The Playworks Wisconsin Advisory Board is a group of change-makers who believe in the power of play and are active ambassadors for Playworks. These playful professionals contribute their personal time to share the mission of Playworks: to improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play.
Jami serves as Shift Manager at General Mills in Milwaukee, WI. Jami received both her BA and MBA from the University of Iowa. After finishing school, Jami’s career began with General Mills in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. From there, she moved to two other General Mills plant locations before settling at the Milwaukee location in May of 2000. In addition to her expected duties at General Mills, Jami leads the Community Action Council program. This program is an important part of General Mills’ commitment to the communities where it has business operations. The council’s goal is to help the company give back, both financially and through volunteer efforts, to their local manufacturing communities. Jami enjoys volunteering her time to various local area activities to help in the company’s mission to give back to the community. She is a long-time partner of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, a member of the Non-Profit Center’s business volunteer council, and also serves on the Advisory Board for City Year.
“I believe children are our future and that it is up to us to prepare them to lead the way.” When speaking about her passion for Playworks, Jami adds, “Playworks is a wonderful organization to help in that mission. They are doing it by teaching the kids not only how to play, but how to connect with others, and to grow physically, emotionally and socially. These are all important skills to lead each and every day throughout our lives. I am glad to be associated with an organization of this caliber!”
Global Director of Continuous Improvement
David Hartmann is Global Director of Continuous Improvement at Johnson Controls. Born and raised in Milwaukee, David has lived in a number of different states during his career with Johnson Controls but always making his way back to his home state. Dave has a passion for helping children realize their full potential and is excited to be part of the Playworks team supporting our youth. Dave brings his experience with achieving results and developing continuous improvement skills to the Playworks Advisory board and as a member of the Development Committee. In addition to serving on the Playworks Board, David is the President of the Johnson Controls Business Resource Group UNlimited, which support employees with disabilities, both visible and invisible as well as a local Scout leader.
“Our children are our future, and I feel a personal responsibility to lend my time, experience and passion to support their growth and development. I am excited and honored to be part of the Playworks Board, serving an organization whose vision, mission and programming brings significant value to the development and future success of our youth!”
Senior Director, Client Management Services
Chris Latterell is a Senior Director with the Retirement Services division of OneAmerica. Chris brings his management and relationship skills to the Playworks Advisory board as well as his enthusiasm for helping others. Chris has worked within the employer-sponsored retirement plan services space for over 27 years, which includes positions with BMO Retirement Services, M&I Trust Company, US Bank, and Fidelity Investments. Chris is recognized by associates and colleagues for his approachable style, ability to relate well with others, and for his experienced leadership.
Chris is a Marquette Warrior, having received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Finance from Marquette University. He is supporter and avid fan of Marquette men’s basketball team.
“The Playworks organization never ceases to amaze me. The positive spirit of the Playworks team is contagious and inspiring. The influence of these programs on young people is an immeasurable force with lifelong impact for those who participate.”
Community and Member Engagement Manager
Children’s Community Health Plan
Denise McDowell joined Children’s Wisconsin in 2000, bringing over 20 years of Healthcare experience. Her career has provided the opportunity to work in a variety of roles within Children’s Wisconsin which include Ambulatory Management, Human Resources, Process Improvement and Organizational Development. Denise is currently the Community and Member Engagement Manager for Children’s Community Health Plan. In her role, she is responsible for the development and implementation of strategies to improve CCHP member health outcomes, community organization partnerships, member engagement and retention for over 145,000 members. Denise is passionate about the serving in the community and understanding the needs of underserved populations in Milwaukee.
Greater Milwaukee Committee and Scale Up Milwaukee
DeShaun is a Business Coach with the Greater Milwaukee Committee and Scale Up Milwaukee. He is a graduate of Oak Creek High School and Concordia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing. He has a long history in sports and marketing with organizations like the Milwaukee Bucks in 2012-2017 as an Analytics & Data, TMJ4/ESPN Milwaukee Radio in Partnership Development , and LW Branding. Currently, DeShaun is working with the Greater Milwaukee Committee as a Business Coach where he is focused on helping facilitate accelerators programs, increase membership services, and to provide economic development initiatives. Additionally, he is the Wisconsin Playground Club’s AAU Head 17U National Coach. His favorite playground game(s) are two square-four square, tether ball, tag, red light green light, basketball, and football.
“Talking with Playworks Staff excites me. I love Playworks and their passion for safety while having fun. I want to help be involved in bringing young people from different cultures, genders, and ages together in a common place where nothing else matters but joy of running around, coming together , trying to figure out the best way to compete and being a kid in a positive environment!
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Steph La Haye is the Grants Specialist Advanced with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, serving on the Student Services, Prevention, and Wellness team. At DPI, Steph’s responsible for the management of state and federal grant funds that create programming focused on student well-being in every school in Wisconsin. Steph received her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with a focus on media studies. Her career path is made up of a mixture of roles in the government, nonprofit, and education sectors. No matter the role, Steph operates from a trauma informed, racial equity-focused approach, and she is proud to tell you that her youth work experience began as a Playworks coach in Milwaukee in 2013.
“I believed in Playworks’ mission when I was a coach, and still believe in Playworks’ mission ten years later. Playworks programming has the ability to transform school communities into the healthiest, safest, and happiest place to be for students and staff, and I’m so happy to be back in the game.”
Jake Via works with forward-thinking organizations to develop training programs that promote a love of learning with definable ROI. Jake believes the line between playful and professional is not as big as believed and through infectiously authentic training we bridge the learning gaps to bring people together. He is passionate about encouraging a focus on learning as an engine for unleashing creativity, increasing organizational efficiency, and building better relationships.
After nearly two decades in senior leadership non-profit roles, including 3 years as a Playworks PRO National Trainer, Jake pivoted to bring his passion for learning to the corporate world when he joined Go1. He is a Certified National Trainer for multiple organizations, an avid High-Fiver, and a global adventurer with a passion for water sports, tasty food, and a good game of 4-Square.
Jake holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Thomas Edison State University and resides with his wife and 3 dogs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Customer Success Manager
Callie is currently a Customer Success Manager at Rippling. She was first introduced to Playworks as a Program Associate in 2014 for the Playworks WI office. After working with Playworks for two years, she left to pursue a Masters in Public Service and Administration through the Trinity Fellowship at Marquette University. She often refers to those two years working at Playworks as the BEST JOB EVER and has continued to be a champion for the work Playworks does and a strong believer in the importance and power of play. She is excited to increase her involvement and is ready to play!
Vice President Human Resources
Greater Milwaukee Patient Service Area & AAH Behavioral Health
VP Compliance Officer and Legal Counsel