Johnson Foundation at Wingspread appoints new president

Marcus White to lead programming, partnerships for conference center

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The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread has appointed Marcus White as its president.

White succeeds Roger Dower, who recently retired from the Racine-based foundation.

White previously led the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s community engagement efforts as a vice president for a decade, before launching an independent nonprofit consulting venture in early 2019.

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While with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, White helped spearhead “On the Table,” an annual community forum that convenes thousands of people from across metro Milwaukee to discuss ideas for improving the region. Previously, he was executive director of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee for seven years.

As the Johnson Foundation’s president, White will oversee strategic programming, partnerships and business operations for the Wingspread Conference Center, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed facility at 33 E. Four Mile Road in Racine.

“I am humbled and excited by the opportunity to join an organization with a great legacy of convening the right people at the right time and in the right way on important issues that bring forward meaningful and actionable solutions,” White said. “It is my hope to pay homage to that great legacy by continuing to build upon it in the future.”

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The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, which was founded in 1959, grew out of a philanthropic nonprofit trust established by Herbert Fisk Johnson, Jr., the third-generation leader of S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

Today, the foundation is supported by contributions of SC Johnson and Diversey, Inc. It hosts a variety of conferences that aim to spur “meaningful, fruitful, robust, and civil discussions on important issues,” according to its website.

“At our core, we want to make the world a better place by fostering dialogues that serve as a catalyst for positive change in critical areas,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, chairman of the foundation. “Marcus brings a breadth of unique experiences and proven expertise perfectly aligned with this mission, and importantly a shared commitment to a vibrant, thriving future for people and business in the communities we call home.”

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