Winners named for 2021 BizTimes Nonprofit Excellence Awards

BizTimes' 2021 Nonprofit Excellence Award winners and finalists.

Last updated on November 8th, 2021 at 02:27 pm

The winners of the 2021 BizTimes Milwaukee Nonprofit Excellence Awards were named today at the eighth annual program.

The program honors top area nonprofit organizations for their work in the community and private individuals and businesses that support area nonprofits.

The winners and finalists of the 2021 Nonprofit Excellence Awards are:

Nonprofit Collaboration of the Year:

  • Winner: Latino Chamber of Commerce of Southeastern Wisconsin in collaboration with North Shore Bank, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp.
  • Finalists: Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Health Department and Division of Milwaukee Housing; Milwaukee Area Technical College and College Possible Milwaukee; and Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in collaboration with TRUE Skool and Hanson Dodge.
Nelson Soler, president and CEO of the Latino Chamber of Commerce.

Nonprofit Executive of the Year:

  • Winner: Eduardo Garza, Jr., president and CEO of The Center for Veterans Issues.
  • Finalist: Mark Niehaus, executive director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
Eduardo Garza, Jr.,
president and CEO of The Center for Veterans Issues.

Nonprofit Organization of the Year – Large:

  • Winner: SaintA
  • Finalists: Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin and St. Augustine Preparatory Academy
Ann Leinfelder Grove, president and CEO at SaintA.

Nonprofit Organization of the Year – Small:

  • Winner: Silver Spring Neighborhood Center
  • Finalists: HEAR Wisconsin and African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin.
Devin Hudson, executive director of the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center.

Social Enterprise:

  • Winner: Franciscan Peacemakers
  • Finalists: i.c. stars and CannedWater4Kids
Deacon Steve Przedpelski, executive director of the Franciscan Peacemakers.

Corporate Citizen of the Year:

  • Winner: Yabuki Family Foundation
  • Finalists: Kohl’s and Milwaukee Bucks Foundation
Jeff Yabuki of the Yabuki Family Foundation.

 Corporate Volunteer of the Year:

  • Winner: Joe Scala, sales representative for Metalcraft Automation Group
  • Finalist: Mike Levey, partner/attorney with Quarles & Brady
Joseph Scala, sales representative for Metalcraft Automation

In-Kind Donation of the Year:

  • Winner: Great Lakes Roofing Corp.
Chris Lampien, senior territory sales manager at
Great Lakes Roofing Corp.

Next Generation Leadership:

  • Winner: Wes Warne, director of ticket sales and career advancement for the Milwaukee Bucks
  • Finalists: Karthik Palaniappan, lead engineer for Milwaukee Tool; and Sorrina Beecher, owner of The White Agency & Write MKE Ink
Arvind Gopalratnam, executive director of the Milwaukee Bucks Foundation accepted the
Next Generation Leadership award on behalf of Wes Warne, director of ticket sales and career
advancement for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Lifetime Achievement Award:

Keith Mardak and Mary Vandenberg.

The Nonprofit Excellence Awards program also featured two panel discussions about how nonprofit organizations and businesses are partnering to meet the region’s pressing workforce needs.

Panelists included Jeremy Joecks, director of partner services for GPS Education Partners; Jim Johnston, vice president of operations for Bradley Corp.; Amy Leahy, director of corporate work study at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Milwaukee; Mark Farrell, executive director of talent deliver at Froedtert Health; Bill Caraher, chief information officer and director of operations for von Briesen & Roper s.c., and board chair of i.c. stars Milwaukee; Blanca Gonzales, executive director of i.c. stars Milwaukee; Eric Wynn, general manager of J.H. Findorff & Sons, and board vice president of Milwaukee Christian Center; and Karen Higgins, executive director of MCC.

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