The winners of the 2018 BizTimes Milwaukee Nonprofit Excellence Awards were named today at the fifth annual program, held at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.
The program honors top area nonprofit organizations for their work in the community and also honors private individuals and businesses that support area nonprofits.
The winners and finalists of the 2018 Nonprofit Excellence Awards are:
Nonprofit Collaboration of the Year
- Winner – Dominican Center for Women and the Hunger Task Force
- Finalists – Elevate, Inc., Outreach Community Health Centers
Nonprofit Executive of the Year
- Winner – Angela Mancuso, The Women’s Center Inc.
- Finalists – Ann Petrie, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin; Lynda Kohler, SHARP Literacy
Nonprofit Organization of the Year (Large)
- Winner – Discovery World
- Finalists – Luther Manor, My Choice Family Care
Nonprofit Organization of the Year (Small)
- Winner – CORE El Centro
- Finalists – Cathedral Center, Literacy Services of Wisconsin, Northwest Side Community Development Corp.
- Winner – Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity
- Finalists – Brew City MKE, FEI Behavioral Health
Corporate Citizen of the Year
- Winner – Cousins Subs
- Finalists – First Bank Financial Centre, Komatsu Mining Corp.
Corporate Volunteer of the Year
- Winner – Marcell Jackson, GE Healthcare
- Finalist – Tim Steward, DeWitt Ross & Stevens
- Winner – Marcus Corp.
- Finalists – Manpower Group, Z2
Next Generation Leadership
- Winner – Erik Kennedy, Aurora Health Care
- Finalist – Christine Richards, Richards Group Allstate
- Winner – Klumb Family, KS Energy Services
The Nonprofit Excellence Awards event also featured a panel discussion about psychological trauma and its effect on Milwaukee’s workforce.
Panelists included Mike Lovell, president of Marquette University; Amy Lovell, president of REDgen; and Frank Cumberbatch, vice president of engagement for Bader Philanthropies. The Lovells and Cumberbatch serve on the steering committee of Scaling Wellness in Milwaukee (SWIM), an initiative that is bringing various stakeholders together to make the region a more trauma-responsive community.
“Studies have shown that two out of three of people experience trauma in their life, so most of us in this room today have experienced trauma,” Mike Lovell said.
When trauma isn’t addressed, it can translate to absenteeism, difficulty establishing professional relationships and other job-related challenges. Panelists implored employers to view those issues through the lens of trauma.
“You hear employers say, ‘I can’t get the employees I need. These guys don’t show up on time. They don’t know how to work on a team. They have this issue or that issue,” Cumberbatch said. “Those are the wrong questions. You need to begin with finding out from every employee … ‘What happened to you? What is the reason why you cannot focus on these tasks?’ Once you start to work on that, you will see they will show up, they want to work, they want to raise their families just like everyone else.”
Amid low unemployment, new employers entering the region and a host of new developments happening in downtown Milwaukee, there is an increased urgency to connect those who have previously been disconnected from the workforce with jobs. However, Amy Lovell said, the Milwaukee area community must address historic racism and pessimism to ensure all community members benefit from the region’s economic development.
“Until we start addressing systems that are inherently racist, we are not going to really move the needle in Milwaukee,” she said.
Cumberbatch said his involvement with SWIM has made him hopeful about the community’s ability to tackle what have long been thought by many in the area to be intractable issues.
“I’ve always thought that we’ve been putting Band-Aids on solving the city’s issues, but I could never put my finger on what is the real problem until I attended the first meeting (of SWIM) and realized, ‘Ah, I think this variable could be it,'” he said. “And fast-forward from then to now, and I think we’re on to something.”