YMCA Camp Minikani is a community that is dedicated to your child’s experience. The Minikani staff and Board work together to intentionally design an experience that will support and value your child for who they are and what they love.

The success of Minikani rests on the shoulders of our energetic, responsible and passionate counselors and administrative directors (AD Staff). Counselors are former campers who have learned about leadership and youth programming for three years through Minikani’s nationally-recognized Leaders in Training program. For summer staff, Minikani is the place where they developed resilience, independence and confidence, which is one of the reasons why they strive to recreate the same positive experience for your child. All summer staff is certified in First Aid and CPR.


The year-round leadership team provides the strategic vision and direction for YMCA Camp Minikani. We are always thinking about new ways to improve camp. Please consider sharing your experience with us by emailing minikanifeedback@ymcamke.org.

It’s with great enthusiasm that over the past 16 years I have had the chance to watch young people’s lives change through the power of camp as they discover their ‘best selves!’ As the Senior Operations Director it’s my duty to provide leadership and support for all of camp’s operations to ensure our programs are of the highest quality, fully develop young staff and campers, and incorporate our strategic plan. Prior to my role as operations director, I held positions at Wisconsin Lions Camp, and in various full-time roles at Camp Minikani. I look forward to continuing to serve at camp where the strength of our programs and staff develops confident, independent and character-driven leaders.

Eli Fyksen

Executive Director

Hello Minikani Families! I am absolutely thrilled to continue my journey as your summer camp director. Summer 2022 will be my 17th summer as a member of the Minikani family. After my time as a camper and leadership trainee, I served as a counselor and four-time administrator before stepping into this role. I graduated from Tufts University in 2017 with a degree in Child Study and Human Development. Prior to coming to Minikani full time, I spent two years with Playworks Wisconsin (both as an AmeriCorps member and Site Coordinator), working with four Milwaukee Public Schools to bring safe and healthy play to recess and the classroom. Camp has been the most formative experience in my life, and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to be a part of this community and grow alongside it. I couldn’t be more excited to see all of the magic that happens at camp this summer!

Rachel Kornetsky

Summer Camp Director

Hello Camp Families. Summer 2022 marks my 9th year at Camp Minikani. In addition to working with all of our amazing camp families regarding their camper’s accounts, I also work behind the scenes to ensure that your registration and paperwork experience is the best that it can be. Additionally, I work with other office staff members to ensure our processes are efficient.
When not working, I enjoy spending time with my dogs and volunteer for a local dog rescue. I also enjoy spending my free time reading a good murder mystery or comedy book. In the summer, I enjoy lounging by the pool and spending time on the lakes of Wisconsin.

AJ Laughlin

Director of Administration

Bio Coming Soon

Sarah Ayer

Equestrian Director

I started coming to camp 12 years ago and quickly realized at Minikani you can be your best self with nothing but positive encouragement from the whole community. After completing the LT program, I was a counselor in Cabin 10 and on the craft porch, the Creative Consultant, and then Flex Director. I graduated from UW Madison with a degree in Retail & Consumer Behavior and Graphic Design, and now try to showcase and describe the indescribable experience of Minikani. Camp has provided me with the life experience, support system, and opportunities to achieve one of my lifelong goals, and I hope to be able to share that experience with all of the campers that join our community. In the few moments I’m not thinking about Minikani, I’m typically watching crime shows, playing board games, painting/designing or just simply enjoying the moment.

Alex Hushek

Member Engagement Director

Bio coming soon.

Rose wimmer

Director Education and Conferences

I work as the office admin at Minikani. I began this adventure in April 2016. Since then, I have been drawn to Minikani’s beautiful outdoors. Experiencing Minikani’s summer fun between counselors and campers makes my role at camp truly worthwhile. In my free time, I enjoy bringing out the colors of summer through gardening. My other hobbies include photography, drawing, watching sunsets from my porch and spending time with my horse and other pets.

Tracy Hennes

Center Administrator

Hello, all:
I have been a part of the maintenance team at Camp Minikani since 2014. I love working outdoors, and Minikani is the place to be for that. Prior to coming to camp, I worked behind a desk in an engineering capacity. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity of making camp a safe and fun-filled experience for visitors.

Patrick Quella

Property Director

Our support staff are the backbone of camp. From teaching environmental education to preparing meals and maintaining facilities, these staff members ensure that camp is fully functional and smoothly operated.

Hello friends,
I am privileged to have joined the Camp Minikani family. I have fond memories of camp back in the late ‘80s, and I am excited to be back. I have a background in construction and remodeling and love tinkering with anything and everything. I live in Bayside and enjoy spending time with my wife, Jolena, and two daughters, Lydia (7) and Abigail (2). I also enjoy soccer, boating, visiting our family cottage in Door County and spending time with friends and family. I am very lucky to be a part of such a fun, dedicated team here at camp.

Alex Presti

Assistant Property Director

Hi, I am Kathy Gilbert “Kitchen Kathy” and I am the food service coordinator at Camp Minikani. I have over 37 years in the food service business. I have been at camp for the last 5 years preparing meals and overseeing the kitchen staff. In the summer we have 12 staff members doing the prep and serving of the meals. It can be very hectic at times but we all have a passion for making sure everyone has a well-balanced meal to have the energy so they can keep up with all the activities during their stay. If your child is coming to camp and you have any concerns feel free to call or e-mail me and we can talk.

Kathy Gilbert

Food Service Manager

Our Board of Directors are dedicated and enthusiastic professionals who volunteer their time and talents to YMCA Camp Minikani. Through their service, members offer their expert advice and fundraising assistance in order to advance the strategic mission of camp and improve all aspects of Minikani.

Greg Valde, Board Chair
Professor, Retired

Aaron Bell, Board Member
Cannataro Family Capital Partners

Kevin Casper, Board Member
Founder/Owner Goldfish Swim Schools

Paul Ellsworth, Board Member
HORIBA Instruments, Inc.

August Herschede, Board Member

Kate Hoffman, Board Member
Port Washington – Saukville School District

Jill Kohli, Board Member
[m]pirik Health Solutions

Drew Maxwell, Board Member
Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

Michael Mierow, Board Member
US Bank

Julie Molsky, Board Member
Brady Corporation

Hillary Phelps Lobenstein, Board Member
Watertown Unified School District

Andy Wiegman, Board Member
Potawatomi Business Development Corp.

Kevin Wright, Board Member
Co-founder/Owner Third Space Brewing