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Painting Pathways

About Painting Pathways

Painting Pathways Clubhouse empowers people with mental health concerns by supporting recovery, building community and providing hope.

PPC clubhouse ribbon cutting
A Clubhouse is a community of people who are working together toward a common goal: recovery from mental illness. Statistics show that 1 in 4 people will be impacted by mental illness in their lifetime.

We are here to help by supporting those with mental illness in Manitowoc County.

Meet Our Team

Our staff bring diverse levels of lived experience, education and training

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Amber Hutchison

Executive Director

Sara headshot for bio

Sara Klusmeyer

CPS, CCS Coordinator

Linda Kerscher headshot for bio

Linda Kerscher

Mental Health Navigator

Todd is pictured wearing a blue shirt in front of a patch of bright yellow sunflowers on a sunny, clear day.

Todd Larson

Mental Health Navigator / CSS Provider

Gabriella is pictured smiling in front of a gray brick wall wearing a plaid jacket and black shirt

Gabriella Thiel

Mental Health Navigator / CCS Provider

Board of Directors

Dan Hornung

Board President

Callie Schroeder

Board Vice President

John Stangel

Board Treasurer

Gary Keesling

Candice Giesen

Cindy Carter

Heather Verhelst


Painting Pathways Clubhouse has turned my life upside down, in a positive way. Before the clubhouse, I was isolated and I was going down a very dark and dangerous path. I was a lost soul, looking for a purpose in life. Since coming to the clubhouse, I finally feel wanted, appreciated, loved, and, at last, I have the family I’ve been searching for my entire life. What more could anyone ask for?
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Alice M.
Clubhouse Member
Painting Pathways has been a place for me to socialize and be creative.
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Margaret H.
Clubhouse Member
Painting Pathways has helped me find constructive ways of handling my anger.
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Clubhouse Member
The clubhouse helps me cope.
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Olivia G.
Clubhouse Member
For me, Painting Pathways has given me a non-judgmental family in which I am able to share the challenges I face in life. I’ve never had the support of my family, and society has judged me so harshly that I struggle with anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder. I also face a devastating disease which I focused so much on, that I couldn’t see anything good about myself and felt like I didn’t deserve the good things or loving relationships. Painting Pathways changed my mind and changed my life.
Painting Pathways Logo
Clubhouse Member

Brian Portzen

Brian was born and raised in Manitowoc, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin: Madison. Brian worked in government, primarily in St. Paul, Minnesota, for 35 years and joined Painting Pathways as Executive Director in 2022. He defines his 35-year career as bringing care, compassion, and meaningful services to those who have been mislabeled and mistreated by society.

During Brian’s 35 years in government service, he was involved in providing, developing and supervising programming in juvenile corrections. In addition, Brian was involved in Juvenile Justice Reform, specifically being part of the Annie E Casey Juvenile Detention Reform Alternative Initiative (JDAI). The result of that work was the reduction of the use of juvenile detention, reform of the juvenile detention practices, and in providing mental health services and programming to all youth who were incarcerated.The success of these reforms were due to the use of data based decisions and practices and community engagement. Brian brings those practices to his work at Painting Pathways Clubhouse in Manitowoc County 

Brian is an advocate for increasing access to helping relationships for those in greatest need. He is dedicated to bringing peer-led mental health programming and services to Manitowoc County in an effort to increase the overall quality and availability of mental healthcare.

Brian resides in Two Rivers with his wife. In his free time, he enjoys nature, bicycling, photography, and listening to music.

Sara headshot for bio

Sara Schuetze

Sara was born and raised in Manitowoc, spending most of her working career at the Manitowoc Public School District. Sara’s concern for mental health resources in our area combined with her lived experiences led her to join the Painting Pathways team as a Mental Health Navigator and CCS Provider with additional training as a Certified Peer Support Specialist.

Her aim is to be of support to those navigating their journey through mental health recovery as they build independence and a strong support network. Sara also works to build relationships with and share her insights with the loved ones of those who are affected by mental illness. Sara feels very passionate about and fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of an organization with such an important mission.

Linda Kerscher

Linda Kerscher

Linda Kerscher is a native of Manitowoc County, born and raised in the country and living her adult life in the city of Manitowoc. After graduating from Lincoln High School, Linda continued working and traveling the country. Her proudest accomplishment is fulfilling the role of “mom”. The decision for their boys to attend Catholic School allowed ample opportunity for volunteering. Her involvement as a volunteer not only gave hands on time with her two sons, but also created strong relationships with many of the families.

Working side by side for over 15 years set the foundation for her role at Painting Pathways. While fundraising is a huge part of her job, getting members involved in supporting the maintenance of our community is the most important challenge. At Painting Pathways, Linda teaches life skills and helps members accomplish goals through emphasizing not only the importance of diligence and daily tasks but the rewards and boost in confidence that come through accomplishment. Linda has also completed training in Question-Persuade-Refer, Drug Identification and Recognition, Food Safety, and has attended several educational conferences throughout the years.

Todd Larson


Todd was born and raised in Manitowoc, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin Stout with a B.A. in Business and a concentration in Economics. Todd’s work at Painting Pathways includes helping members set goals, guiding their individual skill development, and keeping them motivated and on the path of mental health. His passion for nature greatly informs the services he offers at Painting Pathways, which include Reiki and crystal sessions rooted in his more than 20 years of practice.

Gabriella is pictured smiling in front of a gray brick wall wearing a plaid jacket and black shirt

Gabriella Thiel


Gabriella was born and raised in Chilton and graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice. Passionate about psychopathology, Gabriella uses her work at Painting Pathways to help members better understand how the biological aspects of their brains interact with environmental factors, impacting how we think, feel, and act. As a co-facilitator of Pathways to Resilience, our newly formed group focused on helping 16-30 year olds develop practical life skills and manage their mental health, Gabriella hopes to deepen Painting Pathways’ advocacy for young adults. She is also a provider of comprehensive community services (CCS) including medication management and individual skill development.

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