About Us

What is a Shero?

Every person has the potential to be everything they want to be. But so often, girls can get caught in a loop of negative messaging from the media, from their peers and from their own psyche. They start to wonder if they are pretty enough, smart enough, tall enough, skinny enough and just generally “enough.”

Sheroes Among Us aims to help women of the future break out of this loop and realize that they are more than enough. We want to help girls develop the skills to counter this messaging and empower them to realize their dreams. We want to help girls create proactive strategies for healthy living – in mind, body, and spirit – that will ignite their potential.

Sheroes Among Us is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Marathon County. Our mission is to meet women of the future where they are to mentor, empower and ignite their unique potential.

Meet our board members




Elizabeth Messner

Elizabeth is an eclectic and enthusiastic personality with a background in sales, management, and nonprofit leadership. As the founder of Sheroes Among Us, her intention is to cultivate a mindset in girls that fuels the fire of possibility, intercepting the often stifling messages that they encounter and create within themselves. In this endeavor, with candor and compassion, Elizabeth draws from both personal experience and that of the amazing and passionate women with whom she has surrounded herself.





Denise Sauter

Denise has a creative and vibrant entrepreneurial spirit, having established and managed a variety of businesses. In her current role as a mental health therapist, Denise is passionate about helping her clients access and engage inner resources to develop and enhance emotional resilience and positive well-being. Through her own personal struggles, and as a mother of a grown daughter, she has been earnestly dedicated to empowering women, both young in body and young at heart, to see the best within themselves and believe in their power to create the best for themselves. She is thrilled to be a part of Sheroes Among Us and is wholeheartedly behind the mission of providing girls in our community the opportunity to recognize and ignite the unique strengths and potential that exists within each of them





Jennifer Benson

Jennifer is insightful, witty and vivacious with an adventurous streak.  She loves to get on her Harley and ride into the sunset or curl up with a good book. Either way, she brings laughter and smiles whenever she walks into a room, which has helped her develop her leadership style. Having seen first-hand the struggles her 18-year-old daughter faced growing up, she is well aware of the pressures on young girls in today’s world.  She is excited to be able to bring her experiences with nonprofit work to an organization that values developing the intrinsic well-being of the women of the future.


Erin F. Ralls

Erin is a witty and driven woman with a passion for empowering others to become their best, both professionally and personally. With a background in the banking industry, she is an astute problem solver with experience in team-building and providing innovative solutions through technology to create efficiencies. A true believer that things happen for a reason, Erin has conquered adversity in the past to make her the vibrant and passionate person she is today.





Laura Cynkar

Laura is a lively and compassionate young woman who has found her niche in working with youth in the community. With a background in early childhood education and nonprofits, she is fervent about mentoring and advocating for youth, with a heightened focus on mental health. Bullied as a young girl, Laura is determined to share her story of triumph with other young girls who may be suffering from depression and anxiety as she did as a result of the experience. An avid runner and painter, she counts her faith as a very important part of her life.






Ariana Peters

Ariana is a bubbly and compassionate young woman who enjoys books, music, science, animals, movies, volunteering, running and spending time with family and friends. She has a passion for healthcare and aspires to delve further into the world of medicine in the future. Growing up, Ariana has never really felt as if she fits the mold of a “typical” girl her age. While her differences have made her feel awkward and insecure, she has learned to embrace who she is and how it makes her unique. She hopes to inspire other girls in the community to be fearless in the pursuit of their dreams and happy with who they are.






Alyssa Peterson

Alyssa is currently a senior at DC Everest High School. Next fall, she will attend the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities to pursue a degree in Human Resource Management. She’s been involved in DECA all throughout high school, #girlboss. When she’s not at a DECA conference, you’ll find her at an FBLA conference instead.  She’s excited to be a part of this strong team of women to inspire young girls to also become #girlbosses.







Katie Campbell

Katie is a strong-willed, extroverted, and sassy senior in high school. She is commonly known among her friends as “mom” due to her ability to always be there and be prepared. After high school, Katie wants to go on to earn her bachelor’s degree in nursing and specialize as a first assist in the OR. After years of speech therapy and overcoming obstacles, she has become a self-assured young woman. Katie wants to pass on this quality to help young girls figure out who they are and not only own it but exude it with confidence.