Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
Nonprofit served: United Community Center
Service: Board president
Jose Olivieri recognizes the advantages life has afforded him.
He attended Carroll University, went on to graduate from Marquette University Law School, and has since enjoyed a long career as a lawyer in Milwaukee.
Olivieri also recognizes that with those successes comes a responsibility to give back to the community and ensure those opportunities are made available to others.
A partner with Milwaukee-based Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, Olivieri has served on numerous boards to that end—the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, the University of Wisconsin System board of regents, the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation and Carroll University’s board of trustees, to name a few—and has lent his professional expertise to provide pro bono legal services for those in need.
But Olivieri says it’s his sustained service on the United Community Center board that’s proven most rewarding over the past three decades—the last two of which he has served as president.
“I’ve seen it grow from a very small entity to a very large entity, with impact in a lot of different areas,” he said. “It’s been really fulfilling.”
During Olivieri’s tenure with the UCC, the organization has seen significant expansion, both in its physical footprint and the services offered. When Olivieri joined the board in the mid-1980s, there was no school, elderly program or Latino Arts organization.
Today, they’re among UCC’s flagship services, along with homebuyer counseling services, substance abuse treatment programs and fitness programs.
From attending board meetings to conferring with executive leadership to staying current on the organization’s developments, Olivieri said the time investment of serving on both the UCC board and in his other appointments is significant. But he sees the reward.
“I find it satisfying,” he said. “I enjoy the people I work with. I can see the fruits of the work. All of that motivates you to continue to work. I’ve always felt that being involved in the community is important … Seeing how the Hispanic community has grown so dramatically in Milwaukee—and a lot of the challenges that are faced, but also a lot of the opportunities—I see the opportunity to continue to enhance the experience of people here in the community. And I see this as part of the work to accomplish that.”
Olivieri was recently awarded the 2017 Robert H. Friebert Social Justice Award from the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation for his leadership in the Hispanic and broader community.