First introduced to the organization through a chance encounter in 2016, Robert recognized the tremendous importance and value of Just Live, Inc. to the often stigmatized and underfunded community surrounding suicide and mental health issues. Over the last several years he has had the pleasure of working with the amazing individuals behind Just Live, Inc. on a variety of projects solidifying his faith and passion for the awe-inspiring work the organization has done since its founding. For nearly two decades Robert has provided expert leadership and guidance to a multitude of nonprofit organizations throughout southeastern Wisconsin by capitalizing on his diverse background in arts advocacy, organizational development, and public relations/marketing. Robert's passion for helping organizations to realize their full potential and implement dynamic new methods for marketing and fundraising is praised by his contemporaries for rethinking the way nonprofits engage their community. With a passion for embracing diverse cultural influences and fostering an inclusive working environment, Robert hopes to bring that cooperative spirit to his new role at Just Live, Inc. Robert is honored to lead the extremely dedicated and talented board of Just Live, Inc. and is looking forward to the challenge of advancing this increasingly important cause.
Robin Briese: Vice President
Robin grew up in Kenosha and moved to Milwaukee about 20 +years ago, where she now lives. She is so proud to be a part of the Just Live Board and is always very eager to take part in anything and everything to help in any way she can. Robin has always been a very driven person to help people, so being a part of this team is very important to her for many reasons. The loss of many people in her life to depression has caused her to strive even more to make a difference, and the great pride she takes in helping out the board is priceless to her.
Since marrying my High School sweetheart, Tom Karnes, our lives have been full of following our passion of travel while raising our three daughters along the way.
Tom and I are the owners of LaMacchia Travel Agency which is celebrating their 91st year, LovinAway and the newest edition, LaMacchia Jet Stream.
Owning and nurturing these businesses together has been one of the greatest adventures and achievements besides raising our girls Cassidy, Emma, and Lily. It has been heartwarming seeing our girls grow up into three women full of integrity, vivacity, and individuality.
Our family dynamic went into a tailspin back in late 2018 when my daughter was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety, and I realized I didn’t know the first thing to do or where to go for answers to help. I could not understand how this could happen to her even though I have suffered myself. Through organizations like Just Live and NAMI we realize that there is hope and we are not alone. So, when I was asked to join the Board of Just Live in the beginning of 2022 not only was I honored but also proud.
My goal is to get the word out to let people know how important it is in every stage of life that we take care of our mental health which includes our emotional, psychological as well as our social well-being.
Education:Student at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee studying Psychology As someone who has been struggling with mental illness for many years, I know firsthand just how important organizations like Just Live are and how big of an impact they can make one a person's life. I have spent years working with people of all ages and walks of life to crush the stigma surrounding mental illness and educate the community on the signs and symptoms. I grew up in the city of Kenosha where I earned the title of Miss Kenosha 2019. With this title I had the opportunity to use that platform to spread my message in schools (K-12) and events around my community and beyond. I have also had the opportunity to be involved in the Labor of Love Music Festival since 2019. Being a part of this board has allowed me to continue my passion and work every day to accomplish the goal I set out to do many years ago.
Brian has been employed as Facility Maintenance Supervisor for the City of Burlington for seven years. He graduated for Wilmot High School in 1978 and attended Gateway Technical Institute. He and Elizabeth have been married for 18 years, they have three children and 3 grandchildren. They've live in Camp Lake, WI with their youngest daughter Katelyn. Brian says "Although I have no background in mental health I have been involved with the Labor of Love Music Festival since the beginning in 2010. That festival evolved into Just Live, Inc. which I am proud to say I am a part of. We have a very dynamic team of people that work very hard in memory of Jamie for the simple purpose of giving back to our community. After doing many fundraising events and listening to survivors, I have learned that letting people know we care and lending a sympathetic ear goes along way. I plan on being part of Just Live for many years, hoping that we can make a difference in someone’s life.--"
SFC Tracy Urban is a 24 year veteran of the Wisconsin National Guard. She is the program manager for Warrior Resilience and Fitness supporting service members holistic wellness and suicide prevention. Tracy has also supported in the Comprehensive Health and Wellness behavior-change program, which has helped service members and leaders nationally. Tracy holds a Masters in Social Work from UW-Whitewater. Her and her three children reside in East Troy, WI. We are excited to add her passion and experience in the field of mental health and suicide prevention to our diverse and talented board.
Tom Durgom was born and raised in Kenosha, WI and now lives in Racine with his wife, Kizzie, and two sons, Elijah and Ezra. He graduated from Bradford High School in 2000 and UW Parkside in 2005, majoring in Criminal Justice, Sociology and minoring in Philosophy. He has worked for the State of Wisconsin since 2008 connecting various clients with services and opportunities in the community. Tom joined Just Live, Inc. in 2020 after being introduced to the group by lifelong friend, Robert Stevens. In his free time, Tom enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as organizing events at his bar, “Dickies”, in Racine.
Tom is a retired travel executive, whose career has taken him to most every corner of the globe, witnessing the cultures and peoples of many countries. He does not dwell on past accomplishments but a passion on contributing to the future and the many challenges facing our society today, especially in mental depression and suicide prevention. He contributes his time in driving seniors to doctor’s appointments, assisting kids in reading programs and is liaison to Wilmot High School Key Club for Kiwanis International.