AJM Foundation


The Aaron J. Meyer Foundation, Inc. was established in 2005 to provide housing options and activity opportunities for college students in substance use recovery in Madison, WI. We opened Aaron’s House in August 2007. Today the Foundation inspires people to use their talents and ideas to make Madison a “community of choice” for college students who want to better themselves and get an education while living a recovery life.

Aaron’s House is a project spearheaded by the Aaron Meyer Foundation in collaboration with experts in the field of recovery counseling. Aaron’s House is guided by evidence based practices proven effective for young college students in recovery.  The Aaron’s House project has captured the hearts and minds of the Madison community and people everywhere who care.

Created after the death of Aaron Meyer at age 18, the Aaron J. Meyer Foundation, Inc. is comprised of family and friends who are inspired to affect the world because Aaron lived.  In his memory and reflective of his spirit, Aaron’s House is a supportive living environment for young men, ages 18-26, who are in recovery from chemical dependency. Living at Aaron’s House, they continue their college educations and lead fuller, more healthy lifestyles.

AJM Foundation Board of Directors

Susan Pierce Jacobsen, President

Susan Pierce Jacobsen is the Community Investment Manager at American Family Insurance and a director of the Pierce Family Foundation.  In addition to her work with the Aaron Meyer Foundation, Susan sits on the advisory board of the American Family Children’s Hospital, is active within the local JDRF chapter and is a past president of the Friends of UW Hospital and Clinics board of directors; her focus within these groups being fundraising and marketing. 

She is proud to serve as the president of the Aaron J. Meyer Foundation board and is working toward the day when we have a collegiate substance use recovery community in Madison.

tom_meyer_150x225Tom Meyer – Founder

Father of Aaron. The basic structure of Aaron’s House was an idea by Aaron for his own recovery: live with peers in recovery, hold a job, enroll in college courses, work a recovery program, and give back to the community.

Tom has been the inspiration behind the development and growth of Aaron’s House; actively sharing the story of Aaron’s House through his public speaking engagements.  In addition, he is a collaborator in the area of Collegiate Recovery working toward a Collegiate Substance Use Recovery Community in Madison by the fall of 2017. 


Mike Lawrence, Vice President

Michael Lawrence is Vice President, Business Banking at Park Bank, Madison WI.  Michael has been in the banking and finance field for over 25 years. Since 2010, he has managed a portfolio of over $220,000,000 in loans and investments and continues to grow Park Bank with business clients and personal relationship banking.Previously, Michael worked for State Bank of Cross Plains, Loan Performance in San Francisco, GE Capital in Raleigh, NC and Freddie Mac in Vienna, VA. 

Active in the Madison Community, Lawrence is currently on the Board of Directors for Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund and is past President of the Waunakee Area Chamber of Commerce and member of the Town of Middleton Planning Commission.

Melissa_150x225Melissa LeGrand, Vice President

Melissa LeGrand is a Relocation Specialist and top producing Realtor at Restaino & Associates in Madison. She is an active member of the Middleton Chamber of Commerce.

Melissa is proud to serve as Vice President of the Aaron Meyer Foundation because she believes Collegiate Recovery Housing is necessary and possible in Madison. Melissa was business partners with Tom and Cathy Meyer when they lost Aaron. She feels passionately about keeping Aaron’s dream alive and changing the conversation about addiction. Recovery is prideful not shameful.

LynnLynn Boysen, Treasurer

Lynn Boysen is retired VP of Private Banking from Park Bank.  She spent 26 years in banking in the Madison area. 

In addition to her work with Aaron Meyer foundation, Lynn is active in the fundraising events of St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Madison.  She has also served on numerous boards in the past including, YWCA of Madison, Gilda’s Club, Downtown Madison Inc., Madison Park’s Foundation, and The Rotary Club of Madison.   She is proud to serve as treasurer of the Aaron J. Meyer Foundation board and looks forward to the culmination of several exciting initiatives and to continued assistance and success with Aaron’s House.

nowka-150x225Carla Nowka, Secretary 

Carla J Nowka is the business development manager for Preferred Title and its affiliate offices.  She has been extremely involved in real estate industry related organizations and is currently serving on the board of directors for the Realtors Association of South Central Wisconsin. 

Carla strongly believes in giving back to the community, and currently volunteers at the local community clothes closet and children’s ministry program at church. 

Having met Tom Meyer shortly after Aaron’s death, she has been a supporter of  Aaron’s House since it opened in 2007.  Joining the board of the Aaron J. Meyer Foundation is truly an honor, as well as a tremendous opportunity to help educate the collegiate community that living sober can be fun and enjoyable. 

Renae BuchheimRenae Buchheim, Board Member

Renae is a Senior Marketing Consultant for UW Health, where she has worked for more than 15 years.

Honored and proud to be a member of the Aaron J. Meyer Foundation board, Renae is excited about the development of a larger collegiate recovery community in Madison. As a DeForest resident, Renae has focused much of her community service there. She has served on the Norway Grove Memorial Lutheran Church Council, chaired and assisted with Norski Soccer Club tournaments, coordinated efforts to bring The Malaria Project to the Madison area and is a member of the American Heart Association’s Circle of Red.


Tim Kritter, Board Member Emeritus

Timothy Kritter served actively on the Aaron J. Meyer Foundation board from  2005 – 2008 and rejoined the board in 2015.

Tim founded TJK Design Build in 1992 and has successfully worked in the Greater Madison Area design and construction business for over 25 years.  He serves on the Park Bank Board of Directors, served on the Madison Children’s Museum Board of Directors and is in the Ambassador’s Circle of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  He is a member Downtown Madison, Inc. and the Madison Chamber of Commerce.

As a personal friend of the Meyer family, he takes pride in keeping Aaron’s dream alive.

cathymeyer_150x225Cathy Meyer, Board Member Emeritus

Mom of Aaron who served actively on the AJM board from 2009-2014, has transitioned into the role of Emeritus Board member. 

Cathy helped bring Aaron’s vision to life and looks forward to staying connected through special events.



AJ_150x225Anthony (AJ) Ernst, Ph.D., LMSW-ACP, Board Member Emeritus

Anthony (AJ) Ernst, Ph.D., LMSW-ACP brings more than 25 years of experience as a clinician, adjunct faculty, senior analyst, and administrator. Dr. Ernst provides local, state, and national leadership in the field of substance use and mental health. He has led targeted clinical training and technical assistance initiatives; strategic planning, implementation, and evaluation projects; curricula development; and evidence-based practice development and implementation.
Dr. Ernst serves as the Director of Residential Services for Aaron’s House. He resides in Middleton with his wife and daughters.

Past Board Members

Sarah Dunn-Carpenter

Served on the Board of Directors from: 2012-2014

Nancy Johnson-Cramer, PhD, OTR

Served on the Board of Directors from:

Robert Dunn

Served on the Board of Directors from:

Jeff Kuchenbecker, CPA, CFE

Served on the Board of Directors from:

Steve Larson

Served on the Board of Directors from:  2005 – 2008

Linda Leonhart

Served on the Board of Directors from:  2005 – 2008

Robin Marohn

Served on the Board of Directors from:  2005 – 2008

Judy Walsh

Served on the Board of Directors from:  2005 – 2008