Meet Our Staff

New Mexico Kids Matter’s CASAs are trained and supervised to gather information to make recommendations that help judges decide the best outcome for children in foster care. Our staff helps our volunteers to be the voice for abused and neglected children in Bernalillo county.

VERONICA MONTAÑO-PILCH

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Veronica has been part of CASA for the last 27 years. She started out as a volunteer in Bernalillo County then became the director of the CASA program in Sandoval County. From there she went to work for the National CASA Association for 7 years. She has been the Director of New Mexico Kids matter for the last 8 years. She proudly calls herself a ‘lifer”- someone devoted to the CASA mission of serving kids who are in foster care. 

To unwind she enjoys playing fetch with our Court Dogs Cassie and Nicole since they both live with her.

 

SHANNON ECKERT

CASA Program Director

Shannon has been with New Mexico Kids Matter since August 2008. Her background is in Business Management and Elementary Education. She is passionate about children and their education. 

“I think educating children so that they can grow into happy, healthy, and productive adults is something everyone in a child’s community can contribute to and have an impact.”

 

 

MICHELLE GONZALEZ

ADVOCATE MANAGER

Michelle has worked with New Mexico Kids Matter for over two years. She graduated from Highlands University with a Master’s in Social Work. In her spare time, she likes to play indoor and outdoor soccer. She enjoys spending time with my family, friends, and her dog Cupcake. 

“I enjoy working for New Mexico Kids Matter. While working for this amazing organization I have been able to watch the advocates make huge impacts on their case.”

 

 

ELIZABETH NIEWOEHNER

ADVOCATE COACH

Elizabeth has been with New Mexico Kids Matter since 2018. After witnessing the trauma children can experience, she knew she wanted to help. Through her work with the CASA program as an intern, CASA, Advocate Coach, and STAR Program Manager, she has seen the difference a CASA can make in a child’s life and in their legal case. When she is not working, she attends UNM to earn her Masters in Family and Child Studies. She also loves spending time with her family, friends, and pets.

JORDAN WOODALL

ADVOCATE COACH

Jordan has been with the CASA program for 2 1/2 years and has been an advocate coach for 2 years.  she heard of New Mexico Kids Matter when she was applying for an internship for her Bachelor’s degree and fell in love with the NMKM mission, staff, and volunteers.  She is so proud of the work our staff and volunteers put in to help advocate for the children and families in the foster care system. 

“Some of our volunteers are more committed and consistent in the child’s case than the caseworkers, attorneys, etc., which makes our work even more important.”

 

BARBARA COTTON

ADVOCATE COACH

Barbara became a CASA in May 2018 and joined the staff as an Advocate Coach in August 2019.  She has an extensive background in legal and administrative work, with previous positions in the federal government to include the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Vermont and the Department of Veteran’s Administration Office of General Counsel. She believes that every child deserves to have a safe and loving place to grow up.  

“By working together, my Advocates and I are making a difference in the lives of children and families.”

 

BRENDA GARCIA

ADVOCATE COACH

Brenda has been with New Mexico Kids Matter for two years as an Advocate Coach.  She is a lifelong resident of New Mexico and has been married for 27 years. She is also a mom of four children: 28-year-old daughter Danielle, 24-year-old twins Sierra and Sebastian and 18-year-old daughter Celeste.  Brenda has a background in Early Childhood education and working with individuals with disabilities.

“I truly believe in New Mexico Kids Matter and the work that we do.”

MICHELLE HENDERSON

ADVOCATE COACH

Michelle has been with New Mexico Kids Matter since 2018. Her background is with CYFD-Protective Services. She worked in the Children’s Court Attorney’s office to start and later in budget and administration.  

“It is very gratifying as an Advocate Coach to see the many wonderful relationships CASA volunteers share with the children they serve and the positive outcomes for children that CASAs help to bring about.” 

AMANDA GALLEGOS

ADVOCATE COACH

Amanda has been with New Mexico Kids Matter since 2019. She has an extensive background in Case Management, specifically in the field of domestic violence. When she is not working, she enjoys spending my time with her fiance and their 5 children. Amanda loves working with children and she is happy to be a part of the CASA organization.

SKY JACKSON

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Hey, I’m Sky. My background is in social media marketing and grassroots community relations. I’ve been a teacher, worked promoting local businesses, and been a freelance photographer. I’m hoping to bring my diverse background to NMKM to help spread the word and make sure every kid in foster care has a caring adult.

CASSIE & NICOLE

WOOF!

Our job at New Mexico Kids Matter is to accompany children to court so they have a friend there to give pets and help them feel safe and calm.

When we’re not working we like lounging around, snacks, pets and lots of fetch!

CASA is not your typical volunteer role.

That’s okay. We're not looking for typical volunteers.

2340 Alamo Ave SE Ste 112, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106

info@nmkidsmatter.org

(505) 903-0305