Lake Valley Camp has named Dan Schiller executive director, effective June 15.
The Milwaukee-based nonprofit organization operates a variety of summer camps and year-round out-of-school programs for hundreds of kids living in some of Milwaukee’s most underserved communities. Programming, which addresses social and emotional health and wellbeing, is facilitated both at Tiefenthaler Park in Milwaukee and at a site near Boscobel, Wis., through a core staff of nine and a seasonal staff of about 70.
Schiller, currently program director of Playworks Wisconsin, will succeed Jim Flint, the organization’s first executive director. Flint devoted 13 years to that leadership role.
“More than 13 years ago, we embarked on a journey to provide exemplary experiences to the urban students of Milwaukee,” Bill Kellogg, board president or the organization, said in an announcement. “Under the leadership of Jim Flint and with a passionate and dedicated staff, we have successfully enriched the lives of thousands of Milwaukee children and their families. We are excited to have Dan on board to continue the legacy Jim helped start.”
Schiller has devoted much of his career to agencies supporting youth and family development. Prior to Playworks, which he joined in 2012, he served as a clinical intern for Pathfinders, a program manager for Make-A-Difference Wisconsin, and a foster and adoption specialist for Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin. His career has also included the roles of partnership development coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee and research associate for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency/Children’s Research Center.
Schiller, who describes himself as a “big child at heart,” feeds off the energy of kids.
There is “an incredible amount” of potential, energy and enthusiasm born from working with kids, he said, particularly through helping them understand the kinds of possibilities that exist and how to overcome barriers in their way.
As he begins his tenure at Lake Valley Camp, much of his focus will sway toward identifying long-term program outcomes for kids involved. He will also work to ensure that all of the organization’s programs fill a critical gap and do not simply replicate other programs offered by Milwaukee organizations.
Additionally, Schiller hopes to grow the nonprofit’s year-round program offerings that serve students before and after school and potentially even during school hours.
Following the transition in leadership at Lake Valley Camp, Flint will remain involved with operations in a new capacity, serving as senior director of programs. He will primarily be based at the organization’s campsite near Boscobel as he takes a more hands-on approach to ensuring Lake Valley Camp’s programs align with its mission.
Schiller credits Flint with channeling his passion for “doing what’s best for kids” into the development of quality youth programming.
“He’s leveraged his passion and skill to provide camp services that are exceptional,” Schiller said. “They’re really great.”