Thanking Senior Grants Management Specialist Mary Hightower & Welcoming Kristy Smith

Mary Hightower

Texas CASA extends our gratitude to Mary Hightower for her outstanding work and congratulates her on her upcoming retirement this May. We are also happy to announce that Kristy Smith, as our new Senior Grants Management Specialist, will serve as the new point of contact regarding Crime Victims Compensation (CVC) and CVC Growth Funds awards.

Mary Hightower has been with Texas CASA for the last 10 years, serving as Senior Grants Management Specialist for the CVC state funds. Mary has been a valuable source of knowledge, technical assistance and support for the local CASA programs.

After working six years in the Criminal Justice Department at the Office of the Governor, her grant management experience, and her passion for working with victim service providers, brought her to Texas CASA to team with Glenn Brooks and Tom Jones.

During her time at Texas CASA, Mary worked with the grants team to provide valuable information to Salesforce consultants to help create the Online Data Management System. She was also instrumental in developing the Guide to Grants, a comprehensive resource guide for programs. She also served on the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Central Texas planning committee for several years.

Kristy Smith

Mary says she’ll miss all the people she had the opportunity to work with over the years, and the relationships she enjoyed with so many, but she’s excited about getting to spend more time wedding planning with her daughter, helping her 91-year-old mom, and traveling to as many National Parks as possible.

“It’s been an absolute honor to work at Texas CASA, with my Grants team and with all the wonderful staff who are so talented and caring; and also, to work with the hardworking network staff who go above and beyond every day in order to serve children in care,” Mary said.

Thank you, Mary, and congratulations! Moving forward, you can contact Kristy at, and the full Grants team at Get to know Kristy!