Meet our Board Members
Gail Graham, President:
Gail Graham is Business and Employer Services Coordinator at Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board.
She is responsible for planning, delivery and management of services provided directly to businesses and employers.
Gail collaborates with Job Center partners to streamline processes to provide full service employee recruitment and coordinates On the Job Training contracts.
In her position, she conducts other analysis and activities that identify and address employer focused training needs. She is a former president of the United Way of North Rock County.
Jose Carillo, Vice President:
José Carrillo came to the United States as a migrant worker to southern California. He quickly joined the farm labor movement in the 1960’s as a labor organizer making his way to Wisconsin.
He is a graduate from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and retired from General Motors after working in the auto industry for 30 years.
Currently, he is an executive board member of the United Migrant Opportunities Services, Milwaukee and is a co-founder of Rock University High School. He is a student advocate and serves as a mentor in math and sciences.
Chris Comella, Treasurer:
Small business is the way of the world and a very deep personal passion. Growing up, my father was the sole proprietor of his own auto repair business while my grandfather was the last owner operator of a hometown grocery store my great grandfather founded.
Undergrad degree in Education from The Citadel, Masters of Business Administration from UNC Chapel Hill my career has allowed me to work for large and small, public and private corporations in numerous industries, at various phases of the business cycle, facing challenges requiring thoughtful consideration. Starting in operations management, then progressing to process improvement and for the last 2 decades focusing on talent, learning and culture. Currently working as a business partner for Inclusa. Chris and his wife Kathy actively volunteer in the community, garden and work numerous house projects.
Jane Thompson is co-founder of Rock University High School and the former Dean. She is a former Spanish teacher and international programming advisor for the School District of Janesville. Currently, Jane volunteers at RUHS and serves as the Executive Director to the RUHS Governing Board.
Lynn Neitzel currently serves as the Director of Teaching and Learning Resources at Blackhawk Technical College where she oversees Testing and Tutoring Services, Access and Accommodations, Adult Basic Education and GED, Learning Commons Library and FlexLab Learning Services as well as the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning. Lynn is a former K-12 educator, teaching World Languages in grade K-12 for 23 years in the state of Wisconsin. She continues to teach as an adjunct instructor in Teacher Education as well as for the Wisconsin Virtual Schools as a Japanese instructor.
Dr. Karen Schmitt
Dr. Karen Schmitt serves as the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Blackhawk Technical College. Dr.
Schmitt received her bachelor’s degree from UW-Madison in Geology and Geophysics, master’s degree
at the University of Otago (New Zealand) in Geology, and Ph.D. from Columbia University in Geological
Dr. Schmitt joined Blackhawk Technical College in 2020. Prior to coming to Blackhawk, Dr. Schmitt
served as Provost and Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs for University of Wisconsin (UW) Colleges from 2017-2020. During the restructuring of the 2-year campuses of UW Colleges in 2018-2019, she also served as Interim Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs with the UW System Administration.
Before returning to her home state of Wisconsin, Dr. Schmitt spent 16 years working within the
University of Alaska system where she held roles of Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, Vice Provost of Research & Sponsored Programs, Dean of the Community & Technical College and Dean of the
Schools of Management & Career Education.
Dr. Schmitt’s academic career within higher education began at the University of Washington in Seattle as Research Coordinator, progressing to Program Manager and Associate Dean in the College of Ocean & Fishery Sciences. Dr. Schmitt’s prior professional work experience includes Marine Project Coordinator
with ITT Antarctic Services and Senior Research Geologist with Exxon Production Research.
Dr John Pruitt is Professor of English and Women's & Gender Studies, Department of Integrated Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Rock County campus. John Pruitt has taught for the University of Wisconsin since 2004, and teaches the occasional writing and literature course for RUHS. He's currently experimenting with creative writing as his piece "The Scar Collector" is in press in the current issue of ImageOutWrite.
Steve Mathesius is an IT director and Chief Information Security Officer at TDS Telecom. He holds a BA in Computer Information Systems from Wartburg College and earned his MBA from the University of Wisconsin. Steve and his family live in Milton, where in his free time he enjoys cycling. Steve is active in the parents' group and joins the board as parent liaison. His middle kid, James, is a member of the first freshman class at RUHS graduating in 2023.