Who We Are


In 2004, several families came together to form an organization that would be devoted to providing opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities as they transitioned into adulthood. Our volunteer effort resulted in the formation of BRIDGE For Youth & Adults with Disabilities, now known as BRIDGE For Community Life. Today BRIDGE serves over 300 individuals yearly and continues to operate with a holistic approach to life: that a balance of life skills development, continued learning, recreation, and leisure leads to healthy minds and bodies. Our clients live in St. Croix & Pierce counties in Wisconsin and Washington County in Minnesota. We offer programs and services year-round and have recruited and developed a first-rate staff of dedicated, hard-working, and full-hearted individuals who befriend and care for our clients everyday. Our focus remains creating opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities in a highly integrated setting.



Peg Gagnon

Executive Director

Peg is the managing director of BRIDGE For Community Life. She is responsible for the overall operation and performance of the organization and, along with ten other parents and friends of youth with disabilities, co-founded BRIDGE in 2004. Outside of BRIDGE, Peg enjoys spending time with family and friends, boating, traveling, and reading.


Jesse Stickler

Program Director

Since 2008, Jesse has been responsible for the operational systems, processes, and policies for BRIDGE adult programs. Jesse brings extensive work experience in supporting individuals with disabilities in their homes and the community both in western Wisconsin and the metro area. Jesse enjoys hiking, kayaking, camping, cooking and spending time with family and friends.


Ginny Ballantine

Administrative and Marketing Director

Ginny was a founding board member in 2004 and has continued to provide administrative, membership, volunteer, marketing, and fundraising support to BRIDGE. In addition, she has developed and implemented the innovative BRIDGE Campus Life program on the UW-River Falls campus. Ginny lives for mountain views, river trips, and braving the cold to snowshoe.


Linda Redding

Program and Transportation Support

Linda was a BRIDGE board member and an Early Childhood T.A. for the Hudson School District before starting at BRIDGE in 2010. She has spend years developing curriculum for BRIDGE Day Programs, coordinating extracurricular opportunities, and preparing bus routes and schedules. Linda is a passionate Wisconsin Badgers fan who loves travel and time with family.


Kristin Beckman

HR & Program Supervisor

Kristin joined BRIDGE as a program assistant in 2012 and soon after became a Program Supervisor. Kristin also serves as BRIDGE’s staffing coordinator and CPR/First Aid Instructor, and she provides assistance in all things technical around the office. Kristin played piano for 8 years and enjoys taking her Lab-Australian Cattle Dog mix, Lacy, on hikes.


Dan Sammon

Building & Fleet Coordinator

Dan worked for the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and the Chicago Transit Authority before retiring in 2015. He currently serves as Building & Fleet Coordinator, making sure our building and vehicles are always maintained and running in tip-top shape. Dan enjoys golfing and gardening in his free time.


Ellie Ballantine

Communications & Volunteer Coordinator

Initially a volunteer with BRIDGE, Ellie became Campus Life Coordinator in 2015 and now also serves as Communications & Volunteer Coordinator. She brings campus experiences to BRIDGE clients, connects the community to volunteer opportunities at BRIDGE, and coordinates all things media and marketing. Hiking, baking, and traveling overseas are some of her favorite things.


Geena Troester

Program Supervisor

Geena started at BRIDGE in November 2015, after learning about us at Walk On Therapeutic Riding in River Falls. She originally served as one of BRIDGE’s Lead Program Assistants and now serves as a Program Supervisor, committed to making sure the clients get the most out of their days. She loves camping, fishing, and playing with her dog Nala, not to mention shopping at Target.


Glenda Moen

Lead Program Assistant

Glenda has had a long-time connection with BRIDGE. As an Education Assistant at Hudson High School, she was familiar with BRIDGE programs, but got a wild hair and pursued becoming a pastry chef. In 2016, she was looking for a more fulfilling role and became a Program Assistant, now serving as the Lead Program Assistant for River Falls clients. Glenda loves spending time with her granddaughters and volunteering in the community.


Jenny Ackatz

Senior Employment Specialist

Jenny brings her passion for serving people with disabilities to her role as Senior Employment Specialist at BRIDGE. She has over 30 years of experience as an educator to individuals with disabilities and holds a close connection to Special Olympics through her son’s participation. Jenny enjoys reading, biking, gardening, and spending time with family.


Cheri Weiss

Financial Specialist

With extensive banking experience, Cheri has been BRIDGE’s financial specialist since 2013. She works closely with Peg on the Board of Director’s monthly reporting and assists with the preparation of the annual budget. When she’s not crunching numbers, Cheri keeps busy with house projects, antique shopping, travel, and her pets, Sasha, Phoenix, and Ellie Mae. 

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