Welcome to Community Conversations 2020-21!
Community Conversations is a monthly meeting of community members to discuss important topics of the day. Due to COVID-19, this year we will meet virtually at noon on the 3rd Wednesday of every month, September -November, and January-April.
No RSVP needed while we meet virtually. Just click the button to the right at noon on January 20th for the live feed. ------->
Social Distance: COVID Reveals the Economic Gaps Between Us
COVID-19 brought many things to the year 2020. Our communities were forced to deal with this health crisis in ways that this generation (or most of the generation before) had never experienced. This health crisis went way beyond medical and healthcare, however. There has always been need in the coulee region, but the struggle that has shown up due to the effects of COVID-19 are extraordinary. Why were so many precariously perched on economic instability? Who are the nonprofits that were trying to help before the pandemic and now need help themselves? Understand who the faces are that have received the help and will continue to need help going into 2021. Mary Kay Wolf, Jamie Schloegel, and Hetti Brown will dissect this issue and bring different elements about the need that was revealed in 2020.
Hetti Brown is the Executive Director of Couleecap, Inc., a Community Action Program serving Crawford, La Crosse, Monroe, and Vernon Counties, and a passionate advocate for economic equality in our community. In her role, she oversees more than 20 programs and 50 federal, state, and private grants to address the causes and conditions of poverty. Hetti also serves as vice chair of the Wisconsin Community Action Program and as member on the Scenic Bluffs Community Health Center board of directors, the State Treasurer’s Homeownership Task Force, and various other community boards and committees. Before joining Couleecap, Hetti worked as the Executive Director of the Delaware Division of Public Health Office of Animal Welfare, State Director for the Humane Society of the United States, and Marketing Manager for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. Hetti lives in La Crosse with her family – her partner Terry, Lily the dog, and Clara the cat.
Mary Kay Wolf has been Executive Director at Great Rivers United Way for almost eight years. Before working at United Way, Mary Kay was the Executive Director at the YWCA for five years and before that, spent three years at Family & Children’s Center in the Development Department. With a unique combination of nonprofit experience, Mary Kay’s leadership at Great Rivers United Way focuses on a broad array of collaboration, facilitation, fundraising and outcome based programming. The strength of United Way is bringing people and resources together, improving lives in our communities. Great Rivers United Way serves seven different counties in the Coulee Region. Mary Kay grew up in La Crosse, returning as an adult over 20 years ago. She currently lives here with her husband and spends as much time allowed with her 5 grandchildren.
Jamie Schloegel has served as La Crosse Community Foundation's Executive Director since June 2018. She originally joined the Foundation in August 2016 as its Program Director. Prior to the Foundation, Jamie spent ten years at Family & Children’s Center in various positions, most recently the Center’s Development Director. Jamie’s career experience combined with her undergraduate degree in social work and graduate level education in fundraising and nonprofit management provide a specialized knowledge base in best practice philanthropy, as well as an intimate understanding of the greater La Crosse area and its needs. Her work has been attributed to millions of dollars in philanthropic gifts for charitable organizations in the La Crosse area. Jamie is a La Crosse area native, and currently resides in Holmen with her husband Joe and their two kids Brennan and Violet.
We welcome all who want to make a difference.
This year is different and will be virtual until further notice. No in-person Conversation will be held.
No RSVP needed while we meet virtually. Just click the button below to watch January's Conversation!
In an effort to strengthen our community, Community Conversations looks to engage citizens in thoughtful, theological, non-partisan and non-political discussion about local economic and social issues. We invite anyone who is interested in making a difference.”