Sarah Perkins is the President of the Board of Directors and is the Student Placement Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Eastern New Mexico University and worked in the healthcare industry for 8 years before earning her Master of Education in College Student Personnel Administration from Marquette University. Sarah is an alumna of the WILS program and has been a volunteer with the organization for over 20 years. She has served as a member of the junior and adult seminar staffs, the Director of Programs for the seminar, Alumni Association Adviser and member of Corporate Board of Directors. Meeting amazing young leaders through WILS year after year keeps her inspired and motivates her to keep her energy levels up to keep up with their drive and enthusiasm!
Shannon Clark West is the current Vice President of the Board of Directors. She is an alumna of Thomas More High School in Milwaukee, and she received a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University. Currently, Shannon is the Dean of Students and a district coordinator of RtI/PBIS systems for the School District of Cudahy. Since the beginning of her involvement in WILS in 2003, Shannon has demonstrated a desire and passion for supporting the organization that has made such a significant impact on Wisconsin teens. Shannon continues to volunteer to ensure that student leaders develop their understanding and application of inclusive leadership, service, and responsible decision making in their everyday lives.
Cassie Kriefall is the Secretary of the Board of Directors and is a Title 1 Reading & Math Teacher for the School District of Janesville in Janesville, Wisconsin. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She continued her education at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, earning a Master of Education in Reading and a Reading Specialist license. Cassie has been a volunteer with the WILS organization for over 13 years. She has served as a member of the adult seminar staff, Director of Transportation, Director of Facilitators, and currently serves as the Co-Director of Registration for seminar. Cassie returns to WILS year after year because of WILS’ ability to foster student leaders who think, listen to others’ views, and make informed decisions. The youth of Wisconsin has a positive energy.
Ashley Koon is the Director of Fundraising and General Federation Women’s Club Lead. She has been participating in WILS since 2006. She has attended seminar many years as a facilitator and is looking forward to contributing to future WILS Seminars as a member of the Board. Currently Ashley is an Account Services/Deposit Operations Supervisor for National Exchange Bank and Trust and the proud mom of three amazing little boys.
Riya Talwar is the PR Director on the Board of Directors. She attended the WILS Seminar in 2008, and has continued to stay involved with the organization through volunteering, fundraising, planning, attending reunions, and serving as staff at seminars. Riya is an alumna of the University of Minnesota, where she studied both Marketing and Management Information Systems. She now works for Kohl’s Department Stores as a Technology Strategy Analyst. In her free time, Riya enjoys watching, analyzing, and vlogging about NFL football.
Sonja Weiskircher is the Seminar Chair on the Board of Directors and is a cardiac sonographer at St Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI. She is an alumna of WILS and has volunteered with the organization for over 10 years as a Junior Staff member, Facilitator, Board of Directors Member at Large, and helping with fundraising events. WILS has been a very important part of Sonja’s life and she is excited to continue with an organization that that inspires younger generations to become future leaders.
Hannah Erdman is an Alumni Co-Advisor and Director of Facilitators. She works for Ripon College as an Admission Counselor. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Government from Ripon College. She attended WILS in 2008. WILS has given so much that she wants to help give back to the organization who shaped her life.
Maggie Erdman is an alumni co-advisor on the Board of Directors. She is currently attending Carroll University where she is studying elementary education with a minor in broad field social studies. She has been involved in WILS since she attended seminar in 2013. She has been very active with the planning committee and served as the Alumni Association Board President. She stays very active in WILS because of the great friendships, the energy, and seeing a new group of leaders come in and create change year after year!
Maxwell Herbert is an Alumni Co-Advisor on the Board of Directors for WILS. Currently, Maxwell resides in Chicago, IL where he is the Assistant Hotel Manager at the Hyatt Regency Chicago while working to obtain his Master of Science in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology. Since attending his WILS seminar in 2010, Maxwell has held several different positions including junior staff and group facilitator at seminar, seminar planning committee member and President & Media Coordinator of the Alumni Association Board. Year after year, WILS continues to be the place where Maxwell gets to recharge his leadership skills, has the opportunity to meet some of the best leaders of Wisconsin and be a part of something bigger than himself.
Derek Johnson is a Co-Advisor of the WILS Alumni Association on the Board of Directors. He first attended WILS in 2009 and has been active ever since. Derek is originally from Elkhart Lake, WI and graduated from UW Madison with a degree in economics. While at UW Madison, Derek was an active member of the Badger Marching Band and was able to go to “as many sporting events as humanly possible, and then some more”. He is an avid fan of all major Wisconsin teams except for Marquette. Derek currently works at PFS Clinical in Madison, WI as a Clinical Research Analyst.
Members At Large:
James Doerner is a Member at Large on the Board of Directors for WILS and currently works for Target as a Property Management Technician. He attended UW Madison 2002-2006, and later Madison Area Technical College where he received an Associate Degree in Automotive Technology. James first attended seminar in 2000 and has volunteered at seminar as a group facilitator and volunteer service chaperone along with attending various WILS fundraisers. James credits WILS with giving him the confidence to become the leader he is today and is passionate about contributing to the organization to ensure today’s youth are equally inspired.
Beth Huesca is a Member at Large on the Board of Directors and has been involved in Wisconsin Leadership Seminars, Inc. since 2002. She has served on the Board of Directors and has been a member of the Seminar Planning Committee and the Recruitment Team. She is the Administrative Coordinator of Aspire Therapy and Development Services. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and majored in Political Science and Philosophy. A Wisconsin native, she is originally from Hillsboro, and lives in Evansville, WI with her husband, and enjoys playing soccer and yoga. She keeps coming back to WILS because she loves watching student leaders grow and develop confidence that will serve them well in their futures.
Josh Koon is a Member at Large and Kiwanis Club Lead. He also has taken on the role of Director of Volunteer Service for the 2017 Seminar. He originally attended seminar as a student leader in 2001. He has held a variety of roles throughout the years such as a member of the Alumni Board, a previous stint on the Board of Directors, a Facilitator and many more. Josh is currently an Senior Dealer Success Consultant for Cox Automotive and dedicates his spare time to having adventures with his wife and 3 boys, as well as his volunteer fire department.
Zachary Koop is a Member at Large and alumni of the 2010 WILS seminar. He received his B.S. in electrical engineering magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and his BS in Physics and Economics from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He is currently a graduate engineering student at UM-Twin Cities and a Design Engineer at Honeywell Aerospace where he develops technology for space applications. Prior to Honeywell, he worked at the National Center for Photovoltaics and National Renewable Energy Lab. The 2010 seminar was the life-changing experience that allowed him to become who he is today. He ardently believes in WILS commitment to the empowerment of Wisconsin’s youth through education and inclusion.
Chris Lisser is a Member at Large and is the Networking, Security and IT Ops Manager for vcpi (Virtual Care Provider Inc). Chris has been an active volunteer with WILS for 25+ years and has volunteered as junior or adult staff at over 20 WILS seminars. He has been a Director since 2002 and has previously served as Seminar Chair, Vice President and Alumni Advisor as well as having served in various roles on the Seminar Planning Committee. Chris holds an Associates Degree as a Network Specialist from Milwaukee Area Technical College. WILS has had a tremendous impact on Chris’ life since he attended the seminar as a student leader in 1992. WILS has become like a family to him. He volunteers to ensure young leaders are exposed to new ideas and to interact, learn and bond with fellow seminar attendees from different backgrounds across our state.
Nicholas Mack is a Member at Large on the Board of Directors. He recently graduated from UW – Madison with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Certificate in Classical Studies. He is currently working as a Pathology Study Technician at Covance Laboratories in Madison, WI. He first attended WILS in 2011 and attended a few alumni events before returning to seminar as a group facilitator. He is very excited to expand his involvement on the Board of Directors.
Shane Murphy-Pociask is a Member at Large on the Board of Directors. He is currently a full time
student at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin studying Biochemistry. He plans to be a pharmacist in the near future. He also finds interest in swimming, service, and leadership.
Jacqueline Schaefer is a Member at Large on the Board of Directors. Before joining the Board of Directors, Jacqueline was a member of the seminar planning committee, the seminar registration team and the seminar recruitment team. Jacqueline is a second-year medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Jacqueline also works at a Rogers Memorial Hospital with teenagers with mood disorders and aspires to be a child and adolescent psychiatrist. The reason she continues to become more involved in WILS is because she loves watching the student leaders grow from the beginning to the end of seminar and seeing all of her WILS friends.
Nathan Schumacher is a Member at Large for the Board of Directors. He currently works for Farmers Insurance in their Property Department as a Special Claims Representative. He received a Master of Business Administration with a focus in Managerial Leadership from Northern Illinois University. He loves watching all UW sports, especially UW Volleyball. When he is not rooting on UW to a win, he is cooking in the kitchen. He attended Illinois Leadership Seminar in 2005 as a student leader; his first WILS event was seminar 2009 as Junior Staff. In WILS, he has been a Junior Staff member, Facilitator; and Office Staff. WILS is a great organization that helps young adults become better leaders.
Rachel Schumacher is a Member at Large for the Board of Directors and a WILS 2008 alumna. She currently works as a Senior Talent Acquisition Coordinator in southeast Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014 with dual-Bachelor degrees in Consumer Science and Communications, with certificates in Entrepreneurship and Leadership. In her free time, Rachel likes to play volleyball, complete crossword and Sudoku puzzles, and watch the Badgers. In regard to WILS, she has volunteered at seminar as a Junior Staff member and group Facilitato. She serves on the seminar planning committee and supports and participates in countless fundraisers. She has taken on new roles this year as Optimist Club Co-Lead for fundraising Lead and as the Co-Director of Registration on the seminar planning committee. Rachel believes the student leaders that attend WILS are the next leaders of our governments, schools, healthcare systems, and corporate and non-profit worlds; it is important to prepare and provide them the tools and confidence to make the improvements and creations they believe will make our communities better places.
Elliot Smallidge is a Member at Large on the Board of Directors. Elliot graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2019 with degrees in Finance and Accounting and currently works as an Investment Banking Analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co. He attended WILS in 2013 and volunteered with the organization as a junior staff member and reunion chaperone before joining the Board in 2017. He continues to volunteer with WILS because he is proud to watch the student leaders he’s mentored grow into responsible young men and women who take on leadership roles within WILS and their own communities.
Christopher Westphal is a Member at Large on the Board of Directors and is a Mechanical Design Engineer at Intense Engineering in Madison, WI. He earned his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, all at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Christopher is an alumnus of the WILS program and has been a volunteer with the organization for over 18 years. He has served as the Vice President of the Alumni Association and a member of the Corporate Board of Directors. He enjoys working with young adults whom aspire to become better versions of themselves and delights in the moment when they realize the potential they have to do great things.