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Meet our team!


Leah Wojnowiak
Executive Director

Leah Wojnowiak is a lifelong resident of the Clintonville Community.  She comes to The Compassionate Connections Center with nearly 20 years of 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 of 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, 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.

Amy Meinhardt
President Board of Directors

Amy grew up in Clintonville and after traveling some of the worlds, 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 loans 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.

Sophie Forbes
Senior 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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Neely Goerlinger
Project Coordinator, Database Engineer

Neely is a Clintonville High School Graduate that is now attending The University of Iowa for English and Creative Writing, with a certificate in Non-profit Leadership and Philanthropy. She found her love of Non-profit work by working at the CCC since her graduation from high school in 2021, and is deeply appreciative of the opportunity to learn new things every day. When she is home, you can often find her working at Mathews Supper Club, and hanging out with her friends. She is ecstatic to help provide resources like the CCC for the community she loves so much.

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Ava Lorenz
Student Apprentice

Ava is currently a senior attending Shiocton High School. After high school, Ava will attend UW-Green Bay to pursue Nutrition/Dietetics and will run on the Cross Country team! Ava is our student apprentice and will be working closely with our The Nutrition Mission weekend backpack program as well as our new Healthy Eating Initiative, Harvest of the Month. 

 ​​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.”

Meet our Board of Directors

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