BOARD SPOTLIGHT: MATT ROBERTS
Williamson County CASA Board President
As a Williamson County CASA board member, Matt Roberts has been able to merge his professional career with his personal passion for justice in the court system. Matt became familiar with the national non-profit from his previous work in Virginia, but it wasn’t until he came on board at Yost Robertson Nowak PLLC in Franklin that he actively became involved with the organization.
“The way I look at it is that of all of the people in the court system, these children are the one group you can point to and say, ‘these are truly innocent victims who did nothing to cause themselves to be here,’” he says. “That’s why I wanted to get involved.”
He’s been on the board since 2010, a few years after relocating to the town he grew up in. He says he wanted to plug in at a charitable organization, one where he could use his set of skills and see direct results.
“There are other god organizations in court system, but CASA really stuck out to me because of the direct work they do with the actual children,” he says. “And I was excited to be on a board with such diverse experience. Accountants, HR persons, business leaders… you can touch someone sitting around the table who works in that specific area you need expertise in.”
Matt lives in Nashville, but works in Franklin, and a majority of his legal practice is involved in the Williamson County courts—another component to why the lawyer jumped in to help with WCCASA activism.
“Williamson County’s judicial system is very different from Nashville’s. This just seemed like a natural fit,” he says. “We don’t handle any domestic-type cases at my firm, so it was a good way to give back in an area that I was interested in and wasn’t going to have any conflicts of interest.”
Though the board doesn’t have as much involvement with individual cases, it indirectly affects each scenario through strategic planning measures and governmental issues management. Matt says he’s noticed more interaction between WCCASA’s different groups over the past two years, a slight shift that he says means stronger internal relationships.
“The effects we see are largely in the numbers, and from the stories we hear,” he says. “But the past few months, the board has really become more engaged with our staff and intends to do more with the advocates. Largely thanks to our staff, we’ve seen more togetherness that’s becoming an important component to our team.”
That, he says, is also an indicator of how the organization is carrying out its vision and growing in the process.
“We’re very proud of the fact that Williamson County CASA meets all of the needs for its core mission and has been able to sustain that,” he says. “The programming side of it has been outstanding. That’s important because this is a community-based organization, and we want to keep that support.”
Matt says that the success of non-profit is a team effort, but points to the volunteers as a source of particular pride for WCCASA.
“It takes real dedication from the people that volunteer. They really care about what they are doing,” he says. “Being a CASA is not for everyone. The advocates put in a lot of time, and truly care about what they are doing.
“We’ve seen how much community support is behind this organization, and how much there is for us to tap into.”
For more information about the WCCASA board members, click here.