Meet the Staff

 Alisa M. Hobbs

Executive Director

Alisa Hobbs pic 2015Attended Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology, an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. Alisa worked with the Department of Children’s Services for over 10 years as a Foster Care Case Manager and later as a Foster Parent Recruiter/Trainer. She was hired as a Foster Parent Recruiter/Trainer for Holston United Methodist Home for Children, Knoxville Office, and worked in this position for approximately 7 years. During her time with Holston Home for Children, Alisa attended graduate courses with Lincoln Memorial University and worked on courses in Education with an emphasis on Supervision. Alisa currently resides with her family in Vonore, Tennessee.

 Melissa Hooper

Administrative Assistant

Melissa Hooper

Graduated with an Associates Degree of Arts from Hiwassee College, Madisonville, Tennessee. Employed by MARCA (Matsushita Refrigeration Company of America) , which was located in Vonore, Tennessee. There she worked for approximately ten years in the Human Resource Department and was Secretary to the President. In a career move she was later employed with Carlex Glass Company where she became the Human Resource Administrator. In this position Melissa trained and hired new employees. Melissa is a life-long resident of Monroe County. Melissa’s family resides in Madisonville, Tennessee. She and her family attend the Quaker Meeting, located in the Ball Play Community. Her position at CASA Monroe is to assist the Volunteer Coordinator in preparation of cases for juvenile court and she also acts as a trained and certified CASA Advocate.

Jodi Swiderek

Semi-retired Volunteer Coordinator Assistant


Graduated with honors from the University of Georgia in Journalism/Public Relations. She began her career at the Macon Area Chamber of Commerce and served as Manager of their Communications Department. She later moved to Mobile, AL where she served as Vice President of both the Communications and Community Development Departments. While in Mobile, Jodi organized Mobile’s participation in the Tournament of Roses Parade for four years. She also developed the presentation which won Mobile the title All-America City and later won a bid to host the competition in Mobile. Jodi helped launch the Career Women of Mobile organization for upper-level management women and served as president of the Advertising Club of Mobile and President of the Communications Council for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. For nearly 30 years, she worked with volunteers in her career. Jodi serves as the Semi-retired Volunteer Coordinator for CASA Monroe. She and her husband Ben also raise chickens and have a large garden which supplies them with produce year-round. Jodi volunteers as a music leader at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church and she enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and camping.

Joy Rymer

Volunteer Coordinator Assistant

Joy Rymer (2) A native of Athens, TN, actually built her career in stages.  She began studying at a community college in McMinn County, but then married and moved to Atlanta with her husband David.  There, she worked for a bank while her husband earned his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. After the couple moved back to Athens, she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services from Tennessee Wesleyan. She began working in Bradley County as a case worker for Children’s Special Services which served special needs children.  She was a liaison between the children, their parents, doctors, schools and other services. She was the pre-school director for her church and then taught 3rd grade at Cross Creek private school.  Eventually, she went back to volunteer positions which led her to become the Director of Keep McMinn Beautiful from 2005-2012. Though she continued working in volunteer positions with her church, United Way and other organizations, she began to want “more” responsibility. “When I share my experience working for CASA Monroe with others, I use terms such as ‘well oiled machine’ and ‘a team with synergy,’” she said.  “I’m glad to be a part of it.”


Nancy Dunsmore

Volunteer Coordinator

Nancy Dunsmore 2016

I have had a strong desire for helping people and working with children ever since I can remember. I graduated from Maryville College in 1998 and subsequently began working as a Youth Services Officer at Loudon County Juvenile Services. It was there that I gained a lot of courtroom and counseling experience and also served as Chair of the Loudon County and Lenoir City Truancy Boards and The Loudon County Foster Care Review Board for 8 years. From there, I served as a Criminal Justice Instructor at Lenoir City High School for 5 years where I earned Tenure but teaching wasn’t for me as I was limited in my capacity to counsel and help families. Since moving to Monroe County, I have had the privilege of serving as an in-home therapist to many families and working as a domestic violence advocate in all of the Courts in Monroe and McMinn Counties and of serving as a Rule 31 Listed Mediator. It is this path that led me to CASA where I could not be happier. I am looking forward to this new adventure and feel like I am home.

staff picture 2017


Board of Directors

CASA Monroe is governed by a board of directors consisting of up to fifteen members. There are four main committees. The Executive Committee is made up of the officers and the 
Chairman Emeritus. The other committees are: Finance Committee, Nominating 
Committee, and Fundraising Committee. All board members are expected to be 
active. This non-profit board meets every fourth Thursday of the month at the CASA 
Monroe office and is open to the public.


Duane Baumert – Chairman
Retired U.S. Navy Pilot
Joe Anderson – Vice Chairman
Sweetwater Hospital Association Chief Resource Center
Bob Elgin – Chairman Emeritus
Retired from Proctor & Gamble
Luke Noe – Secretary
Rarity Bay Real Estate
Sam Stamey – Treasurer
Athens Federal Bank 
Pat Pennington 
State Farm Agent
Lisa Bingham
President/Creative Director of The Bingham Group
Sigrid Johnson
Primary Care Physician
Teri French
Retired Legal Assistant
Larry Mason
Mason’s Furniture & Appliance 
Melanie Phillips
Business Owner
Tyler Weiss

Quotes from Our Board Members

Duane Baumert – Chairman

It’s my pleasure to serve as the Chairman of the Board for CASA Monroe.  This organization is undoubtedly one of the most efficiently run and effective in Monroe County, thanks to the leadership of the Executive Director Alisa Hobbs and her capable staff.  My wife Dot serves as a CASA advocate and represents abused and neglected children in court to help ensure a safe and nurturing future for them.  So for us, CASA is family affair.  We think it’s a great way to give back to our community.

Clifford E. Wilson-Retired Board Member

For roughly forty (40) years, I had appeared in Juvenile Court on a fairly regular basis. 
When I first heard of the organization called CASA, (which stands for 
Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children) and the notion that 
non-attorneys would be trained to advocate for children in the court system, I was highly 
skeptical as to the value of such an organization or the likelihood that their work would be 
appreciated by the courts or attorneys. I must confess that my initial assessment of CASA 
was entirely off the mark.

Since that time, I have represented parents in some cases and children in other cases 
where CASA was involved and have found their work to be thorough and to provide a 
wealth of information which is helpful to the attorney and especially the court with deter
mining the best course of action to take with regard to the child’s future.