Center Leadership

Executive Director: Alesha Schandelmeier

Personal gender pronouns: she/her/hers

Alesha is a mother of three, artist, photographer and activist. She grew up in Northern Illinois and was living in the Chicago area prior to moving to Wisconsin in 2004. Alesha has a vast amount of professional experience, working in a variety of industries, most recently in the Marketing department of Organic Valley. As a Senior Event Coordinator, she was responsible for planning the Kickapoo Country Fair and other smaller events for over six years. She decided to return to school in 2011 and studied Psychology at Viterbo University. Alesha started facilitating GALAXY(our high school youth group) in January 2013 and joined the board shortly after. She served as Vice President of The Center’s board of directors and chairperson for the Outreach and Events Committee until she was hired as our Director of Outreach in June 2016. Alesha has been at the forefront of our expansion and was then offered the position as our new Executive Director in July 2018.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”― Martin Luther King Jr.

Email: aleshas@7riverslgbtq.org

Administrative Assistant: Deb Bassett

Personal gender pronouns: she/her/hers

In 2016, Deb moved to LaCrosse from Flint, Michigan, where she taught Biology and related sciences in the inner city Flint Community Schools for 20 years before retiring in 2014. She is proud to be an alumnus of both the University of Michigan (B.S.-Biology) and Michigan State University (M.S.-Biology). Deb came out as a lesbian in 1972 and has been actively involved in the LGBT Community ever since.  Prior to becoming the Administrative Assistant at The Center, Deb served on its Board of Directors for a year, working as Volunteer Coordinator, stepping down to take on her new role at The Center. In addition to her role as Administrative Assistant, Deb continues to be the Volunteer Coordinator and currently serves on several committees. Deb says that serving the LGBTQ Community in so many ways is her dream and is the most meaningful aspect of her time at the Center.

Email: debb@7riverslgbtq.org

Board of Directors

President: Eddie Luker, MA, LPC, CSAC — Clinical Therapist

Personal gender pronouns: he/him/his

Professionally, Eddie Luker specializes in issues relevant to LGBTQ community, trauma, addictions and mood disorders. Eddie is currently licensed in Wisconsin as a Licensed Professional Counselor and Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor.  He has extensive experience in developing programs for families and couples struggling with addiction and other co-occurring disorders. (Eddie created The Family Program at Seabrook House inpatient treatment program and developed a weekend “coupleship” experience titled Couples in Recovery.) He has trained under Connie Miller, creator of Souldrama: a spiritual approach to psychodrama that addresses our spiritual intelligence, and has extensive experience utilizing EMDR and CBT to treat individuals who have experienced trauma. Eddie is a passionate runner and is proud to call La Crosse home since 2013.

Email: eddiel@7riverslgbtq.org

Vice President: Andrew Ives

Personal gender pronouns: he/him/his

Hello, my name is Andrew and I use he/him/his! I got involved with The Center as soon as I moved to La Crosse in 2014. I volunteered during Pride in the Park that year. Since 2014, I have gotten more involved with The Center, attending different groups and finding more ways to get involved. Right now I’m chairing the Grant Committee and looking to find more ways to support the wonderful work of The Center financially! My favorite part of The Center is the warm and welcoming people and the atmosphere. The folx at The Center genuinely want to support one another and be a part of the beautiful LGBTQ community!

Email: andrewi@7riverslgbtq.org

Secretary: Chandler Miller

Personal gender pronouns: she/her/hers

My name is Chandler and I use she/her/hers pronouns. I joined the Center board in November 2017 because I loved seeing all the advocacy work being done.  I am currently the board secretary and also head the Strategic Planning committee. My favorite part of the Center is being a part of the diversity and inclusivity of all the relationships that are being built and nourished through the Centers networking and advocacy work!

Email: chandlerm@7riverslgbtq.org

Treasurer: Rob Zellers

Personal gender pronouns: he/him/his

Originally an Illinois native (we don’t hold that against him), Rob Zellers has been in the La Crosse area for almost 13 years and currently resides in Onalaska with his three wonderful children, Liam, Olivia and Cecelia, and his lovely partner, Alesha Schandelmeier. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and is currently the Director of Mergers & Acquisitions for Ashley Furniture Industries in Arcadia.  He has been a frequent volunteer for The Center (as can be evidenced by a certain promotional photo still in wide use) and is very grateful for this opportunity to lend his support.

Email: robz@7riverslgbtq.org

Malcolm Meyer

Personal gender pronouns: he/him/his

I’m Malcolm (but everyone just calls me Mal). I use he/him/his for my pronouns. I joined the board at the beginning of 2019 because I wanted to get more involved with the community. I’ve been very involved in other LGBTQIA+ organizations so it is great to be back in this type of role. I am spearheading the communications committee and am revamping the website! My favorite part about The Center? I love having a space in the Coulee Region where LGBT people and their supporters can be themselves without fear of judgment.

Email: malm@7riverslgbtq.org

 

Cory Patrick, Ph.D.

Personal gender pronouns: he/him/his

Hello, my name is Cory. I prefer he/him/his pronouns. I currently serve on the board of directors for The Center as the Programming Committee Chairperson. I am responsible for organizing and maintaining our support programs. Therefore, I help ensure that our programs are being delivered effectively and serving the needs of our community. I first became involved with The Center in September 2014. It was actually my first weekend in La Crosse and I happened to run across Pride in the Park. I then began attending Center events and volunteering occasionally as a means of settling into my new city and getting to know people. I joined the board of directors in January 2017 because I felt a need to become a more active advocate in the community and help further The Center’s mission from which I had benefitted. I love that The Center is here to help bring people together in a safe space where they can experience acceptance and support in their journey.

Email: coryp@7riverslgbtq.org

 What does being on the Board of Directors entail?

Interested in participating on our Board of Directors? Contact our Directors.