Barb is a graduate of UW-Oshkosh in business and marketing, and also holds her RN license. She has worked at the ADRC of Brown County for 13 years and currently holds the position of Prevention Coordinator implementing evidenced based prevention programs and locally developed classes with community partners. She serves as the Co-Leader of the Brown County Prevention Coalition,and member of the NEW RTAC. In her spare time, she has mentored youth through Big Brothers Big Sisters, and enjoys running, biking and gardening.
In 2011 a team of six community leader in Southwest WI came together to make positive change in our rural communities. Our team is a City Electrical Superintendent, a Lutheran Pastor, an Evangelical Pastor, an Financial Investment Company Manager, a High School Superintendent, and myself a professional in field of LTC for 35 years. Yes a very diverse group of thinkers. I often need to remind these men how much they need a woman's prospective. Ha! We are all volunteers and we are all in our legacy years wanting to make a significance change in the culture of our communities. I am looking forward to sharing our journey of successes and challenges these past five years.
Betsy Abramson is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging, a Wisconsin non-profit devoted to the research and dissemination of evidence-based health promotion interventions in healthy aging, where she manages all day-to-day operations, funding, budgeting and programs. Betsy has a 30+ year history in Wisconsin’s aging network working in areas of long-term care access, quality and financing, advance directives, guardianship and adult protective services, end-of-life decision-making, elder abuse; domestic violence in later life, economic security, and disability rights. She has held leadership roles in several legal services, aging and disability non-profit organizations and taught Elder Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School and developed and operated a law school practicum in elder law. She has published articles in local and national publications and is a frequent presenter at state and national conferences.
After teaching high school English, Speech, Drama & Journalism for 7 years, Power joined the American Red Cross in Omaha, NE as their first full time HIV/AIDS Educator. He then went to the National Red Cross in Washington DC for 6 years awarding grants and providing technical assistance to Red Cross chapters across the country. In 1999 he moved to Madison, WI to become the Executive Director of AIDS Network. After 20 years of HIV/AIDS work, he became the Executive Director of the Colonial Club Senior Activity Center in Sun Prairie. He served as Chair of the Dane County Elderly Services Network for 5 years and is currently serving as Treasurer. He has been the President of the Wisconsin Association of Senior Centers since 2016.
Carrie P. Diamond is the Transportation Specialist for the Greater WI Agency on Aging Resources, Inc. GWAAR is an Area Agency on Aging serving 70 of 72 WI counties and 11 tribes. Carrie provides the aging network with materials, resources and expertise to develop and adapt programs, overcome barriers and become strong advocates. Carrie is a Certified Mobility Manager and a board member of the WI Association of Mobility Managers and Wisconsin Rural Partners.
Catherine Alicia Georges has been a member of AARP’s board of directors since 2010, and the Board elected her as the organization’s national volunteer president, serving through 2020. That means she is the principal volunteer spokesperson for AARP – and an invaluable liaison between the Board and those AARP serves. Alicia brings enormous experience and expertise to her role, as a professor and chair of the Department of Nursing at Lehman College of the City University of New York, and as volunteer President of the National Black Nurses Foundation. She also serves on the board of the Black Women’s Health Study and R.A.I.N., Inc. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the New York Academy of Medicine, and a lifetime member of the National Black Nurses Association and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She earned her undergraduate degree from the Seton Hall University College of Nursing, her M.A. in Nursing from New York University, and a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Vermont. Dr. Georges has received multiple honors and awards for her work in nursing, health care and the development of health and social public policy. She received a fellowship from the New York Academy of Medicine and was awarded the Mary Mahoney Award by the American Nurses for her work in increasing minority representation in the field of nursing. Other awards include the New York State Legislative Nurse of Distinction, King Chavez Parks Visiting Scholar at the School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Mabel Staupers Award and the Women in Public Service Award. Dr. Georges has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Vermont, an M.A. from New York University in Community Health Nursing Administration and a B.S. in Nursing from Seton Hall University College of Nursing.
I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation Management with and emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Wisconsin - Lacrosse. I also have a B.S. in Psychology. I am a Certified Park and Recreation Professional and Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. I have been a Director in a municipal Senior Center for 19 Years and prior to this position, I had 16 years experience as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist & Activity Director in Long Term Care & Sub Acute Rehab facilities.
Chad MacHolz is an Advanced Securities Examiner with the State of Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, Division of Securities, Bureau of Enforcement, where he has been employed since 2012. In this role, he is responsible for conducting investigations into fraud and administrative violations of the Wisconsin Uniform Securities Law and Wisconsin Franchise Investment Law. Previously, Chad worked as an investigator for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Chad graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice before attending and completing the Wisconsin Department of Justice Protective Service Law Enforcement Training Academy.
Chelsey Myhre-Foster is a student at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. She has been with ILR for just over a year. Prior to taking the position at ILR Chelsey had participated in the Partners in Policymaking training through the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities, and the Wisconsin Family Leadership Institute sponsored by the Waisman Center, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and Family Voices of Wisconsin. Chelsey coordinates the advocacy network, Act Now, at ILR. Act Now is a grass-roots effort that represents the interests of all people with disabilities. Chelsey has organized consumer participation at Disability Advocacy Days in Madison, and represented ILR during IL Days. Chelsey also specialized in landlord tenant and housing advocacy.
After retiring from teaching in the Rice Lake Area School District, Chris found her “Encore” career at the ADRC of Barron, Rusk, and Washburn Counties. She has worked part-time as the Outreach Coordinator, in the Barron office, for the past eight years. Chris has worked on a wide variety of projects, is a trained Powerful Tools for Caregivers leader, and facilitates the Low Vision Support Group. Most recently she worked on a Nutrition Revitalization Grant. The goal of the grant was to form sustainable partnerships with local food producers and feature them on the senior ding menu. This proved to be a successful and rewarding initiative.
Cindi Pichler is the Senior Assistive Technology Specialist at IndependenceFirst. She has held this position for twenty seven years and has received extensive training in a wide variety of Assistive Technology related topics, including funding issues, evaluation and selection, home and workplace modifications and specific devices. She is also co-chair of the Accommodations Special Interest Group for RESNA. Cindi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Exceptional Education and a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. She is a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professional. She has been employed at IndependenceFirst for 32 years.
Connie spent 13 years in banking, and 20 years in education as an Educational Technology Specialist, and a Library Media Specialist. Connie creates organizing and productivity solutions for business and residential clients to reduce stress and save money. • Professional Organizing Certificates from the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (www.napo.net) • Master’s Degree in Education: Professional Development, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire • Master’s Degree in Educational Technology Leadership: The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. • Currently holds 4 Teaching Certifications from the Wisconsin Department of Instruction
Retired psychiatrist practiced entire time in Green Bay. Graduate of Marquette Medical School 1960. Married, 4 children, 4 grandchildren. Associated with ADRC of Brown County since 2002 as President of the ADRC Board, Master Trainer in Living Well and Stepping On since 2007, Trained in Sure Step in-home fall prevention assessment and now completing in-home fall prevention screens, and facilitator for Brain Enrichment 10-week course. Trained in and facilitates Arthritis Exercise program, presented annual 6 hour course on aging through Learning In Retirement (UWGB), enjoys family gatherings, his hobby of toy trains, reading and golfing, member of Bellin Health Fall Reduction Team and member of Bellin Health Ethics Committee for 25 years, and Board of Director for Brain Center of Green Bay.
As the CARE Outreach Specialist, Diane facilitates communication and collaboration among researchers, clinicians, students, nurses, caregivers and community members with an interest in older adult health and well-being. This role draws upon her varied experiences as a reporter, community organizer, teacher, and researcher. Diane received her PhD in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Don Mowry was a faculty member in the Social Work Department at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire from 1988 until his retirement in 2016. He was also involved with the Service-Learning graduation requirement from when it was instituted in 1995, and from 2001-2012 he was the Director of the Center for Service-Learning. He was one of the primary professionals who worked to launch a state level Campus Compact in Wisconsin and he has consulted with other colleges and universities who are moving to institutionalize service-learning on their campuses. The vision of the Center for Service-Learning was to develop sustained, collaborative, community--campus partnerships to address pressing social needs and to impart civic engagement skills to undergraduate students. To these ends he has been part of workgroups to bring Jumpstart-Eau Claire, a Literacy Action Network, First Book-Eau Claire, an AmeriCorps*VISTA project, The Eau Claire Big Read, an AmeriCorps*VISTA Community Corrections project, and a Campus Kitchens Project to the Chippewa Valley Region. He has interests in combining service, research and scholarship and has worked to support several community development initiatives in the areas of refugee resettlement and adaptation, strategic planning for the refugee population, multicultural community education, a countywide effort called Healthy Communities 2000, alternatives to incarceration and ex-offender reentry programs, Music & Memory for persons with dementia, the Caregiver Challenge of Barron and Washburn Counties, and Clear Vision Eau Claire-- a county-wide long range visioning, planning, and action project.
Donna Calhoun is a full-time, Senior Center Manager for the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of Portage County at Lincoln Center in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Some of her job responsibilities include: program management (which includes overseeing evidence-based programs), supervision of staff and volunteers, fiscal management, and public relations. Prior to her manager position, Donna was an AIRS Certified, Lead Information and Assistance Specialist with the ADRC with responsibilities that included: coordination of transition activities with public schools, CESA, and the Portage County Health and Human Services Department via the Portage County Transition Advisory Council, administering functional screens for long term care and options counseling. Donna is a licensed and certified social worker and Qualified Mental Retardation Professional (QMRP) who came to the ADRC in 2000, with more than ten years experience working in various human service positions for CAP Services, Inc., the local provider of Community Assistance Programs such as Head Start and Crisis Intervention. She also has experience as a social worker in both a nursing home setting and an intermediate care facility for people with developmental disabilities.
Biography: Esther Olson is a retired University of Wisconsin-Msn Facility and Research Administrator who had considerable success representing the University’s Academic Staff in legislative and external relations with the State, the Board of Regents and the general public. She has more recently adapted that skill to represent the Senior community in Dane County. Credentials: Member – DCAAA Legislative/Advocacy Committee – Current Chair Member – Dane County Area Agency on Aging (DCAAA) – Former Chair Charter Member – Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of Dane County Board . Member – Belleville, Montrose and Exeter Area (Sugar River) Senior Board President - Academic Staff Public Representation Organization (ASPRO), University of Wisconsin-Msn – 1995 to 2005
Ms. Green-Harris was recently promoted as the Director of The Center for Community Engagement and Health Partnerships in Milwaukee a newly center to further advance research in the African American community in a culturally inclusive manner. She also remains the Director the WAI Milwaukee Regional Office and oversees the Health Equity Pillar of the WAI, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute, she provides leadership and governance to guide and build the capacity of the WAI Milwaukee office which is designed to provide outreach services, programs, resources and to recruit African Americans into research using culturally tailored methods. Since joining Institute the program has more than doubled the number of African Americans enrolled in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP). Ms. Green-Harris was instrumental in collaboration between the University and Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. (a federally Qualified Health Center) to establish a minority specific memory clinic in the heart of Milwaukee. This is the first of its kind and is being established as a national model for other FQHC’s to replicate. Ms. Green-Harris was appointed as the Director of the Regional Program Office for the Lifecourse Imitative for Heathy Families in 2016. She oversees and manages the RPO team in Milwaukee, activities, operations and finances. Ms. Green’s Harris’s work is being followed by community leaders, executives, and researchers across the state and nation to learn about their outreach and recruitment model. Ms. Green-Harris holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelors of Science in Psychology.
Former Wisconsin Gov. Martin J. Schreiber is an award-winning crusader for Alzheimer’s caregivers and persons with dementia. Reaching audiences nationwide at live events and through various forms of media, Marty uses humor and compassion as he shares lessons from his ongoing, decade-plus journey as caregiver. He is on track to give 125 presentations in 2018 at conferences, civic organizations, senior communities, libraries and more to spread awareness about the heroic work being done by caregivers. His speaking tour – now in its third year – is taking him to Alzheimer’s Association conferences in Florida, Illinois, Texas, Indiana, Iowa and Michigan among many other events in several states. Marty’s book, My Two Elaines: Learning, Coping, and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver, is winning acclaim from caregivers across the country. It was named to Caring.com’s list of Best Caregiving Books of both 2017 and 2018. Now in its second print edition, My Two Elaines also has been released as an e-book, an audiobook and on CD. Net proceeds are used to promote Alzheimer’s caregiver support. Prior to writing My Two Elaines – and while still caring for his wife at home – Marty helped the Alzheimer’s Association launch Operation: Stronger Together in 2015. This multi-year awareness program has helped the Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter connect record numbers of families to education and resources that are vital to successful caregiving. He also collaborated with Wisconsin state government and various business groups to help create the online Dementia-Friendly Employers Toolkit, which is now used by human resources departments and employee assistance programs. These initiatives have led to Marty being recognized with awards from the Alzheimer’s Association and other organizations. Marty’s work on behalf of older citizens goes back decades to his 16 years in public service as a state senator, lieutenant governor and governor focusing on elderly concerns, improved quality of nursing home care, and development of the in-home Community Care Organization. He went on to become a successful insurance executive and publisher before starting his own government relations firm in 1988. He attended Valparaiso University in Indiana and the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and earned a doctorate of law from Marquette University in Milwaukee. Marty and his wife Elaine are the parents of four children, Kathryn Lyon, Martin Schreiber, Kristine Haas and Matt Schreiber. They have thirteen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. More information is available at: www.mytwoelaines.com. @MyTwoElaines on Twitter and Facebook
Grant Heffelfinger is currently managing youth services at a non-profit gym in Milwaukee, WI. He is a Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer through American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and received a Bachelor’s Degree from UW-Milwaukee in Kinesiology. Grant also received a Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders while attending UW-Milwaukee and has knowledge of Autism research, methods, and support. Collectively, he has worked with individuals with disabilities for over 10 years. He has worked in both rural and urban areas and brought sexuality education, relationship and community safety, disability history, disability awareness, and Independent Living (IL) Skills workshops to those communities. He has experience working with youth across the lifespan and their parents/caregivers on educating and empowering youth. Grant serves on multiple advocacy groups, including the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL)’s Youth Executive Committee and the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)’s Rainbow Caucus. In his role with APRIL, he has applied his local efforts with youth on a national platform for equal rights for people with disabilities. Grant has a passion that is in line with the Independent Living Philosophy and continues to advocate for his community. In his spare time he enjoys yoga, biking, attempting to cook and traveling.
Harvey Padek is a Health and Wellness Consultant for the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources and Area Health Education Center. He began his career in the automobile industry over 41 years ago. Throughout the years, he has become strong advocate for health and wellness, in particular, in the area around healthy aging. He is a master trainer for the Living Well with Chronic Conditions and Healthy Living with Diabetes high-level evidence based programs. He recently became a facilitator for NCOA’s Aging Mastery Program and has recently implemented the AMP program in the Milwaukee area. In addition to educating older adults, Harvey is the current treasurer for the Wisconsin Institute of Healthy Aging board. In his spare time, he serves as the President of the Post-Polio Resource Group of Southeast Wisconsin.
Hayoung Kye is the Program Specialist, Evaluation and Project Management in Aging Mastery Program® (AMP) at the National Council on Aging (NCOA). She manages multiple grants and projects and provides technical assistance and programmatic support to all AMP partners. She also oversees the AMP national database and manages the AMP Community Site, online platform for users to communicate, access content resources, and enter/view data reports. Hayoung joined NCOA from the World Bank Group and obtained her Bachelors in Psychology and Social Behavior from University of California, Irvine and her Master of Science degree in Social Work from Columbia University.
Helen Marks Dicks currently serves as the State Issues Advocacy Director for AARP Wisconsin making sure the voice of the 50+population is heard in the legislative and administrative process. This has included supporting funding and continuation of programs such as Family Care, SeniorCare and Dementia Care Specialists. She is known is the Capitol as the women with the big red glasses. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1985 and since that time she has been involved in elder law and advocacy on both the legal and legislative level. For 5 years, she served as the Director of the Elder Law Center and spent 4 years working for Wisconsin State Senator Judy Robson. As she has grown older and lost her filters she has become more passionate about breaking down the ageism and stereotypes that limit the lives of older adults.
Janet Zander has been serving as the Advocacy and Public Policy Coordinator for the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources (GWAAR) for the past five years. In this role, she coordinates the agency’s advocacy and public policy objectives and works to maintain a culture of advocacy within the organization and the county and tribal aging units within the 70 counties (all but Dane and Milwaukee) and 11 tribes in its service area. Through her involvement with the Wisconsin Aging Advocacy Network and the Survival Coalition of Wisconsin disability organizations, she is also active in statewide advocacy efforts with and for older adults and people with disabilities. Prior to joining the GWAAR team, Ms. Zander was employed with the Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of Portage County for 20 years, 16 of which she served as the Director. Janet’s previous experience includes serving as the director of social services for a private skilled nursing facility, managing a group home for people with serious mental illness, and working with low-income families in a federal grant funded program administered by a community action agency. Janet is a 2013 Wisconsin Women’s Policy Institute fellow. She holds a BS in Psychology and Sociology from U.W. Stevens Point and a Master of Public Administration from U.W. Oshkosh. She has been and is currently a family caregiver.
Jen Walker is the Active Communities Coordinator for healthTIDE, Wisconsin's statewide network making physical activity and healthy eating accessible, convenient and fun. She is a connector, convener and facilitator, allowing state and local stakeholders to advance shared interests in creating healthier communities. Prior to that, she was a technical assistance provider and coach for grant initiatives in Wisconsin and North Carolina that supported local coalitions in creating policy and environmental change around active living and healthy eating. Jen holds masters' degrees in public health and city planning from UNC Chapel Hill, and a BA from Lawrence University of Wisconsin.
Jennifer Harders is a Community Outreach Coordinator with the Alzheimer’s Association, Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter. She serves Waukesha County, providing education and support to persons with dementia, families and health care professionals, and collaborates with area agencies, groups and organizations to increase awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. She is a certified Social Worker and has worked with older adults with memory loss in a variety of settings. Prior to her employment with the Alzheimer’s Association, Jennifer worked in long term care and community based services for several organizations. She is committed to providing awareness and education regarding Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia in Waukesha County and works daily to serve persons living with dementia and their loved ones with hope that one day we will live in a world without Alzheimer’s.
Jennifer is the ADRC/Aging Director for Barron, Rusk and Washburn Counties. She began her career in the Network as the Nutrition Program Manager in Barron County where she had the opportunity to implement many new exciting ideas into the program. One of the most gratifying revitalization projects was working with local growers to incorporate their foods into the Nutrition Program menus. The project was so well received by local growers, participants, and staff, that it is worth sharing to encourage others to buy foods locally.
Jessica is the Director of the Wisconsin Coverdell Stroke Program at the Department of Health Services (DHS). Jess is responsible for overall grant administration by directing all aspects of the Wisconsin Coverdell Program including implementing and evaluating projects, grant writing, directing team priorities and work plans. The program looks at the complete continuum of stroke care and works toward improved stroke outcomes with multiple state and national partners. She is leading a statewide initiative to link pre-hospital, hospital, and post-hospital data together to analyze outcomes. Prior experience includes prevention work in heart disease and diabetes, quality improvement for health insurance, and experience in motivational interviewing. In addition to her work, Jess is a registered yoga teacher and teaches yoga every week for staff at the Department of Health Services. Teaching yoga goes hand-in-hand with her passion for health and learning. She is a Community/Public Health Educator that has spent her career working with older adults and chronic disease. Jess received her Master’s in Public Health at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and her bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. She enjoys cooking, traveling and practicing yoga. She lives in Mazomanie, WI with her family, their yellow lab and goldendoodle.
Jessica has a social work background and is currently an Elder Benefit with the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Eau Claire County, where she provides assistance and advocacy to clients 60 years and older. Jessica has worked with the Hoarding Task Force of Eau Claire County since 2015. She has a passion for people who struggle with hoarding issues and enjoys helping others learn how to build and maintain a coordinated community response to the issues of hoarding in their communities.
Jill Renken has a bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion and Masters of Public Health degree. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist. Jill has done health education work in the university, healthcare, and worksite employee wellness setting, with most experience in community wellness programs. She currently works within Wisconsin’s Aging Network and Partner Organizations to assist statewide implementation of Evidence-Based Healthy Aging Programs. As the Director of Program Provider Partnerships for the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging (WIHA), she works to identify, develop and support strategic organizational partnerships that assist in expanding and sustaining the dissemination of evidence-based community health promotion programs to prevent disease, reduce emergency department visits, hospitalizations and falls, improve health and quality of life in Wisconsin.
Caregiver, community organizer and Pastor. My first priority is loving my wife, children, granddaughter, mother in law, and developmentally disabled brother. My second ministry is serving the State of Wisconsin as a Pastor at large; teaching people how to love and respect one another. And my third priority is convening Community Conversations to help connect people from diverse backgrounds to work together to bring more goodness, peace and joy to their communities. From providing personal cares to the elderly and disabled to weddings, funerals, coaching and community building, I am devoted to leaving this place a little better than I found it.
Jon Riehl is a Transportation Systems Engineer in the Traffic Operations and Safety Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has much involvement in the leadership of the Wisconsin Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds. His work responsibilities include research in Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSM&O), connected and automated vehicles, and geographic information systems (GIS) as well as some teaching. Jon holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from Michigan Tech and has master’s degrees in electrical engineering, geography, and business.
Jonette N. Arms is the newly hired Executive Director of the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Central Wisconsin (ADRC-CW), which serves Marathon, Langlade, Lincoln and Wood counties. She has held this position since March 19, 2018. Ms. Arms is responsible for advocacy, planning, coordination, operations and administration of all ADRC-CW services and programs designed to meet the needs of aging and adult disabled individuals. Jonette's role involves leading an amazingly competent staff of 76 regular and 16 casual employees along with over 350 volunteers. She enjoys having extensive contact with area service providers, community leaders, government officials, and key local, state and national partners. Most recently, similar to her current position, Ms. Arms served as the Interim Executive Director for the Milwaukee County Department on Aging, where she was responsible for overseeing operations and financial management of a department that served a senior population of more than 150,000, had an annual budget of more than $18 million, and delivered services and programs through numerous public and private community agencies. Prior to joining the Milwaukee County Department on Aging, Jonette was employed with the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, where she led a multimillion dollar national aging initiative focused on inspiring human service professionals to serve, work with, and value the contributions of older adults. Ms. Arms earned a double major Bachelor of Arts degree in health care administration and management communication from Concordia University and a Master of Science in human services – community counseling psychology from Springfield College. She also received a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business. Jonette N. Arms has been active as a member of many boards and associations and believes strongly in community volunteerism which included efforts focused on older adults, individuals with disabilities, children and families, Alzheimer's and dementia, public health, African American employee causes and women's leadership development, and other grassroots advocacy issues. Having lived and worked in Milwaukee all of her life and given her experiences in human services and community-based programming for over two decades, Jonette is familiar with the considerations that should be taken into account and successful implications of appropriately tailoring programs and services to the needs of communities of color.
Justin Johnson is the CEO and Founder of a Sustainable Kitchens, a scratch food focused consulting firm who works with all segments of food service to implement menus, recipes and training that feature local ingredients and scratch-made menu items. Johnson is a graduate of both Le Cordon Bleu, Chicago and The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He has been a professional chef for over twenty years and has been featured on the ABC News, NPR, The National Culinary Review and The New York Times.
Kate Kowalski is the Education Outreach Manager at the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute (WAI), University of Wisconsin. Along with Kathleen O'Toole Smith, Kate co-leads the Wisconsin Dementia Resource Network (WDRN). The purpose of the WDRN is to discover and share dementia-friendly best practices across the state. As part of the work of the WDRN, WAI has recently been approved as the sub-license holder for Dementia Friends in Wisconsin. Kate has taken the lead on the Dementia Friends initiative, working closely with the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4) to develop an implementation plan to launch Dementia Friends here in Wisconsin. Kate and Kathleen are excited to share Dementia Friends with the Aging and Disability Network Conference audience.
Attorney Kate Schilling is the Legal Services Manager at the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources, Inc., where she oversees the Guardianship Support Center, the Senior Medicare Patrol program, and the Elder Benefit Specialist Supervising Attorney program. She works predominantly in the areas of elder law, public benefits, and consumer law. Previously, she was in private practice in New Richmond, Wisconsin, where she practiced in estate planning, Medicaid benefits, guardianship, and general civil litigation. Kate is a board member of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Elder and Public Interest Law Sections, and a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Prior to attending law school, Kate coordinated supports for adults with developmental disabilities, and she remains an active volunteer guardian for a woman with a disability living in Madison. She is also a volunteer at high school mock trial events, local free legal clinics, and Wills for Heroes.
Kathleen O'Toole Smith is the Rural Outreach Manager at the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute (WAI), University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kathleen co-leads the Wisconsin Dementia Resource Network (WDRN) with her colleague, Kate Kowalski. Kathleen's work focuses on meeting with individuals across Wisconsin's 72 counties to discover and share dementia friendly best practices. To learn more about the WDRN and to see a calendar of educational programs, webinars and resource guides, please visit: http://www.wai.wisc.edu/publichealth/wdrn.html
With a BS in Design from UW-Stout and Master’s Degree in Servant Leadership from Viterbo University, Kim. Cobb combines her creative and technical knowledge with a commitment to serve the aging and disability networks. In addition to her work with GWAAR, Kim is the Resource Specialist for the ADRC of Barron, Rusk and Washburn Counties. Prior to these roles, Kim serves as marketing and public relations coordinator for a regional disability services organization, worked in agencies and ran her own creative services business.
Leslie M. Van Buskirk became Administrator of the Division of Securities at the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions in 2016 after 14 years as an enforcement attorney, eight of those as Attorney Supervisor. In 2012 she received an Honorable Mention for the 29th Annual Virginia Hart Award for her service to the State of Wisconsin. She is currently vice-chair of the NASAA Broker-Dealer Section, having served as a section member for two years and on its Arbitration project group for 10 years, as chair from 2011-2015. Along with others on the project, she received a NASAA Distinguished Service Award in 2014 for work toward improving securities arbitration for investors. She also chairs the NASAA Exams Advisory committee. She has participated in the State Bar of Wisconsin Business Law section in various roles since 2003. Before DFI, Leslie spent over 12 years at Kersten & McKinnon, S.C., a civil litigation firm. She received her B.S., Psychology from the University of Illinois, and J.D. from Marquette University.
Linda Vogelman, Assistant Director of Independent Living Services at Society’s Assets has been with the agency for over twenty-four years. Linda is an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) through the Rehab Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America. Linda has been co-chair of the Accommodations SIG for the past three years, as well as a member of the Communication Technologies and Computer Access SIG. RESNA's Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are online member communities that promote information sharing, best practices, and referrals in a secure and confidential environment. Linda has the technical knowledge necessary to help identify and resolve common barriers through the use of technology and modifications that often prevent people from living safely, comfortably and independently in their homes. Her certification as an Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) is in the unique needs of the older adult population, aging in place home modifications, remodeling projects, and solutions to common barriers. Her years of experience in working for an Independent Living Center have prepared her for all aspects of empowering people with cognitive, sensory, and/or physical disabilities to reach their highest potential at home, school, work and play through the addition of appropriate assistive technologies and other strategies to their lives.
Lisa Bratzke PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAHA, is an Assistant Professor at the UW Madison School of Nursing. Dr. Bratzke practiced as an Adult Nurse Practitioner for many years prior to obtaining her PhD. That extensive clinical practice background drives her program of research. The overarching goal of Dr. Bratzke's program of research is to improve the health of older adults who have multiple chronic conditions. Dr. Bratzke strives to develop ways to prevent or delay the onset of another condition for which they are also at risk, i.e., cognitive decline and dementia. Chronic illness is a significant public health issue and is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the US and accounts for 85% of overall health care costs. Among older adults, chronic illness is associated with loss of independence, unnecessary hospital and nursing home stays, social isolation, and depression.
Margie Hackbarth is the Director of Business Development at the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging. She supports partnerships with healthcare organizations to recognize the role – and value – of evidence-based prevention programs. She brings 30 years’ experience in healthcare community relations, development and geriatric service line administration to this role. Margie has a BS in Journalism from UW-Madison and an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University. Margie is a trained Leader for "Living Well with Chronic Conditions" and a Facilitator for "Respecting Choices" for advance care planning. Margie welcomes opportunities to discuss proven methods to give better upstream care to the complex geriatric population. She can be reached at 715.571.5250 or by email at Margie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Lazare was sworn into office as the Principal Deputy Administrator for the Administration for Community Living (ACL) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on June 19, 2017. Ms. Lazare comes to ACL from St. Louis, Missouri, where she served as Vice President for Home and Community-Based Services for Lutheran Senior Services. As Vice-President, Ms. Lazare reorganized and developed a streamlined structure for the operations of home health, hospice, and private duty services. Prior to this role, Ms. Lazare served as Vice President of Long Term Care and Community Health Ministries at Ascension Health, the nation’s largest health system. As Vice-President, Ms. Lazare provided oversight for several long term care facilities, community health centers and advanced advocacy work in concert with government relations officials. Ms. Lazare also served as Vice-President of Senior Services and Home Care Services at BJC HealthCare for a 13 member hospital system and 6 skilled nursing facilities. She developed one of the first housing with support services programs in St. Louis. She also held the role of Executive Director for the Jewish Center for Aged, a 280 bed skilled nursing facility. As Executive Director, she worked with the Ombudsman Program, helped to develop enriched shared living for developmentally disabled older adults as well as adult day services programs. Ms. Lazare’s extensive senior health experience reaches into the community serving on several Catholic Charities agency boards and was Chair of the Daughters of Charity Foundation board. She has served as Chair of both the Missouri Association of Homes for Aging, the American College of Health Care Administrators and served in the LeadingAge House of Delegates. She is a graduate of Leadership St. Louis, class of 2000. Ms. Lazare received her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia. She later received a Master’s Degree in Gerontology from Lindenwood University and a Master’s Degree in Management from Maryville University of Saint Louis.
Mary Wolf is the new Tribal Technical Assistance Center Program Director for Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council. She is the former Elder Services Director for the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa located in Hayward, WI. She has worked in Tribal Aging for the past 10 years as Elder and Disability Benefits Coordinator, Aging & Disability Resource Specialist and is a facilitator for the Healthy Living with Diabetes curriculum. During her tenure with the LCO Tribe she and her team created an “Elder Center”, a hub of activities and consolidated services for Tribal Elders on the LCO reservation. Mary previously as a Nutrition Educator for UW-Extension Nutrition Education Program (now called FoodWise) at the senior centers within Sawyer County. Mary is an enrolled member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and is also White Earth MN Chippewa and Ft. Peck Assiniboine from Poplar, MT.
Michelle Comeau is the Director of Leader Development at WIHA where she works with Master Trainers, local coordinators, and Leaders to ensure program quality and ease by providing assistance and support. She strongly advocates that all Wisconsinites are able to attend a workshop and take steps toward healthier living. Michelle has worked with evidence based prevention programs (EBPP) since 2009 in both rural California and all over Wisconsin. She is a Master Trainer in Living Well with Chronic Conditions and Healthy Living with Diabetes.
Micki is a nurse consultant for the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services. She is also adjunct faculty at the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Nursing. Her area of expertise is care of the individual with complex health care needs, across the lifespan and settings.
Mitch Hagopian has been with DRW since 2001. Prior to that he worked at the Elder Law Center for 10 years, where he managed ELC's attorney back-up program to the Elderly Benefit Specialist program. From 1985 to 1989 he worked as a legal services attorney with Western Wisconsin Legal Services in Dodgeville. His current practice focusses on preventing abuse and neglect of people with disabilities.
Natalie Friess is a Project Specialist at MetaStar. Since 2015, she has worked with Wisconsin healthcare providers across the care continuum, including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, community-based organizations, and other community partners, on care coordination and prevention of avoidable hospital readmissions. Prior to joining MetaStar, Natalie worked in Quality and Managed Care at Blanchard Valley Health System in Ohio and with healthcare providers and community-based organizations in Michigan and California. She received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley and her MPH from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
Pam VanKampen, RDN, CD Registered Dietitian Nutritionist/Certified Dietitian Pam is part of the Nutrition Team for the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources (GWAAR). GWAAR is a large statewide non-profit Area Agency on Aging that oversees 70 county and 11 tribal aging offices throughout Wisconsin (Dane and Milwaukee Counties have their own AAA). Responsibilities include: working closely with the State Elder Nutrition Program Dietitian, enforcing State and Federal policies and procedures, nutrition education materials creation, technical assistance, program enhancement and continuous quality improvement, plan development and advocacy for Older Americans Act Title III Elderly Nutrition and Health Promotion Programs as well as serving as the statewide Senior Centers liaison for the WI Aging Network. Pam has thirty years’ experience in clinical, community and administrative dietetics. Working with the entire state allows for many opportunities to partner, collaborate and work with a variety of agencies so programs can continually improve and adjust to best meet the wide array of wants and needs of adults 60 plus. Pam holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics from Illinois State University and completed her post-graduate dietetic internship at Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital. She worked for Lakeside VA Hospital for 5 years as a Clinical, Renal and Nutrition Support Dietitian. Then moved to Sycamore IL where she was the chief clinical dietitian and dietary manager for Vencor Hospital, a for-profit hospital that specialized in ventilator patients of all ages. Pam has been married for 33 years to her wonderful husband, Mark, who works for Bush Beans & Co. They have 28 year old boy/girl twins and a 24 year old daughter and 3 dogs.
Paul Mross (E-RYT 200, LMT) is the founder of Happ:y, Healthy Accessible Prevention Programs: Yoga and co-founder of YAFA: Yoga Accessible for All. His passion is providing safe and effective access to yoga for all individuals, no matter what their challenges. That has led him to work in health care locations like Upland Hills Health Hospital in Dodgeville WI and Group Health Cooperative in Madison WI. Paul is currently a researcher and project manager and yoga consultant for research studies, including Fall Prevention and Yoga with UW-Madison, Aging and Disability Resource Center of Southwest WI, the Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Wisconsin Institute on Healthy Aging. He is twice published and has presented at multiple conferences. Contact info: email@example.com.
Margaret "Peggy" Schmidt has a Master of Science in Nursing. She is a retired family nurse practitioner and current Caregiver/Health Promotion Specialist for the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Barron, Rusk & Washburn County. As the supervisor of DAYBREAK, the Adult Day Program for those with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, co-facilitator of the Alzheimer's/Dementia Caregiver Support and Early Stage Memory Loss Support Groups and co-chair of the Barron & Washburn County Caregiver Coalition; she has first hand knowledge of the challenges of family and professional caregivers in Barron and surrounding counties. She is a member of WITC's Gerontology-Aging Services Advisory Committee. In April 2017 she began working with the Caregiver Challenge Coalition to explore options for the shortage of professional personal care workers to provide respite for family caregivers.
Randy Kohl is the Dementia Care Specialist for Waukesha County Aging and Disability Resource Center; he is also a full-time professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has worked with individuals with disabilities or older adults for over 25 years as a therapist or administrator. Randy is passionate about helping others have the best quality of life possible. In his free time he enjoys teaching and coaching girl’s fast-pitch softball, spending time with his family, hunting and fishing.
Robert Best holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Carroll University and a Master's Degree in Public Service with a specialization in Gerontology from Marquette University. Robert has over 30 years of experience working with older adults in a variety of settings, including assisted living, skilled nursing, senior apartments and community case management. He is currently the Executive Director of Oak Hill Terrace in Waukesha. Robert is an adjunct professor of Social Gerontology and has published books and articles on aging issues and presented at conferences across the United States, including the American Society of Aging and National Council on Aging. Recently, Robert received advanced training in MindAlert principles and techniques and has been offering brain Health programs for senior groups throughout Wisconsin.
Robert Monroe works for the WI Department Financial Institutions’ Registration and Compliance Bureau. Rob has an MBA with a specialization in finance and is also a licensed CPA. Before joining the WI Department of Financial Institutions, Rob worked in the private sector.
Ross Gatzke, project specialist, MetaStar Ross is a project specialist at MetaStar. He has an undergraduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Since 2015, he has worked with Wisconsin hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities and ambulatory surgical centers on the CMS Medicare quality reporting programs. Ross is also involved in coordination of care task work, which strives to strengthen health care community relationships across settings with a goal to improve patient outcomes and reduce readmissions. Before joining MetaStar, he worked on the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS)/performance measurement.
Sean obtained his MSW from Case Western Reserve in 2018. He is an industrial/organizational consultant who provides survey and policy research services for long term health care companies and economic development agencies. If you are interested in learning more visit Inderbitzenconsultingservices.com
Sharon Lewis is a nationally lauded expert in disability policy, primarily focused on state and federal long-term services and supports, as well as person-centered systems. At HMA, she works with government agencies, health plans, providers and consumer advocates to advance opportunities for people with disabilities and older adults to live healthy lives, fully participating in all aspects of community. She has assisted health plans in the development of integrated long-term services and supports, as well as working with states to develop Medicaid waiver programs and policy. Sharon is a collaborator and consensus builder with a natural ability to put policy into practical perspective. Sharon came to HMA in 2016, after serving for 6 years in presidentially appointed leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including Senior Disability Policy Advisor to the Secretary, co-founder and Principal Deputy Administrator of the Administration for Community Living, and Commissioner of the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. At HHS, Sharon worked on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, championed investments in preventative community-based care and social services, supported the development of home and community-based services (HCBS) quality outcomes and measurement, prioritized stakeholder engagement, and encouraged collaboration across aging and disability communities. In cooperation with CMS leadership, she worked on significant reforms in Federal Medicaid HCBS regulations and policy to ensure community integration and increase access. Sharon’s personal passion is ensuring that people who rely upon services and supports have the opportunity to be fully participating and contributing members of our communities regardless of age or disability; she hopes to help build accepting, diverse and inclusive communities for everyone.
Sky Van Rossum is the Business Development Coordinator for the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources Inc. (GWAAR), working with 70 of Wisconsin's 72 Counties and 11 Tribes. Joining GWAAR in 2016, he brings 20+ years of experience in Negotiation, Business Development, Project Management, Strategic Planning and Assessment.
Stephanie Sue Stein began working in the then fledgling field of aging in 1974. She served as Director of Aging Programs at the Social Development Commission and then Director of the Milwaukee County Department on Aging from 1993 until her retirement in 2015. She subsequently Served as the Interim Director of the Interfaith Program for Older Adults and re-retired in June of 2017. Stephanie was the Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Milwaukee Aging Consortium. She led the Department on Aging’s pilot of Wisconsin’s Family Care and Aging and Disability Resource Center both of which have become national models. Stephanie has helped form several award-winning innovations including Connecting Caring Communities and the Lapham Park Venture. Stephanie taught Public Policy and Aging at Marquette University and at UWM. Stephanie currently serves as the Chairperson of the Board of St John’s on the Lake and on several other boards. She is volunteer driver for seniors and a full time advocate.
Trisha Witham, received her B.S. in Community Health Education from the University of Arizona and has spent her career implementing evidence-based programs and community education initiatives for the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Barron, Rusk, & Washburn Counties over the last thirteen years. In her current role as dementia care specialist, she leads dementia friendly community initiatives and provides education, training, support, and consultation to people with dementia, their family care partners, businesses, and other professionals.
Tyler has been with Society's Assets for three years. He provides support to persons with all disabilities of all ages. He is a geek and extraordinarily interested in high tech gizmos and gadgets, and is very involved in community activites, programs, and training for transition aged youth in his community. Tyler is also the marketing and outreach committee chair on the Work Incentives Benefit Specialist Association (WIBSA) board of directors, and has been in this role for over a year. Prior to his work at Society's Assets, Tyler has been the safety director for a company that provided transportation to students with disabilities, a Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional (QIDP), a camp director at a summer camp for kids with disabilities, and direct service and program assistant at residential facilities in Illinois.