MANDI award winners announced

Northwestern Mutual Foundation pledges $40,000 to Literacy Services, WRTP/BIG STEP

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The Northwestern Mutual Foundation has pledged to give $40,000 toward Literacy Services of Wisconsin and WRTP/BIG STEP’s combined effort to equip individuals with high school equivalency degrees and construction trade credentials.

At the LISC Milwaukee’s Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDI) event Thursday evening, Northwestern Mutual Foundation president Eric Christophersen announced that the foundation would cover the cost of the next cohort participating in the program, which allows individuals to simultaneously receive a high school equivalency degree and nationally-recognized construction trade credentials in three months.

“We were blown away,” said Ginger Duiven, executive director of Literacy Services of Wisconsin, of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation announcement.

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Literacy Services of Wisconsin and WRTP/BIG STEP were recognized with the Northwestern Mutual Collaboration Award for their collaborative effort to help overcome barriers that prevent individuals from pursing construction careers.

They were among the winners announced at the annual MANDI gala, held at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino. The event recognizes businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals involved with community development efforts in Milwaukee’s central city.

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The other MANDI winners included:

  • Northern Trust Navigator Award: Mark Eppli, professor of finance and Bell Chair in Real Estate at Marquette University and Kalan Haywood, Sr., president of Haywood Group LLC. The award recognizes individual leadership and collaboration. Eppli, as professor of finance and Robert B. Bell, Sr., Chair in Real Estate at Marquette University’s College of Business Administration, launched the Associates in Commercial Real Estate (ACRE) program in 2005 to build a pipeline of emerging developers of color. Haywood has developed subdivisions, single-family homes, apartments, commercial spaces and retail stores in Milwaukee and other cities. His $25 million Germania building renovation in 2014 made him the first African American developer to do a major development project in downtown Milwaukee.
  • BMO Harris Bank Cornerstone AwardArtists Working in Education Inc. The award recognizes an organization for its commitment and effectiveness over time. AWE works with 6,000 youth annually and works with both public and private partners to build communities through art.
  • Brewers Community Foundation Public Space AwardFondy Park. The award recognizes a public space that helps build community. Fondy Market in Milwaukee’s Lindsay Heights neighborhood includes multi-use green space, seating and a stage for various performances and presentations.
  • State Farm Building Blocks AwardPete’s Fruit Market. The award recognizes a real estate project that advances the community. Pete’s Fruit Market, located at the intersection of North Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and West North Avenue, provides fresh produce and meat in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood.
  • PNC Bank Trail Blazer Award: Layton Boulevard West Neighbors Neighborhood Block Project. The award recognizes an innovative approach to a community problem. LBWN Neighborhood Block Project Menu was created to facilitate projects on individual blocks aimed at improving neighborhood appearance, increase social engagement, improve community safety, break down language barriers and develop leadership skills.
  • Chase Economic Development Award: Menomonee Valley Revitalization. The award recognizes a program that stimulates economic and business development.
  • The winners of the Wells Fargo People’s Choice Award, chosen through a social media voting campaign, were: Pete’s Fruit Market, Artists Working in Education and Safe & Sound.

Each of the winners received a trophy and a $1,000 donation.

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