New member Heather Ulrey brings CASA, foster care and wide range of experience to Ohio CASA Board

The Ohio CASA Network welcomes Ulrey, who’s first term on the board will last through 2027

Through her work as a foster parent, a National CASA Board member and a government relations expert, new Ohio CASA Board Member Heather Ulrey brings a variety of relevant knowledge to her latest role. 

The Ohio Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Network is excited to welcome Ulrey to the Ohio CASA board. 

“What I am constantly impressed with when interacting with a CASA advocate is that they are there for the human perspective,” said Ulrey. 

A Pittsburgh native, Ulrey first learned about CASA volunteers while studying at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. The father of one of her friends served as a CASA volunteer. 

Since, her connections to CASA and child welfare have only grown. 

Ulrey spent time working for a large trade association in Washington D.C., before focusing on government relations work for L Brands. She also spent ten years leading government relations work at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 

After working at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ulrey moved to Cardinal Health where she led the state government relations practice there. 

Ulrey now leads Mt. Carmel Health System’s Government and Community Relations work.

Throughout her professional and personal life, she’s developed multiple connections with CASA.  

“When I was at L Brands…I was approached about joining the National CASA Board. I sat on that board for about a year and a half until I left L Brands and went to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. I learned a lot about CASA there,” said Ulrey. “Then, of course we are foster parents.” 

Ulrey says she and her husband have been licensed foster parents in Ohio for three and a half years. The family has had six placements so far. She calls it a family endeavor to make an impact in any way they can. 

“Through my network of foster families, I’ve been really blessed to come across a lot of great CASA advocates,” she said. 

Also, Ulrey has had co-workers who served as CASA volunteers, and a friend of her daughter’s had a CASA volunteer at one time, she shares. 

Ulrey says the dedication of CASA volunteers has left a lasting impression with her over the years. 

“The human nature, the thoughtfulness,” said Ulrey. “I just really, really appreciate the way that volunteers are so dedicated to their work and doing what’s in the best interest of the child, because everybody in the system has their own opinions. To have somebody that’s actually acting as a voice for the kids is so hugely important.” 

During her time on the Ohio CASA Board, Ulrey is excited to use her knowledge of the corporate and non-profit world to help spread information about CASA and build further partnerships. 

“I’ve been so impressed with Ohio CASA…I’m so excited to be helpful and get the word out,” said Ulrey. “I would love to see it happen: A CASA program in every single county in the state, if it’s possible.” 

There are currently 47 CASA programs serving children in 60 Ohio counties. 

Ulrey’s first three-year term on the board lasts until 2027. She was elected to join the Board at Ohio CASA’s 28th Annual Celebrate Kids! Conference held in Columbus in September 2023. 

If you would like to learn more about the work of Ohio CASA, visit our mission page

Stay tuned for more updates about some of our newest board members in the coming weeks.