Who We Are

OUR HISTORY

In 2004, several families came together to form an organization that would be devoted to providing opportunities for youth with disabilities as they transitioned into adulthood. Our volunteer effort resulted in the formation of BRIDGE for Hudson Youth, Inc., now known as BRIDGE For Community Life, Inc. We are served by a robust volunteer base of community members, high school and university students. Our BRIDGE clients live in St. Croix, Pierce and Polk counties in Wisconsin and Washington County in Minnesota. We offer programs and services year round and have recruited and developed a first rate staff to work with our clients. Our focus remains creating opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities in lifelong learning, leisure and work opportunities.

OUR STAFF

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Peg Gagnon

Executive Director
peg@bridgecl.org

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.

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Jesse Beckstrom

Program Director
jesse@bridgecl.org

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.

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Ginny Ballantine

Administrative and Marketing Director
info@bridgecl.org

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

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Linda Redding

Program and Transportation Supervisor
linda@bridgecl.org

Linda was a BRIDGE board member and an Early Childhood T.A. for the Hudson School District before starting her current role at BRIDGE in 2010. She develops curriculum for the Day Programs, coordinates extracurricular opportunities, and prepares bus routes and schedules. Linda is a passionate Wisconsin Badgers fan who loves travel and time with family.

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Kristin Beckman

Program Specialist
kristin@bridgecl.org

Kristin joined BRIDGE as a program assistant in 2012 and soon after became a Program Specialist. Kristin 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. 

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Casey Bland

Building and Fleet Maintenance Coordinator
casey@bridgecl.org

Casey has been with BRIDGE for 3 years, organizing, implementing, and supporting clients in daily activities, providing transportation and medical cares, and making sure the gears of the program are greased and turning smoothly. Casey now serves as Building and Fleet Maintenance Coordinator. She has lived abroad, is a mother of two, and she enjoys bow hunting, fishing, and everything outdoors.

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Ellie Ballantine

Communications & Volunteer Coordinator elspeth@bridgecl.org

A longtime 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 BRIDGE volunteer opportunities, and coordinates all things media and marketing. Hiking, baking, and traveling overseas are some of her favorite things.

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Tom Hofmeister

Program Coordinator
tomhof@bridgecl.org

Prior to starting as Program Coordinator for BRIDGE Adult Hourly Program in 2014, Tom spent several years engaging young adults with disabilities in meaningful community activities. Tom continues to coordinate life skills and social activities for clients including sporting events, visits to museums and recreation centers, and more. He enjoys traveling, music, and singing.

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Geena Davis

Lead Program Specialist

Geena started at BRIDGE in November 2015, after learning about us at Walk On Therapeutic Riding in River Falls. She now serves as one of BRIDGE’s Lead Program Specialists and is positive, energetic, and committed to making sure the clients get the most out of their days. She loves getting outside, camping, fishing, and playing with her dog Nala, but she also likes to unwind, whether shopping at Target, reading, or painting.

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Brittany Parker

Lead Program Specialist

Brittany brought her positive attitude and infectious energy to BRIDGE in June 2015, and she now serves as Lead Program Assistant for BRIDGE’s River Falls site. Despite hailing from the state of Illinois, Brittany is a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan and lives for hiking, fishing, art, and reading with her daughter and fiancé.

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Tracy Szypura

Employment Supervisor
tracy@bridgecl.org

Tracy volunteered as Adaptive Floor Hockey Coach before becoming a BRIDGE Program Assistant in 2011. Since 2015 she has assisted job candidates with disabilities in finding employment in their community and helped employers find qualified employees. Tracy likes spending time with family and friends in the great outdoors, enjoying the simple things in life.

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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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