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Meet the Illinois CASA Staff

Illinois CASA champions children by supporting, uniting, and growing local programs to provide a court appointed volunteer advocate for abused and neglected children throughout the State.

Mari Christopherson

Executive Director

Mari started with CASA as a volunteer advocate in 2012 and then joined the staff of one of the State’s largest local programs. With her background in resource development, Mari understands the complex and diverse funding and organizational development needs of the Illinois CASA network. Mari, The Board of Directors of Illinois CASA and the staff are committed to building a strong, inclusive and supportive State office.  Her previous non-profit experience was as a Program Officer in Education at the Chicago Community Trust. Powerless children need powerful friends, and Mari and her team speak up for the needs of youth in care in Illinois and empower the leadership of local CASA programs to thrive. Mari lives with her family in Chicago,  and you can find her at home in her kitchen or a yoga studio almost anywhere in Illinois.


Tami Wacker

Director of Program Development

Tami joined Illinois CASA in December of 2017.  She brings with her over 15 years of working in the field of advocacy and not-for-profit program management and development.  As Director of Program Development, Tami’s responsibilities include assisting the development of new local Illinois CASA programs within the state and providing programmatic and organizational support to the existing network of the 30 local programs. Tami received her Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Eureka College and her Master of Arts in Human Services from the University of Illinois in Springfield.  Tami loves spending time with her husband, two boys and two dogs at their home in Bloomington, Illinois.