Vice President, USI Insurance Services
Melissa is the Employee Benefits Manager for both the Rancho Cordova and Stockton USI offices. Along with oversight of the employee benefits support team, Melissa also provides consulting and advisory support to a handful of clients, and works closely with compliance and other internal partner resources for the benefit of our valued- clients and the support teams.
Melissa spent the first 5-years of her insurance career paying life and disability claims, with the remainder of her career working on the insurance brokerage side. Melissa has been with Wells Fargo Insurance Services, now USI for more than 12-years, and in her industry for 30+-years. Melissa earned her B.A. Degree in Business Management from Saint Maryâ€™s College of California, Moraga.
Melissa served on the Board of local non-profit TLCS (now HOPE COOPERATIVE) as both a Board Member and Board Chair for 5+ years, completed many volunteer hours in the community before joining the Placer CASA Board.
National Accounts Manager, Freddie Mac
Tracy Whipple manages National Accounts for Freddie Mac, a multi trillion-dollar government sponsored enterprise, committed to delivering on its mission to provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to our nation’s housing market. Throughout her 20-year career, Tracy has operated within large, heavily regulated institutions such as Citibank and Freddie Mac, as well as start-up ventures.
Tracy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from California State University Sacramento. She holds Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation with the Mortgage Bankers Association and is Agile certified. Tracy specializes in working directly with executive officers and directors to craft value propositions and innovative solutions to the complex challenges facing the housing industry.
In her free time, Tracy enjoys cooking, reading, scuba diving, archery, and traveling the world with her son. As a member of the Board of Directors, Tracy is honored to leverage her personal experience and skillset to help ensure that the most vulnerable in our community are cared for, and that we make progress in breaking these generational cycles of abuse and poverty.
Principal, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
Throughout his professional career, Josh has worked with individuals, families, small businesses, and non-profit organizations as a trusted professional advisor over their tax and financial reporting and planning needs.
Josh holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Sacramento State University and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in California, Nevada, and Arizona.
In addition to serving as the treasurer of Child Advocates of Placer County, Josh also serves on the board for the ARC of Placer County and the Wellness Initiative. Away from the office, he enjoys spending time with his wife and four children and their many family activities including tennis, wakeboarding, golf, and mountain biking.
Senior Vice President, Business and Financial Services Golden 1 Credit Union
Shane Knighton has over 20 years of experience in the banking and finance industry and currently serves as the SVP of Business and Financial Services for Golden 1 Credit Union. In addition to bringing his considerable financial, accounting, and organizational skills to Child Advocates of Placer County, Shane Knighton and his wife have lived experience with the child welfare system as adoptive parents. He states, “The fostering and adoption experience was extremely impactful to our lives, and we would very much like to support an organization that advocates for the innocent children who find themselves in these difficult situations.” Prior to joining the Child Advocates Board of Directors, Shane served as a volunteer for several non-profit organizations including Working Wardrobes, Orange County Ronald McDonald House, and Boy Scouts of America.
Robyn A. Dahlgren
Management Consultant, The Highlands Consulting Group
Ms. Dahlgren holds a Master’s in Public Administration degree from Florida International University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida. She has a long career in management consulting with The Highlands Consulting Group, Price Waterhouse (PwC) and EDS over the past 25 years. She specializes in public sector consulting with numerous state and federal agencies including, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), California Office of Emergency Service (CalOES), Caltrans, CalPERS, Child Welfare Data Services (CWDS), California Volunteers, the California Department of Social Services and the California Department of Finance, among others.
Ms. Dahlgren’s consulting expertise is in analysis, planning, facilitation, organizational change management and training. She has provided a wide range of strategic planning, facilitation, training and evaluation consulting services on over 30 federal, state and local government projects. Ms. Dahlgren has extensive experience managing large-scale projects and working closely with executive clients, management and staff.
Ms. Dahlgren currently serves as a Placer County Planning Commissioner representing District 1 and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate with Placer CASA representing children in family court who are in the foster care or juvenile delinquency system. She is a volunteer with the CASA K94Kids program which brings trained therapy dogs to local group homes, emergency shelters, and the Juvenile Detention Facility to offer support for children who have experienced trauma. Ms. Dahlgren also volunteers her time at the Placer County SPCA as a Habitat Hero, training and socializing dogs awaiting adoption. And she is a member of the Placer chapter of 100+ Women Who Care which provides financial support to local non-profit agencies.
Sr Director, Claims Operations at VSP Vision Care
Jane Gagnier has over 30 years of management and leadership experience in a variety of strategic and operational management roles including ten years of portfolio, program and project management. She has an extensive background developing, implementing, and measuring strategic and business planning initiatives for public, private and not-for-profit organizations and is a strong leader in building organization-wide planning capabilities and knowledge needed to implement strategic planning priorities.
Ms. Gagnier is currently the Sr Director for the Claims Operations teams at VSP Vison Care. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Science, minor in Math and a Masters of Business Administration from California State University, San Jose.
Jane has a longtime passion for supporting vulnerable children. She previously served on the board for Stanford Youth Solutions, supporting foster children and their families, and volunteered as a CASA in Santa Clara County. Jane is very excited to continue serving children as a Board member for Child Advocates of Placer County.
Owner, Jay Resendez Attorney at Law
Jay Resendez holds a BA from the University of San Francisco and a JD from Santa Clara University. He is an accomplished attorney with expertise in providing counsel in both litigation and transactional matters, specializing in advising small business owners in general business, employment, real estate, and estate planning matters. He has also advised numerous non-profits in their HR and business/governance operations.
Recently, Jay completed a six-year term on our Board of Directors, where he served as Governance Chair and Board Chair. After a one-year hiatus, Jay has returned, bringing a unique perspective and a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Child Advocates of Placer County Board.
Kathryn Humbert Ries
Broker & Partner at AV Realty
Kathryn Humbert Ries has been volunteering at CASA Placer for 8 years first as a Court Appointed Special Advocate advocating for foster kids, then as a Volunteer Case Supervisor for CASA overseeing other volunteers. She joined Friends of CASA 3 years ago. Kathryn has also volunteered as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Annual CASA golf tournament for the last 4 years.
Kathryn worked in the Bay area in the family construction company for 20 years retiring as President. Kathryn is now a California real estate Broker and Partner at AV Realty. She earned a BS from Notre Dame College graduating Summa Cum Laude. She loves to play golf, travel and spend time with family and friends.
Dr. Jacqueline Strinden
Area Quality Leader & Patient Safety Officer – Kaiser Permanente
Dr. Strinden DNP(c), MHA, BSN, RN, LSSBB, CHPQ, CENP has worked in healthcare for the past 20+ years serving in a number of roles including Chief Clinical Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Nursing Officer. Jacqueline is currently the Area Quality Leader and Patient Safety Officer for Kaiser Permanente in Roseville with the responsibility of integrated quality, risk management, hospital accreditation, regulatory, licensing, infection prevention, and the medical staff office.
Throughout her career, Jacqueline has facilitated multiple projects such as initiating and designing the first Medicare Shared Savings Program/Clinically Integrated Network in North Dakota, designing and building of the first divisional Patient Safety Organization and serving as a research liaison to Yale University’s Leadership Institute in a sponsored Mayo Clinic Health Network published research project focused on reduction of myocardial infarction mortality. The opportunity to serve on the Child Advocates of Placer County has been a fulfilling journey, collaborating with exceptional staff and board members dedicated to supporting children and families within Placer County
Gabrielle (Gaby) Thompson
Senior Vice President, Cisco Systems (retired)
Gaby retired from Cisco Systems in September 2021, where her responsibilities spanned executive recruiting; executive compensation; executive performance, succession, and development; board of director onboarding and integration. Previously, Gaby was the SVP of Acquisitions and Total Rewards where she led teams focused on acquisition and divestiture due diligence and integration as well as compensation, benefits, wellness, and recognition in over 90 countries.
Gaby holds a B.S. in Business Administration and an MBA in Finance, both from Saint Mary’s College of Moraga, California. Her professional experience includes executive human resources roles in a start-up, high-growth, and Fortune 50 companies. She served as the primary partner for Compensation and Management Development Committees of the Board for four companies over 17 years, where she was responsible for preparation of discussion materials, facilitation of all meetings, consultation to both management and board members, and governance.
Gaby has always had a passion for helping little ones and teenagers, and especially those in need. She enjoys family time, exercising, wine-tasting, mentoring, traveling, and is a big foodie.