Founders: Eric & Bernadette Russow
Upon return to Wisconsin and relocating to Elkhorn, Bernadette and Eric split their time between their Financial Service Business and volunteering for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s program. In 2014, they began their efforts to start a Memory Café at the Matheson Memorial Library. Since then there are now 6 Memory Cafés in Walworth County. In 2016 Bernadette and Eric began to devote their time to developing a Dementia Friendly Community, with Bernadette as the President. Within 2 years it became the first County in Wisconsin to be designated as a Dementia Friendly County by Dementia Friendly America. They have now trained over 6,000 individuals and over 70 businesses, faith communities, first responders and groups in the county. In 2021 they started the program “Cycling Without Age.”
Board of Directors
John F. Davis, DDS-John is a retired dentist, and is a member of the Delavan-Darien Rotary Club, delivers Meals on Wheels, and helped establish Rainbow Hospice in Park Ridge, IL. John and his wife, Kathy, are CWA-Walworth pilots.
Patricia Swan-Pat has lived in the East Troy area since she and her husband purchased a farm there shortly after marriage. They raised three children and have 12 grandchildren. After finishing graduate studies at Whitewater in the 80’s, Pat worked as an individual and family therapist and had a clinic in Elkhorn for a number of years. Her husband, Paul, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016. They enjoy meeting new friends and attending a variety of dementia friendly events in Walworth County.
Lisa Selje-Lisa is a lifelong Wisconsin resident currently living near Milton, Wisconsin. She earned a BA from UW-Madison in 1988 and MLIS in 1996. She raised a family of five children in Rio, Wisconsin, and worked professionally as a librarian for many years. From 2008, she served as Library Director at the Matheson Memorial Library in Elkhorn and retired in September, 2021. Lisa currently is caring for elderly parents including her mother with dementia. She is an avid reader and lifelong gardener, and became a Master Gardener through the UW-Extension program in Walworth County. She enjoys traveling and visiting her kids and grandkids.
Eric Russow-Eric has had his private financial services business for the past 25 years and continues today. He and his wife Bernadette have worked with the Alzheimer’s Association since 2007. They were awarded the Wally Phillips Spirt award in 2016 and began the Dementia Friendly Community Initiative in 2016. Walworth County was the first county in Wisconsin to be recognized Nationally by the Dementia Friendly America Network and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
Bernadette Russow-Bernadette had her own child care business for many years and also was a top Wisconsin Real Estate agent for 20 years. In 1996 Bernadette became a personal care giver for her father, until his passing in 2000. She then joined Eric in his personal financial services business, They have been involved with Alzheimer’s Association since 2007 and began the Dementia Friendly Community Imitative with Eric in 2016. They have been married for 57 years.