BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Co-founder & Board President
Julia Burns has over 12 years of business and partnership development experience at telecommunications, software and technology consulting companies in Boston, Milwaukee and Chicago. Having work experiences that span large multinational corporations to smaller start-ups, Julia excels in entrepreneurial environments where collaboration and team building are essential to success. While at Platinum Technology, Julia managed the global strategic partnership with Hewlett-Packard and traveled extensively to grow the joint revenues of the two sales organizations.
Since 2003, Julia focused her time and talents on raising, together with her husband, five children and volunteering extensively in their schools. Julia has a BA in Economics from Boston University College of Arts and Science and an MBA from Boston University Questrom Graduate School of Business.
Executive Director of Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Board Vice President
Chad Bauman is the Managing Director of Milwaukee Repertory Theater, an $11 million, not-for-profit regional theater operating a three theater complex with 200,000 annual patrons. He is responsible for the administration functions of the company including marketing, fundraising, finance, general management, facilities, education and food/beverage. Prior, he was the Associate Executive Director of Arena Stage, the Director of Marketing and Membership of the Smithsonian Institution, and the Director of Marketing & Communications for Americans for the Arts. In addition to being an administrator, he is a passionate teacher, dedicated volunteer and an in-demand speaker and consultant. He designed and launched the graduate Technology in Arts Management program at American University, and has taught in the graduate Arts Administration program at Drexel University and the M.F.A. Producing program at CalArts. Nationally known for his expertise in business planning, strategy and marketing, he has been featured in The New York Times, ArtsJournal, TheaterMania, Drama Biz Magazine, Stage Directions Magazine, the Washington City Paper, and others. In 2012, The Washington Post declared him the “guru of dynamic pricing,” and for three consecutive years starting in 2011, Washington Life Magazine honored him as one of the most influential under-40 leaders in Washington, DC. In 2016, the Milwaukee Business Journal also recognized him as one of the top 40 leaders under 40 in Southeastern Wisconsin. As a speaker and consultant, he has worked with the Pew Charitable Trust, Carnegie Hall, the EmcArts Innovation Lab, The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, City Theatre Company, San Francisco Foundation, Delaware Division of the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, ArtsMidwest, and the Arts & Business Council among others.
DAVID B. SCHULZ
Shareholder and Chair of Reinhart’s Banking and Finance Practice
David Schulz is a shareholder and chair of Reinhart’s Banking and Finance Practice, a member of the firm’s Corporate Law Practice, as well as a member of Reinhart’s Board of Directors. David’s practice is primarily devoted to commercial and public finance matters including structuring transactions using New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC), Historic Tax Credits (HTC), and other federal and state tax credits. Recognizing the importance of community involvement, David is highly involved with the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Wisconsin where he serves as a Board Member and Treasurer. In addition to his involvement with the Alzheimer’s Association, David is a member of the Advisory Council of Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee. Notably, David along with numerous members of Reinhart’s Banking and Finance and Bankruptcy Practices volunteered their time to partner with Rebuilding Together to renovate a home on the north side of Milwaukee. David is also a member of the Wauwatosa Community Development Authority where he applies his project financing expertise to assist with re-development matters.
Founder and President of Fund Development
Elizabeth Meyer is the founder and President of Fund Development Corporation, and has more than 30 years of significant experience as a fund development professional. Her experience includes annual and capital campaigns, development assessments, marketing, and strategic planning. Meyer’s Milwaukee area-clients have included the Discovery World Pier Wisconsin Campaign, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center Campaign and many other area not-for-profits. Meyer’s community involvement includes:
Director and Secretary of the Wisconsin Preservation Trust
Former Director of the 1,000 Friends of the Land Institute of Wisconsin
Former Director and Past President of the Donors Forum of Wisconsin
Former Board Member of First Stage Children’s Theater
Former Board Member and First President of the Washington Highlands Historic Preservation Corporation
Former Director of the Wauwatosa Public Library Foundation
Former Board Member of the City of Wauwatosa Board of Zoning Appeals
Executive Director, Teach for America Milwaukee
Walter Bond is the Executive Director of Teach for America Milwaukee, an education non-profit that recruits and trains teachers and places them in high-needs classrooms across the city of Milwaukee. Walter led staff management to record-setting improvements and pace setting results in staff satisfaction on metrics such as Gallup’s Q12 Employee Engagement Survey and the Great Places to Work Institute’s Trust Index.
Prior to joining Teach For America Milwaukee’s staff in 2014, Walter served at the IT Director and Athletic Director at Anacostia High School in Washington, DC. In those capacities he established first-of-its-kind relationships with organizations like NBC Universal, Microsoft, Gatorade, the Washington Nationals, the Washington Redskins, USA Weightlifting, and many other organizations. He also served as a technology consultant for the District of Columbia Public Schools, and many athletic departments in the DC metropolitan area.
Over the course of five years from 2009-2014, Walter was a highly effective teacher at Anacostia and joined the school’s leadership team in a number of capacities. Most notably, Walter offered primary oversight of the $67 million renovation of the school’s campus. Walter is a native Milwaukeean and proud graduate of Milwaukee Public Schools. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Marquette University and a Masters in Education from George Mason University. Walter is also very civically engaged, with experience as a speaker, regular broadcast radio contributor, youth advocate, and consultant to nonprofits, startup businesses, and political campaigns in the Milwaukee area.
Kurt has been a pastor in Milwaukee since 2005. He has 20 years of accounting and leadership experience with a bachelor’s in business and an MA in Christian ministry. Kurt is in the final stages of completing his educational doctorate. He has been a resident of Milwaukee’s central city his entire life and has seen it thrive and would like to see the city return to its full capacity. He recognizes the people in the city who have struggled for positive change through the years, and wants to be a part of working towards change today.
President and Founder,
President, Kellben Foundatin
Mary Kellner is the President of the Kelben Foundation, a family foundation that has funded hundreds of scholarships for needy high school seniors, endowments for Professorships, and many other Educational and Health initiatives. In addition to the huge impact to the Milwaukee area that her role with the Kelben Foundation provides, she is an eminent advocate for educational reform in Milwaukee. Mary brings a wealth of knowledge with her based on her vast experience in numerous organizations including Next Door Foundation, Schools That Can Milwaukee, Milwaukee College Prep, Nehemiah Project, I Have a Dream program and many others. Mary has a strong academic background to support her advocacy and philanthropy. Mary graduated from UW-Madison with a BA in Elementary Education. She later received her MS in Educational Psychology and Guidance from UW-Milwaukee. As both an elementary school teacher and later guidance counselor, Mary gained a front line understanding of the needs of education. Mary received her terminal degree, an Ed.D in Education, from Cardinal Stritch. Her research documented some of the cultural aspects of an effective MPS elementary school. Mary continues her involvement with these three educational institutions in a multitude of ways which align with her intense commitment to addressing the achievement gap that Milwaukee’s children are facing in addition to other educational disparities that exist in our community.
Director, Tech Advancement and Outreach, Northwestern Mutual
James Hischke is the Senior Director of Tech Advancement and Outreach at Northwestern Mutual, leading NM’s efforts to grow and strengthen Milwaukee’s tech and startup ecosystem, as well as position NM as a top technology employer. He has held a variety of positions in technology and process improvement at Northwestern Mutual over the past 15 years. Prior to Northwestern Mutual, James began his career as a software engineer and project manager at Strong Financial. James has a B.S. in Computer Science from Carroll University and a MBA from Marquette University. In addition to Pathways High, he serves on the board for the Milwaukee chapter of i.c.stars and volunteers as a baseball and basketball coach for multiple youth organizations. On a personal note, James is married to his high school sweetheart, Beth, and is a proud dad of 4 kids.
Dean of Cultural Diversity,
Nicole Davis has a diverse background in education. Beginning her career as a first grade teacher at King’s Academy Christian School until 2004. Nicole then became the education coordinator at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee from 2004-2008 at which time she transitioned to the Upward Bound pre-college coordinator and Stein Scholars Interim Director at the Boys and Girls Clubs until 2012 where her duties included but were not limited to: Collaborating with members of the Carroll community (faculty, staff, and students) to promote and implement pre-college programs. planning, coordinating and implementing all pre-college programs, including, but not limited to participating high schools. planning and implementing Project Pioneer Pre-College Programs: Saturday Academy Program, ACT Academic-Skill Camp, and Career-Leadership Institute and Summer Program, recruiting, selecting, and advising cohorts of eligible high school aged participants from target high schools, including advising as they prepare for enrollment in a post-secondary experience, assisting with data collection, analysis, and program modification and grant renewal materials, collaborating with members of the Carroll community (faculty, staff, and students) to promote cultural diversity and create cultural co-curricular opportunities for students, conducting assessments of all cultural diversity related endeavors in Student Affairs, developing strategies to improve relations among students from underrepresented groups and majority students and coordinating recognition initiatives for multicultural undergraduate students.
From 2013- present Nicole has served as a Pathways to College precollege instructor, assistant director of pre-college programs and currently is the Director of Cultural Diversity at Carroll University.
Chairman and Owner,
Lisa is the Chairman and Owner of Rickert Industries, a holding company. Previously, she was the Senior Vice President responsible for Regional Development at Blackhawk Industrial. Lisa is the former Chairman of Tool Service Corporation, Tool Fabrication Corporation and Fluid Service Corporation. Currently, Lisa serves on several boards including Acuity Insurance, Bank Mutual, G3 Industries, Reinders, Inc. and the Independent Business Association of of Wisconsin. She is also the Chairman of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, a Gubernatorial Appointment. Lisa is a graduate of UW-Madison.
Founder, Pendio Group and TENXManufacturing Ecosystem
McLees is a recognized futurist and frequent keynote speaker. He appears throughout the United States to address the challenges and opportunities related to digital disruption, the exponential rate of innovation, workforce of the future, and digital ecosystems.
McLees is the founder of TENXManufacturing, an ecosystem formed in 2019. TENX is already comprised of more than 100 high-performing manufacturers, service providers, technology companies, and strategic OEMs.
Since 2013, he has led Pendio Group, an advisory services firm that helps companies positively embrace disruption to enable growth. Their strategic frameworks and collaborative ecosystems put companies in position to take advantage of unprecedented opportunities by helping them take an adaptive approach to the exponential rate of innovation.
In support of shaping the workforce of the future, McLees serves on the steering committee for HERA, the Higher Education Regional Alliance in Wisconsin, as well as the advisory board for Marquette University’s Center for Supply Chain Management. Todd also serves on the board for ADHD America, whose mission is to help children with ADHD maximize their human potential.