Current MIED Fellows 2008-2009
Matthew Armbrust, Department of City Development
Matthew Armbrust is a 2004 UW-Milwaukee Alum with B.A.'s in History and Sociology. In 2005 Matthew became a Americorps VISTA Volunteer with UW-Extension Cooperative focusing on capacity building and youth development at 21st Street Elementary School Community Learning Center (CLC), with an emphasis on academic, personal development and community gardening programs aimed at low-income and at-risk youth. Soon after, he spent most of 2006-2007 living in Ecuador learning Spanish language. In August of 2007, Matthew became a MIED Fellow, working in a research and development capacity at the City of Milwaukee Department of City Development on the 30th Street Industrial Corridor Revitalization. In conjunction with his fellowship responsibilities as a MIED Fellow, Matthew is currently in the process of obtaining his master's degree in Urban Studies with a focus on sustainable economic and community development that addresses issues facing economically distressed urban areas nationally and globally such as poverty and the environment.
Andrea Luecke, City of Milwaukee's Solar Energy Initiative: "Milwaukee Shines"
Andrea Luecke, through the MIED fellowship, is project manager for the City of Milwaukee's solar energy initiative "Milwaukee Shines." Andrea is responsible for helping the City of Milwaukee reduce its informational, economical, and procedural barriers to solar adoption. Andrea is also a M.S. Nonprofit Management and Leadership student at UWM. Prior to coming to Milwaukee, Andrea was a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Morocco. She worked in the 'Small Business Development' sector with an argan oil cooperative and leather embroidery association. She has lived more than 6.5 years abroad and speaks Spanish, Arabic, Berber and some French. Andrea received her undergraduate degree from UMN-Twin Cities with a focus on international development. One day, Andrea might like to work for the UNEP on rural solar utility projects in developing countries, but, in the meantime, she is happy to be part of the green jobs movement in Milwaukee.
Isaiah Rembert, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
Isaiah Rembert, a native of Detroit Michigan, is a second year graduate student in the department of Urban Studies. Before moving to Milwaukee to attend UWM, he worked as a program manager for two years at City Year Cleveland (an AmeriCorps program). In addition to working in the service-learning and youth development field, he has also worked extensively in the community-economic development and cultural sectors. As a MIED fellow, Isaiah works with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC-Milwaukee). At LISC he is primarily responsible for organizing and supporting art and cultural based community-economic development initiatives throughout metro Milwaukee. Additionally, he serves as the vice chairman of the Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative's committee on Arts and Culture, which has successfully spearheaded a variety of cultural events in that neighborhood. After graduating, he hopes to continue working in the community-economic development field and to focus primarily on art and cultural initiatives.
Timothy Streitz, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
Timothy Streitz is a Master of Urban Planning student. After graduating from the University of Minnesota in 2004 (B.A. Psychology and Urban Studies) he briefly worked as a Town Planner before serving as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay (Municipal Service Development 2005-2007). As a MIED Fellow, he is now helping Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in Milwaukee to expand their community planning work into the near south side by giving technical support to the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center (SSCHC). SCHC is facilitating a neighborhood plan to connect the area’s mainly Latino residents to the Kinnikinnick River. Tim's primary responsibilities consist of community outreach activities to involve neighborhood residents in the planning process. More information is available at http://www.sschc.org/kkplan
Diane Burnham, Urban Ecology Center
Diane Burnham began her career in nonprofit through her involvement with Public Allies-Milwaukee in 1998-99, during which time she was placed at the YMCA Holton Youth Center. She continued her career with the YMCA Holton Youth Center and Northside YMCA branches for the next six years working as a Program Director with at-risk youth and teens. During Diane's service with the YMCA, she obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Human Services. Diane also has served as a Board Member of Daystar, a transitional living shelter for women of domestic violence, from 1999-2001. She has also volunteered with Asian Moon Festival, National Youth Service Day -Milwaukee Committee, Wisconsin Humane Society, and more.
Her community work placement is at the Urban Ecology Center, where she works as a Business and Outreach Intern assisting with membership/marketing, rentals, special events and community outreach. Diane is working towards her Masters Degree in Urban Studies. She would like to target the system "from the inside out". Diane's determination to serve the community and reach disadvantaged populations is a high priority. You can find more information on the organization that Diane serves at www.urbanecologycenter.org
Andrew Graf, Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee
Andrew Graf completed his Master's in Economics in May 2008. His MIED Fellowship was served at the Facilities division of the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee. There he conducted many economic analyses, such as a utility study of 400+ scattered sites home to re-calculate HUD utility allowances and a utility study of HACM's two newest multi-unit developments for HUD showing consumption and cost savings based upon 'green' construction methods. Prior to his MIED Fellowship, Andrew served as an Americorps volunteer at Habitat for Humanity. He has a strong interest in housing and economic development.
Chris Grandt, Riverworks Development Corporation
Chris Grandt received his Master's Degree in Urban Studies in May 2008. His MIED work placement was at the Riverworks Development Corporation, where his duties were devoted to the Harambee Great Neighborhood Initiative planning process, including demographic research, physically touring the neighborhood and charting community assets, vacant lots, boarded up buildings, schools, organizations, businesses, etc. Chris took on the lead role of providing data for the HGNI. Chris used GIS to provide research on landuse, produce accompanying maps, and organize data to help aid in determining projects and provide research for the implementation stages of the plan. Chris' work contributed to the award of $1.7 million that Thrivent Financial provided to enact the HGNI plan. Chris accepted permanent full-time employment at Riverworks upon his graduation. Prior to his MIED Fellowship, Chris worked in the financial sector and as a Peace Corp Volunteer in Ecuador.
Helen Hermus, Layton Boulevard West Neighbors
Helen Hermus, served as a MIED Fellow at UWM's Consortium for Economic Opportunity. Her 2-year fellowship placement was with Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, where she focused on commercial district revitalization on Lincoln Avenue, from 27th Street to 43rd Street. Helen received Bachelor of Science degrees in English and Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. After working in the printing industry, she served in the US Peace Corps from 1992-1994, teaching English as a foreign Language in Poland. Her idealism and belief in the power of community led her to take advantage of the MIED fellows program to pursue her Masters degree in Urban Studies because of its well-rounded, multi-disciplinary approach to social issues. Helen completed her MIED fellowship in 2004. She accepted the offer of permanent employment at Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, where she serves as the director of their Main Street Program. For more information on the organization that Helen served, please visit www.lbwn.org.
Kevin LeMoine, Sixteenth Street Community Health Center
Kevin is a Project Assistant with the Environmental Health Department of the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center. He has been given the responsibility of coordinating the Menomonee Valley Benchmarking Initiative (MVBI) - a collaborative project aimed at tracking trends related to the economic vitality, environmental health, and social well being of individuals, businesses and communities in and around Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley. The Valley, the former center of Milwaukee's industrial history, is now Wisconsin's largest brownfield. Over the past five years, it has been the subject of considerable redevelopment efforts.
His primary task is to coordinate the collection and analysis of data from City and State agencies, private entities, or from primary data collection. These data are related to over 60 indicators which will provide insight into whether or not the Valley is being redeveloped in a sustainable way. Other responsibilities include writing analyses and creating visual aids for publication of a 2005 State of the Valley report, collaborating with other MVBI team members, and getting the word out through conference presentations and publications. For more information on the organization that Kevin serves, please see www.sschc.org.
Danielle Luer, City of Milwaukee Summer Youth Internship Program
Danielle Luer is a recently returned Peace Corps Volunteer; her service was in Caazapa, Paraguay where she worked as an Urban Youth Development Volunteer. While living in Paraguay she organized the Caazapa Annual Women's Leadership Conference, taught sexual education, HIV awareness, workforce readiness, and English. She also hosted a weekly radio program and facilitated a variety of community development organizations within the schools and local medical centers. She holds a B.A. in Social Change and Development, Communication Processes, and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and is currently pursuing a M.S. in Urban Studies at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
Through the MIED Fellowship program Danielle is currently working as the Program Coordinator for the City of Milwaukee Summer Youth Internship Program. The Youth Internship Program which she developed and runs has placed more than 200 Milwaukee central city youth in summer jobs in City of Milwaukee departments. More information on the Summer Youth Internship Program can be found at www.mkedcd.org/SYIProgram
Matt Melendes, Sherman Park Community Association
The Sherman Park Community Association (SPCA) is a nonprofit organization composed of residents, businesses, and institutions of the Sherman Park neighborhood. SPCA was established in 1971. SPCA's mission is to "promote the quality of life in our neighborhood". SPCA achieves this mission through its resident driven programming, which includes Housing Outreach, Community Organizing and Parent's Against Lead Outreach via the Milwaukee Health Department.
Matt has worked with and advocated for residents of our neighborhood. He identifies and cultivates resident leaders organizing them into block clubs and block clusters. These entities are the mechanism by which neighborhood issues (sanitation, public safety and community relations) are resolved. Matt works with local business coalitions, which include associations and Business Improvement Districts, to foster strong neighborhood businesses. Finally, Matt has assisted SPCA in advocating for the preservation of high quality housing. For more information on the organization that Matt serves, please see www.shermanpark.org.
Jana Mischlich, Urban Economic Development Association
Jana began her internship with Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin, Inc. (UEDA) in August 2004. Her first project involved researching best practice standards for community development corporations and nonprofit organizations in the City of Milwaukee. Over the last five months she has worked to bring the National Development Council's Housing Development Finance Professional (HDFP) certification series to the Milwaukee area. The first course will be held in June 2005. The HDFP certification program focuses on developing and financing affordable housing. Jana also researchs grant opportunities and writes grant proposals for UEDA programs, in addition to representing UEDA at community events. More information on the organization that Jana serves can be found at www.uedawi.org
Elizabeth Moen, Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (HACM)
In her time with HACM, Elizabeth worked on many projects in order to benefit public housing residents. As the coordinator a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Site for two tax seasons, she ensured access to free income tax filing for public housing residents. Her coordinating role included the recruitment and management of the volunteers who prepared taxes for low-income taxpayers. Elizabeth established a Neighborhood Networks computer lab in one of the public housing developments and scheduled the activities in the lab. Additionally she served as a tutor of basic computer skills classes to the older residents of public housing. Elizabeth assisted in the preparation of HACM grant proposals for federal HUD grants as well as grant writing for the Westlawn Resident Organization. She coordinated the successful silent auction for the United Way and Community Shares. Finally, Elizabeth worked with NASA in order to display items for a space-themed science fair held in a public housing development. For more information on the organization which Elizabeth served, please see www.hacm.org
Lori Morrison, Milwaukee Urban League
Lori Morrison received a Master’s in Non-Profit Management in May 2008. She served her MIED placement at the Milwaukee Urban League where she built upon her previous experiences in financial planning and counseling by providing such services to Urban League clientele. She encouraged entrepreneurship through the Minority Franchise Initiative and the Urban Entrepreneurship Program. The Franchise Initiative has been implemented to encourage minority ownership of small business; Lori provided one-on-one to assistance to clients on how to write a business plan, or seek financing from local small business bankers. Lori promoted the Miller Urban Entrepreneur Series Business Plan competition. Through the UEP, Lori offered professional coaching services to existing business owners. Finally, the Business Builders Workshop program was initiated by the Lori to support as a place for community business owners to meet and discuss challenges, share ideas, and ask questions about their concerns. Prior to her MIED Fellowship, Lori worked in as a financial analyst and she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine.
Kristin Stieger, Menomonee Valley Partners
Kristin holds primary responsibility for the ongoing management of the grant writing process, including but not limited to grant research, development, coordination, writing, budgeting and oversight of grant achievement timelines. Also develops and maintains strong working relationship with funders and other community partners.
Much of Kristins' efforts are related to the coordination West End Development. One of the most promising areas for redevelopment is a 140-acre former rail yard that runs along both sides of the Menomonee River. This important brownfield is being transformed into a cutting edge business park and one-of-a-kind 70-acre community park along the Menomonee River. When complete, the project will demonstrate how new development can coexist with - and actually strengthen - the surrounding ecology and neighborhoods. Public investment (federal, state and local) will ultimately exceed $22 million. Many responsibilities are involved with the coordination of West End development including:
- Research and communicate options for park ownership, maintenance and programming including budgeting
- Support Park Development Committee and Sub-committee activities
- Maintain communication with outside parties interested in park development
- Engage all relevant levels of government and government agencies
- Stay abreast of overall west-end development site plans
- Organize and staff $6 million capital campaign
More information on Menomonee Valley Partners can be found at www.renewthevalley.org
Nicole Wilde, North Avenue Community Development Corporation
Nicole Wilde joins the Milwaukee Idea Economic Development (MIED) Fellows program from Ashland, Wisconsin, where she most recently worked as summer youth program coordinator for Northland College. Serving as a MIED fellow, Nicole works with the North Avenue Community Development Corporation (NACDC) where she helps build capacity through marketing and outreach activities. She is pursuing a graduate degree in Business Administration at UWM, with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and will graduate August of 2005. Nicole served as a Peace Corps Volunteer on the small island of Dominica in the West Indies from 1993 to 1995 and as an Americorps volunteer in Hood River Oregon in 1995. To learn more about the organization Nicole serves, please visit www.northavenuecdc.org/