Our Team


Kesha Shipe Waters – Executive Director  

Kesha has been with CASA of the TN heartland for nearly ten years. First as a Board member and currently as Executive Director. She has a heart for service and a passion for helping and empowering the helpless, especially the children that we serve. Kesha is active in our community by mentoring young women. She also serves on several boards and volunteers at community organizations with bake sales, clothing drives, or fundraisers. Kesha is a member of Altrusa International of Oak Ridge where she serves as Programs Committee Chair, and Rotary Club of Oak Ridge Sunset. She is also a member of the Suburban Leadership Council for National CASA. She recently graduated the University of Tennessee’s Consortium of Social Enterprise Effectiveness Program and is currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Business.

Donika Morrow Lee-Director of Programs

Donika is a Scott County native. She has served on many boards in Scott County including the Chamber of Commerce and Appalachia Habitat of Humanity for Scott and Morgan Counties. She has a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies. Donika has been with CASA of the Tennessee Heartland since 2016. Prior to her job at CASA, she was a business manager and marketing director. Since taking her initial role as a Program Coordinator, Donika has embraced the change from the “for profit” to the non-profit world. She has helped to organize many events and fundraisers for CASA of the Tennessee Heartland as well as recruited and trained numerous volunteers. She is currently pursuing a second degree in Human Resource Management.

Kathrynn Patton-Program Coordinator

Kathrynn has lived in Maryville for most her life. She graduated magna cum laude from Pellissippi State in 2016 and was a member of both Phi Theta Kappa and Gamma Beta Phi. Kathrynn has a background in social services, fostering children for nearly five years. She has a passion for giving back to the children in our community and has assisted the local foster care association with projects such as Angel Tree, community clothing closet, and other fundraising events. Kathrynn has been part of CASA of the Tennessee Heartland since February of 2017. Since her time at CASA, she has been part of organizations such as Downtown Maryville Association, Community Advisory Board, and Blount Chamber to increase awareness and recruitment events.

Jackie Brown-Program Coordinator

Jackie has lived in the Knoxville area for over 20 years.  She earned her Pharmacy degree from University of Colorado and Masters in Pharmacy degree from University of Iowa.  As a pharmacist, Jackie enjoyed teaching nurses and physicians and working as an analyst in health information systems.  As a volunteer, her efforts have been focused on working with children in various settings.   After several years as a CASA, Jackie came to CASA of the Tennessee Heartland in 2016.  She believes that caring for children is critical to the success of our communities and feels privileged to be supporting the advocates who provide a voice for children in juvenile court.

Amanda Brackett-Program Coordinator

Amanda has lived in East Tennessee most of her life. She graduated from Maryville College in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Child Development. Amanda has experience in social services, program development, and was a CASA volunteer. She has a passion for helping those in need, especially children. She is active in our community by serving on several boards and committees.  Amanda is thrilled to be a part of the CASA team and the Anderson County community.

Janie Wallace-Program Coordinator

Janie M. Wallace joined CASA of the Tennessee Heartland part-time in September 2018, and started as the Blount County Program Coordinator in January 2019. She has had successful careers in both administration and human resources. She previously worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Nyrstar Tennessee Mines. Janie earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Organization Management degree from Tusculum College and holds two professional certifications in human resources (PHR and SHRM-CP). She has spent time involved in a variety of non-profit and faith-based activities. She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. She was a former board member of Family Promise of Knoxville. Additionally, she has participated in both local and foreign mission trips supporting children in need. Janie and her husband are long-time residents of Knoxville and enjoy spending time with their grandsons.  She also enjoys cooking and travel and has visited ten countries on four continents.

Stephanie Corn-Administrative Assistant 

Stephanie has lived in East Tennessee all of her life. She graduated from South College in 2012 with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. She has experience in probation and parole and extensive experience in the court system. She served as a deputy clerk with Knox County General Sessions and Fourth Circuit Court. She single-handedly developed and implemented Tennessee’s first monitoring program for Order of Protection Domestic Violence offenders. She is passionate about protecting individuals from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This led her to obtain a position working for a prominent civil rights attorney. She is excited to enhance her knowledge by working with CASA to aid in being a voice for children in juvenile court.


Board of Directors

  • Kent Strunk-President
  • Brandon Pelizzari-Treasurer
  • Cathy Warmbrod-Secretary
  • Jeremy Shipp- Immediate Past President
  • Stephanie Applegate- President Elect
  • Ron Shelton
  • Alayne Bowman
  • Felicia Kirkpatrick
  • Carolyn Evans

If you are interested in serving on the CASA board, please feel free to contact any of the current board members or the administrative office at 865.425.0888.

Board Member Forms and Information

Board Member Application

Board Member Responsibilities

Board of Directors Pledge

Expectations of a Board Member

Mission, Vision and Purpose Statement

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