The Aaron J. Meyer Foundation, Inc. was established in 2005 to provide housing options and activity opportunities for college students in substance use recovery in Madison, WI. . Today the Foundation inspires people to use their talents and ideas to make Madison a “community of choice” for college students who want to better themselves and get an education while living a recovery life.
Aaron’s House and Grace House are peer support recovery homes spearheaded by the Aaron Meyer Foundation in collaboration with the abundant community resources including education, employment, and recovery support.
Board of Directors
Susan Pierce Jacobsen
Susan Pierce Jacobsen is the owner of SPJ Advisors; providing strategy in the world of philanthropy. She is also a director of the Pierce Family Foundation.
Her prior positions included Community Investment Manager at American Family Insurance. In addition to her work with the Aaron Meyer Foundation, Susan sits on the advisory board of the American Family Children's Hospital, is active within the local JDRF chapter and is a past president of the Friends of UW Hospital and Clinics board of directors; her focus within these groups being fundraising and marketing.
She is proud to serve as the president of the Aaron J. Meyer Foundation board and is working toward the day when we have a collegiate substance use recovery community in Madison.
Melissa LeGrand is a Relocation Specialist and top producing Realtor at Restaino & Associates in Madison. She is an active member of the Middleton Chamber of Commerce.
Melissa is proud to serve as Vice President of the Aaron Meyer Foundation because she believes Collegiate Recovery Housing is necessary and possible in Madison. Melissa was business partners with Tom and Cathy Meyer when they lost Aaron. She feels passionately about keeping Aaron’s dream alive and changing the conversation about addiction. Recovery is prideful not shameful.
Michael Lawrence is Vice President, Business Banking at Park Bank, Madison WI. Michael has been in the banking and finance field for over 25 years. Since 2010, he has managed a portfolio of over $220,000,000 in loans and investments and continues to grow Park Bank with business clients and personal relationship banking.Previously, Michael worked for State Bank of Cross Plains, Loan Performance in San Francisco, GE Capital in Raleigh, NC and Freddie Mac in Vienna, VA.
Active in the Madison Community, Lawrence is currently on the Board of Directors for Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund and is past President of the Waunakee Area Chamber of Commerce and member of the Town of Middleton Planning Commission.
Carla J Nowka is the business development manager for Preferred Title and its affiliate offices. She has been extremely involved in real estate industry related organizations and is currently serving on the board of directors for the Realtors Association of South Central Wisconsin.
Carla strongly believes in giving back to the community, and currently volunteers at the local community clothes closet and children’s ministry program at church.
Having met Tom Meyer shortly after Aaron’s death, she has been a supporter of Aaron’s House since it opened in 2007. Joining the board of the Aaron J. Meyer Foundation is truly an honor, as well as a tremendous opportunity to help educate the collegiate community that living sober can be fun and enjoyable.
Renae is a Senior Marketing Consultant for UW Health, where she has worked for more than 15 years.
Honored and proud to be a member of the Aaron J. Meyer Foundation board, Renae is excited about the development of a larger collegiate recovery community in Madison. As a DeForest resident, Renae has focused much of her community service there. She has served on the Norway Grove Memorial Lutheran Church Council, chaired and assisted with Norski Soccer Club tournaments, coordinated efforts to bring The Malaria Project to the Madison area and is a member of the American Heart Association’s Circle of Red.
Timothy Kritter served actively on the Aaron J. Meyer Foundation board from 2005 – 2008 and rejoined the board in 2015.
Tim founded TJK Design Build in 1992 and has successfully worked in the Greater Madison Area design and construction business for over 25 years. He serves on the Park Bank Board of Directors, served on the Madison Children’s Museum Board of Directors and is in the Ambassador's Circle of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He is a member Downtown Madison, Inc. and the Madison Chamber of Commerce.
As a personal friend of the Meyer family, he takes pride in keeping Aaron’s dream alive.
Patrick is a Sales Manager at U.S. Cellular where he helps his sales team develop and drives sales results while building lasting relationships with customers and small to medium businesses in the local community. Patrick has worked at U.S. Cellular since 2009.
Patrick is Aaron's younger brother and the son of Tom and Cathy Meyer. He is living a compassion filled life. Patrick finds the work he does with the Aaron J Meyer Foundation to be rewarding and joined the board so that he can continue to give his talents to help families restore the hopes and dreams he once experienced. Patrick envisions a day where students can select a college, in part, based on the school's collegiate recovery community options the same as they can select a college based on their music, art and athletic programs.
Board Member Emeritusanthony@aaronshousemadison.org
Anthony (AJ) Ernst, Ph.D., LMSW-ACP brings more than 25 years of experience as a clinician, adjunct faculty, senior analyst, and administrator. Dr. Ernst provides local, state, and national leadership in the field of substance use and mental health. He has led targeted clinical training and technical assistance initiatives; strategic planning, implementation, and evaluation projects; curricula development; and evidence-based practice development and implementation.
Dr. Ernst serves as the Director of Residential Services for Aaron’s House. He resides in Middleton with his wife and daughters.
Board Member Emerituscathy@aaronmeyerfoundation.org
Mom of Aaron who served actively on the AJM board from 2009-2014, has transitioned into the role of Emeritus Board member.
Cathy helped bring Aaron’s vision to life and looks forward to staying connected through special events.
Board Member Emeritus
The basic structure of Aaron’s House was an idea by Aaron for his own recovery: live with peers in recovery, hold a job, enroll in college courses, work a recovery program, and give back to the community.
Tom has been the inspiration behind the development and growth of Aaron’s House; actively sharing the story of Aaron’s House through his public speaking engagements. In addition, he is a collaborator in the area of Collegiate Recovery working toward a Collegiate Substance Use Recovery Community in Madison by the fall of 2017.