Meet our Staff
Brenda Konkel, Executive Director
Brenda has a long history of activism and non-profit work in Madison. She was Executive Director of the Tenant ResourceCenter for 23 years, is a co-founder of the Social Justice Center as well as Occupy Madison, Inc. and was instrumental in developing the two tiny house villages they own and collectively operate. In addition to nonprofit work she has been active in advocacy through the Affordable Housing Action Alliance, Dane County Homeless Services Consortium, Progressive Dane and her blog at forwardlookout.com. She served 8 years on the Madison City Council (2001 – 2009), she dabbles in local government meetings and music videos/audio recordings. She also co-hosts a segment on local government on WORT (89.9 FM) evening news each Monday.
Tijana Sagorac Gruichich, Assistant Executive Director
Tijana started with MACH as a volunteer then transitioned to the Volunteer Coordinator position in September of 2020. Upon completion of her service year, Tijana assumed a new position in August 2021. Tijana graduated from UW-Madison with a B.S. in Spanish and Global Health. In addition to her part-time position at MACH, she works in the Women’s Mental Health Program at the University. Tijana hopes to one day attend Medical School. Her other interests include enjoying the outdoors, traveling, reading, and cooking.
Veronica Kesner, Volunteer Coordinator
Veronica is an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving MACH-OneHealth as the Volunteer Coordinator. In December 2020 she graduated from Alverno College with a B.S. in Human Biology. She hopes to pursue a master’s degree in public health in the near future. Her other interests include reading, birdwatching, and hiking.
Samantha Buskey, Capacity Bulider
Samantha is originally from North Carolina. She will be serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA assisting with capacity building and is also currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. Samantha loves to cook, bake, go bowling, do various arts and crafts, and hang out with her cat, Luna, in her free time.
Ava Grotting, Medical Program Director
Ava graduated from UW-Madison with a B.S. in Health Promotions and Health Equity in 2022. She volunteered with MACH OneHealth for 2 years before joining the staff as the Medical Program Director. In the future, Ava hopes to attend medical school and/or a masters program in public health. In her free time, she enjoys reading, seeing live music, and spending time outside.
Joanna Anderson, Outreach Nurse
Joanna has worked as a nurse in the Madison area since graduating from UW-Madison with her BSN in 2011. Volunteering with MACH One Health led to discovering a passion for working with individuals experiencing housing insecurity so she was thrilled to later join staff as an Outreach Nurse. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with nieces and nephews, exploring the outdoors and taking on new baking challenges.
Maria Tran, Outreach Social Worker
Maria recently completed the Bachelor of Social Work program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her passion is in working with individuals and families experiencing homelessness, as she believes that the pre-existing systems in place have created tremendous gaps in services and disproportionate outcomes that are dependent on race, class, and gender. Aside from work, Maria is most often snuggling with her pets, painting, or rock climbing!
Tim, Community Peer Health Advocate
Allison Davidson, Capacity Builder
Allison is an AmeriCorps VISTA member that will assist with capacity building. She recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a B.S. in Neurobiology and a B.S. in Psychology, with hopes to one day attend medical school. In her free time, Allison loves to read, hike, and paint.
Dairy Drive Shelters Staff
MACH OneHealth Staff
Courtney Thompson, Lead Social Worker
Courtney grew up primarily in Oshkosh, WI after her family moved from the Chicago suburbs. Before joining MACH-One Health, Courtney served as a youth advocate for Madison’s Rape Crisis Center and co-supervised the family services room at The Beacon. She graduated from UW-Madison with a B.A in Social Welfare. She is currently obtaining her MSW at University of Southern California with a certificate in Military Studies. Outside of work, Courtney raises a black lab named Freddie and loves to listen to music, travel, and be outside.
Karen Andro – Housing Focused Case Manager
Karen is passionate about community. She is known for building collaborative relationships grounded in respect and dignity. Karen’s trauma informed approach to case management and harm reduction is what changed her own life. She served as Director of Hope’s Home Ministries for First United Methodist Church in downtown Madison for over a decade building collaborative relationships to provide supportive services for individuals experiencing homelessness and living in poverty. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from Edgewood College in 2008 and is an avid learner who embraces opportunities to serve in community. She is a practitioner of eCPR engaged in Intentional Peer Support training and opportunities which promote equalizing relationships centered on listening and empathy. Karen enjoys exploring the outdoors, hiking, camping, aromatherapy, and holistic healing in her journey of recovery.
Tim Jones – Facilities Lead
Tim joined MACH Nov. 2021 at Dairy Drive where he gets to apply his technical savvy to development and maintenance of the site and thereby supports everyone living and working there. This extends Tim’s efforts started in Chicago building soil to be gardened by and for community and continued upon return to Madison through full-time commitment to a combination of The Madison Mutual Aid Network (MAN), and Occupy Madison, now serving as a working board member to both Occupy and the international networking cooperative HUMANs (Humans United in Mutual Aid Networks). As a systems thinker, it is Tim’s hope that he may contribute more directly to improvements in the ways people support all creatures in their life cycles than his career as an industrial engineer/ergonomist and consultant allowed. Otherwise Tim finds any time with friends, particularly a few elders, in conversation, countryside outings, dog sitting, and listening to music – and all the while yearns to spend more time on two wheels.
Siddiq DeShazer – Community and Camper Liaison
Siddiq is a born and raised Wisconsinite who spent time growing up between rural, small town, and urban Wisconsin taking in many perspectives. These variances in communities have provided them with intersectional communication skills across a range of social scenarios. They’ve been schooled in automotive technologies, and business administration. Siddiq has always found helping people throughout their life to be a passion that has fueled some of their personal and broader engagements. They have a passion for people and belief in a democratic egalitarian society. A society where people have as much autonomy as feasible within the bounds of agreed social contracts. These values have led Siddiq into volunteering and broadening my participation in our society in a variety of ways. Over the years they have worked with the Jaycees, Kiwanis, WORT, and in the last year been actively involved with Occupy Madison. When possible, Siddiq engages in independent journalism trying to make the activities of the day accessible, provide varied perspectives, and provide voice to the otherwise voiceless. They personally enjoy physical activities, reading, writing, talking with people, and learning. These experiences have bolstered their belief that we can create a better community day by day and that anyone can/should be involved in that process.
Kabba Recovery Service (KRS) Partners
Sara Allee Jatta – KRS Clinical Director and Counselor (CSAC, ICS, SAP)
Sara has been working with adolescents and adults who struggle with substance abuse issues for over 12 years in multiple treatment modalities, from outpatient treatment to halfway house setting. She has extensive experience working with those with opioid use disorders receiving medication assisted treatment. Sara’s focus is on helping people discover their true sense of self by building a healthy support system and developing a lifestyle which sets the foundation for their success. Sara utilizes a holistic approach to counseling and other services to address each person’s individual needs.
In addition to providing substance abuse services, Sara works with people experiencing homelessness by providing case management and other supportive services.
Sara is licensed as a Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC) and Independent Clinical Supervisor (ICS) by the Department of Safety and Professional Services in Wisconsin. She is also nationally licensed as a qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP).
Lamin Jatta – Outreach Specialist, Rehabilitation Worker
Lamin has been working with individuals struggling with mental wellness, addiction, poverty, and homelessness through his jobs at Mendota Mental Health Institute, and Sankofa Behavioral and Community Health for the past 4 years. He is incredibly passionate about serving the community and building relationships with everyone he encounters. Lamin comes to us from The Gambia, West Africa. His insight and perspective have brought many consumers comfort and connection. He uses a trauma-informed, strengths-based approach for working with individuals.
Lamin is a certified rehabilitation worker through Dane County CCS and a certified psychiatric care technician-advanced, which entails crisis management through therapeutic behaviors. He also provides outreach and engagement and intensive case management services.
Munroe Whitlock – Outreach Specialist and Counselor (CSAC)
Munroe is licensed as a Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC) by the Department of Safety and Professional Services in Wisconsin.
Catherine Lewis – Dual-diagnosis Counselor, Client Rights Specialists (SAC, LPC)
Catherine has been working in the Mental Health and Substance Use field for over four years. Catherine first started her career working in Drug Treatment Courts, where finding treatment solutions instead of long-term incarceration for addiction was the focus. Catherine moved through different levels of care after obtaining her licenses- starting in a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Intensive Outpatient Program, then to an Opioid Treatment Center, and now in a Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Partial Hospitalization Program. Catherine has always had a passion for helping and supporting those who have been struggling and by working in outpatient clinics, she has been able to do just that.
Catherine is licensed as a Substance Abuse Counselor (SAC) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) by the Department of Safety and Professional Services in Wisconsin.
Board of Directors
Pam Alsum, MD
Pam Alsum MD loves the myriad challenges and gratifications working in our organization, because of the many caring relationships which are created, the creative and innovative methods we use to strengthen our community and our effect. She is also part of UW Health, as an Urgent Care internist. She combines medicine service with building our organization through encouraging participatory governance and dreaming further enactments of our vision, and serving on the board of directors for what’s needed to mind our mission. Outside MACH, she is busy with appreciation of the great outdoors, and creating through various arts.
Deb is MACH OneHealth’s treasurer and a member of the Finance Committee. She is a seasoned attorney in a private practice who also applies her diverse experience to help organizations focused on housing and immigration issues. She has served MACH OneHealth since 2019 and strongly believes that housing is healthcare.
Anne Reynolds retired in 2018 from her position as the Executive Director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, where she provided leadership and worked with numerous organizations on strategic planning, finance, governance, organizational development and community organizing. Anne serves on several boards, including MACH OneHealth, the Ralph K Morris Foundation, and the Madison Public Market Foundation. She also chairs the City of Madison Public Market Development Committee.
Chela Bordas O’Connor is an attorney, real estate investor and activist. She graduated from Madison East High School, UC Berkeley, and UW Madison Law School. Chela has extensive experience in Renewable Energy Public Policy, Nonprofit Administration, and activism. Chela brings passion to all of the work she does.
Fred has called Madison home since 2012 and has worked in healthcare for that whole duration. As a student in Ohio, he worked with the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences to help their continuing education department modernize their course tracking database, which sparked a passion for bringing the power of technology to nontechnical users. His interests include project management and the intersection of medicine, social services, and government / nonprofit programs that we can help coordinate for the benefit of clients and patients.
John Adams is a well-known and successful advocate for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. He utilizes his knowledge of addiction, mental illness, social services, the streets, and poverty to advocate for those displaced by society. John’s commitment to his community is unwavering.