Staff

Executive Director

  • Courtney SalzerCourtney Salzer414-374-4645877-374-0511Read bio »Courtney Salzer is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training, and Support, Inc. She serves as Co-Director of the OSEP-funded Wisconsin Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) and the Director of the Region 4 Parent TA Center (RPTAC). Courtney also serves as the Parent Partner on the Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System. Courtney received her Law Degree and Bachelor’s Degree from Marquette University. She earned her Professional Certificate in Non Profit Management from UW-Milwaukee. Prior to her work with WI FACETS, Courtney was an attorney in private practice, where she did a variety of civil litigation including school and special education law. Courtney is currently an Instructor in the UW-Milwaukee Nonprofit Management Program. Courtney has served on several nonprofit Boards of Directors, including currently as a founding member of the National Center for Parent Leadership, Advocacy, and Community Empowerment (National PLACE). Courtney also serves on the National Advisory Board for the Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) for Courtney and her husband are the parents of two amazing school-aged children.

Associate Director

  • Nelsinia Ramos Nelsinia Ramos 414-374-4645877-374-0511Read bio »Nelsinia Ramos is the Associate Director of WI FACETS, Inc. and co-director of the Parent Training and Information Center. She has worked for WI FACETS since 2003 and has extensive experience implementing parent support programs and outreach activities. Nelsinia also serves as senior specialist for the Region C Parent Technical Assistance Center, a federal funded grant that assists parent centers in 16 states in the Midwest; and is the Multicultural Outreach Coordinator for the Wisconsin Special Education Mediation Project. Ramos has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Alverno College; an associate degree in social work from Milwaukee Area Technical College and a professional certificate in nonprofit management from UW-Milwaukee. She is an appointed member of the Special Education Council of the WI Department of Public Instruction and the Advisory Board of the National Center for Military Parents. Nelsinia is passionate about parent and youth empowerment and is a parent of a young adult with disabilities who is actively engaged in self-advocacy. In her spare time, Nelsinia enjoys hiking, playing pickleball and being the volunteer guardian of two elders with disabilities.

Accounting Director

  • Cheryl PetersonCheryl Peterson414-374-4645877-374-0511Read bio »Cheryl Peterson is the Accounting Director for WI FACETS. She has over 20 years of experience in accounting and finance. She received her Bachelors’ Degree from Alverno College. She also holds an MBA in Finance and a Masters of Accounting and Financial Management from Keller Graduate School of Management. Prior to working with WI FACETS, Cheryl worked for other non-profit organizations in the local area where she was responsible for various accounting and finance functions. Cheryl also owns a local business with her husband.

Administrative Services Coordinator

  • Sandra McFarlandSandra McFarland414-374-4645877-374-0511Read bio »Sandra McFarland is the Administrative Services Coordinator for WI FACETS. Sandra provides secretarial support to the WI FACETS Administrative Team. Sandra has over 23 years of Customer Service experience and 15 years’ experience in the Administrative Field. She received her Associate’s Degree in 1997 for Administrative Assistance from the Milwaukee Area Technical College. Sandra has an extensive amount of training related to Customer Service, Data/Records Management and Effective Communication Strategies. Sandra provides secretarial support for all of the clergy staff and members at her church. Sandra is the sister of a young woman who was deaf, and she is the mother of two boys.

Program Staff

  • Lori KarcherLori Karcher414-374-4645877-374-0511Read bio »Lori is the Director of the DPI Grant for WI FACETS. She joined the WI FACETS staff in late November of 2015. Lori brings 18 years of personal experience in navigating the WI Special Education System alongside her daughter who lives with cerebral palsy, cognitive and physical disabilities, and a seizure disorder. Lori has served on numerous boards as a parent volunteer both within the special education system and with Children’s Wisconsin. Currently, Lori is serving as a Governor appointed council member of the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Council. She holds a BS in Biology from UW-Milwaukee and earned her Professional Certificate in Non-Profit Management through UW-Milwaukee’s Non-profit Management Program in 2019. Her mission aligns with that of WI FACETS, to empower parents/families to make informed decisions regarding their children’s education. Lori is thrilled to be included in this impressive and passionate group of individuals who have come together to support our future through our children.
  • Bonnie Vander MeulenBonnie Vander Meulen608-821-0730Read bio »Bonnie Vander Meulen serves as the WI FACETS’ Training Coordinator. She is a licensed professional counselor with more than 45 years of counseling experience. She has worked extensively with students and families on all levels of the educational spectrum including 30 years as a public school counselor. She has previously served as the technical advisor and primary facilitator for a Medicaid Infrastructure Grant through Pathways to Independence at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Center for Students with Disabilities. Bonnie serves as an advocate for children with disabilities, and is a mother of an adult daughter with multiple disabilities.
  • Wendy OverturfWendy OverturfRead bio »Wendy started working for WIFACETS in the fall of 2012. She has been a professional educator for over 25 years and has held positions as a special education teacher, a disability consultant for Head Start, an Associate Principal and an elementary principal. Wendy retired in May 2012 from her fulltime position, after serving five years as school district superintendent. She attended UW-Whitewater for her undergraduate work, Marian University for her masters' level work and received her doctorate from Edgewood College in 2007. Her dissertation focused on topics related to special education. Working with children with special educational needs and their families has always been an integral part of her life both professionally and personally as her husband was a Director of Special Education for 30 years
  • Chris StaggeChris Stagge414-374-4645877-374-0511Read bio »Chris Stagge is the Accounting and Development Assistant, coordinating annual WI FACETS fundraiser: Diamonds in the Rough. She also serves as the Region 4 PTAC Program Assistant, coordinating Region 4 Annual Parent Technical Assistance Center Conference. Chris has worked for disability related non-profit organizations since 1993, and with WI FACETS since October, 2008. Chris is the parent of two young adults, including a son with autism.
  • Lisa StewartLisa Stewart414-374-4645877-374-0511Read bio »Lisa has been serving families thru the help desk at WI FACETS for over two years. She has experience with special medical and educational needs with her two young boys and is passionate about helping families who are going thru similar experiences. Lisa has a bachelor’s degree in biology and loves the outdoors, and can often be found in her garden or hiking with her dog.
  • Melissa VoegeliMelissa Voegeli414-374-4645877-374-0511Read bio »Melissa Voegeli has been serving as the Program and Electronic Communications Coordinator at WI FACETS for over two years. Under this position, funded by both DPI and PTAC grants, she provides communication and technology support for all electronic grant activities. Mel received her Bachelor's of Science in Health Studies from Mount Mary University in 2015. Although she graduated with a student-designed major of Allied Health with a Psychology emphasis, she has taken additional coursework in American Sign Language, Disability: Society & Person, Health Communication and Health Care Systems. Mel has been in the field since 2015 when she started working as an in-home line-therapist. Before starting at WI FACETS, she was employed as a Licensed Program Coordinator for another local nonprofit. When she's not working, you can typically catch Mel out enjoying Milwaukee. She loves live music and supporting local businesses.
  • Matthew ZellmerMatthew Zellmer414-374-4645877-374-0511Read bio »Matthew has worked for WI FACETS in a variety of roles since 2009. He is currently the Parent and Youth Services Coordinator on the statewide PTI grant and the Director of the Milwaukee Advocacy grant, which focuses on preparing high school youth with disabilities for life after high school. In addition, he serves on a number of state and local committees related to transition and frequently presents on special education. As an individual with a disability, Matthew strives for a consumer-centered, empathetic approach in all his work.

Retired

  • Jan SerakJan SerakRead bio »Jan Serak, M.A., is the newly retired CEO/Founder of WI FACETS, a parent-led nonprofit agency located in Milwaukee, WI. Prior to her retirement, she served as the Co-Director of the Region 4 Parent Technical Assistance Center (www.region4ta.us) providing TA to 10 parent centers in 8 Midwest states; and the Co-Director of the WI Parent Training and Information Center. Serak was the Parent Partner for the WI Special Education Mediation System and provided administrative oversight and training. She was a consultant for the National Center for Systemic Improvement (Data Use Team; RBA Cross-State Learning Collaborative). Serak is a founding Board member of the National Center for Parent Leadership, Advocacy, and Community Empowerment (National PLACE).advocating to ensure a place at the table for every family and family organization. She served on the National CADRE Advisory Board, National Center for Deaf-Blindness Family Engagement Technical Workgroup, Family Support Research and Training Center Advisory Board, and Advisory Panel for the National Autism Indicators Report. She was a Senior Advisor for the Center for Parent Information and Resources. She has served as the President of the Autism Society of WI, President of the Autism Society of SE WI, and as a Board member and Legislative Chair for the Autism Society of America. She received her B.S. from the University of WI and M.A. in Educational Psychology and Dispute Resolution from Marquette University. She is the parent of two young adult sons (Ben, who has autism, and Jeffrey) and passionately believes that every child deserves a chance to shine.
  • In Memoriam - Charlotte A. PriceIn Memoriam - Charlotte A. PriceRead bio »It is with great sadness that we share the passing of one of the WI FACETS Co-Founders, Charlotte A. Price on November 20, 2018. In 1995, Charlotte co-founded WI FACETS with Jan Serak, with the sincere belief that all families of kids with disabilities should have a place to go for high quality support as they navigate the complex special education system. Charlotte worked at WI FACETS until 2014, when she retired to Eagle River to spend more time with her family. Prior to WI FACETS, she worked first as a middle school teacher and then as the Co-Director of Parent Education Project of WI. Those that knew Charlotte knew that she was a passionate believer in empowering families to be their child’s own best advocate. Charlotte also spent much of her career working on transition issues – she believed that every child should leave school college and/or career ready. Charlotte approached her work and her life with humor and wit and had an infectious laugh. Charlotte will be dearly missed by her WI FACETS family