About Us

Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha is a 501(c)(3) youth serving organization.  Founded in 1973 by the YWCA, Big Sisters of Neenah-Menasha emerged because mentoring opportunities did not exist for girls.  It was not until the early 80's that our organization began to serve boys.  In August of 1984, after much consideration, we changed our name to Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha and opened up our program to both boys and girls!

As a partner agency of United Way Fox Cities and with strong support from the community we are here today, proudly serving the children and families of the Neenah-Menasha area.


JaimeJaime Kriewaldt, Executive Director

Jaime Kriewaldt joined Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha in August 2017.  She has a Bachelor's of Science in Human Services Degree from University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, completed the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Advanced Leadership Trainings at the Executive, Management, and Youth Development levels, and a graduate of the 2013-2014 Leadership Fox Cities program. Jaime's professional experience includes, working at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley as Director of Youth Development Services and the Out-of-School Time Partnership and has also spent time with several other organizations, including the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and AmeriCorps.  Highlights in her career include, receiving the Professional of the Year award, Kids First award, Community Partnership award, Service to Youth award, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Midwest Region Tom Burt Pacesetter Award for motivating, guiding and supporting the professional and personal development of other professionals.

Jaime currently lives in Greenville with her husband Scott and daughters, Lauryn and Kennedy. In her spare time, she enjoys camping with her family, watching college basketball, traveling, and listening to live music.

My dream is that all young people will have a mentor-someone to go to no matter what-every young person deserves it!

SamSamantha Bratz, Special Events Coordinator

If life has taught me anything, it is that I better understand how important it is to be in a career that I am passionate about. My previous experience working in the customer service field has made me aware of how much I truly enjoy working with people and helping those in the surrounding community. 

Currently as a Special Events Coordinator, I am able to use my excellent organizational and communication skills to help tame the chaos that is part of working in any office and planning events. I enjoy the everyday challenges that my position offers and the ability to help the organization itself run smoother and more efficiently. 

I graduated from Fox Valley Technical College in May of 2016 with an Associate's Degree as an Administrative Professional. I love learning about new technology and resources that I can utilize to help make me a more effective Special Events Coordinator. I believe that a person's learning should never end and we can always strive to better ourselves both professionally and personally through education.

My family and I currently live in the Chilton area and enjoy spending time outdoors fishing, snowshoeing, and exploring new places and events in the area. Our four-year-old keeps my husband and I on our toes, with another daughter joining us in May!

MaiaMaia VanGroll, Program Service Coordinator

Maia Van Groll is a Program Service Coordinator at Best Friends of Neenah Menasha.  Maia joined the Best Friends team in 2009 after completing her Human Service Degree from UW-Oshkosh. Maia's main focus is coordinating and facilitating the Best Friends After School mentoring programs in the Neenah and Menasha School districts. In addition, Maia enjoys keeping up to date with her Community Based matches and coordinating activities for the kids on the Waiting list. Maia's favorite part of her job is supporting and encouraging the youth she works with.

Outside of work, you can find Maia spending time with family and friends, zentangling, reading or walking the dog!

PattiPatti Houlihan, Program Services Coordinator

I have been at Best Friends of NM for over 23 years. I started my mentoring career right out of high school with a camper from Camp Onaway. I never knew Best Friends existed back then and it would have been a help to me to have someone guide me through our friendship. We are still friends today. I have seen firsthand the affects a mentor can have on a child. Throughout these years I have seen so many great friendships develop.  I have been a volunteer for over 38 years both at the Boys and Girls Brigade and coaching at a local parochial school. I enjoy spending time with my 18 nieces & nephews and 16 great nieces & nephews. I have a Bachelor degree in Human Services and a Minor in Recreation.

LisaLisa Thiede, Family Services Coordinator

Lisa Thiede is the Family Service Coordinator at Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha located in Neenah, Wisconsin.  Lisa joined Best Friends in 1996 after working in an AODA group home for adolescent males and in treatment foster care.  She holds a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Master's Degree in Education specializing in Community Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.  In addition, she is licensed as an Advanced Practice Social Worker in the State of Wisconsin as well as a National Certified Counselor.

Lisa lives in Sherwood with her husband and two kids.  In her spare time you will most likely find her camping with her family and friends.  She also loves to travel, read, and as she states, "unfortunately for my family, dance as if no one is watching".

JanetJanet Schlueter, Accountant

Janet Schlueter is the Accountant at Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha. Janet started at Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha in 2012. She has a Bachelor degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire.

Janet lives in Hortonville with her husband, Steve and three daughters. She enjoys spending time with her family which includes showing horses and camping.

Johnna VanDeurzen, Marketing and Grants Coordinator

"Mentors are super heroes.  The impact they have is deep and long-lasting."

After a long career in retail real estate, Johnna has a chance to follow her passion and is inspired by the mission of Best Friends.  Her background in marketing and non-profit/business partnership is serving the organization well, as she works with partner companies, the media, sponsors and funders to advance mentoring in our community.

Johnna and her husband are adjusting to their empty nest and like to travel. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds a BA in Journalism.

Mission Statement

To help young people thrive through the power of mentoring friendships and supportive family networks.

Board of Directors

John Werner, President

Grant Thornton

Tiffany Carter, Vice-Preident

Miller Electric

Nathan Bilodeau, Treasurer

Associated Bank

Brian Rhodes, Secretary

Oshkosh Corporation

Phil Jankowski

Fond du Lac Credit Union

Jeff Williams

Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Mike Schmidt

Northrop Grumman Corporation

2016 Best Friends at a Glance

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