Adapting and Thriving: We welcome six new board members

The WHC was created as an independent non-profit in 1972 by a congressional mandate. For the past nearly 50 years, board members offer their individual strengths and collective experience to provide guidance to the organization.

This summer, our tri-annual gathering of board members looked a little different. Instead of coming together in person, friendly faces from all over Wisconsin logged in for a virtual meeting. We welcomed six new members and said farewell to four members who had come to the end of their terms.

A huge Thank You to Mary Knapp, Marie Kohler, Roberta Maguire, and Alex Zacarias for their years of volunteer service and unwavering dedication to our mission to support and create programs that use history, culture, and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin.

Welcome to our new board members!

Inga Cushman lives in Milton, where she is Administrative Services Director for the City of Milton. For over a decade she has worked with the Parks & Recreation Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, and Community Development Authority to help lead the city’s civic and cultural efforts. She was appointed by Governor Evers.

Meralis Hood lives in Milwaukee, where she is Executive Director of Milwaukee City Year and oversees over 100 Americorps volunteers.  She brings expertise in education leadership and in 2019 was included on Madison365’s Wisconsin’s Most Powerful Latino’s List. She was appointed by Governor Evers.

Ann Huntoon lives in Tomahawk and is the retired Executive Director of the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra. She is a dedicated arts and culture advocate and community organizer, as well as a musician, educator, healthcare professional.

Stephen Kercher lives in Neenah and is the Edward H. Rudoy Endowed Professor of History at UW-Oshkosh. He is the director of the Black Thursday Oral History Project, started in 2006, and is a public historian who researches, writes and contributes on subjects of local history, African American history, and Native American history.

Todd Larson lives in Blanchardville, where he owns and manages a family farm. He is a retired Presidential Appointee to the USAID, where he served as Senior Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Coordinator to implement the “International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of LGBT Persons.” He was appointed by Governor Evers.

Jesus Salas lives in Milwaukee and taught for 20 years at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Salas served as a member of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents from 2003-07. As a member of the WHC’s ShopTalk, he shared his personal and academic expertise about the migrant community during the 1960s and 1970s, and the protests, marches, and organizing efforts to secure rights and improve conditions for Latinx in Wisconsin.

What does a WHC board member do?

Wisconsin Humanities Council members work hard.  As volunteers, they review grant proposals three to five times a year. They also attend events around the state serving as ambassadors for the WHC and evaluating our programs. Board members are also critical in helping the WHC make connections and raise money.

We accept nominations. If you know someone who might like to join the WHC board, find out more here.

Board members who have completed their terms rotate off the board, but gratefully they don’t go far: former board members are invited to join our Alumni Circle, an informal group made up of past members.

The Alumni Circle channels their commitment to the Wisconsin Humanities Council into direct action. They put their energy into creating more opportunities for Wisconsinites to have access to the ideas and knowledge sparked through humanities experiences.


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