As an Adult Instructor on staff, Bess Arneson coordinates learner-tutor pairs in Eau Claire County, registers new students, creates individualized learner plans, and provides instructional support to tutors. She has a Master’s Degree in Education from UW-Eau Claire along with an undergraduate degree in business education and psychology. Before joining Literacy Volunteers, Bess was a middle school librarian and, most recently, a librarian at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire where she worked as a reference librarian, coordinated the library’s adult cultural and educational programming and served as manager of the library’s public relations division as well as the fiction and music collections. Having begun her career working one-on-one with young adults seeking GEDs through the federal Job Corps program, Bess is excited to once again have an opportunity to be part of a team helping adult learners attain their individual educational goals.
Family Literacy Instructor
Marge Beebe graduated from the University Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a degree in Elementary Education (K-8) and Learning Disabilities (K-8). She taught in the area of Learning Disabilities for 2 years but teaching children wasn’t as rewarding as she thought it would be. She moved on to working with adults with developmental disabilities at Reach, Inc, being a trainer at Hutchinson Technology, being a shift lead and working with large lasers at 3M, and working in broadcast/advertising at Menards. Finally, the perfect fit was with LCV. While employed at LCV for the last 10 years, she has worked with and converted several databases, Computer Coordination, Donations and Newsletters, and has found her match as an English as a Second Language Teacher at Family Literacy. Teaching adults is so much better than children! She has taught the beginners for 3 years and will now divide her time between the beginning group and the advanced group. Personally, she is the step-mom to 2 daughters (28 and 30), mom to a son (17) and a daughter (8); and has 4 grandchildren (8, 7, 5 and 2.5). She enjoys fishing and camping with her family, and partaking in a variety of hobbies including reading, jewelry making, and mosaic making. And loves the fact that her house will never be an empty nest!
Chippewa County Coordinator
Louise Bentley has been at Literacy Volunteers since February 2014. Louise serves as the Marketing Coordinator as well as the Chippewa County Instructor. As the Marketing Coordinator, Louise designs and publishes agency materials such as the newsletter, annual report, brochures, press releases, and fundraising materials. Louise also assists with event coordination (Scrabble Bee, Literacy Speaks, and Celebration of the Stars), maintains the LCV website and social media, and serves on the Public Relations & Marketing and the Fund Development committees. As the Chippewa County Instructor, she is the corrections instructor at the Chippewa County Jail, oversees the Open Learning Lab at the Chippewa Falls Public Library and manages the LCV office at CVTC in Chippewa Falls. Prior to working at LCV, Louise was an adjunct instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College and Lakeland College. She also has many years of experience in working for non-profit organizations at Momentum West, Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation and Chippewa Falls Main Street Program. Louise has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in English/Writing and holds an MBA from Lakeland College. When asked why she works for LCV, Louise said that she strongly believes in the mission of the organization, and that it is extremely rewarding to share in the successes of our students. “This job allows me to do all the things that I love: teaching, writing and marketing. It is a perfect fit for me,” she said.
Family Literacy Instructor
Linda is originally from Iowa but Wisconsin has been home since 1990. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. degree in Elementary Education and then received her M.A. degree from Clarke College. Her teaching career began at Area 1 Vocational-Technical School in Dubuque, Iowa teaching reading and study skills. I have also taught in preschool and HeadStart programs. For the past 22 years Linda taught in the Family Literacy program beginning as a preschool teacher and then transitioning to teaching adult students. She said, “I have been fortunate to work with students from a variety of countries including Mongolia, Egypt, Germany and Chile and many others, especially students from Laos/Thailand and Mexico. In addition, I have helped students study for the G.E.D test. I think LCV has had a positive impact on the lives of the students we serve whether it is helping them with parenting concerns, English language skills, job skills or obtaining a G.E.D. I believe I have learned as much from the students as they have learned from me!”
Family Literacy Coordinator
Deb Erwin has two bachelor’s degrees — one in Elementary Education and the other in Family/Child Development. Most of her teaching experience has been with Kindergarten and Second graders. She also taught adults at CVTC. Deb said, “My teaching career has spanned 6 states, MN, WI, HI, FL, NC and CA. This is because my husband is retired from the United States Marine Corps. We have two adult sons both attending institutions of higher learning.”
Deb has been with LCV for 3 1/2 years. During this time she has been a corrections instructor, a transitions instructor, open lab attendant, office staff, and Family Literacy Instructor. “At Family Literacy I teach ABE/GED students as well as ELL students. I also teach parenting education and support the early childhood classrooms. I am stepping into a leadership position at Family Literacy as I assist the coordinator. I work with LCV because I believe in everyone having the chance/choice to be literate.”
Elizabeth Hart worked for CESA 10 for 15 years in Education Technology as a distance learning French Teacher. In addition to Development for LCV, she is the General Manager of the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra, where she does marketing and fundraising. Hart earned a PhD in French from SUNY Buffalo, an MA in Comparative Literature from UMASS-Amherst and a BA in Music and Comparative Literature from UW-Madison. She is a passionate about reading and wants to kindle that spirit in others.
Family Literacy Instructor
Kao Lor started as a bi-lingual interpreter at Family Literacy in 2005. Now, Kao teaches Citizenship and middle level English Language Learners. He has a bachelor’s degree in Human Development & Family Studies from UW-Stout. Kao was born in Laos and immigrated to Eau Claire as a teenager. He is a board member for the Eau Claire Area Hmong Mutual Assistance Association. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his close-knit family.
Dunn County Coordinator
Laura came with an extensive background in non-profit administration and fundraising. Her education includes a Master’s in Vocational Education. Laura has been with LCV since the fall of 2004. She started out as the Dunn County Coordinator for 5 years, then moved up to Education Director for 5 years and has now returned to the Dunn County Coordinator position. Laura is most passionate about her work as a correctional educator. There is nothing more gratifying than helping someone achieve their GED and see a brighter future for themselves. She has served on the Correctional Education Association – Wisconsin Chapter Board of Directors since 2006 and is currently in her second year as President. Laura is pursuing her doctorate in Career and Technical Education at UW-Stout with an anticipated graduation date in May of 2016. Her dissertation will be focused on developing a profile and needs assessment of Correctional Educators in Wisconsin.
Cheryl Sandoval joined Literacy Chippewa Valley last August. She is the Adult Educator at the Eau Claire County Jail where she teaches adult education, vocational literacy, and GED curriculum. Cheryl also coordinates curriculum and performs intakes during the Open Labs in Eau Claire on Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings. Cheryl is anticipating her MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago in November, and, holds a B.S. degree in Political Science and Biology from UW-Eau Claire. The majority of Cheryl’s employment has been within the nonprofit sector. Recently she worked with young adults with intellectual disabilities on employment skills to obtain gainful employment, and independent living skills. Also, Cheryl worked ten years at correctional halfway house facilities supervising men and women on probation/parole, and supporting their community reintegration. Cheryl is very grateful to work as a team member to improve literacy skills and advocate for literacy awareness in the Chippewa Valley.
Eau Claire County Coordinator
Finishing a master’s degree in Career and Technical Education brought Cheryl Sutter here in 2006. “Quality learning plays off of multiple factors and I like helping establish and maintain those. Thinking through systems, trouble shooting, and the daily nuts & bolts of working with our students and tutors interest me.” Cheryl has a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and biology with a minor in math. She worked in quality assurance within the pharmaceutical industry, training and evaluating chemist work. Later she entered customer service work, first doing the work and then training many employees. “I’ve enjoyed private tutoring and adjunct teaching at CTC. Presently I train new volunteers, assist staff with tutor requests and data questions, and offer support, materials, and ideas to one-to- one and workplace students/tutors.” Recent professional development includes STAR training (reading’s important elements), Adult Numeracy instruction, and supervisory management classes.
MaryJo has been the Executive Director of LCV for the past 3 years. She has an undergraduate degree in Business from UW-Green Bay and a Master’s degree in Project Management from UW-Platteville. A lifelong learner and passionate advocate for LCV students, MJ spent a majority of her career in healthcare HR. She sits on the Board of Directors for Wisconsin Literacy and Workforce Development.
Michael Ahrens works for US Bank in Eau Claire as a Private Client Group trust administrator / relationship manager. He comes to this position via a circuitous route, starting with a degree in biological sciences from Western Michigan University (2002) and a master degree in entomology from the University of Wisconsin Madison (2005) where he studied the genetics of fire ants. After this foray into the sciences, and perhaps a few too many ant stings, he shifted his focus to obtaining his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School (2008). He worked for a number of years at an Eau Claire law firm where his practice focused on estate planning before transitioning to his current position. When Michael isn’ at work, he’s happily at home with his wife and two children, gardening, biking, traveling, writing, and of course, reading!
Barb moved to Menomonie in 1968 to attend Stout and stayed. She graduated and completed the course work for her MS. When she was 30 years old, she was tested for learning disabilities. They were significant; she was at middle school level for reading, spelling and math. A year and a half as a student at Northwest Reading Clinic improved her academic skills, made life easier and more understandable. She then became a Learning Therapist at the clinic; a job that she enjoyed immensely. After she retired from the reading clinic, Barb has been a volunteer tutor at the Dunn County jail since 2002. She is now beginning her second term on the board. Barb lives on a farm with her wonderful husband Charlie. In her spare time she enjoys gardening and spinning wool into sweaters from their sheep. She has a black belt and is studying Tai Chi sword.
Carlton is relatively new to the Chippewa Valley area, having moved here three years ago to be a part of JAMF Software. Prior to his relocation, he worked as a Web Developer in the Kansas City, Missouri area. Before that he spent six years in the Navy as a Hebrew linguist. Over the past three years, Eau Claire has become his home. He said, “it’s the best place I’ve ever lived. From day one I was struck by the sense of community in Eau Claire and the vibrancy of a growing city.” As a father of three boys, two of whom have IEPs for their reading skills, LCV is the first organization locally, outside of JAMF, with which he’s been really excited to become involved. “I see the struggle with my kids daily, and can’t imagine that struggle extending into adulthood. I want to help others get the help that my children receive from the programs they’re involved with in school, and I believe being involved with the LCV board is the best way I can help.”
Drew is a Midwesterner through and through being born in Iowa, raised in Minnesota, and educated in Wisconsin. In 2007, he graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a degree in Human Geography and Political Science, and in 2011, he graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Master’s Degree in Geography and Geographic Information Systems. For the past 4 years, Drew has worked in various capacities within JAMF Software. “One of the things that I’ve always appreciated about JAMF is the organizations promotion of community service. In addition to offering volunteer time off and helping facilitate volunteer opportunities; we’re also encouraged to help serve local non-profit organizations. This is one of those opportunities. Additionally, my family has long been involved in community-service as well, so it’s been ingrained in me my whole life how important serving the community is. Coming from a long line of educators, I’ve been taught how paramount reading is to the continued acquisition of knowledge and understanding of the world around us, which I believe directly correlates to a person’s happiness and overall satisfaction of their life. That said, it would be an honor to help the people of the Chippewa Valley who want to improve their own literacy. I feel my work experience, connections, and technological curiosity would be a great resource and perspective to add to the Board of Directors.”
Being born and raised in the Chippewa Valley, Greta has been a part of this great community and takes part in a lot of different opportunities throughout the years. She graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 2003 with a double major in Accounting and Economics and then began her career with Wipfli. Currently, she is a tax manager for Wipfli LLP where she consults with businesses and individuals with their tax planning and compliance needs. She assists clients with their day-to- day accounting transactions, their federal and state tax income tax returns, and their income tax audits. She researches and develops tax credit studies.
Greta is married with two boys, who are in the early stages of learning to read. She said, “As I work with them and their struggles, it reminds me of the same struggles that adults with literacy challenges would have and how difficult it may be for them to simply go about their day. Literacy Chippewa Valley is definitely an organization that will help make the Chippewa Valley a great place for them to live and a place for them to experience opportunities they may not have been able to otherwise. They will be able to make a better life for themselves and their families. I want to be a part of this organization and help others experience these opportunities.”
Dr. Mary Ann Hardeback
Eau Claire Area School District
Dr. Hardebeck honed her skills as a school based /central office administrator in Northern Virginia, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. She began her career as an educator, having taught in elementary, middle, and high schools in Virginia and New York. In addition to being a classroom teacher, she also worked as a reading specialist, department chair, gifted coordinator, assistant principal, high school principal, director of high school education, assistant superintendent for personnel services, and superintendent. She is strong on leadership development, building capacity within the system, and fostering an environment that embraces change. Her focus is the integration of sound instructional practices to improve student achievement. She excels at the management of resources and developing the capacity of staff to meet the needs of a growing school system. Dr. Hardebeck creates a workplace that encourages open communication and feedback from all the stakeholders in the educational community.
Terri Hoepner is the Local Sales Manager with Spectrum Reach (formerly Charter Media) in Altoona. She has been working in the field of advertising & marketing for over 15 years. Terri received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from UW-Eau Claire and also has a Master’s Degree in Training & Human Resource Development from UW-Stout. She is a graduate of the Leadership Eau Claire program and is also an active member of Junior League of Eau Claire. Terri is a lifelong resident of the Chippewa Valley. She currently resides in Altoona with her husband, Bill, and two children, Mason & Addison. She enjoys camping, biking & cabin time with her family as well as gardening & scrapbooking. Terri said, “as a mother, I have always felt reading was one of the most important skills and is something I have focused on with my kids – reading to them at an early age and helping them develop their reading skills. For me, joining Literacy Chippewa Valley was a way to encourage others to develop their literacy skills & help them improve their lives.”
People’s Bank Midwest
Larry has lived and worked in Eau Claire for 20 years. He graduated college from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse and has been in the banking industry for 30 years. Working at a bank has afforded him the opportunity to serve on local not for profit boards. “I enjoy every minute of working with Literacy Chippewa Valley, seeing the work done by the staff and the lives that they help change for the better are inspiring. The staff at LCV is so dedicated that it is hard to thank them enough. Serving on the board and helping guide the organization through different issues is very rewarding.” In his free time, Larry enjoys hunting, fishing and boating.
Nodolf, Flory, LLP
Laurie Klinkhammer is a partner at Nodolf Flory, LLP and concentrates her law practice in areas of Estate Planning, Estate Administration and Probate, and Business. She graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Anthropology/ Archaeology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She earned her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and taught fourth grade in Amery, WI for six years. She received her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, MN.
Laurie serves as President of the board of Literacy Chippewa Valley. She sees literacy and education as the foundation of a democracy and she hopes to have some small part in helping the LCV organization provide these services to the community and make Eau Claire a better place for everyone.
Lori Krings is the Customer Contact Center Director at Xcel Energy, and has been in that role since 2008. Her career includes over 35 years of customer service experience, with 24 of these years at Xcel Energy in various roles. She graduated from Cardinal Stritch University with a degree in Business, as well as a certificate in Human Resource Management. Lori has been involved with several area non- profit organizations including Junior Achievement, United Way, and Feed My People. She also previously served as a tutor for LCV. Lori is an avid reader and is excited to be involved in an organization that supports literacy. She believes that literacy is critical for people to be self-sufficient, and also supports continued growth and life-long learning.
Lori and her husband are lifelong residents of the area and have two adult sons, a daughter-in- law and granddaughter.
Sue is a lifelong resident of the Chippewa Falls area, graduated from Chippewa Falls and attended UW River Falls for social work and counseling. She began her career as the Executive Director of a big brother/big sister organization called Kinship in Chippewa County. During that time period she raised her teenage brother as a “single parent”, after their parents passed away.
For the last 25 years Sue has been a consultant with Workforce Resource Inc. She most recently managed the Bridges2Healthcare and ACT for Healthcare grant projects. Sue facilitates “Healthcare Academies” in which adult participants learn about health care careers through classroom activities, tours, and speakers. She has had nearly 400 people participate in the Healthcare Academies; many going on to CVTC. The Medical Terminology course, presented by LCV, has been extremely helpful for those individuals. “Many of the Healthcare Academy students have also utilized LCV tutors while in training, which has contributed to their success as graduates and employees in health care”.
Sue has served on numerous boards including the Lafayette town board and Chippewa County board of supervisors. She enjoys serving her community. “My heart has a special place for LCV. I’ve seen so many successes over the past few years; not only through Bridges2Healthcare programs, but also for other partnerships we have worked on, including two ELL C.N.A. courses in which most of those participants are now working in health care fields. I am honored to be a member of the LCV board and hope my experience in the employment and training industry will be of value to the organization.”
University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
Allyson Goldin Loomis specializes in teaching creative writing and contemporary literature. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana and bachelor degrees in English Literature and Philosophy from Boston University. Her own work has been published in numerous magazines including Glimmer Train, The Madison Review, The Black Warrior Review, and Harper’s, and she’s been granted awards for her work from organizations such as The Wisconsin Arts Board, The Virginia Council Colony for the Arts and The Hambidge Center. In the past she served as a fellow with the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. “I am pleased to join the Board, since I can’t imagine any better gift to give a person, aside from an education. My hope is that I can be useful to Literacy Chippewa Valley in all the regular ways, and that I may also serve as a liaison between LCV and the University community.”
Eau Claire Ford
Keena’s family has always been in the car business and when her parents were given the opportunity to own their own dealership, the entire family jumped at the chance. So in November of 2003 her family moved to Eau Claire from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to purchase what is now Eau Claire Ford Lincoln Quick Lane. She is currently the Marketing Manager of her family’s dealership, where she handles all traditional, digital, and social media marketing. Before that she studied Business and Graphic Design at the University of Wisconsin – Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss. That quote encompasses the reason she is interested in serving on the Board of Directors for Literacy Volunteers. “I want to help people through Literacy Volunteers so they can experience endless opportunities and the freedom to do what they want and be who they want,” Keena said.
Leah Motschenbacher was born and raised in the Chippewa Valley. She graduated from UWEC with an economics degree in 1995 and began her career in banking. She has been with CCFBank for the past 20 years and currently holds the position of Chief Credit Officer. She began serving on the Board of LCV in 2013. Leah has been happily married to her high school sweetheart for 18 years and has two children, both of whom are avid readers. After seeing the difference an interest in reading made with her own children, Leah became interested in working with LCV.
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
Lisa Patrow is a philanthropy specialist for the Friends of Sacred Heart Hospital, generating philanthropic support for the Hospital Sisters’ ministry in the Chippewa Valley region. Patrow began her role in June 2014. She has more than 20 years of media experience and is a lifelong resident of the Chippewa Valley. She graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a double major in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science. She got her start in radio news at WWIB while still in college. Later she became news director at the now iHeart Media stations: WBIZ AM/FM, B-95, Moose Country 106.7, WMEQ AM/FM and 98.1. After 7 years in radio, Patrow made the switch to television becoming the 6 & 10 p.m. anchor at WQOW. She became news director in 2003 and station manager in 2009. Patrow is married to Mike. They have one son, Ryan, who is a senior at Eau Claire Memorial. Her family enjoys fishing, gardening, swimming and playing with their Labrador Retriever. Lisa is also an avid reader and firmly believes in the work of Literacy Chippewa Valley!
Stacy Secker focuses her practice at Wipfli LLP in the international tax arena in addition to performing various in-house counsel functions. As part of her international tax role, she advises clients regarding their U.S. income tax obligations and planning related to their foreign activity as well as assists them in meeting their foreign tax needs. Prior to joining Wipfli in 2006, she lived and worked in the Twin Cities with her family.
Stacy became involved with Literacy Chippewa Valley over seven years ago when she volunteered as a Word Waiter for the annual ScrabbleBee fundraiser. She joined the board in 2013 and became Secretary in 2014. Since that first interaction with LCV she has continued to learn more about the organization and the important role this organization plays in this community. Literacy affects so many facets of our lives from employment to health to children to empowerment and everything in between. She is pleased to have the opportunity to become involved with an organization that can make such a difference for so many people in the Chippewa Valley.