Our Team

 
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Chef Dave Heide,
Director

Dave is a Madison-area chef with over 20 years experience. Outside of Little John’s, he is the owner, operator, and executive chef at two other top restaurants — Charlie’s on Main and Liliana’s — and he has won multiple accolades from Best Chef Madison to Best Restaurant. Dave is well known for his dedication to philanthropy, with a lifetime of inspired, big-hearted projects like Little John’s.

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Ashleigh Smiley,
Volunteer Coordinator

Ashleigh’s career in baking and passion for volunteer work led her to Wisconsin in 2013. In 2015, she left baking to become a full-time office administrator and volunteer coordinator for a local non-profit. Ashleigh began working with Chef Dave at Charlie’s on Main in 2017, and has taken a keen interest in building the potential of Little John’s.

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Kate Wicker,
Director of Business Development & Project Management

Kate has worked as a business professional around the country. She has more than 15 years of marketing and project management experience. Most recently, Kate was the Membership Director for The Fitchburg Chamber Visitor + Business Bureau where she was responsible for membership development and retention, program development and engagement, and was a leader in community and economic development. Kate is excited for the opportunity to work alongside Chef Dave and the Little John’s team.

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Chef Adam Haen,
Kitchen Manager

Chef Adam grew up in Door County on his parents’ dairy farm and grandparents’ orchard, where he began his career kneading and rolling bread dough with his grandmother. He has worked at restaurants across the state, launched the HACCP program at Festival Foods, and helped numerous businesses get off the ground at Madison’s FEED Kitchens. Little John’s allows him to use his passion for good food to make positive changes in our community. 

 

Our Board

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Sara Finger,
Treasurer

Since June of 2004, Sara has been leading the effort to develop a new organizational coalition to unite, coordinate and amplify the voices of women’s health supporters in Wisconsin.  Prior to assuming this role, Sara was the Northeast Director of Membership and Professional Relations for the Wisconsin Medical Society. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. She was a 2009 Mid-America Public Health Leadership Institute Fellow and is Past President of the Wisconsin Public Health Association. In 2010, Sara received a Champion of Women’s Health Award from the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation. In 2011, she was recognized by the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault with a Voices of Courage Award. In 2012, Sara was honored with a Health Watch Wisconsin Outreach Effort Award for her coordination work of the Save BadgerCare Coalition, an Outstanding Recent Alumni Award from UW Eau Claire, was named a Woman to Watch by BRAVA Magazine and was named a Champion of Change by the White House for her work related to the Affordable Care Act.  In 2015, The Business Forum of Madison honored Sara with an Athena Young Professional Award.

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Geoffrey Sandler,
Secretary

At the age of 22, Geoffrey Sandler enlisted in the US Coast Guard and enjoyed a very successful active duty military career that lasted nearly a decade. During that time, Geoffrey qualified as a small boat boarding captain, an EMT, small boat engineer, a helicopter flight mechanic and a jet engine mechanic. He received numerous awards and accommodations, including Commandants letters, hazardous duty recognitions, and the 8th District ‘Sailor of the Year’ Award! Geoffrey sums up his career in the Coast Guard as being “the best job in the world, I got to save lives for a living!”

Geoffrey is the owner of Celebrations Entertainment and is renowned throughout Southern Wisconsin for his legendary talents not just as a DJ/Emcee, but for his event planning skills. From weddings to corporate events to fundraisers, Geoffrey brings years of experience to the table and knows how to structure any event!

 
 
 
 

Thank you to our partners!