and growing the economy in Central Illinois. He has worked in public service jobs for over 20 years, including homeless services, youth services and local government. Chris grew up in Burbank, CA. He received his B.A. in political science from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado – Denver. Chris, his wife and two daughters have lived in Peoria for over 15 years.
Board of Directors
Kate has been an advocate for children in Illinois for more than 20 years. She has worked in child welfare as a case worker, supervisor and manager and spent the most recent 10 years advocating for improvements to child welfare policy, practice, and legislation. Kate has a B.A. from Shimer College, an MA from the University of Chicago – School of Social Service Administration, and a JD from Loyola University Chicago where she was a ChildLaw Fellow.
Board of Directors
Geoff is a founding partner and owner of the business / non-profit consulting firm, Alignment Forge, Inc. He started the firm after his 33 years of experience contributing and leading in business and non profit organizations including 5 years at General Motors, 25 years at Caterpillar and several years at U.S. Steel. Notably, he has a strong passion for the mission of CASA and views his 2 years as CASA of Peoria County Board President as one of his most important contributions.
Kristen is the Executive Director for CASA of East Central Illinois, serving Coles and Cumberland Counties. As Executive Director, expanding services to Cumberland County and becoming a GAL program in Coles has been on her agenda.
Margie is the McLean County CASA Program Director and has served as a victim advocate for over 40 years.
“ To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world. CASA volunteers make a difference in a child life’s that is immeasurable. I feel very blessed to be part of the CASA family and assisting children to become the person they were destined to be.”
Gloria Kelley, MBA, has served as the Executive Director of CASA Kane County for over a decade. During her tenure of leadership, Ms. Kelley has worked closely with her team and Board of Directors to build CASA Kane County into the largest CASA program in Illinois. Focusing on the pillars of People, Processes, Technology and Finance – Ms. Kelley always seeks to expand the CASA organization to ensure that the need of every child in foster care is met – and that every child has a voice in the courtroom.
Taryn Marko is the Program Director for Winnebago County CASA. She has served many roles within the organization since she began working with CASA in 2011, including volunteer advocate, trainer, and case manager to the volunteers in Winnebago County. She has served as director for the past five years.
Taryn grew up in Rockford, IL and received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication from Eastern Illinois University.
“CASA work is so important because our volunteers are truly making a difference for each child they work with. I’ve been honored to work with volunteers who are able to help our young people find their path to a successful, and bright, future.” Taryn says.