CASA Staff

We couldn’t touch the lives of so many children and families without the dedicated work of our talented staff. Meet the team that makes it all happen below.

Ava Lipscomb

CASA Director
Ava Lipscomb is a native of Cartersville. She attended Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama, and graduated with a B.A. in Communication Arts from Ambassador College in Big Sandy, Texas. After working for the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) in Cherokee and Pickens Counties, Ava became the CASA Director for Advocates in 2000. In 1999, she completed Nurturing Families Facilitator training and in 2011, graduated from the Institute of Child Development TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Intervention) Program at Texas Christian University. Bartow CASA received the Established Program Award of Excellence in 2011 from the Georgia CASA Board of Directors. Ava was once a common fixture as an actor/director with our local community theatre group, the Pumphouse Players, where she met her husband, Andy.

Emily Ciavarro

CASA Advocacy Coordinator
Emily began with Advocates for Children in early 2013 and is a Georgia native hailing from the small town of Lyerly. She graduated with honors from Georgia Southern University in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in sociology. She then moved to California for a number of years until later returning to Georgia to be closer to family. Emily comes to Advocates for Children from the Department of Juvenile Justice where she worked for over five years as a juvenile probation officer. She has a passion for helping kids in need and advocating for them and making their voices heard. She is a firm believer that every child, no matter their age or background or story, is deserving of a happy ending. Emily currently resides in Cartersville, GA.

Lisa Keeler

CASA Advocacy Coordinator
Originally from Florida, Lisa moved to Cartersville in 2006. Her interest in social work began during college, when she worked as a coordinator with AmeriCorps (VISTA). She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. After relocating to Georgia, she worked as a CPS Investigator for 2 years before joining the Advocates family in 2008 as an Advocacy Coordinator with CASA. Lisa is passionate about her career helping to provide a voice for children in the foster care system and loves being a part of a team that serves the children and families of our community. She has two daughters who fill her life with laughter and love. She is recently engaged, and is excited about adding another amazing daughter to her family upon her marriage to her fiancé Matt later this year.

Deborah Reese

CASA Advocacy Coordinator
Deborah Reese moved with her husband to Georgia in 1989 after attending Akron University in Ohio. Spending 12 years between Sagamore Hills Children's Psychiatric Hospital and Bellefaire Children's Residential Treatment Center, Deborah moved on to spend 10 years with the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) before accepting her role at Advocates.

Marcia Vlasnik

CASA Advocacy Coordinator
Marcia started out as a Michigander. She and her husband of 27 years, Jim, have two children, Logan and Lukas. After seven years in Las Vegas, her family moved to Cartersville in 1997. She worked in the medical industry for over 20 years as Director of Operations. Marcia has been a volunteer in many capacities with Advocates since 2000. In May of 2012, Marcia became a CASA volunteer. She came to work part-time with CASA in 2015. The most rewarding thing for Marcia, is the privilege of being a Youth Minister and now working with CASA.

Haley Minesinger

CASA Advocacy Coordinator
Haley graduated from the University of Georgia in 2014 with a degree in Human Development and Family Sciences. After graduation, Haley worked for the Department of Human Services for a period of time, and then started her position as a CASA Coordinator. Haley’s love for vulnerable children began in Liberia, West Africa in 2011 on a mission trip through Orphan Aid Liberia. Since this trip, Haley has felt called to love the most vulnerable children, whether in Liberia or in Cartersville.