Heinemann joins BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation

The BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation on Thursday announced that former Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions Secretary Lorrie Heinemann will join the foundation as vice president.


Heinemann will lead the foundation’s new Madison office, which will have statewide reach. In addition to her tenure as a state cabinet secretary, Heinemann is a co-founder of the Wisconsin Angel Network. She also is a trustee of the WiSys Technology Foundation and a director of the Wisconsin Technology Council. She most recently worked at the University of Wisconsin Foundation for the School of Business Major Gifts Team.

“Lorrie is an important hire for us because of her ability to expand our reach throughout Wisconsin,” said Jeff Rusinow, a foundation co-founder and director. “I have known Lorrie for years and her work throughout the state is highly regarded by those in government, and the financial and philanthropic sectors. It will be especially helpful to us to have another Madison presence along with our co-founder Mark Burish.” 

BrightStar’s next milestone will be the receipt of an IRS determination that gives the foundation 501(c)3 tax-exempt status.

The nonprofit BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation is using a philanthropic approach to support job creation and economic growth across Wisconsin through investment in early-stage companies. The new approach will enable the formation of new investment capital in Wisconsin through charitable donations to the foundation. Contributions to BrightStar will be tax deductible, assuming receipt of a tax-exempt determination from the Internal Revenue Service.

BrightStar hopes to begin screening companies seeking investment in the fall.

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