Nonprofit People in the News

Donors Forum honors Zilber

The Donors Forum of Wisconsin (DFW), a statewide membership association for grantmakers, announced that Joseph Zilber will receive the 2009 Wisconsin Philanthropic Leadership Award. The award honors living philanthropists who have shown exemplary leadership through their charitable giving and recognizes the impact philanthropy has on maintaining and sustaining the quality of life that makes Wisconsin a great place to live, work and raise a family.

"This award highlights the power of philanthropy to achieve positive change and seeks to encourage others to give," said Deborah Fugenschuh, president of the Donors Forum of Wisconsin. "DFW is proud to honor Mr. Zilber’s investment in community revitalization and inspirational leadership."

In 2008, Zilber established the Zilber Neighborhood Initiative, a $50 million commitment to Milwaukee neighborhoods. Over the course of a decade, grants will fund community plans to neighborhoods across Milwaukee and support programs that benefit multiple neighborhoods and their residents. Foundation funds will be used to support community planning processes and improve the quality of community life.

"The Zilber Neighborhood Initiative was created because I see the promise and opportunity to make a difference in Milwaukee that will be felt for generations to come," Zilber said.

A representative of the Zilber Family Foundation will formally accept the award on Thursday, Sept. 10, on Zilber’s behalf during the Donor Forum of Wisconsin’s 10th annual Conference on Philanthropy Reception at Discovery World in Milwaukee. 

At the age of 91, Zilber continues to be active in a wide range of charitable, professional, and civic organizations, while overseeing the operations of Zilber Ltd., a diversified commercial and residential real estate development and asset management company headquartered in Milwaukee. 

Martinez celebrates 40 years at UMOS

Lupe Martinez, president and chief executive officer of UMOS, was recently recognized for 40 years of service at the organization.

Lupe started at UMOS in 1969 when the organization was only 4 years old. At that time, UMOS was a single grant agency dedicated to protecting the rights of seasonal migrant farm workers, Martinez said.

"As other resources became available the organization started to look at the changing population and the diverse services that population would require," he said.

Under Martinez’s leadership, UMOS has grown to become the largest Hispanic-managed nonprofit agency in the state of Wisconsin and one of the largest in the nation.

The organization has grown to include locations through out the state of Wisconsin, but also in Minnesota, Texas, Kansas and Missouri, and the population the organization serves has grown too.

"Our customer base today still consists of the seasonal migrant farmer workers, but also encompasses others who may require our services," Martinez said. "Some organizations have failed to survive in this economy, but we have expanded our services, and followed the trends and have been able to respond to the needs of our population."

UMOS functions with 98-percent government funding. However, since government funding has suffered some during the economic crisis, the organization is forced to explore other grants and opportunities to fund its programs and services.

"The competitive process nationwide has become more and more challenging, but over the years, UMOS, through careful and well thought out processes has positioned itself in such a way to have more opportunity to get those grants and some of the money available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act than some other organizations," Martinez said.

UMOS also has formed strategic partnerships with local for-profit and nonprofit agencies to double on grant proposals or offer UMOS services in specific areas, Martinez said.

"Unfortunately this economic distress will be the demise of some local nonprofits. We have already seen some of that," Martinez said. "For the ones who position themselves well, plan and make smart decisions, opportunities can arise. Those are the opportunities that UMOS has tried to take advantage of, and will continue to do so for the next forty years."

Martinez also is president of the Wisconsin Migrant Coalition, Chairman of MAFO, a national partnership of rural and farmworker organizations, chair of the National Farmworker Alliance (NFA) and vice chair of the governor appointed Wisconsin Council on Migrant Labor. He also sits on the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board and the board of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR)

Schwalbach to be inaugurated as Mt. Mary president

Eileen Mihm Schwalbach will be inaugurated as Mount Mary College’s 11th president on Friday, Sept. 11. in the College’s Bloechl Center, 2900 N. Menomonee River Parkway.

"I am honored to lead Mount Mary College as it continues the proud tradition of the School Sisters of Notre Dame who founded this College nearly 100 years ago," stated Schwalbach. "I look forward to the continual advancement of the College and the individuals educated here."

Schwalbach will launch her inaugural year as the "Year of Transformation."

In keeping with Mount Mary’s mission, the college’s curriculum, programs and events on and off campus will focus on the ability of higher education to transform students and faculty to in return transform others, their professions, their communities, and the world.

Faculty, staff and students will participate in the inauguration. Delegates from Marquette University, the University of Wisocnsin-Milwaukee, Alverno College, Cardinal Stritch University, Concordia University, Wisconsin Lutheran College, Carthage College and many other state colleges will participate in the inaugural procession.

Schwalbach began her career at Mount Mary in 1993 by teaching part-time in the Education Department. She joined the faculty full-time in 1997 and served as associate professor and director of the Graduate Program in Education. In May 2003, she began her new position as associate dean of Academic and Student Affairs and in January 2004, became interim vice president for Academic and Student Affairs. She was named permanent vice president in July of 2004, provost in 2007, and served as acting president from September 2008 through February 2009 when she was named president.

Albrecht is new director of development at MAM

Mary Albrecht was recently named senior director of development at the Milwaukee Art Museum after serving as interim director of development for the last five months. In her new position, Albrecht and her team are responsible for raising approximately 62 percent of the museum’s annual budget.

"I am really excited to take this position to the next level. We just finished our fiscal year, so we are happy that we made our goal," Albrecht said.

Albrecht and her team managed to raise more than over $7.5 million for the museum.

"I’m excited to get started on the next fiscal year and getting to work with this incredible development team," she said. "I can’t take credit for reaching goal without them."

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