Meet the Team | OEI Staff
Bernadette Karanja is The Chief Equity Officer of the City of Milwaukee, and is appointed by Mayor Cavalier Johnson to head 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.
Jason Ostrowski is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator, for the city of Milwaukee. In his new role, Jason, who is ADA Certified, will be working with city departments to ensure access to city facilities and programs under the guidelines of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Jason is a person with a disability, who has spent several years as an advocate, facilitating change for those in need. “What some people take for granted, in their daily lives, present a challenge to others. I am hoping to highlight these challenges in an effort to illustrate the gaps between people with disabilities and their abilities.” Jason grew up in Hartland, Wisconsin about 25 miles west of Milwaukee. Jason received his BS degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. Jason received his Master of Business from the University of Phoenix. After working several years in the utility industry he became a consultant to several nonprofit and legislative disability councils. Jason will strive to improve accessibility,equity and inclusion between those in need and their counterparts.