MANDIs highlight successful work in central city
Winners of the 13th Annual Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation, or MANDI Awards, were announced at a gala event at the Pfister Hotel, Wednesday night, March 28th. The MANDI Awards are hosted by LISC Milwaukee with sponsorship from US Bank. 700 guests including corporate leaders, neighborhood development groups, and government officials attended the sold-out event honoring extraordinary efforts to revitalize Milwaukee’s central city neighborhoods.
Police Chief Edward Flynn and Margaret Henningsen, Executive Director of the Women’s Fund for Greater Milwaukee, were Masters of Ceremony. Mayor Barrett welcomed guests and profiled key projects. LISC Milwaukee Board Chair Catherine G. Madden and Lisa Glover, Executive Vice President and Director of Community Affairs from U.S. Bank also presented opening remarks. Awards were presented by sponsors: Ken Lam, Operations Vice President, State Farm; Jill Haupt, Regional President, BMO Harris Bank; Roger Sandell, Senior Vice President, Northern Trust; Cecelia Gore, Executive Director, Brewers Community Foundation; and Eugene Manzenett, Vice President, PNC Bank.
Finalists and winners were chosen by an independent selection committee made up of twenty private, public and government volunteers. Sixteen finalists were announced in January and five winners were announced live at the event, March 28th. Froedtert Health/Froedtert Hospital was also recognized by the LISC Milwaukee Local Advisory Board for their commitment to healthy outcomes in the Washington Park neighborhood.
Winners of the 13th Annual MANDIs include:
Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance received The Northern Trust Navigator Award for outstanding collaborative effort joining diverse voices and resources to improve the community. In 2007, Mayor Barrett, in consultation with key members of the philanthropic and workforce development communities, came together to transform workforce development in Milwaukee, attempting to simplify the path from unemployment to training to a job. This led to the Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance (WFA) – a diverse consortium of funders, workforce development agencies, employers and the city. As a collective, they have been able to maximize resources as well as attract federal and national funding. Since 2009, the WFA has led 3,000 jobs seekers being trained. 1,200 have been placed and 172 employers have been engaged in Workforce partnerships.
Contact: Karen Gotzler, Manager, MWFA, kgotzler@urbanstrategies. biz 414-221-9500.
Veterans Manor Apartments was awarded the PNC Bank Trail Blazer award for an innovative approach to a community problem. About one-fifth of the nation’s homeless population consists of veterans, while many more are at-risk of homelessness due to poverty. Veterans Manor Apartments, a non-profit/for profit partnership, at 35th and Wisconsin, was developed by Cardinal Capital and the Center for Veterans Issues. The building includes a fitness room, library, computer and technology center, media and recreation room and counseling rooms. Residents have direct access to counseling and V.A benefits right in the building.
A partnership with the Milwaukee Center for Independence brings employment training opportunities through an on-site commercial kitchen and other programs. There are no other properties like Veterans Manor in Wisconsin and very few in the United States. On- site job training makes it one-of-a-kind in the country. The building reached maximum occupancy in less than 90 days and currently has a lengthy waiting list.
Contact: Erich Schwenker, President, Cardinal Capital Management, eschwenker@ cardinalcapital.us 414-727- 9902
Menomonee Valley Passage was awarded the Brewers Community Foundation Public Space Award for the creation or use of public space contributing significantly to the overall community wellbeing. The Menomonee Valley Passage creates a connection between the near South side and the neighboring renewal just 50 yards a way. The Valley Passage is a bike and pedestrian bridge at 37th and Pierce, in the Silver City neighborhood, linking one of Wisconsin’s most densely populated census districts to the ongoing revival of the Menomonee River Valley. Through the revived historic passage, community families are now connected to the extensive network of the Hank Aaron State Trail – access to miles of biking, running, fishing, and nature. Bolstered by the opportunities made possible by the Valley Passage, new investors are moving to the neighborhood too- in fact, the Urban Ecology Center is establishing a third branch adjacent to the passage, a project that would be impossible without the link to the Menomonee Valley. A project of this magnitude required a range of public and private partners to work together, even if the process wasn’t simple, understanding their interconnectedness and the importance of collaboration to the continued growth of their community.
Contact: Laura Bray, Executive Director, laura@renewthevalley. org 414-274-4654
Villard Square Grandfamily Milwaukee was awarded the State Farm Building Blocks Award for a real estate project that enhances the community. In, 2007, the Villard Avenue library, a community staple, had become too expensive to operate, but residents fought to keep their library. At the same time, neighborhood leaders looked to accommodate the area’s growing number of grandfamilies, or skip-generation families – households with school age children with grandparents as the primary caregivers and absent parents. The Northwest Side Community Development Corporation worked with Gorman and Company, as well as a group of public and private partners, to bring together 9 district investors for the 11 million dollar project. On its second floor, Villard Square has 47 units of affordable housing, currently home to 70 children. Residents have access to a social worker assisting with finance, healthcare, employment and more. A floor below, there is a busy and beautiful new library- a boon to the neighborhood’s approximately 100,000 patrons. By joining with the housing project, Villard Square became an affordable solution to retain this invaluable source.
Contact: Ted Matkom, Gorman & Company tmatkom@ gormanusa.com 608- 835-3900
Wisconsin Community Services, Inc. was awarded the BMO Harris Bank Cornerstone Award for a long-standing commitment of persistence and effectiveness over time. In 1912, Wisconsin Community Services (WCS) began as the Wisconsin Society for the Friendless. Their mission to help people who were incarcerated and assist families left behind. Today, WCS has expanded to serve Milwaukee residents who live with chronic and persistent mental illness, those with alcohol and drug addictions, and other high-risk youth and adults. In all, they have over 40 programs that advocate for justice and community safety, serving over 2000 individuals annually.
WCS programs ranges from treatment to prevention- they offer intensive case management to clients dealing with substance abuse, operate an on-site pharmacy, run five halfway house and too rooming housing, help clients find jobs as well as train them in skills such as green construction. They have recently spearheaded the Holton Youth and Family Center Collaborative and opened Milwaukee Excel High School, both aimed at curbing negative behaviors in the next generation before they start. During its one hundred year history, WCS has always taken on clients other organization may not have been able to serve.
WCS has consistently given Milwaukee’s most disenfranchised residents the tools they need to be healthy, lawabiding, productive citizens.
Contact: Holly Patzer, Executive Director, WCS, hpatzer@ wiscs.org 414-290-0400.
Froedtert Health/Froedtert Hospital received the Vision Award for outstanding financial investment in Milwaukee’s central city.
This award is given by the LISC Milwaukee Advisory Board. Froedtert has made deep and comprehensive investments in the Washington Park Neighborhood over the past ten years. More than 50 senior staff, including CEO Bill Petasnick, has toured the Washington Park neighborhood, meeting community partners and looking for new ways to deepen their impact. As members of the Washington Park Partners’ steering committee, they have contributed to a comprehensive health strategy for one of Milwaukee’s most underserved and diverse communities. Froedtert is committed to involving financial and staff resources at every level. Most notably, Froedtert supports a school nurse and comprehensive health programming at Westside Academies I & II, and has a deep and comprehensive partnership with Lisbon Avenue Health Clinic (Progressive Health Services).