NONPROFIT EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR WINNER
Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin
Robert Glowacki has served as chief executive officer of Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin for 12 years. His vision and innovative leadership have not only advanced the mission of Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin, but also have garnered new opportunities and new resources for the organization.
According to Susan Russell, vice president of community engagement, it is Glowacki’s leadership, vision and expertise that helped the organization grow and expand its program offerings to serve individuals with disabilities from birth through their entire lifespan.
Glowacki was instrumental in helping lead the organization through the completion of three mergers. This month, Easter Seals announced it will merge with Safe Babies Healthy Families. In 2005, Easter Seals merged with KindCare and in 2010, the organization merged with the Waukesha Training Center. The mergers not only expanded programming at the organization, but also extended its service footprint throughout Waukesha and Milwaukee counties and increased its annual revenue from $2 million to nearly $10 million.
He has overseen the growth of several Easter Seals programs, including Applied Behavior Analysis Autism Therapy, which was added in 2011 and has brought an additional $1 million in revenue to the organization, as well as the Project SEARCH vocational training program for young adults with disabilities. He also spearheaded a capital campaign in 2013 that led to an expanded workforce training program for individuals interested in food service and hospitality.
The program was completed in 2014 and established a state-of-the-art commercial training and catering kitchen and conference center in Waukesha. The program provides diversified revenue streams through a social enterprise business, while also offering training and employment opportunities. Earned revenue through this type of programming makes the organization less dependent on government funding and less sensitive to changes in the economy.
His experience has made Glowacki a sought after resource for organizations throughout Wisconsin and across the country. Glowacki regularly advises and speaks on growth opportunities, mergers and strategic initiatives, and has also conducted multiple best practices trainings on the topics.
Glowacki is a connecting force in the community, Russell said. He has developed a strong board of directors complete with diverse backgrounds and outlooks. He continues to focus on establishing relationships with organizations that can provide insight and information into the leadership and success of Easter Seals, she said.