Victoria is a former intern and Backyard Hero with CSW. Coming from the reproductive rights movement, she is thrilled to translate her experience organizing for reproductive freedom into supporting even more types of social change. She admires her mother for living out values of compassion, positivity, and independence while instilling those values in Victoria. Her first job was as a dishwasher at the Cattail Cafe in Brussels, Wisconsin (where she did more eating of their delicious hashbrown sandwiches than cleaning). Victoria appreciates a good laugh; as such her favorite movie is Dan in Real Life and her favorite book is Yes, Please by Amy Poehler. (Photo by Mike Klawitter)
Bria joins the Community Shares team from the College of William and Mary where she served as a Fellow for Health & Nutrition in the Office of Community Engagement and also earned degrees in Kinesiology & Health Sciences and Government. As someone new to the Madison-area, Bria is eager to learn more about the community by advancing the work of CSW’s member nonprofits. Bria brings a very special skill set to Community Shares—she loves making videos and using her creativity to advance social justice causes. These creative talents emerged at a young age through her early background in Theater. When not at work, Bria, a vegan, enjoys watching “foodie” documentaries like “Forks Over Knives” and admiring the work of poet Maya Angelou and YouTube artist, Lilly Singh.
Cheri was named Executive Director as of January 9, 2017. She has served as CSW Associate Director for six years, where she’s led the organization’s fundraising efforts for social and environmental justice causes in Wisconsin. In addition to her work with CSW, she brings extensive experience with local advocacy movements through past leadership roles with the Dane County Rape Crisis Center, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Cheri grew up on a multi-generational dairy farm in the beautiful rolling hills of Trempealeau County in the driftless region of Wisconsin. She has one 9 year old daughter who attends a dual-language immersion program at Madison Metropolitan School District. (Photo by John Urban.)
Ken was genetically programmed to work at CSW, it simply took him a long time to find us. His family includes musicians, a wing walker, and union organizers. His first job was at age 10 in his parent’s hobby store, where he spent most of his time playing pinball, and occasionally helping a customer. When he’s not at CSW Ken is Artistic Director of Perfect Harmony Men’s Chorus in Madison and City of Festivals Men’s Chorus in Milwaukee. He admires the work of two leaders in the GLBT Choral movement, Dr. Stan Hill and Dennis Coleman for creating music with a message as a way to change hearts and minds. Most people don’t know that Ken’s great grandfather, a union organizer in Indiana, was targeted with a hit by the coal mine owners, and he was hanged by a mob. Or that Ken’s grandfather was a railroad engineer who carried our European allies’ treasures to Fort Knox during World War II, with one trip including England’s crown jewels.
Susan came to Community Shares after working with CSW member group Wisconsin Wetlands Association. Prior to this, she was the Development Assistant at Olbrich Botanical Society. She grew up in the beautiful Hudson River Valley of New York, where her first job out of high school was on a chainsaw crew trimming trees along power lines. If she had to pick just one book, Letters to a Young Poet, by Rilke, might be her choice. (Photo by Mike Klawitter)
Kathleen was working at one of CSW’s member nonprofits when her boss gave her the job announcement at CSW. Though she enjoyed that previous job, she said it felt right to join CSW. Her first job was at age four, helping her dad set up for banquets, where she earned one penny per place setting. Kathleen noted that she admires her dad, who always told her to do the work she finds enjoyable. Kathleen recently began jogging and she now loves it as a hobby. Her favorite movie is The Matrix and her favorite book is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
Elise is a senior at UW-Madison majoring in English Literature and History with a Certificate in European Studies. While at CSW, Elise has discovered an interest in digital design. She has been lucky enough to pursue this passion not only with CSW and its over 60 member groups, but with a variety of nonprofits across the state and world; including the Children’s Theater of Madison and The Nature Conservancy. When she is not in the office updating the digital world on the developments of CSW and its member groups; Elise serves as Marketing Director for the UW-Madison chapter of Spoon University, sharpens her amateur photography skills, and misses her two retrievers at home in Stevens Point, WI.
Claire is a senior at UW-Madison studying Political Science with certificates in Gender and Women’s Studies and Global Health. She is a former intern at a CSW member nonprofit and is deeply passionate about women’s health and reproductive justice. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to spend time at Community Shares working toward the diverse efforts at social change around the Madison community that CSW supports. Claire’s most rewarding time in college thus far has been studying at the University of Cape Town (pictured left at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens in Cape Town) and traveling Southern Africa for 5 months during her junior year. She enjoys walking her dogs and distance running in her spare time and her favorite books are Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Justin wanted to work at CSW because he believes in and identifies with the work of the member groups. He began as a temporary employee, then transitioned into a part-time then full-time employee. Justin is originally from Livingston, Wisconsin, in the southwestern part of the state–which is also where he had his first job, detassling corn. It may surprise you to learn that Justin ran for state assembly when he was just 19! He greatly admires his grandfather for his work ethic as a lifelong union man at John Deere. Justin’s favorite books include Giovanni’s Room and The Great Gatsby.
Emily’s first job as a teenager was in a rural setting, familiar to those who go to the Dane County Farmers’ Market: she picked strawberries and drove a tractor at Eugster’s Farm outside of Stoughton. She credits her mom and dad with giving her a wonderful upbringing, saying they helped her foster a sense of humor as well as a strong work ethic, encouraged her to place a premium on education, and instilled in her a deep love of Wisconsin. Like many of her colleagues here she came to CSW after working at a member nonprofit, the Wisconsin Women’s Network. “I’m very excited to continue that relationship through my work with CSW, while also advancing the work of other member organizations,” said Emily. Finally, she admits—as a recovering English major—to have a special fondness for Moby Dick.
Tong is a senior at UW-Madison studying Economics and Communication Arts. Prior to joining CSW, she was a Digital Marketing Intern at Weber Shandwick. She feels lucky and is thrilled to learn more about the community by working on social and environmental change at Community Shares. Tong grew up in a beautiful city in the south of China, and she is eager to explore different cultures in her second year in the United States. Tong enjoys playing acoustic guitar and piano and volunteering in spare time, and Andy Warhol is her favorite contemporary artist.