Foundation adds and recognizes talent

Pictured, from left, Kathryn Dunn, Janel Hines, Wendy Ponting, Ken Robertson, Aileen Rogers, Kenyatta Sinclair

Among the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s most important investments are its people. Over the last several months, Foundation senior leadership has added new talent as well as elevated staff to new or changed positions.

Diversity and inclusion

Joining the Foundation this month is Kenyatta Sinclair, who will be the organization’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer. A Milwaukee native with 15 years of experience in the nonprofit and racial equity and inclusion space, Sinclair will lead the effort to fully incorporate a racial equity lens into all aspects of the Foundation’s work and relationships. Her thought leadership will guide the Foundation’s internal culture toward equity while informing external strategies for dismantling systemic racism to expand opportunity, equity and inclusion. The position reports to president and CEO Ellen Gilligan. 

Since 2016, Sinclair has served in leadership roles at SaintA, first as director of leadership development and most recently as vice president, equity and human capital. She previously held positions in program development and served as director of learning and professional development for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.

Recently taking on expanded roles and responsibilities on the Foundation’s senior leadership team are Kenneth Robertson, Kathryn Dunn, Wendy Ponting and Janel Hines.

Finance and administration

Robertson’s vision and execution on a range of strategic initiatives since joining the Foundation in 2015 led to his promotion in October from vice president and chief financial officer to executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer. 

As the organization realizes a deeper focus on transformational philanthropy and community change, Robertson has played an essential role in informing the Foundation’s strategic direction and optimizing operations. In his expanded role, he has continued his established leadership in the ThriveOn Collaboration, as well as taken direct responsibility for the Foundation’s impact investing program and human resources functions. 

Connected to this organizational change, Ponting was promoted to vice president of finance & controller and has been given expanded financial responsibility managing the Foundation’s cash disbursement and cash receipt cycles. She has served on the Foundation’s finance team since 1998 and has been controller for nine years. 

Organizational strategy and community impact

In January, Dunn was promoted to senior vice president and chief strategy officer, a role that reaches across the organization. Throughout nearly a decade of service to the Foundation, Dunn led the transformation of the Community Impact department through strategic grantmaking informed by data and community knowledge, convening community partnerships for systemic change and advancing the Foundation’s generational commitment to racial equity and inclusion.

Hines, in turn, was promoted from senior director of grant programs and strategic initiatives to vice president of community impact, a department she joined in 2011. In addition to daily management of the community impact team, Hines continues her key contributions to advancing the Foundation’s racial equity and inclusion commitment.  

Office of the President

Additionally, Aileen Rogers, who has served in the office of the president for 19 years, most recently as executive coordinator, has been promoted to senior relationships officer. In her expanded role, Rogers will lead staffing for the Governance Committee in addition to continuing to staff the Board of Directors and Trustees Committee, building on her extensive relationships with external stakeholders locally and in the community foundation field.