It was a great day to celebrate being a member of the UW-Green Bay Founders Association Board on Wednesday. Assistant Chancellor Bev Carmichael shared outstanding news about the University. Just recently, the David A. Cofrin Library was named best in the state and UW-Green Bay graduate JoAnn Miller was named Wisconsin’s top teacher. Carmichael also reminded the group that the Phoenix women’s basketball team had the best team GPA, 3.6, in the country.
It was also a celebration for outgoing Founders President Scott Wochos. The senior vice president of Green Bay Packaging served on the Founders board of directors since 2004, the last two years as its president. Rob Cera, president of Baylake Bank and a 1984 UW-Green Bay graduate, takes over as president of the board and presented Wochos with an appreciation gift for his dedication to, and advocacy on behalf, of the University. Cera noted Wochos’ passion for UW-Green Bay and public higher education and his leadership in the community to raise the level of awareness of the importance of UW-Green Bay to the community.
“This is a world-class University, Wochos often tells community members. “And before we had it, we were a very nice mid-size city with a world-class football team. Now we’re a world-class city because of the University. This University gives us a good source of young people that we need involved in this community. These students and graduates are critical to the successes of area business and we tap this resource frequently.”
The Founders Association was created in 1973 by a group of community leaders to help raise annual funds in support of scholarships and academic programs. The recently established University had few alumni to call upon for help, so it looked to the community for support. Since that time, the Founders Association has grown to include nearly 2,000 donors from the community, alumni, and faculty and staff who support the academic mission of the University philanthropically each year.
Carmichael shared more great news including a 70 percent increase in community giving over 2010-11 and updated the group on the University’s plans for increasing marketing and branding efforts to build continuity in messaging and increase awareness and enrollment.
As part of the day’s activities, Gail McNutt, Ron Pfeifer, Lauri Radke and Bob Warpinski, as well as students Kayla Jandrin and Kristen Wallace, were welcomed to the board (See complete biographies below).
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Gail McNutt is the CEO of Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes (GSNWGL) and formerly vice president of human resources and senior vice president of finance at Schneider National. Deeply rooted in the Green Bay community, she has held leadership positions on numerous boards including the Women’s Fund of Greater Green Bay, Greater Green Bay Branding Initiative, American Foundation of Counseling Services, Bellin Foundation, Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, and Greater Green Bay Area Community Foundation. Gail lives in Green Bay with her husband and dog and enjoys running, keeping up on the adventures of her grown children, and making community connections.
Ron Pfeifer grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and attended the University of Nebraska followed by Northwestern University Law School where he was a member of the editorial board of the “Northwestern Law Review.” During his career at Godfrey and Kahn, his practice has centered exclusively on human resources issues including discrimination matters, union issues, compensation issues and other “people issues.” He is a vocal and dedicated Phoenix women’s basketball supporter. He has served on numerous community boards, and recently, he and his wife Suzy, endowed a scholarship at UW-Green Bay.
Laurie Radke is the president and CEO for the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that role she served as the dean of Corporate Training and Economic Development at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. She has been in leadership roles in our community for more than 18 years. Laurie currently serves on the Bay Area Community Council Board and the Green Bay Packers Mentor Protégé Board. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Lakeland College and a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from UW-Green Bay. She and her husband David and son Tad own and operate a hobby farm.
Robert Warpinski Jr. is an executive with IBM and is a graduate of UW-Madison. He attended UWGB from 1977-1979. Active in the community, he is currently chairman of the board of directors for Junior Achievement of Brown County, an active volunteer for Encompass Childcare’s Big Event for Little Kids, and volunteer for the Greater Green Bay YMCA. Bob is married to Nancy Smits, a 1992 UWGB graduate and has one daughter Dana who is a senior at Notre Dame Academy. Warpinski was a “contestant” on Green Bay’s of Dancing with the Stars last winter, raising a generous amount of dollars for the American Red Cross.
Kayla Jandrin, from Sturgeon Bay, is a senior Business Administration major and a physics minor. Her favorite hobby is riding and working with quarter horses.
Kristen Wallace, from Mundelein, Ill., is a senior majoring in Democracy and Justice Studies with an emphasis in law and justice. She serves as president of both the UWGB Law Society, and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society.