About Us

Tandem Mentorship Program gathers people of faith to mentor youth facing adversity in the Chippewa Valley and surrounding areas through Christ-centered, guiding relationships. Tandem was birthed out of seeing a need for more caring adults in the teen’s lives that we were volunteering for in 2013. These youth that we were working with were the ones that fell through the cracks. We were able to build trusting relationships with them and had the opportunity to see the potential in all of them. One of our favorite authors and motivational speakers, Josh Shipp says it best, "every child is one caring adult away from becoming a success story."

A few years later in Jan 2016, we had the privilege to start Tandem underneath an organization called 513FREE, which is a local worship and prison ministry named after the Bible verse Galatians 5:13. You can learn more about this ministry at 513free.com.

Since 2016 we have had 38 community mentoring relationships, and 10, soon to be 13 in-school mentoring relationships. After seeing growth and progress in our program we decided to become our own entity and pursue our non-profit status. We can thankfully say that in Sept 2018, we were granted our 501c3 status!


Our Team


Ashley Stoll - Executive Director

Ashley is the executive director of Tandem Mentorship and considers it her dream job. Ashley is married to Jonny Stoll and has a 1 year old son, Leo. Jonny is pursing a career in videography/photography and Leo is working on his crawling techniques :) Ashley graduated from UW-Stout with her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies. She believes that Tandem is a product of many prayers over the youth that she built relationships within the community volunteering at a local youth center. After seeing the tremendous need for more caring adults to pour into these youth she, with a few others that are listed below (Mary, Sue, Brenda and Jen) started Tandem Mentorship under 513FREE in 2016. The beginning of this year they decided to accept the call to become their own entity and are excited to work with the new board members. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, outdoor activities and having coffee dates with Jesus. EMAIL: ashley@tandemmentorship.com

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Brenda Kaese -

Board Member

Brenda is proud to be a member of the original Tandem development team. She retired from work as a School Speech Language Pathologist in 2016 where she worked with many teens and families. She first came to Eau Claire to attend Graduate school at UWEC. Afterward she moved back to the Twin Cities where she met her husband Paul and started a family. She has three grown children a daughter Jocelyn, a son Travis, a daughter Heather and a Black Golden Doddle named Harley. In 1994 Paul’s work with 3M brought them to Eau Claire. They still live in the house they built on the North side and her youngest child is finishing her senior year at UWEC. In her retirement, Brenda loves to travel and plans to continue with mission trips to build homes for needy families in Mexico, Guatemala and Dominican Republic. She is a Stephen Minister at Peace Church and enjoys walking outdoors and reading. EMAIL: bkaese@charter.net

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Sue Ottum -

Board Member

Sue is a wife, mother, grandmother and business owner. She and her husband, Doug, have owned and operated Cornerstone, Inc., a property management business for 30 plus years in Eau Claire. Sue has one son (Andy) and daughter in law (Racheal) and now a beautiful granddaughter, Eliana! Sue’s passions have been her church (Peace Church), family and friends. Sue has especially been excited to be part of several mission opportunities with Casas Por Cristo, B-side Community, 513FREE, the Lighthouse Youth Center and now Tandem. She loves working with youth; sharing her faith and life experiences; and new adventures. EMAIL: sue@rentatcornerstone.com

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Jennifer Abele


Board Member

Jennifer is a mental health therapist. She is originally from Moorhead MN, but moved to Eau Claire with her husband, Steve, in 2000. She graduated from Moorhead High School and went on to earn her Bachelor's Degree from Moorhead State University. After working as a substance abuse counselor for a number of years she went back for her Master's Degree, graduating from Stout University from the Marriage and Family Therapy Program. She currently works at Vantage Point Clinic. She has been involved with Tandem since its inception, serving on the Committee Team. She enjoys trying new activities; most recently cliff jumping, zip-lining, and sailing.

Email: jen_and_steve@sbcglobal.net

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Mary Zellmer


Board Member

Mary is married to Steve Zellmer and have one adult son. Their son has given them three grandchildren. She grew up in Green Bay. She has worked in the schools for 37 years, usually one on one with students. She knows how important mentoring is and having that relationship with a young adult in need. She believes that if you add Jesus to it all then you have won!

EMAIL: gardeningangel@centurytel.net

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Kayla Midthun


Board Member

Kayla is a wife, mother, and business owner. She and her husband, Blayne, own Ramone's Ice Cream Parlor. Before opening the business, Kayla worked in the non-profit sector, coordinating youth mentoring programs for Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Chippewa Area Mentor Program. Kayla is from Eau Claire and graduated from North High School. She received her bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies at UW-Stout. Kayla has three children; son Jonah, and twin daughters, Stella and Noraa. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, reading, biking, and spending time with family and friends.

EMAIL: kayla.midthun@gmail.com


Kris Sperstad


Board Member

Kris Sperstad is a Human Resources’ instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College. He is married to Rita and have two adult children. Kris and Rita have been Peace Church members for nearly 20 years and Eau Claire residents for almost 30 years. They enjoy Peace as it has helped both of them grow spiritually, and develop closer relationships with Jesus Christ, as well as men and women in their small groups at Peace. They have participated in several mission trips at Peace, the drama team, and served as a deacon. They are also avid Brewer and Packer fans; enjoy the outdoors and attending music concerts. EMAIL: KSPERSTAD@cvtc.edu


Tom Lind


Board Member

Tom Lind is owner of Northwoods Investment Center in Eau Claire has been working as a financial planner for past 20 years and prior to that he worked in public accounting as a CPA for 13 years. He is married to Karen Lind and they are empty nesters with three grown daughter, Melissa, Jenna, and Emily. They have lived in Eau Claire for over thirty years. Tom enjoys motorcycles, camping, target shooting, and working on anything that has an engine on it.


Anne Hartman- Volunteer Assistant Director

Anne is the new assistant director for Tandem. She and her husband Mike have lived in Eau Claire for 15 years, raising their 3 children. Emma, Will and Jack. They are members of Peace Church where they have been involved in many areas of ministry for many years.

Serving at Tandem has presented her with an incredible opportunity to serve the organization, the community, youth and the church. She was looking for a “job” that had purpose and after that meeting at Peace, she felt God calling her to serve in this role.

Anne brings many blessings to Tandem, including organization and passion. She looks forward to serving in whatever way Tandem needs her and however the Lord guides her.