Foundation leadership in the spotlight

The leadership of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and its staff has been the focus of numerous organizational and individual recognitions in the early part of 2021. These external honors demonstrate the talent and commitment the Foundation brings to issues facing the community.

Mary Ellen Stanek Award for Diversity in Corporate Governance

Ellen Gilligan, president and CEO of the Foundation, received the eighth annual Mary Ellen Stanek Award for Diversity in Corporate Governance on Feb. 8 from the Greater Milwaukee Committee. The award is given to a person or entity for demonstrating a commitment to promoting equity and inclusion in their corporate structure, resulting in increased gender and racial diversity in leadership and on corporate boards in the Milwaukee region.

Gilligan was recognized for her ongoing efforts to address matters related to gender and social justice through her leadership of the Foundation, as well as her community engagement and service on local and national boards with respect to increasing diversity and addressing social justice issues.

Remarkable Milwaukee

Historic Milwaukee honored the Foundation, the Medical College of Wisconsin and Royal Capital Group as the lead organizations in the ThriveOn Collaboration during its 2021 virtual Remarkable Milwaukee event on Feb. 25. Remarkable Milwaukee recognizes businesses, individuals and organizations that have a strong history in Milwaukee and have made exemplary contributions to the city’s heritage and the built environment.

The collaborators were chosen due to their joint work to renovate and restore the former Gimbels-Schuster’s department store on North Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, now named ThriveOn King. When complete, the historic building will house the Foundation’s new offices as well as community-facing programs of the Medical College and a range of community amenities.

Diversity in Business – Community Impact Award

On March 5, the Milwaukee Business Journal presented the Foundation with its 2021 Diversity in Business Award for Community Impact. The Diversity in Business Awards recognize entrepreneurs and enterprises whose contributions toward growth, expansion and prosperity are generating positive momentum in urban centers in the region.

According to the Business Journal, the Community Impact category honors contributions to growth within an area of high minority population.

40 Under 40

Fiesha Lynn Bell, associate director of major gifts at the Foundation, was selected by the Milwaukee Business Journal for its 40 Under 40 class of 2021. Bell joined the Foundation in 2019 as major gifts officer, and the strong relationships she has cultivated with donors and throughout the community have contributed significantly to the goals of the Development and Philanthropic Services team and strategic priorities of the Foundation as a whole.

Each year, Business Journal reporters and editors select 40 leaders under the age of 40 who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement while also becoming leaders in their communities. Nearly 300 young professionals were nominated in this, the 28th year of the program. The winners will be recognized formally on March 29.

Community Mentor Award

On April 29, Ellen Gilligan will be among four leaders honored by TEMPO Milwaukee as “Heroic Mentors.” Since 1990, TEMPO’s Mentor Awards have recognized individuals and organizations dedicated to mentoring others and demonstrating business and community leadership.

Gilligan will receive the Community Mentor Award for her resilience, leadership and mentorship as the Foundation responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, the corresponding economic crisis and heightened calls locally and nationally for social justice – all in the context of the Foundation’s generational commitment to racial equity and inclusion.