Catherine (Draeger) Pederson, Ph.D.
CEO & Nonprofit Consultant
Relational Leader | Strategic Thinker | Data-Driven | Developer | Strength-Based | Speaker
Catherine (Draeger) Pederson, Ph.D., is a nonprofit entrepreneur with over 17 years of nonprofit experience and specializes in empowering people to make a difference in their community. She lives in Washington Heights, Milwaukee, with her husband and three children
“Deep down, I’m a geek. I like research, data and learning. I can help your nonprofit run smoother, reduce your learning curve, and streamline your processes so that you’re freed up to do the work you love and serve the people you feel called to serve.” ~ Catherine
Catherine (Draeger) Pederson, Ph.D. is the CEO of Loving Venti, LLC. and a Nonprofit Consultant and an Adjunct Lecturer at UW-Milwaukee in the Helen Bader School of Nonprofit Management. She has had experience with various small-to-medium sized nonprofits committed to our community from being the Executive Director of Wisconsin Inmate Education Association, whose mission is to transform our prison system from the inside out by educating inmates to become peer counselors, and the Executive Director of Friedens Community Ministries, the largest food pantry network in Milwaukee. Recipient of numerous awards, including the Ten Outstanding Young America’s (TOYA) award in 2015 from the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees) and the Philanthropic 5 recipient in 2016 from United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County. She earned her PhD in Leadership, Learning, and Service from Cardinal Stritch and a MA in Christian Studies with an emphasis in leadership from Trinity International University. She lives in Washington Heights, Milwaukee, WI.
Meagan Holman O'Reilly, MPP
Senior Director of Operations & Strategy
Ideation | Activation | Connector | Communicator
Meagan Holman O’Reilly is change-agile leader with two decades of experience in the nonprofit and public sectors. She brings her experience in fund and partner development, program management and communications, public affairs, organizational development, strategic planning, quantitative and qualitative research, and volunteer engagement to the Loving Venti consulting practice.
Meagan has a Masters in Public Policy, focusing on Advocacy and Leadership from the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College.
Outside of Loving Venti, Meagan currently serves as the President of the Wauwatosa Common Council and has represented Wauwatosa’s 6th District since 2020. Prior to her service to Wauwatosa, she was elected to the Milwaukee Public Schools board where she served until 2015, and was twice elected as board Vice President.
Meagan began her nonprofit career with two years of AmeriCorps service, sparking a life-long commitment to community building and volunteerism. On a personal level, she is motivated to do all she can so that Milwaukee is the best place to be a kid, regardless of their ZIP code.
Breonna Stone, MS
Director of Research & Strategy
Transformational | Servant Leader | Connector | Educator
Breonna Stone has held several roles within Big Brothers Big Sisters and Hope Schools. Most recently, she was the Interim Principal at HOPE Christian Schools. In addition, she is currently studying for her PhD in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning & Service at Cardinal Stritch University where she also earned a Master of Science in Educational Leadership. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Africology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Breonna’s why: “Nonprofits were an essential part of my journey growing up! They helped mold and shape me into the woman I am today! Nonprofits like the YMCA, Urban Ecology Center, Heart love Place, etc. opened my world up to experiences that I might not have otherwise. I learned to fish, attended camps, rode horses, gained life-long mentors, received post-secondary support that inspired me to go to college, etc. through many of the free services and resources I received at local nonprofits. These experiences allowed me to see myself as a leader in my community deserving of all the beauty that the world had to offer. My own involvement in the nonprofit world inspired me to be a part of the process that makes these same experiences enjoyable and a possibility for other people. I wanted to be a part of why other people are able to experience something far greater than their local communities; that’s what non-profits did for me!”
Katie Morrow, MPA
Director of Fundraising Services
Thorough | Creative | Attentive | Adaptable | Analytical | Sensible | Detail-oriented | Speaker
Katie has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2008 and has experience in Fundraising, Program Development, Special Events, and Prevention, Katie Morrow, MA, is Loving Venti Consulting Practices’ first Director of Fundraising Services. She has a Masters in Public Administration, Certificate in nonprofit Management, Marquette University and a BA in Sociology from UW-Milwaukee.
When asked what inspired her to work with nonprofits, Katie responded: “I like the idea of purpose in my work. A nonprofit was used as a tool to radically change my life in my early twenties and from that moment on, I desired my life and my work to be meaningful and impactful. I wanted to give to others what had been given to me and I found that I was able to do that through working with nonprofits.”
As the newest member of our team, we asked Katie what made her decide to be a part of Loving Venti: “I love the idea of serving the community and helping others by using my skills and abilities to help local nonprofits fulfill their missions. I know what it is like to work for small nonprofits, wearing multiple hats and having multiple roles. I know what it’s like to be the only employee; the grant writer, the program presenter, the marketer, AND the head custodian. It’s hard but it’s driven by a commitment to the mission. I’m so excited to be a part of Loving Venti and to hopefully help take that burden off of small nonprofits. I can think of many times in my career in the nonprofit sector where Loving Venti would have been a useful service!”
Jamie Santana, MA
Mediator | Conflict Coach | Communication Consultant | Educator | Speaker
Jamie Santana is the founder of Peaceworks Mediation and Conflict Management Services, LLC. She resides in the Bluemound Heights neighborhood of Milwaukee, WI with her husband and three children. She is a mission-motivated, people-loving entrepreneur at heart, with a passion for relational health and social impact. Jamie graduated in 2004 with her Master’s in Public Service and Dispute Resolution from Marquette University. She has worked in both the for profit and not for profit sectors and understands the unique pressures of each. She is deeply invested in the work of facilitating healthy communication, as well as building and maintaining strong relationships. In addition to Peaceworks, Jamie is an independent stylist and owner of Jamie Santana Hair, LLC. She is also on the board of Meraki Tent, a local nonprofit.
Conflict is a normal part of every organization and relationship. Whether behind the chair in the salon or mediating disputes, Jamie finds herself coaching people through difficult situations and engaged in one and one relationship development. She is committed to the hard work of walking individuals and teams through challenging conversations. At turn-key points in every organization, inviting a neutral third party to facilitate communication can make the difference between wasting a lot of time, resources and relationships and successfully navigating a potentially negative situation, while turning conflict into an opportunity for growth and understanding.
Some of her services include: Mediation / conflict facilitation, conflict coaching, board meeting facilitation, conflict style training, conflict style assessment / recommendations, and public speaking.
Sophia Torrijos, MS
Strategist | Community-Based | People-Centered | Fundraiser | Innovator | Data-Driven | Advocate | hablo español
Sophia is a small nonprofit enthusiast, positioning her career around the growth and success of grassroots organizations. Working at the crossroads of data-driven decision-making, strategic partnerships, and community-based leadership, Sophia has channeled her skill-set to help organizations launch, problem-solve, and thrive.
In true small nonprofit style, Sophia has gained diverse experience by wearing many hats while keeping her life’s purpose in mind: dignified community building. Whether she’s developing grassroots leadership, organizing community residents, developing programs, attracting new resources, or engaging volunteers, she’s mission driven and uses her talents to create sustainable, positive change.
Outside of Loving Venti, Sophia serves as Executive Director at Friedens Food Pantries where she has taken an active role in developing robust and innovative programming around food access, food waste and sustainability, and community health and wellbeing. At Friedens she introduced a community food center model – best practices that continue to build on Friedens legacy of transcending the limits of traditional food pantries. Sophia further advocates for community food needs as a board member of the Milwaukee Food Council and member of the City of Milwaukee’s COVID-19 Food Response Team.
Previously, Sophia directed the Muskego Way Forward Initiative. Through this initiative, Sophia provided support for resident leadership and community improvement projects within the Muskego Way and Historic Mitchell Street neighborhoods. Bilingual in English and Spanish, she has strong connections to Milwaukee’s Southside and is passionate about the quality-of-life issues affecting families across Milwaukee.
Sophia has previously worked at the Milwaukee Christian Center and the Marquette Center for Community Service. Sophia has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs and History from Marquette University and a Masters in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Sophia was born in Spain, raised in Iowa, but considers Milwaukee her home.
Compassionate | Creative Writer | Detail-Oriented
Heather Rausch is a Fundraising Consultant with Loving Venti and is responsible for researching, writing and submitting grant requests. Heather also has experience with event planning and other nonprofit fundraising opportunities.
Heather currently is employed as a Grant Writer and Development Manager for two Milwaukee nonprofit organizations. Previously, she was the Senior Development Coordinator at the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin (ASSEW) for 3 years. In this role she worked to improve the lives of those affected by autism, by helping the organization grow its grant revenue stream, assisting with planning fundraising events for ASSEW, and assisting community members with hosting fundraising events.
Prior to starting in the nonprofit world in 2017, Heather spent her career in the private sector employed by Kohl’s Corporation, JP Morgan Chase/Bank One, and a private law-firm. At these employers Heather always found a way to volunteer with nonprofit organizations and organize employee volunteer events. Heather served as the Kohl’s Corporate Volunteer Council Chair for 2 years, and Vice-Chair for 1 year, and the Finance Department Volunteer Liaison for 2 years.
Heather holds a BS in Business & Communications from Cornell College. When Heather is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 kids, volunteering her time on various committees and boards at her kids’ schools, serving as a Girl Scout leader, Treasurer of her sons Boy Scout Troop, and cheering her kids on at a sporting event or orchestra and band concert.
Thought Leader | Speaker | Community advocate | Social Media content creator | Amateur Film Maker | Consultant
Bobby Pantuso spent 20 years in management in various for-profit industries before shifting to the non-profit world in 2014. Along the way he served 8 years as an Alderman on the Common Council in Wauwatosa where he lives with his wife and 4 sons.
Bobby likes to think through problems and come up with solutions especially ones that are outside of the box…sometimes WAY outside the box. Specializing in general non-profit operations, government relations, social media content and outreach, fundraising-major gifts and staff/board relations. You will find him easy to get along with and fun to work with once you get past his cycling metaphors.
In addition to working full time for the Sisters and Society of the Divine Savior Bobby currently serves as Board President for the Friends of Hoyt Park and Pool and in the past has served on the boards of the Tosa East Towne Neighborhood Association, The East Tosa Alliance, Friends of Center Street Park (founder) and volunteers his time and talents for several non-profits in the Milwaukee area.
Bobby has a bachelor’s degree in Community Engagement and Education from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee as well as various other relevant certificates.
Brian Cooper, MA
Creative, Adaptive | Strategic Thinker | Learner
Brian Cooper is an adaptive strategic thinker with a MA – Creative Writing from SNHU. Brian enjoys engaging with and communicating an organization’s vision in a way that weaves together narrative and numbers to create a true sense of the impact an organization is creating for the people they walk alongside.