Nonprofit People

United Way in Waukesha County has hired Lori Hayes as manager of volunteer engagement. She comes to United Way from Outward Focus where she helped companies assess, re-align, and tap the potential of their employees’ talent base.

Women’s Fund names Lynde B. Uihlein Award winners

Heidi Retzlaff, senior counsel for labor and employment at GE Healthcare, and Patricia Wilmeth will be honored with the Lynde B. Uihlein Award for women’s outstanding contributions to the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee Inc. The two will be honored at the organization’s annual celebration on Wednesday, April 14.
 “Heidi has been a dedicated Women’s Fund volunteer for over 12 years and was particularly instrumental in transitioning the Women’s Fund to an independent entity,” said executive director Elaine Maly. “Her passion for our organization and mission benefits us in many different ways.”
Retzlaff served on the Women’s Fund board for six years, including one year as chair, and currently serves on the Grants Advisory Committee.
“Pat Wilmeth has been a long-time supporter of the Her Scholarship Program,” said Maly. “We wanted to recognize her commitment to addressing the challenges facing women over 35 who are pursuing higher education goals.”
As recipients of the Lynde B Uihlein Awards, a $1,000 grant will be made to The White House Project in each of their names.  The annual celebration will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel, 139 E. Kilbourn Ave. from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Prior to the celebration the Women’s Fund will host the Social Change Exchange beginning at 4 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public, to RSVP call 414-290-7350

Name: Mark Shapiro
Title: Executive Director
Company name: Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center
Company address: 6255 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Whitefish Bay, WI  53217
Web site:
Industry: Non- Profit
Number of employees: 225+
Family: “Reside in Bayside with my wife, Sharon, and our daughters, Carli and Sophie.”

What was the smartest thing your organization did in the past year?
"We created a Family Movie Night that continues to be a big hit this year, too.  One Saturday evening each month, we invite all of our family of members and the greater community to enjoy a first-run, family-themed movie that we show on the JCC’s big screen in the Daniel M. Soref Community Hall.  We give out free popcorn and people can also purchase inexpensive treats like a slice of pizza, a salad, cookies, candy and soda.  More than 200 people attended each movie night, some even in their pajamas – the little kids.  Not only did we build community but we made each one of our members feel that there was even more value with their JCC membership than working out and having their children in our Early Childhood programs.  Sometimes the smartest things a business can do are the simplest and easiest ones."

What’s new at your organization?

"New at the JCC this year was just the expansion of great ideas.  One in particular was through our partnership with the Cybex Corporation, Inc., where we purchased two new pink treadmills to recognize and support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.  With the help of our members and guests who logged miles at a rate of twenty cents per mile, the JCC raised over $2,000 for Breast Cancer Research.  Our Health, Recreation and Fitness staff came up with the idea and carried it out.  Last December was dedicated to the community-wide outreach done through the Jewish Community Pantry and we’ll be helping various causes throughout 2010.   It is the experience and dedication of the entire staff that helps create these great endeavors." 

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

"Yes.  We are currently seeking a new Associate Executive Director for the JCC and we will be hiring a Volunteer Coordinator.  The second opportunity is truly unique because we recently partnered with the Disney Corporation in being the “Give a Day, Get a Day” site for the Milwaukee community.  This partnership allows members of our community to volunteer through the JCC and receive a free ticket to Disney World or Disneyland.   As far as capital improvements, we are still enjoying the newness of our $25 million expansion and our beautiful, new surroundings." 

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
"I would have to say that having our members continue to see the JCC as the center of their lives and in being of value to what they do.  Being there to support families during these challenging economic times ranges from offering scholarships to maintaining competitive pricing.  Plus, we want to be sure that our members always feel that they are getting a tremendous deal with their membership. Whether it is working out in our state-of-the-art fitness center, swim classes through our award-winning Aquatics program or enjoying our seven-acre Hy & Richard Smith JCC Water Park in Mequon, it is important that every one of our members has a great JCC experience."

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?

"In our Health, Recreation and Fitness Department, the trend is the shift from fitness to wellness.  Our programs focus on nutrition, fitness, recreation, and happiness altogether and are available for every age and ability.  You can see this throughout our fitness center and in our private Pilates Studios with individualized training and attention.  Another one of the JCC’s businesses is simply building community and here the most interesting and hottest trend is on informal conversations between staff and our members.  We call it the “Norm” factor from Cheers.  It is the feeling that when you’re walking anywhere in the JCC that everybody knows your name." 

Do you have a business mantra?
"If you would ask my staff, they would all be able to say, “Absolutely.”  Define our goals; set expectations; measure results; and be accountable.  Four steps to take an idea and turn it into a success." 

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
"It would be Rich Melman, the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc., a Chicago-based restaurant corporation.  He taught me about the inverted pyramid of leadership where your frontline staff is your single most important resource."    

What was the best advice you ever received?

"The best advice I ever received was from my father.  Just after college I casually shared with him that I wanted a little time off from the world so I could “go find myself.”   He immediately walked over and put his arms around me.  Then, he grabbed me by my ear, walked me down the hallway to the bathroom, flipped the lights on and pointed in the mirror saying, “Ha!!! I found you. Now go get a job.”  

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
Prior to coming onboard with the JCC in Milwaukee, I spent 13 years of my life as the director of an overnight summer camp.  To be honest, the list of funny things that happened to me in my career is way too long for any publication! 

What do you like to do in your free time?
When you’re the Executive Director of a non-profit community organization in Milwaukee, the real question is “What free time?”   When it does present itself, quite simply I love spending time with my wife and our daughters, playing cards. 

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display