CASA Volunteer of the Year

Each year, the YLD selects a Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteer from nominations made by Tennessee's local CASA agencies. The award recognizes a volunteer who goes the extra mile in his or her work with children in the state. The winner is honored at a dinner in January and presented with a cash award. The volunteer's local agency also receives a cash award.

CASA volunteers are appointed by the courts to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children and to ensure they do not get lost in the legal system or languish in an inappropriate group or foster home. YLD members also provide other services to CASA agencies in the state, including serving on agency boards, providing training for volunteers and offering pro bono legal services.

Return to YLD Programs

2015 Award

Jane Hickman of Greenbrier has been named the 2015 CASA Volunteer of the Year by the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (YLD). The award recognizes Hickman’s eight years of service as a volunteer for CASA of Robertson County. Knoxville lawyer Katrina Atchley Arbogast, chair of the YLD Children’s Issues Committee, presented the award to Hickman at a dinner in Nashville. Kathy Williams, executive director of CASA of Robertson County, also was recognized.

Thank you to everyone who submitted an award application! Read more about Hickman and her work or read the TBA's press release.

Past Award Recipients


Regina Saffel, Jackson
Madison County CASA
Learn more about Ms. Saffel

Suzanne Harrison, Nashville
CASA, Inc. of Davidson County
Learn more about Ms. Harrison

Toni New, Kingsport
CASA for Kids Inc.
Learn more about Ms. New

Don Merzlak, Mosheim
CASA of Northeast Tennessee
Learn more about Mr. Merzlak

Tony Janco, Gallatin
Sumner County CASA
Learn more about Mr. Janco

Daniel Rowland, Johnson City
CASA of Northeast Tennessee
Learn more about Mr. Rowland

Paul Hughes, Fall Branch
CASA for Kids Inc.
Learn more about Mr. Hughes

Raymond M. Wood, Manchester
CASA Works Inc.
Learn more about Mr. Wood

Dale Hedges, Clinton
CASA of the Tennessee Heartland
Learn more about Mr. Hedges

Jack McNew, Harriman
CASA of the Ninth Judicial District
Learn more about Mr. McNew

Jane Hickman, Greenbrier
CASA of Robertson County
Learn more about Ms. Hickman

Consider Applying for 2016 Award!

The Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyer's Division will be accepting applications for the 2016 CASA Volunteer of the Year Award beginning this fall. Please encourage your local CASA directors to nominate a hard-working volunteer from their organization for this statewide recognition.

10 Year Anniversary

The CASA Volunteer of the Year Award marked its 10-year anniversary in 2014. A commemorative video featuring past award winners was developed by Katrina Atchley Arbogast and the staff at Tennessee CASA. Watch it on YouTube.

For More Information

For more information about the program contact:

Katrina Atchley Arbogast
Children's Issues Committee Chair
Great West Casualty Company
10100 Global Way #100
Knoxville, TN 37922
(865) 392-3716