Staff

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. matt.brantner@wiscorps.org

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. willie.bittner@wiscorps.org

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. steph.hanna@wiscorps.org

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. chad.duchateau@wiscorps.org

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. matt.gaworski@wiscorps.org

 

David Bashaw – Youth Services Coordinator

daveDavid Bashaw has been with WisCorps as a Youth Services Coordinator 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. david.bashaw@wiscorps.org

 

 

Megan Walters – Youth Services Coordinator

meganMegan Walters is a Youth Services Coordinator 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. megan.walters@wiscorps.org

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. emily.post@wiscorps.org

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. tammy.schmitz@wiscorps.org

Elise O’Neill – Environmental Education Assistant

eliseFrom August of 2016 to July of 2017, Elise is an AmeriCorps member for WisCorps. She is responsible for assisting Steph Hanna with WisCorps’ Environmental Education programs. Elise is from southern Minnesota and recently graduated from University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a Bachelor of Science in Recreation Management, with an Environmental Studies Minor. She is excited to continue gaining work experience at WisCorps while advancing her knowledge about environmental education. In her free time, Elise enjoys hiking, biking, camping, and exploring the outdoors. elise.oneill@wiscorps.org

 

Caroline Kerr – Environmental Education Assistant

Picture1.jpgCaroline first began working for WisCorps during the summer of 2016 but left to finish her last semester at the University of Wisconsin—La Crosse.  Now a college graduate with an Interpersonal Communication Studies degree, she is back serving as an AmeriCorps member assisting in Environmental Education programming from January to July of 2017.

Caroline comes from Southeastern Wisconsin with a love of coniferous trees, traveling, camping, hiking, and live music festivals.  After her time at WisCorps she will continue onto Milwaukee, WI as an AmeriCorps member for College Possible and then return to graduate school to obtain her Master’s in Counseling. caroline.kerr@wiscorps.org

 

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. andrea.frisch@wiscorps.org

 

Heather Dutcher – Youth Outreach and Marketing Manager

HeatherSpending her childhood in the big city of Dallas, Texas – Heather remembers vividly moving to Wisconsin.  The backwoods and wetlands of Jackson County were quite a culture shock, but the beauty of Wisconsin in the summer charmed her.

Some years later Heather graduated from UW-L with a degree in Mass Communications and worked in television and radio for about a decade before deciding her heart lay with non-profit work.  She has been working in non-profit since 2002 when she joined YES AmeriCorps, which gave her an opportunity to dip her toe into many different areas of non-profit.  Having volunteered with WisCorps for about eight years Heather is happy to officially be joining the staff and putting both her Mass Communications degree and passion for non-profit to use to benefit WisCorps’ mission.

When not at work Heather spends time working with the City of La Crosse’s International Committee, the La Crosse-Bantry Friendship Association as well as volunteering for a number of local non-profits.  She also loves to spend time with her dog, Oscar, walking the trails near her home in West Salem. Heather.Dutcher@WisCorps.org

 

Pelli Lee – WIOA Program Assistant

Pelli 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. pelli.lee@wiscorps.org