CAA Team

Denise Tanata, J.D.
Executive Director

Denise has been working in the field of child advocacy in Nevada since 1998.  She has extensive experience conducting applied research and policy analysis on children’s issues, with an emphasis on translating research and data to improve policy and practice.  In addition to numerous academic papers, reports and publications in the fields of child welfare, early childhood education and children’s health, Denise has also presented on legislative advocacy focused on empowering individuals toward collective action.  She previously served as a Senior Scholar at the Lincy Institute at UNLV and also served as the Executive Director of the Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy (NICRP) in the School of Community Health Sciences at UNLV.

Denise received her Bachelor’s Degree in Women’s Studies from UNLV, with a minor in Sociology and received her Juris Doctorate from the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV.  She serves on numerous boards and coalitions aimed at improving the lives of children and families in Nevada and is the recipient of the US Congressional Flag by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for her commitment to the children of Nevada as an academic, advocate and volunteer.


Shelby Henderson
Policy Manager – School Readiness

Shelby Henderson joins the Children’s Advocacy Alliance as its School Readiness Policy Manager, overseeing our early childhood education initiatives and efforts. Her passion for child advocacy was ignited by her work as a 2012 Teach for America Corps member in the Las Vegas Valley. During her two year commitment, Shelby was a lead pre-school teacher at Acelero Head Start Stewart Center. While working at Acelero, Shelby witnessed the value of high quality early childhood education and realized the lack of access to high quality programs in Nevada. In addition to her teaching experience, Shelby has expertise with family and community outreach. She was most recently an Urban Leader Fellow who worked with the Colorado legislature developing Pay for Success legislation and worked with the Colorado Department of Education researching Kindergarten Entry Assessments.

Shelby received her Bachelor’s Degrees in Political Science and History from the University of North Texas and received her Master’s in Early Childhood Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Jared Busker
Policy Analyst

Jared joined the Children’s Advocacy Alliance as an AmeriCorps VISTA* in 2013. In that role, he focused on research and policy issues for early childhood education. Upon completion of his VISTA service in August 2014, Jared was offered a full-time position with CAA as a Policy Analyst where he will be responsible for research and analysis of data, policies, and trends in children’s safety, health and school readiness. Jared has served as the Treasurer of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Southern Nevada and as a Board Director for the Nevada Council on Economic Education. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in college, Jared was a UNLV Lee Business School Student Ambassador, Phi Theta Kappa- Omicron Eta Honors Society President, founder of the Rock Valley College Conservatives Club, and intern with Illinois State Representative Joe Sosnowski.


Maggie Salas-Crespo
Communications Coordinator

Maggie Salas-Crespo joined Children’s Advocacy Alliance as the Communications Coordinator. Maggie developed her passion for healthcare policy while working as an exchange enrollment facilitator, and later as an outreach associate for Nevada Health Link. During her time with Nevada Health Link, Maggie coordinated outreach efforts statewide to educate Nevadans on the Affordable Care Act and provided assistance for people to enroll for healthcare. After her time with the Nevada exchange, Maggie worked as the Nevada Representative for the Alliance for Healthcare Security where she successfully led grassroots efforts against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Maggie received a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Women’s Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno.


Danielle Viquez
Strong Start Northern Nevada Campaign Coordinator 

Danielle joins the Children’s Advocacy Alliance as its Strong Start Campaign Coordinator for Northern Nevada. As a social work student at the University of Nevada, Reno, Danielle interned with City Councilman Oscar Delgado where she worked closely with youth groups to promote civic literacy and engagement. Through this work, she developed a passion for helping children get a strong start in life, as well as empowering families to become advocates in their community.

Danielle received her Bachelors in Social Work at the University of Nevada, Reno.


Nicole Rivera
Administrative Assistant 

Nicole Rivera joins the Children’s Advocacy Alliance team as the Administrative Assistant located in the Las Vegas office.  Nicole has a strong passion for helping children throughout her community and demonstrates it through countless volunteering hours at various agencies while also working in the field to help ensure the children of her community have the support and tools needed to grow up healthy and successful.

She received a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Human Services with a concentration in Family and Child Services at the University of Phoenix, Las Vegas.  Currently, Nicole is continuing her education and is working towards her Masters of Social Work.