Board of Directors

Diane Odeen—Chair

Diane Odeen decided to get involved in politics in February 2011. She was part of the Emerge Wisconsin Class of 2012, and since that time has run for both assembly and senate seats. She is currently serving her third term as Alderperson At Large on the River Falls Common Council. For her day job, Diane is a lawyer whose specialty is employment law.

Analiese Eicher—Vice Chair

Analiese Eicher is the Vice Chair of the Emerge Wisconsin Board of Directors. She is the Program Director at One Wisconsin Now. Analiese also serves as Supervisor for District 3 on the Dane County Board and as a member of the City of Sun Prairie Plan Commission. She also coaches girls soccer with the Sun Prairie Soccer Club.

Karen Campbell—Secretary/Treasurer

After teaching school for 10 years, Karen gained political experience filling several staff positions in state, congressional, and citywide political campaigns, ultimately working as a legislative aide to a Seattle City Councilmember. Following her political work, she entered the nonprofit field, where she served in managerial/executive positions for 20 years. In addition, she has worked as a consultant
providing fundraising, board development, strategic planning, and governance training and technical assistance to small nonprofit organizations.
During the past several years Karen has been an active community volunteer, associated with organizations such as Planned Parenthood serving on both the national and Wisconsin boards, Wild Space Dance Company, Wisconsin Community Fund (now part of Forward Community Investments). She is a founding member of Women’s Choice (now Women Lead) an organization promoting pro-choice Democratic women for state-wide political office and continues to serve as Chair of Woodland Pattern Literary Center, an organization.
Ms. Campbell was honored with Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s “Volunteer of the Year” award in 2008, and in 2009 received the “Margaret Miller Award” from Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, the highest honor bestowed on a volunteer in that organization.

Carmen Cabrera

With over twenty five years’ experience working in the Latino community, Carmen C. Cabrera considers working for social justice and equal opportunity for all her true passion and duty. Her involvement in the community began at an early age during the early years of the civil rights movement in Milwaukee and, as a result, she has gained insight into the political and social structures affecting disenfranchised communities.

Her extensive experience in the nonprofit sector has provided her opportunities to work with varied constituencies and in numerous capacities. One of her most rewarding experiences has been enhancing capacity in voter/civic engagement participation in the Latino community.

Out of these efforts, progressive Latina(o) candidates have been elected making Milwaukee the only county in Wisconsin having Latino elected officials at the city, county and state level. In addition to her job and community involvement, she is a community caregiver for feral cats through the WI Humane Society. She shares her home with her son and their four cats and also maintains a colony of three adopted feral cats. She’s currently employed at Centro Hispano MKE, the oldest Latino serving social service provider in Milwaukee.

Tara Johnson

Following a 15 year career in the United Way system, Tara ran for the La Crosse County Board for the first time in 2000. By an 18 vote margin she unseated a 12 year incumbent in that race and she’s been reelected to represent the Town of Shelby on the County Board every two years since. In 2011 she was elected by her colleagues on the board to serve as Chair, a position she has held each term since. After an unsuccessful run for the State Senate in 2008, she was selected to be part of the Emerge Wisconsin Class of 2010 and has recruited and encouraged many other La Crosse area women to apply since becoming an alum. Tara is especially proud to be part of the large cadre of progressive female elected officials in La Crosse County that includes a State Senator, a State Representative many County Board Supervisors, city council and school board members who gather on the First Friday of every month to raise a glass and celebrate their shared commitment to improving our state and their willingness to represent. Tara and her husband, Tim Padesky live in the Town of Shelby where she has done her most important work of all—raising their son, Nicholas and daughter, Layna and teaching them the importance of voting!

Melissa Sargent

Representative Melissa Sargent was first elected in November 2012, and is currently serving in her third term in the Wisconsin State Legislature. She represents the 48th Assembly District, which encompasses the east and north sides of the city of Madison and the village of Maple Bluff. Representative Sargent serves on the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, the Joint Committee on Information Policy and Technology, and the Assembly Committees on Energy and Utilities, Mental Health, and Small Business Development, respectively. A lifelong Madison resident, Representative Sargent lives with her husband and four sons on the Northside.

Heather Ullsvik-Loomans

Knowing that elections matter, representation matters, and our future matters, over the past 15 years Heather has dedicated her career to raising awareness, funds and events for candidates and non-profits doing important work, especially around child welfare, social and criminal justice. As a consultant with Ullsvik & Associates, or as direct staff, Heather fills Advance Event/Strategic Planning, Communications, Fundraising, and Management roles at local, state and national levels. A few highlights include:  

From 2008-2013 Heather worked on both Obama Campaigns, 2012 DNC Convention and traveled periodically as an Advance Assoc. for the Administration. This included production of events featuring President or First Lady Obama, Vice President or Dr. Biden, throughout the US.

2016 Heather was part of a small team who helped Emerge Alumna, LaTonya Johnson win for State Senate, where she now focuses to eliminate inequities for Wisconsin’s most vulnerable children.

2018 Heather helped produce Healing Trauma, Healthy Communities Conference, and its Community Gathering on Race event, part of an effort to create more effective collaboration to heal Milwaukee.

Heather lives in Shorewood (MKE) with her husband, young son and baby daughter. Along with serving as a trainer and Board Member for Emerge, Heather is active with Plymouth Church UCC, Milwaukee Forum, Matilda Ward Youth Empowerment Assoc., Milw Dems, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.