Meet our Staff

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Melanie Davis

Melanie Davis is the Executive Director of Court Appointed Special Advocates of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit.


Melanie has an extensive career in public service as a law enforcement professional and as a private business employee/owner where she developed a passion for the working with victims of crime and those less fortunate in her community.  Melanie retired in 2011 from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida with 21 years of service. She spent the majority of her career investigating and supervising child sexual abuse and neglect cases. After retiring, she and her husband, David, created a successful bed and breakfast in Maine before moving to Ellijay with their daughter, Brooke in 2014.

In March of 2016, while still searching for an avenue to utilize her experience and knowledge of child abuse and neglect investigations, she learned about Appalachian CASA. She knew immediately that she was meant to join the organization.   She served as the Advocacy and Training Manager until she became the Executive Director in January of 2018.

Melanie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and an MBA from Saint Leo University.  She is also a Certified Public Manager.

You can contact Melanie at (706) 276-2272 or director@appalachiancasa.com.
 

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Brian Copeland

Brian Copeland serves as the Recruitment and Engagement Specialist.


Brian joined CASA in January 2019. Before joining CASA, Brian was a teacher and counselor in the Appalachian Accountability Courts of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit.


Brian was born and raised in North Georgia. He is currently enrolled at Dalton State College completing his bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. He says, "I am grateful to be a  small part of an amazing organization like CASA. It's a great feeling knowing that I have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children and the potential to make an impact that can last for generations."


Brian is married to his wife Stacey and they have a daughter, Charley Grace 

and a son, Blake.


If you would like more information about becoming a CASA Volunteer or would like to schedule CASA to speak at your next event, contact Brian at (706) 276-2272 or bcopeland@appalachiancasa.com.

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Gina Bennett

 

Gina Bennett serves as the Gilmer County Volunteer Supervisor.


Gina joined CASA as the Advocacy and Training Manager in January of 2018, and she was named the Gilmer County Volunteer Supervisor in May, 2018.

She was born and raised in Gilmer County and became a CASA in 2017 taking on two cases immediately following graduation from CASA training.  These cases quickly deepened her passion for serving others, especially the children in her small community.


Gina is married to Brandon and they have two daughters, Hannah and Jacie. Gina has been a small business owner for 13 years in our community, and Brandon has worked at ETC for over 20 years. Her family’s interests include outdoor sports, gardening, softball, and attending church at Fruit Of The Vine Ministries in Ellijay. 

 

If you would like to advocate for a child in the foster care system as a CASA volunteer, contact Gina at (706) 276-2272 or gbennett@appalachiancasa.com

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Amy Tomei

  

Amy Tomei serves as the Pickens County Volunteer Supervisor of Appalachian CASA. 


Amy joined CASA in November 2018. 


She graduated from East Carolina University, Summa Cum Laude, with her Bachelor’s in Social Work. Her job history includes working as a DFCS investigator, Aging and Disability, and Domestic Violence. 


She grew up in eastern North Carolina and moved to Georgia in 2004. She has three grown children and three grandchildren. She loves animals and has four rescue dogs of her own. She enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, fishing, reading, gardening, working in the yard, and hanging out in the pool. 

Working with abused children is her calling and she believes deeply in the CASA program. Amy says, “All people should have a voice, but children need you to BE their voice. That’s what CASA is all about.”
 

If you would like to advocate for a child in the foster care system as a CASA Volunteer in Pickens County, contact Amy at (706) 276-2272 or atomei@appalachiancasa.com.