Jacqueline Adams, MD
Jacquelyn Adams attended Marshall University for her undergraduate and medical school degrees. She completed obstetrics and gynecology residency at Northeast Ohio Medical University/Summa Health in Akron, Ohio. After, she finished her maternal fetal medicine fellowship at the University of Wisconsin where she is now an assistant professor. Her interest in caring for women with substance use disorders began growing up in West Virginia. Her residency research focused on group prenatal care for women in varying stages of recovery where she worked closely with the addiction medicine fellowship. Currently, she leads the Fresh Beginnings group at Unity Point Health-Meriter for pregnant patients. This group presents multi-disciplinary care planning and introduces the community to hospital staff. Along with caring for pregnant patients with SUD, she is passionate about affecting change in criminalization in pregnancy as well as legal repercussions around SUD.
Andrew Archer, LICSW
Andrew Archer, LICSW is a psychotherapist and the founder of Minnesota Mental Health Services where he has practiced since 2017. Andrew is a meditation instructor, author, and national speaker. Andrew has held academic positions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Minnesota. He lives with his wife and three children (ages 5, 3, and 1) in Mankato where he teaches Zen meditation in the community, including with toddlers and with preschool children.
Crystal Aschenbrener, DSW, MSW, APSW
Dr. Crystal Aschenbrener is the special assistant to the dean of Professional and Graduate Studies as well as the MSW program director at Alverno College, leading the way in MSW program development. Aschenbrener is a licensed social worker and has over 15 years of college teaching experience. She has over 15 years of field experience which includes working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities, through her roles as a school social worker, hospital social worker, supervisor of case workers who serve people with mental health and disabilities needs, and executive director of a Habitat for Humanity affiliate. Aschenbrener earned her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of South Dakota. She earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Kansas and her Doctor of Social Work from Aurora University. With NASW-WI, she is a member of the Diversity Committee. She has been serving as a board member for the National Mentoring Resource Center with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention for several years, due to her youth mentoring intervention program’s success.
Tanya Atkinson, MSSW
Tanya Atkinson is the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI). Tanya began her career with PPWI as a community organizer and manager in 2004, subsequently serving as the organization’s Field Director, Vice President of Public Affairs and Education, Vice President of External Affairs, and Chief External Affairs Officer. Prior to joining Planned Parenthood, Tanya was the director of the Milwaukee office of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, a statewide child advocacy organization; legislative aide in the Wisconsin Legislature; and a social worker specializing in youth services. She served for over 10 years as an adjunct professor at both Carroll University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Tanya received her MSSW at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and BS at Carroll University. She currently serves as a board volunteer with Diverse and Resilient and Citizen Action of Wisconsin. Born on a dairy farm in rural Wisconsin, she considers it a great privilege to have had the opportunity to live and work in many communities across this great state before making Milwaukee her much-loved permanent home.
Angela Baerwolf, MSW
Angela Baerwolf is a social work doctoral student at the University of St. Thomas and a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work. Angela has served seven years in the field as a school social worker in Madison, with five years of previous experience in schools as an English teacher. Angela has been a board member of the Wisconsin School Social Workers Association since 2016, having served one term as president. They specialize in school social work, LGBTQ youth mental health, and social work education.
John Battaglia, M.D.
John Battaglia, MD, is Clinical Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and is Medical Director of the Program of Assertive Community Treatment in Madison, Wisconsin. After graduating magna cum laude with a BA in Psychology from Pomona College in Claremont, California, in 1980, he earned his MD with honors from Ohio State University in Columbus in 1984. Dr. Battaglia went on to serve an internship and residency in Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He then completed fellowships with the Mood Disorders Program in the Mental Health Clinical Research Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and in Emergency Psychiatry at Parkland Memorial Hospital, both in Dallas. Dr. Battaglia has authored or coauthored numerous articles from his research on psychopharmacology (mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders), agitation, multiple suicide attempters, ethics in rural health care, and seasonal mood disorder. He has lectured both nationally and abroad on a variety of topics including crisis intervention, treatment of agitation, and supportive psychotherapy. He has been the recipient of a number of honors, including two Exemplary Psychiatrist Awards from NAMI, and Outstanding Lecturer and Excellence in Teaching awards from the Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin. For the past 30 years he has taught supportive psychotherapy and crisis intervention techniques for various agencies including Southwestern Medical School Department of Psychiatry (Dallas, TX), Alaska State Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (Community Mental Health Centers-statewide, AK), Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI), Milwaukee Public Schools Psychology Division (Milwaukee, WI) and the University of Wisconsin Department of Psychiatry (Madison, WI). His book: Doing Supportive Psychotherapy, was recently published by American Psychiatric Association Publishing (2020). He served on the NAMI Wisconsin (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Board of Directors from 2011 to 2019.
Kate Beaton, BSW, CSW
Kate is a Wisconsin native who got her start bringing sustainable food equity to her community as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she has a Bachelor’s Degree in social work and a minor in environmental science. At 24, Kate became the youngest woman ever to serve in elected office in Eau Claire, a record later broken by Kate’s former intern! As an organizer and city council member, Kate has been a leader in the Western Wisconsin region, igniting a local climate movement, fighting for livable wages and affordable housing, and protecting our right to vote. Kate is passionate about training and empowering a future generation of leaders and has supported the effort to bring diversity to our local elected offices, so our leaders look like our community in age, gender, race and sexual orientation. As Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s Movement Organizing Director, Kate supports the rural and suburban co-op organizers and directs the Rural Climate Program.
Ritu Bhatnagar, M.D.
Dr. Ritu Bhatnagar is an addiction psychiatrist. She is also clinical adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Department of Psychiatry. She is currently president of the Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine (WISAM), and is serving on the Medicaid Advisory Committee. She is the WISAM representative to the Council of Legislation for the Wisconsin Medical Society and the State Council of Alcohol and Other Drugs of Abuse. She enjoys integrating her work with community endeavors to develop novel ways to address the impact of substance use and mental health disorders. She prefers to treat the whole person and realizes that there are different pathways to recovery. She is interested in helping to change the social perspective of addressing substance use away from punishment and towards treatment. She graduated from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine with MD and MPH and then Psychiatry Residency and the Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at the UW.
Dan Bizjak, LCSW, ICS, CSAC
Dan Biziak, Michelle Lund, LPC, and Dr. Lindsay Emer work as a team providing technical assistance, education, and oversight to opioid providers in the State of Wisconsin. In collaboration with DHS staff, provide assistance to increase access to treatment, recovery, and harm reduction.
Roberta Bronecki, LCSW
Roberta Bronecki, LCSW is the Co-Founder/Clinical Director for Pine Valley Integrated Services an integrated outpatient behavioral health and AODA program in Mauston WI. She is also the Clinical Program Director for Pine Valley Residential Services, a program of eight long-term care facilities based in Juneau and Sauk Counties. Roberta is active in her community chairing the Roche A Cri Consortia for Medication Assisted Treatment in Adams, Juneau, and Marquette counties. Roberta has been working in the field of mental health since 1998 and has been working as a social worker since 2002.
Ashley Cedeño, MSW
Ashley Cedeño, MSW, (she/her) is a Library Social Worker at the Racine Public Library (RPL). She is a first-generation college graduate who earned her B.A. from Carthage College in 2019 and a Master in Social Work from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2021. Prior to RPL, she worked as a Bilingual Service Coordinator for a Birth to Three Agency. Her volunteer and internship experiences include homeless shelters, food and clothing pantries, an in-patient psychiatric hospital for adolescents, a residential addiction treatment center and a family and aging center, amongst many others. This wide variety of experiences confirmed Ashley's interest in true generalist social work practice. Being the first full time social worker on staff at RPL has allowed Ashley to hone in on her passion for creating an inclusive space for all, while navigating the unique challenges of library social work.
Patricia Clason, RCC, CPS
Patricia Clason is co-founder of Bamboo Bridge, Vets Journey Home and Healing Warrior Hearts, emotional healing programs for veterans, helping to heal warrior hearts for over twenty-five years. She is also the creator of Taking It Lightly, an emotional healing program for the general public, and instructor for the Trauma Counseling Certificate Program at UWM School of Continuing Education. Daughter of a Sergeant Major, she lived with her father's PTSD and her own PTSD from sexual abuse. Her journey of recovery and commitment to helping others heal fuels her dedication to veterans and other trauma survivors.
Katherine Drechsler, DSW, LCSW-SA
Katherine Drechsler received her DSW from George Williams College of Aurora University in 2017. She received her MSW from the University of Milwaukee in 2000. She is a licensed clinical social worker with a specialty authorization in substance abuse and a licensed school social worker in Wisconsin. Katherine has over twenty-six years of social work experience in the areas of juvenile justice, child welfare, and community mental health and addictions. Currently, Katherine is the Field Coordinator and an Assistant Professor for the Social Work Program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Cindy Dunst, MSW, CAPSW
Cindy Dunst is an Advanced Practice Social Worker (CAPSW) who has been working di-rectly with Pediatric Patients and their Fami-lies for over 20 years. She has worked in several areas in the Pediatric Setting including: the Emergency Room Trauma Department, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and the Pediatric Home Tracheostomy/Ventilator Program. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Concordia University of Mequon and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from University of WI-Milwaukee. She also completed the Trauma Certification Program at University of WI-Milwaukee.
Dr. Lindsay Emer
Dr. Lindsay Emer, Michelle Lund, LPC, and Dan Biziak, LCSW, ICS, CSAC, work as a team providing technical assistance, education, and oversight to opioid providers in the State of Wisconsin. In collaboration with DHS staff, provide assistance to increase access to treatment, recovery, and harm reduction.
Farmer Wellness Program Coordinator at the Wisconsin Farm Center, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Karen earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and went on to work in marketing, communications, and public relations. As part of the Farm Center team, Karen uses her expertise in agriculture and wellness to coordinate programs that help farmers improve their mental health. Outside of work, Karen enjoys coaching, fitness, and raising her three daughters. Her and her husband Randy own and operate a dairy farm with his brothers and their families.
Joyce Felker, MA
Joyce Felker is currently the Executive Director for The Parenting Network whose mission is to “Strengthen Parenting and Prevent Child Abuse”. Joyce holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and spent the first five years of her professional career working as a Child and Adolescent Therapist before transitioning into the field of prevention, where she has been for the past 35 years. As a Therapist working with children and adolescents, she saw firsthand the impact of trauma and the struggles of parents who wanted to nurture their children but didn’t have the knowledge and skills. As a mother of three grown children, and five grandchildren, she understands the challenges of parenting and is passionate about The Parenting Network’s mission. The Parenting Network changed it’s name from Parents Anonymous to The Parenting Network in 1996 to demonstrate our collaborative nature. We understand the importance of collective impact for families and believe cross-systems collaboration and partnering with other organizations is the most effective way to serve families. Joyce held certification as a Prevention Consultant in the state of Michigan and held the position of Program Director for Pathways, MI where she provided oversight to a budget of $2M for prevention programming as well as a nine-county Regional Great Start Resource Center (Referred to as 4C in WI), before moving back to the Milwaukee area nearly nine years ago. As an Independent Contractor for Michigan Children’s Trust Fund, she wrote curriculum and developed training for social service workers to integrate the Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework into Michigan’s Child Welfare System. Through a Michigan DCF-funded grant, she also wrote a guide on reporting child abuse and neglect for Mandated Reporters in Michigan.
Amy Fischer Williams, MSW, DSW
Amy Fischer Williams, BA in Psychology (Concordia University, St. Paul), MSW (University of Minnesota), DSW (University of St. Thomas), and Assistant Professor in UW Oshkosh’s Department of Social Work, has shaped the lives of many students through her wide range of roles. Since joining the department in 2006 she has taught across the baccalaureate curriculum: Social Welfare Institutions, Social Welfare Policy, Professional Social Work Ethics, Interviewing Lab, Generalist Practice I & II, Interpersonal Skills, Family Lifecycle Transitions, Field Seminar, and Introduction to Social Work. At the MSW level she has taught: Human Behavior in the Social Environment; Diversity; Generalist Social Work Practice; Skills Lab with Individuals, Families & Small Groups; and Advanced and Foundation Social Work Field Practicum. Dr. Fischer Williams served as the BSW Field Coordinator until 2019. She also served a 4-year term (2010-2014) as the MSW Collaborative Program Field Coordinator at time of substantial growth. Dr. Fischer Williams is a Licensed School Social Worker. She previously taught at the College of Menominee Nation. Dr. Fischer Williams has likewise served people through her research, program, evaluation, grant-writing, vital involvement, and curriculum development. Much of that work has focused on promoting cross-cultural exchanges and understanding, especially curriculum standards to prepare practitioners to work and collaborate with Indigenous people and communities. From 2002-2008, Dr. Fischer Williams served as independent evaluator at the College of Menominee Nation for the Native American Vocational and Technical Education Program (NAVTEP) grant. In 2008 she was elected as the outside evaluator of Native American Career and Technical Education Program (NACTEP). The grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, is awarded to the College of Menominee Nation. CMN-NACTEP provides career and technical education programs for the greater Menominee, Oneida, and Stockbridge-Munsee tribal communities. She continues to serve in this capacity.
Maya Garbuz, MSSW, CISW
Maya Garbuz holds a Bachelor of Education from Lobachevsky University in Russia and Master of Social Work from UW-Madison. For the last 10 years Maya worked as a Lead Case Manager at Bridges for Families, providing services to families with children with disabilities. Maya began for JSS in November 2016 and was recently promoted to her current position.
Kenneth Ginlack, LCSW, CSAC, ICS
Kenneth Ginlack is a mental health and substance use disorder therapist. He earned his undergraduate degree from Upper Iowa University in Human Services with an emphasis in Social Work. He earned his graduate degree from Loyola University in Social Work. He has worked in all levels of care including medically monitored patients, youth in out-of-home placement, and individuals in correctional settings. Prior to accepting the position of CEO and Executive Director of Serenity Inns, he served as the Director of Outpatient Programs for Milwaukee County Behavior Health Division (BHD), and as an ad-hoc instructor at the University of Wisconsin Continuing Education extension program. At UW-Milwaukee, Ken instructs professionals on best practices for clinical supervision. He is the President of the Board of Directors for Revive Youth and Family Services, a Board member for SALS Recovery Houses & Coaching, and previously served as Vice President of the Board of Directors for Daystar Inc. Most recently, Ken was invited to become a member of the Milwaukee County Mental Health Board. Mr. Ginlack is a recipient of the President’s Award at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) for his academic achievements and outstanding work in the community. At the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - Wisconsin Annual Conference, Ken will be honored amongst his colleagues and receive the prestigious IRIS Award for Outstanding Mental Health Professional, for his dedication and commitment to promoting recovery and improving the treatment and quality of life for people affected by mental illness. Ken is known for his many contributions and volunteerism to various non-profit agencies throughout Milwaukee. He is a master-level social worker and holds the following licensures in Wisconsin: licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), clinical substance abuse counselor (CSAC), and independent clinical supervisor (ICS).
Laura Glaub is a lead social worker for Madison Metropolitan School District. Laura's focus is supporting by providing engagement and attendance strategies to support basic needs with community and district partnerships.
Earnest Goggins, B.S.
Earnest Goggins is the Director of Fatherhood and Male Engagement programs for The Parenting Network (TPN) in Milwaukee. Prevention, awareness, and education are at the forefront of his work in paternal engagement and men’s health with TPN. His work embodies the core values of TPN by strengthening parenting while preventing child abuse. Earnest is a proud product of Milwaukee who attended Milwaukee Public Schools before graduating from UW-Milwaukee with his bachelor's degree in Sociology. Earnest is a husband and father of two children who has obtained extensive experience in the field of prevention including trauma informed care, crisis de-escalation, program development, youth services, parent education and facilitation. Earnest has continually served his community since 2005 through evidenced based content implementation for marginalized communities. Earnest is most excited about the opportunity to help those that help others and expand upon the representation of fatherhood engagement in Wisconsin.
Kristen Golat, MSW, APSW
Kristen Golat, MSW, APSW works as an outpatient therapist for Pine Valley Integrated Services in Mauston, WI. She is the lead clinician for the Primary Care and Behavioral Health Integration Program and has recently taken a position in Pine Valley Residential Services as the Clinical Program Manager In-Training. She graduated from University of Wisconsin- Whitewater in May of 2020. Kristen has an active role in Juneau County SAFE coalition as well as a member of the Nurse Family Partnership Community Advisory Board.
Megan Gour (they/ them) MSW, APSW
Megan (they/them) is currently the social worker for the pediatric adolescent transgender health clinic (PATH clinic) at UW Health. Megan has been working in the field of social work for 10+ years and specializes in working with transgender, gender diverse and queer young individuals. Throughout their career Megan has worked to advocate, educate, and create safe places for LGBTQ+ individuals. Megan helped to open the first LGBTQ+ resource space on campus while obtaining their undergraduate degree in Utah, has worked with multiple agencies to create safe and inclusive policies for LGBTQ+ people and has presented at conferences throughout the country.
Angela Green is Tier 3 coordinator for Milwaukee Public Schools. Angela's focus is supporting schools with strategies and tools to support students to meet their needs and respond when crisis occurs in the community.
Emily Green, MSW, CAPSW
Emily graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work degree in 2020 and a Master's in Social Work degree in 2021 from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Emily currently is employed at Jefferson County Human Services Department working with children and adolescents in the Comprehensive Community Services Program. Emily is completing the training and supervision hours toward her licensed clinical social worker and substance abuse counselor. In addition, Emily is completing the Training for Adoption Competency program.
Shelley Gregory , J.D.
Shelley Gregory (they/them/theirs), J.D., is the Strategic Project Coordinator at FORGE, a national transgender antiviolence organization in Milwaukee. Gregory’s current work is to support transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming individuals and communities in Wisconsin through direct services and individual advocacy, and through education and consultation, technical assistance, and public policy work. Gregory is an advocate and educator with more than two decades of experience in civil rights and social justice work, including a former 15-year law practice in California litigating gender justice, social justice, and workplace safety and health cases and advocating for expanded legal protections and policy reforms. Gregory graduated from Carroll University in 1997 with a B.A. in English and Communication and received a law degree from Harvard Law School in 2001.
Joan Groessl, MSW, PhD, LCSW
Dr. Groessl earned her MSW from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her doctorate with an emphasis in Leadership Studies from Marian University in Fond du Lac, WI. She worked for 20 years in community mental health settings, both direct practice and administration, prior to joining the faculty of the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay in 2008. Her research interests center around ethics, leadership, professional continuing education, organizational culture, and interdisciplinary practice. Dr. Groessl teaches ethics at the graduate level as well as continuing education workshops across the region. She has chaired NASW-Wisconsin’s Continuing Education committee since 2003.
Deanna Guthrie, PhD, MSW
Deanna Guthrie is an Associate Professor and BSW Program Coordinator for the Social Work program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Deanna received her MSW and PhD in Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago. Deanna is a licensed clinical social worker and her research interests include undergraduate social work education and hope in at-risk populations.
Sarah Henrickson, LCSW
Sarah Henrickson, LCSW, is a Clinical Team Manager with Journey Mental Health’s Emergency Services Unit in Dane County. Sarah has over 20 years of experience providing community-based crisis intervention services including suicide risk assessments and emergency detention evaluations. Sarah serves as the Law Enforcement Liaison for Journey, and in 2016 Sarah became the first embedded Crisis Worker with the City of Madison Police Department. Sarah now oversees crisis workers embedded with first responder partners including the Madison Police Department, Dane County Sheriff, and the Madison Fire Department. She has conducted numerous trainings for law enforcement, service providers, and community members on mental illness, suicide risk, and civil commitments.
Marc Herstand, MSW, CISW
Marc Herstand has served as the Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers, Wisconsin Chapter since 1992. In this position Marc has facilitated the passage of bills on tele-mental health, licensure, mental health services in schools and Vendorship through the Wisconsin State Legislature and the passage of several rules benefiting clinical social workers through the Department of Health Services. During the Covid-19 pandemic he successfully petitioned the Evers Administration to allow telephone therapy and implement the tele-mental health bill in record time. Marc has also successfully organized campaigns to stop several bills and rules that would have harmed the social work profession. Marc has organized statewide coalitions on the Extreme Risk Protection Order (Red Flag legislation), the Child Victim’s Act and Conversion Therapy and has organized over ten NASW WI lobby days. Marc greatly expanded the Wisconsin Chapter’s annual conference, began the Chapter’s Winter Webinar series and home study program and oversaw the development of NASW WI’s Fact Sheets on Child Welfare, Corrections and Hospital Social Work. Previous to this position Marc served as Executive Director of Health Care for the Homeless of Milwaukee, the San Diego AIDS Project, Planned Parenthood of Southeast Iowa and as Social Services Coordinator at the Council for the Spanish Speaking, Inc. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the mid-70’s Marc served as a VISTA Volunteer in the Central Valley of California where he recruited farmworker and other low income families to participate in a self-help housing program. Marc has served as an adjunct instructor of social work at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the University of Wisconsin -Whitewater, the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, George Williams College at Aurora University and Marian University in Fond du Lac. Mr. Herstand earned his masters degree in social work from the University of California, Berkeley.
Sarah Hessenauer, PhD, MSW
Sarah Hessenauer is a Professor and MSW Program Coordinator for the Social Work program at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. Sarah received her PhD in Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago and her MSW from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Sarah is a licensed clinical social worker. Sarah’s research interests include undergraduate social work education and evidence-based practice in social work.
Adam Howarth, LCSW
Adam Howarth is a licensed clinical social worker living in Madison, Wisconsin specializing in the mental health treatment of the Veteran population. Adam has held a range of positions in social services over the past decade in both the private and public sector servicing his fellow servicemembers, veterans, and their families. Adam’s most recent work includes implementing a community suicide prevention program for the Madison VA Hospital to include focused work in the Governors Challenge to End Veteran Suicide, as well as strengthening and building new coalitions for several counties across southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Previous to that experience, Adam worked in the VA Homeless Program providing clinical case management and also as a therapist in the Addiction Disorders Treatment Program. Prior to his employment with VA as a social worker, Adam served in several roles in the behavioral health field to include working at Rosecrance in Rockford, IL and at Passages Addiction Cure Center in Malibu, CA. Adam also served from 2002-2006 as an Army medic with a 12-month tour to Iraq in 2005. Adam’s volunteer work includes serving as President of Stand Down Madison from 2016-2017 and as the Founding Chapter Coordinator for Heroes on the Water – Southcentral WI from 2015-2018. Adam currently hosts the Fight or Die Podcast highlighting the stories of combat veterans’ sacrifice which is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube.
Kathy Intravaia, MS, BSW/CSW, CNC, MGV
Kathy Intravaia, MS, BSW/CSW, CNC, MGV, serves as an Health and Social Service Consultant with Access Care Services, LLC. She serves older adults, adults with disabilities, transition age youth, and their families, and has been dedicated to their health and wellbeing for more than 30 years. Kathy is passionate about assisting those she serves to be as independent as possible, to be the leader of their care, and to complete the advance planning necessary to make their current and future needs and wishes known.
Lisa M Johanningmeier B.S.
Lisa has been providing domestic abuse services since August of 2016, starting with Catholic Charities in Crawford County and moving to Family & Children's Center's Vernon County program in 2020. Lisa has a Human Services degree from Upper Iowa University with a minor in Criminal Justice and Psychology. Prior to her work in domestic abuse Lisa worked with families providing in-home Behavioral Interventional Services and Community Partnerships for Protecting Children. Lisa is a survivor of domestic violence and has lived experience that allows her to relate to the people she serves.
Hannah Johnson is a Police Officer with the City of Madison Police Department. Hannah was hired with the Department in 2017 and has been the West District Mental Health Officer since February of 2020. In this role, Hannah collaborates with officers, consumers, caseworkers, families, and others to meet the needs of those affected by mental illness before a crisis occurs. Hannah aims to identify and address underlying issues that generate mental health-related police calls for service. This role has also allotted Hannah additional specialized training opportunities. Prior to joining the Madison Police Department, Hannah was a Case Manager for women in the criminal justice system with alcohol and other drug addictions.
Diana Johnstone, LCSW
Diana Johnstone, LCSW, is an experienced therapist and clinical supervisor who manages the Hand in Hand (HIH) Program at Pathfinders in Milwaukee, WI. The HIH Program provides high-quality, evidenced-based, trauma-informed and trauma-focused mental health treatment and advocacy services to respond to the emotional and psychological needs of youth survivors of sexual violence.
Faith Jones is a bachelor student in social work at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Faith is involved in the Undergraduate Research Assistantship Program.
Mildred (Mit) Joyner, DPS, MSW, LCSW
Mildred “Mit” C. Joyner, DPS, MSW, BSW, LCSW is President of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) that has 55 chapters throughout the United States and its territories. Joyner also serves as Vice President of the North America Region of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), which includes Canada and the United States and is a member of IFSW’s Executive Committee. She serves on the boards of the NASW Foundation and the NASW Assurance Services, Inc and is a NASW Pioneer@. Previous board service included DNBFirst, a community bank where she was the first female and only African American to service in that capacity. Professor Joyner is the inaugural John E. and Barbara S. Jacob distinguished professor at Howard University School of Social Work in Washington, DC, and Professor Emerita of Social Work at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She received a BSW from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, and MSW in planning, policy, and administration from Howard University. In 2018, she received an honorary doctorate in Public Service from West Chester University. As a former president of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Professor Joyner also served on the board of the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) and represented the United States. She is also a former president of the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors (BPD) and is the only professional social worker or academician elected to serve as President of three major national social work associations; BPD, CSWE, and NASW. Professor Joyner co-authored three books and has delivered hundreds of presentations at various universities, agencies, businesses, and professional conferences. In 2011, she retired from West Chester University as a full professor and created MCJ Consultants specializing in organizational change and achieving equity. Professor Joyner is the recipient of numerous awards. She will again be recognized as her name will be placed among several luminaries on the Wall of Honor in the School of Education and Social Work at West Chester University in November 2021. Awards received include: the AGE-SW and BPD Gerontology Leadership Award for stellar national leadership in gerontology; the BPD Lifetime Achievement Award; Living Beyond Breast Cancer Founders Award for leadership and stewardship; the first Dr. Inabel Burns Lindsay Award from Howard University School of Social Work; the Central State University Hall of Fame Award as a Distinguished Alumni; the First William Culp lecturer from Abilene Christian University School of Social Work; the CSWE Lifetime Service and Leadership Award, and the prestigious NASW Pennsylvania Chapter Phyllis Black Lifetime Achievement Award for her leadership and commitment to social justice and the quest for obtaining equity for all. Professor Joyner is married to the Honorable J. Curtis Joyner, a retired Federal Judge of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Together they have three daughters and two grandsons who are the reasons that she remains committed to the arduous task of working to achieve racial, social, economic, environmental, and political justice for all.
As the Operations Lead at the Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health (OCMH), Karen oversees the Children's Mental Health Collective Impact (CMHCI) initiatives. The CMHCI team’s activities are leading to new ways of thinking about service integration, measurement, and outcomes for children’s mental health in the state of Wisconsin. Karen has a strong professional background in Marketing and Communications. Prior to joining OCMH, she was a Marketing Director at two Central Wisconsin business for 16 years. Her passion has been the non-profit work she has been involved in for over two decades in Central Wisconsin. She is a recipient of the Athena Award (presented by the Wausau Chamber of Commerce in 2013) and United Way of Marathon County’s 2015 Volunteer of the Year.
Emily Kenney, LCSW
Emily Kenney, LCSW, has worked in the area of solutions for homelessness since 2009. She currently directs the Coordinated Entry System for homeless services in Milwaukee County, which leads the county’s Family Initiative to end family homelessness by 2025. She is also the current chair of the Wisconsin Housing First Coalition. Ms. Kenney is well-versed in best practices used for solving homelessness, including Housing First, Harm Reduction, and Motivational Interviewing. She also has a decade of experience bringing diverse service sectors together around a common goal. Using these tactics, she supports agencies and funders to implement effective interventions that reduce homelessness. Ms. Kenney earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from UW-Madison in 2009. She lives in Milwaukee with her husband and four children.
Krystina Kohler, MA
Krystina Kohler has a master’s degree in Political Economy of Violence, Conflict and Development from the University of London and has been with United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County since 2013. Krystina provides program analysis and support to over 70 United Way Community Fund programs in the areas of basic needs, workforce development, and financial capability. She leads United Way's Safe & Stable Homes initiative to end family homelessness in Greater Milwaukee in partnership with the Milwaukee Continuum of Care’s (CoC) Family Initiative. She also sits on various community workgroups including the CoC Coordinated Entry Team, Wisconsin Policy Forum's Economic Development Committee, and FEMA's Emergency Food & Shelter Program local boards for Milwaukee and Waukesha. Krystina is passionate about examining the systems in which poverty is perpetuated and working with community leaders to pilot potential solutions.
Dominique Kornely (she/her/hers), M.A.
Dominique is the Program Coordinator at NAMI Wisconsin and is involved in coordinating and supporting NAMI Wisconsin Affiliates and CIT Teams in various trainings. Prior to being the Program Coordinator, she earned her B.S. in Psychology with minors in Criminal Justice and Forensic Investigation from the University of Wisconsin Platteville. Further, she went on to earn her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa. She has also had the opportunity to engage in various mental health related jobs including providing mental health trainings on campus at the University of Northern Iowa, conducting psychological assessments and diagnoses at the University of Northern Iowa Psychological Assessment Clinic, and working with children in a trauma-informed day treatment program through Family Service Madison, in Madison, Wisconsin. Her areas of interest include mental health research, mental health focused trainings, and providing opportunities for individuals to learn about and better understand mental health and mental illness.
Ramani Kutty-Patel, MSW, APSW
Ramani Kutty-Patel is the lead medical social worker at Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI. She coordinates discharge planning for patients in the ICU and serves as a resource to the hospital social work team. Ramani leads Advance Care Planning presentations for Advocate Aurora, primarily at Aurora West Allis Medical Center and various local clinics. She is additionally trained as a Respecting Choices® First Steps® Advanced Care Planning Facilitator. Ramani is an advocate of preserving all patients’ goals, values and preferences through advance care planning.
Doug LaBelle, LCSW, CEAP, ICGC II, IGDC
Doug LaBelle, LCSW, CEAP, ICGC II, IGDC is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Employee Assistance Professional, International Certified Gambling Counselor II, International Gaming Disorder Certificate, and a Trainer for the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling. He has over 35 years of experience as an Administrator, Clinician, Trainer and Consultant with Behavioral Health Disorders including Gambling/Gambling Disorder and Video Gaming/Gaming Disorder. Doug has recently become highly knowledgeable and involved in the impacts of Blockchain/Cryptocurrency/Non-Fungible Tokens on the growing Digital World of Social Work.
Dinah LaCaze, MBA, APSW
Dinah LaCaze, is the Elder Abuse Prevention Program Coordinator Chapter 55 for the Milwaukee County Department on Aging. A graduate from UWM with a Master’s degree in Social Work in 2006. Further education includes a Master’s in Business Administration from Cardinal Stritch University in 2000 and a Bachelors in Business and Psychology from Lakeland College in 1995. Dinah previously worked as a Supervisor / Administrator of Case Management services within Family Care and Long Term Care for 14 years. Her passion includes a belief in learning and developing training processes to facilitate knowledge flow. She is an active volunteer in her Church where she teaches Catechism classes to youth. She is devoted to and loves spending time with her grandchildren. As the Elder Abuse Prevention Program Coordinator she has most recently been instrumental with staff and community partners in developing a Crisis system within Milwaukee County that are needed to facilitate Emergency Protective Placement of individuals with Alzheimer’s or irreversible dementia. Dinah’s passion about education around the disease process working with Challenging Behaviors associated with Irreversible Dementia lead to development in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association a Person Centered Care Training. Dinah provides behavior support, training and education to provide people with dementia opportunities to remain in the least restrictive environment as long as possible.
Elizabeth Lanter, LCSW, IMH-E
Elizabeth (Liz) Lanter has a worked with at-risk youth of all ages since 2005 in various settings (child welfare, school, group home, etc.) She serendipitously learned about Infant Mental Health through her macro practice internship placement at Children’s Hospital of WI. This sparked a new found passion in her career as she realized that working with a younger population can help prevent so many of the social issues that she had previously worked on, as quality relationship building serves as the root cause, and the social issues (such as child abuse/neglect, teen pregnancy, crime, etc.) is the symptom of a lesser quality parent-child relationship. While working in child welfare, she learned about the direct service approach of "Trauma Informed Care." Since then, Liz has worked to meld these two fields, that have historically had little to no direct overlap in training and approach, as Liz believes that they are essentially one in the same. Liz has a post-master's certificate in Infant Mental Health (IMH), Early Childhood and Family Studies; post master's certificate in Trauma Informed Counseling; training and mentorship by Dr. Connie Lillas regarding IMH and Neuro-relational Framework; and completed 18 month Trauma Informed Child and Parent Psychology training. She has a passion to use the theoretical and practice experiences gained in her career to fuel her "big picture thinking" and system changes in the fields of trauma and early prevention. She has held roles as an IMH Specialist for Healthy Infant Court, Steering Committee Member and Executive Committee Member for Milwaukee County’s Healthy Infant Court, a one of a kind court program in America. She has previous experience as a grants review committee for CAP Fund. She is passionate about sharing this knowledge with others to influence change in their own practices, and potentially spark their interest in systemic changes. She has presented at numerous local and state level conferences discussing IMH in the child welfare system and trauma. She presented with Dr. Connie Lillas at the 2016 World Association of IMH regarding NRF work in Milwaukee County. Liz burned out from the stressful work of being a therapist in child welfare and managing her own blended family. She refocused herself and decided to move closer towards her desire to make the knowledge of trauma informed care and emotional development a universal intervention approach, as we all experience emotional development in infancy and we all are susceptible to trauma in our lifetime.
Elizabeth Lasky, Ph.D., LCSW, ACC
Dr. Liz Lasky, PhD, LCSW, ACC is a social worker and certified coach. She is an expert at teaching helping professionals how to coach in an ethical and evidence-based way. She is the founder and lead educator of The Coach Training Program For Helping Professionals™. She believes that coaching is the fastest way to improve client-centered care. Dr. Liz Lasky is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (NY State, MSW from Yeshiva University). She holds a PhD from Yeshiva University in Social Welfare. She is also a New York University Certified Coach and holds the International Coach Federation credential of Associate Certified Coach (ACC). She is an adjunct professor at Fordham University. She is a published author (both in peer reviewed academic journals and her own book), a professional expert for Bravo TV, and presents her research on coaching single women internationally, most notably at Harvard University.She is also a proud Fellow of The Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, Harvard University
Bonnie Leggo, LCSW
Bonnie has been practicing in social work since obtaining her BSW from Temple University in 2000. Early experiences and initially working in Child Protective Services led her to seek out education about trauma informed practices for the healing of individuals and families. Currently working via telehealth with Medicaid members, she has worked in residential, detoxification services (within hospital systems), IOP and private practice. She has been trained in EMDR and is in the last year of education for Somatic Experiencing certification. Her experience with vipassana meditation and training in psychedelic work has encouraged her to focus on body based therapeutic practices. She lives with her partner Dr Jes Cisneros and their daughter in Delavan, Wisconsin.
Michelle Lund, LPC
Michelle Lund, LPC, Dr. Lindsay Emer, and Dan Biziak, LCSW, ICS, CSAC work as a team providing technical assistance, education, and oversight to opioid providers in the State of Wisconsin. In collaboration with DHS staff, provide assistance to increase access to treatment, recovery, and harm reduction.
Jennifer McAlister, BA
Jennifer McAlister is the Program Manager of Family Services with the Alzheimer's Association, Wisconsin Chapter and has been with the organization since 2014. In her role she has the opportunity to work with persons living with dementia and their families to help them live their best lives throughout their journey. Jennifer provides care consultation services, facilitates skill building education workshops and support groups for persons living with dementia and caregivers, and oversees the Direct Connect Referral Program (an outreach to physicians which helps connect patients and their care partners to Alzheimer's Association's Care and Support Services quickly and easily). She has worked professionally in the field of dementia care for over 25 years and was personally touched by the disease as a young teenager when her grandmother was diagnosed. Jennifer is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a degree in psychology.
Myra McNair, LMFT, M.S.
Owner and founder of Anesis Family Therapy, Myra is a Marriage and Family Therapist, Trauma Specialist and Hypnotherapist. Myra has a Bachelors of Art in Biology and a Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy with specialties in addiction, depression, anxiety, infant mental health, parent/child attachment, marriage counseling and trauma. One of Myra’s biggest passions is working with diverse families and individuals. Using a family systems lens, Myra uses psychoanalytic theory and a narrative therapy approach. Centering concepts from the West African Adinkra symbols -the Sankofa bird “to go back and get it” teaches us that we must understand where we come from to move forward. Once we have that understanding we can plant seeds of understanding and healing to the next generation. Myra is trained in (EMDR) Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Hypnotherapy, (TFCBT) Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, (CPP) Child Parent Psychotherapy, Brainspotting and Infant Mental Health. Myra is a community coordinator for the ACT, Adults and Children Together, Raising Safe Families Program and provides training for community workers and agencies in the ACT curriculum, a Mentor and Consultant for the UW Infant Mental Health Program and an Adjunct Professor for the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Edgewood College. Building and training others in the field of mental health is something that Myra is devoted to. Myra continues to facilitate training and seminars in different therapy practices, relaxation and mindfulness, leadership development and cultural humility. Myra is a 2017 “M List” recipient as a Health Innovator, 2020’s In Business Magazine's “40 under 40” and 2022’s Brava Magazines “Woman 2 Watch”. Other awards include Black Chamber of Commerce 2020 “Eagle Award”, Nami of Dane County 2020 “Mental Health Trailblazer” and Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health 2020 “Spirit Award”.
Lucia Micheli, LCSW, CSAC
Lucia Micheli obtained an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UW Milwaukee in 1998. She spent several years working at Meta House, a nationally renowned drug and alcohol treatment center for women, where she helped to develop and implement an intensive alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) day treatment program. She also instituted an innovative trauma recovery program; providing individual and group therapy to women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chemical dependency. In private practice since 2001, Lucia continues to specialize in treating traumatized individuals with an emphasis on education and support. As a trauma survivor, Ms. Micheli feels that she brings a unique awareness and perspective to her work. Her clients have appreciated this empathy, as well as personal strengths such as rapport building, problem solving, creativity, and tolerance. Lucia has specialized in treating first responders for 20 years. She has provided training and outreach services to the Milwaukee Police and Fire Departments, and has served as a resource for Shielded Hearts, an organization founded to support spouses of law enforcement personnel.
Debra Minsky-Kelly, MSW, LCSW
Debra Minsky-Kelly, LCSW, is a professor of social work at Carthage College. She earned her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a Master in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. Her experience as a clinical social worker includes serving as a director with Rogers Behavioral Health in Kenosha as well as working in areas of domestic violence, child welfare and homeless healthcare. Prof. Kelly’s ongoing research and clinical interests include the effects of trauma across the lifespan, development of trauma informed organizations, and the impact of secondary traumatic stress on professionals.
Judge Derek Mosley
Derek Mosley graduated from Marquette University Law School in 1995. After graduation he served as an Assistant District Attorney for Milwaukee County from 1995-2002. As an Assistant District Attorney, he represented the State of Wisconsin in over 1,000 criminal prosecutions. Mr. Mosley founded the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Community Prosecution Unit. This unit places assistant district attorneys in various neighborhoods throughout the City of Milwaukee to work with residents to reduce urban blight and to improve the quality of life. As the head of this unit, Mr. Mosley helped to establish after-school programs, he established a Second Chance Felony Employment Initiative for offenders, closed 100 drug houses and nuisance properties, and started a police and citizen crime fighting initiative, which targeted street drug dealing. This initiative called “Operation Streetsweeper” was awarded the Law Enforcement Honor Award by the United States Department of Justice. In 2002, Mr. Mosley was appointed Municipal Court Judge in Milwaukee. At the time of his appointment, he was the youngest African-American to be appointed judge in the State of Wisconsin. In August 2004, Judge Mosley was appointed Chief Judge of the Milwaukee Municipal Court. Judge Mosley sits on the Board of Directors of several organizations including the Urban Ecology Center, the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, Safe & Sound, Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, the United Way Diversity Leadership Committee, and Transcenter for Youth. He has been a lecturer at both Marquette University Law School as well as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He sits on the Supreme Court of Wisconsin’s Judicial Education Committee. He received the Leaders in the Law Award from the Wisconsin Law Journal. He was inducted into the Milwaukee Community Journal’s Academy of Legends, named one of the Philanthropic 5 by the United Way, recipient of the Dean Howard B. Eisenberg Public Service Award from Marquette University Law School, voted “Jurist of the Year” by the Justinian Society of Lawyers, Professional of the Year by ONEMKE & The United Way, named Law Enforcement Official of the Year by Safe & Sound, received the William C. Frye Civic Engagement Award from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, was named “Milwaukeean of the Year” and “Milwaukee’s Most Trusted Public Official” by the Shepherd Express, and was inducted into the Milwaukee Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Hall of Fame in 2021. Judge Mosley routinely speaks both nationally and internationally about Unconscious Bias and the effect it has in all aspects of life. As a kidney transplant recipient in 2016, he is an ardent supporter of Donate Life Wisconsin, the National Kidney Foundation, and Versiti (formerly the BloodCenter of Wisconsin). He currently serves as an advisor to the television and movie industries to promote accurate depictions of organ donation and transplant on television and movies.
Teresa Nicholas, MSSW
Teresa Nicholas has been a social worker since 1990. She has served in several different capacities - as a Child Protection Social worker, as a Mental Health Clinical Specialist, and, for the past 9 years, as a school social worker. Teresa currently is a school social worker at Verona Area High School. Her passions include Trauma Informed Care with special consideration given to compassion resilience for caregivers, as well as providing culturally responsive services to all. Teresa is a wife, mother, daughter, cousin, aunt and sister, and her family is her drive to do good work in the world.
Jennifer Nowak, MSW C-ASWCM
Jennifer Nowak has been a program manager at the Alzheimer’s Association since September of 2022, overseeing the Family Caregiver Support Programs. Prior to her work at the Alzheimer’s Association she has been a Certified Geriatric Care Manager for the past 12 years, assisting individuals and their families arrange services, find placement and establish long term care plans. Jennifer has had extensive experience working with individuals with dementia and their families. She started a dementia specific adult day center in 1997 and Wisconsin’s first early memory loss program in 2005. Jennifer has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee.
Marti Oakley & Coz Whitten-Skaife
Marti Oakley is the host of "T.S. Radio" internet radio program and author of "The PPJ Gazette" Blog. Marti, along with her Co-Host and Guardianship Abuse Prevention Advocate, Coz Whitten-Skaife, dedicate much time, expense, and compassion to their Friday evening program "In The Mix" providing lively discussion on various aspects of guardianship and conservatorship. They and their expert guests discuss possible problem solving to stop guardianship abuse across our nation. Marti has also served as a panelist at the annual Whistleblowers Summit in D.C. devoted to the subject of guardianship abuse. NASGA (National Association to Stop Guardianship Abuse) has recognized the Marti and Coz for their service on their site: StopGuardianAbuse.org.
Rural Initiatives Manager, Wisconsin Office of Rural Prosperity, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Kietra grew up in the pines, prairies, and pastures of Wisconsin. She brings extensive experience of coalition building, placemaking, community engagement and sustainability. She has a background in natural resources, business marketing, and sustainable agriculture and has a deep interest in celebrating the culture and stories of rural Wisconsin.
Erika Olson, APSW
Erika Olson, APSW, is the Coordinated Entry Initiatives Lead at IMPACT inc. and has worked within the Milwaukee Coordinated Entry system since 2019. She contributes to initiatives within the Milwaukee community dedicated towards ending homelessness within subpopulations. She also contributes to data within the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and works with regard to data analytics and progress towards goals. Erika is the chair of the Milwaukee Family Initiative Committee, the group of agencies dedicated towards ending family homelessness by 2025. Before social work, Erika worked in early childhood development and education with children ages 2 – 18. She uses this experience in forming collaborative partnerships with other family-serving agencies within the community working towards housing access for all families. Erika earned her Master of Social Work degree in 2020 from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Cameron Overton, MSW, LCSW, CSAC
Cameron Overton (he/him/his), MSW, LCSW, CSAC, is an assistant professor and BSW field coordinator in the social work department at Alverno College. Overton is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) as well as a Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC). He has spent most of his social work experience working with those who struggle with a drug or alcohol addiction, most recently as the Milwaukee County Adult Drug Treatment Court Coordinator. Overton has had a plethora of work experience in micro and macro work including child protective services, recovery support coordination, grant coordination, and program and practice evaluation. Other community work has brought Overton to be an activist for the dignity and worth of ALL people to be recognized and celebrated. Overton earned his Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as earned a certificate in criminal justice. He went on to earn his Master of Social Work degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as well as a certificate in trauma informed care. Overton is currently in a program at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, earning his Doctorate in Social Work. His research focuses on the effects of trauma on Black youth in the criminal justice system and the reciprocal relationship that the criminal justice system has in creating trauma in the same population.
Jen Park-Mroch, Ph.D.
Jen is a Health and Well-Being State Specialist from the UW Madison Division of Extension. Jen brings more than 20 years of experience in community programming ranging from home visiting programs for young/first time mothers, to SNAP-Ed nutrition programming, to behavioral health programs to reduce stress in youth and adults. Jen has led Wisconsin Extension’s Opioid Task Force, Extension’s Youth Mental Health Team, and Extension’s Stress and Coping Team. Dr. Park-Mroch has overseen the development and implementation of several Extension community-based education programs.
Jennifer Parker, MSSW, LCSW, ACSW
Jennifer has a Master’s degree in Social Work. Her 35 years of mental health experience and her specialty with intimate partner abuse survivors inform this workshop. Jennifer’s work with victims builds resiliency by helping them name what happened, understand who is responsible, and address issues that interfere with creating the lives they want. Jennifer’s book, Coercive Relationships: Find the Answers You Seek, includes knowledge from her training and research, as well as insights she gained from survivors on their healing journeys. Her accomplishments include a curriculum for IPV group work, workshops, professional newsletter articles, expert witness testimony, a blog, participation in a community DV and Sexual Assault task force, and awards from state and local agencies. Jennifer’s blog focuses on topics of interest to survivors, professionals, or family and friends concerned about someone. Her mission is to enhance therapists’ knowledge about effective practices in working with IPV survivors through her workshops, webinars, and publications.
PATCH Teen Educators
PATCH Teen Educators are a group of high school students (aged 14-18) from Wisconsin. They are trained as public speakers and advocates. The Teen Educators come from many diverse backgrounds and are experts on the needs and concerns of young people today. They use storytelling and guided discussion to share their own perspectives about adolescent health care and to advocate for changes within health care systems that would ensure access to high-quality, youth-friendly health care for all young people.
R. Paul Perales II MSW, LCSW
Paul Perales, MSW, LCSW, is a Director of Psychological Health for the Wisconsin Army National Guard, an examination committee member of the Association of Social Work Boards, and a thinker on the topic of ethics. Paul’s work includes a focus on working with LGBTQ individuals, trauma recovery, couples, men’s health, the military, public safety, ethics, and macro-level systems interventions at the international, state, and community levels. He enjoys the outdoors, cooking, working out, learning, and spending time with his family.
Barbara Perkins, MSW, LCSW
Barbara Perkins, MSW, LCSW works as a mental health clinician for a large health care system in Madison, WI. She also maintains a small private practice. She previously owned a full time sole private practice in Madison. She has worked in a variety of healthcare settings during her career. She has been practicing telehealth since 2014 and is a Board-Certified Tele behavioral Health Professional, Level II through the Tele behavioral Health Institute.
Becky Rasmussen serves as the Training Director for Wisconsin Progress and helps candidates run for local and state office throughout the northeast WI region. She loves helping people talk about their values and why they want to serve their communities by running for public office.
Since coming to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign at the start of 2015, he’s concentrated his work on raising public awareness of the need to ban gerrymandering, to limit big and dark money in our politics, to protect and expand the freedom to vote, and to oppose the anti-democracy movement in our state and in our country. He’s the author of 12 Ways to Save Democracy in Wisconsin, published by the University of Wisconsin Press (2021). Prior to joining the Democracy Campaign at the start of 2015, Matt worked at The Progressive magazine for 32 years. For most of those, he was the editor and publisher of The Progressive. While there, he wrote a book entitled You Have No Rights: Stories of America in an Age of Repression. And he edited an anthology called Democracy in Print: The Best of The Progressive, 1909-2009. His opinion pieces have run in the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, the Miami Herald and a host of other newspapers. And he’s appeared on Nightline, NPR, C-SPAN and WISC-TV, where he does election night commentary. If you live in Wisconsin, you may have heard him on The Devils Advocates, WOJB, WORT or Wisconsin Public Radio. Matt's first job out of college was working for Ralph Nader at a publication called Multinational Monitor. A birdwatcher, he lives with his wife Jean in the Town of Dunn.
Becca Schwartz, MBA
Becca joined JSS in early 2017 to head up the new Refugee Resettlement Program and considers herself very fortunate to have the opportunity to help newcomers establish themselves and become a part of the community in Madison. She is a Middleton native who spent over a decade working in various parts of East and West Africa. She earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Iowa and an M.B.A. from Drexel University, before joining the Peace Corps where she started working in small business development. Since then she has worked in leadership positions in both social enterprise and non-profit. Becca has lived in Senegal, Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria and has a working knowledge of French and Wolof. She now lives with her family in Madison and enjoys rediscovering her hometown.
Marc Seidl, MSW, CSW
Marc Seidl is currently a Child Protection Initial Assessment Supervisor with Brown County Health and Human Services. He has been a supervisor with Brown County for six years and was an Initial Assessment Social Worker in the field with families for 8 years for both Brown and Outagamie Counties. Marc has been active in several local multidisciplinary teams involving drug endangered children, abusive injuries in young children and human trafficking. Marc earned his MSW and BSW from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay both with an emphasis in Child Welfare. Marc is a member of the Child Welfare Advisory Committee for the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay as well as a member of the National Association of Social Workers and a past member of the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Chapter.
Dr. Karen Shilvock-Cinefro DSW, LSW, NHA
With over 35 years of experience in the field of Social Work I have worked for hospitals, hospices, social service agencies, senior centers, nursing homes and private counseling. I currently teach online for Aurora University. I have a BA in Psychology, a MA in Sociology and Gerontology, and a Doctorate in Clinical Social Work. I am also a researcher and writer. I enjoy teaching and getting students excited in an awesome helping profession.
Polly Shoemaker, JD
Attorney Polly Shoemaker is the Managing Attorney at the Guardianship Support Center with the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging (GWAAR). Polly received her undergraduate degrees from Lawrence University and her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Prior to joining the GSC, Polly was a staff attorney for ABC for Health, where she worked with families of children with special health care needs and adults of all ages to address insurance concerns and transition planning. During law school, she also worked with the Dane County Corporation Counsel’s office in areas including children’s services, mental commitments, and guardianship review. Polly also volunteers with the State Bar’s Wills for Heroes clinics.
Emilie Smiley (she/her/hers) M.P.A.
Emilie is the Program Director at NAMI Wisconsin. She oversees the Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) and Crisis Intervention Partners (CIP) trainings throughout Wisconsin. She also supports young adult programs including NAMI on Campus and Raise Your Voice. Emilie has a background of working in social services in areas including crisis management, program management, and trauma informed care. Emilie received her master’s degree in Public Administration concentrating on Nonprofit Leadership from Clark University. Before coming to NAMI Wisconsin, Emilie worked as the Director of Operations for a home healthcare and social services agency in Worcester, MA.
Kari Southern, MPNA
As Deputy Director of the Public Policy Institute, Kari oversees both the prevention and policy efforts of the Institute. Kari’s passion for alleviating poverty and its harmful effects inspires her work at the Institute and motivates other members of the staff. Kari’s connection to Community Advocates began in 2006, when she joined the organization as an intern while obtaining her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After graduation, Kari was hired and worked at the agency in a variety of roles while also obtaining her Master’s Degree in Public and Nonprofit Administration. Kari’s experience with prevention began in 2012 when she transitioned into the Public Policy Institute and focused on positive youth development. Through growing the Institute, Kari has been working in coalition based or collective work for over a decade, and it is a core focus of the work the Institute does.
Taylor St. Onge, MSW, APSW
Taylor St. Onge is an In-Hospital Veterinary Social Worker for BluePearl Specialty + Emergency Pet Hospital—Milwaukee Market. She holds a Masters Degree in Social Work and a Certificate in Trauma-Informed Care, both obtained from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Taylor started at BluePearl as an MSW Intern in 2019, and was hired on upon graduation at the end of 2020. She has extensive experience dealing with grief & loss, quality of life discussions, challenging clients, and staff wellness. In her free time, Taylor enjoys spending time with her cat, Basilton, crocheting, reading, and writing.
Emily Stormont, LCSW
Emily received her MSW at the University of Chicago in 2010. She began her career as a Special Education teacher and after returning to school to pursue her master’s degree, worked as a school social worker in Chicago and Baltimore. Emily later transitioned to providing outpatient psychotherapy in rural communities in Southwest Wisconsin. She is a licensed clinical social worker at Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County Primary Care Clinic in Darlington, WI. Emily provides clinical services and supports the development of an integrated approach to addressing mental and physical health in a rural setting.
John Tate II, MSW
John Tate II is an Alderman and City Council President in the City of Racine, representing the Third District. He is also the former Chair of the Wisconsin Parole Commission. John is a graduate of Marquette University and Loyola University - Chicago with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology and Master's Degree in Social Work, respectively. As a trained social worker and public official, John brings an intersectional perspective to government and policy decisions. John works as bridge builder--facilitating understanding of complex issues, challenging simplistic conclusions, and seeking to elevate our political discourse in such a way that the first and last priority is people, and the improvement of their lives.
Jennifer Taylor-McBride, MSW, APSW
Jenny Taylor-McBride is a clinical assistant professor and field liaison in the Social Work Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Jenny earned her MSW from Western Michigan University. Jenny completed a post-graduate Certificate at UW-Madison in Infant, Early Childhood and Family Mental Health. Jenny is a certified advanced practicing social worker with a variety of social work experience. She has worked extensively within early childhood programming, specifically supporting mental health, disabilities and health of infants, young children and their families. Jenny’s other areas of experience include child welfare and non-profit administration.
Devin Thomas, MSW, CAPSW
Devin Thomas is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Field Liaison in the Social Work Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She earned her MSW from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Devin is a Certified Advanced Practicing Social Worker with a variety of social work experience. She has worked extensively with the LGBTQ+ population, specifically with survivors of trauma, intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation. Other areas of experience include housing and homelessness, child welfare and aging out of foster care, community-based services, and reproductive and sexual health education and services. Devin has supervised and mentored social work field students throughout her career.
Susan Townsley, LCSW
Susan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been practicing for twenty-nine years. She has been providing outpatient mental health services in rural Wisconsin for twenty-two years. Susan is the Clinic Director at Stonehouse Counseling, a rural outpatient mental health clinic that provides mental health services in clinic as well as in five local school districts. Susan serves as a Commissioner on the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission for Rural Prosperity. She is the current Chair of the NASW WI Committee on Rural Mental Health. She also serves on the NASW WI Board of Directors and Legislative Committee.
Richard Ferrari Traner, MPA & PHSW
In 2008, Ricky earned a bachelor’s degree in social welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2008, and a master’s degree of public administration Welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2020. Additionally, he is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in Trauma-Informed Care from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Ricky currently works as the Manager of the Prevention & Early Intervention Section with the Division of Safety & Permanence within the Wisconsin Department of Children & Families. In 2017, Ricky began a Public Health Social Worker and Supervisor with the City of Milwaukee Health Department’s Direct Assistance for Dads (DAD) Project. The DAD Project used an evidence-based model that built the parental capacity of fathers as a protective factor for maternal and child health. In his roles with the DAD Project, Ricky gained expertise in effective fatherhood engagement, paternal parenting, and men’s health. Ricky has since applied this expertise to various trainings, presentations, and workshops throughout the Midwest.
Wendy Volz Daniels, MSW, LCSW
Wendy Volz Daniels: Wendy Volz Daniels is the Multidisciplinary Internship Coordinator in the Social and Cultural Science Department at Marquette University where she oversees undergraduate student internships in the fields of social welfare and justice, criminology and law studies, anthropology and sociology. She also teaches courses in the social welfare and justice major. She recently taught an inside/out course Invisible Sentence: Policy & Practice for Children Impacted by Parental Incarceration inside Racine Correctional Institution. Wendy severed as a Trustee on the Campbellsport Village Board for three two-year terms from 2001-2007. Wendy also represented Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District as an Obama Delegate Alternate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. She has served on several committees of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and as a Vice Chair of the Fond du Lac County Democratic Party. She is a 2009 graduate of Emerge Wisconsin.
Jeanne Wagner, MSW, LCSW, ACSW
Jeanne Wagner joined the staff at the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare in May 2005 as the Director of Social Work Field Education Programs. 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 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, geriatrics, and private practice. She currently teaches courses in social work, develops and presents continuing education programs covering social work ethics and boundaries, leadership and supervision, case management, documentation, confidentiality, adoption competency, safety in the field, etc. She is a Trainer for the Training for Adoption Competency (TAC) curriculum through the Center for Adoption Support and Education (CASE) and UWM’s Co-Director for TAC. She has served in the role of Ombuds for UWM since 2007 and has 10 years of experience in Quality Assurance.
Ruth Wagner, MSW, CAPSW, ACHP-SW
Ruth Wagner is an Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Social Worker. She obtained her Master’s Degree from University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Her past experiences include working in long term acute care hospitals, dialysis centers and in residential facilities that serve individuals with intellectual disabilities. Mrs. Wagner has been working in hospice and palliative care for the last 20 years. She has provided education to professionals and non-professionals in a variety of agencies concerning hospice care and end of life issues. Mrs. Wagner is passionate about providing support to terminally ill individuals, their families and caregivers. The dying process is not only a physical, but a spiritual and emotional journey and should be met with dignity, compassion and respect. She is honored to share such an intimate experience with each dying person and their loved ones.
Cary B. Waubanascum, PhD, MSW
Cary Waubanascum Hewpetoss, Ph.D., is a proud member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, Wakeny^ta (Turtle Clan), with ancestral roots in the Menominee, Forest County Potawatomi, and Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Nations of Wisconsin. She is a wife to Lance and Aknulha to a son and daughter. In July, 2021 she earned her PhD from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in Mni Sota Makoce. Her dissertation titled, “This is how we show up for our relatives”: Understanding how Indigenous relative caregivers embody traditional kinship to resist the colonial child welfare system”, uncovered ongoing colonialism perpetuated by the modern child welfare system and how Indigenous relatives continue to reclaim and live their traditional kinship amidst ongoing colonialism. Her work focuses on identifying and challenging ongoing colonialism and Indigenous erasure and reclaiming Indigenous lifeways. She was previously a social worker for 10-years with Tribal communities in Northeastern Wisconsin. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Social Work Professional Programs at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay
Wendy Weckler, BA
Wendy has more than twenty-five years of experience in program development, project management, and administration—twenty-two of those years being at Hope House. Wendy brings the ideal mix of collaborative leadership, personal initiative, and genuine empathy for the at-risk populations that Hope House serves. She has worked as a Community Coordinator and Projects Manager at Hope House, and in 2014, took over as Executive Director. Previously, Wendy worked as a community organizer, campaign consultant and fundraiser. Her work with economically-disadvantaged groups has given her direct and hands-on experience with the real strengths, needs, and impacts of poverty. This has helped to make Wendy a great leader in oversight of programming for those facing homelessness. Wendy holds a B.A. in Political Science and Communications from Marquette University. She lives with her husband and two children in the Milwaukee area.
Tarsha Wiggins, LCSW, CADC
Tarsha Wiggins is the founder of Speak Wellness Behavioral Health Consulting, LLC. She is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin Madison where she acquired a Master’s in Social Work in 2009 and completed additional training in 2012 at Aurora University, where she earned a certificate as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Tarsha began her journey in the field of Social Services as a Child Protective Worker in 2009 and moved on to work with adults and children in every level of care: Inpatient Hospitalization, Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient Treatment, and Individual Therapy. During her years of providing direct care Tarsha often witnessed the ravaging effects of untreated mental illness and realized the need to abolish the stigma of mental illness, particularly within communities of color.
Sheng Lee Yang, MSW, LCSW
Sheng is a first generation immigrant who arrived in the U.S. as a refugee at a young age and has remained in Wisconsin since. Today, she is a practicing Licensed Clinical Social Worker, President and Executive Director for Us 2 Behavioral Health Care. Additionally, she teaches graduate-level courses in Clinical Mental Health and Diversity & Inclusion, and more importantly, is a proud mother of two young girls. Her professional experiences include direct care and leadership positions in public, private, government and nonprofit institutions. Her personal and professional experiences helped cultivate a vision to integrate social justice and cultural humility into mental health. On September 3rd, 2019, Sheng led the opening of Us 2 Behavioral Health Care to increase access to health care in the community with a vision that everyone can be healthier together.
Mykeerah Zarazua, MSW, CAPSW
Mykeerah Zarazua was elected by the Stevens Point City Council on May 1, 2019 to fill a vacancy as District 4 Alderperson. She also serves on the Board of Public Works and the Personnel Committee. In addition to her alderperson duties, Mykeerah is a 2019 UW-Stevens Point graduate of the Sociology and Social Work program. She is also attending UW-Oshkosh to obtain a Master’s degree in Social Work. Mykeerah has over twenty years of experience working with adults with disabilities in a variety of roles, including as a job coach, a Presenter Biographies case manager, and owner of an adult family home. In 2018 she made a career change to being an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She continues to strive to be a voice for those who often are not able to speak for themselves, a role that carries over into the position of public office