Friday, October 24, 2014
Nonprofit Excellence Awards breakfast to explore health of regional nonprofits
October 24, 2014 11:06 AM
BizTimes Media’s inaugural Nonprofit Excellence Awards program, scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 4, will tap into the expertise of area nonprofit executives and philanthropists with a panel discussion on the state of southeastern Wisconsin’s nonprofit community.
The panel, to be moderated by Kimberly Kane, founder and president of Kane Communications Group, will also expand on strategies for strengthening relationships between area businesses and nonprofits.

The panel will feature insight from Thomas Shannon, president and CEO of The BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc.; Ken Hanson, founder and CEO of Hanson Dodge Creative; Alan Petelinsek, CEO of Power Test Inc.; and Maria Nicholas Groves, director of business development at The Novo Group and president of Feeding Mouths, Filling Minds.

Following the group discussion, BizTimes Media will present the Nonprofit Excellence Awards, which are recognizing nonprofits making a significant mark on southeastern Wisconsin as well as for-profit companies, executives and professionals committed to philanthropy.

After receiving more than 100 nominations among the program’s nine award categories, BizTimes Media, in collaboration with the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Southeastern Wisconsin and the Donors Forum of Wisconsin, selected finalists at the start of October.

The Nonprofit Excellence Awards breakfast will run from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, located at 1721 W. Canal St. in Milwaukee. Cost is $40 for individuals and $320 for a corporate table of eight.

Attendees must register by Friday, Oct. 31.

For more information or to secure a spot, visit

comment »

Boys & Girls Clubs to take over YMCA college access program
October 24, 2014 11:09 AM
As the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee continues to redirect its focus in order to overcome a near $30 million debt, the organization will transfer leadership of its Sponsor-A-Scholar program to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.
The program, focused on increasing college access for underserved students, will evolve into the Boys & Girls Clubs Sponsor-A-Scholar program, effective Jan. 1.

“Sponsor-A-Scholar is a tremendous initiative that has meant the difference for so many Y kids who have dreamed of earning a college degree,” said Julie Tolan, president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee. “As the Milwaukee Y refocuses our work on the core areas where we believe we can make the most impact moving forward, we realized that current and future students would be best served by an organization of the caliber, reach and expertise of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.”

According to an announcement made by the organizations on Thursday, the YMCA Sponsor-A-Scholar program will run through the end of 2014. The YMCA will hand all program operations over to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee at the turn of the year.

“We are thrilled that our commitment to serving youth and reputation as a leader in college access and success programming has led to this opportunity to help more young people achieve their academic goals,” said Vincent Lyles, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. “Through our network of clubs, experienced and dedicated staff, and knowledge of what it takes to prepare for and be successful in college, we are in a great position to expand our college access work to include scholars from the Y and ultimately reach other kids who are dedicated to continuing their education after high school.”

High school students enrolled in the Sponsor-A-Scholar program receive personalized academic tutoring and advising as well as guidance in preparing for the ACT and access to summer internships.

Seniors in the program receive additional support in applying to colleges and submitting financial aid and scholarship applications. Upon entering college, those students are assigned a college advisor who continues coaching them through their college experience.

Program participants are guaranteed Boys & Girls Clubs memberships and are also granted financial support toward college costs.

Funding for the Boys & Girls Clubs Sponsor-A-Scholar program comes from a spectrum of community stakeholders, including the United Way of Greater Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and the Burke Foundation.

All current program participants will be ushered into the new program in 2015, according to the organizations.

comment »

MANDI Award nominations due Monday
October 24, 2014 11:11 AM
Local Initiatives Support Corporation's Milwaukee branch is making a final call for nominations for its 2015 MANDI Awards, which honor individuals, organizations and community projects improving central city neighborhoods.

Award nominations are due Monday, Oct. 27, by 5 p.m.

LISC Milwaukee has been presenting the MANDI Awards (Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation) for the last 16 years as a way to highlight significant revitalization efforts across Milwaukee neighborhoods.

The nonprofit organization, an extension of a national operation, is focused on redeveloping urban neighborhoods and enhancing the vitality of their residential and business districts.

MANDI Awards, which LISC presents in partnership with U.S. Bank, accepts nominations for five award categories:

*The Northern Trust Navigator Award, which salutes an individual for excellence in leadership and collaboration
*The Brewers Community Foundation Public Space Award, which calls out a public space that re-energizes a neighborhood
*The PNC Trailblazer Award, which recognizes an innovative strategy to a community issue
*The State Farm Building Blocks Award, which praises a real estate project that adds value to the community
*The BMO Harris Bank Cornerstone Award, which highlights an organization effectively impacting the city

An independent committee will select three finalists for each award and will announce award winners during an April 15 ceremony at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. Each MANDI award winner will be given a $1,000 gift to keep or donate.

A separate MANDI Award, the Vision Award, recognizes sustainable financial investment in central city neighborhoods. LISC's local advisory board handles nomination and selection of the award recipient.

LISC plans to introduce yet another award for the 2015 MANDI program. The Wells Fargo People's Choice Award will be given to one finalist from the pool of finalists selected by the independent committee. The award winner will be determined through a community voting process facilitated by a social media campaign.

To submit a nomination or a self-nomination for the MANDI Awards, visit

comment »

Kaufman named executive chef at Milwaukee Art Museum
October 24, 2014 11:13 AM
The Milwaukee Art Museum has promoted Café Calatrava chef Micah Kaufman to executive chef, the museum announced on Thursday.
Kaufman, who completed his degree at UW-Milwaukee, joined the museum in 2013 as chef de cuisine.

“I want our diners’ experiences in Café Calatrava to be as memorable and inspirational as their experiences in the museum’s galleries,” Kaufman said. “My team and I strive to create menus and experiences that match our surroundings.”

He previously was a part of the culinary teams of the Ritz Carlton, Bartolotta Restaurant Group, and Marcus Hotels and Resorts.

comment »

Renovations completed at Lutheran Home and Harwood Place
October 24, 2014 11:15 AM
The Lutheran Home and Harwood Place announced they have completed an investment of more than $1.2 million in renovations of both properties, including 5,500 square feet at The Lutheran Home and 9,300 square feet at Harwood Place.
The $750,000 Lutheran Home renovation includes the Chapel and Hardt Hall, a gathering space adjacent to the Chapel. More than $430,000 was given through grants for the Lutheran Home project from the City of Wauwatosa Community Development Black Group Program, the Siebert Lutheran Foundation, Mill Neck Foundation and more than 100 individual donors.

Harwood Place’s renovation coincides with the facility’s 25th anniversary celebration and includes $455,000 of work concentrated on the first floor of the building.

David Raysich, president of Plunkett Raysich Architects and chairman of the Lutheran Home Foundation board of directors, donated architectural plans for both properties.

“The impact of these projects is significant not only for the residents but the community as well,” said Scott McFadden, Lutheran Home and Harwood Place president and chief executive officer. “The new audio video technology will enhance the worship experience for all denominations who participate, as well as those who watch the broadcast in their rooms. We are so grateful for the donors and the community who made these renovations possible.”

The grand opening for the Chapel and Hardt Hall will be held at the Lutheran Home in Wauwatosa at 7500 W. North Ave. on Thursday, Nov. 6, from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

comment »

Our Next Generation appoints new leader upon retirement of Dunn
October 24, 2014 11:17 AM
After more than a decade of shaping students in Milwaukee's central city neighborhoods, Bob Dunn, president and CEO of Our Next Generation, Inc., has retired and turned the nonprofit over to newly appointed leader La Toya Sykes.
Dunn, who joined Our Next Generation in 2003 after 12 years as president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Milwaukee, Inc., officially retired on Oct. 15. While he originally planned to stay onboard at the organization for another year or two, some minor health concerns along with a need for fresh leadership prompted him to reconsider.
“To me, the agency is poised for dramatic growth, and I thought at my age, ‘Can I see that through?’” said Dunn, who is 67.
Our Next Generation emerged out of a group of volunteers who banded together in the 1990s to tutor and mentor youth in the central city. Today, the organization provides a spectrum of programs focused on academic support, career exploration and personal development for students in pre-K through 12th grades.
The nonprofit is headquartered at 3421 W. Lisbon Ave. in Milwaukee and operates two learning centers at Westside Academy at 36th and Brown streets and 32nd and Brown streets. The organization is also in the process of creating a designated teen center two blocks west of its home base.
Additionally, Our Next Generation offers programming at area businesses and schools across Milwaukee, including ManpowerGroup, UW-Milwaukee, MSOE and Saint John’s on the Lake, through its Outbound Learning program.
During Dunn’s leadership, the organization expanded both its reach and its identity, particularly after it acquired the site of its main center about five years ago, Dunn said.
“Since then the identity of Our Next Generation has really increased,” he said, adding that community recognition of the agency is “very positive” and that “the success of our program has been demonstrated.”
In the last 10 years, the high school graduation rate of Our Next Generation students has never dropped below 95 percent and has typically hovered between 97 and 100 percent, according to Dunn.
Along with establishing a permanent home for Our Next Generation and growing community partnerships through the organization’s Outbound Learning program, Dunn said he is particularly proud of the nonprofit’s involvement in the Washington Park Partners.
He’s even prouder of the students who have succeeded through the organization’s programming efforts.
“What I’m proudest of are the kids that have come through our program,” Dunn said. “If we look at statistics and environments they’re coming from and the obstacles they have to overcome, it’s a pretty bleak picture.”
Their accomplishments, in spite of the odds against them, are “a tribute to them,” he said.
His successor, Sykes, comes to the organization with a diversity of experience in education and college access initiatives. Sykes, who spent her childhood in Milwaukee, most recently served as managing partner of Milwaukee consulting firm Dampeer & Canady LLC. She is also board president of Lead2Change, Inc., a Milwaukee-based nonprofit and youth leadership organization.
Her career has also included serving as associate director of College Goal Sunday, a college access program facilitated by the YMCA of the USA, and director of outreach and access awareness for Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates, which helps students navigate the student loan process responsibly.
As Sykes jumped into her new role Monday, she said at the top of her priorities is a focus on continuing to elevate Our Next Generation’s profile and a commitment to ensuring students are aware of all their options.
“I just want to help our kids see the possibilities,” she said. “I want to get them to the next level, and I want to demonstrate to them that that is possible.”

comment »

Northwestern Mutual donates $400,000 to childhood cancer research
October 24, 2014 11:19 AM
Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual is reinforcing its commitment to fight childhood cancer with a $400,000 contribution to an innovative research program headed by national nonprofit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
The funds, donated through Northwestern Mutual Foundation, will support the Young Investigator program, which equips scientists who are early in their careers with resources needed to put their research ideas in motion.

The latest round of funding from Northwestern Mutual Foundation, announced on Tuesday, will back four researchers, who will each receive $100,000 in startup funding over a two-year timeline. In total, Northwestern Mutual has supported eight research projects in the Young Investigator program this year with $800,000 in grant funds. Four of those projects were awarded initial funding last year.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which fights childhood cancer through ongoing fundraising, selects its “Young Investigators” through an extensive review process, taking into considering factors such as scientific merit and candidates’ potential to generate viable cures and treatments.

Funding provided by Northwestern Mutual is part of its designated Childhood Cancer Program.

“Our Childhood Cancer Program has a relentless focus on research,” said John Kordsmeier, president of Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “That’s why we’re honored to provide an opportunity for researchers to come together and advance their knowledge in an effort to discover the next generation of childhood cancer treatments. We want to give families hope and a chance for a better future to find a cure for childhood cancer.”

Through its national fundraising efforts, Northwestern Mutual has generated more than $6 million for childhood cancer research and support for impacted families, according to the financial services firm.

Along with its recent donation, Northwestern Mutual is presented the second ALSF Young Investigator Summit Tuesday and Wednesday at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

comment »

Trostel launches youth apprenticeship program
October 24, 2014 11:21 AM
Lake Geneva-based Trostel, a custom rubber molding and compounding company, recently launched a manufacturing youth apprenticeship program in cooperation with GPS Education Partners, a nonprofit that provides immersive work-based education programs. The manufacturer began providing learning space and apprenticeship training to high school students at its Whitewater and Lake Geneva operations in September.
Trostel decided to partner with GPS on the program as a way to address the skills gap problem that involves manufacturers struggling to find skilled labor. The company said the collaboration benefits students, meets the needs of manufacturing and serves to strengthen local communities where it does business.

“Collaborating with GPS is more than an investment in our business and industry,” said Steve Dyer, president and chief executive officer of Trostel. “This is an investment in our students and the communities we serve. Education is key to helping our community’s youth to be successful in their future careers and in their lives. We are delighted to open the door to this program and proud to be a partner in this important initiative.”

In support of the program, Trostel donates classroom space; trains three youth apprentices as part of the program’s business rotation model; and contributes essential classroom learning materials like a projector and dry erase board.

“We are grateful to have business and community partners like Trostel who share our passion and vision for providing innovative pathways to help students succeed, and help local businesses and communities thrive,” says Stephanie Borowski, president of GPS.

comment »

Health Care Heroes nominations still being accepted
October 24, 2014 11:22 AM
BizTimes Media will continue to accept nominations for the Health Care Heroes Awards through Oct. 31.
The Health Care Heroes Awards recognize individuals and/or organizations in the Southeastern Wisconsin health care community who are making a significant impact on the quality of health care in our area. The goals of the program are to recognize excellence, promote innovation, encourage emulation of successful programs, educate the general public, contribute to the enhancement of the value and quality of health care and, ultimately, recognize those individuals and/or organizations that deserve a nod of appreciation.

Awards include Advancements in Health Care, Community Service, Corporate Achievement in Health Care, First Responder and more.

The awards ceremony will be held on Friday, Dec. 19, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, located at 1721 W. Canal St. in Milwaukee.

For more information or to nominate, visit

comment »

Garcia-Thomas encourages millennials to embrace opportunity
October 24, 2014 11:24 AM
Cristy Garcia-Thomas, chief diversity and inclusion officer and president at Aurora Health Care Foundation, tells young professionals “When the door opens, go through it.”
Garcia-Thomas offered that insight and four other pieces of advice at the 2014 BizTimes Get Smarter Talent Development Conference.

She was one of 10 local business leaders who each shared five tips with millennials at the event last week. A video of one leader’s speech will be released each day.

View a video of Garcia-Thomas’ comments here.

comment »

BizTimes Media 2014 Giving Guide
October 24, 2014 11:26 AM
BizTimes Media’s fourth annual Giving Guide offers southeastern Wisconsin’s business community an outlet to connect with area nonprofit organizations for philanthropic involvement.
The Giving Guide features the missions, volunteer opportunities and giving opportunities of more than 30 regional nonprofits providing a spectrum of services and resources to residents in need.

Explore BizTimes’ Giving Guide at

comment »

Erica Breunlin BizTimes Nonprofit Weekly is compiled by BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Erica Breunlin. This bulletin is published every Friday morning. Send news tips to or call her at (414) 336-7121.

Nonprofit Resource List

» Association of Fundraising Professionals Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter (AFP)
» BizTimes Nonprofit Directory
» BizTimes Nonprofit Giving Guide
» Board Star
» CCB, Inc.
» Donors Forum of Wisconsin
» Leading Transitions, LLC
» MKE 123
» Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee, Inc.
» Nonprofit Management Fund
» Tri-Adathon
» University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Nonprofit Management Center
» The Volunteer Center of Greater Milwaukee
» Wisconsin Nonprofits Association
» Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) Milwaukee Chapter


» Greater Milwaukee Foundation
» Helen Bader Foundation
» Northwestern Mutual Foundation
» The Faye McBeath Foundation
» Next Door Foundation
» The Bradley Foundation

Current Issue