Tri 4 Schools is a 501c3 non-profit organization in Dane County that uses the sports of swimming, biking, and running as platforms to get kids active and fight childhood obesity. Our events and programs aim to teach children about setting and achieving goals, fitness, nutrition, sportsmanship and self-confidence. We hope to instill the basics of a healthy lifestyle in children ages 14 and under so they can make healthy choices that will benefit them throughout their lives.
We believe that since children spend the majority of their time in and around school, it makes sense to support schools in their efforts to help teach the next generation about being healthy. Too often, schools are forced to make difficult choices about cutting programs, and many times, athletics or other supplemental nutrition programs are the first to go because they aren’t part of core curriculum. We want to step in and help these programs and promote health to this generation. So, all entry fees from our events are distributed back to schools to help fund health and wellness initiatives. Since 2011, we have given back over $270,000 to area schools. Check out all the great things our funds are helping with in our schools on our Accomplishments page. You can review our 2017 Annual Report here.
Tri 4 Schools was founded in 2011 by Katie Hensel, who is the current Executive Director. Katie started Tri 4 Schools because of her dedication to improving the health of children in Dane County. Katie has completed numerous triathlons, including Ironman Wisconsin, and has also run the Chicago Marathon twice. She attended UW Madison and has a degree in Business Management and a minor in Spanish. When she isn’t working or working out, she volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters, likes to spend time outdoors with her husband, two children, cook, read, and travel.
Melissa Lindemann is the Program Coordinator for Exercise to Achievement. Melissa has extensive project management experience, and started with Tri 4 Schools in 2016, helping our after-school program grow and improve by leaps and bounds. Melissa is active in yoga, running, and biking, and enjoys outdoor adventures and activities with her husband and their two girls.
Katie Brasel serves as Events Coordinator, and also started in 2016. Katie has served in a variety of leadership roles in healthcare project management as well as in theater and stage management, and is well-suited to tackle the large-scale youth athletic events at Tri 4 Schools! She is an active mom to three children, and is quite the impressive baker and vegetable garden master!
Theresa Oppermann joined the team in 2018 as our Expansion Coordinator. She will be working on the exciting project of allowing Tri 4 Schools to serve more children and schools in communities around the state (and country!). Theresa is passionate about health and wellness. In addition to getting her PhD and training teachers to implement mindfulness with Breathe for Change, she and her husband love exploring nature with their three-year-old daughter.
Board of Directors
As a 501c3 organization, we have a Board of Directors that guides our decision-making and fiduciary responsibilities. We’re extremely thankful for the support of the individuals below:
Dan Tyler, Board Chair, WI Department of Transportation
Lucas Westby, Vice President, Thrivent Financial
Cindy Heidke, Secretary, Stafford Financial
Ryan Kupres, Treasurer, Wegner CPAs
Dave Armstrong, Christensen Associates
Martha Snyder, Quarles & Brady
Brody Richter, DeWitt, Ross & Stevens
Megan Martin, TASC
Mike Foley, Madison Emergency Physicians
Beth Norman, RBC Financial
Alton Multhauf, First Business Bank