Election for the 2021-2022 PLATO Board of Directors

  • Each year PLATO members vote on the officers who will serve during the next membership year plus At-Large board members who will serve 3 year terms. (The 5 At-Large board members serve staggered terms, so every year the terms of some At-Large members end and new members need to be elected.)

  • This spring online voting will take place from Wednesday, April 21 through midnight on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 for the 4 officers who will serve in 2021-2022 and 2 new At-Large board members who will serve from 2021-2024.  An email with a link to the online ballot will be sent on April 21.

  • Election results will be announced in the Tuesday, May 18 Weekly Update email and on the PLATO website.


Kathy Brown – President

Kathy Brown is currently on the PLATO Board of Directors serving this year as President following two years as Vice President.  She joined PLATO in 2014 and has been a member of the Curriculum Committee since 2015, where she served as Co-Chair for several years.  Kathy retired from SSM Health/St. Mary’s Hospital where she worked in the Human Resources Department with primary focus on new employee orientation.  Kathy also co-founded a small computer training business which operated for 25 years where she helped employees with their software skills.  She also taught at the high school and college levels.  Kathy received her B.S. from Northern Illinois University and her M.S. in Continuing and Vocational Education from the UW-Madison.  Kathy has 2 children.  She is an active advocate for the disabled, speaking for the needs of her daughter and others. Kathy enjoys spending time with her son and his family in Boston.  She is anxiously awaiting the time when it is possible to travel safely again to the Northeast and beyond.

Rod McKenzie – Vice President

Rod McKenzie is currently Vice President of PLATO and chair of the Fund Development Committee. He has been a member of PLATO since 2016. Rod retired from a career in materials research, engineering and operations management at Rayovac, later known as Spectrum Brands. Coming to Madison from Southern California for graduate studies in Materials Science, he decided it was a good idea to stay. Not bored in retirement, he volunteers with American Red Cross, as well as taking PLATO courses, and working on committees. There has been plenty of retirement travel too. Rod, and his wife Paula, keep busy with adult children and grandchildren in Madison and in the Pacific Northwest.

Patricia Herrling – Secretary

Patricia is a retired librarian from the UW-Madison and a certified Braille transcriber, translating print into braille for the blind and visually impaired. She has also been the library coordinator for the non-profit organization, Braille Library & Transcribing Services (BLTS) for the past 10 years. Patricia has been a PLATO member since 2008 and has both taught and participated in PLATO courses throughout those years.  Her hobbies include reading, walking and knitting. 

Scott Kolar – Treasurer

Scott Kolar grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia.  After graduating from Jacksonville University, he served for nine years in the US Navy as a Naval Flight Officer.  He earned a master’s degree in management information technology from Boston University and then worked in the information technology industry for over 20 years while his wife, Mary, pursued her career in the Navy.  Scott and Mary moved to Madison in 2008 when she retired after 28 years.  They were drawn to Madison for the wonderful quality of life.  Scott has been a PLATO member since 2009.  He chaired the Website Redesign Taskforce in 2010.  He was an At-Large member of the Board of Directors from 2013 until he was elected Vice President in 2015.  Elected President in 2016, he completed two terms and was elected as Treasurer in 2018. 

Dory Christensen – At-Large Board Member (3 year term)

Dory Christensen has been a PLATO member since 2017.  She is a member of the Diversity Committee since early 2020.  Dory retired from CUNA Mutual Group after working at the company for 30 years in a variety of management positions in the International Division.  Dory is originally from Colombia, South America.  She arrived in Wisconsin in May, 1968 to work at the International Division of the then First Wisconsin National Bank of Milwaukee.  She moved to Madison in 1971.  Her education includes a BA combined with languages from the Universidad del Atlantico in her native home town.   She enjoys her participation in PLATO's Current Events (west)  discussion group, plus other events.  One of her objectives in life has been to assist in whatever way she can to include diversity of culture, race and traditions.  It is what has helped her achieve fulfillment in her life.  Dory and her husband Ole form a multi-national family.  He is from Denmark.  They keep busy with plenty of travel and enjoying their families in 3 countries.  Her extended Madison family includes her daughter, son in law, two granddaughters, her niece and grand-niece

Mike Kernats – At-Large Board Member (3 year term)

Mike Kernats joined PLATO in 2012; and has taken courses in financial management, history, politics, films, and jazz.  Although not a course coordinator, he has presented individual classes in two of these courses, and has served on the PLATO Fund Development Committee since 2018.  He is a retired state government lawyer and has held several leadership positions with the Wisconsin State Bar Association including President of the Government Lawyers Division, and member of the Board of Governors and the Executive Committee. He has been the Chairperson of the Wisconsin State Bar Legislative Oversight Committee since 2013. He has a B.A. degree from Knox College, and a J.D. degree from the University of Iowa law school; and is a U.S. Army Veteran, having served as a logistics management officer with the 8th Infantry Division in Germany. He is a member of the Madison Jazz Society Board of Directors, and was a member of the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium Board of Directors.  He and his wife Sue have been volunteer stewards at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum for 8 years.

PLATO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in association with:

For more information about PLATO, contact:

PLATO Office Operations
UW-Madison Continuing Studies
21 N. Park St, 7th Floor, Madison, WI 53715
Email: info@platomadison.org
Phone: 608-262-5823
Fax: 608-265-4555

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