ABOUT THE MOVEMENT

    WE ARE A 100% VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION!

    Mission:
    We are a 501c3 non-profit, whose mission is to promote a positive outlook on life, reduce the stigma associated with depression/mental illness, and ultimately prevent suicide through various activities, events, & outreach.
    Vision:
    We want #LIVIN to be universally recognized as an inspiring symbol of mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

    mission

    Prevent suicide by creating quality connections through
    everyday conversations about mental health, by way of programs and partnerships.

    We can’t change the past, but together we can affect the future!

    Vision

    We want #LIVIN to be a universally recognized movement that promotes a world that is just as
    comfortable talking about mental health as it is the weather.

    Start the Conversation, Listen with Intent, Get Busy #LIVIN

    Our Programs

    The LIVIN Foundation focuses on the following things as our main programs and initiatives to reach and help as many people as we can. Our main focus is on peer-to-peer connections and helping people feel comfortable to share their stories and what they are going through with others, but we also want to effectively get them to the support and help they need. Our current programs are as follows;

    Annual LIVIN Music Festival – “Not just a music festival, it’s #LIVIN.”

    Annual Camp LIVIN for families and adults that have lost a loved one to suicide.

    Individual and Family community financial grant assistance related to mental health.

    Training and education – Suicide prevention trainings QPR (Question Persuade, Refer) offered virtually and for free to the public.

    501(c)3 Organization
    Tax ID: 47-3383175

    STARTING THE CONVERSATION

    Events & Outreach

    We support and participate in many activities and outreach including community and speaking engagements.

    We have events all year round regarding the importance of mental health. Contact Us if you are interested in hosting an event!

    Check our Facebook for all the latest events!

    Executive Board of Directors

    Paul "PT" Thomas Hohag

    Founder/Chairman

    Kaitlin Daeges

    Executive Director

    Shawn Pucylowski

    Board Member

    Jack Zipoy

    Board Member

    Sean Haines

    Board Member

    Micah Vegter

    Board Member

    Emily Strotbeck

    Board Member

    Hope

    Help and Hugs Director

    LivinConnected

    Advisory Board

    Charlie Kanan

    CEO & Chairman, Waytek Inc.

    James King

    Senior Partner, Chief Quality Officer, Board Services Practice Leader and Children’s Hospitals Practice Leader, WittKieffer

    Matt Lind

    CPA, Myslajek Kemp Spencer, LTD

    Ashley Lawson

    Senior Philanthropy Officer, Children’s Minnesota

    Julia Yach

    Chief Development Officer, Canvas Health

    Jon Schindel

    COO, The Builders Group

    Nicholas Murphy

    COO & Senior Partner, Healthtek Inc.

    Leadership Team

    Raquell Lundequam

    Administrative Coordinator

    Maria Schugel

    Camp LIVIN Director

    Brooke Hohag

    Camp LIVIN Program Director

    Sarah Wahoske

    Merchandise Director

    Financial Grant Committee Chair

    LIVIN Music Festival Coordinator

    Paul "PT" Thomas Hohag

    Founder and Chairman of the Board
    My name is Paul Thomas Hohag and I’m one of the founders of the LIVIN Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 whose mission is to raise awareness about depression/mental health issues in the hopes of preventing suicide.
    On Jan 21st 2013 my life was transformed when a Bloomington police officer informed me that my father had taken his own life. My father, Thomas Hohag, was not only the most important and influential person in my life but also was an amazing husband, father, neighbor, and friend. And, tragically, he was gone. The “Hawk” was the kind of person who you loved to be with because he made you feel better about who you were. That’s what made him special…his ability to connect with others. It didn’t matter if you were a friend of 40 years or a stranger at the convenience store—he would probably put a smile on your face.
    When he died, there were many unanswered questions and I struggled for a while with many emotions–frustration, anger, sadness, pain–until I came to a conclusion. Instead of focusing on the way he died, I needed to embrace the way he LIVED. I needed to encourage others to TALK about depression & suicide instead of hiding it due to embarrassment. This way we could reduce the stigma associated with depression and other mental illnesses and maybe, just maybe, save a life in the process.
    That is what we have with the LIVIN Foundation–let’s encourage people to be appreciative of the people and things in their lives, let’s chase and live dreams (big or small), let’s laugh with each other (or be ok to cry with each other), and let’s do it in the hope that if someone, somewhere is struggling with depression that they aren’t afraid to step up and ask for help. Let’s be aware of the signs of depression so that we may notice a friend, family member or even a stranger who may be struggling and need some help.
    Let’s embrace life & “GET BUSY #LIVIN” because remember…it is ALWAYS a great day to be alive

    Kaitlin Daeges

    Executive Director

    Kaitlin pursued a career in health insurance as an operations leader for 16 years before making a life-changing decision to completely switch gears and start chasing a career that aligns with her passion and purpose in life. She is a mom, wife, entrepreneur, and leader.

    Her experience in startup companies and large corporations has made her who she is today. She has a proven track record of significantly increasing profitability and shareholder value within organizations. These results have been delivered by creating strong leadership teams and contributing to building vibrant organizational cultures that improve efficiencies and enhance processes.

    The experience, skills, and knowledge that she has gained throughout her operations leadership career have prepared her for where she is today and readily transfer to building successful businesses and delivering outstanding customer experiences in every aspect of her life. Whether she is working on the real estate investment property company that she and her husband own, or the non-profit she runs, the common denominator in all aspects of life, is that the customer experience always comes first, always! Kaitlin has both her real-estate and insurance licenses.

    Kaitlin has now been part of the LIVIN Foundation for 5+ years as the Executive Director. 

    Kaitlin’s Specialties:
    -Operations leadership (contact center and general operations)
    -Ability to motivate people
    -Customer relationship management
    -Team development, leadership, and mentoring
    -Ability to manage cross-functional teams
    -Performance management
    -Alignment of people, process, and technology
    -Real estate investment (vacation rentals by owner)
    -Non-profit management (board and executive level)

    Shawn Pucylowski

    Board Member

    Shawn Pucylowski has been part of the LIVIN Foundation for over two years. Shawn’s background is in finance, with his current role being CFO of Management Research Services, Inc. in the Milwaukee area. Shawn’s experience with start up organizations and strategic vision for growth, are a great asset to the LIVIN foundation.

    Jack Zipoy

    Board Member

    Jack Zipoy is an executive board member and has been part of the organization for over 3 years. Jack is a Senior Account Executive for Gartner. His version of #LIVIN is spending time with his three kids, beautiful wife and golfing!

    Sean Haines

    Board Member
    Sean joins the board of LIVIN with over 25 years of Operational experience, including 19 years as an entrepreneur running a midsized technology installation company before moving to Master Technology Group in Eden Prairie in 2017. Sean and his wife Katie started Stomp Out Suicide (501c3) after losing their daughter in 2011. SOS focused on bringing families together through events, public speaking, and training /implementing Hazelton’s Lifeline program in 22 school districts across MN. In 2017, Sean and Katie made the decision to hand off SOS to Canvas Health who continues to grow and operate the summer event. Sean’s other interests include being on the boat in the summer, fishing, hunting, and spending time with his son Jake and wife Katie. Sean is excited to join the LIVIN family and hopes his passion for mental health and his professional experience will assist in continuing to grow the movement.

    Micah Vegter

    Board Member

    Micah Vegter is the founder and President of Digits Financial Solutions. His professional focus is helping small businesses understand the ins and outs of accounting, translating numbers into meaningful business insights. He was born and raised in Minnesota, crossed the border for school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and currently resides in Denver, Colorado.

    Micah has been a game-changer for our organization in helping us get even more efficient with our finances and accounting.

    Please join us in welcoming Micah to this new role!

    #Passion #Dedicated #Loyal #Genuine #Selfless #StartTheConversation #ReduceTheStigma #GetBusyLIVIN #LIVIN #ItsYourStory

    Emily Strotbeck

    Board Member

    Emily has 10+ years of insurance operations experience within medical, life, disability, and supplemental health benefits. Emily’s experience includes leadership, process development and improvement for contact center, billing, implementation, and data exchange operations.

    Emily has been a volunteer with the LIVIN Foundation for 2+ years, primarily supporting our back-end operational functions. You will also see her smiling face at various events that she volunteers and helps at. 

    Emily’s organizational and operational skills, combined with her level of detail will help us continue to take the LIVIN Foundation to the next level. 

    Please join us in welcoming Emily to this new Board Member role!

    #Passion #Dedicated #Loyal #Genuine #Selfless #StartTheConversation #ListenWithIntent #GetBusyLIVIN #LIVIN #ItsYourStory

    Hope

    Help and Hugs Director

    Hi, I’m Hope, take my hand and come with me for support. LivinConnected is a mental health support platform with a human touch.

    Charlie Kanan

    CEO & Chairman, Waytek Inc.
    Charlie Kanan grew up in the Excelsior community and has been active with many groups throughout his life. Leadership contributions to the community are a regular part of Charlie’s life.  When there is an opportunity to build community, solve problems within the community, or help others, Charlie wants to be involved. Charlie’s business experience spans more than 40 years in a variety of senior leadership and board member positions. Industries included; Burger King, Haagen-Dazs, Play it Again Sports and Fitness and Miracle Ear. He’s currently the CEO and Chairman of the Board at Waytek Inc., a national distributor of electrical supplies. Along his journey, he makes sure to incorporate his life philosophy to “give more than you receive.

    James (jim) King

    Senior Partner, Chief Quality Officer, Board Services Practice Leader and Children’s Hospitals Practice Leader, WittKieffer
    Minneapolis, MN
    As WittKieffer’s chief quality officer as well as the leader of its Board Services and Children’s Hospitals practices, senior partner Jim King is a versatile leader serving organizations spanning the continuum of care. He has found great success by prioritizing client and candidate experiences, ensuring high caliber placements that demonstrate culture fit, strategic vision and organizational impact. Positions for which he commonly recruits include CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CHROs and board members; his physician executive credentials include assignments for chief medical officers, chief clinical officers, chief population health officers, chairs, and service line chiefs.

    Jim specializes in advising and identifying senior executive and board leaders for integrated health systems, academic medical centers, children’s hospitals, faith-based hospitals, behavioral health/addiction treatment organizations and health insurance companies. He has also conducted searches on behalf of not-for-profit organizations and colleges and universities nationwide.

    Jim has been with WittKieffer since 2001 and brings over 25 years of healthcare leadership experience to the firm. Prior to joining WittKieffer, Jim served as vice president of governance and organizational research for Texas Health Resources in Arlington, Texas, one of the largest faith-based, not-for-profit U.S. healthcare systems. Based upon his broad expertise, Jim speaks frequently to hospital trustees, state hospital associations and other professional organizations on healthcare leadership, industry trends and career planning topics.

    In addition to his other roles with WittKieffer, Jim previously served on the firm’s Diversity Council and spent nine years on WittKieffer’s board of directors, seven years as secretary. Jim is active in his community. Among other activities, he serves on the Health Services Management Advisory Board for the University of Minnesota College of Continuing & Professional Studies.

    Matt Lind

    CPA, Myslajek Kemp Spencer, LTD

    Matt plays a leading role in Myslajek Kemp & Spencer, Ltd.’s tax department focusing on taxation of corporations, partnerships and exempt entities.  Matt is originally form Jordan, Minnesota and after graduating from Augustana University in 2008, began his career in public accounting.  He has also taken on numerous advocacy projects including Distracted Driving and “Hands Free” driving initiatives passed by the Minnesota Legislature in 2018.  Matt’s other interests include riding his bike, running on the Minneapolis trails and spending time at the family cabin.

    Ashley Lawson

    Senior Philanthropy Officer, Children’s Minnesota

    Meet Ashley Lawson, Advisory Board Member! As a Senior Philanthropy Officer at Children’s Minnesota, Ashley Lawson connects donors and community partners with the incredible mission of raising healthier kids. She has over 14 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising and communications, and is passionate about improving the lives of others. Ashley received her B.A. in Communications from the University of North Dakota, and her Master in Public Affairs from the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota. In addition to her professional work, she enjoys traveling, seeing any kind of live music, spending time with friends and family, and has been a coach to the Special Olympics Minnesota team, the Minneapolis Eagles, for more than 10 years. We are so grateful to have Ashley on the team!

     

    Julia Yach

    Chief Development Officer, Canvas Health

    As Canvas Health’s Marketing and Development Director, Julia Yach is responsible for the agency’s fundraising, marketing, communications, and special events efforts. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing and communications field, including serving as Director of Marketing at the Autism Society of Minnesota. She holds her BA in Public Relations and Electronic Publishing from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Julia loves live music, running, traveling, and spending time with her two teenagers and husband. She’s proud to be a member of the LIVIN Advisory Board because she’s passionate about increasing access to help for those who struggle with their mental health.

    Jon Schindel

    COO, The Builders Group

    Jon Schindel spent 20 years in the private practice of law, focusing on small to mid-sized businesses. Jon left private practice in 2023 and took on a role as Chief Operating Officer at The Builders Group (TBG) after representing the company as outside counsel for 15 years. TBG is a self-insured workers compensation fund that provides coverage over 700 Minnesota construction companies. In addition, through two separate non-profits, TBG supports the trades by offering safety training services, by providing scholarships for people entering the trades, and by donating equipment to schools that offer trades-based education programs. Jon provides legal recommendations to the LIVIN Foundation and, through is twin cities professional network, helps to connect us with people that can help to drive the LIVIN mission forward.

    Nicholas Murphy

    COO & Senior Partner, Healthtek Inc.

    We are so excited to welcome Nicholas Murphy to our Advisory Board! Nicholas and the Healthtek team have collectively helped us develop and launch our new mental health platform with a human touch, LivinConnected. Nicholas Murphy is behind a number of innovative tech solutions from content platforms to remote patient monitoring solutions within the health industry. He has over 30 years experience in the software development arena from game development, community building, managed digital platforms and app development. Matched with his love for everything digital is his attachment to the earth and a drive to transform damaged land into healthier growing grounds.

    Raquell Lundequam

    Administrative Coordinator
    Raquell is a military wife and Mom to three children. She’s an avid coffee drinker, country music listener and loves to volunteer. If she can give one person a smile, a hug or glimpse of hope that day; It brings her true joy. #LIVIN found her when she personally needed some hope. The foundation has helped her family and she would like to continue helping others however she can.

    Sarah Wahoske

    Merchandise Director
    We would like to introduce you to Sarah Wahoske, our new Merchandise Director! Sarah is a proud Minnesota native now residing in Madison, WI (don’t worry, she’s not a full on cheese-head!) and mom of two amazing children. She’s the owner and creator of Not Your Plain Sarah Jane, a fashion blog and personal styling service.

    When asked why she is so passionate about LIVIN, she had this to say; “I love creating and bringing merchandise to life for this amazing organization with a cause so prevalent in today’s world.”

    Look for lots of new and limited edition merch coming soon! Start shopping now: https://bit.ly/3mV7Bl7

    #Volunteer #Passion #Merchandise #Swag #Dedicated #Loyal #Genuine #Selfless #StartTheConversation #ReduceTheStigma #GetBusyLIVIN #LIVIN #ItsYourStory

    Maria Schugel

    Camp LIVIN Director
    Congratulations to Maria Schugel for receiving one of our annual LIVIN Foundation Rockstar Volunteer Awards! Maria is our Camp LIVIN Director and has over 30 years of experience running camps. We are lucky that she has been part of LIVIN for over 3 years! We also want to recognize Brooke Hohag for being the visionary and mastermind behind the creation of Camp LIVIN and introducing Maria to LIVIN. Together, these two are paving the way for a new concept of quality connection and impacting lives.
    When asked why she is so passionate about LIVIN, she had this to say; “It’s the people that I am able to connect and work with that make it all worth it.The amount of passion, energy and dedication I have felt is like none other. It’s an honor to be able to connect with families and be part of their journey. Camp is a unique and powerful experience that has changed lives, including mine!”
    #RockstarVolunteerAward #Volunteer #Dedicated #Loyal #Genuine #Selfless #StartTheConversation #ReduceTheStigma #GetBusyLIVIN #LIVIN #ItsYourStory

    Brooke Hohag

    Camp LIVIN Program Director
    Shout out to Brooke Hohag, our Camp LIVIN Program Director!
    Brooke has been with the organization since the conception of Camp LIVIN in 2019. She has played an integral part in the creation, development and growth of our Camp LIVIN program experience for families that have lost a loved one to suicide. Brooke has 8+ years of Camp program experience and has a wealth of knowledge to help us continue to grow and expand Camp, which will ultimately impact and save more lives. We know that together, Brooke and Maria Schugel (Camp LIVIN Director), will continue to make Camp a life-changing experience.
    We are so proud to have Brooke on our team!
    #Passion #Dedicated #Loyal #Genuine #Selfless #StartTheConversation #ReduceTheStigma #GetBusyLIVIN #LIVIN #ItsYourStory

    Brooke Nault

    Financial Grant Committee Chair

    Brooke Nault is our Financial Grant Committee Chair and has been with the LIVIN foundation since its inception in 2015. The foundation has a special place in Brooke’s heart who lost her father to suicide in 2009. To be able to give hope, help and virtual hugs to those in need is a huge motivator and it’s why she loves being a part of the grant committee. We are lucky to have Brooke part of the LIVIN Foundation, helping so many people through our grant program.

    Krissy Iverson

    LIVIN Music Festival Coordinator

    We are thrilled to welcome Krissy Iverson to the LIVIN Family, as our LIVIN Music Festival Coordinator. Krissy and Shannon Hoheisel, our LIVIN Music Festival Director, will work together to continue to grow and lead the music festival.

    My name is Krissy Iverson and I am the mother of two amazing teenagers. I love to spend my time volunteering, planning events and camping with my camping family. I was drawn to the Livin Family because of my passion for volunteering and helping others. I have someone very special to me that deals daily with severe mental health and helping with Livin is just one way I can give back and honor him. I am excited to join the team as the new Music Festival Coordinator. What could be better than Country Music and helping others!

    BBQ Competition

    Beverages

    Thank you for your feedback! We truly believe that we are better when we work together!

    Camping

    Music

    Cornhole Tournament

    Kids Daytime Play Zone

    Powerful & Inspirational Program

    #LIVIN Merchandise
    and Swag

    Food Trucks