MEET THE TEAM

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Leah Wojnowiak
Executive Director

Leah Wojnowiak is a life long resident of the Clintonville Community.  She comes to The Compassionate Connections Center with nearly 20 years experience in Education and Human Services work.  Her commitment to marginalized families is evident in her passion and experience working with children and families to build strong foundations for future success. She served as a board member for the C.C.C. prior to taking the role as Executive Director and played an integral role in the development and implementation of The Nutrition Mission program for the C.C.C., serving hundreds of children nutritious food backpacks each weekend.  Her servant leadership is evident in every role she plays for the C.C.C., from building strong partnerships with local leaders and partnering organizations, designing programming to meet basic needs, and rolling up her sleeves and packing backpacks each week. In her free time Leah enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, roadtrips, kayaking, listening to live music, and reading a good book.

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Amy Meinhardt
President Board of Directors

Amy grew up in Clintonville and after traveling some of the world, she moved back home and worked at several local Financials as well as 20 plus years as a waitress at Mathew’s Supper Club.  Amy spent ten years working for the Federal Government in a program that provided loan and grants for home repair for low and very low income households.  Amy’s one on one interactions with families impacted by significant poverty is why she is passionate about removing the stigma and shame associated with poverty.  Our battle is with poverty itself, not the people affected by it.

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Sophie Forbes
Project Coordinator & Funds Development Specialist

I’m the Project Coordinator and Funds Development Specialist at the Compassionate Connections Center. With a background in Health Promotion and Wellness and Community and Organizational Leadership, I’m thrilled to use my expertise to implement, create, and sustain our weekend backpack program, The Nutrition Mission. As once a Manawa local, I am uniquely now living in Madison, where I work for the Center remotely. In my free time, you can find me picking up a new craft, regularly attending spin class, or spending time with loved ones! 

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Hayden Wojnowiak
Student Intern

Hello! My name is Hayden and I’m the Project Specialist Intern for the Compassionate Connections Center. I am currently a senior attending Clintonville High School and also enrolled in an early college credit program through The University Of Green Bay. Some college credits I've enjoyed pursuing so far include Global Politics and Society, Fundamentals of Public Address, and of course Business Environments. When not learning, I work for a local supper club in my small town, waiting tables. In the summertime, I work for a wood kiln where I operate forklifts for wood organizing. When given spare time I aim to be as creative as possible, so thoroughly enjoy setting up and recording podcasts with friends, family, and important figures around my community. I love to have conversations that spark humor and meaningful innovative ideas, as I feel it’s extremely important to practice the ability to express your ideas and emotions articulately, especially nowadays in a digital age that provides many viewpoints telling people what to think. A never-ending priority in my life is to be kind and compassionate to others, so I was quite frankly thrilled to be accepted into this non-profit organization. To be a part of a team that strives to advocate and install resources for the most vulnerable populations in my community has given me much joy, but also has kept me modest. Poverty is a destructive reality that is evident for many individuals and families in my community. Working with this organization has given me the opportunity to learn more about the destructive reality of poverty, which has given me much gratitude for the blessings of my own life. I realized that I can do my part in leaving this community better than I found it. Striving to act locally, and to think globally.

“ Think Global, Act Local. “ ~Robert Downey Jr.

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Makayla Easley
Administrative Assistance

Makayla grew up in Clintonville and fell in love with how our community works together. She is currently a sophomore in college and studying Elementary Education with a minor in Archeology. She has a passion for helping others and would like to incorporate that in her future classroom. Along with being a full-time student, you can find her being a barista at the local coffee shop on the weekends, where she loves meeting new people and helping make our community a better place in any way she can. She is so excited to add her passion for helping others into her role for this job.

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 ​​Jolyne Zaldivar
Spanish Interpreter and Translator

Many say I wear a lot of hats, but as a single mom my most favorite is being just that! My goal is just being present wherever I am :) I enjoy cooking, watching movies and traveling with my classy 13 year old daughter Mia. She teaches me a lot! We love to play in the snow or at the beach with our 15 month old, 135 pound Great White Pyrenees dog Elliot. I am a lifelong member of the Clintonville community and a native Spanish speaker. I have been an active community advocate for our growing Hispanic Community and give honor to my parents Israel J. Sr. & Antonia Acevedo for what I do today. I am founder of Bridging Language Barriers LLC, an interpreting and translating service provider and resource center for our ever expanding Spanish speakers in Wisconsin. I currently work closely with WWBIC, Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corp. as the North East Hispanic Business Coordinator Assistant. I am currently the Director of our Spanish Ministry, “Nueva Vida” at Calvary Apostolic Church in Clintonville.  I have served as a past board member for the Rural Health Initiative and Fox Valley Literacy Council. I am very passionate about building genuine relationships and investing in our local community. The Compassionate Connections Center has provided an avenue for me to serve our Hispanic community with interpreting and translating needs in the most delicate areas closest to the heart of our city. I am honored to be part of this team and continue to look forward to the success of the City of Clintonville in its entirety and making Compassionate Connections! #ilovemycity 

“Service does not come from a manual, it comes from the heart.”

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Stephanie McGregor
Pantry Coordinator

Stephanie McGregor lives in Bear Creek, WI where she loves to spend time with her family. She is a mom of two energetic boys so she knows how to multitask. Stephanie graduated from UW Stout and has been teaching for 11 years. She teaches locally at St. Rose St.Mary’s Catholic School where she utilizes her degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Special Education. She loves working with children and helping others. Stephanie finds pleasure in planning and organizing whether it’s for school or other events. She is very excited to help and to give back to the community.

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Sarah Heinrich

Community Liaison Advisor

My name is Sarah Heinrich.  I am a Home Visitor with the Early Head Start program in Clintonville, servicing Waupaca County families.  My passion is working with families and making community connections.  In my free time I enjoy taking walks with my dog, reading and doing yoga.

MEET THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

ANDY GUSSERT Treasurer Board of Directors Andy Gussert served at the top levels of government, fundraising, development and non-profit strategy for over two decades as national head of a trade movement, state president of an education association, and executive director of a government research bureau. He now serves as state director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wisconsin, after working in youth development at the Wisconsin Association of Student Councils, and Democratic Leadership Institute.

CAZ MUSKE Board of Directors I am foremost a mom of a spunky 4-year-old son and a wife of a dedicated peace officer. I am a Texas native who followed her love of cheese and fell in love with the beautiful state of Wisconsin. I enjoy staying active in nature or by spin classes. I love being among friends & family while playing a board/card game or two. I am a forever student and always seek personal improvement. My profession is city management as the City Administrator of Clintonville.

CASSY ENGELHARDT Secretary Board of Directors Cassy Hollenbeck has lived in the Clintonville area for most of her life. She is a teacher with experience in elementary and middle school general and special education as well as teaching for the visually impaired. She has been very involved in middle school groups for both boys and girls aimed at empowering youth and providing them with enriching experiences in the community and state. Cassy has worked extensively with AODA, mentoring, and more

SARAH BOLDIG Vice President Board of Directors Sarah Jo Boldig (Kupsky), is a former Clintonville native (Class of ’00) who now resides nearby in Belle Plaine. She has had a vast array of life experiences, which she willingly shares and utilizes, along with professional experience in insurance and manufacturing planning and scheduling to help others in various aspects of life. Her passions include organization, planning and coffee (a lot of coffee). She takes a simplistic approach to life.

JUSTIN ZOELLICK Board of Directors I have been an active member of the Clintonville Community since I started teaching here 17 years ago. I taught for 8 years at Rexford/Longfellow Elementary School, followed by 9 years (and counting) at Clintonville Middle School. Currently, I am the Math Interventionist for the middle school and work with students at all grade levels. I also founded an after school program for middle school boys called “Wise Guys”...

JENNIFER LEOPOLD Board of Directors Jennifer Leopold employed 22 years with Fox Communities Credit Union, current position Branch Manager. Jennifer has served as a past board member for the Clintonville and Vicinity United Way, and secretary for Mission of Hope House. Currently serving on the board for the New London Area Chamber of Commerce, 2 terms past President. Currently sitting treasurer for The Washington Center board of directors in New London.