I make sure that as an organization we have clear vision and direction and that we stay focused on what matters most for our young people, their families, and to our community. It’s my job to make sure we have a strong and supported team and that all team members have the tools, resources, and freedom they need to do their best work so our young people can be at their best. Our board and funders have supported us with an incredible opportunity to do something really meaningful and important and I put all my energy into making sure we take advantage of that. Also I occasionally bust out some dance moves and am good for a spill or inadvertently tossing a pen across the table during a serious meeting or conversation.
Hometown: Sussex, WI
Inspirations: My two girls Grace & Teigan, my wife Lindsay, my parents Ken and Lyn, my grandmothers Terry, Rose, and Betty...super strong women who took no stuff and ran their respective shows. I also reflect often on the many many kids and families I’ve been fortunate enough to work with. It’s absolutely mind-blowing to witness and learn first-hand about the challenges and hurdles that some in the US and specifically in Milwaukee are subject to and how they rise above and persist through. The human will and spirit is crazy strong and I’m constantly thinking about those kids and families who power through with grit and love and determination and how important it is that we do better and demand better.
What you like to do in your free time: I really dig being outside in all kinds of weather but warmer is better and preferably in the woods, on a lake, or on a patio with something cooking on the grill. I’ve been called a “kinetic” person, which I think was just a nice way of saying I’m really fidgety and need to be in motion, so physical activity of all sorts. I’m in full on “Dad mode” right now, so time with my girls however I can get it. I like to play and watch football and am a University of WI alum (Go-Badgers!) so a tailgate and game in Madison calls to me at least once each year. I ski (on the water and in the snow), get my hands dirty with some DIY home renovation and yard work, like to read, nerd out with podcasts and audio-books anytime I’m in the car, honestly love school, seek out live music, and always like traveling to new spots and exploring whenever I can.
How did you get started working with non-profits?
My family is totally service oriented, I have a sister and dad in healthcare, a mom who was a substitute teacher and then a civil servant, a sister who has her degree in education and family members all over the country doing rad things for others. I know I am lucky to have had the access, resources, and support that I received growing up and firmly believe that it’s my duty to put that privilege into educating myself to be the best advocate and support possible for others. I started in service in my teens doing neighborhood clean-ups, volunteering time with church youth groups; that carried over into youth work in college, then an internship with the Children’s Research Center a division of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, and it’s been youth serving non-profit work in Milwaukee ever since.
I discovered LVC in early 2015, I was working for Playworks a great organization focused on activity and play based education, supporting positive school climate in Milwaukee Public Schools, when I got a call that LVC was looking for a new Executive Director. At that time I hadn’t thought much about my next move but as I learned more and more and connected with the board, staff, and program graduates I realized that this was an organization with heart, incredible impact, and boundless potential and it’s where I needed to be. The rest is history and I Am LVC. I am truly blessed and grateful to have been given the opportunity and the trust to take the reins and don’t take that for granted for a moment.