Agents for Positive Change

With safe places to learn and play, positive role models, and educational programming, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee has helped local kids and teens thrive for 133 years and counting.

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee has helped local kids and teens since 1887 when Annabell Cook Whitcomb transformed two basement rooms at Plymouth Church on Milwaukee’s east side into a Club for boys.

Today, we are the largest youth-serving agency in the city and have grown to be one of the largest Boys & Girls Clubs in the country.

Every day, thousands of Milwaukee’s youth stream through our doors and participate in academic and recreational programming. We provide safety and support during critical hours of the day as well as meals, strong role models, organized athletics and access to the arts. At the Clubs, there’s a way for every kid to get involved and learn something new.

Our vision is to build the community’s social and economic fabric by ensuring the academic and career success of every member that walks through our doors. We achieve this by providing more impactful programs that appeal to our members, strengthen their academic performance, build character, encourage healthy lifestyles and meet the basic needs of Milwaukee’s youth.

None of our work would be possible without the commitment of 700 full- and part-time employees and more than 1,200 volunteers, as well as a dedicated Leadership Team and Board of Trustees. Together, the group is guided by the same passion that drove Cook Whitcomb all those years ago: To inspire and empower the youth who need us most.


Please visit our Give Today page for our latest audited financial statement.

Our Mission

The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee is to inspire and empower all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

  • Kathy Thornton-Bias, President & CEO

    Kathy Thornton-Bias is a highly respected executive in the business and retail space with a career that spans almost three decades. During that time, she has held senior leadership roles for more than 15 years in large organizations and possesses a wealth of fundraising experience. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a degree in Rhetoric and Communications, she joined Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, where she would eventually become the first African American to hold the title Vice President for Divisional Merchandise. She then served as the President of the Retail Division for New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), where she doubled revenues and tripled profits. After 11 years at MoMA, Thornton-Bias became Bang & Olufsen’s President of North America, launching a new revenue stream which would ultimately produce 30 percent of the overall sales for the company. She later moved to Milwaukee to become the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Verlo Mattress franchise.

    Thornton-Bias has served on numerous non-profit boards including a current board member of the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Ron Brown Scholars Program, and the University of Virginia, where she serves as a trustee. She is also a member of the Junior League and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She has received widespread recognition from a number of esteemed publications including Ebony Magazine, which placed her on their “Power 100” list, and Essence Magazine, which named her to their list of “Game Changers.”

    In addition to her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, she also earned a master’s in business administration from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University.

  • Tammy DuBois, VP Administration & Chief Financial Officer

    Tammy Dubois joined the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee in January 2016 as the Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer.

    Before joining the Clubs, Tammy served as the Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for Cardinal Stritch University in Glendale. Prior to that, Tammy worked for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee as the Controller. Tammy also served in Financial Analyst roles at WE Energies, Milwaukee Electric Tool and Briggs & Stratton Corporation. Tammy has extensive experience in process improvement and strategic planning.

    Tammy is an alumnus of both Carroll College, now University, and Marquette University. She is a Certified Public Account and also holds a Certification in Leadership Coaching from Cardinal Stritch University.

    Tammy lives in Muskego with her two teenage daughters. She serves on the Parish Finance Council of her parish and is a supporter of the arts as well as organizations that benefit children, women and animals.

  • Nicole Gulatz, VP Development

    Nicole Gulatz began her career at the American Red Cross’ national headquarters in 2007. Following that, she served in a variety of roles supporting disaster, in-kind donations and national corporate partnerships. In 2012, she moved to Milwaukee to focus on managing relationships with some of the Midwest’s largest supporters, including many Fortune 500 companies.

    For the past four years, Nicole served as the Chief Development Officer at the American Red Cross – Wisconsin Region. During this time, Nicole led the team through episodic response campaigns for statewide flooding, and multiple national responses including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria & Michael.

    Nicole is a member of TEMPO, the Planned Giving Council of Eastern Wisconsin and is a past president of the Junior League of Milwaukee. Outside of work, Nicole enjoys movies, hiking and long-distance running. She and her husband Blake live in Murray Hill with three rescue pets. Nicole is a native of Kenosha, Wisconsin and is a graduate of UW-Madison.

  • David Knutson, VP Government Affairs & Special Initiatives

    David Knutson, a native Wisconsinite and graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison (1992), has worked in the government and not-for-profit sector since the early 1990’s holding positions at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee – Center for Economic Development (UWM-CED), City of Milwaukee – Department of Neighborhood Services, and the Social Development Commission prior to coming to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee in the late 1990’s.

    Dave has served as the Boys & Girls Club’s Vice President – Government Affairs / Special Initiatives since 2005. In this capacity, he leads a team of eight and is responsible for all local, state, and federal giving to the Boys & Girls Clubs. Dave also serves to support the funding strategy of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wisconsin Alliance – 28 Boys & Girls Club organizations located throughout the State of Wisconsin. His strong belief in collaboration and outcome-based programming has been a guiding philosophy throughout his career. A few programmatic accomplishments Dave is most proud of include the licensing of Clubs as state-reimbursed child care facilities and the growth of the Department of Education – Investing in Innovation (i3)-funded SPARK Early Literacy Program.

    As a self-professed urban geek, Dave enjoys having the opportunity to integrate his passion for urban affairs and policy into his life’s work. Please consider reaching out to me. I welcome the opportunity to discuss new ways to partner with organizations throughout our City and region.

  • Kerry Mitchell, VP Human Resources

    With nearly 30 years of HR background, including 15 years of executive leadership experience across all aspects of human capital and HR operations, Kerry has found that organizational development, process improvement and talent development are where she adds significant value to organizations. She has led a wide range of functions, including talent acquisition, organizational development, employee relations, total rewards (benefits and compensation), learning & development, diversity & inclusion, leadership development, performance management and workforce planning. Her expertise spans multiple industries, including both private and public sectors.

  • Skip Robinson, VP Camp & Club Operations

    Skip’s journey with the Movement began as a child when he joined his local Boys Club in metro Detroit. He says his experience as a Club kid was essential to his development as a person and as a professional. Skip has held multiple positions in a variety of Clubs across the country after playing professional basketball in Europe for several years following his graduation from the University of Nebraska.

    Skip started his career in the Movement as a locker room attendant. In fact, he worked for 10 years at what is now our Pieper-Hillside Club as Athletic Director and Unit Director. Then Skip moved to Florida to serve as the Vice President of Operations with the Boys & Girls Club of Palm Beach County. While at BGC Palm Beach County, Skip was presented with the opportunity to join the Milwaukee Bucks as the Vice President of Player Development/Community Relations; a position he held for 15 years. After leaving the Bucks, he found a new home with the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County in Naples, FL, as the Vice President of Operations – a position he has held for five years.

  • Melinda Wyant Jansen, VP Programs & Chief Academic Officer

    Melinda Wyant Jansen joined Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee in March of 2015 in the new role of Chief Academic Officer, and in March 2017 added the new role of Vice President of Programs. In this capacity, Melinda works closely with community partners to bridge the gap between student’s academic success at school and during the afterschool programs as well as directing our Club programs that focus on social emotional learning, health and wellness, and college and career readiness.

    Before joining the Clubs, Ms. Wyant Jansen served as a school counselor at Milwaukee Public Schools for 15 years as well as in a variety of leadership roles for the development and implementation of several programmatic district initiatives. Melinda launched her career by teaching in the Middle East and continued by relocating to Wisconsin to serve in various leadership roles at KinderCare Learning Centers, Teachers Pet Educational Stores, and Hal Leonard Corporation. At Hal Leonard, she proudly worked with Mister Rogers and his staff to develop early childhood products based on his music for classroom use.

    Wyant Jansen is a DPI licensed educator and counselor and an alumnus of both Anderson University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she holds dual undergrad degrees in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology and Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

    Wyant Jansen lives in Milwaukee with her husband, Greg, and has three grown children. She is the grandmother of eight grandchildren, including two sets of twins! She is a transplanted Hoosier, originally from Vincennes, Indiana.

Board of Trustees

Robert Lane Mikulay, Board Chair, Partner, City Lights Brewing

Gregory Wesley, Board 1st Vice Chair, Senior Vice President, Strategic Alliances and Business Development, Medical College of Wisconsin

Anne Zizzo, Board 2nd Vice Chair, President & CEO, Zizzo Group

Linda Benfield, Board Secretary, Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP

David Gay, Board Treasurer, Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

Ray Banks

James Barry III, President, The Barry Company

David Bechthold, Chief Financial Officer, Walbec Group

Thomas Bolger

Sandra Botcher, Vice President Field Experience, Northwestern Mutual

Elizabeth Brenner, Brenner Consulting LLC

Susan Ela

Jack Enea, Attorney/CPA, Husch Blackwell LLP

Peter Feigin, President, Milwaukee Bucks

William Fitzhugh Fox, Partner, Fox, O’Neill & Shannon, S.C.

Alexander Fraser, Partner, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

Charles Groeschell, Managing Director, Senior Portfolio Manager, Baird Advisors

Brian Grossman, Managing Director, Region Director – WI, Chase

Patrick Hammes, Principal, Hammes Partners

Christopher Harris-Wimsatt, Owner, North Avenue Market LLC

Thomas Hauske, Jr., Chairman, Marshall Street Capital, Inc.

John Heimsch, Water’s Edge Boat Club

Renée Herzing, President Herzing Educational System, Herzing University

Tanya Hines, Vice President Commercial Excellence, Clarios

Charles James, Chairman Emeritus, Robertson Ryan & Associates

Jerome Janzer, Chairman, President & CEO, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.

Craig Jorgensen, President, VJS Construction Services

Tracey Joubert, Chief Financial Officer, Molson Coors Brewing Company

Michael Lappin, Chief Integration Officer, Advocate Aurora Health

Keith Mardak, Chairman & CEO, Hal Leonard Corporation

Patti Brash McKeithan

Donald Mondano, Senior Vice President, Global Controller and Treasurer, ManpowerGroup

Blake Moret, Chairman & CEO, Rockwell Automation

Cory Nettles, Managing Director, Generation Growth Capital, Inc.

Wayne Oldenburg, President & CEO, Oldenburg Group Incorporated

Richard Pieper, Sr., Chairman Emeritus, PPC Partners, Inc.

Robert Pyles, President, MacPyles Corporation

David Radtke, Sr. Vice President Investment Officer, RBC Wealth Management

Thelma Sias, CEO, The Sias Group

Daniel Sinykin, President, Monterey Mills

Guy Smith, President, Lilly Creek Capital Partners LLC

Judson Snyder, President, BMO Harris Equipment Finance

Mary Ellen Stanek, Managing Dir. & Chief Investment Officer, Baird Advisors

Beth Straka, Senior Vice President Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, WEC Energy Group

Ronald Troy, Managing Attorney, RonTroy LLC

Harris Turer, CEO, The Milwaukee Admirals

Marc Vandiepenbeeck, Vice President and Treasurer, Johnson Controls

Madonna Williams

Scott Wrobbel, Managing Partner, Deloitte


43,093 youth

Average daily attendance:

5,071 youth


18% 5-8 years old
30% 9-12 years old
24% 13-15 years old
28% 16+ years old


57% Male
43% Female

Annual Report

View our 2018 annual report and learn about last year's operational revenue and expenses, event highlights, Club locations, donors and sponsors and more!