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Nonprofit Excellence Awards

BizTimes Media presented the eighth annual awards program to salute southeastern Wisconsin’s best corporate citizens and most effective nonprofit organizations on November 5th, 2021. The awards shine a light on excellence in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership.

Workforce Development that Works

Save the Date for BizTimes Media’s 2021 Nonprofit Excellence Awards & Program which will include a panel discussion on “Workforce Development that Works,” featuring for-profit business leaders who are partnering with nonprofit organizations to address the region’s labor challenges across various industries, including construction, manufacturing, technology and health care.

Following the panel discussion, we will recognize BizTimes Media’s 2021 for-profit and nonprofit awards finalists and honorees. The For-profit categories include corporate citizen of the year, volunteer of the year, in-kind supporter, next generation leadership and lifetime achievement. The nonprofit categories include executive of the year, nonprofit organization of the year (large & small) and social enterprise.

Panelists & Nonprofit Workforce Partner:

  • Bill Caraher, CIO & Director of Operations, von Briesen & Roper, s.c. (i.c. stars Milwaukee) [1]
  • Eric Wynn, General Manager, J.H. Findorff & Son Inc. (Milwaukee Christian Center) [2]
  • Mark Farrell, Executive Director of Talent Delivery team, Froedtert Health (Carmen Schools & Cristo Rey) [3]
  • Jim Johnston, VP of Operations, Bradley Corp (GPS Education Partners) [4]

Lifetime Achievement Award

The lifetime achievement award is given to a philanthropic member of the southeastern Wisconsin business community who for many years has provided significant support (financial or otherwise) for area nonprofit organizations.

  • Keith Mardak and Mary Vandenberg

Corporate Citizenship Finalists

Corporate Citizen of the Year: This award is given to a for-profit organization in recognition of its impact to a single or multiple nonprofit organizations through financial contributions collective efforts to promote, encourage and organize fundraising efforts and company-sponsored programs and/or events engaging employees to participate in volunteerism.

  • Kohl’s
  • Yabuki Family Foundation
  • Milwaukee Bucks Foundation

Corporate Volunteer of the Year: This award is given to a for-profit non-executive volunteer who demonstrates outstanding dedication to a nonprofit or multiple nonprofit organizations. Active volunteerism can be ongoing or linked to a specific single project or cause.

  • Mike Levey, partner/attorney, Quarles & Brady
  • Joe Scala, sales representative, Metalcraft Automation Group

In-Kind Supporter: This award is given to a professional or company that provides in-kind support to single or multiple nonprofit organizations through any type of non-financial contributions.

  • Great Lakes Roofing

Next Generation Leadership: This award is given to for-profit, (under 40 year-old) executive who demonstrates leadership and significant contributions to single or multiple nonprofit organizations through active leadership on a board and/or strategic management/guidance.

  • Wes Warne, director of ticket sales and career advancement, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Karthik Palaniappan, lead engineer, Milwaukee Tool
  • Sorrina Beecher, owner at The White Agency & Write MKE Ink

Nonprofit Award Categories

Nonprofit Collaboration of the Year: This award recognizes a collaborative project that encompasses developed collaborative relationships with other nonprofit organizations engagement of multiple stakeholders within the community being served and innovation in approaching a community problem or issue and have leveraged these relationships to make and even more meaningful impact in the community. Note: since this award recognizes a project that may involve multiple organizations or individuals, it may be “awarded” to more than one part of the project in recognition of their contributions.

  • Archdiocese of Milwaukee
  • College Possible
  • Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and TRUE Skool
  • Latino Chamber of Commerce of Southeastern Wisconsin, North Shore Bank, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and Milwaukee Economic Development Corp.

Nonprofit Executive of the Year: This award is given to a nonprofit leader who demonstrates vision and innovation in advancing the mission of the nonprofit extensive involvement in a nonprofit and/or creativity in bringing new resources and opportunities to the nonprofit.

  • Mark Niehaus, president and executive director of Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
  • Ed Garza, president and CEO of The Center for Veterans Issues

Nonprofit (Organization) of the Year: This award is given to a nonprofit organization (not an individual) in recognition for creativity and innovation in building a sustainable organization excellence in teamwork and an outstanding dedication to the organization’s mission in the community organizational excellence in management and operations. – Large (operating budget $3M and above) – Small (operating budget under $3M)

Nonprofit of the Year – Large:

  • Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin
  • SaintA
  • St. Augustine Preparatory Academy

Nonprofit of the Year – Small:

  • Hear Wisconsin
  • African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin
  • Silver Spring Neighborhood Center

Social Enterprise: This award recognizes a nonprofit organization that demonstrates creative application of the principles of social enterprise in the operation and funding of the organization.

  • CannedWater4Kids
  • i.c. stars
  • Franciscan Peacemakers

Event Details


Friday, November 5, 2021

7:00 – 7:30 am – Registration & Networking
7:30 – 9:30 am – Breakfast & Program

Italian Community Center

$40/General Attendee
$35/BizTimes Insider Subscribers
$400/Reserved Table – up to 10

Presented By

Gold Sponsor

Interested in sponsoring an event? To reap the benefits of the ultimate in-person marketing opportunity contact Linda Crawford, Director of Sales, to discuss opportunities. Event sponsorships are limited.