Trustee Election | Candidate Bios

Candidate Bios

Trustee Candidate Statement:

I believe in the mission of the WEA Trust. I am proud of the work its employees do. I am eager to see where the Trust will be situated in the health insurance marketplace in three to five years. Since my last run for trustee, our organization has made significant progress toward the goal of reclaiming healthcare for Wisconsin’s public sector employees. The Trust has hewed to its new underwriting discipline, streamlined its policy offerings making for a more profitable business model, and begun to invest earnings into new initiatives that promise to improve the health of our members. As we continue to refine the structure of our company, I’d like to see the Trust expand its reach into the public sector. I’d like to see new investment opportunities pave the way for further increases in the health of our members. And I’d like to see new partnerships emerge that guarantee the good fiscal health of our enterprise well into the future. The WEA Trust makes a difference: a difference that members feel every time they pick up the phone and call our offices looking for information or guidance. I am eager to be a part of that difference for the next three years.

If elected to serve a term as Trustee by the members of the WEA Trust, I'd continue to refine my skills and I'd put them to use charting a course for our organization's success in the next three years.

 

Employer/Occupation:  School District of Shorewood-English/Journalism Teacher


Work Experience: 

  • School District of Shorewood—Shorewood, WI (English/Journalism Teacher 2001–Present)

  • St. Francis School District—Saint Francis, WI (English Teacher 1996–2001)

  • Nicolet High School—Glendale, WI (Teacher 1996–1997)

 

High School:  Marquette University High School (1981)


Postsecondary Education:

  • University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee (1990–1996 BS in Education)

  • University of Wisconsin—Madison (1981–1983 Courses Only No Degree)

     

Degrees or Professional Certifications: 

  • Certified Journalism Educator (Journalism Education Association)

  • Professional Educator (life license, T001-1300, DPI)

  • Peer Representative (PDP Team Member, Z005, DPI)

  • Bachelor of Science, Education (University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee)


Association Memberships/Offices Held: 

  • School District of Shorewood (District Leadership Team)

  • Shorewood Education Association (Executive Board Member, past president, UniServ Representative)

  • WEAC Region #7 (Executive Board Member)

  • WEAC (Member of the Board of Directors)

  • Southeast United Educators (Executive Board Member)

  • North Shore United Educators (Secretary Treasurer, Member of UniServ Board)


Skills and Expertise:

  • I am a long-range strategic thinker. I process detailed and complicated information and apply it to dynamic organizations that navigate complex work environments and redefine themselves in a manner that respond to the challenges in the marketplace. As a fiduciary, I seek to expand my knowledge of the health care industry through formal as well as informal educational opportunities. I do this so that I can determine which policies will best serve our members. I work hard to strike a balance between being involved in the enterprise and allowing the executive team to run the organization they've been hired to run.

  • I help the boards on which I serve arrive at consensus while at the same time challenge status quo thinking. With five years of experience on the board, I know when to question, and when to listen and learn. As a trustee, I find that it is important to establish relationships on the board that allow for respectful disagreement so that the consensus we reach is stronger and reflects the many views present on the board. The role of trustee for this organization is challenging and rewarding, and it is a role in which I take great pride.


Non-profit or Public Board Experience:

  • WEAC Region #7—Brookfield, WI (Executive Board Member 2014–2015)

  • WEAC—Madison, WI (Board Member 2009–2014)

  • Shorewood Education Association—Shorewood, WI (Executive Board Member, President 2008–2014)

  • Southeast United Educators—Brookfield, WI (Executive Board Member 2013–2014)

  • North Shore United Educators—Brookfield, WI (Secretary Treasurer, UniServ Board Member 2008–2013)

Trustee Candidate Statement:

I have been a Trustee of the Wisconsin Education Association Insurance Trust (the Trust) for eight years. During that time, I have served on the Audit Committee, the Executive Committee, as Chair of the Governance Committee, and as Chair of the Nominations Committee. I believe I bring to the Board a strong financial and analytical mind, a loyalty to current and past Trust members, an understanding of public employees and their rights, and the desire to serve all of Wisconsin's public employees.

 

Over the past several years, the Trust has faced numerous challenges including political attacks, an ever-changing membership base, decrease in overall membership, and many benefit design plan changes. As a public employee, I myself have been faced with these same stressors. I believe that I am strong willed, open minded, energetic, and optimistic that the Trust and its members can become stronger and better than ever while offering public employees a quality product that enhances their lives. In recent years, the many economic and political challenges that the Trust, its members, and all public employees have faced has forced the Trust to reevaluate a lot of its operations and its entire way of business of providing insurance benefits to members. I believe that I have helped, and can continue to help, the Trust bridge these tough times and create a new vision for the future. While doing so, I believe that it is imperative that the Trust maintain its quality service and understand what the members value so much about its past.

 

I believe that while the Trust has faced many challenges in the ever-growing field of insurance, and has its own unique challenges to face due to our past, the decisions that we face make us challenge the status quo, and will make us a stronger business entity as we learn to adjust to the new (and ever-changing) market. By continuing to provide excellent customer service, becoming more competitively priced, and developing an education program to help our members become more involved in their own health care plan, we cannot only gain back the membership we lost, but continue to grow and become a vibrant company once again.

 

In conclusion, I have been honored to have worked hard to help the Trust through these rough economic times and wish to continue to serve as a Trustee and help the enterprise become stronger than ever for our members while offering a quality product that they can depend on. I would appreciate the support of the members in order to do so.

 

Employer/Occupation:  Burlington Area School District—Mathematics Teacher/RTI and TSID Coordinator

 

Work Experience: 

  • Burlington Area School District—Burlington, WI (Mathematics Teacher/RTI and TSID Coordinator 2002–Present)

  • University of Wisconsin—Parkside—Kenosha, WI (Educational Researcher 2011–2012)

  • Weidner Center for the Performing Arts—Green Bay, WI (Development Assistant/Membership Coordinator 1999–2002)

  • Lakeside Packaging Plus—Neenah, WI (Assistant 1996–1998)

 

High School:  Marion High SchoolMarion, WI (1998)

 

Postsecondary Education:

  • Colorado State University—Pueblo, Colorado (No Degree, Coursework on RTI and TSID 2014–2018)

  • University of St. Thomas—St. Paul, Minnesota (No Degree, Coursework on Intervention Strategist, Mathematics, and Mathematics Business Applications 2005–2014

  • University of Wisconsin—La Crosse—La Crosse, WI (MA in Education with At-Risk Youth Emphasis 2003–2005)

  • University of Wisconsin—Green Bay—Green Bay, WI (BS in Mathematics and Secondary Education 1998–2002)


Degrees or Professional Certifications: 

  • MA in Education (At-Risk Youth Emphasis)

  • BS in Mathematics and Secondary Education

  • License in 6–12 Mathematics and 6–12 Secondary Education

  • Certification for PDP Team Reviewer

  • Certification for RTI Intervention Strategist

  • Certification for Coaching

  • Certification for TSID Coaching

     

Association Memberships/Offices Held: 

  • Wisconsin Education Association Insurance Trust (Trustee, Executive Committee At Large, Executive Committee Secretary/Treasurer, Nominating Committee Chair, Governance Committee Chair, and Audit Committee Member)

  • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

  • Wisconsin Education Association Council (Board Member, RA Delegate, PR Committee Chair/Vice Chair, Winter and Summer Academy, Midwest Leadership Conference Attendee, and Committee Member)

  • WEA Academy (President, Board Member, Vice President, andTreasurer)

  • Southern Lakes United Educators (Board Member, Treasurer, Vice-President, Committee Chair, PDP Developer and Reviewer, Presenter, and RADelegate)

  • Burlington Education Association (Executive Board Member, Building Representative, Negotiations Committee, and CommitteeChair)

  • National Education Association (RA Delegate, Constitution and Bylaws Committee Chair, NEA PAC Fund Committee Chair, and Committee Member)

  • America's Health Insurance Plan (AHIP)

           

Business, Professional, Occupational, or Civic Memberships:

    • Negotiations—I have negotiated a number of labor contracts from both the labor and management side.  I have also negotiated tenant leases both residential and commercial.

    • Leadership—I was a local teacher union president for many years, a chair of various committees (union, condo association, nonprofit organization, Military Academy Selection Board), and a president of a nonprofit board.

    • Committed—I have a longstanding interest in employee benefits, especially health insurance.  I am committed to making a difference for those insured by the Trust.  I take my fiduciary responsibility seriously; I work hard to understand the issues; and I make every effort to act in ways that benefit the members.

    • Desire to serve—My entire working career, and the time since, reflect a strong desire to provide a public service.  I limit my involvement to a few opportunities so that I have the time to be fully engaged in the organizations' efforts.

    • I consider myself an organizer, collaborator, problem solver, a good listener, a person open to differing points of view, and a consensus builder.  Being a team player is very important to me.

     

    Skills and Expertise:

    • Audit/financial/mathematical background and education

    • Ability to think outside the box and come up with innovative/creative solutions

    • Governance

    • Able to agree to disagree and work through differing views to get the best for all

    • Ability to ask difficult and in-depth questions

    • Decision maker and initiator

    • Continuing education in all fields to further knowledge

    • Forward thinking—not satisfied with status quo—how can things be better

    • Board experience on several other boards

    • Understanding of financial processes businesses/boards face

    • Organizer and planner

    • Understanding of successes and challenges faced by public employees

    • Leadership and mentorship of others

    • Dedicated and committed

    • Public service is a priority

    • Collaborator and problem solver

     

    Non-profit or Public Board Experience:

    • Cross Lutheran Church Worship Board—Burlington, WI (2004–2008)

    • Cross Lutheran Church Music Leadership Board—Burlington, WI (2004–2008)

    • Matheson Memorial Library Friends of the Library Board—Elkhorn, WI (Vice President 2013–2015)

    • WEA Academy Board—Madison, WI (President, Vice President, and Treasurer 2014–Present)

    • WEA Trust Health Insurance Board—Madison, WI (2009–Present)

    Trustee Candidate Statement:
    I am committed to seeing member service remain our driving function. I believe I have the skills and expertise necessary to make the decisions that will be needed to keep us moving toward a dominant position in public employee insurance. I look forward to being a part of driving the Trust to greater successes in the near future. I believe that we have the people in place to do great things and I am enthusiastic about helping them achieve our goals.

    I have a strong commitment to serving others and working to provide fairness and security for working people. The Trust has long helped ensure that members have working conditions and benefits that allow them to do their jobs and live their lives without having to worry about whether they can cope with those unforeseen medical situations that can challenge a person’s health and finances. As a negotiator, I always tried to obtain and retain our Trust insurance programs because they meant quality and we knew they would work with us and put the welfare of our members above all else. During my 25 years as a negotiator, we maintained wall-to-wall Trust coverages.

    I believe that the WEA Trust is a valuable player in the public domain. The Trust continues to be dedicated to doing everything possible to serve the participating members of its plans with the highest level of success attainable. The Trust, unlike other insurers, is driven by service to its member participants - not making huge profits, not providing great shareholders’ dividends, not providing excessive executive benefits, and not trying to avoid paying benefits owed to the participants. 

    I want to continue to work for our members as a Trustee to ensure that we keep our member focus strong, that we continue to fight to strengthen our position in the health care market, that we continue our great customer satisfaction and service ratings, and that we drive the efforts to improve medical outcomes and reduce medical costs in Wisconsin. 

    I am very familiar with the daunting tasks we have to deal with in the current unstable insurance marketplace and with the conflicting political ideologies that affect us. I believe the experience and knowledge I have gained in my 10+ years as a Trustee has value to the organization and hope that you feel that I am worthy of your confidence and vote.

    Employer/Occupation: Retired Teacher—School District of Bonduel


    Work Experience:

    • School District of Bonduel—Bonduel, WI (Teacher 1978–2011)

    • Shawano Community School District—Shawano, WI (Summer School Teacher 1988–1989 and 1991–2011)

    • CESA #8—Gillett, WI (Science Methods Instructor 1999–2000)

    • Vlasic Foods—Bonduel, WI (Production Line Supervisor 1990)

    • Lad Lake Treatment Center—Dousman, WI (Child Care Staff 1976–1978)

    • WaukeshaEngines Division—Waukesha, WI (Machinist, ATL Operator 1974–1975)


    High School: Oconomowoc Senior High School (1969)

     

    Postsecondary Education:

    • Northeast Wisconsin Technical College—Green Bay (Continuing Education—Science Curriculum 1994)

    • University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee (Continuing Education—Energy Curriculum 1985– 1986)

    • University of Wisconsin—Green Bay (Continuing Education—Genetics 1984–1985)

    • University of Wisconsin—Whitewater (MAT—Biology Education 1976–1978)

    • University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point (Outdoor Education Minor 1974–1975)

    • University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point (BS—Biology with Resource Management Minor 1969–1973)


    Degrees or Professional Certifications:

    • Master of Arts degree in Teaching in Biology (1978) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with minors in Natural Resources Management (1973) and Outdoor Education (1975).

    • I was a State of Wisconsin licensed professional teacher in Biology and Life Science (605) at the 7–12 grade level.


    Association Memberships/Offices Held:

    • Life member of the National Education Association (NEA), Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), and Bay Lakes United Educators (BLUE)–Retired.

    • WEAC Board of Directors—Director (ten years) and Alternate Director (eight years) on the WEAC. Last Board service was 2007–2011. Chair of the WEAC Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules Committee from 2000–2006. Board liaison to the Instruction and Professional Development Committee, the Human Relations Committee, and the Constitution Committee. Served on the Program and Activities Subcommittee and Policies and Procedures Subcommittee.

    • United Northeast Educators (UNE)/Bay Lakes United Educators (BLUE) UniServ Board—Director (22 years) between 1981 and 2011. Vice President of UNE (five years). UNE Negotiations Cluster Chair (four years) and represented UNE on the Statewide Bargaining Goals Committee (two years). Legislative and Executive Committees of the UNE/BLUE PAC until 2013.

    • Bonduel Education Association (BEA)—1978–2011—President (seven years), Treasurer (ten years), President-Elect, Past-President, Executive Committee (25 years), Chief Negotiator (20 years), negotiations team (25 years), Chair of the Legislative and Insurance Committees (most of tenure).

    • Member-in-good-standing of Local 1377 of the IAM-AW (AFL-CIO)—Waukesha, WI (1974–1975).

     

    Business, Professional, Occupational, or Civic Memberships:

    • Shawano County Area Retired Teachers Association (SCARTA).

    • Democratic Party of Shawano County—Current 1st Vice Chair. Previously Chair (seven years), 2nd Vice Chair (two years), and Treasurer (23 years).

    I had been involved in the following organization before my retirement from teaching in 2011:

    • St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church—Bonduel, WI—Stewardship Board (six years), the Youth Board (four years), and the Church Council (six years).

    • While teaching, I held memberships in the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers (WSST), the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT).

     

    Skills and Expertise:

    I have a great understanding and appreciation of the demands of the trustee position through on-the-job experience. I continue to work to improve my ability to make effective and responsible decisions as a trustee. Through continuing education made available by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Programs, I have completed the Trustees Masters Program and used the many programs offered in fiduciary responsibility, health and wellness, investments, and general insurance to meet my fiduciary responsibilities to be a well-informed decision maker. My grasp of the current issues and future challenges we face is very well-developed by continuing education.

    My professional background was as a high school science educator. I believe this background provided me with expertise and skills that are well utilized in the trustee position. A teaching background requires good communications skills - especially reading, writing, and listening - that are also necessary in the trustee position. Teamwork and the ability to work with a wide variety of people from diverse backgrounds is essential to success as a teacher.
    I am well-trained in analyzing data and have a good background in mathematics and statistical analysis. My experience and training in biology, health, and coaching make it easy for me to understand much of the medical information and problems that we are called on to make decisions about. I have a good understanding of how the medical system works and of emerging technologies that may benefit us and our participants.

    I have devoted a great deal of energy and time representing the interests of those I work with through my variety of association and political activities. From many years of negotiating contracts, I have developed a thorough understanding of the contracting process and getting to “yes.” I have been involved in political activities for the last 40 years and have developed relationships with a number of legislators on both sides of the aisle. Since so much of what is occurring in the healthcare industry is regulated and influenced by political agendas, this is an area that a trustee has to have a good deal of competence in.


    Non-profit or Public Board Experience:

    • Wisconsin Education Association Insurance Trust—Madison, WI (Trustee 2008–Present)

    • WEAC—Madison, WI (Director 1994–2000 and 2007–2011)

    • WEAC—Madison, WI (Alternate Director 1983–1987 and 1990–1994)

    • BLUE—Green Bay, WI (Director 2007–2011)

    • UNE—Green Bay, WI (Director 1981–1987 and 1988–2000)

    • BEA—Bonduel, WI (President, Vice President and Treasurer 1979-2005)


    • St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church—Bonduel, WI—Stewardship Board (six years), the Youth Board (four years), and the Church Council (six years).

    • While teaching, I held memberships in the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers (WSST), the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT).