MPS Foundation, Inc. announced this week the departure of Wendell Willis, executive director of the nonprofit. Willis has led MPS Foundation since 2018. He is leaving the organization to lead an undisclosed initiative directed by Froedtert Health and the Milwaukee Bucks.
During his tenure, Willis led MPS Foundation into its next phase of growth, expanded corporate and community partnerships, and raised a record amount of funding for MPS students and schools. Willis and the foundation also supported MPS students and families throughout the pandemic, ensuring fundraising efforts provided access to basic household needs, school supplies, staff training, and internet access.
“I look forward to supporting the next chapter of the MPS Foundation, and with your continued stewardship, I know our new executive director will be poised to take this organization to unprecedented heights,” said Willis in a letter to MPS Foundation supporters.
During his four years, Willis oversaw several initiatives for the school district. This included funding nearly $1 million in scholarships to support MPS students, raising $800,000 to revitalize 20 playfields, sending tens of thousands of students to experiential learning opportunities and field trips, and more.
“A major part of the MPS Foundation’s mission is to inspire and motivate the community to support the 75,000 students within MPS. That’s a crucial role to play in a city with as many inequities as Milwaukee does, and no one did it better than Wendell,” said Jackie Herd-Barber, MPS Foundation board member. “I am grateful for Wendell’s passion and leadership in bringing education equity to all children in Milwaukee, no matter the zip code.”