Texas CASA Welcomes 3 New Board Members

Texas CASA recently elected three new members to its Board of Directors: communications professional Juan Elizondo, attorney and human resources professional Marissa Marquez, and STAR Health Executive Director Lorraine Martinez.

“We are excited to welcome Juan, Marissa and Lorraine to our board of directors,” said Vicki Spriggs, Texas CASA CEO. “Each brings in a unique skillset and years of experience in their respective fields. I have no doubt that they will be invaluable assets to our organization as we continue our mission.”

Juan Elizondo, senior director for communications at the Dallas-based National Math and Science Initiative, brings more than 20 years of experience in news media, public relations and marketing. He began his career as a state political reporter for The Associated Press in Missouri. He took similar roles in Kansas, Michigan and Texas before joining Cox Newspapers in Austin, Texas. Elizondo served in a variety of roles with Cox, including Austin political bureau chief, state political editor and managing editor of Cox East Texas Newspapers. He also served briefly as editor of the Dallas Business Journal. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

“CASA is an organization that creates immeasurable positive change daily, and having the opportunity to contribute to that change is an amazing thing,” said Elizondo.

Marissa Marquez, J.D. is an attorney and currently works in human resources for a federally qualified health center. Marquez earned her bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and juris doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law. While in law school, Marquez represented children in foster care through The University of Texas Law’s Children’s Rights Clinic and worked at Texas CASA as a Texas Law Fellow.

“I strongly believe that every child deserves a safe, positive childhood and look forward to being able to help children in the Texas foster care system,” said Marquez.

To add, Marquez has served as a CASA volunteer/Guardian Ad Litem with CASA of Travis County, is a graduate of Leadership Austin and has served on the Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas and BikeHouston board.

Lorraine Martinez, Executive Director for the STAR Health Program, has worked closely with the Texas foster care system for the past 23 years. She first began her calling protecting children who have been abused or neglected by working as a child protective specialist, continued her social work tenure employed as a regional director for a child placing agency, and also served as a CASA volunteer and child welfare board president. In May 2007, Martinez joined Superior HealthPlan in efforts to make a more significant impact to the lives of children by advocating within the healthcare industry. Since then, she has led the implementation of child welfare Medicaid contracts for the state of Texas and Florida as well as supporting national foster care contracts for Centene. Martinez is a graduate of Texas State University.

“I appreciate the opportunity to further help Texas children in foster care and look forward to assisting Texas CASA in achieving their mission,” said Martinez.

Texas CASA is pleased to welcome these three talented, passionate individuals to our governing board, and excited for the fresh ideas and insight they will bring! Meet our full board of directors on the Leadership page.