Nonprofit People

RitzHolman partner elected board director of YNPN

RitzHolman CPAs announced that Katy Sommer, CPA, partner of the firm, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network – Greater Milwaukee Chapter. “We are pleased to have Katy join our board,” said Nick Lyons, president of the YNPN – Greater Milwaukee Chapter.  “I believe that her accounting experience, along with her passion for the nonprofit industry, will continue to help us grow our organization.” Sommer, a member of RitzHolman CPAs’ nonprofit team, focuses on nonprofit audit and financial management.  She is also a member of the American and Wisconsin Institutes of Certified Public Accountants.



Nonprofit Leader Spotlight

Name: Robert Norton                                                 

Title: Vice president for donor relations                                                   

Nonprofit name: The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation                          

Nonprofit address: 1241 N. Franklin Place, Milwaukee WI 53202-2901.                     


Number of employees:  20              

Family: Wife, Kathryn; three children, Jon, Katie and Austin                                                 

What was the smartest thing your foundation did in the past year?

“One of the smart things the Foundation does is generously supports grantees in its hometown. In 2009 alone, the Foundation has given more than $10 million to local organizations working in arenas as diverse as economic development, family & society, education reform, and the arts.  We think it’s smart to do mostly general operating support, rather than project-based grants, confident that our grantees have the integrity, insight, and expertise to best determine how funds should be spent in their organizations. 

Some of our 2008-2009 grantees include:

Milwaukee Public Museum; Hope Street Ministries; Discovery World; Center for Teaching Entrepreneurship; Neighborhood House; Milwaukee Symphony; The Boy Scouts; UW-M Research Foundation; and Nia Imani Family.”

What’s new at the foundation?

“Actually, my position is “new” to the Foundation.  The role is to improve our grant making efficiency by finding willing partners in our endeavors and by improving our coordination with other foundations, companies, and individuals to better benefit Milwaukee by supporting programs, causes, and studies which are dedicated to improving community life through educational and economic development and effective social services.”

What will be your foundation’s main challenges in the next year?

“We will be working to find ways to stretch our grant dollars and increase effectiveness and cooperation with others in light of reduced grant making resources.”


What’s the hottest trend in your industry?

“Using the Internet and Social Media to both become informed and to share information as to key events, potential partners and grantees. We look forward to increasing our online presence in the coming year.”

Do you have a foundation mantra? 

“I like Harry Truman’s: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.””

From a foundation standpoint, who do you look up to?

“Michael Grebe and also to the original donor intent of Lynde and Harry Bradley.”

What was the best advice you ever received?

“Go ahead and ask her out and see what she says,” referring to a young lady who would later became my wife.”  

What do you like to do in your free time?

“I like to spend time with my family, travel, watch college football, enjoy classic cars and hunt for antiques and automotive collectibles.”   


What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career? 

“It’s hard to think of just one, but in the infancy of my legal career, not wanting to look stupid, I spent days trying to find out what in the world a “Fikens” was.  It came up in the briefing from the senior partner regarding a case.  I had pretty much narrowed it down to being an obscure German unit of measurement, only to find out that it was the name of the Judge in the case.  Some who worked in that office, to this day, ask me: “What’s a Fikens, Bob.”   

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