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Our Foundation Team

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Mission Statement

CVTC Foundation, Inc., exists to enhance the vision and mission of Chippewa Valley Technical College. This task is accomplished by securing resources that will provide student scholarships, support staff initiatives, invest in technology, and provide for ongoing facility development. CVTC Foundation, Inc., engages volunteers and staff in building a philanthropic culture through cultivating friends and alumni, raising funds, providing student scholarships, and managing resources invested by the Foundation for CVTC.

Meet the Team

Karen Kohler

Vice President of Institutional Advancement & Executive Director of CVTC Foundation
715-833-6277  |

Karen has worked at CVTC for over 30 years. She brings her commitment to the College and its mission to her position as Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of CVTC Foundation, Inc. While Karen’s background is teaching English, she knows that creating opportunities for students and forming relationships with businesses and our communities is the best work she can do for CVTC. Karen has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from UW-Eau Claire and is currently pursuing her EdD in Career and Technical Education at UW-Stout. She lives in Eau Claire with her husband, Paul.

Holly Bembenek

Director of Development
715-831-7299  |

As the major gifts officer for Chippewa Valley Technical College, Holly is a high-energy public relations and fundraising professional who is not afraid to get the job done. Holly has a passion for college and community engagement, as well as workforce development. Prior to becoming the major gifts officer, Holly worked as the alumni relations and annual gifts officer for CVTC Foundation. Holly holds a bachelor of science degree in business from UW-Stout. She currently resides in Menomonie with her two children.

Amanda Kroll

Administrative Assistant | CVTC Foundation & Alumni Association
715-833-6479  |

Amanda is a highly experienced customer service professional with more than five years of experience delighting customers. New to her role as Administrative Assistant for the CVTC Foundation & Alumni Association, she brings an energetic and motivated attitude to the office. Amanda is also a two-time Alum of CVTC, receiving her Technical Diploma in Barber-Cosmetology and her Associates of Applied Science Degree from the Business Management program. Outside of work, Amanda enjoys spending time with her husband and children at their home in Thorp.

Katy Kiley

Development & Alumni Relations Officer
715-852-1361  |

Katy Kiley has been at CVTC for over a decade and is passionate about our students and their CVTC journey. Katy started out as a marketing copywriter and quickly moved into a college specialist role where she helped prospective high school and adult students find their program at CVTC. While she is new to her role as the Annual Gifts and Alumni Relations Officer, she has vast experience making connections in the community. Before coming to CVTC, she worked at the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, connecting with businesses and helping start the Young Professionals of the Chippewa Valley group! When she’s not at CVTC, she enjoys traveling, boating, musical theatre, and spending time with family and friends.

Emily Kovach-Erickson

Development & Grants Officer
715-975-6855  |

Emily is excited to join the Foundation team as a Development & Grants Officer, focusing on the CVTC - River Falls region. After completing certificates in Event & Small Business Marketing at CVTC, she went on to complete a bachelor’s degree in Marketing Communications from UW-River Falls. Before coming to CVTC, Emily worked as the Event & Program Manager for the River Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and served on the CVTC Alumni Association Board. She looks forward to combining her passions for both CVTC and the River Falls community in this position. Outside of work, Emily can be found cuddled up with a good book, visiting family on Lake Superior, or volunteering in her community of Spring Valley.

Dana Haleta

Advancement Service Specialist
715-438-8440  |

Dana has over a decade of experience working in a higher education non-profit environment.  She previously worked as part of the gift processing and operations team at UW-Eau Claire's Foundation and brings her financial knowledge and database skills to CVTC as an Advancement Service Specialist. Dana received her bachelor's degree from UW-Eau Claire and master's degree from the University of Cincinnati. She lives in Eau Claire with her husband and Norwegian Forest cat, Beatrix.

Meet the Foundation Board

The CVTC Foundation is fortunate to have a talented and dedicated board of directors. These individuals, volunteering their time and expertise, have enabled the Foundation to grow financially and programmatically over the past year. Our board members serve on a number of standing committees, as dedicated volunteers. The following committees provide advice, oversight, and time to fulfill the mission of the CVTC Foundation: Annual Gifts, Nominations, Investment/Finance, Major Gifts, and Executive.​


Therese Pershall

BMO Wealth Management, Altoona 
Learn more about Therese.


Tracey Smiskey

Northwestern Bank, Altoona 
Learn more about BJ.

Past President

Gordon Howie

Mayo Clinic Health System, Eau Claire 
Learn more about Gordon.

Kelly Bakken

Altoona Police Department, Altoona 
Learn more about Kelly.

Megan Bollman

Oral Surgery Associates, Altoona 
Learn more about Megan.

Jamey Bowe

River Valley Architects, Eau Claire 
Learn more about Megan.

Chris Fullarton

EO Johnson, Eau Claire 
Learn more about Chris.

Scott Hoffmann

WIN Technology, Eau Claire 
Learn more about Scott.

David Leisses

J.F. Ahern Co., Menomonie 
Learn more about David.

Kevin Renley

Market & Johnson, Eau Claire 
Learn more about Kevin.

Sheri Scheidler

Farrell Equipment & Supply, Eau Claire 
Learn more about Sheri.

Tyler Tomesh

CCF Bank, Eau Claire 
Learn more about Tyler.

Tracey Smiskey

Northwestern Bank, Altoona 
Learn more about Tracey.

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