Team Members

 
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Jaime Kriewaldt
Executive Director
jaime@bestfriendsnm.org 

"My dream is that all young people will have a mentor-someone to go to no matter what. Every young person deserves it!"

Jaime joined Best Friends in August 2017.  She was most recently at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley as Director of Youth Development Services and the Out-of-School Time Coalition.  She received her BS in Human Services from UW Oshkosh and completed the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Advanced Leadership Trainings at the Executive, Management and Youth Development levels and graduate coursework from UW River Falls in Afterschool Planning and Management.  She is also a graduate of the Leadership Fox Cities and a member of the Neenah Rotary.

Jaime lives in Greenville with her husband and two daughters. In her spare time, she enjoys camping with her family, watching college basketball, traveling and listening to live music.

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Lisa Thiede, MSE, APSW, NCC
Family Service Coordinator
lisa@bestfriendsnm.org

"I am a firm believer that when you peel away everything else, our relationships with others remains the central most important piece of our lives."

Lisa is the Family Service Coordinator and joined Best Friends in 1996 after working in an AODA group home for adolescent males and in treatment foster care.  She holds a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from the UW Milwaukee and a Master's Degree in Education specializing in Community Counseling from the UW Oshkosh.  In addition, she is licensed as an Advanced Practice Social Worker in the State of Wisconsin as well as a National Certified Counselor.

Lisa lives in Sherwood with her husband and two children.  In her spare time, you will most likely find her camping with her family and friends.  She also loves to travel and read.

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Patti Houlihan
Program Service Coordinator
patti@bestfriendsnm.org

"As mentors, we give young people the tools they use as successful adults."

In many ways, Patti is the personification of the agency, having worked for Best Friends for 24 years.  She attended UW Oshkosh and holds a BA in Human Services and a minor in Recreation.  She started mentoring just after high school with a camper from Camp Onaway and has been a mentor to ten Young Friends.

Patti has been a volunteer for nearly 40 years at both the Boys and Girls Brigade and as a coach at St. Mary Catholic Middle School.  She enjoys spending time with her eighteen nieces and nephews and sixteen great nieces and nephews.

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Maia Van Groll
Program Service Coordinator
maia@bestfriendsnm.org

"My favorite part of this work is supporting and encouraging all the amazing kids in our programs.”

Maia joined the Best Friends team in 2009 after completing her Human Service Degree from UW Oshkosh. Maia's main focus is coordinating and facilitating the Best Friends After School mentoring programs. In addition, Maia enjoys keeping up to date with her Community Based matches and coordinating activities for the young people waiting to be matched with mentors.

Outside of work, you can find Maia spending time with family and friends, zentangling, reading or walking her dog Titus.

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Johnna VanDeurzen
Marketing and Grants Coordinator
johnna@bestfriendsnm.org

"Mentors are super heroes.  The impact they have is deep and long-lasting."

After a long career in retail real estate, Johnna has a chance to follow her passion for non-profit work and is inspired by the mission of Best Friends.  She joined the team in 2016 and is tackling the art of grant writing.  She is a graduate of UW Madison and holds a BA in Journalism.

Johnna enjoys time with friends and family, cooking, knitting and lazy summer days.  She and her husband Bob are adjusting to their empty nest by traveling whenever they can.

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Samantha Bratz
Special Events Coordinator
samantha@bestfriendsnm.org

"If life has taught me anything, it is the importance of a career that I am passionate about.”

Sam uses her excellent organizational and communication skills to help tame the chaos that is planning fundraising events. She is a graduate of Fox Valley Technical College with an Associate’s Degree as an Administrative Professional. She excels in sourcing new technology and resources, making the organization more efficient.

Sam and her family live in the Chilton and enjoy spending time outdoors fishing, snowshoeing and exploring new places and events. They have two daughters that keep them on their toes and are involved in their school and community.

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Janet Schlueter
Accountant
janet@bestfriendsnm.org

"What goes around, comes around, so keep your circle positive.”

Best Friends welcomed Janet to the team in 2012.  She has a Bachelor degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from UW Eau Claire.  Her favorite part of the job is hearing about the impact mentoring has on individual children. 

Janet lives in Hortonville with her husband, and three daughters. She enjoys spending time with her family, showing horses and camping.