CASA of Union County Taps New Leader
Mariel Hufnagel named to nonprofit helm
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Union County is pleased to announce the selection of Mariel S. Hufnagel as Executive Director. The nonprofit recruits, trains, supervises and supports community volunteers to advocate for abused, neglected and abandoned Union County children placed in foster care or residential facilities and awaiting a safe and permanent home.
“The board and staff consider ourselves fortunate to have found a leader with such deep passion for and commitment to children living in foster care,” said Dr. Ron Silver, president of the Board of Trustees. “Combined with her prior post as a nonprofit executive director, numerous leadership certifications and her doctorate degree underway, Mariel is well-positioned to lead CASA of Union County into its most bright and meaningful future yet. Additionally, she brings personal experience as a foster parent; an invaluable perspective as she ushers the board and staff in continuing to advance CASA’s mission. We look forward to working with her.”
Previously executive director of The Ammon Foundation, Mrs. Hufnagel led and facilitated its vision, mission and strategic plan to empower individuals in addiction recovery by combating stigma and providing strategic support to remove barriers and enable personal success. She also is a former advocacy organizer for the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-New Jersey (NCADD-NJ). Mrs. Hufnagel holds both Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Public Administration from Kean University, and is completing her doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Adler University. In addition, her lived experience as a foster parent provides an insider’s perspective as the organization continues its work to ensure every foster youth has an advocate – a consistent, caring adult presence – in their corner.
“I am truly honored to have been entrusted by the Board of Trustees to lead CASA of Union County, an organization whose mission epitomizes my personal and professional commitment to ensuring that the voiceless have voices,” said Mrs. Hufnagel. “There is no more vulnerable population in Union County than its foster youth. I look forward to working closely with the incredibly hard-working staff, our tireless advocates and all of our community partners. Together, we will ensure the next level of growth for CASA of Union County by continuing tenacious recruiting, vetting, training and supporting of volunteer advocates while exploring and implementing strategic and innovative community partnerships and initiatives.”
Through court-ordered access to foster parents, doctors, caseworkers, therapists and teachers, CASA volunteers ensure the best interests of foster youth remain priority as all parties work toward establishing a safe, stable and permanent home. For details on becoming an advocate or other ways to get involved, contact Walia Worrill at firstname.lastname@example.org.