Meet the Board

Eileen Newcomer - President

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League of Women Voters of Wisconsin

What do you do in your spare time?: Like most millennials, I’m a Netflix junkie. In my truly spare time, I like to relax and binge watch my new favorite show. My long list of things I like to do, but don’t do often enough is: reading, camping, going for bike rides, drawing, traveling, volunteering…really, where does the list end? Other than that I really enjoy spending time with my family, we just spend the whole time laughing.

What inspires you?: The amount of young talent in our sector. There are so many people starting their own nonprofits or in leadership roles at the organizations they passionately believe in. You all push me to be the best I can be.

Why are you in nonprofit work?: I’m in the nonprofit sector for most of the same reasons I think we all are. I want to make a difference in the world. It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to do. I just knew that I wanted to be doing something where I was helping people. The range of resources our sector provides gives us the opportunity to make a real impact on people’s lives. Not to be cliché but I’m dreaming of a better tomorrow, and want to know that I’m part of the effort to make that happen.

Who is a hero of yours?: Bettie Locke Hamilton, founder of Kappa Alpha Theta. Bettie along with a group of 3 friends started Kappa Alpha Theta in 1870 to give women a support group and to empower them to get an education at a time when women were not very welcome in the academic world. Today, what she started as a small support group has grown into an organization impacting the lives of thousands of women, creating the leaders of tomorrow.

What's something quirky about you?: I know the difference between wilderness and wild lands. I spent a summer giving historical tours at Great Camp Sagamore, a Vanderbilt Family Estate in the Adirondacks that is situated between wilderness and wild lands.  


Taylor Jackson - Vice President

TaylorJackson.jpgBoys & Girls Club of Dane County

What do you do in your spare time?: Spare time is rare, but I do like to spend a lot of it outdoors! I love taking hikes with my pitbull, Emma, and traveling all over the state and the country! I also love to read, and listen to a few of my favorite podcasts.

Who inspires you?: The students I have worked with who have been through so much but are still pushing through to earn their degrees and make their future their own.

Why are you in nonprofit work?: I am passionate about knowing that my work makes a difference and improves the lives of others. I also love how amazing the people I work with are, and that they care so much about the causes we are working towards.

Who is a hero of yours?: I am unashamed to be incredibly inspired by Leslie Knope (and, of course, Amy Poehler). Both are strong, passionate, and independent women who are dead-set on making a difference in the world!


Ashleigh Herrera - Treasurer

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Wisconsin Historical Society

What do you do in your spare time?: I spend a lot of time reading and researching historical events; and I’m lucky to have a wonderful kitty who loves snuggling and reading as much as I do.  I’m also a big fan of road trips and exploring small town America- antique stores are my favorite stops.

What inspires you?: Harmonious, well-designed spaces and products; apartment therapy is one of my favorite blogs.

Why are you in nonprofit work?: Preservation and nonprofits seem to go hand in hand and I love working with the innovative and passionate people that are drawn to the nonprofit field.

Who is a hero of yours?: My grandmother, who has been a teacher for over 50 years, and didn’t let anything get in the way of pursuing her educational goals in a time where it was unconventional to do so.  She is one of my best friends and has been so supportive of me and all of her other grandchildren.

What's something quirky about you?: I am a huge collector of vintage clothing- probably 80% of my daily wardrobe was produced before 1970.


Emily Blankenship - Membership Chair 

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Habitat for Humanity ReStore

What do you do in your spare time?: Cook food, eat food, and scour the internet in search of any tutorial, livestream, or post I may have missed from the great Gordon Ramsay.

What inspires you?: Kick-ass women who figured out work-life balance.

Why are you in nonprofit work?: I think most of us are in nonprofit work because something pisses us off. People are starving. All girls don’t have a right to education. Trump is president. What pisses me off is everyone expecting the nonprofit sector to change massive, cultural, global issues like hunger and equality, and then not allowing us to grow to any sort of scale that could actually do that. Oh, and uninformed donors that talk about overhead.

I work in my current role with Habitat because I am proud to work for an international nonprofit that is competing with the top private builders in the US housing market, while also working globally to improve land policy and systems.

Who is a hero of yours?: Michelle Alvis-White, my mentor, and friend who dedicated her life to serving the city she loved.

What's something quirky about you?: I look really angry when I pet dogs. I have to grit my teeth to prevent me from squeezing the cuteness out of them, I guess.


Heather Ferguson - Webmaster & Social Media

UW-Madison SOAR Program

What do you do in your spare time?

I’m a bit of a dreamer, so I spend a lot of time reading or listening to podcasts about innovations, leadership models, or positive psychology. I also regularly attend Zumba classes, go biking, and spend as much time at festivals and local foodie destinations as possible.

What inspires you?

Tons of things; I actually keep a running list in one of my many notebooks. But two things keep me consistently inspired: learning and working with teams of passionate people. So I guess it makes sense that I’ve found a career in higher education.

Why are you in nonprofit work?

I seek meaning in my work—whether that is mentoring staff, helping my team tell its story, or working toward a common goal. I want to be part of a team that is strategically striving to improve and that values people over profit. I believe students and staff (including myself) are always growing, and I want to see them be successful; therefore, I enjoy finding ways to help them better articulate their stories, expand their skills, and utilize their strengths. I also work hard to offer my students and staff members support and to help remove barriers that may stand in the way of their success.

Who is a hero of yours?

Can I pick two? Emilie Wapnick, who first coined the term “multipotentialite,” and Susan Cain, who brought visibility to and understanding about introverts in her best-selling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Both of these women are shattering misconceptions about the “one true” model for leadership and career development. They are helping make the professional world more inclusive by widening the characteristics of success. I find their contributions to be incredibly empowering.

What's something quirky about you?

Sometimes, I assemble outfits for the week as a way to relax. I see styling clothes as a creative outlet; it is fun to see how different silhouettes, pieces of jewelry, and colors come together in unique ways. In a society where we are often taught to judge our bodies, we can flip the script by experimenting and using clothes as a tool to express ourselves.


Amber Sandall 

Campus Sonar

What do you do in your spare time?

Read books, eat tacos, appreciate inter-species friendships. And work on completing my MBA.

What inspires you?

Recognition of my agency and ability to drive scaled, purposeful change aligned with my values.

Why are you in nonprofit work?

Mission-driven work is fulfilling and the people are awesome.

Who is a hero of yours?

I'm inspired by my family, friends, and colleagues. There's so much I can learn from others, and it's a privilege to be able to do so.

What's something quirky about you?

I stay away from most celebrity gossip, but I find the Kardashians fascinating for a number of reasons. 


Scott Coenen

Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum

What do you do in your spare time?

You can find me on a boat, kayak, paddle board somewhere in Wisconsin on a lake or river.

What inspires you?

I am consistently inspired by leaders that have the ability to know what they're talking about and communicate big ideas. I also value our country and communities and have a deep respect for anyone that makes it their mission to make things better, even in the smallest ways.

Why are you in nonprofit work?

I'm in nonprofit work because it offers a unique place to influence both public and private sectors. The nonprofit world offers you the ability to bring many different voices to a table on many issues.

Who is a hero of yours?

Right now I would say any decision maker that has the ability to see and communicate two sides of an issue and not see debate and dissent as threatening. Now, more than ever, we need leaders to focus on areas of agreement and common cause.

What's something quirky about you?

I've officiated five different weddings for various friends. If anyone needs a good marrying, let me know! 


Halley Pucker - Programming

Wisconsin Historical Foundation

What do you do in your spare time?

I spend my spare time hiking with my two dogs, Poppy and Freyja, baking, reading nonfiction, travelling, and following the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, and Ottawa Senators.

What inspires you?

I'm inspired by the natural world and all of its beauty.

Why are you in nonprofit work?

I'm a passionate person, and I believe that nonprofit work is the best way to share my passions. It feels like cheerleading for the underdog, which I love to do.

Who is a hero of yours?

Major Richard "Dick" Winters

What's something quirky about you?

I own more coffee mugs than any sane person should.


 

 


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