Advisory Board

We at Active Across America, the creators of Get Active Today and the Stinky Shoe properties, are not the experts in health nor health promotion. Using the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Coordinated School Health model, we assembled a team of experts in the fields of health, fitness, nutrition, school administration, teaching, coaching, workforce wellness and community outreach to direct content and provide insight on what works.

Matthew Beyers Jennifer Casey, RD, CD
Academic Educator & Administrator Food Educator
Wauwatosa West High School Gerald L Ignace Indian Health Center
Wauwatosa, WI Milwaukee, WI
. .
Laure DeMattia, DO Brett Fuller
Bariatrician Curriculum Specialist for Wellness & Prevention
Park Nicollet Bariatric Center of Excellence Milwaukee Public Schools
St. Louis Park, MN Milwaukee, WI
. .
Martina Gollin-Graves, MSW, APSW Chad Hoffman
Community Outreach Coordinator Physical Education Instructor
Mental Health America of Wisconsin Roosevelt Elementary School
Milwaukee, WI Wauwatosa, WI
. .
Ilona Holland, Ed.D. David Nelson
Technology, Innovation & Education Programs Center for Healthy Communities
Harvard Graduate School of Education Medical College of Wisconsin
Cambridge, MA Milwaukee, WI
. .
Kristine Regner, RN, HC
Nurse & Health Coach
Washington Heights Wellness Project
Milwaukee, WI
. .
Christopher J. Simenz, PhD, CSCS*D
Clinical Associate Professor
Marquette University
Milwaukee, WI
.

Matthew Beyers has over twenty years experience working in academic, athletic, and co-curricular settings. He offers insight from the classroom, school administration and an “on the field” perspective.

A graduate of Concordia University, he earned his Masters Degree from Mount Mary College and Cooperative Teaching Certification from Marquette University. Matt is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association and National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

Jennifer Casey is a Registered Dietitian and professional cook dedicated to helping people make healthy choices for themselves, their communities, and the planet.  She has worked with the Diabetes program at the Gerald L Ignace Indian Health Center, Milwaukee’s American Indian health center since 2007, promoting traditional foodways for diabetes, obesity and heart disease prevention and control.   Among other roles at the center, she teaches cooking classes and facilitates the garden program.

As a good food advocate, she is a regular speaker and blogger on sustainable nutrition topics.  As a member of Slow Food USA’s Biodiversity Committee she promotes regional food traditions locally and nationally. She joined the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council in 2010 after being a key collaborator in Milwaukee’s Eat Local Challenge from 2007-2009.

Before entering the field of nutrition, Jennifer cooked in restaurants, operated a small pastry business at a farmer’s market, and catered backstage at a music venue as well as for private clients. Schooled at the Natural Gourmet Cookery Institute in NYC, her cooking philosophy comes from a whole foods perspective. Her formal nutrition studies began at the University of Vermont, culminating in a degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Dr. Laure DeMattia, a board-certified family physician, maintains a steadfast commitment to her overarching goal as a medical professional: to better the community by partnering with individuals and families in their quest for a healthier lifestyle. She has years of experience caring for children and adults, including many with weight-related concerns. DeMattia recently joined the Bariatric Surgery Department at Park Nicollet in MN.

Dr. DeMattia, a graduate of Midwestern University, is published nationally and internationally in peer reviewed journals. Her work includes a chapter titled Childhood Obesity Prevention: Successful Community-Based Efforts, published in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science which recently served as the basis for a presentation to the US Senate. Dr. DeMattia has long advocated that the community must work together to change children’s food and activity environments.

Brett Fuller is the director of the Milwaukee Public Schools Wellness and Prevention Office (WPO). Brett has a MAE – Director of Instruction from Marian College of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and a BAE – Physical Education (K-12) University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. The WPO includes the MPS Health and Physical Education departments, Safe and Drug-Free Schools, and other grant funded programs. The mission of the office is to support the physical, social, emotional, and academic development of all students. As the director of the WPO Brett directs curriculum alignment with district and state standards, coordinates multiple safe and drug free school programs, manages multiple federal, state and private grants, and is the lead grant writer for the WPO. Brett is also on the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Health for Wisconsin.

Martina Gollin-Graves is the Community Outreach Coordinator with Mental Health America of Wisconsin (MHA). Ms. Gollin-Graves develops and provides local and statewide mental health presentations, conferences and training for businesses, community organizations and schools. She participates in collaborative projects, assists in new program initiatives and coordinates the Survivors of Suicide Support groups hosted by MHA. Ms. Gollin-Graves previously worked with families in the Invisible Children’s Program through MHA. She provided advocacy and education for parents and children with mental illness; crisis stabilization; and facilitation of psycho-education groups.

Chad Hoffman brings over ten years experience teaching elementary school Physical Education. Chad focuses on giving each student a positive learning experience to help them understand the importance and long-term benefits of physical activity.

Chad earned his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s in Education from Viterbo University. He also has SDPE Certification (Specially Designed Physical Education) to help engage and promote success of special needs students participating in the PE curriculum. In addition, Chad has coaching experience coaching at the middle school level.

lona Holland has been involved in the evaluation of technology-based educational products since 1989. Both as an independent consultant and as a senior research consultant with Multimedia Research, a consulting group headed by Barbara Flagg, Holland has worked on projects for museums, television stations, software companies, and the DuPont Company. Projects have included the formative evaluation of educational television shows such as Between the Lions, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, Parenting Works, and Intimate Strangers; I-MAX movies such as Everest, Special Effects, and Storm Chasers; and interactive videodiscs such as CHIP (Detroit Institute of Arts); Science, Engineering, and Technology Program (New York Hall of Science); Farmer Pig’s Health Farm (National Cancer Institute); and The Wonderful World of Medicine (Interactive Video Science Consortium). Holland also is the formative evaluator and a member of the design team for the creation of interactive, computerized safety-training programs for the DuPont Company at Marshall Labs in Philadelphia. She was instrumental in writing Delaware’s K-12 Educational Standards for both social studies and the arts in education. While serving on the Delaware Educational Technology Committee, she helped analyze the technological needs of all Delaware public schools and libraries and helped draft appropriate recommendations to the state legislature. Holland’s academic research studies how children develop vocabulary skills through the visual analysis of fine art, both in the classroom and in the museum setting. She has been a formative evaluator for numerous projects funded by sources such as the National Science Foundation, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for Educational Television, and National Institutes of Health.

David Nelson has eleven years of experience in working with communities in Maine and Wisconsin as a principal investigator and Co-principal investigator on a number of funded projects through federal, state, and local programs. He completed a three-year a post-doctoral fellowship in the area of community based participatory research and recently accepted a position as assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and Center for Healthy Communities at MCW. During his time in Milwaukee, Nelson has completed an assessment of three neighborhoods concerning physical activity and nutrition, worked on a team that developed a diabetes education curriculum for Spanish speaking individuals taught by community health workers. Most recently, he led an effort that resulted in funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to reduce childhood obesity at the eight United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee (UNCOM).

Kristine Regner has worked as a nurse within hospital systems for many years when she determined that she would like to empower patients to make healthier choices in place of only being able to help care for them after the poor choices have been made. She embarked on an educational journey to get certification for being a Health Coach, which she uses to help assess people’s life choices and encourage minor changes to improve their outcomes in a healthy manner.

Kristine has 17 years of experience as an acute care registered nurse for Wheaton Franciscan. She has seen firsthand how the results of poor lifestyle choices are becoming one of the most common reasons for hospital admissions. It is through this experience that she gained a passion for empowering people to become proactive in achieving healthy, active lifestyles. She currently works as a Health Coach, Wellness Project Coordinator and RN at DeMattia Medical Group. She is also working for Noble Diagnostics offering pre-employment physicals for various companies.

Dr. Christopher Simenz joined the faculty of Marquette University Department of Physical Therapy- Program in Exercise Science as a clinical faculty and practicum coordinator of the Program in Exercise Science in 2001. His responsibilities include teaching coursework in the areas of kinesiology, aging, obesity, sport injury and exercise leadership while managing student internship experiences.

Dr. Simenz currently works in a collaborative research team using community based participatory research (CBPR) to study obesity reduction/prevention as well focused on underserved populations in Milwaukee’s central city.  Additionally, he is engaged in several research projects aiming to address policies in the areas of nutrition, physical activity, land use, and education to reduce the incidence of obesity and related co-morbidities in the Milwaukee area.

In addition to his academic work, Dr. Simenz is an active member of  the National Strength and Conditioning Association, through which he is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He has presented at the local, national, and international levels in the area of strength and conditioning.
Dr. Simenz received his Ph.D. from Marquette University in the area of Educational Policy and Leadership. His coursework and studies focused on the role of education in the United States and its impact on minorities and cultural diversity. His interest in cultural diversity in education has led Dr. Simenz to teach in Marquette’s Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP), which works to educate and retain disadvantaged students at Marquette with a variety of pre-college and summer programs.

Regular physical activity that is performed on most days of the week reduces the risk of developing or dying from some of the leading causes of illness and death in the United States.
Source: “Physical Activity and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.