Meet Our New Program Managers: Kate & Leslie
We want you to get to know our two new Program Managers a little bit better, so we interviewed them! Check out some of their fun facts below.
Meet Leslie Dess
My name is Leslie Dess and I am a new Program Manager for Best Buddies Wisconsin. As the big sister to a brother with Down syndrome, I am so excited to be working for an organization whose mission is incredibly close to my heart. I feel blessed that I was able to find a professional opportunity that allows for my passion and career to collide. As I grow into this role, I am most excited about meeting all of our Best Buddies participants and expanding our programs throughout the state.
What are some fun facts about you?
- 3 words to describe me: coffee-connoisseur, foodie, dog-lover
- Favorite color: jade green
- Favorite food: tacos (especially from Bel Air!)
- Favorite summer activities: going to farmers markets and festivals in Milwaukee and enjoying the outdoors
- Favorite hobbies: yoga, cooking, reading, and spending time with family and friends
How did you get involved in Best Buddies?
I first got involved with Best Buddies through Wauwatosa East High School, where I joined as a Peer Buddy my freshman year. I quickly got involved in every way that I could. In my sophomore year, I was selected to be the Chapter President and held this position until my senior year.
Upon my high school graduation, I attended college at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, where I studied communications and business administration. Drexel, unfortunately, did not have a Best Buddies chapter; however, I did not let that stop me from staying involved with the organization. In the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college, I was chosen to be the summer intern for Best Buddies Wisconsin. As an intern, I helped the team prepare for Leadership Conference. Then in my senior year of college, I connected with Best Buddies Pennsylvania to help complete my senior thesis.My younger brother Sam has also been involved with Best Buddies Wisconsin. Sam was a buddy at Wauwatosa East High School and participates in the chapter at
My younger brother Sam has also been involved with Best Buddies Wisconsin. Sam was a buddy at Wauwatosa East High School and participates in the chapter at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Now as a Program Manager, my involvement with Best Buddies has come truly come full-circle. I hope to leverage my experience with this organization to empower and assist Best Buddies participants throughout Wisconsin.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
It’s hard to predict what life will be like in five years, but there are many things that I hope to accomplish both personally and professionally. One thing’s for certain, I hope to still be working for Best Buddies.
Some highlights include:
- Earn a master’s degree
- Run a half-marathon
- Author a cooking blog
- Become a homeowner
- Adopt a fur-baby…aka a dog
Meet Kate Bromley
How did you get involved with Best Buddies? Why did you want to work for Best Buddies?
I got involved with Best Buddies when I was a freshman at Cedarburg High School. I eventually went on to be our Chapter President. I’ve always wanted to work for Best Buddies since my high school days because it is an organization that has drastically impacted my life. I think this is an amazing organization for what we stand for and how much of a difference we are able to make in peoples’ lives.
What are you most excited for in your new role?
I am most excited for creating and maintaining new relationships with each Best Buddies chapter. I can’t wait to meet not only the buddies but all members of each chapter to watch them grow and succeed!
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would definitely be a Qdoba burrito bowl. I go there almost once a week and order the exact same thing every time!
What are some of your hobbies?
Some of my hobbies include playing with my dogs, reading, and anything outdoors. I love to go hiking and kayaking, and I love to play any outdoor sports. Some of my favorite sports are basketball, beach volleyball and I love to watch baseball in the summertime.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I hope to have completed graduate school for nonprofit management, particularly at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer?
My favorite thing to do in the summer is hanging outside in my backyard with my family. There’s nothing like enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning on my back deck. I also love to go camping and travel as much as I can!