Advisory Council

Dr. Porsha Childs

Program Manager & Education Advisor

Dr. Childs currently lives in Madagascar where she works with a number of international organizations on development projects. Having taught abroad, in "high risk" areas, with adjudicated youth, and adult learners she has had the opportunity to work with a diverse group of students and is passionate about continuing to improve education outcomes for students from underserved and underrepresented communities.

 

Porsha holds a PhD from the University of Maryland (International Education Policy), Master’s degrees from Columbia University Teacher’s College (Applied Linguistics) and Mercy College (Urban Education) and a BA from Spelman College

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Daryl Smith

Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer

Daryl Smith serves as  Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for KETTLER.  With 20 years of multifamily marketing experience, Daryl brings a wealth of knowledge and strategic leadership to KETTLER’s marketing department.  He specializes in digital media, marketing operations as well as brand strategy.

 

Prior to joining KETTLER, Daryl served as the National Director of Marketing for Pinnacle, where he was responsible for marketing operations for over 175,000 units in markets nationwide.  He also spent several years at Trammel Crow, Riverstone Residential, Greystar and Bonaventure, overseeing strategic marketing operations for both corporate and property marketing operations. 

 

Daryl is known for his innovative next-generation marketing strategies. He received a masters’ degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin before moving to Washington, D.C., where he now lives. Prior to entering the multifamily market, Daryl worked in Public Television for 10 years in broadcast operations and station relations for Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in Alexandria, Va., WETA-TV, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin Public Television, Madison, Wis.

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Opal Tomashevska

Director, Multicultural Business Strategy

Opal Tomashevska, Director, of Multicultural Business Strategy for Cuna Mutual Group, located in Madison, WI. Opal joined CUNA Mutual Financial Group in 2014. She brings more than 18 years of professional experience in training, optimization, organizational development and business leadership in roles at SITEL, Dean Health, Forward Community Investments and American Family Insurance. 

 

Her current role as Director of Multicultural Business Strategy is dedicated to advancing the efforts of the Multicultural Center of Expertise, which includes gaining a deeper understanding of underserved consumers and communities to identify business opportunities, develop action plans, and execute those plans to help more people reach financial security and generate substantial business growth.


Opal is also a published poet and spoken word artist. Her themes touch on all subjects from her own life and from the lives she has been blessed to observe. Her most touched on topic is social injustice of any form. The realities of American racial discrimination and the detriment of poverty world-wide are often explored and explained in ways that have double and triple meanings in her poems. In 2019 she released a full-length studio spoken word album titled, “My Name is Opal”.


Opal currently holds a board position as the Director of Communications for the African American Credit Union Coalition’s Midwest chapter, and in 2020 she was named as one of Wisconsin’s 51 most influential Black Leaders by Madison365 Media.


Opal received her bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and her Master of Science in Organizational Development from Edgewood College.

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Erika Etlen

Principal & CEO

Erika Eitlen is Principal & CEO of Emerje.  She is known for always finding new ways to blur the line between strategy, creative and seamless execution. With more than 15 years of experience, she’s been a part of the B2B marketing landscape since the early days. Prior to her role at Emerje, Erika managed the marketing acquisition and retention efforts at E*TRADE Corporate Services and ran the marketing, communications, and public relations for the technology division of Bloomberg Industry Group. Erika has a B.A. in English from Muhlenberg College and a M.S. in Strategic Communications from Fordham University.

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Jessi Evans Kendall

Registered Nurse

Jessi Evans Kendall is a recognized nurse and a passionate advocate for whole life health and quality of care.  By night she serves Oncology, Hematology and Palliative care patients for UW Health at University of Wisconsin-Madison Hospital in downtown Madison, Wisconsin.  By day she works to support equity in health and health care in various roles including at the UW-Madison School of Nursing with dementia researcher Andrea Gilmore-Bykovskyi's Brain Health Equity Initiative and as co-chair of UW Health’s Black and African American Employee Resource Group.  Jessi also serves as a Health Ambassador for the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, as one of UW Health’s Diversity and Cultural Congruence Resource Nurses and is an active member of UW-Madison School of Nursing's Badger Nurse Network.  She loves working with new and future nurses and is known as a cheerleader for those creating for-us-by-us solutions for the communities who need them most.

Jessi’s years at the bedside have shown her that the connection between stress and health is undeniable.  Bathing in stress day in and day out means that our lives are shorter and that we are sicker.  We have the power to live longer and live better, and caring for self is the first step toward ensuring our futures and our legacies.  We deserve the peace that comes along with breaking generational cycles and becoming financially well!  It’s our time!

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Valeah Foy

Deputy Director of Local Government Services Bureau

Valeah Foy is the Deputy Administrator of the State and Local Finance Division at the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. She specializes in state and local government funding, overseeing the administration of the State’s shared revenue programs and supporting its property assessment/taxation system. Valeah provides training to local government officials statewide.

 

She has a Master’s in Business Administration specializing in finance and international management, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

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