Leadership Team

James C. Rahn


James C. Rahn became president of The Kern Family Foundation in February 2008. In this role, he provides direction for the expansion and establishment of programs that support the Foundation mission to equip the rising generation of Americans to become tomorrow's leaders and innovators. He joined the Foundation in 2007 as the Education Reform program director.
Rahn’s diverse career has a common thread throughout: education entrepreneurship. He got his start teaching and serving as a principal in several Lutheran schools. In 1997, he moved to Milwaukee to serve as regional coordinator for the Wisconsin Lutheran High School conference.

In 1998, Rahn began to engage in the expanding school choice environment. He co-founded HOPE Christian Schools, Inc., which now operates five schools in Milwaukee. He accepted a professor position at Wisconsin Lutheran College, where he founded the WLC Center for Urban Teaching in 2001.

A few years later, Rahn co-founded Educational Enterprises, Inc., which strives to provide students with world-class learning opportunities. EEI operates HOPE Christian Schools, EAGLE College Prep Schools, and Compass Educational Programs.
He serves on the boards of the Acton Institute, the Charter School Growth Fund, Great Hearts America, Project Lead The Way, and several other organizations.

B.S., Dr. Martin Luther College, New Ulm, MN
M.A., Concordia University, River Forest, IL

Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty - Director
American Enterprise Institute - National Council Member
Charter School Growth Fund, Inc. - Director
Compass Educational Partners, Inc. - Co-founder & Director
EAGLE South Mountain Charter, Inc - Director
EAGLE South Mountain Property, Inc. - Director
Educational Enterprises, Inc. - Director
Educational Enterprises Real Estate Holding Co., LLC - Director
Great Hearts America - Director
HOPE Christian Schools, Inc. - Co-founder & Director
Milwaukee School of Engineering - Regent 
Project Lead the Way - Director

Past Affiliations
Alliance for Choices in Education - Director
Center for Humanities, Art, and Religion in Society - Director
School Choice Demonstration Project - Senior Research Associate
Urban School Leadership Consortium - Member of Collaborative Council
WELS Forward with Lutheran Schools - Lead Consultant
WELS Parish Assistant - Associate Consultant


Michael Senske

Chief Financial Officer

Michael Senske joined The Kern Family Foundation in October 2005. He began his career in public accounting with an emphasis in tax but including auditing as well, over the years expanding into other areas including estate planning, financial management, investment analysis and other services for high-net-worth individuals. These services included establishing and managing private foundations for clients and managing various charitable gifting programs. This eventually led to a role with the Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as Controller where he managed the day-to-day operations of the finance department. As CFO, he is responsible for the overall strategy, structure, and management of the financial, human resources, and office management affairs, ensuring that fiscal responsibility and integrity of financial and human resources programs are fully maintained and in support of established goals. This includes management of the asset allocation and investment processes, consultant and investment manager relationships, and administrative duties. It also includes the management of the day-to-day financial reporting, internal accounting, taxes, budgets, payroll, and benefit programs in accordance with Foundation policies, goals, and objectives.

B.S. in Accountancy, Marquette University
Certified Public Accountant


Tammy Hammell

Director of Operations

The Director of Operations (DO) works with the President to make sure the Foundation's programs and administration run smoothly. The DO develops and monitors systems, tools, and procedures to enhance operational effectiveness and efficiency. The DO is responsible for ongoing staff development and training. The DO also provides leadership for the assessment and evaluation of the Foundation's effectiveness and impact.

B.S., Human Services, Upper Iowa University

Professional Experience
Knowledge Universe, Regional Vice President


Kyle Bode

Director of Strategy & Program Development

The Director of Strategy & Program Development (DSPD) works with the President to develop the medium and long-range strategy for the Foundation. The DSPD works with Foundation staff to discover natural points of collaboration between and among the Foundation's programs and grantee/partner networks. Finally, the DSPD leads special projects as assigned by the President; these projects typically focus on exploratory ventures and new frontiers.

B.A. in American History and English, Wisconsin Lutheran College
M.A. in Modern American History, Marquette University

Professional Experience
Research Assistant, Marquette University, 2007-2008


Program Staff

K12 Education Program 

Ryan S. Olson

Program Director and Team Leader

Dr. Ryan Olson joined The Kern Family Foundation in June 2008 as program director and team leader for the K12 Education Program. In this role, he works closely with other senior staff in program planning, development, and strategy implementation to advance the Foundation's mission in education reform. His work involves identifying and vetting new investment opportunities, analyzing the strategy of current and potential grantee organizations, evaluating performance, and working closely with executives to connect their operations with the Foundation's values and donor intent. Olson was director of Education Policy for three years at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Mich., and developed a passion for education reform while teaching first-year undergraduates. He earned a doctorate in classical languages and literature from the University of Oxford, and is the author of current and forthcoming works in ancient history, classics, and education published by Oxford University Press, Harvard University Press, and Brill. He is a Fellow in Late Antiquity at the Center for Hellenic Studies at Harvard University.

D.Phil., Classical Languages and Literature, University of Oxford
M.St., Oriental Studies, University of Oxford
M.A., Theology, Durham University
Diploma in Christian Studies, Regent College
B.A., Theology, North Park University

Harvard University, Center for Hellenic Studies - Fellow


Tammy Hammell

Program Director

Tammy Hammell joined The Kern Family Foundation in January 2014 as program director for the K12 Education Program. In her role, Hammell supports program planning, development, implementation, assessment, and evaluation strategies dedicated to restoring character development and technical aptitude to the nation’s education institutions. Hammell works with a team of innovative partners to foster the development of collaborative networks of grantees and other, allied organizations. 

Prior to joining the Foundation, Hammell worked as the regional vice president for Knowledge Universe, a leading global education organization that provides a network of more than 3,700 locations worldwide. Her passion for providing quality experiences in childhood education is distinct, and led to the achievement of 86 percent national accreditation in her region. During her tenure in the early education field, Hammell was a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. She has also been a member of the Waukesha County Technical College childcare advisory committee for the past 15 years, and served on Gov. Doyle’s Quality Counts for Kids task force. 

B.S., Human Services, Upper Iowa University

Professional Experience
Knowledge Universe, Regional Vice President


Rose Grider

Program Associate

Rose Grider joined The Kern Family Foundation in June 2014 as the program assistant to the K12 Education Program. Grider’s responsibilities range from administrative tasks to overseeing the grant management process for the program.

Grider enjoys all aspects of journalism, and values the skills she developed through a number of diverse educational experiences. As part of her degree program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, she worked at a magazine in Brussels, Belgium, an advertising agency in Milwaukee, and a renewable energy organization in Missouri. Most recently, Grider taught at the elementary level in Milwaukee as a Teach For America corps member. 

Grider is thrilled to continue her dedication to education as part of the K12 Education Program team. She currently resides in Bay View, Wis.

B.A., University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Mo.
M.A., Alverno College, Milwaukee, Wis.

Professional Experience
Corps Member, Teach For America, 2012-2014
Communication and Outreach Coordinator, Renew Missouri, 2011-2012
Account Planner and New Business Strategist, Laughlin Constable, 2011
Marketing Manager and Editorial Contributor, Together Magazine, 2011


Amy Dozer

Program Assistant

Amy Dozer joined The Kern Family Foundation in October 2014 as program assistant to the K12 Education Program. Dozer’s responsibilities range from administrative tasks to supporting the grant management process for the program.

Dozer attended the University of Kentucky, where she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in art. She resides in her home town of Brookfield, where she previously gained experience in a multitude of marketing and communications-based endeavors. She has a passion for working with youth, reflecting her family’s dedication to raising foster children, and she has participated in two mission trips to Belize.

B.A., University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky. 

Professional Experience
Photographer for Lifetouch, Inc
Game Day Event and Marketing Assistant for the Milwaukee Admirals



Faith, Work, and Economics

Kyle Bode

Program Director and Team Leader

Kyle Bode is program director and team leader for the Faith, Work, and Economics Program. Bode works with other senior staff to plan, develop, and implement grant strategies that strengthen the understanding of the intersection of faith, work, and economics, and how it applies to the work of pastors and the life of the church. He joined the Foundation in 2008, and served as a program associate and program director of Theological Education Initiatives.

B.A. in American History and English, Wisconsin Lutheran College
M.A. in Modern American History, Marquette University

Professional Experience
Research Assistant, Marquette University, 2007-2008


Greg Forster

Program Director

Greg Forster is a program director for the Faith, Work, and Economics Program. He directs the Oikonomia Network, a national learning community of evangelical seminaries committed to equipping pastors with a theological understanding of faith, work, and economics, and how they relate to the pastoral calling. In addition to his duties at the Foundation, he is the editor of Hang Together, a group blog on religion, politics, and national identity; a senior fellow at the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice; the author of six books and numerous articles in both academic and popular publications; and a regular contributor to The Gospel Coalition, First Thoughts, and Jay P. Greene's Blog. His writing covers theology, economics, political philosophy, and education policy. He received a doctorate with distinction in political philosophy from Yale University.

Ph.D. with Distinction in Political Science, Yale University, 2002
M.A. in Political Science, Yale University, 2002
B.A. summa cum laude in Political and Social Thought in Rhetoric and Communications Studies, University of Virginia, 1995

Professional Experience
Director of Research, Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, 2005-2008
Senior Research Associate, Manhattan Institute, 2002-2005

Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice - Senior Fellow

John Rawls and Christian Social Engagement (ed. with Anthony Bradley), Lexington, 2014
The Pastor’s Guide to Fruitful Work and Economic Wisdom (ed. with Drew Cleveland), Made to Flourish, 2014
Joy for the World, Crossway Books, 2014
The Joy of Calvinism, Crossway Books, 2012
Freedom and School Choice in American Education (ed. with C. Bradley Thompson), Palgrave Macmillan, 2011
Starting with Locke, Continuum Press, 2011
The Contested Public Square: The Crisis of Christianity and Politics, InterVarsity Press, 2008
Education Myths (with Jay P. Greene and Marcus A. Winters), Rowman & Littlefield, 2005
John Locke's Politics of Moral Consensus, Cambridge University Press, 2005


Fred Oaks

Program Director

Fred Oaks came to The Kern Family Foundation in May 2005. He directs a division of the Faith, Work, and Economics Program called Made to Flourish, which is dedicated to growing the numbers and influence of pastors and churches actively integrating faith, work, and economics for ministry that produces human flourishing. By God's grace, Kern Pastors are becoming in increasing measure pastors who are spiritually whole, relationally healthy, pastorally prepared, and culturally engaged. The network is related to the Kern Scholars Initiative through which the Foundation provides grants to eight evangelical seminaries in support of scholarships awarded to Master of Divinity students called to pastor or plant U.S. congregations. Oaks advises on all aspects of the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Foundation’s initiatives related to pastoral ministry.

Bachelor of Arts, Augustana College Rock Island, Ill.
Master of Divinity, Northern Baptist Theological Seminary

Professional Experience
Pastor serving congregations in rural, urban, and suburban contexts as associate pastor, solo pastor, and lead pastor of multiple staff, 1981-2005
Consultant with the Indianapolis Center for Congregations, 1998-2005
Author of several articles on pastoral leadership published in Congregations, Leadership Journal, and Upper Room Disciplines
Author of Welcome, Pastor!: Building a Productive Pastor-Congregation Partnership in 40 Days (FaithWalk Publishing, 2005)

Green Lake Conference Center - Director
Christians for Biblical Equality - Member
Religious Research Association - Member
Society for the Scientific Study of Religion - Member
Society of Biblical Literature - Member


Ben Stafford

Program Associate

Ben Stafford joined The Kern Family Foundation in 2014. He supports the Faith, Work, and Economics team as they grow and strengthen initiatives that equip pastors to integrate these critical elements into their ministries.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Stafford served for three years as the director of short-term ministries at Training Leaders International. He was director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education from 2008-2011.

B.A., in Economics, Hillsdale College


Elisabeth Mackett

Program Associate

Elisabeth Mackett joined The Kern Family Foundation in August 2014 as the program assistant to the Faith, Work, and Economics program. Her responsibilities include administrative tasks, event planning, and assisting with the grant management process.

Mackett is married to John and has been a pastor’s wife for 27 years in the Milwaukee area. She has two grown sons.

B.A., University of Colorado – Boulder

Professional Experience
IT (system software, help desk. programmer/designer), GE Healthcare
Office administrator, DBA and IT support, Special Children Adoption Agency
Substitute teacher and preschool teacher, various schools.



Steve Hasbrook

Program Director and Team Leader

Steve Hasbrook joined The Kern Family Foundation in September 2013. He serves as a program director and team leader of the KEEN Program, bringing extensive senior management experience in non-profit and for-profit organizations. Prior to working at the Foundation, Hasbrook developed expertise in strategy development, program implementation, and team building at the Brady Corporation, a $1.3 billion global manufacturer based in Milwaukee, Wis. Hasbrook held a variety of management positions in a number of different functional areas including operations, sales, marketing, communications, IT, and HR over the course of his career. His most recent position, director of sustainability, included responsibility for the Brady Corporation Foundation's global giving and volunteering programs, in addition to the company’s environmental stewardship. In 2001, Hasbrook and his wife, Kristin, created the Porcupine Foundation in memory of their son, Shane, who died unexpectedly in 1998. To date, the family has granted over $500,000 for children’s causes.

Hasbrook was instrumental in Brady receiving Virchow Krause’s inaugural eBusiness Manufacturer of the Year Award (2000), and has received both the YMCA Key Leader Award (2001) and the Brady Corp. Presidents Value Award (2000, 2005, 2006, 2011).

BBA, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Executive MBA, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Professional Experience
The Porcupine Foundation, Inc. – President
Brady Corporation – Director of Sustainability; eBusiness; eCommerce; Foundation Board Member

Board Member, Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council
MAPI Sustainability Council
International Society of Sustainability Professionals
Green Business Executive Network
Board Member, Donors Forum of Wisconsin
Board Member, I Have a Dream Foundation - Milwaukee


Doug Melton

Program Director

Dr. Douglas Melton is passionate about developing a future for engineering education that fosters an entrepreneurial mindset in students. In his current role as the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) program director for The Kern Family Foundation, he has an opportunity to work with universities that share that vision. He enjoys interaction with faculty and students and the challenge of relating technical topics in a live and relevant manner and served as a faculty member for seventeen years within the department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Kettering University in Flint, Mich. At Kettering, he served as the program director for Entrepreneurship Across the University. Prior to his roles as a faculty member, Melton worked as the director of research and development at Digisonix Incorporated. His team created adaptive, multi-channel system identification, signal processing and control strategies. The active sound and vibration control products and projects he managed ranged from DSP development tools to production DSP systems for OEM products. The work combined business, technical, educational aspects and contributed to his current work in engineering education. Melton joined The Kern Family Foundation in 2012 as program director for KEEN. The program is aimed at developing future generations of entrepreneurially minded engineers by investing in educational initiatives and programs at select institutions of higher learning.

Ph. D., University of Wisconsin-Madison in Electrical Engineering
M.S., Ohio State University in Electrical Engineering
B.S.E.E., Wichita State University

Professional Experience
Director of Research and Development, Digisonix Inc.


Karen Wilken

Program Director

Karen Wilken joined The Kern Family Foundation in September 2002 as the first program staff member. Working with the Kern family, Wilken was responsible for the development of strategic initiatives, and was involved in the selection of the initial Kern Scholars and the establishment of the Kern Scholars retreat as a key networking event. At the same time, she originated grants to engineering colleges that eventually catalyzed both the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network and the partnership with Project Lead the Way. Beginning in 2004, Wilken focused on the PLTW partnership in order to build a leadership and school implementation network in a four-state region. The network has grown to more than 520 middle and high schools with aligned university, agency, and community partners. Wilken now focuses on streamlining processes within KEEN, growing the strength and influence of the Network, and building effective models to scale its impact. 

Prior to joining The Kern Family Foundation, Wilken enjoyed a long career in fundraising for organizations in both Texas and Wisconsin, including the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Medical College of Wisconsin and the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee. She was honored in 2008 as a "Woman of Influence" by the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Bachelor of Arts, Economics and Business Management, Ripon College, Ripon, Wis.
Master of Business Administration, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
Master of Arts, Non-Profit Management, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

Donor's Forum of Wisconsin - Board Member
American Society of Engineering Education - Member


Alayna Greenfield

Program Assistant

Alayna Greenfield started at the Foundation in June 2014 as a communications fellow and transitioned into the role as the KEEN program assistant in October 2014. Her responsibilities include administrative tasks and assisting with the grant management process.

Greenfield attended Wisconsin Lutheran College, where she received a bachelor’s degree in communicative arts – an interdisciplinary major of communication and business.

B.A. in Communicative Arts, Wisconsin Lutheran College



Michael Jahr

Director of Communications

Michael Jahr joined The Kern Family Foundation as the director of communications in August 2012. In this role, Jahr crafts and implements targeted communications strategies, oversees the creation and dissemination of content, and manages social media and digital communications. He works closely with program staff, grantees, and partners to effectively communicate the guiding principles, vision, and ongoing work of the Foundation's initiatives.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Jahr served as vice president for Communications at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Mich. From 1995 to 2005 he served as the communications director and press secretary for a U.S. congressman in Washington, D.C.

Jahr has worked for a variety of media outlets, including National Geographic, The Ann Arbor News, and Compass Newswire. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, The Detroit News, and numerous other outlets.

B.S. in Journalism, Eastern Michigan University


Jean-Marc Le Doux

Creative Director

Jean-Marc Le Doux lives to present good ideas well.

As an award-winning independent filmmaker, he brings to the Foundation a desire not only to simply communicate good ideas, but to effectively and artistically weave stories that captivate hearts and minds. To that end, it is his desire to tell the Foundation’s stories well, and to share its great ideas with the rising generation of Americans.

Le Doux works closely with the communications director and program directors to effectively develop and tailor the Foundation’s creative content to a variety of audiences. Prior to joining the team in February 2014, Le Doux worked with various clients and brands as a freelance writer, producer, and director.

B.A. in Business, concentration in Film and Media, The University of New Hampshire


Michael Johnson

Communications Associate

Michael Johnson joined the Kern Family Foundation as a communications associate in December of 2014. In his role, Johnson works to create and cultivate digitally diverse communities to further the Foundation’s mission.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Johnson served as the director of new media for Herman Cain’s presidential campaign. He also worked with Cain after the campaign to create a successful web presence, worked as a political consultant for national and statewide races across the country, and consulted a variety of online start-ups and causes.

B.A. in Communications, Concordia University Wisconsin



Kimberly Ruehl

Executive Assistant

Kimberly Ruehl joined The Kern Family Foundation in December 2014 as an executive assistant. Kimberly's role is to provide administrative support to president and CFO and to the Kern Family Foundation staff.

Associate Degree in Accounting, University of Texas, Austin,TX
Bachelor of Science with a Major in Nursing, Everest College, City of industry, CA


Clement Mariaselvanayagam

Grants and Network Administrator

Clement Mariaselvanayagam joined The Kern Family Foundation in July 2010. He handles all grant and network administration.

BSc in Applied Physics, York University, Toronto, Ontario

Professional Experience
Network Administrator, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, 2006-2010
Systems Analyst, Compuware Corporation, 1999-2006


Samantha Herrington



Support Staff

John Klinko

John Klinko believes every day is an adventure, and brings this philosophy to everything he touches at The Kern Family Foundation.

Klinko worked over 23 years at Generac and The Kern Family Foundation, so there are few things he doesn’t know about. In his leisure time, he enjoys hunting, farming, fixing cars and motorcycles, fishing, and he recently bought a flock of sheep.

He previously worked at General Electric for 10 years, and cut his teeth at Wehr Steel at age 17. He has been married for over 30 years, is the father of two sons, and grandfather to three grandsons.

Mechanical Engineering, MSOE

Military Service
United States Navy, 1974-1977

Jill Eggebrecht

Stone Manor Manager

Jill Eggebrecht joined The Kern Family Foundation in 2007, and has served as the manager of Stone Manor since early 2015. Prior to joining the Foundation, Jill worked in a variety of jobs, including as a manager for Brooks Fashion, in a dental office, and as a volunteer at her children’s school.

She is passionate about exercise, spending time with her two adult daughters, and husband of 28 years. Unlike her colleague Jen Becker, she prefers gardening flowers to vegetables.

Jen Becker

Stone Manner Chef

Jen Becker believes that communication is better served through food than with words.

Before joining The Kern Family Foundation in November 2014, Becker spent 16 years at Inspirio Youth Ministries, where she worked as a cook. An avid P90X fan, she enjoys spending time with her husband and dog, as well as gardening vegetables from her property.

Julie Fracaro

When she was young, Fracaro thought she would travel the world, but only made it as far as Chicago

A Waukesha native, Fracaro joined The Kern Family Foundation in early 2015 after working at the Kuenzi Family Pet Hospital for 17 years. Aside from her work at the foundation, she fills her time volunteering at her son’s school and shuttling him between baseball and basketball games.

When she isn’t assisting at Stone Manor, she enjoys spending time with her husband, son, family, friends, and her book club, which she has been a part of for over 10 years. She also loves the feel of the sun on her face as she swims, hikes, bikes, and walks her dog Canyon.