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 Manager of Partner Strategy and Management
Chandra Kenny is a Senior Manager of Partner Strategy and Management for the Milwaukee Bucks. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota with a major in Sports Management and a minor in Mass Communications. After finishing school, Chandra began her career with the Milwaukee Bucks and is now about to celebrate her 10 year anniversary with the team. In her current role she is responsible for the implementation of all contracted entitlements for more than 20 corporate partners of the Bucks. A large part of her job is working together with the team’s partners to support community initiatives through programming and volunteering opportunities, which has led her to Playworks.
“After working with Playworks for a few years now, I have seen the impact this program can make in schools through the power of play. Creating positive and structured interactions is important for every aspect of these children’s lives. I look forward to seeing this program grow and continuing to impact more children in our community.”
Senior Director, Client Management Services
Christopher Latterell is Senior Director, Client Management Services with OneAmerica. Chris brings his financial and wealth management skills to the Playworks Advisory board as well as his enthusiasm for helping others.
Angela Lauffer, RN BSN MPH
Health Services Manager
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan – Wisconsin
Angela Lauffer has over 20 years of experience as a Registered Nurse and has worked in a variety of settings including hospitals, health maintenance organizations and for the WI Division of Public Health. Angela worked with the WI Tobacco Prevention and Control Program leading up to the passage and implantation of the Statewide Smoke-Free Air Law in 2010. This experience taught Angela the power of partnerships in order to change social norms and accomplish a shared goal. Angela is proud to have been a part of this legacy and is thankful that her son will never have to work in a restaurant or bar in WI where indoor smoking is allowed. Angela holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and a Master’s degree in Public Health. Angela has a passion for helping those who live with chronic mental illness and would like to find ways to improve the mental health of our communities through public health interventions.
“I am grateful that an organization like Playworks is available to educators and hope that schools in WI take advantage of this valuable resource. I have witnessed how a positive influence on the playground changes how children interact with each other. Elementary schools need to help children grow academically, socially and emotionally. The highest opportunity for social and emotional growth at school is outside of the classroom. Our kids need guidance in overcoming some of the challenges that arise during play. They need to learn how to deal with the hurt, anxiety and fear that often arises when they lose a game or feel left out. They need guidance on how to play in an inclusive manor and still have fun. Playworks can help with these challenges and can help to improve the overall happiness of children and staff.”
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.
Denise received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master’s of Human Resource Management Degree from Keller Graduate School of Management.
Demetrius Nash is a Community President at Waterstone Bank. He has over 13 years of retail banking experience. Previously, he was with Old National Bank where he served as their AVP, Banking Center Manager in downtown Milwaukee. Additionally, he served as a branch manager for BMO Harris Bank in Milwaukee. Demetrius has experience in sales and marketing as well as a broad customer service base. He brings the support of Waterstone Bank, robust financial knowledge, experience with corporate & event planning, along with an enthusiasm to support kids to the Playworks Advisory Board.
Demetrius was an honorary recipient for Milwaukee’s Black Excellence Award in 2018 for his achievements in serving the community. He currently lives in Milwaukee’s Hampton Heights neighborhood.
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!”