Why do you serve as a CIP? I believe that people with lived experience, their parents and grandparents are the best agents of change. They are the best advocates for their children - and their voices are crucial in developing strategies for effective change.
Why is it important? Collective Impact Partners and their various work groups encourage dialogue with various state and local agencies, and empower the hopeless to become not only hopeful, but helpers in systems change.
What is one personal goal? As a CIP, I hope to forge new relationships with others, learning and growing in both personal and professional awareness. And in these relationships, I hope to find ways I can help children and their families to become healthy and resilient members of our community.
What is your number one goal for systems change? To destigmatize mental health and special needs issues so that the community can effectively surround and support those in need, understanding both the inherent gifts and challenges of differently- abled children and their families.
Family: I am the parent of a child who died of an opioid overdose. I am also the adult child of an alcoholic. Issues related to addiction, and a deep desire to work with communities affected by this disease and other mental health issues have long been my priority. I have been an ordained Lutheran (ELCA) pastor for the past 26 years and want to help clergy and congregations train and prepare to respond to the needs of their members and communities.
Passions / Hobbies / Fun Facts:
I love the north woods, having spent summers my entire life on a lake in Canada. “Heaven” for me is watching wildlife, fishing and spending time around bonfires with family and friends. I also love music, and was a choir director and teacher in my “first life.”