Pennsylvania CASA Association reserves a minimum of two positions on the Board of Directors for representatives from local CASA programs. They are selected according to by-laws adopted by the Board of Directors and can serve up to two, three-year terms. These representatives ensure the diversity of CASA program interests is accurately represented on the Board.
PA CASA is pleased to introduce the two current local program representatives:
Happi Grillon, MSW
Executive Director, CASA Philadelphia
Happi has 30 years of social work experience in both the public and private sectors. She earned a Master of Social Work degree from Temple University and is a graduate of the Bryn Mawr College Non-Profit Executive Leadership Institute. Over her 25-year tenure of serving the greater Philadelphia community, Happi has worked in a variety of settings with programs serving youth from early childhood to adolescence. Happi began her postgraduate career at Youth Service, Inc. (YSI) working with young women in group home placements. She moved on to be a supervisor and then program director at YSI, overseeing the foster care and mother-baby group home programs. She later oversaw the crisis nursery, Teen Success, and truancy prevention programs. From 2014-2016, Happi worked at Northeast Treatment Centers as Intervention Director with the Community Umbrella Agency (CUA 1). Happi joined CASA Philadelphia in September 2016 as the Executive Director. Happi is passionate about advocacy work on both the individual and systemic level and is proud of the work CASA Philadelphia does in both arenas to help the child welfare system better meet the needs of children, youth, and families.
Happi Grillon was elected to the Board of Directors on October 14, 2021, to fill the position left vacant after John Aciukewicz announced his retirement as the Executive Director of CASA of Luzerne County.
Joan Peterson, BSW, MPA
Executive Director, Lackawanna County CASA
Joan W. Peterson has been the Director of the Lackawanna County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program at the Advocacy Alliance since 2014, where she has grown the CASA program from 10 children and 7 volunteers to 77 children and 28 volunteers. Joan has been with the Advocacy Alliance since 2009, and their prior roles have included serving as a Certified Investigator for individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Children’s Mental Health Advocate for children with behavioral difficulties and their families. Joan previously worked for Friendship House from 2004 to 2009, where she served as a Foster Care Case Manager, Foster Parent Recruiter, and as an Adoption Specialist. As a long-time social worker, Joan has also worked with delinquent and dependent children in a residential facility, with older adults, and with individuals with physical disabilities. An active member of her community, Ms. Peterson has been involved with the Girl Scouts for many years and has been a Scout leader and Council Delegate. She is also the mother of 5 grown children. Joan earned a Bachelor of Social Work in 1998 and a Masters in Public Administration in 2008, both from Marywood University.
Joan Peterson was elected to the Board of Directors on August 29, 2021, and is the final year of her first term.