2017 NASW WI Chapter Elections

Your Vote Counts!The 2017 NASW WI Chapter online elections for Statewide and Regional Representative seats on the Board of Directors will end on Monday, June 5th, 2017.

Candidate statements and bios are posted below. They can also be read on the Survey Monkey ballot site.

To vote on-line you will need to enter your NASW membership number and your region letter which were sent to all members via postcard.

To cast your vote in the election go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2017NASWWIELECTION

The deadline for the election is midnight on Monday, June 5th, 2017.
All online votes must be cast by this time and all mailed in ballots must be postmarked by this date.

Paper ballots request deadline: Wednesday, May 24th.

Thank you for helping to make this election cycle a success!


PRESIDENT-ELECT:  Dawn Shelton-Williams or Kristi Wood

Dawn Shelton-Williams is the Quality Specialist at Aurora Family Service, (Aurora Health Care System). She is responsible for coordinating; implementing; and supporting the quality management initiatives and efforts for the agency, including the agency’s accreditation process with the Council on Accreditation. Dawn is also a Mental Health Consultant in the agency’s Milwaukee Mental Health Consultants program. Her professional experience and expertise are in the areas of mental health, health care, and child welfare. Ms. Shelton-Williams is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for the State of Wisconsin and is currently in practice with Sebastian Family Psychology Practice, LLC. Dawn has provided clinical services to children and families for 25+ years. A member of NASW since 1991, she has been on the board since 2008 in various offices. In February 2013, she was awarded the Child and Youth Advocate award at the 28th Annual Black Excellence Awards Program.

We live in a society that constantly changes. The work we do as social workers to fight social injustices and inequalities; while advocating for those seen as having no “Voice” is needed! We must stand on common ground and take a stance to promote justice and social equity in our communities! “Social Workers Stand Up” is a call to action. We must continue to work to help people improve their quality of life through advocacy and practice.

I have served on the NASW Board since 2008(various positions). I bring over 15 years of leadership experience and over 25 years of clinical experience. My top strengths are curiosity; innovation; purpose; teamwork; and faith. If elected, I will use my strengths; community experience; and expertise in diversity and inclusion to help social workers stand up through advocacy to promote community and environmental sustainability for the people we serve while promoting the profession!


I am an Advanced Practice Social Worker with a Masters degree from UW-Madison, with over twenty years of experience in the child welfare field. For the past sixteen years my partner Shannon and I have fostered over forty teen boys, assisting many of them in their transitions to adulthood. We also have an adopted son.

I am a Comprehensive Community Services Facilitator for Columbia County Health and Human Services, a lecturer in the Human Services Associate Degree program at Madison College, and a foster parent trainer for the Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership. My areas of interest include child welfare, youth aging out of Out of Home Care, community organization, homelessness, diversity, human rights, and social justice.

Being an active member of NASW-WI has been an important part of my life for seven years. I have served as South Central Branch Representative, and currently serve as Secretary. I have actively served on the Legislative and Social Policy Committee for over three years. I thoroughly enjoy engaging in advocacy for fellow social workers, our profession, and the people we serve. Nationally, I am honored to serve on the NASW Child Welfare Specialty Practice Section Committee.

I firmly believe that NASW-WI is a vital and essential part of our profession, advocating tirelessly for the people we serve, our profession, our communities, and our world. I have witnessed firsthand how the advocacy efforts of NASW-WI bring positive social change through education and legislative advocacy. I am proud to be a part of such a professional and effective organization. Sharing the accomplishments of NASW-WI through guest lectures and articles, and encouraging social workers and students to be part of the process are very important to me.

A goal that I have for NASW-WI is to assist in growing our membership. I firmly believe that all social workers benefit from NASW in a multitude of ways. I would also like to assist in the expansion of our biennial Advocacy Day to engage more social workers and students in the legislative advocacy process. I particularly enjoy being a mentor for human services and social work students.

Please vote for me for President Elect so that I may continue to serve the members of NASW-WI and the communities of Wisconsin to the best of my ability.



Dr. Cinny Adell is a devout social worker and servant leader in the field of helps. She has attained her doctorate in counseling psychology from Argosy University in Chicago, IL, and masters in clinical social work from Howard University in Washington, DC.

Dr. Cinny serves as an executive member of several organizations. Said position affords her an opportunity to advocate and give voice to diverse communities with a focus of empowerment, allocation of resources, and equal distributive of justice. She has been engaged in the helping profession as a teaching practitioner for several years. Her role as a social worker is inclusive of the following areas: mental health, AODA, children’s case management, child protective services, geriatrics, medical, law enforcement and corrections.

As a change agent, Dr. Cinny understands the growing need for cutting-edge social workers. It is this experiential knowledge that motivates her to desire more involvement in social policy as she pursues re-election for vice president of NASW WI-Chapter. Dr. Cinny is committed to the work of NASW WI-Chapter and look forward to serving as a collective voice for leadership and community.



Jaime currently attends the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh to pursue a MSW. She is currently serving as a MSW Student Representative for the Social Work Department on campus. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Sociology major from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2008 and further attended Fox Valley Technical College to complete AODA related courses. Jaime is a licensed Substance Abuse Counselor (SAC) and is currently employed full-time as an AODA Treatment Specialist with the WI Department of Corrections. She serves as a peer supporter for the Employment Assistance Program and has served on various committees while employed with DOC, including the Employment Management Communication and Collaboration committee and Bureau of Offender Classification and Movement Training Committee. Aside from professional experience, Jaime has volunteered with numerous agencies and organizations including Dodge County Restorative Justice Program, Fond du Lac County Relay for Life, Portage County Coalition on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, and the Marathon County Domestic Violence Intervention Team.

I am interested in serving on as a MSW Student Representative to assist MSW students in having a voice, and advocating for diversity, increased knowledge and support in the field. I welcome and encourage change and forward thinking in my current line of work, as I believe being proactive rather than reactive can be vital. I strive to provide individualized client care, even in a group setting, and aim to help clients further develop their strengths and assist them in reaching their identified goals. I hope to do the same with other students in helping each of us strive for more. I plan to obtain a LCSW licensure and am looking to continue to gain knowledge about the social work field, acknowledging that knowing more is doing better. As a MSW Student Representative I will strive to take action and commit to the mission of the NASW.



My name is Sophia Thoen and I am a sophomore BSW and University Honors student at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Within our social work department, I am active as member of our Student Leadership Team, serve as a Teaching Assistant, and was awarded the Student of Excellence Award for my cohort last semester. Other ways I am involved on campus include being a Resident Assistant in a campus dormitory and research assistant in the social work, psychology, and English departments. I have been able to present my research at our campus exhibition twice, at the WCSWE 2017 Spring Conference, and the National Conference for the American Association of Suicidology in the spring of 2017. I am involved in the community as a previous coach and current member of the Mental Health team of the Eau Claire Clear Vision Poverty Summit and as a volunteer for the Community Connections Team at Marshfield Clinic.

As the BSW representative on the NASW WI Board of Directors, I would want to advocate for BSW students by acknowledging and sharing their needs and experiences in order to prepare future social work professionals who will address the issues present today and tomorrow. I hope to strengthen the bond between social work students and the NASW through their local chapter in Wisconsin because BSW students are the future of the social work profession. Within my own local social work department, I have become aware of different issues specific to Bachelor’s level students that I want to help address as a member of the board, such as growing cohorts but difficulty in finding faculty from diverse experiences at primarily undergraduate universities. I hope to improve BSW students’ experiences through broadening opportunities for education and development by ensuring their needs are addressed and considered within the Board.



Dr. Danielle Geary graduated from Carthage in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in social work. She earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001. Her work experience in public child welfare includes working with Rock County Division of Children and Family Services, the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare and Kenosha County DCFS.

With nine years of direct practice in public child welfare, and five years of adjunct lecturing for Carthage, Dr. Geary joined the Carthage faculty as an assistant professor in 2009. She completed her doctorate in educational policy and leadership studies from Marquette University in 2016. Her research interests include accessibility of higher education for students of color, white privilege and its impact on higher education, women’s leadership in higher education, and transformative leadership. Her interests in social work research include policy, child welfare, and pedagogy in the social work classroom.


Hi I’m Allyson. I’m proud to have recently graduated as a Master of Social Work, achieving both my BSW and MSW from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. I stand out as an MSW because my focus is macro social work in hopes of eventually becoming an elected official. I also hold a Nonprofit Management certificate. My passion for advocacy and policy stem from a genuine belief that every person should have a voice. Through a dynamic education, an ambition to learn, and genuine empathy I have become confident and embodying my life plan as a social worker. My hope is to represent and motivate an increase of professional and community engagement in Southeastern Wisconsin through social work policy research, education, and advocacy.

As an honorable member of the NASW Board of Directors I hope to bring more accessibility and networking to social workers in regards to the macro field. I want to create stronger leadership and awareness to the many hats social workers wear. Through this opportunity I will advocate for more education and inclusive community field placements for students in order to be fully prepared to be a well rounded social worker. There is a gap between direct service and macro social work education and I hope to help close that gap. There is nothing I would love more than to provide social workers support and guidance to take stronger stands toward social and economic justice through advocacy and helping our vulnerable populations find their voice. I am resilient, ambitious, and passionate about my role as a social worker and would love the opportunity to introduce more people into our profession and mission.



I just completed a MSW from UW-Madison and served as the MSW Representative on NASW-WI in 2016-17. While serving as a board representative, I participated on the Legislative Committee, introduced legislative proposals for approval, represented social workers at legislative press conferences, and advocated for the social work profession and social justice issues. I spent the last year interning at Dane County Human Services- Juvenile Justice Division, completing a systems-change program evaluation. My focus area is policy and administration with an emphasis with children, youth, and families. In previous years, I worked to establish a restorative justice youth court in Madison and encouraged the establishment of restorative justice practices in student misconduct at UW-Madison. I returned to college later in life as an adult returning student, bringing a ton of life experience to my education and work. Despite my relative inexperience in social work, I am passionate about the profession.

I believe in putting the issues social workers and their clients are facing first and foremost. There are many Wisconsin policy proposals that could hurt both our profession and those we serve. As the South-Central representative of NASW-WI I will advocate for policies that protect the integrity of our professional standards and ethics as well as those that safeguard the rights of every American. Nonetheless, as your representative, I am primarily concerned with the issues that are meaningful to you. It is my primary duty to serve each and every social worker in the South-Central district, advocating for your concerns with the same passion I would my own. To this end, if I am fortunate enough to be elected as the South-Central Representative you can expect me to be responsive to addressing issues affecting you.



Hello! My name is Marc Seidl and I am running for West Central, North Central and Northeastern Regional Representative. I was born and raised in the Northeast Wisconsin area and attended UW-Green Bay for my BSW with an emphasis in Child Welfare graduating in 2008. I completed my MSW through the Collaborative UW-GB/UW-Oshkosh MSW Program, graduating in 2012. After graduating with my BSW I worked for nearly 5 years with Outagamie County Child Protection in the Initial Assessment Unit. I currently work for Brown County Child Protection as an Initial Assessment Supervisor. During my undergrad program I was active with the University’s Social Work Club serving as Co-President. I currently live in Green Bay and my wife and daughter.

I have been an NASW member since my junior year of my undergraduate education at UW-GB. I have always believed in the importance of NASW and the value of being a member. NASW serves an important function for advocating not only on behalf of our clients regarding legislation which affects them, on our behalf regarding legislative action which impacts our working conditions but also for the Social Work Profession as a whole. I have served previously on the NASW-WI Board as Northeast Wisconsin Representative and as temporary secretary. I have been able to see firsthand the important work that NASW-WI does on behalf of the profession and I hope to be able to serve again.


Nick Smiar is Professor Emeritus of Social Work, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and continues to teach in the University Honors Program. He is currently a County Board Supervisor, Eau Claire County; Vice Chairperson, Human Services Board, Eau Claire County; board member, Bolton Refuge House, Eau Claire; board member, Western Dairyland EOC, Independence; board member, Woodland Enhanced Health Services Commission; and board member, Advisory Board, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse. His MSW is from the Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago, in combined methods and psychiatric social work, and his PhD is from the same school, in social welfare policy. He has worked in program design, implementation, administration, and direct services in residential treatment, day treatment, domestic violence services, therapeutic foster care, youth advocacy, and outpatient clinic. For five years, he was the chairperson of the Social Worker Section of the Marriage and Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work Board at DSPS. Nick frequently does workshops on ethics and boundaries for continuing education of social workers. He also works internationally, in social work and child and youth care work, in Germany and South Africa.

The focus of our professional efforts must be advocacy and political action. We are living in a time of unprecedented, outright meanness directed at the most vulnerable and marginalized persons and groups in our society, and we work in a profession which is constantly devalued by the political establishment. In order to be heard and to be effective, we must act in concert through our professional association and with strong conviction, often speaking on behalf of those who have no voice. We must increase our advocacy efforts even beyond our current high level, making use of evidence-based research and outcomes research to demonstrate the program-effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of social services, to shine the light on policies and proposals which are “penny wise and pound foolish.” Transparency in policy must be our goal. We must pay attention to “the man behind the curtain.”


DenDekker is an Assistant Professor at Silver Lake College (SLC) in Manitowoc. She oversees the SLC Social Work Training Certificate Program, chairs the Diversity Task Force, and serves on the IRB and Assessment Committees. She has also taught at Marquette University and UW-Colleges. DenDekker served three years as AmeriCorps*VISTA, two with Wisconsin Campus Compact, and one with Sheboygan County Health and Human Services Department. Under her coordination, the Southeastern Wisconsin Service Learning Consortium (SEWSLC) won the DPI Award for Collaborative Efforts in Service-Learning and the Governor’s Recognition Award for the Environmental Survival Summer Challenge. She formerly worked as a psychotherapist at The Wholistic Health Center in Sheboygan and now owns her own practice. DenDekker earned a BA in International Studies (2004) and an MSW (2008) from UW-Milwaukee. She recently joined the NASW WI Legislative Social Policy Committee and is a member of Forward Sheboygan, a coalition of progressives in Sheboygan County.

In the current social-political climate, I feel called to work on a higher level. I have been a member of NASW since 2007. It was my aim then, as it will be in this position, to connect with my colleagues in their work as agents of change. I am a collaborator, advocate, and organizer and have fostered connection and understanding on numerous initiatives aimed at creating a more empowered and socially equitable society. I am eager to use my skills at the State level. Social work has been on the frontlines of social change throughout history and we must continue to live out the legacy of our profession. I will reach out to professionals in my region to understand your needs and bring your ideas to the table. Thank you for considering me as your representative and for all that you do to contribute to a healthier society and democracy!


NASW WI Board Elections are conducted every spring. If you are interested in serving on the Board of Directors, please contact Marc Herstand.