CHILD ADVOCATES of Northeast Oklahoma

Meet the CANO Staff

The CANO (Child Advocates of Northeast Oklahoma) professional staff works diligently to ensure there are CASA Volunteers to help abused or neglected children have a caring, consistent adult to advocate for his/her well-being while in foster care.  Because of their efforts, CANO Volunteers worked with 236 children involved in 106 court cases in the agency’s five counties during the July 2015 through June 2016 period. 

CANO’s focus is that each of the children CASA Volunteers serve will be safe, have a permanent home, and be given the opportunity to thrive. 

Angela Henderson

Executive Director

Angela has served as the Executive Director of CANO since March 2004.  Under her leadership, CANO expanded services in 2015 from three to five counties (Rogers, Mayes, Craig, Ottawa, and Delaware).  She oversees the administration of the CANO program and professional staff and devotes a major portion of her time to fundraising.

In October, Angela’s service to CASA and our community was recognized when she received the Leading Ladies Award for a Non-Profit.  The award was sponsored by the Claremore Area Chamber of Commerce and Claremore Main Street.  Additional recognition in 2016 included being appointed by the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association as a member of its newly formed Suburban Leadership Council.

Angela graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism with Honors and has an Associate of Arts Degree in Radio/TV/Film from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College. 

Angela resides in Claremore with her husband and two children.

angela@cano-casa.com

918-923-4570

Emily Bowling

Assistant Director

Emily has served as Assistant Director of CANO since February 2012.   Previously, she worked for DHS Child Welfare as both a permanency worker assisting with reuniting families and as an investigator on referrals received involving abuse and neglect.

Emily graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development and Family Science with a focus on Family and Children Services plus a minor in Business Management.  While in college, Emily worked for DHS in Child Welfare and completed an internship in Child Welfare.  

Emily’s duties include supervising and assisting the Advocate Coordinators, ensuring that the Claremore and Miami offices are running smoothly, and assisting the Director with overall operations of the CANO program and professional staff.

emily@cano-casa.com

918-923-4570

Shawnna Thurman

Advocate Coordinator for Mayes County

After serving as a CASA Volunteer for about a year, Shawnna joined the CANO staff in 2013 as an Advocate Coordinator. 

Shawnna’s responsibilities include the direct supervision and case management of the CASA Volunteers in Mayes County.  This includes having knowledge of the cases in which her Volunteers are involved and assisting the Volunteers with court preparation.  She also attends hearings with the Volunteers and provides post-dispositional supervision, referrals, and overall direction.

Shawnna loves the people with whom she works and is very passionate about preventing child abuse.  She has been involved in many child abuse walks and events throughout Oklahoma and Texas, by both participating and volunteering for the events.

Shawnna attended Northeastern State University where she studied criminal justice. 

This active mother of four beautiful girls enjoys camping and boating.  However, she notes that much of her leisure time is devoted to her children who participate in rodeos.

shawnna@cano-casa.com

918-923-4570

 

Sandra Rains

Advocate Coordinator for Rogers and Craig Counties

Sandra has been with CASA for 11 years.  She served as a CASA Volunteer in Mayes County before coming on staff in March of 2016. 

Sandra’s responsibilities include the direct supervision and case management of the CASA Volunteers in Rogers and Craig Counties.  She is required to have knowledge of the cases in which her Volunteers are involved and assist the Volunteers with court preparation.  She also attends hearings with the Volunteers and provides post-dispositional supervision, referrals, and direction.

Sandra studied early childhood development and psychology.  She began volunteering with CASA while she was employed as a pre-school teacher. She later retired from that position to devote her time to advocating for children full-time. In addition to teaching preschool, Sandra was employed for over 15 years as an administrative assistant and mortgage loan agent.

Sandra and her husband reside in Pryor. They have five children and one granddaughter.

sandra@cano-casa.com

918-923-4570

Sally Davis

Advocate Coordinator for Ottawa and Delaware Counties

Sally became the newest addition to the CANO staff when she was hired in November 2016 as an Advocate Coordinator. 

Sally’s responsibilities include the direct supervision and case management of the CASA Volunteers in Ottawa and Delaware Counties.  This includes having knowledge of the cases in which her Volunteers are involved and assisting the Volunteers with court preparation.  She also attends hearings with the Volunteers and provides post-dispositional supervision, referrals, and overall direction.  In addition to these duties, Sally maintains the new CANO office in Miami.

In 2012, Sally and her husband moved to Grove from San Diego where she had lived for 34 years.  Her husband had grown up fishing on Grand Lake as a kid so they decided to live on the lake after he retired.

Sally’s professional career in San Diego included working in human resources and for a biotech company.  After moving to Grove, she went to work for a bank in Customer Service and New Accounts.

sally@cano-casa.com

918-325-7202

Gayle Hanson

Training Coordinator

Gayle also is relatively new to the CANO staff.  She started as the Training Coordinator in July 2016 after joining the organization as a CASA Volunteer earlier in the year.  In her new position, she serves as the first point of contact with all individuals interested in volunteering with CASA. 

As the CASA Trainer, Gayle is responsible for organizing and presenting pre-service classes to new Volunteers as well as developing ongoing curriculum of continuing education for all CASA volunteers.  

Gayle obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology which opened the door for her to becoming an officer in the National Guard and Army Reserve.  She has a background as a licensed social worker, Medicaid program liaison, and vocational rehabilitation contractor in northwest Kansas.    

After retiring, she and her husband moved to the Columbus, Kansas area to be closer to their grandchildren.

gayle@cano-casa.com

785-623-6955

Linda Polson

Marketing Coordinator

Linda joined the CANO organization in March 2016 after retiring with over 23 years of professional marketing experience from an architectural and engineering firm located in Tulsa.

Serving as the Marketing Coordinator, Linda is responsible for the management of CANO’s marketing, public relations, and media activities.  Her duties include producing the CANO newsletters and regularly updating both the CANO website and Facebook page.  She also assists with planning and coordinating fundraising and recruitment events.

Linda graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Office Management and has held a variety of administrative positions throughout her professional career.  She has been an active member of EWI of Tulsa, a professional organization, for over 26 years and has served in a variety of positions on their Board and as Chapter President.

Linda lives in Claremore with her husband and has two grown sons and four grandchildren.    

linda@cano-casa.com

918-923-4570