Nonprofit People and Awards

Milwaukee sailing center earns national recognition
US SAILING, the National Governing Body of the sport, recently named the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center one of eight sanctioned centers for offering what it deems to be the highest level of boating education and public access programs to its community.
“We consider these programs among the best places in the country, if not the world, for people to learn how to sail,” said Jack Gierhart, executive director of US SAILING.
The US SAILING Community Sanctioning Program acknowledges organizations that best exemplify community sailing’s strengths nationwide. Recipients were chosen based on a selected set of criteria including program curriculums, class offerings, safety protocols and procedures, quality of boats, facilities, staff size and certification, and stability. This is the first time US SAILING has recognized community sailing centers for their outstanding training programs.
“We are thrilled and honored to be recognized as one of the best facilities for sailing instruction in the country. MCSC is dedicated to providing sailing opportunities to all community members,” said Peter Rieck, executive director of the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center.
The MCSC is the only sailing center in the Midwest receiving this honor. The other centers are located in California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Washington, and Vermont.

Natzke receives national advocate award
The Easter Seals’ National Board of Directors recently named Don Natzke, executive director of Milwaukee County’s Office of Person’s with Disabilities, has received the 2011 Outstanding Advocate Award for Local Government. Each year the Easter Seals’ National Board of Directors awards an elected or appointed federal, state or municipal official the Outstanding Advocate Award.
“Don is a visionary. He is passionate and always finds a way to get things done regardless of red tape or budget difficulties,” says Bob Glowacki, Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin CEO, “Don is very deserving of this prestigious national recognition.  He is continuously advocating for the rights and opportunities for individuals with disabilities and finding ways to make them happen.”
Natzke has a long-standing commitment to the disability community and the Easter Seals of Southeastern Wisconsin. He is being recognized for his role in the process to privatize the programming of Wil-O-Way, a recreational facility for adults with disabilities.
As Director of the Office of Persons with Disabilities for the last 20 years, Don serves on the Milwaukee County Transit Committee, Long-Term Care Committee and provides counsel to all of the County staff on making the workplace more accessible for county employees. He also leads October disability awareness month activities recognizing the potential of adults with disabilities
“We’re all fortunate to have served with so many talented and caring souls,” Natzke said. “In the face of what there is to be done, I know how little I’ve contributed, while together, so many have accomplished so much. I’m indeed fortunate to have been blessed to be with such good company.”

Community Shares celebrates champion of change
More than 200 individuals joined Community Shares of Greater Milwaukee for its 22nd annual Commitment to Justice Awards presentation. The ‘Celebrate Champions of Change’ event honored five individuals who exemplify the highest standards in civic leadership and environmental progress.This year’s recipients included Jim Marks, director of special projects at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Lifelong Commitment to Justice Award; Vel Phillips, civil rights and fair housing leader, President’s Award; Ken Leinbach, executive director of the Urban Ecology Center, President’s Award; Pam Mehnert, general manager at Outpost Natural Foods, David Schwartz Business Humanitarian Award; and Patrick Schrank, youth service supervisor for Hope House of Milwaukee, Future of Change Award.


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