The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation kicked off its 2016 fundraising campaign recently with its Milwaukee’s Finest event.
The event honors young professionals, typically under 40 years old, who are active in their communities and exhibit leadership skills. Each of this year’s 16 honorees were nominated and selected by a committee of local business and civic leaders.
For the next 10 weeks, each will be working with fundraising mentors to collect at least $2,500 in donations for Cystic Fibrosis research. Honorees who collect the most donation money will be eligible for additional honors and prizes.
“I just think it’s imperative that any city has this type of activity to call upon to help,” said Stewart Brase, director of the health market segment of business development for Ernst & Young. Brase sits on the foundation’s corporate advisory board.
“I’m really impressed,” he said. “I think we’ve got a great class. I think it’s the biggest class of nominees we’ve had. Just a really great energy. I think it’s gonna be a really great competition.”
This year’s honorees are Justin Brown, The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank; Andrew Busch, Guardian Credit Union; Missy Holschbach, Herzing University; Morgan Kalinosky, Northwestern Mutual; Tom Morris, Max A. Sass & Sons Funeral Homes; Jacob Nelson, Lakeshore Chinooks; Emily Palmer, U.S. Bancorp – Quasar Distributors; Matthew Peterson, Johnson Bank; Jordan Ross, Robert W. Baird & Co.; Aycha Sirvanci, City of Milwaukee; Mallory Stipetich, Robert W. Baird & Co.; Anthony Stanley, Sullair Corp.; Sam Tschacher, Ernst & Young; Jennifer Uttke, MPI; Mark Volz; Guardian Credit Union; and Jacob Werre, The Ritterbusch Group.
“It’s just a really good group of people that I think are committed to making an impact,” said Rick Verthein, chair of Milwaukee’s Finest and a financial adviser at Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.
Julie Nilsen, development director for Wisconsin’s Cystic Fibrosis Foundation chapter, said most of the honorees don’t have a strong connection to the disease, meaning many of them and their families haven’t personally been affected by it. But they’re all driven by a strong desire to give back to the community, she said. She hopes that after the competition ends, they’ll continue to be involved with the foundation.