Texas CASA welcomed six new members to our Board of Directors at our June 2021 meeting. Each new board member brings not only unique expertise and leadership, but commitment and passion for helping to create a better, brighter Texas.
Meet our new board members below!
Kristin Andersen – Georgetown, TX
Kristin Andersen is a retired nonprofit executive with a passion for mobilizing people to come together for good. Most recently she served as Associate Director of The California School-Based Health Alliance where she managed fund development and stakeholder engagement for this statewide organization committed to helping bring health care to kids at school. Prior to that she served as Development Director for Child Advocates of Fort Bend where she was also a trained CASA volunteer. She has a B.A. in Communications/Public Relations from Cal State University, Fullerton, and experience in nonprofit fundraising and outreach, corporate public relations, government community relations and journalism.
Jenny Bratton – Corsicana, TX
Jenny Bratton was born in Lubbock but raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. She graduated from Eckerd College with a B.A. in History and Stetson University College of Law with her J.D. She worked for the State Attorney’s Office and specialized in juvenile cases, particularly sexual offenses. After 7 years with the State Attorney, she took time off as a stay-at-home mom living in Kentucky. Several years later, she moved with her family to Corsicana and took the bar exam in Texas with the intent to begin practicing law again, but a call from a board member of Child Advocates changed the trajectory. Jenny was selected as the Executive Director for the CASA and CAC umbrella program in Navarro County ,where she has served for the past decade. In addition to her experience as a CASA ED, Jenny also brings an understanding of the law and the criminal court processes through her CAC experience and her role as a prosecutor. She and her husband Randy, a police officer for over 30 years, are the proud parents of two adult sons in college at Texas A&M University and the College of William & Mary.
Peggy Eighmy – San Antonio, TX
Peggy Eighmy, First Lady of the University of Texas at San Antonio, is a CASA volunteer and a passionate advocate for children and young adults with a history of foster care. She has worked in child welfare and child advocacy roles in Massachusetts, Tennessee and Texas. She conceptualized and sought public funding for the Bexar County Fostering Educational Success Pilot Project, and now serves on its Executive Committee. This Pilot Project works to improve college enrollment, retention and graduation rates for students with a history of foster care. Peggy is a tri-chairperson for Senator Jose Menendez’s Blue-Ribbon Task Force on Child Abuse Prevention and for the Child Welfare/Foster Care Workgroup of the South Texas Trauma-Informed Care Consortium. She is a board member for the Najim Charitable Foundation and ChildSafe. She also serves on various child welfare-focused councils, including for Family Tapestry, her local United Way, and the NXT Level Youth Reengagement Center. She is a member of Impact SA, a women’s collective giving, grant-making nonprofit organization. Peggy is a first-generation American and a first-generation college student and is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
David Garcia – Brownsville, TX
David A. Garcia is a recognized leader and innovator, working to connect people and deliver results, by helping clients navigate state and local government rules and regulation for procurement, funding opportunities, political awareness and intelligence, and land, economic and business development opportunities. David held senior level positions in federal and county government and directed the complexities policies and programs to focus on the priorities of leaders in communities throughout South Texas. He has assisted multiple agencies with their funding priorities. He has testified in Austin on an array of issues and has testified and prepared officials for testimony before the United States Congress on issues affecting constituencies living on the U.S.-Mexico border. His hands-on experience includes working on projects for courthouse construction, parks improvements, public works buildings, an animal shelter, and countless roads and bridges. Most notably, he guided the County in its venue tax election in 2016, the first of its kind in South Texas to fund two major venues, an amphitheater at Isla Blanca Park, and an ecotourism center in Laguna Vista. He was also instrumental in creating the Cameron County Flood Control District. David is a product of Brownsville public schools and received his B.A. from the University of Texas in Brownsville in 1995. He is certified by the Project Management Institute as a Project Management Professional. He is married to Brenda and they have a teenage son, Darian.
Marta Johnson – Leander, TX
Marta Johnson was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas. She moved to Austin to attend The University of Texas. After graduation, she began a career in education with Austin Independent School District. As an educator for 24 years, she served the community in a variety of roles, as a teacher, mentor, advocate, and as a leader to students, teachers, parents, and peers. Marta’s passion for volunteerism began in college through the Neighborhood Longhorns Program. Upon graduation, she continued to engage with the community through school committees and councils as well as Girl Scouts of Central Texas. Through the Junior League of Austin, she served several community organizations including Brackenridge Hospital’s NICU, Austin Children’s Shelter, and Dell Children’s Medical Center.
Rudy Ramirez – San Benito, TX
Rudy Ramirez is the principal and leader of San Benito High School, a 6A ranked public high school. A lifelong educator, Ramirez has served his community as a teacher, assistant principal and now, principal. Through his work as an educator, Ramirez has developed a deep understanding of the individual instructional and social-emotional needs of children who are at risk. Ramirez, as a product of the very same school system, works to promote education as the key force in combating poverty and advancing social justice for children and families in the Rio Grande Valley, in particular, recent immigrants.