Friday, December 19, 2014
Former Cardinal Stritch dean to lead Cream City Foundation
December 19, 2014 10:54 AM
Milwaukee-based Cream City Foundation Inc. has named Peter Holbrook, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer.
The foundation works to secure philanthropic resources and drive strategic collaboration within organizations and initiatives that advance quality of life for LGBT residents of southeastern Wisconsin.

Holbrook joins Cream City Foundation from Cardinal Stritch University, where he most recently was dean of the College of Business and Management. His 28 years at the university, which culminated in his role as dean, included several other leadership positions – director of admissions, director of development, vice president for enrollment management, executive vice president and chief operating officer, executive director of leadership and organization learning, director of the Leadership Center, and assistant professor.

“We are thrilled to welcome someone of Peter’s caliber to the Cream City Foundation,” board of directors chair Paul Milakovich said in a statement. “Peter has a track record for growing organizations through strong relationships, unique partnerships, proactive fundraising and innovative ideas. He is undoubtedly the idea fit for us considering his leadership experience and commitment to serving and supporting the LGBT community.”

Much of Holbrook’s career has been devoted to boosting fundraising efforts and building on quality programming.

At Cream City Foundation, he said he is determined to inform donors and the broader community about the “compelling work the foundation does to positively impact LGBT people in southeast Wisconsin.”

“I’m looking forward to engaging with others to generate needed philanthropic resources to fund strategic initiatives that strengthen our community,” Holbrook said in a statement.

His professional experience also encompasses strategic planning for area organizations. During the last three decades, he has committed his time and talent to several local and national nonprofits, including having supported Diverse and Resilient in Milwaukee, the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Public Television Vision 2057 Task Force, and the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse.

Holbrook, who earned his doctorate degree in leadership studies from Cardinal Stritch University, will officially take the helm of Cream City Foundation on Jan. 20.

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South side neighborhoods poised for redevelopment
December 19, 2014 10:56 AM
Six properties in Milwaukee’s Layton Boulevard West and Clarke Square neighborhoods sit on the cusp of redevelopment, following a charrette held Tuesday to brainstorm plans for their futures.
The charrette, led by Community Design Solutions of UW-Milwaukee, challenged sets of area architects to devise and then revise visions for each property in line with community and marketplace needs.

The goal of the day-long event, which was hosted by the UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning, was “to take a look at these six underutilized sites and identify feasible urban redevelopment concepts that could bring investment to the neighborhood, bring uses that they might need and also bring additional investment to those areas,” said Carolyn Esswein, director of Community Design Solutions. The UWM design center provides students and faculty opportunities to advise development projects that will spark positive change.

Community Design Solutions previously headed successful charrettes for sites on Doctor Martin Luther King Drive, in Bronzeville and in Riverworks.

In light of those charrettes, Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan reached out to Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, Inc. and the Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative earlier this year to explore the benefits of a holding a charrette for the city’s south side.

“There’s a lot of investment that’s been taking place in the neighborhood, and that’s why we thought it was a great time for the charrette,” said Natanael Martinez, economic development manager at LBWN.

The two nonprofit community development organizations selected sites in each of their vicinities – sites “that were underutilized and had the potential to be redeveloped based on land value and ownership,” Esswein said.

Sites of opportunity in the Layton Boulevard West neighborhood are located at: 3514, 3516, 3522, 3524 and 3528 National Ave.; 3733 and 3737 National Ave.; and 3220 and 3238 W. Pierce St. Sites in Clarke Square are situated at: 2110, 2130, and 2134 W. National Ave.; 2127 W. National Ave.; and 2008, 2012, 2016, 2026, 2028, and 2034 Greenfield Ave.

LBWN identified sites that are highly visible, that have real opportunity for future development and with property owners ready to retire or sell, according to Martinez.

The organization also sought sites in close proximity to recent developments to further build upon neighborhood revitalization efforts, he said.

Similarly, Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative selected sites along the area’s main thoroughfares, what Ian Bautista, executive director of the organization, describes as “landmarks” that will help create momentum and buzz around future development.

Architects participating in this week’s charrette included American Design, Korb Tredo Architects, Miller Architectural Group, Arcint Architecture and Hofman Architects, Quorum Architects, and Engberg Anderson. Each firm was assigned one of the six sites to analyze and redesign. After presenting their initial ideas early in the day and receiving feedback from stakeholders who attended the charrette, each team went back to the drawing board to flesh out their ideas for a second round of presentations.

Ideas that emerged for Layton Boulevard West neighborhood included redeveloping the 3500 block of National Avenue into a mixed use site of residential and retail space and converting the property on Pierce Street into a fitness facility on the ground level with housing above. In Clarke Square, proposals included transforming the 2100 block of National Avenue into a makerspace, where a variety of tenants could produce food or retail items, and redeveloping the 2000 block of Greenfield Avenue into townhomes, veterans’ housing and a futsal field.

Looking to next year, Esswein will compile a report summarizing each idea and will release it by February. She also plans to present the results of the charrette at a community meeting so that the public can weigh in on each idea.  

The next steps will hopefully involve securing the interest of developers or issuing a request for proposal for the sites, she said.

LBWN and the Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative will also remain heavily invested in the steps ahead.

“We’re looking to take these plans and engage different partners to discuss the possibilities of each development and see how we can move them forward,” Martinez said.

Tuesday’s charrette was funded by the Zilber Family Foundation, the Milwaukee Department of City Development and LISC Milwaukee.

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MPS students to run business simulations through partnership with Junior Achievement
December 19, 2014 11:00 AM
A new partnership between Junior Achievement of Wisconsin and Milwaukee Public Schools will connect 5,000 fifth grade students with learning opportunities that simulate the real-world responsibilities of running a business.
Through the partnership, announced on Thursday, all of MPS’s fifth grade students will take part in the MPS Learning Journey programming, in collaboration with Junior Achievement, and will have access to JA BizTown.

The program, facilitated by the JA Kohl’s Education Center in Milwaukee, immerses students in adult life by allowing them to run a simulated town and join one of 15 businesses in the town.

The JA BizTown, which includes a bank, restaurant, city hall and newspapers, bridges students’ social studies classroom lessons with real-world applications.

“The JA BizTown program provides MPS students with a realistic opportunity to experience how basic economic concepts are used in the real world,” MPS superintendent Darienne Driver, Ph.D., said in an announcement. “By participating in JA BizTown, our students experience the responsibilities and opportunities of citizenship in a free enterprise system.”

Prior to the newly announced partnership, about 2,000 fifth grade students in the district had access to JA BizTown curriculum. Together, MPS and Junior Achievement are now opening up programming for all fifth graders.

Through their partnership, more than 200 MPS teachers will likely tap into JA BizTown programming this school year. Before exposing their students to the simulation, participating teachers will attend a curriculum training session.

A cohort of more than 1,000 volunteers will also help run the model town, including community members and MPS parents, who act as professional role models and work with students to operate their businesses.

“With the help of our community volunteers, we are equipping these students with the skills and confidence they need to become successful economic citizens in our community,” said Tim Greinert, president of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin. “It is our hope that we ignite their passion for a particular career or industry.”

Last year, Junior Achievement’s educational programming touched more than 166,000 students across the state. The nonprofit organization promotes student development of skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship and works to draw parallels between classroom lessons and real-world scenarios.

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'Milwaukee's Finest' cultivates next generation leaders
December 19, 2014 11:03 AM
While the Milwaukee's Finest campaign is grounded in a mission to raise funds for the fight against cystic fibrosis, it has also become a catalyst for leadership development, according to business executives like Brad Bertler, tax manager partner at Ernst & Young.
“It’s a great way to get some of our top people really ingratiated into the concept of giving back to the community, being a leader, and taking the lead on a fundraiser like this,” said Bertler, who has helped identify Ernst & Young employees to serve the campaign the past two years.

The annual campaign, facilitated by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-Wisconsin Chapter, charges a set of area young professionals with raising as many dollars as they can over 10 weeks for the organization’s mission. Along with raising awareness of cystic fibrosis, CFF collects funds toward a cure of the chronic disease, which causes mucus to accumulate in the lungs and digestive tract among other areas of the body.

The 2015 campaign, which will run from March through May with a campaign goal of $60,000, is seeking candidate nominations through February. Milwaukee’s Finest honorees are often nominated by a colleague or employer or even themselves.

Following nominations, the campaign’s committee vets submissions and selects honorees to begin fundraising in whatever capacities they can, from internal company fundraisers to social media campaigns to funding efforts among family and friends.

Participating honorees also receive coaching on effecting fundraising strategies as well as have opportunities to meet personally with families impacted by cystic fibrosis and network with their peers.

“I just think it’s a wonderful way for our young people to give back to the community and for them to network,” Bertler said, adding that it has helped past candidates boost their own professional networks.

While it certainly adds weight to the fight against cystic fibrosis, honorees “get a ton out of it as well,” he said.

Candidates who have represented Ernst & Young in past years have been among the company’s “highest performers” and have been individuals with “an interest to get involved in this type of activity,” Bertler said.

Johnson Bank has also been a key proponent of Milwaukee’s Finest, having entered the campaign arena last year with its first company honoree, Alison Majcen.

Majcen’s nerves in launching her own fundraising campaign evolved into excitement in being part of the movement to find a cure for cystic fibrosis, and it was really neat to “see the passion she had going forward,” said Jon Donahue, vice president, private banking, at Johnson Bank and a member of the Milwaukee’s Finest committee.

Majcen’s efforts also permeated Johnson Bank’s staff, Donahue said, as her colleagues supported her financially with internal fundraisers, including a jeans day during which anyone who donated at least $20 could wear jeans to work.

The campaign’s ability to transfer that internal pride outward and elevate the visibility of a company within the philanthropic community is another benefit to employers whose staff members participate, according to Bertler.

“We take great pride in seeing our name and our employee involved in something so great,” Bertler said.

For more information on Milwaukee’s Finest, which BizTimes Media has sponsored in years past, visit

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Philanthropic Impact & Insight: Company ‘giving forward’ helps community
December 19, 2014 11:06 AM
In this season of giving, many corporations of all sizes are finding ways to give back to their communities. Some have teams of employees who contribute their time and talents by volunteering for meaningful projects like feeding the hungry, reading to children or helping the homeless. Others make financial contributions to particular causes, donate office furniture or offer in-kind services to local nonprofits.
Jericho Resources, Inc. took an innovative approach toward giving this year. The firm partnered with the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Southeastern Wisconsin (AFP SEWI) in support of its annual event celebrating philanthropy. In addition to sponsoring the event, Jericho donated $1,500 worth of $25.00 VISA gift cards—one for each table. Attendees at each table were asked to brainstorm together to choose a cause they’re passionate about and designate an individual to send the contribution.  
Branded as the “Giving It Forward Challenge,” the effort served as a catalyst. The 600 National Philanthropy Day Luncheon attendees went beyond honoring philanthropic achievements and became philanthropists by actively engaging in giving. A myriad of causes were supported that include meals for seniors, hats and mittens for preschoolers, teen dating violence prevention, veterans services and even combating Ebola in West Africa.  
Many attendees did not just give away the $25. They were inspired to match it or give more—some even quadrupled the gift. In the end, contributions went to over 30 organizations and programs as a result of the “Giving It Forward Challenge.” Ultimately, it’s not the amount, or method, that’s important. What really matters is finding a way to give back that excites you and your colleagues, matching your company’s passion with the need in our community.
As 2014 comes to a close, corporations and businesses should remember that they can make a difference with even a small investment like the “Giving It Forward Challenge.” Consider asking staff, colleagues and co-workers to take the challenge. Find out what causes they care about and spark contributions by “giving it forward” with a starter gift. Giving back as a company can create greater staff morale and increase productivity while making a lasting impact on the quality of life in our region.

William Martin is president of Jericho Resources, Inc., a human services consulting firm, and president-elect of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter. Editor Peter Zehren is vice president of communications for the AFP SEWI. For more information on the “Giving It Forward Challenge” or to receive a sample form contact the AFP SEWI at

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Our Daily Salt benefiting Hunger Task Force with holiday sales
December 19, 2014 11:09 AM
Our Daily Salt, a locally-owned shop that handcrafts wooden housewares and kitchen wares, is ringing in the holiday season with a philanthropic push to raise funds for Hunger Task Force.
The shop, owned and operated by business partners Felisha Wild and Janelle Phalen, has been selling wooden ornaments cut in the shape of Wisconsin, with all proceeds benefiting Hunger Task Force.

The rustic ornaments, which cost $5, are made right in the shop with furniture grade plywood and feature maple wood on both sides, according to Wild.

The shop plans to continue selling the ornaments through the end of the year and anticipates selling at least 200, which will translate into a $1,000 donation to Hunger Task Force.

“We just thought we wanted to do something as a business to help the community at large as well as have something that was near and dear to our hearts, which is basically food,” Wild said. “We like food, and we understand that there’s many of us that don’t have enough food.”

Because Our Daily Salt specializes in products centered around food, Wild said her team wanted to benefit an organization also focused on food.

“I just thought it was a really good match for us – for our business,” she said.

The shop owners also wanted to give back to the community after receiving so much support in their first few months of operation, according to Wild.

Our Daily Salt, located at 3519 W. National Ave. in Milwaukee, opened in July and celebrated its grand opening in September, after being named winner of Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, Inc.’s 2013 Silver City Business Plan Competition.

The business’ first community fundraiser has been “really successful,” Wild said.

“People have really gotten behind us,” she said.

In addition to selling holiday ornaments in their shop, Wild and Phalen also plan to have ornaments available for purchase at upcoming markets and shows. More information can be found at

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Greater Milwaukee Foundation to steward Kohl's gift toward arena
December 19, 2014 11:11 AM
Former U.S. Senator and Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl has designated the Greater Milwaukee Foundation the steward of the $100 million gift he plans to make toward the development of a new downtown arena.
The $100 million, which Kohl announced in April when he also announced the Bucks’ new owners, is the largest gift the foundation has ever received and falls as the organization prepares to celebrate its centennial in 2015.

“Because of their long history of working with donors to strengthen the region, I am pleased to partner with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation to help me fulfill my promise to the community we cherish,” Kohl said in a statement. “As GMF looks ahead to its exciting next chapter of service to our community, and with the Bucks’ commitment to keep Milwaukee an NBA city, now is the time to keep the momentum and excitement growing for the future of downtown development and to preserve this important asset for our state.”

The foundation, which aids donors in achieving their philanthropic goals, will partner with Kohl to allocate the $100 million toward a new arena in line with his pledge. The NBA has mandated that Milwaukee have a new arena constructed by November 2017 in order to keep the Bucks.

“We will work with Senator Kohl to carry out his intent with the gift,” said Ellen Gilligan, GMF president and CEO. “He is both hopeful and expectant that there will be a new arena, and I think that that is part of his visionary gift for the future of downtown Milwaukee.”

Should a new arena not come to fruition by the NBA’s deadline, Gilligan said the foundation will aid Kohl in redirecting his vision of his gift.

“We will work with Senator Kohl as we would with any donor to carry out his charitable purposes,” Gilligan said. “This is a charitable gift, so it will remain a charitable gift.”

This is the first gift GMF has ever stewarded from Kohl, though Gilligan has known Kohl since she arrived in Milwaukee.

It is “very exciting” for the foundation to receive a gift of this size, particularly at the dawn of one of its most significant years, she said.

“$100 million on the eve of our 100th anniversary is just a fabulous way to start our centennial year, and it just reinforces for us the importance of our donors and strengthening our community and what role we can play in helping them carry out their philanthropic goals,” Gilligan said.

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Children’s Hospital, Medical College receive $3 million gift for mental health needs
December 19, 2014 11:14 AM
The Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin have announced a $3 million gift from the Kelben Foundation, a Milwaukee-based nonprofit, to establish a Community Mental Health Initiative for children in Milwaukee’s central city.
The funding will also provide support for several mental health professionals who will expand the initiatives of Children’s current health clinics embedded within the COA Goldin Center, Northside YMCA and Next Door Foundation. Additionally, training and education will be provided to staff at the Boys and Girls Club, better equipping them to respond to mental health needs with children in their programs.

“Access to mental health services is as important as access to physical health care specialists, and the intent of this initiative is to improve access for families by providing mental health professionals embedded in the neighborhoods most in need, and also to streamline and simplify the processes involved in seeking mental health services,” said Mary Kellner, who established the Kelben Foundation with her husband, Ted. “Partnering with MCW and with Children’s Hospital and working with community organizations is an important step in establishing better mental wellness in Milwaukee.”

In addition to the Kelben Foundation, the Kellners created the Kellner Chair in Pediatrics at the Medical College. Mary has more than 20 years of counseling experience, and Ted serves on the MCW Board of Trustees and the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Board.

“We are profoundly grateful to the Kellner family for their commitment and dedication,” said Peggy Troy, chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital. “We are thrilled to launch this endeavor to provide increased access and appropriate mental health services to children and families. We know psychological distress can have an impact on physical health. The longer children and families wait to receive adequate and appropriate treatment, the more staggering the costs become, both emotionally and physically.”

Dr. John Raymond Sr., president and CEO of MCW, noted, “This impactful and generous gift from the Kellner family not only will help children and families get access to the mental health services they need, but also will raise awareness of the great need for trained mental health professionals in Milwaukee and statewide. We are grateful to the Kellner family for its philanthropy and for the community partnerships this gift will forge as we seek solutions for children and families in need of treatment.”

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Potawatomi 'Miracle' program again exceeds $1 million
December 19, 2014 11:17 AM
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino raised more than $1 million through its 2014 “Miracle on Canal Street” charity program, mirroring the success of last year's program, which also raked in more than $1 million.
The casino announced the 2014 fundraiser’s grand total – $1,035,789 – during a ceremony last Friday, when 30 recipient organizations congregated at the casino to celebrate their philanthropic winnings.
Each organization received $34,526. Of the 30 organizations, 10 were signature charities selected by media partners in August. The other 20 were randomly selected to receive funding in November from a pool of applications.
All organizations involved focus on improving quality of life for area youth in some capacity in line with the charity program’s mission to reach children in need.
Following the announcement of the grand total and the amount each organization is receiving, Potawatomi held a check presentation ceremony, during which the casino recognized each honoree and awarded funds.
The annual “Miracle” program, launched in 1994, builds funds through special bingo games played at the casino each August through December. Additional funds were raised this year through beer sales at the casino and a special poker tournament held in November.
“Raising $1 million is truly a testament to the generosity of our bingo guests and the hard work of our employees here at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino,” Melanie Martin, bingo director, said in a statement. “It is always a joy to announce that fundraising total and see the happiness in the faces of our charity representatives – those who are doing a fabulous job providing basic, but necessary, services for youth in our community.”
Since the “Miracle” program began, it has distributed more than $14.6 million through 582 donations.

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Marquette receives $3.5 million gift
December 19, 2014 11:20 AM
Marquette University's Diederich College of Communication has received a $3.5 million gift from the Bernice Shanke Greiveldinger Charitable Trust for capital improvement projects in the college's Johnston Hall.
Johnston Hall, a part of Marquette’s historic core, has served as the College of Journalism's (later College of Communication) permanent home since 1975. Phased renovations are set to begin in January 2015 and continue through August 2018. Faculty, staff and student input will be considered in the renovation planning, said Dean Lori Bergen, Ph.D.

“Through this generous gift, we will redefine space within our historic home to provide advanced technology and a more collaborative environment so that we may deliver the best, most relevant communication education to our students across all disciplines,” Bergen said. “The Greiveldinger Trust has honored us with this opportunity, and on behalf of the entire college I want to thank Geoffrey and his family.”

The Greiveldinger Trust, established following the death of Marquette journalism alumna Shanke Greiveldinger in 2008, earlier this year donated $1 million to Marquette’s new Jesuit Residence project. The college is named after J. William and Mary Diederich, who bequeathed $28 million in a legacy gift in 2005. Peter and Patricia Frechette gave the college $8.3 million in 2013 to establish the Perry and Alicia O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism.

“Significant renovations are needed to put the college on a pace to lead young journalists and media professionals for years to come,” said Geoffrey Greiveldinger, trustee of the Greiveldinger Charitable Trust. “The foundational work of the O’Brien Fellowship was instrumental in the Greiveldinger Trust’s decision to make this gift. That program represents a vision on the part of the college that augured so well for the future achievements of the Diederich College of Communication.”

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BizTimes Media 2015 Giving Guide
December 19, 2014 11:22 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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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
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» CCB, Inc.
» Donors Forum of Wisconsin
» Leading Transitions, LLC
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» 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


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» Helen Bader Foundation
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» The Faye McBeath Foundation
» Next Door Foundation
» The Bradley Foundation

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