meet our board members
jason beebe, president
Jason joined the CASA Board in 2010. He has worked in banking for 16 years and currently serves as a District Manager for Fifth Third Bank. Jason was a long time resident of Charlotte, and more recently joined the Eaton Rapids community. His bond with CASA's mission stems from his adoption at a young age into a large loving family. He possesses an incredible dedication to the CASA Board and his management strengths and commitment have served to navigate and support CASA though transition, development, and growth.
CHERYL WILLIAMS-HECKSEL, VICE PRESIDENT
Cheryl Williams-Hecksel joined CASA’s Board in 2017. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a field coordinator for the MSU School Social Work. Prior to joining the faculty at MSU, Cheryl spent more than 25 years in clinical and administrative roles in public and private child welfare and mental health agencies. She is involved in MSU’s work with the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, and she is the coordinator of the School’s Evidence Based Trauma Treatment Certificate. Her work includes consultation with child serving agencies around their capacity to become trauma-informed. She provides frequent professional continuing education related to ethics, supervision and child trauma. She resides in Lansing with her husband Phil.
Jon Zamora, Board Member
Jon Zamora joined the CASA Board in 2012. Jon and his wife Shelly are 14 year residents of Eaton Rapids coming previously from Lansing. Jon and Shelly's family consists of five children and 6 grand children. Jon is a Manager with KPMG LLP's advisory practice bringing his 25+ years of experience in Information Technology (IT), consulting, and process development to CASA's Board. Jon and Shelly have become part of the CASA team because they believe that each child deserves a loving family and a chance at a fulfilling life. Jon and his wife bring endless positive energy and innovation to CASA. John's hobbies include traveling, auctioneering, and spending time with family.
DAVID LINEHAN, BOARD MEMBER
David joined the CASA Board in 2018. David is an attorney and assistant vice president at Jackson National Life Insurance Company where he and his team concentrate on structuring, negotiating, and advising on corporate and contractual matters. Prior to joining Jackson in the Lansing office in 2013, David was counsel at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in Detroit. David holds a BA in Economics from Wayne State University and a JD from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. When he is not working, David’s enjoys spending time with his family and playing hockey.
ALEX CRAIG, BOARD MEMBER
Alex Craig joined the board in 2019 to further his mission of giving to his local community. In his early 20’s, Alex became a local-entrepreneur, starting St. Pete’s Maids, a residential-cleaning company, with his wife, Alexis. Alex first became involved with CASA by giving a share of the company’s revenue to support the mission of CASA. Alex was drawn to CASA for two reasons. First, due to his belief in giving to his local community and supporting kids in his own backyard so that a stronger community can be built. Second, he was inspired by the work of his wife’s family, whose grandmother founded a Lansing adoption and foster care agency, as well as, fostered 35 kids, and adopted four. Originally, getting his foster care license in 2016, and having over 10 kids since, Alex saw first-hand the importance of having a CASA volunteer. He watched as kids had three different caseworkers, two lawyers, and three new foster parents, all within a year before the child was reunited with their parents, adopted, or placed with a relative. After winning a “Hero Award” for his work in foster care, Alex decided he wanted to go one step further and become a board member of CASA. He hopes to see the organization expand further into the Greater Lansing area and see his community become strong by helping children who have been abused, neglected, or placed in the foster care system.
MELANIE SMITH, BOARD MEMBER
Melanie Smith joined CASA’s Board in May 2020. She currently works as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the Ingham County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office where she specializes in crimes against children. Melanie graduated from Central Michigan University in 2014 with a B.S.B.A in Economics and Legal Studies. She then went straight through to Michigan State University College of Law where she graduated with her J.D. Magna Cum Laude in 2017. Melanie has worked as both a defense attorney and a prosecutor within the context of child welfare and understands how important stability and loving bonds are for children experiencing the system, which is how she developed a passion for CASA’s mission. When she is not at work, Melanie volunteers in the children’s ministry at her church, is active in her local Bar Association, and loves playing with her 2 year old black Lab, Quinn.