CASA Santa Barbara County Staff
Kim Colby Davis
Executive Director(805) 739-9102, Ext. 5981
Kim Colby Davis has led Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Santa Barbara County since 2009,
guiding the organization in its development and execution of a strategic framework focused on ensuring
and improving organizational efficacy, stability and growth. Since 2009, CASA of Santa Barbara County
has increased services to abused children from 38% to 97%. Throughout her career, Ms. Colby Davis has
focused on strong, ethical business practices including leadership development programs for her
associates. Ms. Colby Davis has served on the National CASA Leadership Council as chairperson, and also
on the Suburban Leadership Council. She is an alumnus of Leadership Santa Barbara County and Courage to Lead and served on the Santa Barbara County Blue Ribbon Commission on Foster Care, and
the Child Abuse Prevention Council. In 2014 she was honored with the “Woman of Excellence” award in
the category of “Women of Spirit.” The highest honor for Ms. Colby Davis has been to work with
hundreds of people from all walks of life who have given their time and talent to serve alongside her as
a CASA volunteer.
Associate Director(805) 739-9102, Ext. 2598
Background & Education: Aaron Pankratz brings with him a passion for serving vulnerable populations. In his career, he is most proud of the people he has served. This includes people from a wide background including street children in Zimbabwe, people with disabilities of all ages, inner city youth and most recently senior citizens on the Central Coast. His passion comes from growing up with a brother with disabilities who was adopted out of an abusive home.
A few words that best describe Aaron: Dedicated and wise
Hobbies & Interests: Aaron volunteers at his church and homeowners association board. His family, including three children, keep him busy and bring him joy daily. In his free time, Aaron enjoys cycling as fast and far as he can (about 5,000 miles a year).
Why CASA is important to Aaron: "I believe that standing with a child through difficult circumstances is one of the noblest tasks and the rewards for all involved can't be matched."
Donor Relations Manager(805) 739-9102, Ext. 2594
Background & Education: Crystal obtained her BA in criminal justice and an AA in liberal studies. She has almost twenty years of professional experience working with children and youth. Her previous work experience includes Teen Court Program Manager, Adolescent Residential Counselor, and Preschool Instructor.
Clubs, committees, or social groups: Crystal is a Lompoc Valley Leadership graduate, Class of 2015. She is a proud ambassador for the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Club and a member of the Santa Maria Women's Network.
A few words that best describe Crystal: Enthusiastic, loyal and observant
Hobbies & Interests: Crystal enjoys planning parties, volunteering, and movie nights at home with her family.
Why CASA is important to Crystal: "CASA is the only advocacy program that gives a voice to children in foster care. It’s my love of children and a strong interest in the legal system that makes CASA a perfect fit for me. Being a mother myself, I want to make sure every child experiences the same unconditional love, safety and forever home that I provide to my own children."
Advocate Supervisor805-739-9102, Ext. 2591
Background & Education: Chantel is a Santa Barbara local whose first love was social justice work. Volunteering and training extensively with Anti-Defamation League and Just Communities, Chantel was committed to combating bullying and prejudice on her high school campus and in the community. Chantel was fortunate to be the first one in her family to attend college, obtaining a BA from Smith College with a double major in Religion and Jewish Studies. After graduating, she began her career in Jewish Communal Service work as the Volunteer Coordinator and Events Specialist at Jewish Family Service and also worked for various nonprofits throughout Santa Barbara.
Clubs, Committees, or Social Groups: Chantel is highly involved with the Israel Committee of Santa Barbara, sitting on their planning committee and working as their Event Coordinator for the Annual Teach-In on Israel. She also volunteers with local Jewish organizations, such as the Avi Schaefer Fund.
A few words that best describe Chantel: Energetic, Passionate, Affable, Loyal, and Jovial
Hobbies & Interests: Chantel loves to create art, mostly using watercolor and inks. She also enjoys dancing, watching movies, traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with her puppy, Big Sur.
Why CASA is important to Chantel: “CASA is important to me because I know firsthand how terrifying, traumatic, and turbulent it can be for children who are in abusive environments.”
Associate Director of Donor Engagement(805) 739-9102, Ext. 2595
Background & Education: Kira is a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo graduate, earning her degree in Animal Science while simultaneously being a Cal Poly Cheerleader, Sigma Alpha President, gymnastics coach, and much more depending on the season! She is an award-winning Extemporaneous Speaker, FFA Rabbit Showman, and National Stunt Champion.
Hobbies & Interests: Spin classes, volunteering with OYFL cheerleaders, hiking, day trips, and teaching her dog silly tricks like sneezing on command!
A few words that best describe Kira: Enthusiastic, driven, and kind.
Why CASA is important to Kira: "CASA is a way for me to increase awareness and give people the tools to truly make a difference. We all want the children in our community to be treated with love, care, and compassion. My goal is to inspire the ordinary citizen to help in an extraordinary way."
Advocate Supervisor805-739-9102, Ext. 4625
Background & Education: Britannia is currently going to Arizona State University online and earning her degree in Family and Human Development. She originally grew up in Washington and has recently come to Santa Barbara County. She spent time working with a family member assisting with a supervised visitation program.
Hobbies & Interests: Britannia enjoys night and star photography, playing the flute, and going camping and road trips!
Maria (Coco) Landeros-Rico
Senior Advocate Supervisor (Bilingual)(805) 739-9102, Ext. 2592
Background & Education: Coco joined the CASA team in 2006. Prior to her employment at CASA she worked with children ages 3 through 18 as a mental health case worker. Coco has a degree is in psychology with an emphasis in counseling from Christian Heritage College in San Diego.
A few words that best describe Coco: Loyal and compassionate
Hobbies & Interests: Coco's life revolves around her children. She enjoys walking, playing, singing and reading. In her spare time she spends a lot of time cleaning up after them.
Why CASA is important to Coco: "CASA’s provide a safe haven for their child even if it's just an hour from life's stressors."
Visitation Program Supervisor805-260-3435
Background & Education: Originally from Michigan, Brittany moved to California at the age of six and grew up on Vandenberg AFB where her father was stationed in the military. Brittany currently attends Allan Hancock College and plans to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology online through Brandman University. This past year Brittany had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to kindergarten students in China.
Clubs, committees, or social groups: Brittany is currently an advocate for sexual assault survivors at the North County Rape Crisis and Child Protection Center.
A few words that best describe Brittany: Kind and caring
Hobbies & Interests: Traveling, reading, hiking, going on adventures, and spending time with family.
Why CASA is important to Brittany: "Every child deserves to have their voice heard and CASA gives them that power."
Advocate Supervisor(805) 739-9102, Ext. 5983
Background & Education: Latika earned her Associate’s Degree in Child Psychology from Allan Hancock College, and is currently working toward her Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Psychology from Antioch University. Latika previously worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Lompoc as the Teen Director and was a CASA volunteer for 4 years. Latika continues to serve as a Program Coordinator and USA Liaison for an orphanage and school in India, the Sankalp Foundation, serving over 250 children.
A few words that best describe Latika: Adventurous, compassionate, and grateful
Hobbies & Interests: Latika loves to travel throughout the states and internationally and learn new languages. She is able to speak and translate the native Indian language, Hindi.
Why CASA is important to Latika: “I first heard about CASA at 13, and counted down the days until I was 21. I even applied to volunteer on my 21st birthday! CASA volunteers have always been important to me. They represent the child and give individual support with a deeper connection.”
Advocate Supervisor (Bilingual)(805) 739-9102, Ext. 2596
Background & Education: Lorena has 17 years of experience in human services field. Prior to joining the CASA team, She attended Hancock College and worked for Domestic Violence Solutions 911 Response Team and Community Action Commission as an independent living program case worker.
Awards or recognition received: First Response Advocate Award
A few words that best describe Lorena: Compassionate, friendly, hardworking and spiritual
Hobbies & Interests: Lorena loves to spend time with her family, enjoys going to church, and being outdoors. She also spends her weekends hiking and taking in all the beautiful weather and scenery the Central Coast has to offer.
Why CASA is important to Lorena: "The advocacy and support that a child receives from a CASA Volunteer is remarkable. A CASA Volunteer makes a lifelong impression on a child. I’m truly honored to work with such awesome and dedicated people."