Meet the Team | OEI Staff
Bernadette Karanja is Chief Equity Officer of the Office of Equity and Inclusion. In this role, she oversees the city’s racial equity and inclusion efforts, the Office of Workforce Development, the city’s small business development program, and serves as a liaison to the Equal Rights Commission. Ms. Karanja is a Kenyan-American who immigrated to the United States 22 years ago. Prior to immigrating to the US she was a business owner, and as a result of this experience she has a unique understanding of the challenges of managing a business. Ms. Karanja has over two decades of workforce development experience, 17 of which have been in senior management roles and seven of which have been in small business inclusion work. Ms. Karanja is a hands-on leader, adept at driving for results, motivating people and capable of moving from higher-level planning to tactical collaboration. Examples of her leadership efforts include integrating regional workforce development models into Fatherhood, Healthy Relationship, Re-entry, and Head Start models including Mayor Barrett’s Compete Milwaukee Program, and DirectConnectMKE, Milwaukee Common Council’s first workforce development social media platform.
Dontreal Teague serves as the Business Inclusion Program Coordinator with the Office of Equity and Inclusion. Dontreal is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in Urban Geography & Planning. With a half decade of experience working with Small Businesses, he is ready to assist with your business needs.
Mary Reed, the Contract Compliance Officer in the Office of Equity and Inclusion, brings a wealth of experience from her background in business operations, management, and leadership to her role. Having earned her Master of Business Administration from Concordia University-Wisconsin, Mary's 15-year tenure in various operational, management, and leadership positions within State government, Social Services, and Long-Term Care agencies in Milwaukee has provided her with a profound understanding of the needs and challenges faced by diverse community stakeholders. With a focus on promoting equity and inclusion, Mary cultivates strong working relationships with developers, fostering a collaborative and inclusive approach to projects as she strives to ensure equal opportunities and access to government-sponsored resources.
Rosie Arabiyat serves as a Business Analyst - Senior with the Office of Equity and Inclusion. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Master of Science in Business Management. With an extensive background in project management, small business development, including business ownership, Rosie is knowledgeable and passionate about Milwaukee’s small businesses.
Kate Pawasarat serves as the Community Analytics Analyst in the Office of Equity and Inclusion, working in collaboration with city leaders, staff, and partners to advance racial equity in city government and throughout Milwaukee. With a background in applied research, community development, and environmental justice, she seeks to inform decision-making through innovative approaches in data analytics, data visualization, and mapping.
ADA Coordinator (vacant) - This position coordinates the city’s efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act, ensuring that city facilities and programs are accessible to all citizens. The ADA Coordinator works closely with city departments to plan and coordinate ADA compliance projects and serves as the city’s ADA contact for the US Department of Justice, local disability groups, and citizens. To obtain assistance with Reasonable ADA Accommodations, please call 414-286-5553.