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About

History of the Tom Green County Children's Advocacy Center

In 1990, Kay Noelke, Community Liaison with the Texas Department of Human Services and Jackie Martin, a volunteer and former Investigator for Children's Protective Services, began working together to explore the concept of a community- based advocacy center for child victims of physical and/or sexual abuse. At that time, the various agencies investigating allegations of child abuse lacked effective coordination. Child victims were interviewed and re-interviewed at different locations by representatives of Children's Protective Services, law enforcement, district attorney's offices, and medical facilities. This uncoordinated investigative process often re-traumatized the very children these agencies sought to rescue. It was felt an advocacy center could bring all professionals together as a team to investigate allegations and provide services for children and families in a less institutional and more home-like environment.


After touring the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center established a year earlier, and assessing its program, Kay and Jackie decided such a program seemed vital and feasible for San Angelo and neighboring towns. They drew up a list of individuals within the community who might be willing to serve as an Exploratory Committee and Board, and made appointments with each one. Every person approached was enthusiastic and agreed to serve on the board.


Charter Board Members included:

  • John Caldwell, Family Law Attorney
  • Rex Cotton, Financial Advisor and Community Volunteer
  • Linda Duncan (Goss), Director - Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
  • Greg Dunham, OB/Gyn. Physician-Shannon Clinic
  • Linda Knightstep, Registered Nurse - Shannon Hospital
  • Dorothy Lane, Community Volunteer
  • Jim Lane, Community Volunteer
  • Jackie Martin, Community Volunteer
  • Craig Meyer, Minister - St. Paul Presbyterian Church
  • Debra Muse, Psychological Counselor
  • Kay Noelke (Vossler), Community Liaison - Texas Dept of Human Services
  • Richey Oliver, Certified Public Accountant - Oliver, Rainey and Associates
  • D'Arcy Poulson, Hospital Administrator - St. John's Hospital
  • Russell Smith, Chief of Police - San Angelo Police Department
  • Steve Smith, Tom Green County District Attorney
  • Diane Wilson, Investigator - Tom Green County District Attorney's office

Brian Martin, an attorney in Midland, volunteered to help create the Articles of Incorporation and initial By-Laws, and assisted in the application for 501c3 Non- Profit status for the organization.


In order to conduct initial business such as grant applications and meetings, the need for an Executive Director became clear; however, funding was not yet in place to hire one. Jackie Martin and D'Arcy Poulson agreed to serve as Co-Directors, and for the first several months they received modest paychecks that were donated back to the project. Earliest funding sources included the Texas Department of Human Services, the United Way of the Concho Valley and the Junior League of San Angelo.


The Charter Board was truly an amazing, synergistic group who worked many hours to develop a strong meaningful mission statement and revised by-laws. At some point early on, it was decided that professionals like the District Attorney, Physician Advisor, CASA Director, Law Enforcement, etc. should be Advisory Board members so that they could remain on the Board without term limits.


Once the Board defined how the program would operate within the community, it sought a location that could be both functional and non-threatening to children and families. After considering several other locations, the Board decided that the Ridgway home located at 317 Koberlin Street (built in 1906 by the Austin family) would make an excellent facility and the Ridgway family agreed to sell it to our organization for that purpose. Grant applications were written and funding procured to purchase, renovate and operate "Hope House", as the Koberlin house was christened. Within a year, the Board hired Stacy Smith (Page) as the program's Executive Director.


From its earliest days, the Children's Advocacy Center has been successful in dramatically improving services to child victims of abuse, coordinated investigation of abuse allegations, and successful prosecution of abuse perpetrators. Its survival and continued growth over the past twenty years is testament to its vital role within our community.


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Timeline:

Current Board Members

Vicki Housley

President
The Carriage


Todd Sanford

Vice President
Community Volunteer


Mason Vaughan

Secretary
First National Bank of Eldorado


Michelle Perkey

Treasure/Finance Chair
Oliver, Rainey & Wojtek


Brian Thomma

Member at Large
A-B Distributing


Dr. Gregory Dunham

Medical Director
Shannon Medical Center


John Best

DA Office Representative
District Attorney's Office


Ron Sanders

Sheriff's Office/SAPD Representative
TGC Sheriff's Office


Isaac Lopez

CPS Representative
Child Protective Services


Susan Looka

Board Member
Verizon


Bette White

Board Member
Community Volunteer


Diane Wilson

Board Member
Community Volunteer


James Skinner

Board Member
Community Volunteer


Sharanda El-Masri

Board Member
Community Volunteer


Wilson Stokes

Board Member
The Bank & Trust


Mike Hennings

Board Member
Community Volunteer


Derek McIntyre

Board Member
Community Voluneer


Richard Webb

Advisory Member
Webb & Webb


Lisa Eady

Advisory Member
Cecil & Eady


Current CAC Staff

Heather Ward

Executive Director
hward@cactomgreen.org


Leann Hubert

Director of Marketing Services
leann@cactomgreen.org


Shirley Davis

CASA Program Director
sdavis@cactomgreen.org


Rebekah Beltran

CASA Case Manager
rbeltran@cactomgreen.org


Rachel Hoelscher

CASA Case Manager
rhoelscher@cactomgreen.org


Connie Gauwain

CASA Case Manager
cgauwain@cactomgreen.org


Shelda Anglin

CASA Case Manager
sanglin@cactomgreen.org


Melody Jeter

Hope House Program Director
melodyjeter@cactomgreen.org


Monica Escobedo

Hope House Case Manager
monicae@cactomgreen.org


Belinda Braly

Director of Family Services
bbraly@cactomgreen.org


Serena Sosa

Family Services Coordinator
ssosa@cactomgreen.org


Melissa Ward

Parent Mentor
mward@cactomgreen.org


Sierra Mullan

Parent Mentor
smullan@cactomgreen.org