WILS Alumni Association

The WILS Alumni Association promotes and supports the goals and purposes of Wisconsin Leadership Seminars, which include providing continuing educational and leadership opportunities for WILS alumni. The Alumni Association provides ongoing development and networking opportunities with other student and civic leaders. Being an active member of the Alumni Association is the best way for student leaders to stay in touch with friends from the seminar and to meet other WILSers from past seminars. There is no cost to join the Alumni Association, and you are a member for life. 

The Alumni sponsors several OUTSTANDING events during the year at various sites across the state, including:

Alumni Reunions – The Alumni hold two or three weekend reunions annually at various locations in Wisconsin. Each reunion features a community service event, a speaker, a tour of a local business, various recreational events, and tons of fun!
Seminar Planning/Staff – WILS alumni are critical to the success of the WILS Seminar. Many alumni serve on the Seminar Planning Committee and Board of Directors.
Over 80 alumni return each year to volunteer on staff at our annual seminar!
Service and Fundraising Events – Throughout the year our alumni volunteer at events throughout the state to fundraise for WILS or support other organizations. Events include visits to nursing homes, volunteering with other nonprofit organizations, gardening/land beautification, car washes, corn roasts, brat fries, concession stands. 

Upcoming Events

Check out the WILS Alumni Fall Newsletter for a recap of our past season’s events!

Follow our social media pages for information on upcoming events. @wileaders

Alumni Association Board of Directors

President: Robin Vanden Heuvel

Howdy WILS! My name is Robin and I am a Covid-er (attended online as a Junior in 2021) and I am the President of the AA board. I am from Hortonville, Wisconsin, but I go to school and live up in Houghton, Michigan at Michigan Technological University. I am studying Software Engineering and have a minor in Spanish. Long term, I would like to go into disability accessibility technology and I am currently doing research on my college campus with two professors in this realm of technology. In addition to this, I also an avid musician: I play everything minus wind reed instruments. I do have some music out on Spotify (NURTLE) and I’m working on more to get out as well. I would love to chat about anything and everything so feel free to reach out!

Vice President: Andrew Meacham

Hello! My name is Andrew Meacham and I’m the Vice President this year! I went to seminar online in 2020 and I’m from Fort Atkinson. I’m very excited to be involved with the alumni association again as I was previously the First Year Liaison. I continue to come back to WILS every year for a host of reasons. The biggest of which is the sense of community that I experience at every event. I truly feel accepted in this organization and I feel as though I have made unforgettable memories and connections. I can’t wait for another year! If I was a fruit I think I would be an apple. I have always really loved apples and my family goes apple picking every year.

Treasurer: jessica Besonen

Hello everyone! My name is Jessica Besonen! I am 19’er from Trout Creek MI. I’m here to help bring the energy and pride into WILS! It truly is a life changing experience for everyone I’ve met that attended, and I want to help bring that experience to more leaders across Wisconsin! I’m currently studying Computer and Robotics Engineering at Lake Superior State University. I like to work with anything dealing with automation as you can probably tell! I’m more than open to talk with you about snowmobiling, waterfalling, and so much more! If I was to be a fruit I would say I am a cherry! Sweet inside and helps bring out the flavors in any dessert!

Secretary: Tyler Poker

Hey Y’all! My name is Tyler Poker, and I am this year’s Secretary. I am a 22er from Baraboo, Wisconsin. This is my second year on the board, as I served previously as the First-Year Liaison. For me, WILS has changed my life. I have met some of my best friends in the world through WILS. I’ve also made some of my greatest memories throughout various WILS events and activities. WILS is, without a doubt, my favorite group to be a part of, and I cannot wait to help further grow the organization in the years to come. If I were a fruit, I would probably be a dragonfruit, because I am unique in so many ways.

Public Relations Director: Sarah Bendorf

Hey all! My name is Sarah Bendorf and I am the Public Relations Director this year! I went to seminar in 2023 and I am from Hortonville. Back when I was selected to attend WILS, never did I think that it would become anything. Instead, I expected to just spend a weekend here and then never return, but that all changed so quickly. The people that come here are so supportive and dedicated to what they do. That passion just overflows to everyone around them, and I am able to meet people from all over the state, making amazing friends in the process. It’s these people that make me keep coming back to this amazing organization. I think if I were a fruit I would be a banana. If you’ve ever made a smoothie with a banana in it, you know that no matter how any other fruits or flavors there are, it’s a banana smoothie because that’s all you can taste. I think that shows my persistent side, and how I always make sure to leave my impact in everything I do.

Media Coordinator: Piper Ryan

Hi everyone! My name is Piper Ryan, and I am this year’s Media Coordinator! I am from Deerfield, WI, and attended Seminar as a 23’er! Seminar captured my heart from the very beginning and I can’t wait to continue being an active part of the incredible WILS community! My hope as MC is to not only capture memories, but also help incoming seminar attendees find the same sense of home I found in my first year! If you’re an incoming WILSer, nerves, excitement, and confusion are completely normal, embrace it! If I were a fruit, I would be a pomegranate. I would describe myself as a sweet and serious fruit that blends well with others. Just like a pomegranate, I bring a harmonious balance of sweetness and depth to my interactions!

Member at Large: Grace Fuss

Hello Everyone! My name is Grace Fuss and I am one of the Co-Members at Large this year!! I attened WILS in 2023 to represent West De Pere High School. Before going to seminar, I had no idea what I was going to experience, while I was at seminar I fell in love with WILS and I knew I needed to stay connected and involved. I’m giving back to WILS by coordinating volunteer events and fundraising events, so others can experience WILS. If I were a Fruit, I think I would be a Kiwi because unless you have had a kiwi your not sure what it will taste like because you aren’t sure what is on the inside. I think this relates to me because I can be quiet when I don’t know someone or they don’t know me but once you get to know me I’m very outgoing.

Member at large : Mansha Ghai

I am Mansha Ghai, one of the co-members at large! I am a 19er from Green Bay, WI and currently go to University of Wisconsin – Madison, earning a degree in Biology and Global Health. I hope to become an orthopedic surgeon. In high school I played a lot of sports such as tennis and soccer and would really like to incorporate them into my future career. I recently became re involved with WILS and hope to create a wholesome environment. I went back as a junior staff member and loved every aspect of WILS. Finally, if I were to be a fruit it would be an apple because an apple a day keeps the doctor away. 

First Year Liaison: Kiran Shetty

Hey there WILS! I’m Kiran Shetty, your First Year Liaison. I am a proud 23er, and I go to Hilbert High School. Ever since I was selected to attend seminar, each and every one of my WILS experiences has been life changing, not to mention incredibly fun. I want to make sure that future WILS attendees will have as amazing of an experience as I’ve had, and as First Year Liaison I will be able to help make that happen. When I’m not doing WILS things, I’m participating in my many school activities. I play Football, Basketball, and Baseball, as well as doing Forensics, Robotics, and our musical. I also enjoy cooking, solving puzzles, and traveling. Finally, if I had to be a fruit, I’d be a pineapple. I’m big and prickly looking, but I’m sweet on the inside.

Alumni Recap Videos