President: Crystal Boser – Glendale, WI
Crystal Boser lived in Southeastern Wisconsin for the past 21 years, but recently relocated back to Indiana where she grew up. She is the proud mother of two amazing young men, Kyle and Kameron. Kyle currently lives at a residential group home managed by Abilities Midwest while Kameron resides at home having recently graduated from Nicolet High School. Crystal is an experienced business professional who currently serves as the Administrative Assistant for the Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership located within the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. She earned a Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Management and a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. Crystal has been involved with PWSA-WI, Inc. for over 21 years and served in numerous roles, including her current role as President, which she has held for 12 years. Crystal also served as a board member for PWSA (USA) for 3 years and served as their Chapter Relations Chairperson for 8 years. She is also heavily involved in the National PWSA Convention hosting the Chapter Leaders Meeting and Co-Chairing the Youth and Adult Program (YAP). When Crystal is not working or volunteering within the PWS community, she can be found mentoring the Nicolet FEAR (Future Engineers of American Robotics) team or visiting friends and family in Wisconsin. Crystal is thankful for the time she has spent on the PWSA-WI, Inc. board and is looking forward to continuing to help PWSA-WI, Inc. make a positive impact on the lives of individuals with PWS and their families despite living in another state.
Vice President: Andrew Gaulke – Waukesha, WI
I live in Waukesha with my three kids: Makenzie, Myka, and Greysen (PWS). I have worked as a Tool Designer in the automotive industry for the last 25+ years. I have served on the board of directors for PWSA-WI since 2015, and enjoy volunteering at the events held by PWSA of WI. I also, enjoy camping with my family and attending the many sporting events my kids are involved in.
Since joining the board of directors, I continually try to bring a new and positive perspective when working on ways to better advocate and support our PWS Community. It has, and continues to be a privilege to help raise awareness and provide support through this great organization.
Treasurer: Jamie Milaeger – Oconomowoc, WI My name is Jamie Milaeger. I have my degree in Psychology and Social Work through the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. While in school my mentor/professor suggested that after my graduation I seek employment through a company in Oconomowoc that specialized in working with adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome. I was looking to work with individuals with disabilities as I had worked with children diagnosed with Autism throughout my schooling. So in 2006 I took his advice and applied with Prader-Willi Homes of Oconomowoc. Although, I knew about PWS through my education I learned quickly that I had not learned enough. I started as a residential counselor and in less than a year was promoted to manager. I worked at PWHO for 8.5 years and during that time I found a passion to enrich the lives of those I worked with. I think that was because they enriched my life more than I thought could happen. Though in September 2014, I left PWHO; my time there was and always will be some of the most blessed moments in my life. I couldn't leave it all behind though and am currently the PWHO Special Olympic Coach for Aquatics which is an amazing opportunity that I truly enjoy. During my time with PWHO I was very well educated in the support and treatment for adults with PWS. I learned through running one of the group homes about the everyday struggles of people living with PWS; and the supports needed to get through those everyday struggles. I also had the firsthand experience in seeing the amazing changes and outreach an organization like PWSA provides to individuals with PWS. I participated in many Hobby Days, Walks and other events planned to support PWSA and the fight to provide awareness, education, support and research. I have also had the honor and privilege to travel to several conferences to participate in as well as support the Young Adult Programs which allowed families the opportunity to attend knowing that their child, sister, brother, or grandchild was in a safe, fun, and encouraging environment with people who understood and had experience working with individuals living with PWS. I found that passion over 8.5 years ago to support individuals with PWS as well as their families and now as a Board Member I am happy to be able to do so in another way.
Secretary: Melissa Sirovina
My daughter, Kayla, is 28 years old and lives at Downing House. I was on the PWSA of WI board while my children (all 3 girls) were still at home. I left the board to pursue a degree in business as well as coach the kids’ basketball teams, travel for sports, and be the active/supportive parent in their interests while including them in mine. Now that they are grown, I again have time to devote to being an advocate for our individuals with Prader-Willi. I enjoy the comradery with others as well as the chance to educate anyone from the new parent to our family to a doctor who has questions on Prader-Willi. I’ve been through fighting the education system in order to give Kayla all the chances she deserved as well as getting through the government red tape to get her into the Prader-Willi Homes. I believe my experiences will be a benefit to the board.
Board Member: Melanie Laur – Oconomowoc, WI
Melanie is the Admissions Coordinator at Prader-Willi Homes of Oconomowoc (PWHO). She has been working with individuals diagnosed with PWS since 2002 and helping out as a volunteer for PWSA-WI since 2005. Melanie has helped plan the annual golf outings, is on the Walk-a-Thon and Winter Social committee, and handles all of the PWSA-WI financials as their Volunteer Accountant. Melanie is passionate about helping others and takes great honor in having the opportunity to support families from around the country with the day to day challenges they face with PWS. She is also a trainer at PWHO and enjoys teaching and motivating others. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. She is a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity of Waukesha County, and a proud member of her church.
Board Member: Bobbi Pogrant – De Pere, WI
I live in De Pere, WI with husband John and 16 year old daughter, Addy. I worked in the printing industry for over 20 years. I have served on the board of directors for PWSA-WI since 2012, and have volunteered at various events held by PWSA of WI, and coordinates the marketing aspect of the organization. In my free time, I enjoy art, photography, volunteering and at my daughter's school and with the Miracle League organization, and spending time with my family.
As a parent of a teen with PWS, I hope to bring a perspective that can relate to others with children as a Board Member. Although raising a child with PWS has its challenges, I believe it has made me a better parent in more ways than I ever imagined. I enjoy problem solving and thinking outside-the-box when other solutions are not working. It's an honor to be a part of and contribute to PWSA-WI.
Board Member: Amber Gaulke – Waukesha, WI
I am a mom of three children ages 16, 7, and 4. My son who is my youngest was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome at three weeks old. Once I reached out to PWSA of WI and attended my first walk for PWS, when my son was just four months old, I knew I wanted to be involved and help wherever I was needed. Since my son was born I have met and have been helped and supported by so many people and I hope to do the same in the PWS community.
Board Member: Sherita Greer
I am a parent of an 15-year-old boy who has PWS. I became an advocate for my son and a strong supporter of children with disabilities the day he was born. Throughout, the years I have learned that the road is not always evenly paved and can be very challenging at times. However, I am determined to do my best to assist those with disabilities. I am passionate about health and fitness, caring for others, and ensuring that we work together to grow and thrive as a community.
Currently, I serve on the Board of Directors, as the Vice President, at Highland Community School (HCS) in Milwaukee. I have served on the HCS board for the past 5 years. I also aide the local community as a Milwaukee Public Schools Special Education Liaison Family (SELF) representative. As a SELF representative, I am responsible for providing support and guidance for families who need direction regarding their child's special education needs.
Additionally, over the past 4 years I have participated, as board member, with US Bank's Employee Development Network (DN). As part of the DN, we work to increase employee engagement and volunteerism, through personal and professional development activities.
I frequently attend the PWS of WI educational events, as I truly believe that knowledge is power. I work determinedly to consistently equip myself with new information, so that I can better support for the community.
I am hopeful that my experience and desire for success will make me a great fit for the PWSA of WI board.
Board Member: Brandon Schmidt
I am the co-owner of Abilities Midwest, where my primary position is the company’s Athletic Coordinator. My job is to conduct initial and ongoing fitness assessments, where I determine each resident’s strengths and weakness to develop fitness plans. I then assist each resident with their nearly daily exercise routines. I also help coordinate other athletic opportunities for our residents, such as Special Olympics participation while educating others on the components of PWS. I strive to ensure they are receiving a good workout, while also learning to love fitness to in return live a healthy, happy life! I first learned about Prader-Willi from my wife, who has a cousin with the syndrome. My wife always spoke about how much she enjoyed her job. At that time, I wasn’t happy in my career path and chose to make a complete change to the Human Services field. I began working at a Prader-Willi specific provider in Minnesota in order to gain direct PWS experience while my wife and I worked to open up our own group home. Watching our company come together was an amazing experience, and I look forward to watching it continue to grow.
Outside of Abilities Midwest, I coach high school soccer and play recreational softball. I enjoy ending time with my wife, our dogs, and being a foster dad.
I believe I would be a good addition to PWSA-WI as I can provide prospective as a provider and a former direct care staff. I also would love to help families however I can with finding athletic opportunities for their loved ones to help them too live a healthy, happy life.
Board Member: Katelyn Schmidt
I am the owner of Abilities Midwest, a new PWS-specific residential provider located in River Falls, WI. Opening Abilities Midwest was a dream come true for me. I first learned about Prader-Willi when I was a child when my cousin was diagnosed with it. It was my cousin having PWS and my interest in what his life may look like over the years that later caused me to come across a group home provider called Stepping Out, which is located in Hastings, MN. Upon coming across their website, I saw they were hiring for Direct Care Staff. I applied, and ended up spending over 6 years there, working directly with adults with PWS. I later went on to go to school for Human Services, and eventually started working as a Behavioral Modification Assistant for the MN Department of Human Services. However, I still couldn’t leave Stepping Out. Through my experience at both jobs, I learned what I thought worked well, as well as what I believe didn’t. I knew over the years that I wanted to open up my own group home, so I took my experiences along with my husband and we opened Abilities Midwest.
Although it was not easy starting our company from scratch, I have truly enjoyed loved my career path. The saying “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” couldn’t be more true for me! Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband, two rescues dogs, and our foster children.
By joining PWSA-WI I believe I can provide a lot of prospective as a provider, as well as contribute from my experience working in a number of roles within the Human Services field. I am passionate about advocating for individuals with Prader-Willi and continuing to help increase services whenever and wherever I can.
Board Member: Sarah Glass
After watching my sister Jamie Milaeger and daughters Josaphine and Eva Glass participate with this group, I have seen the joy that comes from their interactions. I have found this disorder fascinating the more I learn about it and would love to see others learn from it as well.
I have first hand knowledge of raising a child with special needs (though not PW) and raising a family of 4 total children I understand the importance of knowledge and education for ourselves and others in order to find new treatments, support and new opportunities for individuals with Prader-Willi or any disability to live a more comfortable life.
I participated for four years on our schools PTO board as VP of Fundraising finding new ideas of things we could do to help engage our community with our school at the same time.
Board Member: Josaphine Glass - Nashotah, WI
I have served many years on the junior advisory board, and now want to join the regular board. I want to help share what we do for people with Prader-Willi Syndrome and to help recruit other young members to join both the junior advisory board and regular board. Throughout my time on the junior advisory board, I have volunteered at the Snowflake Ball, bowling event, Sparkle & Shine gala, golf outing, PWSA|USA National conference, golf outing and walk-a-thon.
Board Member / Accountant: Pam Toepher – Machesney Park, IL
I have had the pleasure of working with individuals with diverse limitations for the past 8 years. My professional background is knowledge of how to manage finances for these individuals as well as providing insight to their guardians and representative payees. I also have assisted in fundraising efforts within the company I work, from planning to speaking on how the individuals are benefitted by supporters. I became involved with PWSA-WI when I met board member, Melissa Sirovina. This has been valuable to me in my profession as we do service a few individuals with PWS, but also on a personal level. I have volunteered for the Snowflake Ball in the past and have attended several events. In addition, Volunteering with PWSA-WI has been a pleasure and I would like to utilize my talents more with them.
Board Member: Gavin Johnson – Oconomowoc, WI
I have worked for going on 6 years next month as a Direct Support Professional in a group home with those with PWS and I have participated in the Snowflake Ball, walk-a-thon and golf outing. I would like to continue making a difference in the lives of those with PWS on a higher level. the people who participate. And learning more about the experiences, medications, symptoms, milestones, and other aspects of PWS is key to advancing our understanding and discovering new therapies and treatments.
Board Member Emeritus: Nancy Burlingame – Waterford, WI
I am grandmother to Kyle, a wonderful young man with PWS. I’ve been very involved with Kyle’s care throughout the years. When Kyle experienced difficulties related to having a new baby in the home, he came to live with me for several years prior to his transition into residential care in 2008, at the age of 13. Since the transition, I’ve continued to be actively involved, bringing him home for weekends and holidays, and traveling with him for family vacations.
Prior to moving to Wisconsin several years ago, I served as vice-president of the Indiana Chapter, Northern Section. After moving to Wisconsin, I served as co-president of the PWSA of WI chapter from 2003 – 2005. I have served on the Board intermittently since that time. When I have not served as a Board member, I have continued to volunteer at our state chapter events, such as the On The Move, golf and bowling events, and to volunteer and attend most of the social events such as the Snowflake Ball. I consider myself blessed beyond belief to have the relationships I’ve built through the Association and PWS.
Professionally, I am a Registered Nurse for the past 30 years. My hobbies are scuba diving, gardening, dancing and reading. I have one daughter (Crystal, current President of the PWSA of WI chapter) and two grandsons, (Kyle and Kameron, current member of the PWSA of WI Junior Advisory Board). Family time, both immediate and extended, are a high priority for me.