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CASA Welcomes 3 New Board Members

Columbia Gorge CASA welcomes Daniel Hunter, Jennifer Hart, and Peter Bushnell to its board of directors. Already established members include: Julie Nygaard (Board Chair), Tyler LaBar (Vice Chair), Nate Stice (Secretary), Elizabeth Rovianek (Treasurer), Brigitte Barnes, Christa Rude, Philip Swartz, and Prudence Amick.


What do you outside of your work with CASA? (hobbies, job, volunteering, etc.)

Like most people in our area, I love being outside hiking, fishing and rafting. I am currently the Human Resources Director for the City of The Dalles, a position I have held for nearly seven years.

Why did you join CASA/the board?

In general I was looking for ways to connect post-COVID that meant something. Given the opportunity to join CASA and help make a difference in the lives of children who are most in need, I jumped at it.

JENNIFER HART What do you outside of your work with CASA? (hobbies, job, volunteering, etc)

I'm one of six founders of a local, independent middle school, Hood River New School, and spend a lot of time volunteering with that organization as well as my kids local sports team, Cooper Spur Alpine Team. When I'm not volunteering with those organizations - and now CASA - I'm a stay at home mom to my two kids, Jackson (9) and Rosie (13).

Why did you join CASA/the board?

I've been moved and so impressed with CASA since hearing about their mission at a United Way dinner a number of year's ago. I worked with our church's youth for a few years and know the need for invested adults in the lives of our community's most vulnerable children is profound. I look forward to having the time to become a CASA myself someday but am excited to be able to join the board at this stage and support the mission in whatever way I can!


What do you outside of your work with CASA? (hobbies, job, volunteering, etc.)

I play tennis 2-3 days a week; my wife (a CASA volunteer) and I co-own with another couple, a small 20' sailboat which we race in Portland once a week. In the winter I like to ski. I also pitch in to babysit my 8 year old granddaughter when the need arises.

As a retired marine biologist I am also still involved in research projects on two fronts. One is studying the basic biology and movements of Greenland sharks that live to be 270-400 years old. I do this with a group of international scientists from Scandinavia, Europe, and US.

A second scientific project involves trying to reduce the accidental bycatch of sharks on longline fishing hooks meant for tunas, marlin, swordfish, etc. Although every shark attack on a human makes the news (all ten of them each year), you read very little about the slaughter of greater than 10 million sharks every year in commercial fisheries. Our group is working on developing and testing small electronic "Bycatch Reduction Devices" which will scare sharks away from baited hooks but will not reduce the catch of targeted fish.

I also serve as an Associate Editor for a scientific journal.

Why did you join CASA/the board?

My wife and I moved to Hood River in 2020 when we retired. She was/is Pediatric Physical therapist and has interacted with CASA her whole career. When we moved here she eagerly became a CASA volunteer and has been loving it. I really wanted to get involved in the community somehow, had attended a number of CASA events with my wife, greatly admired what the organization is doing, and thought this might be a good way to get started.

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