Announcing our new staff members!

We are excited to welcome two new staff members to our team: Kristina Maher, executive director, and Nicki Van Abel, manager of client services.

Kristina joined Neighborhood Connection as executive director on March 20th. She received her degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resources Management and minors in Public Relations and Psychology from UW-Platteville.  Her career spans 15 years of working in human resources, with splashes of accounting, marketing, account management, event planning, and more!  She is very excited to build relationships and expand awareness about Waunakee Neighborhood Connection in her new role.  

Kristina and her husband moved to Waunakee in 2013 and adopted a fur-child named Coco (a greyhound/husky mix).  In her free-time, Kristina enjoys reading, working out, visiting her niece and nephew in Green Bay, and tackling house projects.  She’s also coached Girls on the Run for two seasons and has been coaching the Waunakee Middle School Dance Team since its inception in 2019.


Nicki joined the team at Neighborhood Connection as manager of client services in February. She is a lifelong resident of Wisconsin, having moved to the Dane County area five years ago from Green Lake County. She received her Human Service Degree from Madison College and has worked in a variety of community service programs over the past 25 years including housing assistance programs, parent/peer specialist, services for folks with disabilities, and public assistance programs. Most recently she served the Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin as the program director of client services.

In her free-time, Nicki can be found camping with her fiancé; cheering on the Packers, Badgers, and Brewers; spending time with her large family; and, most recently, enjoying time with her new grandson.


Helyn Luisi-Mills, former manager of client services, has cut back to part-time and remains on staff as our client services specialist.

Former executive director, Lisa Humenik, who had led Neighborhood Connection since August, 2018, left the organization in November, 2022, to take a position with United Way of Wisconsin.