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On a journey of uncovering and connecting the pieces together that are necessary on the pathway towards building equitable, thriving communities
Teal has never been satisfied with the status quo. For well over the last decade, she has used her skillset to develop and elevate the small rural community where she resides. Always one for adventure, Teal has embraced the opportunity to spread and scale the successful initiatives she championed in Algoma.
Her relentless drive toward self-improvement quickly manifested itself in a career dedicated to improving the health and well-being of those living in and around the small rural community of Algoma, Wisconsin. Teal stands front and center in the ongoing efforts to develop the talents who call this region home, and strategically connects these talents in a manner that improves the overall health of the community.
While sought after for its unique qualities, rural America is not immune to the same types of challenges faced by large suburban and urban areas. Creating spaces that bring multiple generations together serves as a hub for community improvement and connection. Teal galvanized her connection with this small-town dynamic long before her professional life guided her to serve as the Director of Improvement and Community Engagement with the Algoma School District. While serving in this position her commitment to excellence quickly caught the attention of regional and national leaders who were willing to think differently for a better outcome for ALL.
Teal was masterful in her approach and focused heavily on the vital conditions of health and cross-sector collaboration, while expanding the capacity of staff, students, and community members through social change and improvement science tools. In 2015, Teal co-founded the grassroots initiative Live Algoma, which earned international recognition including the Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Prize. The same year, she was named Improvement Advisor for the 100 Million Healthier Lives – SCALE Initiative led by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement. Teal has expanded her educational foundation to parallel her career path, and she now holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on Social Justice and Equity.
Teal’s first association with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine came in 2016 when she contributed to the organization’s publication and workshop on the topic “Exploring the Infrastructure of Multisector Community Health Partnerships.” She was a panel member in a discussion about creating conditions that shift power to residents and improving the health and well-being of communities. In 2021, Teal served as a board associate for the National Academies Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice.
The crowning recognition for Algoma’s improvement efforts came in 2020 with an All-America City Award from the National Civic League. Algoma became only the tenth Wisconsin entity to earn this designation in the past 60 years. Teal served as the ambassador for Algoma’s presentation, noting the city generates home-grown assets by identifying what in many cases is trapped human potential so all can have the opportunity to lead and be at the decision-making table, especially youth leaders.
Utilizing the All-American City Award as a catalyst for continuous improvement, Teal brought together the right people, at the right time, and for the right purpose when she co-founded Algoma Venture Academy; the first public charter school in Door and Kewaunee County which opened during the peak of our global pandemic. This endeavor is a clear illustration of Teal’s unwavering commitment to create the spaces and connections that allow everyone to succeed – despite the obstacles they face.
In her current role, Teal co-founded KinectM1, and serves as the driving force in connecting communities dedicated to creating the conditions for all to THRIVE.
On a journey of elevating those around him and engaging them on a pathway towards building equitable thriving communities
Nick Cochart possesses a drive for high achievement that transcends what many people might consider “normal.” Whether it is in athletics, where he succeeded as an undersized defensive lineman with the University of Wisconsin football program, or his scholastic endeavors, where he was named Academic All Big-Ten followed by a Masters and PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, or his professional career, where he became a school district Superintendent, Nick has displayed a propensity for putting himself and the people around him in positions to succeed.
Nick’s commitment to leading winning teams on and off the field has been on full display since 2011 in the small lakeshore community of Algoma, Wisconsin. He initially served as Algoma’s MS/HS Principal and Athletic Director where he quickly earned respect for his abundant mindset and ability to leverage available resources. A few years later, Nick transitioned to another dual role and served as District Administrator and MS/HS Principal. His ability to cultivate productive relationships and serve as a positive agent for change helped transform Algoma on many levels.
Collaborating with like-minded individuals in the community, Nick helped raise over $2 million dollars toward the construction of the Algoma Community Wellness Center and Wolf Tech Center adjoined to the high school. The group’s efforts eliminated the need for a referendum and kick-started the Live Algoma movement. Those fostered relationships have also directed more than $3 million dollars in donations to the school district in support of youth change agents addressing vital conditions of health.
Nick’s leadership abilities extend beyond Algoma to regional and national initiatives. He was elected President of the Door/Kewaunee County insurance consortium; is community advisor for the Institute of Healthcare Improvement’s SCALE initiative with 100 Million Healthier Lives; is a Culture of Health Ambassador for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and received the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance’s Educational Innovation Award.
In addition, Nick presented at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Connect Program at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., to “inspire the nation (and policymakers) that community can create opportunities for better health, well-being, and equity.” He also was part of a team that helped Algoma earn an All-America City Award in 2020 from the National Civic League. Algoma was only the tenth Wisconsin entity to earn this designation in the past 60 years.
Nick is a selfless leader who consistently elevated those around him and engages individuals who may not recognize their own potential. His passion for overcoming the challenges faced by rural communities and school systems prompted him to co-found KinectM1, as he strives to excel, and help others to excel, in a continually changing world.
Executive Project Director
On a journey of ensuring opportunity and access for those on a pathway toward building equitable, thriving communities
A selfless advocate for individuals with different abilities, Adam Peronto has positioned himself as a cornerstone of authentic and diverse programming across northeast Wisconsin. His work is on display from the tip of Door County down through the Fox Valley and continually expands with each successful endeavor. A 2017 UW-Eau Claire graduate, Adam started making an impact while employed with the Door County Medical Center where he developed the Door County Meals Cooperative in response to the needs identified during the early stages of Covid-19. Alongside this work, Adam also founded and managed Peninsula Charities where he partnered with local stakeholders to facilitate fundraising events for area nonprofits.
It goes without saying that Adam is a rising star in Northeast Wisconsin. His most recent work developing and implementing the RIDE4Kids program is expanding rapidly as a sought-after support program for students with disabilities in our local school systems. By connecting mentors, staff, and students with different abilities, he is actively building a culture that recognizes the value of every individual in our communities. It is this value-added approach that guides Adam on his professional path and affords him the connections necessary to build the conditions for ALL to thrive.
Since joining KinectM1 as the Executive Project Director, Adam has focused on elevating the connections between diverse populations and our natural environments. Door County is home to many public lands and affords residents unmatched beauty and opportunity; however, not every resident of Northeast Wisconsin has realized the power of our natural environment. With the space, structure, and principles of KinectM1, Adam has the ability to ensure each individual – no matter their identity – has the access and opportunity to realize, be part of, and utilize their own power and gifts.
“Emeritus” Team Members
A legacy is part of history. It lives and breathes today as a creation of a pathway forward that makes things BETTER for future generations. The lives of those who leave the world a better place in which they found it, matter. May those who create a legacy inspire you to take action so that you, too, may live your dreams and make the ‘impossible’ POSSIBLE.