2024-2025 Board of Directors

President: Kimberly Howard, (she/her) 

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Kimberly (Kim) Howard, MSW, CAPSW, is a licensed social worker. She currently works as a medical social worker and on a part-time basis, is a clinician in private practice at Mind Renewal Psychotherapy. Additionally, she is the founder of Therapy Directory Online, a free directory that assists individuals in their search for a therapist.

With over 18 years of experience in the social service field, Kim has worked in different areas of social service but has always dedicated her life to providing compassionate support and resources to individuals and communities in need. Her diverse roles have equipped her with a unique blend of clinical insight, empathy, and strategic thinking. Beyond her primary profession, Kim has ventured into social entrepreneurship, leveraging her deep understanding of human behavior and societal needs to create meaningful solutions. 

Kim is passionate about nurturing and guiding the next generation of social workers. She aims to empower social workers to advocate for themselves, take on leadership roles, become entrepreneurs, and/or leverage their degree in other ways. Kim wants to ensure every social worker is equipped with the knowledge, and tools to continue creating positive change in our communities.

Kim is a strategic, forward-thinking leader who has served on the NASW board for two years and looks forward to serving as President for the next two years.

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Vice-President: Miriam Oliensis Torres, (she/her) 

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Miriam Oliensis-Torres, MSW, LCSW, C-ASWCM received her MSW from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Throughout her 40+ year career as a licensed clinical social worker and certified care manager, Miriam has focused on working with older adults, adults with disabilities, and their families.  Her areas of expertise include: geriatric care management, dementia, behavioral health, and developmental disabilities.

Miriam was a co-founder and owner of Geriatric Support Associates (1988) one of the first care management agencies in Wisconsin, before joining Stowell Associates as Clinical Director in 2012.   She retired from full-time practice in 2020, and now balances grandparenting with providing short-term consultation services,  as well as volunteering on local, statewide, and national committees.

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 VP Budget & Finance: Katie Krueger, (she/her)

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My name is Katie Krueger and I reside in the beautiful neighborhoods of West Allis, WI. I graduated from Aurora University in 2020 with a dual master’s in social work and business. I currently work with child and adolescent populations in mental health as a Dialectical Behavioral Therapist. Access, quality, and clinical effectiveness are drivers for my work and unlocking levels of self-determination for all people are the passions that led me to work in this field and within the community.

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Secretary: Joan Groessl, (she/her) 

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Education: BSW from UW-Green Bay, MSW from UW-Milwaukee, PhD (Emphasis in Leadership Studies) from Marian University

Work Experience: Employed at UW-Green Bay since 2008, currently Associate Professor and Chair of Social Work Professional Programs. Prior to UWGB, served as a clinical and psychiatric social worker and supervisor with Brown and Kewaunee Counties. Involved in direct services, program development and evaluation activities.

 Volunteer Experience: Active in NASW-WI as the Continuing Education Committee Chair for over 15 years; prior to that, also served as President and NE Branch Representative. Active in my home community of Algoma and am currently the (inaugural) President of the Board of Algoma Venture Academy, the first Charter School in Door and Kewaunee Counties.

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MSW Student Representative: Rin Ujikawa, (she/her)

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Professionally, I worked as a nurses aide in a nursing home and hospital and facilitated a flyer outreach campaign encouraging family and friends of incarcerated people to vote. I also worked at the Wisconsin Department of Justice translating crime victim letters into plain language and currently work for a domestic violence helpline. I’ve volunteered at a free law clinic to decrease barriers to legal assistance. Academically, at the City of Madison, I created a communication plan as a guide to help streamline communication between city staff and historically marginalized groups to promote more equity in the political process.

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At-Large Board Representative:  Dominique Pritchett

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Born to challenge the status quo, Dr. Dominique Pritchett is an organizational wellness strategist, international speaker, therapist and podcaster. She partners with organizations to prioritize mental wellness solutions centering people, productivity and the promises made in their mission statements. Dr. Pritchett is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, member of the American Psychological Association, executive board member for the ELCA Outreach Center, advisory board member for the Kenosha County Health Department, an advisory member of the Black Student & Family Network in Kenosha, and mental and physical health committee member for the Milwaukee Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She has served in the mental health field for over two decades. As the founder of Beloved Wellness Center™, Speak to the Soul™ as well as founder and podcast host of Space for Sistas®, Dr. Pritchett centers the lives and experiences of clients, the community and clinicians. She earned a doctorate in clinical psychology, a master's in clinical social work and a bachelor's in social work. Dr. Pritchett has been featured on BBC London Radio, Shondaland, Women’s Health Magazine, The New York Times and many more.

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BSW Student Representative: Rowan Arwood (she/her) 

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Rowan Arwood is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the BSW program.  She holds a position as a consultant at the Capacity Building Center for States, where she focuses on enhancing outcomes for those who have experienced foster care across states and advocates for increased implementation of preventative measures. As a National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) Reviewer and FosterClub Intern, Rowan has contributed to the field of child welfare through hosting webinars, creating educational materials, being on panels, and aiding federal compliance reviews. Rowan formerly was on DEI boards at her university and dedicates her spare time serving as historian on the Wisconsin Youth Advisory Council and mentoring through Big Brothers Big Sisters.

 At-Large Board Representative: Ke’Andra Hagans, (she/her) 

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Ke'Andra Hagans is a clinical associate professor, program coordinator for school social work, and field liaison in the Social Work Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is a licensed clinical social worker and licensed school social worker.

Throughout her career, Ke'Andra has focused on serving children, families, and individuals in a variety of capacities, including as a psychotherapist, program coordinator, group facilitator, school social worker, and clinical director. She has also worked with populations in out-of-home placement, residential, and in-patient settings. She has served as a mentor for developing professionals in the field of clinical and school social work.

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Southeast/Racine/Kenosha Region Representative:  Jazette Anderson, (she/her)

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I obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Community Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2007. I obtained my Master of Social Work from Capella University in 2021. I recently passed the ASWB Masters level exam and was granted an Advanced Practice Social Worker license in early April 2023.  In the past 15 years, I have worked as a Case Manager, Kinship and FISS Assessor, Disability Specialist, Program Manager and Eating Disorder Technician. My volunteer experience includes Big Clean Milwaukee, House of Peace and Sojourner Family Peace Center. I donate to Goodwill, Repairers of the Breach and Hunger Task Force. 

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Southeast/Racine/Kenosha Region Representative: Cleopatra Castañeda, (she/her)

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Cleopatra Castaneda, obtained a Graduate Degree from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is a lifelong resident of the City of Milwaukee. Cleopatra has held direct service, volunteer service as well as leadership roles in the field of social services (publicly and privately) during a 20 plus year career. A career which includes experience in child welfare, adult protection services, contract monitoring, corrections, AODA individual/group counseling as well as community organizing. Always working in an effort to impact the stability, well- being, and growth of families, adopting a trauma informed, strengths-based approach when providing service. Cleopatra believes that positive growth and stability of a community starts with the growth and stability of each person in that community. 

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Southeast/Racine/Kenosha Region Representatives: Jeanne Wagner, (she/her)

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Jeanne Wagner served as the Director of Social Work Field Education Programs at UW-Milwaukee for 19 years, and currently works as an independent contractor developing and teaching professional education workshops including professional ethics and boundaries, leadership and supervision, case management, documentation, confidentiality, adoption competency, safety in the field, etc. She has taught the Training for Adoption Competency (TAC) curriculum through the Center for Adoption Support and Education (CASE) and was previously UWM’s Co-Director for TAC.  She received her MSW from Jane Addams College of Social Work, Chicago, IL and her BSW from Morehead State University, Morehead, KY. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Clinical Professor Emeritus with extensive clinical, management, administrative, and educational experience. She has worked in a variety of social service settings prior to her appointment with UWM, which include: child welfare, adoption (domestic and international), mental health, intellectual disabilities, and geriatrics. She served in the role of Ombuds for UWM from 2007-2023 and has 10 years of experience in Quality Assurance. She serves as a Boad member for NASW-WI and is President of the Council on Social Work Education.

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 South Central/Southwest Region Representative: Neil O'Connor, LCSW, ACSW (he/him)

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Neil O’Connor, ACSW, LCSW, became a member of NASW-WI in 1977, while completing his MSSW at the Kent School of Social Work, University of Louisville. Graduating in 1978, he worked briefly as a community organizer in Louisville, then began a 30 year career in health care social work in Sheboygan, WI. In that career, he worked in the areas of emergency/critical care, domestic abuse victim services, renal dialysis, discharge planning, and department management. He worked the last 18 years of that phase as the clinical social worker in the UW Health Oncology Clinics. Simultaneously, Neil served as a social work officer in the US Army Reserve, commissioned in 1982, and retiring in 2012 as a Colonel, Medical Service Corps. His military experience includes staff social work, operations and logistics, executive officer, and trainer-evaluator; he also deployed to Iraq in 2004-05, supervising a military community mental health clinic at the US Army base in Balad, Iraq. In 2008, Neil joined the Department of Veteran’s Affairs’ Madison Vet Center, where he worked with war veterans and their families around issues of PTSD and post service re-integration. Retiring from active social work practice in 2017, Neil continues to work with the profession on NASW-WI’s Continuing Education Committee, while pursuing personal interests in music, cabinetry, and grandparenting.

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South Central/Southwest Region Representative: Greg Winkler, (he/him)

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Greg Winkler, LCSW, is a deputy director at Rock County Human Services Department in Janesville, Wisconsin. With 30 years of experience in the field, Greg has practiced in clinical, administrative, and education positions after receiving an MSSW from University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has worked primarily in behavioral health settings within a private health care system and in a public county agency. He has also served on the Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling and Social Work Examining Board and as the ASWB delegate for Wisconsin.

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South Central/Southwest Region Representative: Rob Brown, (he/him) 

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My name is Rob Brown and I have more than 25 years’ experience in community service and crisis intervention and de-escalation as civilian & military law enforcement, conducting street outreach working with runaway and homeless youth while interning with Briarpatch Youth Services, performing member service and conducting social/legislative policy analysis as staff intern and current member of the NASW-WI Legislative & Social Policy Committee. I’m retired from the U.S. Navy, where I served as a military police K9 officer, trainer, unit supervisor and regional program manager. Prior to that, I was a police officer with Memphis (TN) PD for 5 years. During my last 2 years in the Navy, I managed medical readiness for Navy personnel at Pearl Harbor, HI, providing limited case management, and served as Suicide Prevention Coordinator and the command’s Sexual Assault Prevention & Response representative. Moving to Madison after retirement, I earned degrees in Human Services and Addiction Studies from Madison College, followed by a Bachelor's in Social Work from UW-Milwaukee. I start my Master's in Social Work program at UWM this fall. I've volunteered with Outreach LGBTQ+ Community Center and AIDS Resource Center of WI/Vivent Health Madison with the Prevention Team, focusing on harm reduction methods within their LifePoint Syringe Exchange Service

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West Central/North Central/Northeast Region Representative:  Nick Smiar, (he/him) 

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My commitment is to the helping the profession of social work, especially in regard to the empowerment of vulnerable and oppressed persons and communities. I have been a social worker for 54 years, a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers for 49 years, and a  Certified Independent Social Worker (CISW) in Wisconsin for 25 years.  My MSW (1973) and PhD (1986) in social work are from the Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago, in psychiatric social work and social welfare policy. I am an Emeritus Professor of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where I taught for 22 years, principally in social welfare history, social welfare policy, and work with communities and organizations (macro practice). I am past Chairperson of the Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work Examining Board and its Social Worker Section. For the past 25 years I have presented continuing education workshops in Wisconsin and internationally, principally in ethics and boundaries.  I have served as Chairperson of the Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors and have served as past Vice Chairperson of its Human Services Committee. I do training and education of social workers and child care workers internationally, principally in Germany and South Africa.

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West Central/North Central/Northeast Region Representative: Paul Perales, (he/him) 

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Paul Perales, LCSW (WI & TX), SAC-IT is a graduate of the University of WI-Oshkosh/Green Bay MSW collaborative program and a Doctorate of Social Work candidate at the University of Kentucky. Paul has worked in outpatient, intensive outpatient, and inpatient settings and served in a variety of leadership positions including clinical and psychological health directorships. He is the lead psychological health coordinator for Akima Global Logistics and Texas Military Department’s State Missions Behavioral Health Program. For the past six years, Paul has primarily worked in the military social work sector while also teaching at the University of WI-Oshkosh at the BSW and MSW programs. Paul is also an educator in the community providing continuing education opportunities to professionals through the University of WI-Oshkosh continuing education department and NASW-WI at the annual conference primarily focused on boundaries and ethics. He is also the co-chair of the Association of Social Work Board’s Examination Committee. Paul is dedicated to the profession as an educator, advocate, and mentor, most recently having the honor to serve as a mentor to a Ronald E. McNair Fellow, a program focused on increasing representation of minority and first-generation individuals in institutions of higher learning. 

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West Central/North Central/Northeast Region Representative:  Heidi Pritzl, (she/her)

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Heidi Pritzl graduated with her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) in Honolulu, HI. Fourteen years ago, Heidi and her daughter moved back to St. Germain, Wisconsin with the goal to serve and support her “home” community and work as a Social Worker/Psychotherapist with Aspirus Koller Behavioral Health. This is also where Heidi reunited with her best friend and now husband. 

When she returned to Wisconsin she began to work in the field of mental health as a clinical social worker on the inpatient unit at St. Mary’s hospital for Ministry Koller Behavioral Health, which is now Aspirus Koller Behavioral Health. Heidi then transitioned to outpatient mental health in the clinic setting as a Psychotherapist.She counsels adolesents through adults in the Eagle River and Woodruff locations.

Heidi was recognized this year as a top 10% 2023 Performer for Patient Satisfacation nationwide and top 20 provider in the Aspirus Network based on survey results as “Most Likely to recommend friends and family.”

Heidi is also serving her second term for the NASW Wisconsin Chapter Board as the West Central/North Central/Northeast Branch Representative. She encourages new social workers to enroll in NASW to receive support and adovacy throughout their social work career. Heidi continues to work hard to streamline the services, supports, and resources in urban Wisconsin to rural Wisconsin specially in the northern part of the state.
Heidi also co-leads the Tri-county Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Coalition in Forest, Oneida, and Vilas counties working on local, state, and national goals to reduce suicides by at least 20% by 2025. She is trained in suicide prevention from the QPR Institute in Seattle, WA, as a Master and Gatekeeper Trainer. Her goal has been to train as many individuals as possible on the warning signs and risk factors of suicide, so they are able to identify when someone needs support to help in the nation’s goal to reduce suicides by 20% by 2025. Recently Heidi has been training college and high school staff to include coaches, in addition to consulting with corporations and universities to implement suicide prevention and mental health support into their businesses.

Heidi shares, “I know my work will be done when people begin receiving cards, casseroles, and flowers for a recent diagnosis for mental health or after a hospital stay on a psychiatric inpatient unit.”

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