In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting three influential women who are leading the way here at Texas CASA: Founding CEO Jane Quentan Piper, Board President Melissa Jones and CEO Vicki Spriggs. Meet them, and learn about the women they look up to, below!
Jane Quentan Piper, Founding CEO
Founding CEO Jane Quentan Piper’s CASA story started in 1980 when she became a volunteer with Dallas CASA. She later moved to Austin, and when she realized there was not a local CASA program serving the area, she got involved to help start a program in Travis County. The process opened her eyes to the lack of a centralized system of standards and guidelines.
This endeavor connected Jane with Marty Braniff, one of the founders of the Houston program. They shared a vision of a statewide hub—their vision of Texas CASA. With Jane at the helm, CASA’s statewide presence grew from 13 programs to 53. She was also instrumental in the passage of legislation that assisted the growth of CASA in Texas.
Jane retired from Texas CASA in June 2001, and she continues her commitment to help children today. She serves on Texas CASA’s Emeritus Board and is a member of the Social Impact committee.
A Woman Jane Looks Up To
Jane: “A woman I have looked up to is Governor Ann Richards… she could mix seriousness with humor like few that I’ve known. She also had a lot of “firsts” for women!”
Melissa Jones, Board President
Melissa Jones is a retired industrial/quality engineer who previously worked for General Motors, Seagate Technology and Compaq in a variety of management roles. She first got involved with CASA volunteering to support the annual fundraising gala for Child Advocates of Fort Bend in 2003—she later worked there as a staff member. She then made her way to the Board of Texas CASA for a year (2014-2015), and left to move to Singapore. She then came back in 2016 and has been an active member the Board since.
Melissa enjoys using her skills in measurement, data analysis and quality improvement to support the organization, as CASA is a cause that is close to her heart. As current Board President, Melissa is especially excited to focus on recruitment. She looks forward to bringing on passionate, committed people who will work hard with those already on the Board to bring innovative ideas and support the work of Texas CASA and the local CASA programs across the state.
A Woman Melissa Looks Up To
Melissa: “Physicist and chemist Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. Because I was an engineer, I appreciate Marie paving the way for women in science—and getting due credit for her amazing work!”
Vicki Spriggs, CEO
Vicki Spriggs is a dedicated advocate for children who has worked for more than 40 years in the child services arena. Known for her leadership on youth-related issues, Vicki is a national speaker, a decisive leader and a fierce believer in the rights of all children.
Prior to joining Texas CASA in January 2012, she served in a variety of positions dedicated to child welfare, including as a foster parent, director of the Travis County Juvenile Court Informal Adjustment unit and executive director at Texas Juvenile Probation Commission. She received a bachelor’s degree in education and Master of Education in juvenile justice and secondary counseling from the University of Massachusetts.
Vicki was the recipient of the National CASA/GAL Award of Excellence -State Director of the Year in 2022.
A Woman Vicki Looks Up To
Vicki: “The woman I looked up to was my now-deceased mother, who empowered me, as well as my five sisters, to believe in our strength as women. My mother told us that when she was growing up, she was often told what she couldn’t do because she was female, and she wanted daughters so that she could tell us all we could do because we are female. That lesson stuck with all of us.
My mother exemplified female empowerment, as she was very active in both political and community efforts, normally serving in a leadership role. My mother dropped out of college after getting married and having my sisters and me. Her one regret was never finishing her degree; after retiring she went back to college and earned her bachelor’s and master’s—continuing to exemplify female empowerment.”