STAFF

CASA of Missoula employs a dynamic team of individuals who are all passionate about empowering children and families in our community. Each member of our staff team dedicates their time to furthering the mission of CASA of Missoula and are committed to supporting the CASA volunteers who advocate for abused and neglected children in Missoula and Mineral County.

Scott Appel

Executive Director

Staff Bio:
Scott and his family have a long history with CASA. Scott served on the CASA of Orange County Board of Directors for six years, the last two as Chairman. Scott’s wife, Maura, was an Advocate in Orange County and two of his children started a club in their high school to raise money in support of CASA. Scott and Maura recently moved to Missoula after falling in love with the community during their visits to their son, who is attending the University of Montana.

Scott has over 35 years of professional experience providing public and private companies with accounting, auditing, financial reporting and business advisory services. He spent the last 20 years in executive management positions with professional services organizations. Scott recently retired from Hein & Associates LLP where he served as the Office Managing Partner of the Irvine Office and as a member of the firm's Executive Committee and then from NextLevel where he served as the Managing Partner of the Seattle Office.

Why did you decide to join CASA?
I believe that we have an obligation to provide every child with a safe and healthy environment and the opportunity to grow and thrive. CASA helps make that happen for those children most at risk.

Office: (406) 542-1208 ext. 100
Fax: (406) 542-1211
Email: [email protected]

Emily Landsiedel

Development & Outreach Coordinator

Staff Bio:
Emily is a Helena native who graduated from Helena High School in 2006. She received a Bachelor's degree in English, minor in history, and a secondary teaching certificate at the University of Montana in 2011. For eight years, Emily primarily worked in English education. Five years into her teaching career, Emily and her husband decided to take time off to travel the world for nine months before moving from East Helena back to Missoula. During their travels, they visited 25 countries on 5 continents. Through this life-changing experience, Emily witnessed the struggles people face in developing countries; it made such a powerful impact on her that she decided to shift to a career in nonprofit. Emily started at CASA in the summer of 2019 as the Volunteer Coordinator and lead CASA trainer. She is currently working toward a Nonprofit Administration Certificate through the University of Montana that focuses on grant writing, fundraising, social media, and other essential elements of a nonprofit.

Why did you decide to join CASA?:
CASA speaks to me as an organization because it gives a voice to our community’s most vulnerable youth. As a teacher, I saw the impact an unstable home life had on a child. Kids can’t focus on learning, relationships, or personal growth when they aren’t safe or their basic needs aren’t being met. If they’re experiencing abuse or neglect, it affects every aspect of their lives. I enjoy working for CASA because it allows me to help the kids who need it the most, while still utilizing my writing, communication, and marketing skills to support CASA volunteers in their role.

Office: (406) 542-1208 ext 103
Fax: (406) 542-1211
Email: [email protected]

Kirsten Pulito

Program Manager

Staff Bio:
Kirsten was born and raised in Helena, MT. She went to college at the University of Montana and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and Human Relations in 2009. Kirsten joined CASA in January 2010 as an Americorps Vista, which is a one-year program designed to help organizations build capacity. Six months after her Vista term ended, Kirsten applied for a Volunteer Coordinator position with CASA and became CASA’s Volunteer Coordinator in July 2010. For the next 5 years, Kirsten held various positions at CASA, and acted as the interim director for 8 months during that time. In 2015, Kirsten left CASA to pursue an opportunity in San Francisco, but Missoula has a way of bringing people back. Kirsten returned to Missoula with a new enthusiasm for Montana and rejoined the CASA team in December 2016. Kirsten enjoys all that Montana has to offer. She loves the pace of life here and getting outside. She lives with her husband Steve and their big, black dog Jayne.

Why did you decide to join CASA?:
When I was assigned to CASA as an Americorps Vista it was meant to be! I was quickly blown away by the mission, the volunteers, and the impact that CASA volunteers make in the lives of children. I am so humbled by the time and heart our volunteers put into their cases and the children and families they work with. Being a CASA is the biggest volunteer position I have ever heard of. The impact that an engaged CASA has on a child is remarkable. I feel so lucky I get to work with our wonderful volunteers; our volunteers are some of the very best people out there. I also really enjoy my co-workers and the work we do matters a great deal to me.

Office: (406) 542-1208 ext. 101
Fax: (406) 542-1211
Email: [email protected]

Katie Didier

Education & Volunteer Coordinator

Staff Bio:
Katie earned her Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, with a focus in victim services at the University of Colorado Denver graduating in May of 2016. In her time spent at CU Denver, she participated in: student government – as a representative of the School of Public Affairs, the president of the National Criminal Justice Honors Society, and working as a TA for undergraduate criminal justice courses. Katie's experience in victim services includes working as a 24 hour helpline advocate for victims of domestic violence, an advocate with Shared Hope International presenting on Human Trafficking, and completing an independent study on utilizing service animals in the courtroom for child victims of crime. During her work at the Phoenix Center at Auraria she was able to help victims of interpersonal violence and became certified as a Crime Victim Advocate. Additionally, she served in a legal assistant position at Colorado Legal Services in which she worked with domestic violence victims one-on-one to assist with protection orders, dissolution of marriage, and parental allocation. In her time spent in Montana, Katie's involvement in other nonprofits have been and will continue to be instrumental in her role at CASA. She has volunteered as a CASA, volunteered as a Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Missoula, and has worked at United Way of Missoula County. Katie also serves on the Buckle Up Montana Coalition.

Why did you decide to join CASA?:
I joined CASA of Missoula as my personal values align with CASA's mission. I believe in inspiring hope, and combining both my goals of helping vulnerable populations and my educational experience and background to be light in the darkest of times. In advocating for those who need it most, we can make life-long impacts that influence the world into a happier, healthier place.

Office: (406) 542-1208 ext. 102
Fax: (406) 542-1211
Email: [email protected]

Allie Harrison

Volunteer Coordinator

Staff Bio:
Allie Harrison is an author, speaker, and advocate. With a background in law and victim advocacy, Allie is an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

Allie started her career at United Way of Missoula County, serving on the Missoula Kids Matter initiative task force for child abuse prevention. She graduated from law school at The University of Montana School of Law in 2014. Allie has since served at the YWCA fielding crisis line calls, and she has recently released a book on healing from trauma, called “Take Courage.”

Why did you decide to join CASA?:
I got my start with CASA as a CASA volunteer in the Spring of 2019, and I'm now excited to join the team as a CASA staff member.

Office: (406) 542-1208 ext. 104
Fax: (406) 542-1211
Email: [email protected]

Katie Jo Hankins

Fiscal Assistant

Office: (406) 542-1208
Fax: (406) 542-1211
Email: [email protected]

INTERNS

CASA of Missoula is fortunate to work with several students interested in learning more and furthering their college careers by interning. Each year, CASA of Missoula welcomes students to apply to intern throughout the semester. Each intern position is non-compensated, but introduces students to the court system and strengthens valuable skills. We encourage our interns to attend the Fall or Spring CASA Pre-Service training (30 hours) to gain a well-rounded perspective of the program, abuse and neglect cases, and the social welfare system.

 

A HUGE thanks to Renske Wilson Photography for donating her time and talents to CASA of Missoula!