Meet the CASA of the Pines Staff
Natalie Thornton began as the Executive Director at CASA of the Pines in August of 2009. Prior to her CASA employment, she was the Executive Director of Junior Achievement of Angelina County and a high school teacher prior to that. Since she began at CASA, the program has grown from serving 136 children to over 400 children. She is married to Jay Thornton, who is the Chair of the Kinesiology and Health Science Dept. at SFA. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, and particularly her two teenage sons, Joseph and Riley. She also enjoys outdoor activities and socializing with friends.
Jennifer Molina joined CASA of the Pines in December 2013. She serves as Casework Supervisor for Houston County. Prior to working for CASA she served as the Public Relations Coordinator for The Mosaic Center. Originally from Texas, but raised elsewhere, she moved back in 2007 and has four children with her husband, Michael. She is passionate about finding solutions for older children in foster care and promoting the dignity of every person, regardless of their situation.
Carrie Speed is the Casework Supervisor for Polk County. As the Casework Supervisor, she is responsible for mentoring and guiding the CASA volunteers as they advocate for children that are in the custody of Child Protective Services. Carrie joined the CASA of the Pines team in 2015. She studied Psychology and General Business at Stephen F. Austin State University. Carrie enjoys reading, traveling, hiking, and spending time with her husband and children.
Yvonne joined the staff in July 2017 as our Office Manager. She was previously employed with Lee TranServices in their Fuel Tax department. Yvonne has a passion for serving and loves using her many skills gained over the years to provide a service to the CASA program.
Yvonne is from NC and moved to Lufkin, Texas in April 2013. She currently resides here with her wife, Pamela. They are the proud parents of 4 adult children. Yvonne and Pam share a love of animals and spend their free time serving in the animal rescue community.
Susan Green Faver is program director. She has worked for CASA since 2010. Before becoming program Director in 2015, she was a Casework Supervisor in Angelina and Houston Counties. Susan first became involved with CASA in 1996 when she completed CASA training with the inaugural training class in Angelina County. She served as a CASA volunteer from 1996-2001. Susan holds a BBA in marketing from Abilene Christian University. Along with her experience in nonprofit management, she has experience in both sales and finance. Susan and her husband Kent, have lived in Lufkin 24 years. Susan enjoys working out, cooking and spending time with her family.
Lora Huerta is a Casework Supervisor for Angelina County. Lora began with CASA as a volunteer in 2012 and joined the CASA Staff on January 1st, 2015, after a 20 year career in the Information Technology field. Lora has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Stephen F. Austin State University. Lora and her husband Dan have an 11 year old son, Benjamin, who is in the 6th grade at St. Patrick Catholic School. Lora and Dan are also new Foster Parents and welcomed an 11 year old daughter into their home in October of 2017. Lora enjoys spending time with her family, spoiling her three dogs, and traveling.
Patrina Mitchell is a Casework Supervisor for Angelina County. As a Casework Supervisor, Patrina feels that she is a voice for abused and neglected children through court appointed volunteers, who make recommendations for safe, permanent homes, which allows the children to thrive. She feels her greatest accomplishments are giving her life to Christ and obtaining a degree in Social Work. Additionally, she feels that social work is part of who she is enjoys being a means to an end for various individuals personally and professionally. Outside of CASA she has a passion that began many years ago as a Sunday School Teacher, a youth director, mission teacher and then an ordained minister. Patina has been married for over two decades and is blessed with two beautiful girls to whom she strives to be an example for daily.
Maura is the Recruitment and Training Director having joined CASA of the pines in September of 2016. Maura has had a relationship with CASA that stretches back a number of years from her days working for Child Protective Services. Although studying for her Masters Degree in Social Work takes a large amount of her time; Maura still finds the energy to be a very active member of Nacogdoches Junior Forum where she lives with her husband Shane, 2 dogs, 2 cats and 2 goats.