Matthew Brantner – Executive Director     

Matt B.jpgMatthew Brantner is the founding Executive Director of WisCorps and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.  He got his start in conservation corps programs as a Crew Leader and eventual Program Manager for the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps in 2005.  In 2009, after four years with the corps in Vermont, he worked with a small group of dedicated individuals to bring a conservation corps back to Wisconsin by founding WisCorps.

In addition to loving his role at WisCorps, Matthew is an avid outdoors person who loves camping, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and cycling.  He enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters on their small farm where they garden and care for the land.

Willie Bittner – Operations Director

Willie.pngWillie Bittner co-founded WisCorps with Matt in 2009. Prior to his role as Operations Director, Willie fulfilled the role of Board Chair. His passion for Conservation Corps started way back to one of his first jobs working for the original Wisconsin Conservation Corps. After the WCC was cut from the state budget Willie went on to gain experience from many other Corps including the California, Vermont and Minnesota Conservation Corps as well as Earth Corps. Each of these experiences contributed to his goal of one day bringing a Corps back to Wisconsin, which was realized in 2009 with WisCorps.

In addition to his Corps work, Willie has been building trails professionally for 16 years, and was a founding partner of Peter S. Jensen Associates LLC on the East Coast, and started his own trail-building and consulting company in the Midwest in 2008.  When Willie is not working he loves to be outdoors, volunteering in the community, traveling and spending time with his wife and children.

Stephanie Hanna – Education Manager

stephKnown as the WisCorps’ Nature Teacher and token Canadian, Stephanie has been teaching environmental education in an informal setting in the La Crosse Area for 17 years.  Stephanie’s constant connection to nature ever since she played with and likely ate June bugs in her sandbox at a very young age, has helped shape her role as an environmental/nature educator.  She enjoys walking, hiking, cycling, reading and just being outside as much as she can.

Stephanie earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan and worked as an elementary and middle school teacher for 9 years before moving to the Driftless Area.  Her absolute favorite thing to hear from her students is “Wow!  I didn’t know ……!”  She loves to learn and visits other nature centers and natural areas wherever she goes with her husband Greg in tow.  Stephanie is also an avid film fan and dreams of the day when she can join some of her favorite famous biologists in the great outdoors to film some amazing interactions with nature’s critters.

Chad DuChateau – Program Coordinator

chadThe glacial lakes of central Wisconsin is where Chad first learned the magic of being outside all the time. Woods, water, and a canoe was all he needed to get direction in life. He studied Landscape Architecture and Horticulture at UW-Madison. His first “corps” experience came after graduation, as a Peace Corps volunteer Chad traveled to the South Pacific island country of Vanuatu and worked with the Department of Forestry. The experience inspired a desire to travel and learn in the outdoors. He went on to build trail on the Continental Divide in Colorado, taught Leave No Trace as an “LNT Traveling Trainer”, and was an environmental educator on an island in the Chesapeake Bay.

Through it all he remained proud of his Wisconsin roots. Chad joined WisCorps in 2013 as a Crew Leader and has been the Conservation Program Coordinator since 2014.  Mentoring young people and conservation stewardship are what he values most about WisCorps.  Living in the Driftless area with his family is a true treasure.

Matt Gaworski – Youth Services Manager

matt-gWisCorps WIOA Program Manager, Matt Gaworski, is a graduate of Viterbo University in La Crosse WI. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with an emphasis on Sociology and Psychology. He has been working in youth programming since 2000 and has over 15 years of case management experience. In his free time Matt enjoys playing music and is the drummer for the La Crosse based rock band, “This Could Be the Day.” Matt has been working with WisCorps for 2 years and enjoys the friendly atmosphere and all the great people he gets to encounter out in the community.


David Bashaw – Career Planner

daveDavid Bashaw has been with WisCorps as a Career Planner since July of 2015. He graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Liberal Arts and Minor in Psychology. David has been working in the WIOA/WIA youth program since 2010. When not at WisCorps, he spends his time performing in several musical acts throughout the La Crosse area.



Megan Walters – Career Planner

meganMegan Walters is a Career Planner in the WisCorps WORKS Program. She began working at WisCorps in July of 2015. Megan graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in At-Risk-Youth Child Care. She has been working with youth for many years in a many different capacities including coach, mentor, direct care and case management. Megan really enjoys teaching youth employable skills in the classroom and working one on one with youth to achieve their goals. In her free time Megan enjoys spending time with friends and family, being outside and playing with her black lab.

Emily Post – Administrative Coordinator

Emily.jpgEmily grew up camping with her family all over Wisconsin, which sparked a lifelong love of the outdoors. She moved to La Crosse in 2009 to attend UW-La Crosse and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with an Environmental Studies minor. A favorite college professor of hers connected her to a job as an SCA/AmeriCorps Intern with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge. After that, Emily spent two summers working as a ranger for the U.S. National Park Service in Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain National Parks. She loved those experiences, but moved back to La Crosse start the next chapter of her life with her husband and step-son. She enjoys hiking, camping, playing guitar, sewing, and musicals.

Tammy Schmitz – Facility & Events Coordinator

tammyTammy Schmitz received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UW-La Crosse in 2009, beginning her career in non-profit youth development.  She has served as a Disability Support Specialist at Catholic Charities and District Executive, Senior District Executive, and District Director at the Gateway Area Council, Boy Scouts of America.  Tammy became acquainted with the WisCorps mission while the WisCorps Office neighbored the Boy Scout Office on Quarry Road. After years of enthusiastically watching the organization grow, Tammy excitedly accepted the opportunity to join the WisCorps team in September 2016 as the Facility and Events Coordinator.

Tammy is a native French Islander and currently resides there with her partner Jon and their dog Joplin. She enjoys traveling, spending time outside, and being involved in the community.   Tammy and Joplin volunteer as a Pet Therapy Team through the Coulee Region Humane Society.


Andrea Frisch – Inclusive Program Coordinator

AndreaInclusive Program Coordinator, Andrea Frisch, calls the La Crosse community home for almost 10 years. Andrea grew up in the “Northwoods,” regularly recreating with her family in Wisconsin’s state parks and national forests. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation and a Master’s degree in Recreation Management both from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Andrea is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and bases her practice in the outdoors and adaptive sports. She is dedicated to creating greater accessibility to nature and outdoor recreation for people of all abilities. When she is not at WisCorps, Andrea enjoys practicing and teaching yoga; birding, hiking, skiing, and camping with her partner, Ryan and his service dog Wally.


Pelli Lee – WIOA Program Assistant

PelliPelli Lee has been working with young adults and youth for over seven years. Hired on as the WIOA Program Assistant he works and trains the crews and crew leaders on building educational foundations and meaningful relationships that helps their development as future leaders in the workforce. He graduated from UW- La Crosse with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Minor in Ethnic Racial Studies/Language. When he’s not working, he spends a large majority of his afternoons and weekends on the river fishing and detailing cars.


Paul Blazevich – Education Program Assistant

paul.jpgAfter being raised on the southwest side of Madison, Paul moved downtown to attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Upon graduating with a major in Sociology and Environmental and Religious Studies certificates, he moved to La Crosse for a brief stint in graduate school. Paul found WisCorps in the early spring of 2017 and took the opportunity to begin a career of caring for the environment and leading a more sustainable lifestyle.

Paul started with WisCorps as a crew member on a spring 2017 Roving Conservation Crew and moved up to being a Mayor’s Crew Leader for the summer of 2017. Paul is in his third position at WisCorps, now serving as an AmeriCorps Environmental Education Assistant.

If Paul is not camping, biking, or reading in a park, he is likely discovering coffee shops and local businesses in an urban area or taking the scenic route to a remote state park. Give him your opinion on which Wes Anderson film is the best, the most thought provoking Haruki Murakami novel, or your favorite way to make coffee.