Jon Zander has been involved in the agricultural community for many years. First, as an agent for UW-extension, and now as an employee at Compeer Financial. His faith and family are important to him and he has been involved with Puentes for many years because he thinks it is important to welcome everybody to our community with open arms.
Nora Lindstrom grew up on a dairy farm in rural Buffalo County and farms with her brothers on that same land. She feels that getting the opportunity to go to Mexico to learn about her employees’ families and lives has been life-changing for her. She loves being a farmer and believes strongly in the mission of Puentes.
Roger Kukowski was a dairy farmer in Polk County for 40 years. He went on his first Puentes Trip in 2006 to meet the families of his employees and said it changed his life so he went back the following year. Since then, he has been involved in Puentes. Roger has been passionate about helping his employees live their fullest lives and has been a mentor to many young people from Mexico that have worked on farms in his area.
Wilda Nilsestuen has spend more than twenty years in nonprofit leadership, development, and management. She directed a complex statewide study of the status and future needs of farming and rural life in Wisconsin that lead to a comprehensive report with recommendations, and also a start-up program for training doctors for rural practice. Immigration is one of many social justice issues where she has invested considerable volunteer time and leadership. Wilda enjoys being a part of moving Puentes’ mission forward.
Stan Linder has been a dairy farmer in Pepin County Wisconsin since 1976. He went on his first Puentes Trip in 2004 and has become our fearless chauffeur. He has formed deep connections with the families of his employees and former employees and loves the people, culture, and food in the mountains of Zongolica in Veracruz, Mexico.
Mercedes Falk gravitated towards rural life when she started working on a farm on the weekends during her teaching career. She enjoys learning about all forms of agriculture and has a deep appreciation for the diversity that makes up our world. Since 2017, she has worked as an interpreter on various dairy farms in our area and has led groups on Puentes trips to Mexico. She has loved seeing the transformation that takes place when individuals take the time to see life from some else’s perspective and begin to understand one another on a deeper level.
Lisa Schiller is an associate professor and family nurse practitioner at the college of nursing and Health Sciences at UW-Eau Claire. She has been involved with Puentes since 2011 when she collaborated with Shaun Duvall to initiate a UW-Partners in Health Project. Every semester, she leads a group of nursing students that perform health check-ups at dairy farms in Buffalo and Pepin counties. She is passionate about getting health care services to everyone in our community and loves seeing nursing students broaden their minds through their participation in the Partners in Health Program.
Lori Miller was the director of the Women, Infants, and Children program in Buffalo and Pepin counties for fourteen years and now is a retired Dietitian. During this time, she made strong connections with dairy farm workers and helped increase cultural understanding in the counties. In addition to going on a Puentes trip several years ago, she gave presentations in her workplace about the experience. She is thrilled to be a part of the Puentes board.