Greater Milwaukee Foundation award recipients embody a Milwaukee for all

In Milwaukee, a vast number of leaders and partners dedicate their time to fostering the growth and vitality of the region’s people and places. These are all key components to a thriving community. The Greater Milwaukee Foundation celebrates these contributions with a number of prestigious awards and congratulates this year’s recipients.

The Awards Committee chooses the recipients from a list of nominations submitted by Foundation staff, past recipients, board members, advisory groups and more. Foundation Board members, Mary Ellen Stanek, president of Baird Funds and chief investment officer of Baird Advisors, and Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Pedro A. Colón co-chair the committee. 

“The Awards Committee engaged in a dynamic and robust process with many deserving candidates considered,” Stanek said. “Our roster of award recipients embodies the best of Milwaukee-truly a Milwaukee for all! These deserving honorees live it every day and work tirelessly to improve the health and well-being of all.”

This year’s award recipients are:

  • William C. Frye Award: Ted and Mary Kellner
    Ted and Mary Kellner have provided decades of service to nonprofit boards in Wisconsin. Co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Fiduciary Management, Ted is president of the MKE 2024 Host Committee for the Republican National Convention, while Mary is president of the Kelben Foundation. 
  • Frank Kirkpatrick Award: Ernesto and Olivia Villarreal 
    Primarily known as the owners of El Rey grocery stores, Ernesto and Olivia Villarreal are equally invested in beautifying the South Side with community murals, parks and public spaces.
  • Doug Jansson Leadership Award: John Daniels III
    John Daniels III is committed to seeing young people thrive through his role at MKE Fellows and his own nonprofit ALIVE. 
  • President’s Leadership in Racial Equity and Social Justice Award: Lupe Martinez
    Throughout his life, Lupe Martinez has strived to make the world a more just place for migrant workers and all laborers by advocating for improvements to employment, education, health and housing opportunities. 
  • Jackie Herd-Barber Award: Kristen Hardy
    Attorney Kristen Hardy loves being part of the community and has used her ties to strengthen the Bronzeville neighborhood, empower women professionals and more. 
  • Outstanding Professional Adviser of the Year: Maureen O’Leary-Guth
    As an estate planning attorney, Maureen O’Leary-Guth helps families mitigate the stress that comes with a loved one’s passing. In her role, she often refers individuals to the Foundation and its Community Adviser & Ambassador Network.  

“The breadth of talented people in our community driven to achieve not only their personal goals but our collective community goals becomes clear when you have a few awards for so many talented and giving people,” Colón said. “This year’s awards reflect the incredible talent and commitment of the recipients to engage in the work of community and the commitment from the members of our committee to recognize and bring these award recipients to light for all to see.” 


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