DAVIDSON FRENCH: NOVEMBER WILLIAMSON COUNTY CASA BOARD SPOTLIGHT
Davidson French has a simple answer for anyone who asks why he’s involved with Williamson County CASA.
“It was an easy decision for me. The organization serves abused and neglected children. Frankly, that’s all I needed to hear to say I’ll do whatever I can.”
As a 20-year veteran at Bass Berry & Sims, French is familiar with the court system and the way it operates. He had heard of Nashville’s CASA program when board member Elizabeth Jewell approached the lawyer to join the organization, but it was when she expanded on the mission that the father of three knew he had to jump in.
“I guess I was particularly interested in CASA because I have children of my own,” he said. “I can’ t image any of them needing services that CASA provides, and I would certainly hope that there would be a program to help them if they needed it.”
French is part of the Labor and Employment Group at Bass Berry & Sims, and handles clients’ legal matters concerning employee-employer relationships.
When he joined the WCCASA board nearly two years ago, the staff was going through internal changes. Because of his experience, French was able to serve a critical role as the chair of the organization’s Human Resources committee.
“The HR committee allows us to make sure CASA has the policies and procedures in place so that it can focus on helping kids,” he said. “I believe as an organization we are highly efficient in that regard.”
The Nashville native and the HR Committee recently helped lead the search for the non-profit’s new Executive Director. In September, CASA announced the hire of Marianne Schroer, a professional with 30 years of experience as a licensed psychological examiner and an extensive background in non-profit work.
“It was exciting to be part of recruiting the Executive Director. Marianne was clearly the most qualified candidate for the position. She has great clinical experience and is so well connected in the community,” he said.
French invests much of his time to WCCASA—but they are hours he says he’s happy to contribute because of the direct impact it makes in the community.
“I can’t imagine anything more important or fulfilling than making a difference in a child’s life,” he said. “The impact that a CASA can have is so profound. In some respects, a CASA can truly save a child. And if you’re talking about breaking a cycle of abuse or neglect, you might be saving children in future generations.”