Executive Director

Kimberly spent 5 years on active duty in the United States Marine from 96-01. In January 2019 she re-enlisted into the Wisconsin National Guard as a Religious Affairs Specialist. 

Prior to that she spent 8 years managing an investment company and left it to pursue her dream of doing more direct impact work in her community.  She is also passionate about encouraging others to step into their greatness.  If you have a dream on your heart go after it.  

Kimberly won Mrs. Wisconsin in March of 2019, and her platform is her veteran community.  She works tirelessly to ensure that veterans get the resources and support they need at every level.  Kimberly believes that just giving someone a hand up in their moment of need can have a positive impact on everyone.  Her vision is to help each state implement better transition programs for service men and women coming out of any branch of service.

Board Members

Jim Erskine

President

Originally from New Jersey, Jim Erskine joined the Navy right out of college.  He spent 13 years as a Naval Aviator, flying everything from the S-3 Viking to the F-14 Tomcat.  Jim has completed multiple cruises on board the USS Carl Vinson, and played an important role in the mine sweeping efforts in the Persian Gulf during Operation Ernest Will.

Jim moved to Rosendale, Wisconsin in 2012 and is currently a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5278, the American Legion Post 75 and the Legion Riders. 

Jim is very passionate about helping his fellow veterans and looks forward to growing Salute the Troops into a preeminent veteran’s resource organization in Wisconsin and beyond.

Vicky Melius

Vice President

Originally from Texas, Vicky joined the US Navy right out of high school and served as a machinist at the Naval Submarine Support Facility in New London Ct. She has been a resident of Fond du Lac for 23 years and with Salute the Troops since its founding in April 2012. She has served as a co-race director and General Board Member  and now serves as Vice President. As a US Navy veteran and a military brat, she knows the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families in service to our nation.

Katie Kahlhamer

Secretary

Katie is a native to North Fond du Lac and enjoys volunteering to help many local non-profits.  Both of Katie's grandfathers were veterans and her father in law is a purple heart recipient, so it was only natural that she would join the Salute the Troops family.

Katie is married to Matt Kahlhamer and they are proud parents of two fur babies Hadley and Ellie.  She is currently a beautician and receptionist and she occasionally bartends at Joe's Fox Hut.

Katie also proudly accepted the 2016 Volunteer of the Year award from the Downtown Fond du Lac partnership.

Ed Wenzel

Board Member

Ed Wenzel served in the United States Army as an Infantryman for 4 years and the Wisconsin Army National Guard for an additional 17 years as a Military Police Officer. He retired a Sergeant First Class in 2010 with deployments to Panama, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, and two deployments to Baghdad, Iraq. Ed Wenzel has been a member of the Fond du Lac Police Department for 20 years and is a Lieutenant of Patrol there. In addition to serving as a board member for Salute the Troops, Ed serves the board of the FDL County Historical Society and is Boy Scout Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 701. His most meaningful experience is with the Police Department Honor Guard. Ed enjoys hunting, fishing, and bicycling -- and recently blacksmithing.

Kristine Kiesow

Co-Race Director

Kristine Kiesow is the Senior Human Resources Coordinator at Fives - Giddings and Lewis in Fond du Lac.Kris began her career with Giddings and Lewis on May 18, 1981. Kris and her husband Dan reside in Brandon, WI and have two children (Nathan and Lindsay) and one grandchild (Isaac).  Kris has been a part of Salute the Troops from the beginning and has gladly taken on the challenge of planning and coordinating events in conjunction with the run to ensure an amazing day for all participants.Kris enjoys spending time with her family, boating and singing Karaoke in her spare time.

Lisa Dobagai

Advisory Member

For the past five years with the help of many volunteers, the Dobogai family has organized the Captain Derek Dobogai Memorial Run/Walk as a tribute to their son who was lost in 2007 in the War on Terror in Iraq. The Dobogais formed the event in honor of their son’s memory who ran cross country in high school and college and competed in many running and triathlon events including Ironman Wisconsin and the Honolulu marathon. The funds raised from the memorial run are donated to the Winnebago Lutheran Academy track fund, Wounded Warrior Project, and now Salute the Troops.

Richard Feustel

Board Member

Richard is a retired Lieutenant Commander having served 16 years in the US Navy as a nuclear submarine officer and 7 years in the Marine Corps. He currently serves as the Director of the Salute the Troops' Warrior House, Adjutant for the Fond du Lac Marine Corps League, member of the Fond du Lac Navy Club and District Boy Scout Leader. He initiated, developed, and led the energy departments for Mercury Marine and for Briggs & Stratton. He was recognized as the 2011 International Energy Manager of the Year and the 2013 Renewable Energy Innovator for the Midwest by the Association of Energy Engineers. He now works as a Senior Energy Advisor for Leidos Engineering supporting Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program.

Darrel Cappetta

Board Member

Darrel is a Gulf War Navy Veteran, having served two overseas tours on the USS Niagara Falls (AFS-3) and the USS White Plains (AFS-4). Darrel was formerly a Disabled Veteran's Outreach Program Specialist at the Fond du Lac Job Center, where he was able to provide help and hope to veterans seeking employment. For the past two years, Darrel has been the Veterans in Piping (VIP) Coordinator for the State of Wisconsin, where he continues to provide help to veterans seeking training and jobs in a rewarding, demanding career in the Wisconsin pipe trade.

Katie Cappetta

Board Member

Katie has always been the person with the big heart who will help you in a heartbeat. She is very proud of her father who she says is a man of honor, integrity, loyalty and would bend over backwards to help you. He is a Veteran of The United States Navy. Growing up she learned the military morals from him and his siblings. From learning those morals she wants to join the Police Force and strive to become a Criminal Analyst. 

Katie started volunteering by helping out homeless shelters, went to hospice centers and visited homes strictly for veterans.

She is also in a relationship with someone who is in the Army. He is currently deployed in Afghanistan. 

Being on a board member for Salute the Troops is undeniably the best dream a person could have. 

Tracy Qualmann

Board Member

Tracy Qualmann is a life-long resident of Fond du Lac. Mom to two grown boys, she enjoys spending time with them, traveling, cooking, and employs the attitude of “try anything once (at least)”. Tracy's background includes marketing, communications, teaching, mentoring, and non-profit board development. Although not a veteran herself, Tracy works to better the veteran community through relationship building, advocacy, and awareness.

Salute the Troops
54 E. 1st Street
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
920-322-3291
info@salutethetroopswi.org

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