Board of Veterans Affairs Biographies

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Curtis Schmitt, Jr. is the Banking Center Manager at Old National Bank and has more than 15 years of experience in finance, business development/branding, and non-profit work. His accomplishments include earning a BA in Finance and Economics from Ashford University, orchestrating over 80 volunteer events and dozens of events supporting veterans and veteran business owners, serving in Afghanistan and Iraq with the Army's 10th Mountain Division, and leading over 300 troops in combat and garrison. In his professional career, Curtis has won multiple awards for business and brand development, startup and tenured business consultation, and for leading over 450 individuals within some of the largest corporations, helping them exceed their growth objectives and develop as strong business professionals.

Curtis holds multiple investment licenses, has a Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma, is an Ambassador for Hire Military, and recently accepted a Mayoral Appointment to the Finance Committee for the City of Franklin. He is also pursuing his MBA in Marketing at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.​

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Bill Schrum, Middleton, retired as a Vice President of UW Health at the end of 2016. Prior to that he worked at Gundersen Health System (La Crosse), Hospital Corporation of America, (International), and St. Anthony Hospital System (Denver). Bill served in the the US Marine Corps from 1968-71 and is a life member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Marine Corps Combat Correspondent Association, and the Disabled American Veterans. He is also a member of the American Legion and the Marine Corps League.  
Kaalele01.jpg Chris Hanson of Sparta is the civilian Protocol Officer and a Public Affairs Specialist at Fort McCoy. Previously, he was the President/CEO of the Greater Tomah Area Chamber of Commerce and the President/CEO of the Veterans Assistance Foundation, Inc. Chris is in his 30th year in the United States Navy Reserve, where he served his first 20 years as a Fleet Marine Force Corpsman, reaching the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer, before receiving his commission as a Public Affairs Officer in 2012. He is a lifetime member of Disabled American Veterans and serves on Senate and Congressional Veterans Advisory Councils and Service Academy Selection Committees.
Tonnetta D. Carter, Milwaukee, represents the 4th Congressional District on the Wisconsin Board of Veterans Affairs. She previously served six years as a Construction Engineer in the Army National Guard, serving one tour in Afghanistan. Tonnetta currently works as the Assistant Director of Development at the Medical College of Wisconsin and is pursuing her MBA with an emphasis in Finance. She is an advocate for and a proud member of the Milwaukee Urban League Young Professionals.
Vern Larson, Oconomowoc, is the Chairman of the Wisconsin Board of Veterans Affairs. Before retiring, Vern had leadership roles at rehabilitation hospitals and senior living communities, where he worked for 36 years. He is a Navy veteran who served with the 1st Marine Air Wing for 28 months and in the Army Reserves for 23 years. He is President of Vietnam Veterans of America, Oconomowoc Chapter, a life member of the VFW and Disabled American Veterans, and a member of the American Legion.

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Mark Mathwig is a retired US Army Colonel and a retired Civil Servant that served with Dane County (Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator), Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (Bureau Director for Cemeteries, Funeral Honors & Homeless Veterans Programs) and the US Department of the Interior, US Geological Survey (Director of Business Operations at the National Wildlife Health Center) he had over 30 years in those various agencies.  He commanded at the battery and battalion level in field artillery units in the US Army and Wisconsin Army National Guard.  He served as J6/Chief Information Officer for the Department of Military Affairs, Wisconsin National Guard at Joint Force Headquarters in Madison Wisconsin.

Mark is currently a Volunteer Driver for Columbia County DAV, a Volunteer Representative of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) for Wisconsin Area 3, First Presbyterian Church of Waunakee Deacon, and Substitute Teacher at Lodi and Waunakee School Districts.  He is a member of the Waunakee American Legion Post and a lifetime member of DAV.

Mark holds a Masters Degree in Management from Cardinal Stritch University, a Masters Certificate in Project Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an undergraduate degree in Industrial Technology from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Mark resides in Lodi (Okee) with his wife Eileen.  He has two grown children one a Chiropractor in Green Bay, WI and the other a soldier in the US Army stationed in the Republic of Korea.

Chris Kolakowski DVA-WEB-196x270.jpgJason Maloney enlisted in the Wisconsin Army National Guard in 1989. Trained on M-60 and M-1 tanks, Maloney served with units in Marinette, Wausau and Madison. He graduated from the Wisconsin Military Academy Officer Candidate School. Maloney served in the U.S. Army Reserve and was attached to Selective Service System units in Milwaukee and North Chicago. As a mobilized reservist Major Maloney served in the J-5 Plans and Policy Directorate at Central Command Headquarters in the U.S. and the Middle East in support of Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and Horn of Africa Operations. A life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, the National Guard Association and the Wisconsin National Guard Association, he is also a member of the American Legion and the Canadian Legion. Maloney was a program manager for the USDA Forest Service serving as Director of the Blackwell Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center in Laona and the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland. He led the restoration of the Forest Lodge historic site on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest near Cable. He serves on the Bayfield County Public Housing Authority and the Duluth Area Military Retiree Council.
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Chris Cornelius, Oneida, currently represents the 8th Congressional District on the Wisconsin Board of Veterans Affairs.  Previously, she served in the United State Army as a light wheeled vehicle mechanic in the 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Casey, South Korea.  Cornelius returned to the states where she attended Air Assault school at Fort Campbell and reached the rank of Sergeant.  Upon leaving active duty, she served in a reserve unit where she became a drill instructor and reached the rank of Staff Sergeant.  Cornelius became a member of VFW and has served in many positions with VFW Post 7784 in Oneida. In 2017, she was elected and appointed as the VFW District 8 Commander for a two-year term.

In 2010, she was appointed by U.S. Congressmen Dr. Steve Kagen to serve as a Congressional Aide to serve all veterans and military for District 8 in his administration.  She was appointed as the Defense and Veterans Affairs Caseworker.  In 2020, Cornelius was appointed National Vice Commander of the National American Indian Veterans (NAIV) association.

She is currently a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American Legion, and the National American Indian Veterans (inc) NAIV, and a member of the Wisconsin Indian Veterans Association.  Presently, she is pursuing my bachelor's degree in communications and graphic design at Saint Norbert College in De Pere, WI.  ​

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Mark Grams served 20 years on active duty in the Marine Corps and retired as a Gunnery Sergeant in 1995. He was employed for 19 years by Dodge County WI as their County Veterans Service Officer. During this period he was elected as president of the WI CVSO association. Grams has a BA degree in political science from UW Whitewater. Mark is a “life" member of the Marine Corps League, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), and AMVETS.​


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