Robin Smerchek

Robin Smerchek, Board Chair

Robin R. Smerchek is a resident of Racine County educated in Racine Unified School District and graduated from Horlick High School. She graduated from UW-Parkside with B.S. degrees in Mathematics and Applied Science and Technology and completed an EMBA from UW-Milwaukee. Robin joined We Energies as a mechanical engineer. After 39 years she retired in 2013 as director of Power Generation Support which included leadership and guidance of Engineering, Employee Development, Health and Safety, and work management processes across a fleet of power generation facilities.

As a Management Consultant, she works with clients in Wisconsin in developing strategic plans and implementing initiatives for leadership development, cultural change management, and inclusion. Robin is active in the American Association of University Women (AAUW) – Racine Branch as VP-Education Stem to further girls’ education in the areas of math and sciences, Sacred Journeys Spiritual Community and currently serves as board president for Girls Inc. of SE Wisconsin Inc. Robin is married to Jerry (Gerald) Smerchek. They have two sons, 2 daughters-in-law and 7 grandchildren.


Val Connor

Valerie Connor

Valerie Conner joined Girls Inc. of SE Wisconsin Board of Directors in its infant stages. As a child of the ’50s, she was encouraged to be polite, well-behaved, and put others first. As a product of the ’60s and ’70s, she made her mark as one of very few girls in math courses at UW-Parkside. Choosing to teach math over English meant a teaching job would be more likely to exist, so Val pursued her B.S. degree in mathematics and an M.S. in Educational Psychology from UW-Milwaukee. Over her 34 year career in the middle and high school classrooms in Racine, WI she learned to be strong and bold and encourage and advocate for girls in a traditionally male-dominated subject. She continues her passion as an ad hoc teacher of the math methods course for prospective math teachers at Carthage College in Kenosha. Working on the Girls Inc. Board has given Val an opportunity to advocate for girls and encourage her community to support girls in their growth in becoming strong, smart and bold.


Rosalie Daca

Rosalie Daca

Rosalie Daca’s early passion for girls in STEM drove her to the field of mathematics. Mathematics teachers throughout her secondary school experiences proved to be strong female role models she desired to emulate. She earned a B.S. in Mathematics Education from Florida State University, an M.S. in Mathematics Education from the University of South Florida and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida. She is currently working on her Ph.D. from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Her career began in her home state of Florida in 1986. In 2008, she relocated to Wisconsin. Spanning 33 years, her career encompassed 16 years a secondary mathematics teacher and 17 as an administrator. She is currently the Chief Academic Officer for the Racine Unified School District.

She is passionate about giving back to the community and supporting girls and female leaders as seen in her many volunteer activities including Girls Inc. Board member,  United Way Schools of Hope tutor, United Way VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), Schools of Hope Leadership Council (co-chair), GEMS (Girls Empowered by Math and Science) steering committee. Professional memberships include; AASA (Superintendent’s organization), AASA Early Learning Cohort and Women in Leadership Cohort and ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).

Rosalie is married to Dennis and is the proud parent of one son, Hayden (17 years old).


Cynthia Larsen

Cynthia Larsen

I have been serving on the Girls Inc. of SE Wisconsin Inc. Board since 2016. With my previous career in being an educator, I have always been involved in working with young people. In my 8th grade classroom, I stressed the need for young girls to strive for higher education. In my discussions with them, I reminded them that a prince will not come one day to carry them off to live happily ever after. They needed to develop their own talents and passions. I have also served on the GEMS (Girls Empowered by Math and Science) Steering Committee in planning the GEMS Conference for 7th and 8th-grade girls since 2014.

After raising two sons, I now have three granddaughters. I want to be involved in their lives so that they are able to develop as women of strength and character. It is my goal to continue these efforts for all girls with my involvement in Girls Inc. of SE Wisconsin.