February 1978

Grant given to Association for Retarded Citizens of Washington County from Wisconsin Coalition for Advocacy to start Citizen Advocacy Program. Sue Moser hired as Coordinator. Office located in St. Joseph’s Hospital

June 1982 – August 1987

Ran Self-Advocacy project with separate grants. Various staff hired. Susan Goebel stays on after grants to be first Assistant Coordinator until April 1988.

January 1984

Incorporated as a non-profit organization

April 1986

Office relocated to larger space in Lakeland Title Insurance office building on E. Washington Avenue, West Bend

April 1988 – July 1990

Sandy Olson hired as Assistant Program Coordinator

February 1989

First External evaluation of Citizen Advocacy

July 1990

Grant from Wisconsin Coalition for Advocacy made staff expansion possible.

July 1990 – December 1994

Lynn Zemlicka, Assistant Program Coordinator

August 1990 – December 1991

Susan Maurer- Office Manager (Up to this time job training people or secretarial trainees were assisting in the office)


December 1991

Jan Downs hired as Officer Manager

June 1992

Office relocated to Marth Real Estate Building on N 6th Avenue, West Bend

February 1993

External evaluation done

June 1993

Office relocated to 139 S. 6th Avenue, West Bend

October 1994

Relationship Review done

December 1994 to March 1996

Deb Anderson hired as Program Coordinator

March 1996 to February 1998

Deb Anderson becomes Executive Director

February 1998 to April 2000

Re-organization of internal structure–Deb Anderson resigns as Executive Director and acts only as Program Coordinator. Jan Downs takes over all administrative duties, and becomes Administrator

April 2000 to November 2001

Lisa Beringer hired as Executive Director/Program Coordinator—Jan Downs – Office Administrator

January 2002

Lynn Zemlicka hired as Program Coordinator

April 2002

Susan Kaczmarek hired as Executive Director

September 2002

Lisa Pulte hired as Program Coordinator

April 2003

David Slinde hired as Executive Director

September 2003

Office relocated to 1702 W. Washington Street, West Bend

October 2004

Jan Downs resigns as Office Administrator –Mark Brunner hired as Executive Director

December 2004

S.W.O.T. analysis provides a more secure direction for Citizen Advocacy program.

February 2005

Non-profit Management Fund matching grant for $3,000 gives Citizen Advocacy opportunity to upgrade office computer system.

May 2005

Office relocated to 120 N Main St. Ste. 350, West Bend

July 2005

Received grant from Greater Milwaukee Foundation to fund the SST program

October 2005

Tracy Elver hired as Assistant Program Coordinator

November 2005

CA 400 Business to Community Program launched

June 2006

Received second year funding grant from Greater Milwaukee Foundation to fund the SST program

July 2006

Lisa Pulte leaves as Program Coordinator

September 2006

Sarah Johnson join the CA staff as Program Coordinator

October 2006

Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger, founder of Citizen Advocacy, headlines our Annual Dinner and non-profit, board workshop

November 2006

Jenny Spieth joins the CA staff as our new Community Activist

December 2006

Citizen Advocacy of Washington County made its 2007 goal of 7 matches in the course of the year

February 2007

The the first time ever, Citizen Advocacy of Washington County increases its working list to 10 partners

May 2007

Second annual Citizens’ Ball auction exceeds all previous auctions by 43%.

August 2007

Citizen Advocacy of Washington County notified it will receive Year 3 of SST grant.

September 2007

Community Activist, Jenny Spieth, leaves.

October 2007

Kristie Haecker, Sarah Jones, Pat Strachota, Cheryl Starling join the board.

Gerry Lofy and LynnDee Murphy leave the board after serving three full terms.

Lynn Mueller leaves the board after one term.

December 2007

The Citizen Advocacy matching program announces 7 matches for 2007.

February 2008

Deb Wilke joins our CA board. Board membership stands at 9 for the first time in two years.

April 2008

Graham Wiemer and Dr. Krysti Wick join our CA board. Membership now stands at 11 for the first time since 1985.

April 2008

Sarah Johnson, Program Coordinator, announces that she will be moving to Rockford, IL. Sarah achieved 13 matches in the 18 months she was with our CA program. Community Activist, Jessica Frederick becomes interim Program Coordinator.

April 2008

The Citizens’ Ball is a great success and over 240 guests attend. Our fundraising goals are exceeded by 13%.

June 2008

The West Bend Mutual Charitable Trust becomes a sustaining supporter of our CA program.

August 2008

Jessica Frederick becomes our Program Coordinator.

September 2008

Michael Laird joins our CA board as our 12th member.

December 2008

Community Partners Pilot Program begins at Kewaskum High School.

February 2009

Miles Severson joins our board of directors. For the first time we now have 12 directors on the board.

May 2009

The last Citizens’ Ball is held in Hartford, WI.

November 2009

Kewaskum Community Partners Program graduates from Pilot to Ongoing.

November 2009

Sexual Abuse workshop, sponsored by Community Memorial Hospital and hosted by West Bend Mutual attended by 25 community professionals and members.

February 2010

Nancy Baker joins CA Board of Directors. Sarah retires after serving 3 terms.

May 2010

First Gala – Dancing For A Difference takes place in Hartford, WI.

October 2010

Our 32nd Annual Dinner takes place at West Bend Mutual. Investors of the Year are Gerry and Joy Zeidler. Volunteer of the Year is Nancy Baker.

November 2010

CA announces the closing of our 120 N. Main Street offices and a pending move to the Cornerstone Church Building on Hickory and Main in downtown West Bend.

March 2011

Ryan Hetzel, director and past President of our Board of Directors, retires after three terms. Ryan is replaced by Cheri Lindstedt, Westbury Bank, West Bend.

March 2011

Community Partners program expands to West Bend East and West High Schools.

April 2011

Citizen Advocacy moves its offices from the 120 N. Main Street, West Bend (Centrum Building) to 102 S. Main, (Our Place), West Bend. Citizen Advocacy also establishes an Executive Office in Kewaskum.

May 2011

2nd Annual Gala–Dancing For A Difference in Hartford, WI.

June 2011

Citizen Advocacy launches its new Community Connections program in Washington County.

July 2011

The Board of Directors begins a Branding Research program aimed at amending our mission statement and, possibly, changing the program name. Pointer Marketing of West Bend is hired to do the research.

October 2011

Citizen Advocacy holds its 34th Annual Meeting at Moraine Park Technical College, West Bend.

November 2011

The Board of Directors votes officially to change the Program Mission Statement to: “Our mission is to create relationships which make a positive difference in the lives of persons with disabilities.” This change opens the program to “all” disabilities.