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.