Brad Paul 
Executive Director

Picture of Brad Paul

Brad brings more than twenty years of local, national, and international experience developing partnerships and managing policy, education and research agendas related to issues of land, labor, housing, and poverty reduction. Brad has long been active in national anti-poverty and homelessness policy and advocacy work, serving as both the Housing Policy Director and Director of Public Policy at the National Coalition for the Homeless and then as co-founder and Executive Director of the National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness (NPACH). His writings on housing, homelessness, human rights, and labor have appeared in such publications as Clearinghouse Review, Ms. Magazine, Shelter Force, International Union Rights, and the Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working Class History. He is also the primary author of the 2003 Bringing America Home Act, comprehensive federal anti-poverty legislation introduced in the 108th Congress.

...Prior to joining WISCAP, Brad worked in the field of international development for a number of organizations, including Technoserve Mozambique and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In this role, he served as liaison with a number of partner and donor agencies including the Government of Mozambique, USAID, USDA, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Irish Aid, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Aspen Institute. He also created and managed TechnoServe’s cooperative agreement with the Magellan MBA program at the Porto Business School (Porto, Portugal). In addition, Brad has previously served as Visiting Scholar in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Brad earned his PhD from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where his research focused on 19th and 20th century U.S. Labor, and comparative labor and industrialization in South Africa and the American South. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Brad has also worked for the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Metro Atlanta Fair Housing.

Diana Austin

Director of Operations
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Diana Austin is the Director of Operations at WISCAP. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and has worked at WISCAP since August 1997. Diana began her career at WISCAP as a Rural Development Specialist for the Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) that was formerly housed at WISCAP. She also was a Food Security Specialist working within our food security program on TEFAP. Diana eventually moved into agency administration and has been in her position since 2007. Diana’s responsibilities include human resources, financial management, budgeting and overseeing program management and administration. 

Prior to joining WISCAP, Diana worked for the AFFORDS Homeownership Program for the City of Madison and was a City Planner for the City of North Mankato, Minnesota. When not at work, Diana can usually be found at a ballpark watching her kids play softball or baseball.

Jonathan Bader
Policy & Programs Director
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Jonathan Bader is the Policy & Programs Director at WISCAP where he has worked since 1998. He provides logistical support to The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) that distributes 25-35 million pounds of USDA commodities annually to 350 emergency food providers serving food insecure families statewide. He has managed several economic security initiatives for WISCAP, including the Job & Business Development Program that helps low-income entrepreneurs start small businesses and create jobs, and the Skills Enhancement Program that provides training to low-wage workers to secure better paying jobs and benefits. He has advocated on health, nutrition, and poverty policy for 30 years, including lead poisoning prevention legislation, expansion of FoodShare benefits, and development of the ACCESS website. He is Board President of Reach Dane, the Head Start agency for Dane & Green counties providing early childhood education and services to 1,000 area children and their families. He lives in DeForest with his wife Ann in a 1935 craftsman home they are endlessly restoring. They are blessed with 3 daughters and 6 grandchildren. 

Kassidy Farrey
Communications & Outreach Manager
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As the Communications & Outreach Manager, Kassidy handles all WISCAP Picture of Kassidy Farreycommunication efforts including our website, social media, graphic design, press releases and the like. Kassidy is the architect behind the annual Poverty Matters Conference. This conference brings together people from all over Wisconsin to achieve a better understanding of how low-income individuals, families and communities can work together to promote economic opportunity. She ensures the mission of the conference aligns with the yearly theme, workshops, plenary sessions and more. In addition, Kassidy creates and coordinates the WISCAP training agenda, virtual and in-person, for Wisconsin’s community action network. The agenda also entails the management of the WISCAP Annual Conference, which is a yearly gathering of WISCAP’s members for three days of training and networking. She is also Wisconsin’s only Certified ROMA Trainer and serves as a resource for all 18 agencies as well as the Wisconsin Department of Children & Families.

In May 2017, Kassidy graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor's degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Strategic Communication and a certificate in digital studies. Outside work, Kassidy lives with her husband and prefers to spend her time trout fishing, hunting, and going to Wisconsin Badger games.

Andy Heidt  

Program Manager - Housing Policy and ProgramsPicture of Andy Heidt
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Andy has been an Ombudsman, Executive Director of a Family Housing/Supportive Service Non-profit, grant manager/policy analyst, and elected official. He is focused on permanent affordable housing for people at the lowest incomes and has a long history in social justice issues. He is an avid lover of nature and the outdoors. 

Amy Loeffelholz
Administrative Specialist
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Amy recently joined WISCAP and provides administrative support for the association. Although Amy is new to community action, she is not new to non-profit work and brings over twenty years of experience. Her previous experience includes working for a church that focused on mission and providing community services. She served in several positions at the church including office manager, business manager, and most recently as the business administrator. She also worked for many years as a school counselor where she promoted growth and success for all students through the management and delivery of a comprehensive school counseling program.

Amy’s passion for helping others and serving her community led her to volunteer and serve on several non-profit boards along with teaching Sunday School. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in education at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. She resides with her husband and three children. Both of her daughters are in college earning their teaching degrees and her son is in high school and is an avid soccer player.

Heidi O’Brien
Program Manager - Income and Work Supports 
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Picture of Heidi O'Brien

Growing up in poverty, Heidi came to the community action world after hosting a training for anti-poverty activists and discovering the life-changing work being done for families just like hers. During 20 years of fighting poverty, O’Brien has developed many anti-poverty programs centered around economic development activities that lift low-income families out of poverty and the creation of safe and affordable housing for low-income seniors and families.

O’Brien focuses on bringing new economic development and housing resources to rural Wisconsin through collaborations among Wisconsin rural-based, anti-poverty programs. These collaborations mobilize funds from Federal sources such as the USDA Rural Development program to offer low-income individuals the opportunity to create and fund their own job through small business ownership. Other collaborations O’Brien has worked with focus on the development of affordable low-income housing accessing funds from agencies such as WHEDA (Low-Income Housing Tax Credits), the State of Wisconsin (Rural Housing Development), and the Federal Home Loan Bank (Affordable Housing Program).