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.

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 one of our Help Desk Specialists. She joined the WI FACETS staff in late November of 2015. Lori brings 17 years of personal experience of 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 Hospital of Wisconsin. She holds a BS in Biology from UW-Milwaukee. Her mission aligns with that of WI FACETS, to empower parents 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 is a licensed professional counselor with more than 40 years of counseling experience. She has worked extensively with students and families on all levels of the educational spectrum. She has previously served as the technical advisor for a Medicaid Infrastructure Grant through Pathways to Independence entitled Employment of Persons with Disabilities in Professional Positions. Previously, Bonnie completed her responsibilities as the primary facilitator for a Department of Education grant at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater’s Center for Students with Disabilities. This extremely successful one year grant provided supported education for individuals with pervasive and persistent mental illness. The mother of a young adult with multiple disabilities, Bonnie advocates for children with special needs. She currently serves as the Trainer for Wisconsin FACETS, the Family Assistance Center for Education, Training and Support. Bonnie is responsible for the coordination and implementation of WI FACETS trainings for parents and professionals throughout the state.
  • Wendy OverturfWendy Overturfwoverturf@wifacets.orgRead 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
  • Nelsinia Ramos Nelsinia Ramos 414-374-4645877-374-0511Read bio »Nelsinia Ramos is the Parent Services Coordinator of the OSEP funded Parent Training and Information Center of Wisconsin. She is also the Multicultural Outreach Coordinator for the WI Special Education Mediation System (WSEMS); and a multicultural consultant for the Region 4 PTAC, a grant funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education and managed by WI FACETS to provide technical assistance to 8 states in the Midwest. Nelsinia received her B.A. in Business & Management from Alverno College; an Associate’s Degree in Social Work from Milwaukee Area Technical College and a Non-Profit Management professional certification from UW-Milwaukee. Nelsinia is the parent of a young adult with social and intellectual needs and the founder of the Latino Autism Support group. She currently serves on the National Military Parent TA Center Advisory Board. She is a former member of the Autism Society of Wisconsin Board of Directors and the National IDEA Partnership on Creating Agreement training team.
  • Samson SrokSamson Srokssrok@wifacets.org414-374-4645877-374-0511Read bio »Samson Srok is the Bilingual Outreach Coordinator for the Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training, and Support, Inc. He recently completed his Bachelors Degree in Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is excited to be back home in Milwaukee. Samson is passionate about community development. He also works at the the Fondy Food Center, which aims to increase access to local, healthy food in Milwaukee. When not working, Samson takes care of a very sweet and nervous Rat Terrier named Elliott.
  • 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 a Bachelor's of Science in Biology from Cornerstone University and over five years of laboratory experience. She has been serving families for more than two years in her church as the Nursery Coordinator and also volunteers with the Parent 2 Parent and the Safe Families organizations. Lisa has experience with medical and educational special needs with her two young boys and is passionate about helping families who are going through similar experiences. Lisa is excited to be using her passion for supporting families in working as a Help Desk Specialist for the WI FACETS.
  • Melissa StindtMelissa Stindtmstindt@wifacets.org414-374-4645877-374-0511Read bio »Melissa Stindt is the Program and Electronic Communications Coordinator at WI FACETS. Under this position, funded by both DPI and PTAC grants, she is ensuring grant activities and projects are scheduled, all deliverables are meeting their timelines, and is monitoring data records through evaluations. 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 present in the field since 2015 when she started working as an in-home line-therapist utilizing Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) treatment. She began in multiple families' homes around the Ripon and Oshkosh area and gradually moved to the greater Milwaukee area in 2018. She was also a qualified substitute teacher at Ripon Area School District during that time. More recently, she was employed as a Licensed Program Coordinator for another non-profit working to improve quality of programming in school in the greater Milwaukee area. WI FACETS, where she is currently the Program and Electronic Communications Coordinator, is the second non-profit she has worked for. Mel holds current certifications in CPR, first aid and oxygen, while also holding a Level 12 certificate with the Registry. 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 joined the WI FACETS staff in 2009 as the Transition Coordinator for the Youth Information, Training, and Resource Center grant after serving on the project’s youth steering committee for two years. He also serves as the Director of the Milwaukee County Advocacy grant and is the Lead Helpdesk Specialist on the statewide PTI Grant. In addition, he serves on a number of state and local committees related to transition. Matthew graduated from UW-Whitewater in 2003 with a degree in broadcast journalism, then earned his Master’s in communication from there in 2006.

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