Congratulations, Laura on your new role as the Director of Resource Development with the Greater Milwaukee Committee! In this role, she develops and manages philanthropic relationships with key community stakeholders to fund the mission and programs of the Greater Milwaukee Committee.
Before joining the GMC, Laura worked at Alverno College as the Director of Corporation and Foundations Relations. Laura has also worked in fundraising at Marquette University, American Heart Association, and Crohn's and Colitis Foundation.
Before her career in fundraising, Laura was a mental health counselor in the Racine County Jail and for the Department of Corrections, focused on rehabilitation and re-entry programs. These experiences sparked a passion for helping others and continues through her current work at the GMC.
Laura received a Master of Arts in Community Counseling from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Quincy University, Quincy, IL.
Since 2015, Laura has volunteered with the Wisconsin Humane Society. She is an active member of Professional Dimensions, serving on the Programs Committee this past year. In fall 2022, Laura will become the VP of Programs.
Be sure to add her on LinkedIn!
The Milwaukee Business Journal’s Women of Influence list includes prominent business and community leaders from throughout southeastern Wisconsin who are making the Milwaukee area a better place to live and work. We're proud to celebrate 5 incredible winners who are #PDWOMEN:
In the category of “Family Business”: Lauryn Deck, MindBusiness LLC. and President-Elect, Professional Dimensions
In the category of “Community Supporter”: Maddy Tarbox, VJS Construction Services, Inc.
In the category of “Inspiraition”: Chauntel McKenzie, America's Black Holocaust Museum’s
In the category of “Nonprofit Leadership”: Ginny Finn (she/her), YWCA Southeast Wisconsin
In the category of “Public Policy”: Corey Zetts, Menomonee Valley Partners
In all, 30 women are honored as part of the Milwaukee Business Journal's 2022 Women of Influence Awards. These women are the cream of the crop of Milwaukee’s professional community. They’ve grown businesses, created products, inspired future generations and made southeastern Wisconsin a better place.
The winners will be honored in a special section in the June 17 issue and at a June 21 awards event at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee.”
Learn more by following Milwaukee Business Journal.
Shared by PD Member Karen Vernal
PD Member, Tricia Knight, joined the angels this morning after a short journey with cancer. Tricia was an amazing, kind, and generous woman, who had an uncommon care for her clients and colleagues at Ritz Holman.
Tricia served both as a Board Member at large and treasurer with Professional Dimensions during her 11-year tenure with our organization. Alongside a remarkable 43 year career with Ritz Holman, where she became the first female partner in 1985, Tricia was committed to uplifting women. As an advocate for the accounting profession and the community, she served on the board of directors for several organizations, including Wild Space Dance Company, the Practitioner Liaison Committee for the IRS and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, the Three Holy Women Catholic Parish Finance Committee and the Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants (WICPA) Federal Tax Committee.
We will be sure to update membership as more information is shared. In the meantime, please join us in honoring the life of Tricia Knight with the sharing of love and reflections below or via email to email@example.com.
It is with deep sadness and dismay that I share with you the loss of an incredible leader, and Professional Dimensions sister, Mary Dowell. As many of you know, Mary was a model of fortitude and excellence as she led within PD and the Milwaukee community for decades. Alongside her leadership of a myriad of grassroots and treetop initiatives over the course of her life, she also served as the President of PD from 2010-2012 . While I never had the opportunity to meet Mary, I'm aware of her influence and I'm humbled to benefit from the trails she blazed. Mary was a pioneer, especially in her work towards equity and inclusion which was paramount in the evolution of PD’s race relation work. She was proactive and visionary - a model we can all aspire to as PD women.
Family is taking time to process and would like to hold a memorial service in the Spring/Summer timeframe when it is safer to gather. We will be sure to send details regarding the service and other ways to send condolences as the information is made available.
In the meantime, we’ve found collective processing and healing power in sharing the legacy and imprint that our members have left with each other. [Below] we are sharing the reflections from PD members on Mary's influence, holding space for her vision and leadership to live on through our organization.
Mary was a role model who truly exemplified the values of PD, especially in the spirit of breaking down barriers and finding power in the work we can do collectively as women. My thoughts and prayers are with those of you who knew Mary more intimately as you move through this time with a heavy heart. Please know that you are not alone, and that PD is here. We will navigate these times together.
Milwaukee Business Journal Article: Former Johnson Controls exec, community leader Mary Dowell dies at 74
Leana and Mary at the 2018 TEMPO Milwaukee Mentor Awards event
Sacagawea Nomination for Mary Dowell
Nanis was born and raised in Milwaukee. She is the youngest daughter of a single hard-working mother, a sister to two older brothers, and an aunt to over 10 young people. She is a mother to a wonderful daughter, Alis, and a partner to Amanda Avalos. Nanis has worked in different educational settings for over 20 years ranging from K5 through college age/young adulthood, working to connect marginalized folks to resources, community, and learning. She identifies as a social justice educator, working to create a liberated world for her loved ones to grow and flourish in. She has recently stepped into a new leadership position as the Executive Director of Public Allies Milwaukee and is excited to continue her journey of learning and growth.
Simmi has over 15 years of marketing and public relations experience. This experience includes event planning, community outreach and securing media coverage. She has a background in marketing for a large architectural firm, project management for a boutique branding agency and leading a local neighborhood association in Milwaukee. Her past clients include Fortune 500 companies as well as local businesses. She understands timing, messaging and responding are all vital to communicating positive impacts within the community. Her experience with large, visible construction projects includes coordinating milestone events, drafting communication to stakeholders about the project and executing successful client relationships beyond the completion of the project. She will bring this knowledge and expertise to your project from ground breaking to grand opening.
Julia Smith is the Assistant Director of Leadership Development, DEI at Northwestern Mutual. In this role she designs, develops and implements Northwestern Mutual’s Home Office D&I leadership development strategy, enabling HR and business leaders to build a pipeline of high performing, diverse talent for critical roles and engaging all employees in creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment.
Prior to Northwestern Mutual, Julia has over 10 years of experience in Adult Education, Talent Development and Organizational Design in both the public and private sectors including Healthcare, Retail Non-Profit. Julia currently serves as a leader on the Northwestern Mutual African-American Employee Resource Group governance team board, Diversity and Inclusion Council. She is a founding member of the Greater Milwaukee African American ERG Connection and serves on the board of Directors at Arts@Large.
Julia is a Milwaukee native but she loves to travel. Her favorite in person PD activities include the dinner and lunch programs, she misses gathering in person but she has enjoyed the virtual Happy Hours and Third Thursdays.
Julia’s personal mission is to inspire others to use their talents, skills and abilities to impact the world through building relationships and connecting to others and opportunities.
Be sure to say hi to Julia at an upcoming PD event!
Tonnetta is the Associate Director of Investments for nationally ranked venture capital fund and accelerator gener8tor. In her new role, she is responsible for gener8tor's fund oversight, managing investor relationships internationally, to include Puerto Rico and Luxembourg, and leading the fundraising process for the gener8tor's next capital rise. Prior to joining gener8tor, Tonnetta worked in development for the Medical College of Wisconsin playing an integral role in their $300M Hope to Health comprehensive campaign, where she focused on philanthropy supporting the institution's community facing initiatives, cancer research and patient care.
Tonnetta is a true Wisconsinite and Milwaukee native, having attained her BBA in Finance from UW-Whitewater and currently pursuing her MBA in Finance at UW-Milwaukee Lubar School of Business. She is passionate about equity and advancing women and girls across various sectors, which led her to joining PD in 2021. She has enjoyed attending the Sacagawea Awards in the past and is most looking forward to meeting more members and getting involved with the Charitable Fund’s Ripple Effect project and SIG Investment Club.
As prior military, she spent time abroad strategizing efforts around the demobilization of US troops in Afghanistan and she proudly serves on the Board of Veteran Affairs for the State of Wisconsin. She is an advocate for and member of Milwaukee Urban League Young Professionals.
Something that you won’t find on Tonnetta’s resume is that she is a former dancer specializing in contemporary ballet and tap! She also dabbled in cheerleading and track and field all while maintaining AP honors! Once she began college, she hung up all of her shoes to get down to business. Tonnetta's favorite activities are brunch and pilates.
Patrice Nault is Director of Operations for Plub Media. Plum is a video and events production company in Milwaukee where she facilitates communication between Plum staff and clients or prospective clients so they can achieve their communication, marketing, branding training, recruiting or fundraising goals. She is often the first point of contact for a party wanting a video, TV or radio spot, or for planning an event. She specifically enjoys maneuvering between diverse clients to create unique projects. It’s extremely fulfilling for her to help produce content that makes a client say, “I love it,” or brings a tear to their eye. It’s satisfying for her to be a part of a team and a process that can actually make a difference in a life, or the success of an initiative, company or organization.
Patrice moved to Milwaukee in 1977 to attend Marquette University and has been a PD member for 12 years. Her favorite PD event is the annual awards event, formerly known as Sacagawea and now referred to as the PD Imprint Award.
Patrice has been the driving force for our Third Thursday outings. Before we had to go virtual, Patrice sought out a venue each month where PD members could gather for an informal, social networking event. While PD has continued to host our Third Thursday’s virtually throughout the last year, we are all looking forward to meeting in-person again in the near future!
A few things about Patrice that we could not find on her resume are that she played percussion instruments from grade school through high school, she was crowned “hockey queen” in her hometown of Superior, WI and her first part time job was as a dental assistant in high school.
Please be sure to say hi to Patrice at an upcoming PD event (she’s always on Third Thursday!) and introduce yourself.
Yvonne Brodsky joins Facebook! In her new role, she is responsible for scaling Diversity & Inclusion recruiting priorities to achieve two company goals: 50% of workforce comprised of underrepresented people by 2024 and 30% more people of color, including 30% more Black people, in leadership positions in the US by 2025.
Prior to Facebook, Yvonne spent the last 7 years at GE in multiple global roles: Talent Management, Leadership Development Programs, Early Talent and Diversity and Inclusion. Prior to GE, she was part of the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion team that created the D&I framework for Froedtert Health, and led the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee, with the mission to advance Latinos.
Change, adapting to new environments and cultural diversity have been part of Yvonne's life since she was a toddler. She was born in Peru and lived in four countries before arriving in the US at the age of 5. She grew up in Stamford, CT and White Plains, NY before moving to Milwaukee for her undergrad at Marquette University. She met her husband, Dmitry, her freshman year in college and has lived in Milwaukee ever since. She is the proud mom of two kids and a dog: Chloe (6), Bennett (17) and Coco (2). She spends her evenings carting Chloe around to her afterschool passions of gymnastics and horseback riding while getting ready to apply to colleges with Bennett.
In a non-pandemic world, Yvonne loves to travel with the family. Two of her most memorable trips are celebrating Bennett's Bar Mitzvah at The Wall in Jerusalem and going back to her native country Peru to visit Machupichu. In a pandemic year, Yvonne has been trying to master Shakira's latest moves in the song with the Black Eyed Peas, "Girl Like Me". Although she has not yet been able to master the moves, she continues to practice and dance with the kids. The kids, music, movies and planning future travels keeps her busy these days.
Yvonne currently serves on the MIAD and YWCA board and is a proud member of Professional Dimensions and HOAN.