About WMS

Wausau Metro Strong (WMS) began as a grass roots group comprised of community leaders passionate about the mission to create a safe community for all. In the wake of the March 22, 2017 deadly shooting where four people were killed by one man, it left the area feeling vulnerable and unprepared for this type of attack. There was an overwhelming response to come together and do more.

With the support of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin as fiscal agent for the committee and an Executive Team committed to creating positive change around the mission, five pillars were established to help guide WMS’s strategy around community safety: Being Unified, Being Prepared, Being Supported, Being Informed, and Being Educated.


Since WMS was established the group has spearheaded change in legislation resulting in more protection for Guardian ad Litems, worked to update notification systems when there is a threat the community needs to be alerted to, met with leaders in the Hmong community to better understand cultural differences and eliminate racial bias and began establishing tool kits for local businesses around safety.

"There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about." – Margaret J. Wheatley

Our Mission

Wausau Metro Strong (WMS) is committed to building a safe community for all. The pillars of this volunteer group are to unify, prepare, support, inform, and educate those in our community. 


Our Vision

To educate our community about public safety measures available to them.

We Need Your Support Today!

Our Team


Ben Bliven, Wausau Police Department 

Brian Otten, Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce 

Brian Gumness, B. A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation 

Carrie Madson, Eastbay 

Cassandra Ambrosius, WAOW 

Chad Billeb, Marathon County Sheriff’s Department 

Darrell Lentz, Aspirus 

Dave Eckmann, Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce 

Derek Boyd, M3 Insurance 

Ellie Reineck, Incredible Bank 

Brad Gast, Northcentral Technical College 

Jane Graham, Women’s Community 

JoAnn Draeger, Nicolet Bank 

Jeff Hardel, Hardel Consulting 

Jen Niewenhuis Hardel, REI Engineering, Inc. 

Jessica Tlusty, Tlusty Law Firm 

Jeff Sargent, United Way of Marathon County 

Kristine Gilmore, D.C. Everest School District 

Katrina Nelson, REI Engineering, Inc. 

Kurt Schoenrock, Greenheck 

Kalli Yaklyvich, River Valley Bank 

Kyle Mayo, District Attorney’s Office 

Lance Leonhard, Marathon County Administration Office 

Lee Shipway, Peaceful Solutions Counseling 

Mao Khang, Women’s Community 

Mike Martin, Newman Catholic Schools 

Pam Jackson, B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation 

Robin DeVos, Crooks Law Firm 

Robin Hegg, River Valley Bank 

Robert Look, community member 

Sara Guild, Senator Sean Duffy’s Office 

Theresa Wetzsteon, Marathon County District Attorney 

Tony Gonzalez, Director for E.A.G. Interpreters,
Hispanic Outreach

Scott Sann, Turf M.D.’s 






Wausau Metro Strong

Jeff Hardel, WMS Executive Director

Email: info@wausaumetrostrong.org

1800 Desert Drive  |  Wausau, WI 54401


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