ROBERT CHERRY | director
Rob was named Director of the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute in November of 2012. Rob is a Milwaukee native who envisions and works toward a community that actively aligns its public policies with dramatically reducing poverty and its root causes, compassionately caring for those who are ill, rationally providing services to those within the criminal justice system, and keenly preventing negative outcomes for Milwaukee’s youth and families.
DAVID RIEMER | senior fellow
David has been active for many years in reshaping Wisconsin and U.S. policies on welfare, poverty, health care and education. He was chosen in 2010 to serve as a member of the Wisconsin Legislative Council Special Committee on Health Care Reform Implementation, as well as the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) Study Panel on Health Insurance Exchanges. David is the author of “The Prisoners of Welfare” and numerous articles on poverty, health care reform and public administration.
MIKE BARE | research & program coordinator
Mike specializes in disability, energy, housing and health care policy research, and is an expert on the intersection of policy with politics and the legislative process. Mike is also an expert on the Affordable Care Act and is the Coordinator of the Project for Health Insurance Exchange Education (PHIXE). At the Institute, Mike was also a Program Evaluator of the Milwaukee Brighter Futures Initiative and has assisted with the Pathways to Ending Poverty Project and the Milwaukee Tobacco Prevention and Control Program.
KARI LERCH | prevention services manager
Kari came to Community Advocates years ago as an intern while obtaining her bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. As an intern, she spent time in the housing, utility, protective payee and health departments, which has provided her with a broad foundation of knowledge to work on social issues affecting people living in poverty. Through several advancements, Kari acquired the position she now holds overseeing prevention services.
KASAUNDRA BROWN | prevention associate
Kasaundra joined Community Advocates Public Policy Institute in March of 2013 as the Prevention Associate for the Milwaukee County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. Kasaundra received her Bachelor of Science Degree with a focus on Health Services Administration in July of 2012 from Upper Iowa University. Prior to joining Community Advocates, Kasaundra worked for Milwaukee Public Schools for 9 years as a Paraprofessional in Special Education. Kasaundra was born and raised in Milwaukee, and expresses a great passion for youth with special needs.
JEFFREY ROMAN | male minority achievement coordinator
Jeff has worked in the Milwaukee community as an educator, advocate, and coalition builder for over 10 years having served in various roles within the nonprofit, community services, and public sectors. Jeffery comes to the Public Policy Institute leading the charge locally developing community-municipal-academic partnerships and cross systems collaborations that engage, support and empower boys and men of color in Milwaukee.
CASSY KRUEGER | communications specialist
Cassy comes to the Public Policy Institute from a long history of sustainability and communications work in higher education, nonprofits, and business. Taking a particular interest in the social aspect of sustainability, she is devoted to making Milwaukee a healthier community for all. Initially sparked by her love for writing and photography, she developed a passion for utilizing effective communications to enhance and strengthen advocacy efforts. She is passionate about making community issues relevant to individuals on a personal level.
KEN GERMANSON | communications consultant
Ken has worked at Community Advocates since 1992 on projects involving child abuse prevention, youth development, community strengthening and health care advocacy for low-income persons. He also has been a community activist and spent more than 35 years as a labor union leader. Ken is a former journalist who began work on the old Milwaukee Sentinel as a reporter-rewriteman after his return to Milwaukee from the U.S. Navy in 1957. It was at the Sentinel that he became active in his labor union, the Milwaukee Newspaper Guild, eventually serving on the executive board and bargaining committee.