Preparing Children for School Success, Leadership and Life.

Our Board of Directors

Kaleem Caire
Founder/CEO
One City Early Learning Centers

Kaleem Caire is an accomplished trail blazer, social entrepreneur and national leader in K-12 education reform, economic and workforce development and community transformation. He is presently the founder and chief executive officer of One City Early Learning Centers, a 21st century preschool aimed at eliminating the racial achievement gap at its core. Kaleem was born and raised in Madison and is a fifth generation Madisonian. He grew up on Madison’s South Side and attended Franklin Elementary (76-77), St. James School (77-84), Cherokee Middle (84-85) and West High Schools (85-89). He is also a 2000 graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s of science degree in education and holds a certificate in nonprofit management from Harvard Business School.

Prior to One City, Kaleem served as President & CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison in Madison, WI where he successfully implemented new education and workforce training programs, initiatives and partnerships, and catalyzed the Greater Madison community to address persistent racial disparities in education and employment during his tenure. Prior to the Urban League, Kaleem was co-founder and CEO of Next Generation Education Foundation in Maryland, senior executive and Store Team Leader with Target Corporation, Executive Director of Fight For Children of Washington, DC, and the President and CEO of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO). Prior to BAEO, he served as project director with the Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth (WCATY), educational consultant with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and Madison (WI) Metropolitan School District, director of national initiatives with the American Education Reform Council, and a sonar technician in the United State Navy’s Submarine Corps.

Kaleem’s advocacy and efforts inspired the creation of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s PEOPLE Program and its Information Technology Academy, Madison’s Nuestro Mundo Bilingual Charter School and the School of Hope Tutoring Program. He also assisted with the development of the Florida-based Hispanic Council of Reform and Educational Options, DC Public Charter School Association, DC Opportunity Scholarship Program. Additionally, Kaleem led an unprecedented coalition of government, business and education leaders in Washington, DC that won unprecedented legislation and financial support from Congress for improving DC public schools and expanding education options for families through charter schools and the nation’s first federally funded private school scholarship program. Kaleem and his wife Lisa have five children ages 7 to 21 and reside in Madison, Wisconsin.

Kelly Bard
Senior Behavioral Supervisor
Achieving Collaborative Treatment

Kelly Bard is a Senior Supervisor at Achieving Collaborative Treatment. ACT is a provider of in-home behavior therapy for child and young adults with autism spectrum disorders. At ACT, Kelly creates and implements individualized therapy goals, provides trainings for parents and caregivers, and oversees line staff on each of her cases. She graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in psychology and resides in Madison, Wisconsin.

Carola Gaines
BadgerCare Outreach Coordinator
Unity Health Insurance

Carola Peterson-Gaines has worked for Unity Health Insurance and the UW Medical Foundation for 20 years and presently serves as the BadgerCare Outreach Coordinator.  She currently serves 14,000 BadgerCare Plus (BC+) members as the Community Liaison and Advocate. Her goals are to coordinate and provide a heightened level of support to the BC+ providers and BC+ membership. 

Carola actively develops and implements programs to improve access to care for BC+ members, coordinates patient care and inform them of new state programs and initiates. She advocates for members with high-risk health care needs and works to educate BC+ members about preventive health measures such as early prenatal care. 

She serves on  numerous community initiatives such as, Dane Co. immunization Coalition, Safe Sleep Coalition, Dane County Asthma Coalition, Fetal Infant Mortality, Black Women Wellness Coalition, African American Health Council to name a few.  She is the Wisconsin State Coordinator and Chapter President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.  She has received many awards, including the YWCA- 2010 Woman of Distinction, Dane County Walk of Honor Award, the South Madison Community Service Award and the 2013 Madison Metropolitan Links and Wisconsin Women of Color Network distinguish service award.

Alexander Gee, Ph.D.
Senior Pastor
Fountain of Life Covenant Church

Alex is the Lead and Founding Pastor of Fountain of Life Covenant Church, a multiracial, multigenerational and multi-class congregation in Madison, WI. In 1992 he also pioneered The Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development, a non-profit organization that inspires, develops and releases emerging African American leaders to become partners in revitalizing and transforming our community. Alex is a social entrepreneur who has worn several professional hats which include: Family Counselor, Adjunct Professor, Spiritual Life Coach, Diversity Consultant, Community Activist, Columnist and Radio Host. He has studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Bakke Graduate University.

Alex’s professional arsenal includes a Doctorate in Transformational Leadership, two published books, extensive research on the dynamics of human relations (particularly the impact of fatherlessness), thirty years of pastoral and counseling experience and over twenty years of experience in non-profit management and effective cross-cultural leadership development. Gee’s accolades and honors include the City of Madison’s Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award and recognition by the Wisconsin State Journal as one of the city’s “Ten Who Made a Difference.” Gee has also lectured and taught in South Africa, South Korea, Canada, Cambodia and the US White House.

Torrey Jaeckle
Owner and Vice President
Jaeckle Distributors

Torrey Jaeckle has been a Madisonian his entire life. He attended Edgewood High School and later the University of Wisconsin Madison where he received his BBA in Finance and Marketing in 1995.  After college, he joined his family’s business, which his grandfather started in 1958.  He and his brother now run the business, Jaeckle Distributors, full time and are the third generation of Jaeckles to lead the company. 

Jaeckle Distributors employs 115 people (50 in Dane County) and is based in Madison with branches in Minneapolis, Chicago, and St. Louis.  They distribute floor coverings and countertop surfacing materials throughout the Midwest to floor covering retailers, contractors, and countertop fabricators.

Professionally, Torrey has served on the board of the North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors since 2012, currently holding the position of president-elect. On a personal level, Mr. Jaeckle first and foremost enjoys spending time with his wife Stephanie and their two daughters.  He also enjoys the outdoors, reading, writing, his hometown and state sports teams, and playing poker.

As a father and business owner, education is an important local and national issue to Mr. Jaeckle.  He is an avid reader and follower of the education reform movement. He is also very involved in his children’s school, currently serving as treasurer for the Association of Parents and Teachers.

Sue Krug
Retired Owner
Ancora Coffee Roasters

Sue Krug is retired from a varied and successful career in several areas of professional work.  She grew up on a small farm near Madison and attended the University of Wisconsin and received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education.  After graduation, Sue left for Seattle, Washington where she received her master’s degree in special education from the University of Washington.  She subsequently taught children for 10 years in two school districts in the Seattle area. It was during this period of her life that Sue developed a strong appreciation for the importance of early intervention and education as a means to prepare children for school success.  

After leaving teaching, Sue worked with IBM in Seattle where she served as an account administrator, systems engineer and project manager. At IBM, Sue grew in her knowledge and skills of business administration and sales.  After 16 years at the company, Sue and her husband George Krug decided to return to Madison to pursue their passion and start a wholesale/retail business, Ancora Coffee Roasters.  At Ancora, Sue was able to apply her teaching experience and business acumen to their retail and roasting operations.  In 2013, after building a respected and successful business, Sue and her husband sold the company and retired. 

Returning to her roots and giving more time to her charitable interests, Sue has served as the board president of Child Development Incorporated, Dane County’s oldest non-religiously affiliated child care center. She also tutors school-aged children, is involved with serving the community through her church, and is an avid hiker and cyclist.

Lindsey Lee
Owner
Ground Zero & Cargo Coffee

Lindsey Lee is the owner and operator of Cargo Coffee and Ground Zero Coffee. He opened the first location in 1998 and now has three locations, including Cargo Coffee on Park Street where they also roast coffee for all of the shops.

Before moving to Madison in 1997, Lindsey taught at Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan where he was born and grew up. He holds both Bachelors and Masters of Arts degrees in political science from Michigan State University.

Lindsey has served and taken leadership roles on many community boards including, The South Madison Planning Council, Park Street Partners (president), the Greater Williamson Street Business Association (treasurer) and the Marquette Neighborhood Association, among others. He and his wife Beth Rosen live with their three children in a near downtown Madison neighborhood.

Oscar Mireles
Executive Director
Omega School

Oscar Mireles is the Executive Director of Omega School, where he has been employed for the past 20 years. Omega School provides GED preparation and adult basic education services to Dane County young adults who do not possess a high school diploma. During his tenure he has personally assisted over 3,000 students with earning a GED/HSED credential.

Prior to working at Omega School, Oscar was the Associate Executive Director of the United Community Center/Centro de la Comunidad Unida. He was instrumental in creating Café El Sol a restaurant and catering service. In addition, he developed the predecessor to Latino Arts, which included a 200 seat theatre, art gallery and performance series featuring Latino artists. 

Oscar has received numerous awards and recognition for his service to the community including the Dane County Martin Luther King Jr. Award (2009), Literacy Advocate of the Year, Wisconsin Literacy (2011) and Friend of Education Award from Wisconsin State Superintendent Tony Evers (2012). He holds a bachelor’s of arts in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and is an accomplished author and poet with several published works to his credit, including the anthology, “I didn’t know there were Latinos in Wisconsin.”

Madeleine Tregidga Niebauer
Founder and CEO
vChief

Maddy Niebauer is the founder and CEO of vChief, which provides part-time, virtual chief of staff support to leaders in the education, nonprofit, and private sectors. Before launching vChief, Maddy spent over six years as an executive at Teach For America, first as Chief of Staff and then as Vice President of Strategy, Learning, & Operations. Prior to joining Teach For America, Maddy was a strategy consultant at The Bridgespan Group, a non-profit consulting firm incubated at Bain and Co., which helps foundations and nonprofits with strategic and business planning. Earlier in her career, Maddy spent several years managing a tutoring center in the Bay Area with SCORE! Educational Centers. Maddy is also a proud returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having served over two years in Ivory Coast, West Africa, focusing on water, sanitation, and health education. Maddy has her BA from Stanford University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. She is especially passionate about early childhood education given her three daughters in kindergarten (twins) and second grade.

Ndaziona Ndafooka
Executive Assistant
Madison Metropolitan School District 

Ndaziona Ndafooka is a Malawi immigrant who grew up in Madison, WI. An alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s PEOPLE Scholars Program, she is working on a degree in Human Resource Management. The mother of a preschool aged child, Ndaziona has worked closely with the Madison community in youth group homes and as an after school program instructor. Currently, Ndaziona works for the Madison Metropolitan School District and is excited to bring her experience in culture and community in service on the One City Board.

Jan O’Neill, MPA

Community Coach, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps,
UW Population Health Institute

Jan O’Neill began her career as an assistant teacher at Woodland Montessori School, and then taught in the Madison Public Schools before leaving to earn a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin’s Lafollette Institute. She then developed and led the first quality improvement training for the City of Madison, numerous state agencies, American Family Insurance, Meriter Health Services, and other organizations in the area. O’Neill then joined Joiner Associates, a Madison based national consulting firm, first serving as a consultant to GE Aircraft Engines, and then as a product marketing manager for Joiner. 

After leaving the firm, O’Neill co-founded an educational consulting company that builds schools’ capacity for student-centered, goal-directed learning. The system she and her business partner co-developed is today proving effective in closing achievement gaps and reigniting students’ love of learning in schools across the country and in Canada. During her tenure, she and her business partner co-authored three books and trained a national network of consultants; the company continues to thrive. 

O’Neill is now a Community Coach with the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program, a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Her role is to provide strategic guidance to communities in the U.S. that want to adopt effective policies and programs that will create conditions for longer, healthier lives for children and adults.

Carrie Smith
Head Teacher
Preschool of the Arts, Madison WI

Carrie Smith has been passionately involved with early childhood education for over 30 years. In her position as a Head Teacher at Preschool of the Arts in Madison, WI, she believes passionately that learning should be an adventure; where a child’s experience is bounded only by their imagination and dreams.

Her vision and experience in the principals of Reggio Emilia (curriculum) for early childhood learning environments is to offer a vibrant and innovative learning community committed to child-focused exploration, creativity and collaboration. This helps foster wellness among all children.

Carrie received her bachelor of arts in Applied Behavioral Sciences from George Williams College. She resides in Madison with her husband Derrick and together, they have two adult sons, Drew and Jordan.

Gail Wiseman
Client Representative
Aflac

Gail Wiseman is a solution-oriented leader with a record of achievements in the non-profit and for profit arenas. Gail has used her skills in strategic and tactical planning; communication, human resource management, project management; and budget development and management; to provide professional services to employers and association members in the Midwest and across North America.  As the Director of Membership at the Institute of Food Technologists in Chicago, IL, she served as the “face of IFT” connecting food professionals, industry leaders, and government officials involved in all aspects of food from farm to table. For this 30,000 member society, Gail worked with more than 200 volunteer leaders and functioned as the ambassador to more than 30 national and international local chapters. 

In 2009, to be closer to family, Gail moved to Madison to take a position as a coordinator for Aflac Insurance Co. She is responsible for working with brokers and business owners in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois to bring voluntary insurance to small businesses and their employees. She is pleased to be able to help so many find affordable extra protection for themselves and their families.  Aflac has allowed Gail to build strong connections with members of the Madison business community. 

As the mother of two daughters and grandmother of three boys, she is passionate about finding the potential in each child, and creating an environment where children and families can prosper, building strong communities.

Kennan Wood
President
Wood Communications

Kennan Wood is the co-owner and President of Wood Communications Group of Madison. The firm, founded in 1984, specializes in community relations, market research, strategic planning, issue management, crisis management, and area specialties including education, energy, agriculture, health care and economic development. In his civic life, Mr. Wood is involved several organizations, including Wisconsin Education Business Roundtable, Competitive Wisconsin, Be Bold Wisconsin, Leadership Greater Madison, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Organization, Glaciers Edge Boy Scout Council, Phantom Lake YMCA Camp and the Madison Regional Economic Partnership subcommittee on Regional Cooperation, Leadership and Diversity.

Michele Martinez Wingate
Director of Corporate Communications
American Family Insurance

Michele Martinez Wingate is the director of corporate communications for American Family Insurance. Since joining the company in 2007, she has served in several Communications and Marketing roles. She started the company’s Facebook presence in 2009 and later served as social media manager for two years, speaking nationally about social media strategy for business. Before joining American Family, she was director of Communications and Membership for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, working for Executive Director Inc. (EDI), a Milwaukee-based association management firm. 

Michele has also worked in health care communications and marketing at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; and as a reporter and editor in Tomahawk and Wausau, Wis., and Lake County, Ill. She has an M.A. in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Michele is on the Marketing Committee for the United Way of Dane County and was a 2014 reading mentor through the Madison Reading Project. She lives in Madison with her family and enjoys biking, reading local farmer’s markets, golf and Badger sports.