Helping Youth Reach Their Full Potential

Thanks to our dedicated leadership team and board of trustees, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee can positively impact the lives of thousands of kids each year.

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  • Kathy Thornton-Bias, President & CEO

    Kathy Thornton-Bias has been named President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.

    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 Howard, VP Administration & Chief Financial Officer

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

    Howard 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.

    Howard 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.

  • Lazarus Jackson, VP Operations

    Lazarus (Laz) Jackson has more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. He joined Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee in 1999 where he spent many years in direct service in the Clubs, working his way up to Club Manager. His frontline experience coupled with his penchant for connecting with people from across the community made him a natural for becoming the Clubs’ Director of Family Services, a role that prepared him for even greater responsibility as Senior Director of Government Programs. Under his leadership as Senior Director of Government Programs, Jackson grew BGCGM’s participation in the Wisconsin Shares program at an unprecedented rate, increasing Wisconsin Shares revenue and participation more than 40 percent.

    Jackson was named Vice President of Operations for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee in 2017. He is responsible for providing leadership and direction to the operations department, with direct oversight of strategic and operational planning, outcome measurement systems, buildings and properties. Jackson continually assesses opportunities to strengthen BGCGM’s core service areas while maintaining budgets and supporting donor relationships to increase revenue.

    Born and raised in the City of Milwaukee, Jackson received his formal education from Milwaukee Public Schools and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business, with a Concentration in Administration, from the University of Phoenix. Jackson is proud to have spent his career investing in Milwaukee’s youth by creating opportunities to better serve them.

  • 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.

  • Melissa Stauber, VP Human Resources & Learning and Professional Development

    Melissa Stauber joined the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee in June 2017 as the Vice President of Human Resources and Learning and Development.

    Before joining the Clubs, Stauber served as Director of Human Resources for Total Cleaning Systems. Prior to that, Stauber worked for Cardinal Stritch University in Glendale as Director of Human Resources. Stauber has extensive experience in human resources, payroll, process improvement and HRIS/payroll system conversions and implementation.

    Stauber is an alumnus of Cardinal Stritch University and holds a Certification of Human Resources from Cardinal Stritch University.

    Stauber lives in Greendale with her husband. Stauber is a supporter of organizations that impact people with disabilities, children, geriatric care, and animals.

  • Kimberly Walker, Chief Operations Officer

    Kimberly Walker joined Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee as Chief Operations Officer in June 2017. In her role, Walker oversees all programs and operations, ensuring the Clubs are meeting the needs of members in both areas. She provides leadership in strategic planning, including quality measures and process improvement strategies.

    Walker is a licensed attorney who comes to the Clubs with extensive experience in human resources, legal and administration in public, private and governmental sectors. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee, one of the oldest public interest law firms in the United States. Prior to that, Walker worked as General Counsel for Milwaukee County as well as Director of Human Resource Compliance and Employee Relations for Johnson Controls.

    Walker is a J.D. graduate of the Marquette University Law School and mother of one former and one current member of Boys & Girls Clubs.

  • 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

Scott Wrobbel, Board Chair, Managing Partner, Deloitte

Robert Lane Mikulay, Board 1st Vice Chair, Partner, City Lights Brewing

Blake Moret, Board 2nd Vice Chair, President & CEO, Rockwell Automation

William Fitzhugh Fox, Board Vice Chair/Legal, Partner, Fox, O’Neill & Shannon, S.C.

Brian Morello, Board Treasurer, President, Beloit Beverage

David Bechthold, Board Secretary, Chief Financial Officer, CR Management

Christopher Abele, Milwaukee County Executive

James Barry III, President, The Barry Company

David Baumgarten

Linda Benfield, Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP

Thomas Bolger

Elizabeth Brenner, Brenner Consulting LLC

G. Spencer Coggs, City Treasurer, City of Milwaukee

Russell Darrow, Jr., Chairman & CEO, Russ Darrow Automotive Group

Susan Ela

Jack Enea, Attorney/CPA, Husch Blackwell LLP

Peter Feigin, President, Milwaukee Bucks

Alexander Fraser, Partner, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

John Galanis, Chairman, Galanis, Pollack, Jacobs & Johnson, S.C.

Nan Gardetto, Every Day Good Foundation

David Gay, Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

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

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

Patrick Hammes, Principal, Hammes Partners

William Hansen, President, Hansen Storage Company

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

John Heimsch, Director of Sales, U.S. Cellular

Jack Herbert

Renée Herzing, President Herzing Educational System, Herzing University

Charles James, Chairman Emeritus, Fitzgerald, Clayton, James & Kasten, Inc.

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

Jeffrey Joerres, Managing Partner, Incito Capital LLC

Craig Jorgensen, President, VJS Construction Services

Tracey Joubert, Global Chief Financial Officer, Molson Coors Brewing Company

Sarah Wright Kimball, Kimball Communications

Michael Lappin, Chief Administrative Officer, Aurora Health Care

Steven Laughlin, Partner, Laughlin/Constable, Inc

Keith Mardak, Chairman & CEO, Hal Leonard Corporation

Patti McKeithan

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

Wayne Oldenburg, President & CEO, Oldenburg Group Incorporated

Guy Osborn

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

James Popp, President of Johnson Bank, Executive Vice President, Johnson Financial Group

Robert Pyles, President, MacPyles Corporation

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

Kristine Rappé

Tchernavia Rocker, Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Bethany Rodenhuis, Senior Vice President Transformation, Northwestern Mutual MS: N09

Richard Schlesinger, Executive Vice President-Business Operations, Milwaukee Brewers

Thelma Sias

Patrick Sinks, President & CEO, MGIC

Daniel Sinykin, President, Monterey Mills

Guy Smith, President, Lilly Creek Capital Partners LLC

Judson Snyder, President, BMO Harris Equipment Finance

Thomas Spero

John Splude, Principal/Owner, JWS Classics, LLC

James Stern, Executive Vice President & General Counsel & Secretary, A.O. Smith Corporation

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

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

Mara Swan, Executive Vice President, Global Strategy & Talent, ManpowerGroup

Ronald Troy, Managing Attorney, RonTroy LLC

Harris Turer, CEO, The Milwaukee Admirals

Derek Tyus, Chief Investment Officer, West Bend Mutual Insurance Company

John Utz, Executive Vice President, Associated Bank

Gordon Weber

Gregory Wesley, Senior Vice President, Strategic Alliances and Business Development, Medical College of Wisconsin

Arthur Wigchers, President, Towne Realty, Inc.

James Wigdale, Chairman Emeritus, Marshall & Ilsley Corporation

Madonna Williams

Anne Zizzo, President & CEO, Zizzo Group

Diane Zore