Board of Directors
Ron Grieger - Founder & President
Ron was born and raised in Milwaukee WI. Ron is Ojibway from Bad River WI, and is an enrolled Oneida member from Green Bay WI. He grew up in the native community his whole life, learning and understanding our native ways. As time has gone by, he noticed we are losing touch with our native culture, forgetting who we are, and how we live as native people. Ron continues to learn because he wants to help our native families that are in need, empower our youth, embrace our voices, and most importantly, stay focused on our elders. He feels if we continue living our lives this way, we are going to lose everything about ourselves as native people.
Ron and his wife, “Winona Grieger” started Strong Native Minds. On July 4, 2021, SNM made its first appearance in the native community. We continue to work to improve, support, and help our native community.
Winona Grieger - Co-Founder & Vice President
Winona Grieger was born and raised in the Milwaukee area. She is an enrolled Oneida member from Green Bay, WI.
Winona is very focused and driven to work with the community.
Her experience includes 6yrs as being an Insurance Navigator, Community Health worker, and Notary Public.
She is one of the founders of SNM along with Ron, together they took his thoughts and ideas and made STRONG NATIVE MINDS THE NEXT CHAPTER a reality.
Winona will continue to help and make a difference in any way she can to help the community.
STAND TALL BE LOUD BE PROUD!
Maang Gauthier - Founding Member & Secretary
Maang was born in Vancouver, WA, she was raised in Milwaukee, WI. Maang is a citizen of her tribal nation Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. Her own healing journey allowed her to discover her unwavering passion to help others heal. Maang is a masters-level psychotherapist whose primary focus is trauma; individual, complicated, collective, historical, and generational. In addition, as a person who is neuro-divergent, she feels compelled to treat children with learning disabilities and AD/HD.
Maang has a special interest in the link between Indigenous culture, identity, empowerment, and healing. She is dedicated to learning and practicing traditional Native ways of being for her own continuation of healing and so that she can pass it down to future generations. From its near inception, Maang was drawn to strong native minds, and believed in their mission; to connect Natives with essential resources and strengthen our communities for future generations. She joined as a volunteer to learn and serve and is honored to have been charged with the roles of secretary and a founding member.
Maang is married, she has 4 beautiful, batty, talented children, a granddaughter, and a German Shepard. Maang has a large, extended family who she enjoys spending time with. She feels at home anywhere the waters of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior touch. Her hobbies include reading, creative writing, being on or in the water, exploring in the woods, baking, and growing plants.
Nanimarie Oliver - Treasurer
NaniMarie Oliver has been passionate about working in the mental health field, Focused on communities rooted in people of color with a focus on crisis stabilization. She has five years of experience and has an undeniable passion for helping people in need! From protesting within the community to fighting for fair housing and at-risk youth!
NaniMarie will answer the call for help.
Carol Wenzel - Board Member
Carol Wenzel is from the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin – Turtle Clan.
She works for the Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center for the past 8 yrs. as a Community Health Worker, Mammogram coordinator, referral specialist for Mammograms, Breast Health Educator, Medical Assistant, Medical Receptionist, covid 19 support, Notary Public and Support float.
She is also currently a Strong Native board member & volunteer, Pink Shawl Initiative executive Board member- secretary & Volunteer. She has an Associate degree in medical assisting and is also a certified Nicotine Treatment specialist for Nicotine addiction and interventionist for Native Communities.
She is in the process of obtaining certification to be an aroma-Therapist.
In her spare time, she makes facial, body, and foot scrubs as well as soaps and candles. She has a dog Named Diggerbones who lives up to his name, and whom she loves.
Maryann Galicia - Board Member
Maryann has lived in Milwaukee since 2005. Worked for Aurora Health Care for 17 years in the Credentialing Department, Covid Clinic, and Pain Management Clinic. She decided to quit her job and adventure into something different and started her small business in baking and selling from home. Maryann holds an Associate's Degree in Police Science.
She has been an Activist for the Community since 2006 and even though out her life, has volunteered and is affiliated with several community organizations and boards since 2006.
Maryann was drawn to SNM by their name and had an inner calling to want to know more and be able to learn and fulfill her indigenous side.
Maryann has always wanted to improve, help and support her community.
Trina Cynova - Board Member
Boozhoo Ogimaa giizhigookwe Nindizhinikaaz. Miigiizi nindodem. Waabaabigonikaag nindoonjibaa. Mino akii nindaa noongom.
Hello. My name is ogimaa giizhigookwe (Queen of the sky). Eagle is my clan. White Earth is where I come from. Place of the good earth (Milwaukee) is where I live. I am also French, German and Russian Mongolian.
Trina was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI and is White Earth Ojibwe from Minnesota. She's lived several places throughout the US including Florida, Indiana and Texas. She grew up in Milwaukee’s close native community and has watched the tight knit circle diminish over time. As her children and now grandchildren have come along, she's recognized the need for the regeneration of the community of days past and realizes its time OUR GENERATION work to bring it back for all urban natives. Because if not US, then WHO?
Trina has 25 years of experience in the Human Relations/Accounting field earning her Associates Degree in 1998 at Madison Area Technical College.
Trina spends her "down time" with her family, watching her grandson grow, beading, sewing and crafting, planning her fantastic yet not finished oasis backyard, watching Wisconsin sports, working part time for the Brewers selling 50/50 raffle tickets (look for her at most home games) and traveling with her sister to the beaches of the Dominican Republic.
Norman Shawanokasic - Board Member
Norman Shawanokasic is from the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. Mr. Shawanokasic's background includes tribal and county social services,
Working with American Indians with disabilities, volunteering for combat Veterans, volunteering for toys for tots in Native Communities, and donating to local food pantries.
Mr. Shawanokasic is a graduate of NWTC in Green Bay WI where he earned his degree in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Arts Degree from NAES College out of Chicago Ill in Native American Community Studies, and San Diego State University where he earned his Master of Science Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling.
Norman;'s current work position is the Director of Retention for the College of the Menominee Nation in Keshena WI. Assisting Students on the Menominee campus as well as the Green Bay campus.
Mr. Shawanokasic is a United States Department of the Interior appointee and currently Chairs the Bureau of Indian Affairs Advisory Committee for Native American Students in BIA funded schools.
It is an honor and pleasure to continue working in the native American Communities assisting families and individuals who require services and community resources
Christopher Stenner - Board Member
Christopher’s mission in life is to Love First and strive to make each day the Best Day Ever. A drive to share love and help others is what led to his time with Strong Native Minds.
Christopher holds an Associate’s Degree in Business, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Information Systems, and a Master’s Degree in Information and Communication Technologies. Professionally, Christopher has experience that includes work in corporate operations, technical support, website creation, social media, project management, policy and procedure management, data privacy, and leadership. Christopher is a proven leader, problem solver, and project manager who looks forward to helping SNM accomplish their goals of supporting their community.
As much as possible Christopher spends his free time strengthening his relationships with those that matter most to him – his family and friends.
Ryne Cooper - Board Member
There is one phrase that sums up Ryne, and that is "On-Purpose".
Ryne has founded and grown multiple businesses with the same successful strategy each and every time, and a different approach. Ryne is a trusted adviser to his clients by helping them also stay "On-Purpose" to achieve and surpass their goals by implementing technologies to help address complex issues.
Ryne has 15+ years of experience in managing businesses, sales, leadership, and providing technology solutions. Ryne has worked with several Fortune 500 companies to help them achieve their goals and can quickly understand what makes any business, government agency, or non-profit tick so he can connect them with the technology that will give them a competitive advantage.
Ryne stays "on-purpose" in his personal life by spending time with his wife, four kids, and their German Shepard. While also working to support the Indigenous communities that his family is a part of.