Our Staff

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Bill Cripe

Public Relations Coordinator


Bill and his wife Mary moved from Northern Virginia to Williamsburg in 2011. He joined Colonial CASA in 2013 as a volunteer advocate.  Bill serves on the CASA Fair committee, has been the driving force behind securing school supplies for CASA children, and in November 2021 joined our staff as Public Relations Coordinator. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Psychology and has done extensive graduate work in the field of Organizational Leadership. For 7 years he was an Executive Partner at the College of William & Mary.

Bill’s role is to promote community outreach and education efforts, establish partnerships, expand Colonial CASA’s footprint.


 Bill loves spending his time with his wife of 51 years, 2 children, and 5 grandchildren. He enjoys traveling, reading, and hanging out with friends.

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Melissa Degaraff

Program Director, Bridges to Success


Melissa joined Colonial CASA in November 2021 to develop and implement the Bridges to Success program which will pair mentors with foster and at-risk youth ages 14 and up to support their transitions to independent living. Before joining CASA, she served over twenty years at community colleges in various roles with a focus on admissions, academic advising, educational and career planning, training, and assessment. Melissa looks forward to recruiting and training volunteer mentors and supporting youth to identify and make progress toward their career and life goals.


Melissa holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Education. Melissa’s special interests include equitable access to education and training and the positive impact of a meaningful career on life satisfaction.

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Mary Lou Crosbie, JD

Program Director, Child Advocacy



Mary Lou Crosbie became the Program Director with Colonial CASA on May 1, 2018.  She has a long history with CASA, most recently serving almost three years as the Volunteer Services Coordinator.  She began her relationship with CASA in 1992 as an assistant District Attorney in Texas. As an assistant DA she prosecuted cases involving  the abuse and neglect of children with the aid of Child Protective Services and the CASA organization.  Following the District Attorney's Office, she had a lengthy career in private practice, acting as an attorney ad litem for children in court cases. Once again, she had extensive interactions with CASA. 


After moving to Williamsburg in 2007, she became a volunteer advocate with Colonial CASA. Throughout most of her professional life, Mary Lou has dedicated herself to advocating for these children.


Mary Lou holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Special Education, as well as a Juris Doctorate in Law.  Working to better the lives of children with special needs and those who have been victims of abuse and neglect, has been her passion for over forty years.

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Victoria L. Canady, Ph.D

Executive Director


Victoria Canady, Executive Director,  began her journey with CASA as a volunteer in 2006.  In 2007 she joined the program as a part-time staff member but soon became full-time with CASA’s expansion into York County Courts.  Over the 14 years of dedicated service, Victoria has served in every CASA capacity, Program Director, Volunteer Services Coordinator, and trainer.


Victoria holds a Master's degree in Professional Counseling and a Ph.D. in Mental Health Policy and Practice. In addition to her commitment to mental and emotional health, Victoria is a passionate advocate for the educational rights of children with an emphasis on children with special needs.

Victoria met her husband of 31 years in the Marine Corps (Semper Fi).  Together, they have two sons, Kenaan, and Kyle who live in Williamsburg and Norfolk.