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INTERVIEW WITH BOARD CHAIR SHARON HOFFMAN-MANNING

INTERVIEW WITH BOARD CHAIR SHARON HOFFMAN-MANNING

1. Why do you think CASA is important?

To me, the most important thing we can do is to give a child the opportunity to achieve his or her goals, along with the ability to make a difference in their lives.

2. What attracted you to CASA, and why did you want to be on the board?

My daughter’s pediatrician introduced me to CASA and its goals. He had been part of starting the Mercer County program. I started making contributions, and I thought that one day I might like to be a volunteer advocate.

When I was working in New Brunswick I learned through my company that CASA of Middlesex County was looking for someone to join its board. I realized that I did not have the flexibility in my schedule to be an advocate, but I did have time to work with the board. I applied for the board position and I was delighted to be accepted to join the CASA of Middlesex County Board.

3. How is your work experience compatible with CASA’s mission?

I have significant experience in business and supply chain management from my work at Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. These experiences have enabled me to help with our strategic plan and leadership of our board.

4. What is your background and its relation to the work that CASA does?

I have served on several nonprofit boards as a trustee and in leadership roles. I have been able to share this experience with our board to help us with our committees, budget, and achieving our goal of helping as many of our Middlesex County children as possible.

5. What are some of the challenges that CASA faces today?

CASA of Middlesex County serves a very diverse community with a wide range of needs and problems. We are actively recruiting advocates that match the demographics of our county. This requires finding ways to connect with advocates who can speak different languages and can relate to our children. We also must continue to diversify our fundraising so we’re not too dependent on any one source. This money is very important for recruiting and training our volunteers.

6. What are some of the brief examples of cases that volunteers deal with? What role can CASA play in dealing with these issues?

We are addressing situations in which children are removed from their home due to abuse and neglect. We have also seen the impact of a growing opioid crisis on families and children.

CASA provides support for the children’s needs as they face the impact of these situations. Our volunteers provide information and guidance for each child to their school, healthcare providers, and to our Judiciary so that they receive the best possible advocacy to move forward.

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