Team

Learn more about the talented folks behind Urban Triage, Inc.

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Urban Triage's Squad

Brandi Grayson
Founder, CEO

Brandi Grayson is the proud mother of 3 daughters, 28, 27, 22, and a 5-year-old son. She’s worn many hats over the last 20 years. From a treatment foster parent to an adoptive parent.  To a community organizer, a comedian, and a radio talk show host to an assistant social worker. A list of her roles includes a Director of Programming, a Program Manager, a Business Manager, a Program Analyst, and a Realtor.  And it doesn't stop there. She served as a Claims Adjuster, Field Inspector, and Field Manager for a construction company. Currently, she is the Founder, CEO, and President of Urban Triage, Inc, and Grayson Consulting, LLC. 

Many know her work with the Young Gifted and Black Coalition (YGB), which she co-founded in 2014 in response to the murder of Mike Brown, and most recently, her leadership as CEO of Urban Triage following the murder of George Floyd. Ms. Grayson embodies what she stands for: supporting healthy Black families, transformative justice & education, integrity, breakthroughs, and Black liberation, bringing decades of experience working with Black families and children and program development and implementation while simultaneously experiencing the intersectionality of Black vulnerability. Leading her to found and ground her work in creating a better world and understanding that a better world starts with self: self-awareness, accountability, integrity, self-discovery, and the will to heal. 

She takes pride in empowering, inspiring breakthroughs and transformation in Black people and Black communities. Her work reflects the attributes of Blackness that are rarely centered---Black excellence through healing, Black resilience, Black creativity, Black compassion, Black economic development, and most importantly, Black love.

Contact Brandi

Sharmecia Brown
Operations Manager

Sharmecia Brown has lived in Madison for 30 years now and has worn many different hats throughout her life. Mother, step-mother, grandmother, and last but not least, caretaker. She has two sons, two daughters, a step-son, a grandson, a granddaughter, and twin 1-year-old girls, who are extended family members. 

Some nights and weekends she manages the home of her client, who is disabled, and ensures that she is receiving proper staffing and care in her home, to maintain, her healthiest and best life in the safety of her own home. She wears each hat proudly and unapologetically; putting her all into every role sympathetically and wholeheartedly. 

All of her experiences have led her to where she is today, Program Manager. She has discovered her calling at Urban Triage and is thrilled about this new rewarding, gratifying position to say the least. She is excited to get the ball rolling and go in swinging!

Myana Cystrunk
Executive Assistant to the CEO

Myana Cystrunk, was born and raised in Madison, Wi. She is super creative, talented, and has successfully run her own small local business for the last year! New to the non profit industry she is excited to be a part of a selfless and fast growing company! Prior to joining Urban Triage, she recently worked in childcare for the last three years in the position of Lead Teacher. This position allowed Myana to perfect her problem solving and planning skills and fostered her passion for helping others especially children. 


As the Executive Assistant for Urban Triage’s CEO, she is responsible for providing one-on-one support for the CEO, overseeing and managing special projects as directed by the CEO, some with organizational impact. She also assists with providing a bridge for smooth communication between the office of the CEO and internal departments. 


In her free time she loves to work on marketing and promoting her own business, creating new ideas and doing what she can to help support the community. She loves doing makeup and hair for close friends and families. She also enjoys modeling for other local businesses in need! 


Myana’s passion for wanting to better herself and others around her is the reason she began her career with Urban Triage, the goal is to become a better person and more self aware of things going on around her. Urban Triage has opened the door for her to do that.

Lorissa R. Bañuelos
Director of Marketing

Prior to joining Urban Triage, Lorissa R. Bañuelos served as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director, for Employment Resource Group Inc. (ERG). ERG is an executive search firm that specializes in providing companies with the right people by helping both the person and the company to understand collaborative success. 

Lorissa has also held the role of Director of Marketing and Investor Relations, for New North, Inc., Northeast Wisconsin’s regional economic development corporation. Lorissa focused on providing a positive and engaging experience for New North investors and partners, by building and maintaining strong relationships through constant communication of New North's annual plans, and engagement opportunities. Being responsible for all marketing efforts, she created copy and assisted in the look and feel of all marketing materials. To enable collaborative efforts to engage investors and the regional economic development and business community, she led the planning and implementation of the organization's events, including the New North Summit, the region’s largest annual networking event.

Bañuelos is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a degree in Business Administration, with emphases in Marketing and Management. She held a series of marketing and leadership roles throughout her time at UWGB, including implementation of strategic initiatives for the College of Health, Education and Social Welfare.

A Madison native, Bañuelos is happy to be back home and looks forward to rediscovering Madison with family, friends and her 4 year old yellow lab, Harrison Bañuelos.

Contact Lorissa


Ruthanna Hutton-Okpalaeke
Agriculture Program Lead

Ruthanna graduated from the University of Wisconsin River Falls with a BA in Bio-Medical Science in 2017. After completing her undergraduate work, she joined the Peace Corps where she worked as an Agriculture extension agent for over 2 years. Ruthanna has worked in various laboratory and Animal Care settings since her graduation. As Agriculture Program Lead Ruthanna handles all aspects of the agricultural programming at Urban Triage.

Destiny Persinger
Program Lead

Destiny Persinger is a creative, artistic soul who has never met someone she didn't love. She has lived in Madison Wisconsin for 24 years now. New to the non-profit industry, she is eager to be a part of this selfless organization. She recently was working for UW Health as a Medical Assistant and was ready to be in the community first-hand, as she has a passion for putting herself on the frontlines every chance she can to make a difference. 

As the Administrative Support Specialist for Urban Triage, she is responsible for the administrative piece of our organization and supports all staff members. She also focuses on managing the final review process and processing checks for our Rental Support team.

When she is not changing the world as a rent abatement for Urban Triage, she is a reader of Black literature, a lover of Black people, and an influencer of makeup who always is learning new techniques! She also enjoys reading books, traveling to new places, and trying new foods. She doesn't have any children, but she has a niece and a nephew that she treats as her own. She enjoys spoiling them, and then sending them back home to their mom! 

Chastity Natera
Office Manager

Chastity Natera, 27, was born and raised in Madison, WI. Chastity loves being a mother to her beautiful, energetic 5-year-old son. Prior to joining Urban Triage, she worked in childcare for several years. It was a major change in every aspect, but right away she felt at home and quickly became passionate about the work of Urban Triage. 

Chastity is the Quality Assurance Lead in the Rental Assistance Department at Urban Triage. She strives to be the best and do her best at everything she does. Chastity thrives in her role and is entrusted with Quality Assurance, due to her attention to detail and time management. These qualities allow Chastity to ensure that the rental support team provides exceptional customer service and processes rental assistance applications with the utmost accuracy. 

Chastity’s passion for wanting to be a part of something greater than herself is the reason she began her journey at Urban Triage. Chastity started in the roles of Phone Support Specialist in the Rental Assistance Department, where she was able to reach a large and diverse group of people in the community on a more personal level. It’s helped her get to know a lot more about the needs of her community and brought to light what is really important: support in your community. Becoming the Quality Assurance Lead has helped her to see how important it is to work as a team with not just your co-workers, but with your community.

Chastity’s biggest goal is to become a better, more empowered HER so that she can be as present as possible in her world as well as her son’s. She wants to become completely self-aware and Urban Triage has opened and led the path for her to do so.


Marlyn Person
Program Manager | Rental Support

Marlyn is a mother of two girls, ages 2 and 3 months. She joined Urban Triage in October of 2021 as a Rental Support Specialist. Marlyn previously worked in food service for seven years before joining the Urban Triage team. She loves working with people and helping when she can, as she is a very kind and passionate person. When she's not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her family and do fun-filled activities with them. She is excited to be a part of this amazing organization and to help the people in our community! 

Silvan Fleming
Unhoused Neighbors Outreach Specialist

Silvan was born and raised in Madison Wisconsin. He has worked in many fields ranging from art galleries to retail and customer service. He was also an intern in the IT field as an application developer. Silvan is creative, and early on in his college career, he transferred his major from liberal arts to graphic design. He graduated from YWeb Career Program and gained the skills to provide front-end web development, coding, and IT.  

In his free time, he enjoys painting, drawing, and dance. In high school, Silvan participated in dance competitions, and his favorite styles of dance are breakdancing, popping, tutting, and gliding. Silvan practices martial arts today and won a gold medal in his last competition. 

As an Unhoused Neighbor Outreach Specialist, Silvan spends time making rounds in the community and reaching out to those who are experiencing homelessness. He builds relationships with clients and creates assessments to provide essential items and permanent resources. Silvan enjoys this work because it challenges him to be a better version of himself. It is his belief that once you stop growing as a person, you stop living. Working in this field allows him to grow as a person, but most importantly supports his community by helping those in need.

Contact Silvan

Clarence Hood
Unhoused Neighbors Outreach Specialist

Clarence is a Madison Native and is excited to start his journey as an Outreach Specialist. Clarence is ecstatic to get to help POC in the Madison Area. His transition to the Outreach group, is a new role but he is passionate about community engagement and reaching those most vulnerable. He credits Urban Triage as being a place where he feels he belongs. He is excited to make an impact with Urban Triage!


Board of Directors

Brandi Grayson
President

Brandi Grayson is the proud mother of 3 daughters, 28, 27, 22, and a 5-year-old son. She’s worn many hats over the last 20 years. From a treatment foster parent to an adoptive parent.  To a community organizer, a comedian, and a radio talk show host to an assistant social worker. A list of her roles includes a Director of Programming, a Program Manager, a Business Manager, a Program Analyst, and a Realtor.  And it doesn't stop there. She served as a Claims Adjuster, Field Inspector, and Field Manager for a construction company. Currently, she is the Founder, CEO, and President of Urban Triage, Inc, and Grayson Consulting, LLC.

Many know her work with the Young Gifted and Black Coalition (YGB), which she co-founded in 2014 in response to the murder of Mike Brown, and most recently, her leadership as CEO of Urban Triage following the murder of George Floyd. Ms. Grayson embodies what she stands for: supporting healthy Black families, transformative justice & education, integrity, breakthroughs, and Black liberation, bringing decades of experience working with Black families and children and program development and implementation while simultaneously experiencing the intersectionality of Black vulnerability. Leading her to found and ground her work in creating a better world and understanding that a better world starts with self: self-awareness, accountability, integrity, self-discovery, and the will to heal.

She takes pride in empowering, inspiring breakthroughs and transformation in Black people and Black communities. Her work reflects the attributes of Blackness that are rarely centered---Black excellence through healing, Black resilience, Black creativity, Black compassion, Black economic development, and most importantly, Black love.

Catherine Orr
Secretary

Catherine Orr is recently retired from a 20-year career as a professor in Beloit College's Critical Identity Studies Department. She is also co-founder/CEO of Reflective Justice LLC, a DEI consulting firm for higher education. When she's not facilitating conversations about what it looks like to decolonize the curriculum/pedagogy/culture/operations at colleges and universities, she is most likely getting paint, glue, and paper everywhere as she follows her passion for mixed-media art. No matter who she's hanging with, she tries to create opportunities for people to see themselves as equity-driven leaders and regularly talks up the benefits of Black women's leadership to address what ails all of us. She's a runner, a cat guardian, a life partner, and a mom to a 14-year-old who attends LaFollette High School.

Diondray J. Premo
Treasurer

Diondray Premo is a Community Engagement Officer for Park Bank.  He has always had a passion for developing relationships with as many people as possible and being the center of attention. It took a while for Diondray to realize his passion for bringing awareness to the unequal treatment of the Black Community, as he grew up in a house with two white parents.


Diondray graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh in 2011. This is where he began to discover his identity and role as an educator of the mistreatment of Black people.  When Diondray is not work, he spends a majority of the time with his two sons, who he is preparing to take on the world as mixed, Black children.

Kayla Conklin
Board Member

Kayla Conklin is currently serving as the Talent Management Officer at Park Bank, but her passion for seeking out talent and helping people find their purpose has been prevalent throughout her career. She began as a first-generation college student at UW-Madison in 2014, and immediately was eager to be a part of something on campus. Within one semester, Kayla made the cheerleading team and became a student athlete cheering on the Badgers at every football and basketball game of the season. Outside of school and cheerleading, Kayla supported herself throughout college by working part time at a local non-profit supervising a post incarceration re-entry home.

In 2018, Kayla graduated from UW-Madison on the Dean’s List with a B.A. in Legal Studies and a certificate in Criminal Justice. Kayla joined RISE Wisconsin working with at-risk youth and families to provide sustainability in the community and deter youth from institutions. In addition, she worked part-time at Briarpatch Youth Services serving homeless youth in the local shelter.

It is by no accident that Kayla transitioned to Park Bank, the bank that helps community members find their purpose and lead them to their achievements. Kayla was promoted to join the Human Resources team where she is responsible for recruitment, retention, and development of top talent with a diversity, equity, inclusion lens. With the skills obtained from her M.S., Kayla intends to continue bringing corporate activism and creating inclusive spaces at Park Bank to serve the Madison community more equitably.

Alex Lindenmeyer
Board Member

Alex Lindenmeyer is the co-owner of Short Stack Eatery, a community-focused breakfast spot located in the heart of Downtown Madison. Alex and her Short Stack team focus on supporting Black-led organizations and anti-racist work in this community. If Alex is not in the kitchen slinging hot cakes, you can find her fixing bikes as a volunteer bike mechanic at Wheels for Winners or chilling with her dog Murphy.

Sage Weil
Board Member

Sage Weil is a technologist and entrepreneur focused on voting rights and strengthening democratic institutions.  He previously worked with VoteAmerica on software and programs to register and turn out voters in 2020.  In a previous life, Sage focused on building free and opens source software systems and communities. He was the co-creator and former project lead for Ceph, an open source distributed storage system based on his PhD research at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  He co-founded Inktank in 2012 to productize Ceph for the enterprise and sold the company to Red Hat in 2014, where he worked in the Office of the CTO to shape Red Hat’s overall storage technology strategy.

Juan José Fonseca Angel
Board Member

Juan José Fonseca Angel is an attorney. He grew up in Bogota, Colombia, but has lived in Madison for over a decade. Juan obtained his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. He is passionate about immigration justice and pro bono work.

Liz Herman
Advisory Board

Liz Herman, MSW, Family Advocate Early Head Start home-based program at  ReachDane, has lived in Madison for over 15 years. She has been working with the Co-conspirator program since Cohort 2, and she supports Urban Triage by serving on the Advisory Council to the Board.

Amanda Riley
Advisory Board

Amanda Riley, Lead Elementary Guide, Isthmus Montessori Academy Public, moved recently to Madison after living in Milwaukee for seven years. Amanda is from Texas originally, and moved to the Midwest for the wetter weather.  She loves to grow food in her garden, cook food in my kitchen, and collaborate with other people at nourishing ourselves and each other as well as raising trusting big-hearted children who will share in the work.  Amanda has been working with the Co-conspirator program since Cohort 2, and she supports Urban Triage by serving on the Advisory Council to the Board.

Jessica Snyder
Advisory Board

Jessica is a graduate of Rochester Community and Technical College with an Associate Degree in Health Information Technology and of Madison College with an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology. Jessica Snyder has been with UW Health since 2010. After a brief career as a Certified Veterinary Technician, she started in the Volunteer Services Department at UW Health coordinating volunteers. After graduating with her HIT degree, she started as a Medical Coding Specialist and three years later promoted to Coding Supervisor, a role she has held for over seven years now, managing 25+ staff. Jessica is passionate about being a leader who places humanity first and models her management style on Servant Leadership. 

Jessica has been an active volunteer for a number of organizations in the Madison area and has been with Urban Triage since its inception, with her main focus being co-facilitating the Urban Triage Co-Conspirators Workgroup and doing whatever she can to help that program and Urban Triage flourish and grow. In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking, gardening (but not weeding), reading, and spending time with her cats, dog, family, and friends.

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