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
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.
To educate our community about public safety measures available to them.
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,
Scott Sann, Turf M.D.’s