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WCN Leadership Mentor Repository

In November, 2014, twenty-one national organizations came together to lead an initiative to achieve 10,000 nurses on boards by 2020. WCN is leading this process in Wisconsin. Although progress is being made, more work is needed to meet the goal. To view national progress, visit the National Nurses on Boards Coalition.

WCN is committed to leadership development and achieving this national goal by also increasing the number of nurses serving on boards in our state. Nurses at the Table: Board Service Training Modules have been developed and are available free of charge. You can also watch a video by nurse leaders:

Leadership Mentor Repository

A second action to prepare nurses for leadership positions and serving on boards was developing a leadership mentor program. Mentoring is an effective way to positively impact your development as a leader. Mentorship can occur face-to-face or virtually, and both are equally effective. WCN has identified individuals who have expertise in leadership and board experience. These leaders are ready to guide you in developing your leadership skills, choosing an appropriate board, and becoming a valued member of a board.

To become involved, simply review the gallery of leaders below, and choose a mentor that best fits your needs. You may then contact the mentor to express your interest in working with him or her, and request a partnership.

These following resources will assist in the mentorship process:

Yvonne Eide MS, RN

Yvonne received her Bachelor of Arts from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN and her Master’s of Science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She has served as a public health nurse and health nursing supervisor for Luce-Mackinac-Alger-Schoolcraft Health Department in Manistique, MI and most recently served as the Public Health Nursing Director, Regional Public Health Nursing Consultant, and Regional Office Director for the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services before her retirement in 2014.

Yvonne’s skills and abilities include developing and implementing data management systems, providing technical assistance to community leaders related to community health improvement planning, and she has presented on professional development in effective communication. She has served on several boards, including the Lutheran Memorial Church Council and the Wisconsin Center for Nursing.
Contact info:

Terrie Garcia MEd, RN, PhD(c)

Terrie Garcia has been a registered nurse for more than 20 years and has experience working in hospitals, clinics, and community health. She was the co-founder of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses-Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter in July of 2005 and served on the Nominating Committee Board for the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.  Ms. Garcia has also been an active board member on several local committees and organizations such as such as the Waukesha Academy of Health Professions and the Mental Health Action Team of the Milwaukee Latino Health Coalition, as well as Delta Gamma At-Large Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. At the state level, Ms. Garcia has served a term on the Board of Nursing for the State of Wisconsin and is currently serving her second term on the Board for the Wisconsin Center for Nursing.  In addition to her many roles, Ms. Garcia is a PhD candidate pursuing a doctoral degree in nursing at Marquette University.
Contact info:

Mary Lu Gerke PhD, RN

Mary Lu Gerke has held a variety of leadership positions throughout her nursing career. She started in leadership by accepting the position of director in an ICU, which she held for 17 years. From there, she moved into advancing leadership positions including Executive Lead, Vice President of Clinical Operations, Vice President of Nursing and Chief Nursing Officer of a large hospital system in western Wisconsin. At present she serves as Interim Dean of the College of Health and Human Behavior at Viterbo University. 

Her practice focuses in the area of nursing and organizational leadership, development and research, ethics, conflict management, innovation and change, and legislative issues related to health care. She has given presentations on leadership, generational diversity, conflict, humor, and nursing and storytelling both nationally and internationally.

Mary Lu has served and continues to serve on many organizational boards as a member and an officer. Some of the boards include: LaCrosse Girl Scouts, Winona State University Foundation Board, Gunderson Foundation Board, LaCrosse Symphony Board of Directors, Wisconsin Nurses Association Board, Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Executives Board, Sigma Theta Tau-Pi Phi, Rotary, Wisconsin Workforce Shortage Taskforce, and Viterbo Nursing Advisory Board.
Contact info:

Sandra Littlejohn MA, BSN, RN

Sandra currently holds the position of Executive Consultant for Human Resources Operation at Gundersen Health Care Systems. She has held many leadership positions in organizations and on boards. Her board service has included both membership and officer positions on the following boards: LaCrosse Area Indian Education Council, Ho-Chunk Nation Health Services Foundation Board, Houston County Women’s Resource Center, Ho-Chunk Area Golf Association, A Brighter Living Experience Inc., (services for individuals with developmental disabilities), American Organization of Nurses: Nurse Leader Journal Editorial Board, National Alaska Native American Indian Nursing Association, and most recently the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurses Association.

Sandra has also served on a number of professional and community committees including the Wisconsin Hospital Association Rehabilitation Advisory Committee, the Nursing Advisory Committee for Western Wisconsin Technical College, the Cultural Competency Task Force as part of the Health Science Consortium in La Crosse, WI, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AARP diversity committee for the Future of Nursing: Call to Action and the Wisconsin Center for Nursing’s Diversity Committee. Contact info:

Barbara Pinekenstein DNP, RN-BC, CPHIMS

Barbara Pinekenstein DNP, RN-BC, CPHIMS is a Clinical Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison- School of Nursing and the Richard E. Sinaiko Professor in Health Care Leadership.  Barb has extensive experience as a Chief  Nurse  Executive and  as  Vice President of  Clinical Informatics.  Barb is a Past President of the Wisconsin Center of Nursing and has served on a variety of non-profit community, professional, and healthcare boards.

Barb received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; a Master’s degree in Nursing from Marquette University, a Doctorate in Nursing Practice- Leadership from Edgewood College and  is a Johnson and Johnson Wharton Nurse Executive Fellow.   She is certified in Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, EQi, EQi-360, Firo B leadership tools and holds two national certifications in informatics. Barb presents nationally on a variety of leadership and workforce topics. Key areas of interest include: health care systems, workforce, leadership development, informatics, quality and patient safety, health care policy, and innovation. Contact info:

Patricia Schroeder, MSN, MBA, RN, FAAN

Patricia Schroeder is a senior health care executive with extensive leadership experience in complex delivery systems and higher education.  Her record of proactive leadership includes quality and performance improvement, promotion of nursing and healthcare excellence, development of innovative clinical programs, and optimization of education/practice partnerships. 

Patricia’s career included work as a staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist and coordinator of quality and research programs.  She established her own consulting company, and spent ten years working independently consulting on quality improvement, both nationally and internationally.  She spent 19 years as the founding editor of The Journal of Nursing Care Quality, and published 6 texts on healthcare quality.

Patricia also served as Vice President and Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for a large health system.  She then worked as Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for a local hospital, and Dean of the School of Nursing at Alverno College.  Pat spent almost two years as Administrator for Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division.  She now serves as faculty at Marquette University, and works closely with other universities and colleges.

Involvement on boards of directors has often been part of Pat’s community service experience.  The organizations on which boards she has contributed include several hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and home care agencies.  She has served on the boards of many nursing organizations including Wisconsin Center for Nursing and the Wisconsin Nurses Foundation, and a large social service organization.
Contact info:

Kate Siegler, MSN, RN

Kate has served in leadership positions for almost her entire 40-year career in nursing. She started as an Emergency Department Nurse Manager for 11 years and then transitioned into education working as a nursing faculty member for Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC) and Viterbo University. Kate then served as the BSN Completion Program Administrator for Northland College and Silver Lake College. Since 2010 she has been employed as the Divisional Dean for Allied Health programs at WITC. She has been a member of the Northwest AHEC Board of Directors since 2004. Throughout her career Kate has been interested in patient-centered care, evidence based practice, healthcare ethics, strategies to promote organizational change, and the unique challenges of rural healthcare. Contact info:
715-682- 4591 ext. 3130 (W)
715-209- 7828 (C)

Tim Size, MBA, BS

Tim Size has been the Executive Director of the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative since its founding in 1979 after working at the University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics for five years and as the administrator of Hospital Metodista in La Paz, Bolivia for three years. RWHC is owned and operated by forty, rural acute, general medical-surgical hospitals. The Cooperative's emphasis on developing a collaborative network among both freestanding and system affiliated rural hospitals distinguishes it from alternative approaches. Tim has a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University, an MBA from the University of Chicago and an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities, from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He has served twice on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services. He is a past president of the National Rural Health Association and was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee that wrote Quality Through Collaboration: The Future of Rural Health.
Contact info:

Tom Veeser, MSN, RN

Tom Veeser is the Chief Nursing Officer for Ascension Wisconsin.  In this role, his duties are to ensure optimal nursing structure, governance, and processes which will help ensure top tier patient care outcomes for patients served by Ascension Wisconsin.  Ascension Wisconsin is a member of the Ascension Health System with well over one hundred hospitals across 26 states.  Tom is an active member of the Ascension Health Clinical structure serving on the Ascension Health Board Quality Committee, as well as the Care Excellence Committee and the Chief Nurse Officer Advisory Committee.

In Tom’s role as the Ascension Wisconsin CNO, he developed System Shared Governance which standardized nursing processes, policies and environment for the Medical group clinics and the Hospitals.  This Structure addresses The Quadruple Aim of quality and safety, Patient experience, provider experience and value.  Some highlights have been the work related to DRG productivity in orthopedics and CV surgery, and new models of care to support work between professional disciplines, all centered on healthcare that works, healthcare that is safe, and healthcare the leaves no one behind for life.

Previously, Veeser served as System CNO for Ministry Health Care from 2012 through 2016, Affinity Health System from 2003 to 2012 and as the director of the Affinity Health System Heart & Lung Center from 2002 until 2003. Before moving to the Fox River Valley in 2002, Veeser served as clinical nurse manager and director of Patient Care Services for OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, Ill.
Contact info:

Gina Dennik-Champion MS, RN, MSHA

Gina Dennik-Champion is the chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Nurses Association.  WNA is the professional nurses association with membership open to any Wisconsin RNs.  Gina’s responsibility is to promote the mission and goals of WNA, which supports and promotes the important role of the registered nurse as a patient advocate and collaborative leader in the delivery of safe, quality, cost-effective, and innovative care throughout our health care systems.

Gina represents WNA on a variety of state agency and association advisory councils that include nursing, other health care providers, and health care consumers. She is Wisconsin’s only nurse lobbyist and advocates for the advancement, promotion, and protection of nursing practice, which in turn supports a healthy Wisconsin. 

She is the project director for the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services Division of Public Health, CDC Chronic Disease Prevention Grant. The purpose of the grant is to identify and offer a model of patient-centered team-based care within Wisconsin’s primary care system. Their November 1, 2016 publication, Patient-Centered Team-Based Care in Wisconsin: A Working Conceptual Model is available on WNA’s website.

She is a frequent presenter and guest lecturer for schools of nursing and serves as a preceptor for undergraduate and graduate level nursing students.

Gina holds a BSN and MSN, with an emphasis in Community Health-Gerontology from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a second Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration from Cardinal Stritch University.

Contact info:

Linda D. Taylor, PhD, RN, CNE

Linda D. Taylor, PhD, RN, CNE is Northern Illinois University School of Nursing Director of Undergraduate Studies.  Dr. Taylor has a background in oncology nursing and nursing education in the Midwest and Florida.  As the founding dean of nursing at the College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin, she was responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of a cultural affirmation model of nursing and for providing nursing education to American Indian peoples. Following that appointment, she accepted a position with Fortis College in Miami, Florida, where the student demographic distribution was 58% Hispanic, 38% African American, and 4% Caucasian/other.  Dr. Taylor’s administrative academic focus has been on increasing access and increasing the number of underserved populations in the nursing profession.

Dr. Taylor earned a bachelor’s and a bachelor’s in nursing from Rockford College, a master’s degree in nursing from Northern Illinois University, and a PhD in Nursing from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  She was the youngest recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2016.
Dr. Taylor has served in two fellowships, the Robert Woods Johnson Nurse Executive Fellows and Leadership America. Her project during the fellowship was to develop an online website to share information between tribal college nursing programs. She has also had the opportunity to testify before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

Dr. Taylor’s experience in nursing education has led to a research focus in nursing education. Her research work has included the domain of affective learning and nursing education and concept mapping in the online environment. Her research was presented at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 2016. Her work continues as nursing education is moving towards an evidence base for nursing education.

Contact info: