OUR TEAM

Jenny Almquist

Jenny Almquist

Co-Founder and Executive Director

Jenny first learned about the horrors of human trafficking in 2008, which lead to the birth of Fierce Freedom. As Executive Director, Jenny works to build the organization so that awareness and education about the issue can continue to spread. Her main goal is to educate and move people to action, to work toward the abolishment of human trafficking and exploitation. Jenny enjoys writing, reading, and public speaking. In her time away from the office, you will find Jenny gardening, traveling and spending time with her husband and children.

Amanda Casey

Amanda Casey

Survivor Advocate

Amanda has jumped headlong into the fight against sex trafficking. In addition to being a mother of 3 daughters, she is a speaker and author of a book on how to talk to children about trafficking and exploitation.

Amanda’s insight into the world of trafficking and exploitation comes both from her professional experiences and her unique personal experiences as a survivor. These factors give her a fresh and powerful perspective on the reality of trafficking and how to combat it.

 

Cat Jacoby

Cat Jacoby

Public Relations and Program Coordinator

Cat’s passion for social justice was sparked into flame during college after seeing a powerful documentary “Nefarious” about the human sex trade and joining the on-campus organization International Justice Mission. Her work with Fierce Freedom allows her to speak to thousands of people about the realities of domestic human trafficking and help empower them to join the fight. She also loves connecting with incarcerated individuals, an at-risk populace, to better equip them to protect themselves against exploitation.

Cat received her BA in Public Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2016. She relocated briefly after college to Boston, gaining experience in her field that she eagerly brought to Fierce Freedom. A lifelong learner, she enjoys the diverse range of tasks that each day brings, allowing her the space to grow as she fights for something she deeply cares about.

Matt Kendziera

Matt Kendziera

Technology Advisor

Over the past two decades Matt has built a career around his passion for causes of justice and equality. He has worked extensively with individuals and families struggling with poverty and homelessness as the founder and director of a non-profit organization, spent several years working directly with incarcerated men as a Chaplain, and has traveled the United States speaking to students and parents about violence and bullying prevention. Matt is humbled and proud to serve along side the incredible team at Fierce Freedom to fight what is arguably the greatest atrocity and injustice of our time.

Matt has an education degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and along with his wife Suzie and daughters Macia and Georgia has called Eau Claire, WI his home for the better part of 20 years. When not fighting issues of injustice you can find Matt bicycling along a country road, kayaking down a winding river, or cross country skiing somewhere in the woods.

John Pulley

John Pulley

Demand Reduction Expert

After attending his first conference on human trafficking in the summer of 2018, John’s eyes were opened to how prevalent and pervasive sex trafficking is in America. In spring of 2019, he made the commitment to leave his career in sales and move from Dallas, TX to join the work of Fierce Freedom.

As a public speaker, writer, and lifelong sales professional, John’s skill set fits perfectly into Fierce Freedom’s mission. John speaks about the demand side of trafficking at regional and national conferences as well as leading donor relations and fundraising efforts at Fierce Freedom.

Diane Bryant

Diane Bryant

Spiritual Director

Diane’s passion for well-being and soul care joins the many facets of justice demonstrated by Fierce Freedom. Diane has been the Spiritual Director at Fierce Freedom for several years and has provided both guidance and support for the FF staff during the ups and downs of fighting human trafficking.

Diane is a farm girl at heart with a “side” of Italian heritage and she delights in the gifts of creation but more so in the Creator as she desires to know and love His way. Her life path has included years as an RN within a variety of venues as well as serving in pastoral care with a local faith community. Diane is blessed to share life with her husband, John and their 2 adult children and 9 grands. Faith, family, the delights of nature, voracious reading, journaling, biking, long walks and a love of trees are a few of the joys of her days.

Our Board Members

Dave Almquist

Dave Almquist

Co-Founder and Board Member

Dave and his wife Jenny formed the concept of Fierce Freedom in 2007. Dave has served on the board since the beginning of the organization and brings strong business knowledge to the table as the organization has grown and extended its reach.

Aaron Libner

Aaron Libner

Board President

Aaron’s personal interest in fighting human trafficking is to educate people who are unaware of the issue, as well as setting up preventive measures to keep our vulnerable youth safe.  As a board member, Aaron is eager to share his knowledge and experience to further develop sustainable financial support and organizational efficiency, helping maximize Fierce Freedom’s impact.

Aaron has an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice Law Enforcement from WITC/CVTC.  He currently works for Coulee Tech as the Client Champion for IT, cyber security and software development. He has over 14 years of business experience working with all levels of management, including high-level strategic planning and sales, and his network of professional and personal contacts are invaluable in promoting and supporting the causes he is involved with.  In addition to serving on the Fierce Freedom board, those causes include: the Child Poverty Coalition, the Business and Workforce Development Committee through the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce, the Youth Apprenticeship Consortium, the BNI Dream Team, and the Eau Claire Morning Rotary Club.

Dave Malone

Dave Malone

Board Vice-President

Dave first became interested in fighting human trafficking when he learned that modern day slavery existed in the Midwest and even in his own community. As a board member, Dave helps to set direction and approve policy for the organization.

Dave retired from the Eau Claire Police Department after 32 years, serving the last ten years as the Chief of Police. He also served six years as the Wisconsin Field Coordinator for the Mid-States Organized Crime Center, and 10 years at the American Military University/American Public University System as The Manager of Law Enforcement Business Development in the Midwest. Currently, Dave is employed as a Law Enforcement Consultant with SpeakWrite, a human-powered law enforcement transcription service.

Dan Carlson

Dan Carlson

Board Treasurer

Dan has been interested in helping to make the local community a better place to live. After hearing about human trafficking, he wanted to do more. He would like to help educate individuals in the community on human trafficking that is occurring locally.

Dan received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in 2003. He is a Certified Public Accountant with CliftonLarsonAllen, an accounting firm in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. For the past 15 years he has worked with many area nonprofit clients on accounting and compliance requirements. He is excited to use his skills to help such a worthy cause.

Jennifer McBride

Jennifer McBride

Board Member

Jennifer’s interest and involvement in Fierce Freedom comes from many years of traveling the world and seeing the impact of human trafficking. From a business perspective, she strives to help other businesses understand the impact of human trafficking not only in our community but around the world. She has a passionate belief that education is the key to understanding the truth about human trafficking. She believes that when we educate others about the truth of human trafficking and what it looks like, only then will it motivate others to make a difference.

Cathy Jenson

Cathy Jenson

Board Member

Cathy believes that knowledge is power, and once she understood the epidemic of modern-day slavery,
she knew she wanted to get involved. She wants to make Fierce Freedom’s mission a personal mission
of hers- to educate and empower people to fight human trafficking.

Cathy is a Financial Professional with Thrivent Financial, where she encourages people she works with to
use their resources such as time, talents, and treasures, to impact the communities where they live,
work, and worship.

Tesha Knudtson

Tesha Knudtson

Board Member

Tesha was introduced to Fierce Freedom by a close friend and neighbor and was instantly impacted by their vision and commitment to serving and educating our community. Tesha was born and raised in Eau Claire, but it was not until her work with Fierce Freedom that she became aware of the impact that human trafficking has within the area she calls home.

As AVP, Bank Manager for Associated Bank, Tesha has had the opportunity to have a positive impact on a growingly diverse Chippewa Valley community. Tesha considers it an honor and a privilege to be a part of such a FIERCE organization!

From Our Community

"I believe that all jails desperately need your training as the victims of human trafficking frequently pass through the system. If staff is not trained on the warning signs of human trafficking and what the victims my look like, these are missed opportunities to provide help."

Captain Curt Dutton, Chippewa County Sheriff's Office

"I've worked with them, side by side, and know firsthand, that the Fierce Freedom staff, board and volunteers work tirelessly and passionately toward their call and mission - expanding programs as they go. Their awareness focus has grown to include targeted training, victim services and more."

Joyce Orth

"Fierce Freedom is an amazing non-profit that is run by informed, passionate and hard working world changers. They are indeed fierce in their commitment to ending modern day slavery and are strategic, thoughtful and great stewards of the resources entrusted to them."

Jessie Podolak