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Milwaukee honors community leader

Milwaukee recently honored Reuben Harpole Jr. for more than 50 years of service to the community. The honor also coincided with Harpole’s 75th birthday.

Harpole was recently honored as the official "Paramount Chief of Milwaukee" and a portion of Second Street near North Avenue was named in his honor.

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Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was the keynote speaker at at the event and declared Sept 21 as Milwaukee’s official Rueben K. Harpole Day, Alderwoman Milele Coggs, Alderman Bob Baumen, Alderman Willie Hines and state representative Lena Taylor were also present for the event.

The street naming ceremony coincided with a celebration tribute dinner at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a portion of the proceeds generated by the dinner went to the UWM Rueben Harpole Scholarship Fund.

BizTimes reporter Alysha Schertz shot footage of the street naming ceremony, see that footage in a webcast below.

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Jansson to retire from Greater Milwaukee Foundation helm in 2010

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Douglas Jansson, the president and chief executive officer who guided the Greater Milwaukee Foundation through unprecedented growth for the past 16 years, announced he will retire, effective Sept. 30, 2010.

"Under Doug’s leadership, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation has grown to become one of the top community foundations not only in the United States, but the entire world," said foundation board chair Judy Jorgensen. "Throughout the community foundation field, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation is considered a leader in the development and support of effective programs addressing poverty, access to higher education and other key issues facing urban communities."

The foundation has grown dramatically since Jansson became president in 1993:

Foundation assets have grown from $114 million to a record high of $574 million in December 2007 before the economic downturn. During the past decade of his tenure, foundation investments have outperformed two key benchmarks, the S&P 500 and the Morningstar Balanced Mutual Index Fund.

Since 1993, the foundation has made more than $296.6 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in metropolitan Milwaukee, the United States, and across the world.

Contributions, including 71 gifts of $1 million or more, created funds that have made a significant impact in the community. For example, the Mary L. Nohl Fund has made more than $3.8 million in grants in support of local artists and arts education since its inception in 2001.

"Doug’s greatest impact continues to be his incredible initiatives to engage the foundation as more than just a grant-maker to the community. Under his leadership, the foundation has become a critical resource in our community to not only help identify but to resolve all problems," said foundation board vice chair John Daniels Jr., chairman of Quarles & Brady. "Our new Community Partnerships program, which works exclusively to identify and develop potential solutions to the most pressing issues, is a terrific example of a major initiative developed by Doug."

Jansson said he will focus his efforts in the coming year in several key areas.

"I will continue to work diligently on efforts to address, with our many partners, community issues our board has given the highest priority," Jansson said. "That includes improving the educational outcomes at MPS (Milwaukee Public Schools), fostering a regional transportation system that includes KRM and an improved bus system, improving the quality of early childhood education and supporting efforts to generate more jobs in our community."

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