What brought you to Milwaukee?
“I started my career in retail and I relocated for Express fashion, working on the talent management side… I was really familiar with Milwaukee already, having two uncles who lived here ... I spent summers here so I was familiar with the city and I thought that if I was going to plant roots somewhere, I really needed to look at Milwaukee.”
What’s your job now?
“My role as the major gifts officer, it’s really a partnership between the foundation and our donors. My role is to really think about what our donors are interested in, what legacies they want to leave behind, what are their philanthropic interests and their financial interests and really connecting those.”
What makes you passionate about Milwaukee?
“Milwaukee has a base of young professionals that are really, really engaged in the community and this new generation of leaders that really seem to be connected across these various organizations … Once you start investing in the city it just kind of feels like home and you just kind of want to plant your roots here.”
Difference between corporate and nonprofit world?
“They’re more similar than they are different, in my opinion. I think definitely you have to navigate the corporate playing field just as much as you do in the nonprofit sector … You have to really understand the culture but really connecting with customers at the customer service level in retail is very similar to serving your community partners at the nonprofit level.”
Fiesha Lynn Bell
Major gifts officer, Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Education: Bachelor’s in marketing and cross linguistics, Indiana State University
Previous position: Director of community partnerships, PAVE + Schools That Can Milwaukee