Fox Valley Memory Project (FVMP) has selected Mike Rohrkaste of Neenah as its new full-time executive director, effective July 1. In his new role, Rohrkaste will oversee various FVMP programs that help people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia live positively and stay engaged with their communities.
These programs include:
- Nine monthly Memory Cafés in seven locations across the Fox Valley
- Purple Angel Dementia Awareness program to train local businesses how to best serve people with memory loss
- The On a Positive Note chorus for people having dementia and care partners
- Meet-ups at restaurants and cultural events as well as quarterly all-day bus trips
- Memory Loss Resource Center which offers TLC Support Groups, books, videos, and individual consultation
- Mindworks, a program offering cognitive and social stimulation for people with early memory loss
- REACH In-home Caregiver Support Program in partnership with MOSAIC Family Health
- Memory Assessment Center at MOSAIC Family Health
A familiar name to many across the Fox Valley, Rohrkaste is in his third term as representative of Wisconsin’s 55th Assembly District. He will continue to serve out his term in the Assembly, which runs through December of 2020.
Rohrkaste’s community service includes his current board membership on the Respite Care Association of Wisconsin, and previous board service with Samaritan Counseling Center and the Fox Cities YMCA.
Rohrkaste brings a unique set of leadership skills and background to the organization, which is based at the Goodwill Community Center in Menasha. With an undergraduate degree in social studies and a Master of Science in labor and industrial relations from Michigan State University, he has more than thirty years of experience in human resources management with Miller Brewing, Unisys Corporation, Menasha Corporation and Oshkosh Corporation, from which he retired in 2014.
First elected to the Assembly in 2015, he was Chair of the Speaker’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia, as well as Vice Chair of the Assembly Committee on Health during his first term. He worked on multiple bipartisan healthcare-related bills, including the 10-bill Alzheimer’s and Dementia package that passed the State Assembly. He currently serves on the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee and is a member of the steering team for the State Dementia Strategic Plan for 2019-24.
“Over the last four years, I learned about the tremendous value of family support systems, the need to reduce the stigma that can be associated with dementia, and how educating local organizations can create a more welcoming experience for persons with dementia,” says Rohrkaste.
“It’s an honor to be selected as the new leader for the Fox Valley Memory Project. It’s a passionate organization dedicated to creating dementia-friendly communities, and I look forward to working with the Memory Project Board, our program coordinator Brianna Jenkins, the many volunteers and, most importantly, the community members we serve.”
About Fox Valley Memory Project:
Fox Valley Memory Project is a grassroots effort in northeastern Wisconsin to help people with memory loss and their care partners live well through compassion, understanding, education, assessment, engagement, support, acceptance, inclusion, and joy. Based at the Goodwill Community Center in Menasha, the organization received its independent 501(c)(3) status in 2018. FVMP is on the web at www.foxvalleymemoryproject.org