Friday, July 31, 2015
Grammy-winning artist to perform at Kenosha jazz festival and fundraiser
July 31, 2015 11:05 AM
The Mary Lou & Arthur F. Mahone Fund, of Kenosha, will bring nationally recognized jazz acts to Kenosha's lakefront on Aug. 15 to raise funds toward scholarships for college-bound high school graduates.

Music artists like Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band will perform during the Harbor Park Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Festival, to be held in Harbor Park Celebration Place in Kenosha.

The festival, which has been running for more than 12 years, has become the Mahone Fund’s signature annual event, supporting its mission to “promote opportunities for economically or academically disadvantaged youth,” according to its website.

The organization also backs breast and cervical cancer initiatives for women struggling financially.

During this year’s jazz festival, the Mahone Fund aims to surpass fundraising totals of past years, according to Tim Mahone, chairman of the board of the organization.

In previous years, the festival has generated as much as $60,000.

Event proceeds help the organization fund nine to 10 $5,000 scholarships for deserving students from Kenosha Unified School District and Kenosha’s St. Joseph High School.

In addition to the $5,000 scholarships the organization backs, it awards one student each year with a full-ride scholarship to attend Carthage College in Kenosha. Carthage College funnels the scholarship dollars to the Mahone Fund, which then facilitates the award to a student.

Scholarship recipients are selected through a variety of criteria, including academic performance, demonstration of volunteerism and commitment to participating in extracurricular activities.

The Mahone Fund anticipates about 1,000 attendees during this year’s outdoor festival, depending on weather.

Along with Rebirth Brass Band, a New Orleans brass band that will take the main stage at 7 p.m., the jazz festival will feature performances by Kari Anderson and the Pickups, Ira Walker Band, Kenosha Jazz All-Star Tribute Band, and Frank Catalano Group.

The Mahone Fund has been “very successful” in attracting Grammy-winning artists throughout the festival’s history, Mahone said, as it aims to provide quality jazz music for festivalgoers.

Beyond live music, the jazz fest will feature the second annual “Cooking Studio,” an interactive cooking and grilling demonstration with regional celebrity chefs, including chef Jason Gorman of Mangia Wine Bar in Kenosha.

The studio is made possible by the organization’s partnership with the Gateway Technical College Culinary Arts Program.

As attendees enjoy the summery sounds of the jazz performances and food prepared onsite, Mahone hopes they also learn about the “great cause” their dollars are directly supporting.

“I think what I’d like for them to take away first of all is the great work that we do with the funds that we get from the event,” he said.

Festival music will kick off at 1:30 p.m. General admission costs $25 with VIP tickets priced at $85.

Harbor Park Celebration Place is located at 56th Street and Ring Road in Kenosha.

To purchase festival tickets, visit

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BizTimes calls for Nonprofit Excellence Awards nominations
July 31, 2015 11:07 AM
BizTimes Media is looking to southeastern Wisconsin’s business and nonprofit communities to nominate deserving individuals, companies and organizations for the second annual Nonprofit Excellence Awards program.

The awards call attention to the philanthropic accomplishments of area business leaders and strides made by nonprofits. Last year’s inaugural awards program recognized honorees during a November breakfast held at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino. The event drew more than 400 attendees from the region’s business and nonprofit communities.  

The 2015 awards program, presented in partnership with the Association of Fundraising Professionals Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter and the Wisconsin Philanthropy Network, features nine award categories.

Corporate Citizen Award categories are:

*Corporate Citizen of the Year, given to a for-profit organization in recognition of its impact to a single or multiple nonprofit organizations through financial contributions collective efforts to promote, encourage and organize fundraising efforts and company-sponsored programs and/or events engaging employees to participate in volunteerism.
*Next Generation Leadership, given to for-profit, (under 40 year-old) executive who demonstrates leadership and significant contributions to single or multiple nonprofit organizations through active leadership on a board and/or strategic management/guidance.
*In-Kind Supporter, given to a professional or company that provides in-kind support to single or multiple nonprofit organizations through any type of non-financial contributions.
*Corporate Volunteer of the Year, given to a for-profit non-executive volunteer who demonstrates outstanding dedication to a nonprofit or multiple nonprofit organizations.  Active volunteerism can be ongoing or linked to a specific single project or cause.
*Lifetime Achievement, given to an individual who over his/her lifetime has made significant contributions in time, treasure and talent to helping improve our community through his/her work in the nonprofit community.

Nonprofit Award categories are:

*Nonprofit Organization of the Year, given to a nonprofit organization (not an individual) in recognition for creativity and innovation in building a sustainable organization excellence in teamwork and an outstanding dedication to the organization’s mission in the community organizational excellence in management and operations. The award is given to both a small and large organization.
*Nonprofit Collaboration of the Year, which recognizes a collaborative project that encompasses developed collaborative relationships with other nonprofit organizations engagement of multiple stakeholders within the community being served and innovation in approaching a community problem or issue and have leveraged these relationships to make and even more meaningful impact in the community. Note: since this award recognizes a project that may involve multiple organizations or individuals, it may be “awarded” to more than one part of the project in recognition of their contributions.
*Nonprofit Executive of the Year, given to a nonprofit leader who demonstrates vision and innovation in advancing the mission of the nonprofit extensive involvement in a nonprofit and/or creativity in bringing new resources and opportunities to the nonprofit.
*Social Enterprise, which recognizes a nonprofit organization that demonstrates creative application of the principles of social enterprise in the operation and funding of the organization.

Nominations can be completed online and are due by Monday, Aug. 31. Self-nominations will also be accepted.

Nominations will be vetted by a committee composed of BizTimes editorial team members and nonprofit advisors.

This year’s award winners will be saluted during a Nov. 5 breakfast at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. More information on the event can be found here.

In addition to Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, award program sponsors include PNC Bank, M3 Insurance and TEC.

To see a list of last year’s award winners, visit

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UWM to develop Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship with $10M gift
July 31, 2015 11:10 AM
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will create the Lubar Center for Entrepreneurship with a $10 million gift from Sheldon and Marianne Lubar, university chancellor Mark Mone announced on Thursday.

The center will act as a hub for UWM’s entrepreneurial programs, classes and initiatives for undergraduate and graduate students and will also cater to startup companies in southeastern Wisconsin.

The new center will be housed in a brand new building, to be constructed at the corner of E. Kenwood Boulevard and Maryland Avenue. The new facility will also have room for a new welcome center, where prospective students and UWM visitors will get their first impression of UWM’s campus.

About “20,000 footprints” come through on visits to UWM’s campus every year, according to Mone.

“They will get an eyeful of the entrepreneurial activities happening right there,” he said during a press conference on UWM’s campus Thursday morning.

The Lubar Center will serve entrepreneurs in all 14 of UWM’s schools and colleges and will allow for interdisciplinary and social entrepreneurship programs. The center will advance already existing entrepreneurial initiatives in the Lubar School of Business, the College of Engineering & Applied Science, and the School of Freshwater Sciences, among others, according to university officials.

Current entrepreneurial ventures on campus are rolling out in fragmented ways, Mone said.

The critical mass that can be achieved by having students work together will be “pivotal” and transformational for the school, he said, as the Lubar Center creates a sort of “nucleus” for entrepreneurs at every stage.

“This is a real win for students, faculty, staff and the community because this center embraces all, providing opportunities for participation,” Mone said in a statement. “For some, the goal will be bringing to market products and services. For others, it will be transforming lives in our region with social entrepreneurship.”

UWM is touting the new center as a community asset with resources available to entrepreneurs from all backgrounds. Mone believes it is the kind of asset needed to boost Milwaukee and Wisconsin’s statures in the broader startup community.

“As we add and work with other partners, we anticipate that this will have the galvanizing effect,” he said. “This will be truly one of the more promising activities and centers in the region.”

UWM plans to use the Lubars’ donation for both the development and operation of the center. Their $10 million will function as an endowment. UWM projects the building will cost $8 million, and the remaining $2 million will support operations. The university aims to invest a total of $25 million into the school by raising additional funds.

At the helm of the Lubar Center will be a director who will coordinate and manage center programming with UWM faculty members who already focus on entrepreneurship. Some of the courses offered within the Lubar Center will feature “ideas challenges” and will work to align entrepreneurship activities with classroom curriculum. Classes will be “interactive, team-oriented and project-based,” according to UWM.

The university will also welcome speakers to the center and will structure educational programming that enhances entrepreneurial learning and skill building.

UWM anticipates that the building will be operational by late 2017 or early 2018, Mone said, but will ramp up the center’s entrepreneurial programs before construction starts.

The Lubars’ recent $10 million gift follows another $10 million donation they made to the university in 2006 to endow professorships and student scholarships in the business school, known as the Lubar School of Business.

Sheldon argues that UWM is the “most important institution in the city” and acknowledges that some would make the case that “it’s the most important institution in the state.”

As an entrepreneur, himself, he is a top advocate for the next generation of entrepreneurs who can fuel job creation.

“If you can make someone an entrepreneur who will create jobs (and) who will give people the earning power to live a decent life, you’re going to create a more ideal community,” he said.

In addition to establishing Lubar & Co., Sheldon devoted his career to public service as assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration, and president of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. He also co-founded and presided over the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.

UWM plans to release more details of the new Lubar Center in the coming months.

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Potawatomi changes name, funding structure of signature charity program
July 31, 2015 11:12 AM
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is blowing out its giving this year as it makes strategic changes to its signature charity program, “Miracle on Canal Street.”

The annual program, now 22 years old, supports area youth-serving organizations with funds generated by special rounds of bingo played at the casino from August through early December.

Among program changes is a new program name, “Heart of Canal Street,” prompted by “external factors” as well as a push to refresh the charity initiative, according to Renee Kirnberger, public affairs manager for Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.

“We just started to look at the legacy program, and we are in the heart of the City of Milwaukee and the heart of Menomonee Valley and our heart’s always at the center of our giving,” Kirnberger said.

Kirnberger declined to comment on the specifics of the “external factors” that compelled the program name change.

Also new to the charity program is the designation of a “Charity of Choice” in which Potawatomi will select an area organization to benefit with the first $100,000 of the funds raised for “Heart of Canal Street.”

The hotel and casino has deemed the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board’s pilot program, Youth Works MKE, as the “Charity of Choice” for 2015. The $100,000 gift will funnel toward a solution for community violence as the pilot program aims to curb gun violence in Milwaukee. The program is largely modeled after One Summer Plus, a Chicago program that helps youth through two prongs – giving them part-time summer jobs and providing cognitive behavioral therapy-based programming.

“We are really confident in MAWIB’s ability to take that program, expand upon it (and) make it a yearlong program for these kids,” Kirnberger said, adding that the program will also include mentoring and address kids’ social and emotional needs.

In pinpointing the right charity for the “Charity of Choice” mark, Potawatomi sought to help an organization that provides direct services to area youth.

“They are providing this direct service in a part of the city that has reached a tipping point from a violence perspective,” Kirnberger said, citing the primary focal points as neighborhoods in zip codes 53206 and 53208.

She hopes funds from the hotel and casino help elevate awareness of Youth Works MKE and give MAWIB a platform to establish other public and private partnerships that will support the continuation of its youth programming.

Looking to future program years, Potawatomi will keep the “Charity of Choice” element imbedded in “Heart of Canal Street” but will select other youth-focused organizations to benefit. Other program elements will follow the traditions of past years as “Heart of Canal Street” supports 30 youth-serving organizations – 10 selected by the charity program’s media partners and the other 20 selected on a random basis. Those 30 nonprofits will evenly split the remaining fundraising dollars.

The program each year is capped by a holiday celebration in which the total fundraising figure is unveiled and nonprofits are recognized and awarded.

Potawatomi strives to reach at least $1 million during each program cycle. Last year’s fundraising resulted in more than $1 million, driving the program’s giving total over its lifespan to more than $14.6 million.

Potawatomi announced changes to its signature charity program on Tuesday evening during a casino event that also celebrated the PHC Classic, which will be held Friday through Sunday at Brown Deer Park.

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GPS Education Partners wins national award
July 31, 2015 11:14 AM
At this year's MSSC Leadership Conference in Indianapolis, Butler-based nonprofit GPS Education Partners received the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Authorized Center Award, a recognition given to schools and/or organizations who are “exceptional” leaders in MSSC assessment.

MSSC is an industry-led, training, assessment and certification system focused on the core skills and knowledge needed by the nation’s frontline production and material handling workers. GPS said the nationwide MSSC System, based upon industry-defined and federally-endorsed national standards, is the gold standard for frontline industrial training.

Through a partnership with MSSC, funded by Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Motor Company, GPS Education Partners is able to provide high school juniors and seniors with the opportunity to earn those nationally recognized certifications.

“Our organization deals with hundreds of secondary school programs throughout the USA,” said Leo Reddy, chair and chief executive officer of the nationwide MSSC. “None, however, have been as successful as GPS Education Partners in enabling high schoolers to secure the full Certified Production Technician (CPT) certification and securing employment. (GPS Education Partners) is a model program for the nation helping … youth enter promising career pathways in the exciting world of advanced manufacturing.”

In addition to receiving that award, GPS Education Partners president Stephanie Borowski received an award “For Outstanding Service to MSSC” at the MSSC Executive Briefing in June.

GPS Education Partners is preparing to implement its nationally recognized model in other states across the Midwest in early 2016. For the first time outside the state of Wisconsin, GPS Education Partners will engage technical colleges, school districts and manufacturers with its education model in an effort to accelerate technical education and promote success in technical careers.

Students who complete GPS Education Partners’ program earn their high school diploma and nationally recognized manufacturing certifications. They experience a career in manufacturing by actively engaging every day for two years in a hands-on, immersive, blended learning setting in local manufacturing companies.

GPS Education Partners has partnerships with more than 115 manufacturers and 35 school districts across the state of Wisconsin. Local partners include Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Generac, HellermannTyton, Milwaukee Public Schools and Waukesha County Technical College.

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BizTimes Media 2015 Giving Guide
July 31, 2015 11:16 AM
BizTimes Media’s fifth annual Giving Guide serves the region’s business community as a vehicle to engage with area nonprofit organizations and discover opportunities for philanthropic involvement.

The Giving Guide features the missions, fundraising efforts, and giving opportunities of more than 50 regional nonprofits filling a diversity of needs.

To view BizTimes’ Giving Guide, visit

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Nonprofit Calendar
July 31, 2015 11:17 AM

*Saturday, Aug. 1, Newaukee will usher in the final stretch of summer with the fifth annual “Urban Island Beach Party” at Lakeshore State Park. The bash, free and open to the public, will run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and will offer patrons a chance to try out water sports, a cabana beach lounge, sunset yoga and more. The event will also feature food trucks, live music and art created onsite. Event proceeds will benefit a campaign run by the Friends of Lakeshore State Park as the organization prepares for the construction of a new Visitor and Education Center on park grounds. For more information, visit

*Tuesday, Aug. 4, the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation will hold a course that will brief attendees on its menu of resources and services. The free event – titled “What Can WWBIC Do for You?” – will cover the organization’s business education courses and business loans among its other offerings. The event will run from noon to 1 p.m. at WWBIC Racine, located at 245 Main Street in Racine. For more information or to register, click here.

*Tuesday, Aug. 4, “Chill on the Hill” will hold “Kids and Family Night” with live music performed by Generation Z, Rust Belt Rejects and Girls Rock. “Chill on the Hill” is a free weekly music series that brings live music acts to Humboldt Park in Bay View each Tuesday evening. The music kicks off at 6 p.m. The summer series, presented by the Bay View Neighborhood Association, runs through Tuesday, Sept. 1. For more information on the series, visit

*Wednesday, Aug. 5, the Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee will hold a workshop focused on analyzing data. The workshop, titled “How to Make Data Talk,” will help attendees understand how to evaluate data and use it effectively in grant applications, strategy documents, foundation requests and more. The event will be led by Virginia Carlson, Ph.D., of IMPACT Planning Council. The workshop will run from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee, located at 2819 W. Highland Boulevard in Milwaukee. Cost is $25 for Nonprofit Center members and CDBG and $50 for non-members. For more information or to register, click here.

*Thursday, Aug. 6, East Town Association will feature more live music through its “Jazz in the Park” concert series. The free outdoor concert series, presented by Boston Store and Columbia St. Mary’s, brings live jazz to Cathedral Square in downtown Milwaukee. Concerts are held each Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. The music kicks off at 6 p.m. with a happy hour scheduled for 5 p.m. The next event will highlight the musical stylings of Primitive Culture, an award-winning group well versed in funk, rock, reggae, Latin and R&B. “Jazz in the Park” runs through Thursday, Sept. 3. For more information on the series, visit

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Erica Breunlin BizTimes Nonprofit Weekly is compiled by BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Erica Breunlin. This bulletin is published every Friday morning. Send news tips to or call her at (414) 336-7121.

Nonprofit Resource List

» Association of Fundraising Professionals Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter (AFP)
» BizTimes Nonprofit Directory
» BizTimes Nonprofit Giving Guide
» Board Star
» CCB, Inc.
» Donors Forum of Wisconsin
» Leading Transitions, LLC
» MKE 123
» Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee, Inc.
» Nonprofit Management Fund
» Tri-Adathon
» University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Nonprofit Management Center
» The Volunteer Center of Greater Milwaukee
» Wisconsin Nonprofits Association
» Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) Milwaukee Chapter


» Greater Milwaukee Foundation
» Helen Bader Foundation
» Northwestern Mutual Foundation
» The Faye McBeath Foundation
» Next Door Foundation
» The Bradley Foundation

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