Contact: Jeremy Podolski, Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Milwaukee, Wis. – The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has selected a new senior leader with extensive experience in higher education advancement as its next vice president of development and philanthropic services.
Kristen Mekemson will join the Foundation March 29, 2018, and will be responsible for structuring, implementing and monitoring the development, stewardship and donor relations activities of the organization. She will lead a team focused on growing the Foundation’s assets while building opportunities for deeper engagement and co-investment with donors.
Mekemson most recently served as assistant vice president of development and campaign director for Lawrence University, which she originally joined in 2013 as principal gifts officer. She advanced strategic philanthropy for the Appleton-based college with a scope of work that included overseeing research and operations. She held additional development roles at Lawrence earlier in her career.
Other past experience includes service as director of development at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and program associate for the Kern Family Foundation as well as teaching roles at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University, among others. She has volunteered with BizStarts Milwaukee and provided pro bono services to help local nonprofits secure grant funding.
“We are excited for the energy and expertise Kristen is bringing to the Foundation and to our efforts to expand philanthropy in the region, serve donors with distinction and strengthen our community as a whole,” said Ellen Gilligan, president and CEO. “With $46 million received as gifts to the Foundation just last year, we have an incredible opportunity to build on a steady pattern of growth and investment by partnering with donors for the benefit of the community, a mission we’ve been honored to serve for more than 100 years.”
Mekemson graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in French and writing-intensive English and a master’s degree in British and American literature, both from Marquette University.
About the Greater Milwaukee Foundation
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is the region’s largest community foundation and was among the first established in the world. For more than a century, the Foundation has inspired philanthropy by connecting generous people to community needs that align with their interests. The Foundation was founded on the premise that generosity can unlock an individual’s potential and strengthen the community as a whole for everyone who lives here. We work in partnership with those who are committed to ensuring greater Milwaukee is a vibrant, economically thriving region that comprises welcoming and inclusive communities providing opportunity, prosperity and a high quality of life for all.