Now Enrolling K4 - 4th Grade

La Casa de Esperanza Staff Listing

Shari Campbell


Chief Operating Officer

Shari began working at La Casa de Esperanza, as Director of Children, Family & Youth Services in 2000. Shari graduated from UW-Green Bay with majors in Human Development and Elementary Education, and earned her Master’s in Business Administration in 2011.  She began her career as a middle school English teacher and was an adult educator for two years. However, the majority of her 24 years of professional experience has been in the field of Early Childhood Education in the non-profit sector.

In the field of Early Childhood Education, Shari has been a teacher; owned a large center in Fairbanks, Alaska; directed two centers for The Salvation Army in Syracuse, New York; and was Early Childhood Services and Clinical Director for a program for children with special needs in Watertown, New York.

In 2015 Shari become La Casa’s Chief Operating Officer and oversees the following programs and services: Children’s Education Programs, Workforce Development and Financial Stability, La Casa Village I & II, Café Esperanza, Communications, Human Resources, Facilities, Technology, and Special Events.

Patrick Larkin

Vice President of Weatherization

Patrick has over 15 years’ experience in the energy efficiency industry. All 15 years have been dedicated at non-profit and government agencies, most recently working as a Lead Program and Policy Analyst for the Department of Administration – Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources. Patrick began his career in the field completing weatherization work and his position responsibilities during that time have included conducting energy audits, state weatherization trainings, technical assistance, quality assurance, utility management, Department of Energy evaluations, and presenting at national conferences. He has contributed to energy efficiency programs and weatherization studies in Missouri, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Ailec González

Ailec Gonzalez

Vice President of Finance

Ailec González is the Vice President of Finance for La Casa de Esperanza. With fourteen years of experience in the nonprofit sector and 21 years of accounting experience, Ailec’s primary responsibility as VP of Finance is the overall financial and administrative management of $16 million annual budget of the organization.

Laurel Andersen


Director of Human Resources

My original direction when I attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, was to be a voice major and sing professionally or teach music but I changed direction after attending Prospect Hall, a two-year private secretarial college for girls.

It was the training I received at Prospect Hall that got me a job, sight-unseen, at Coca-Cola UK/Europe in London working for the Sales Director and eventually as Executive Assistant to the Managing Director. A move to Toronto, Canada put me back in the Sales and Marketing Department and gave me yet another perspective on learning about personal interaction with people in a different culture.

After several years at a large advertising agency where I was the Executive Assistant to the President and Executive Vice President of the agency as well as the H.R. Director and supervisor of the entire secretarial pool, I decided to start my own home business so that I could spend more time with my children. I worked as a legal headhunter for the next six years and now am pleased to be Director of Human Resources at La Casa where all of our staff members are my clients. It’s a privilege to be part of an agency that truly serves the community for the betterment of our society.

Gina Sanchez

Director of Center for Financial Stability

Gina M. Sanchez Juarez started La Casa de Esperanza in 2008 and headed the Financial Stability Initiative of United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.  She holds 6 certifications by NeighborWorks America’s Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling in the areas of; Financial Capability, Pre-Purchase Homeownership Education, Post-Purchase Homeownership Education, Homeownership Counseling, Foreclosure Intervention, Default Counseling, Homeownership Education, Counseling for Program Managers and Executive Directors.  She is also an Advanced IRS Certified Tax Preparer, State of WI Licensed Title Examiner and Notary.  Gina serves as a Commissioner for the Waukesha Housing Authority and has served on many boards and councils that focus on serving the needs of hardworking families and individuals in the Greater Milwaukee Area. 

She has been awarded; 2009 UMOS Hispanic Woman of the Year, 2009 Prevent Child Abuse of America Award, Parents Place Award of Waukesha for work in strengthening families, a Congressional Award and received a City of Waukesha proclamation for “Gina Sanchez Day”. 

Maria Ayala

Vice President of Educational Services

Maria Ayala oversees the operations of the La Casa de Esperanza Charter School and the Early Childhood Education Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction license in School Administration.

Maria has taught elementary school students in Milwaukee Public Schools for 13 years and then went on to train individuals who wanted to teach for 3 years through the Milwaukee Teacher Education Center. She has also worked for the MPS Human Resource department for several years recruiting, hiring and training teachers. Maria then became the principal, and then Director of Education, at La Causa Charter School in Milwaukee. In her time there she was able to grow the school to 800 students and take it from a school that Meets Few Expectations on the State Report Card to a school that Exceeds Expectations.

Cindy Retzack

Cindy Retzack

Senior Housing Specialist

Cindy has been managing Apartments for over 26 years. She and her husband were the Resident Managers in a complex of over 100 units in Menomonee Falls for over 6 ½ years & they also were the Resident Managers in another complex in the Town of Brookfield of 128 units for 6 ½ years.


Carmen de la Paz

Carmen de la Paz

Public Relations

Carmen moved to Waukesha in 1967 after receiving her degree from the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Carmen began her career at La Casa in 1971 as a teacher’s aide in La Escuelita. Later, Carmen was promoted to Lead Teacher and then to Parent Coordinator. She now serves as the Public Relations for La Casa De Esperanza

Mary Hamkins

Mary Hamkins

Senior Accountant/Internal Auditor  

Mary is responsible for keeping and verifying accurate records and for performing a variety of accounting and other financial functions.  Mary has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Dayton and also has her CPA license. She is a senior Accountant and Internal Auditor for La Casa De Esperanza.