Season 2, Ep. 3: How You Can Get Closer to “Yes” on State Budget Considerations
Bill is a Partner with Michael Best Strategies. His combined decades of experience in the Wisconsin Governor’s office, as cabinet secretary, and as a successful lobbyist enable him to be an effective advisor and advocate for clients.
Before joining Strategies, Bill served as Managing Partner of Madison-based Capitol Consultants, Inc., a government relations and public affairs firm, for over 23 years. He worked with both public and private sector businesses, as well as nonprofits, to build strategic relationships, manage their public images, and implement grassroots advocacy programs.
Bill previously served as Chief of Staff to former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, and then as Gov. Thompson’s campaign manager during his successful third-term gubernatorial campaign in 1994. Gov. Thompson’s landslide 67% victory was the second-highest margin in state history and the largest margin since 1922. Following the election, Gov. Thompson appointed Bill to serve as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. Over the next four years, Bill oversaw economic development programs throughout the state. Bill remains the youngest person ever to hold the position of gubernatorial chief of staff and cabinet secretary.
Season 2, Ep. 2: Maximize ROI by Harnessing Your Organizational Superpower
Melanie R. Varin
Melanie is an author and insightful business leader and change-agent combining strategy, Lean Six Sigma, sales, marketing and international leadership experience to help global teams grow via positive and sustainable change.
Melanie’s book – Ignite Topline Growth: How RevOps and Go-To-Market Alignment Spark Success – was written based on her passion for sales and marketing alignment. She’s experienced the superpower that comes with a great alignment of revenue-generating teams and wants to share that wisdom with others.
Melanie has 25+ years of experience in executive leadership, strategic planning, global marketing, national sales management, channel development, and operations. She has led three significant business turnarounds in Europe and the USA in Fortune 500 companies.
In her current role as Owner and Chief Operating Officer, TopLine Results Corporation, she applies her leadership and process skills to optimize current business operations as well as helping clients do the same. Her passions are developing high-performing teams, sales and marketing alignment, and business productivity. TopLine Results uses technology to bring together the right tools to help clients build positive and valuable relationships. These tools include customer relationship management (CRM) databases and integrated digital marketing platforms. Using the insights gained from these systems, clients can become better versions of themselves and offer improved services to their customers.
Melanie has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and a Master of International Business Studies from the University of South Carolina.
She has been married for almost 35 years to her life and business partner, Fred Varin, and has three grown children: Patrick (married to Rose), Clark, and Stephanie. When she is not working or writing, she loves to travel, enjoy long walks, read, and eat (and cook) fine food, preferably with family and friends.
Third Year in a Row! LSS Named Best and Brightest Company to Work For
For Immediate Release
Lutheran Social Services Named Winner of Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® in Milwaukee for Third Year in a Row
WEST ALLIS, Wis. (April 19, 2023) – For the third consecutive year, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (LSS) has been officially recognized as one of the “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For®” by the National Association for Business Resources (NABR). LSS is one of only 15 Wisconsin companies to earn the 2023 award, which goes to organizations that provide “exceptional human resource practices and an impressive commitment to their employees,” according to the NABR.
The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® identifies LSS as a Milwaukee-area organization that displays “a commitment to excellence and employee enrichment,” areas the NABR identifies and honors as part of the program. Organizations are assessed on several categories, including diversity, work-life balance, communication and many more. Through determination, exceptional leadership, and daily ingenuity, the Best and Brightest like LSS are seen as ideal organizations that “epitomize Better Business. Richer Lives. Strong Communities.”
“I am so appreciative of everything our LSS colleagues do each and every day throughout our two-state reach to serve people who have incredible odds stacked against them,” said LSS President and CEO Héctor Colón. “Because of them, we are able to do this great work now and in the future. They care so much about one another and the nearly 30,000 people we help each year. The leadership team and our board are focused on ensuring LSS is a Workplace of Choice today, tomorrow and for many years to come.”
In 2022, LSS commemorated its 140th year of Servant-Leadership. Across three centuries since its inception in 1882, LSS has empowered people to live their best lives offering a path to recovery, safe and affordable homes, forever families, and independence.
Nominations for the “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” are accepted across the United States and broken down by various regions. Employees then complete a survey to calculate an organization’s score to compare with its peers in a particular geographic location. Historically about 10% of all nominations received make the winners list.
ABOUT LUTHERAN SOCIAL SERVICES
LSS is called to serve with compassion and courage. Every year, tens of thousands of people in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan come to LSS with incredible odds stacked against them. With 140 years of proven results as a social service provider, more than 90% of the people served say LSS improves the quality of their lives. For more information, visit LSSwis.org.
Tim Muma, PR Specialist
Héctor Colón Honored to Accept Titan 100 CEO Award
Milwaukee (January 11, 2023) – Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (LSS) is pleased to announce Héctor Colón, President and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (LSS), as a 2023 Wisconsin Titan 100. Titan CEO and headline sponsor Wipfli LLP recognizes Wisconsin’s Top 100 CEOs & C-level executives as the area’s most accomplished business leaders in their industry using criteria demonstrating exceptional leadership, vision, and passion. Colón will be honored at the annual Titan 100 awards celebration on January 12th, 2023, at Fiserv Forum and published in a limited-edition Titan 100 book and profiled exclusively online. Honorees also will have the opportunity to interact and connect multiple times throughout the year.
As President and CEO, Héctor Colón has utilized his visionary, Servant-Leadership approach to position LSS for greatness by adapting new models and business strategies to increase impact and viability for
staff, clients and the organization. Before the start of Colón’s tenure in 2017, the organization had not met its budget for four consecutive years. During Colón’s first three years, LSS grew from over $4 million in losses to $8 million in gains resulting in a $12.4 million financial turnaround. Previously, as Executive Director of the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services, Colón led several countywide initiatives, including efforts to reform the juvenile justice system, end chronic homelessness, transform mental health care, and end a 30-year waitlist for disabilities services.
“The Titan 100 are shaping the future of the Wisconsin business community by building a distinguished reputation that is unrivaled and preeminent in their field. The group recognizes the Titan 100 for their successes and contributions. The 2023 Wisconsin Titan 100 and their companies employ more than 100,000 individuals and generate $36 billion in annual revenues. “We know that they [WI Honorees] will have a profound impact that makes an extraordinary difference for their customers and clients across the nation,” says Jaime Zawmon, President of Titan CEO.
“What a remarkable honor to be named a Titan 100. Although the recognition falls on one person, I only succeed in serving others thanks to the wonderful people at LSS, who demonstrate compassion and courage through their God-given gifts,” Colón said. “I feel such heartfelt gratitude and respect to be chosen for this distinction by an esteemed organization. It is my pleasure to use this as further motivation to lead LSS to empower the lives of everyone we touch throughout Wisconsin.”
Episode 8: Mike Victorson & Chris Kenyon – Not All Employees Are Treated Equal
Chris Kenyon is a partner and the managing director of senior living & social services practice atM3 Insurance. She serves as a subject matter expert, strategist, and thought leader for M3’s senior living and social services practice and is responsible for sharing information on trends and issues that specifically impact this industry.
Kenyon was instrumental in developing M3’s workers’ compensation Risk Analysis Report, a tool that helps businesses assess and benchmark their safety performance. She also conducts workshops for clients on topics such as safety and return-to-work programs.
Mike Victorson is the chief executive officer (CEO) of M3 Insurance, responsible for the strategic direction and vision of the agency, identifying opportunities for growth and innovation, cultivating organizational culture, and serving the community. Victorson serves on the M3Insurance Board of Directors and is a member of M3’s Executive Operating Committee.
Episode 7: Jose Olivieri – Living the Duties of Care, Loyalty and Obedience Over Self
José A. Olivieri is LSS’ current President of our Operating Board of Directors. He is a partner with Michael Best & Friedrich LLP Milwaukee office. He is Chair of the Labor and Employment Relations Practice Group and Co-Chair of the Government and Public Policy Group.
Mr. Olivieri also counsels in other aspects of employment law such as matters of federal and state discrimination law; NLRB and WERC law; the Fair Labor Standards Act; employee termination and discipline; unemployment compensation; and labor contract administration. He has frequently provided training to managers, supervisors and employees regarding employment law issues.
Additionally, Mr. Olivieri leads Michael Best’s Higher Education Special Practice Group, where he counsels colleges and universities on the broad spectrum of issues including governance matters, privacy issues, employment issues, student discipline issues, immigration law; labor contract administration; and other general matters.
He has taught the Advanced Employment Law Seminar at Marquette University Law School and is a frequent speaker on an array of employment and immigration-related topics.
Ep. 6 – Frank Cumberbatch – Humanity Up Close At The Heart of Philanthropy
Frank’s responsibilities include leading the Foundation’s exploration of a neighborhood, place-based strategy to complement the Foundation’s existing grantmaking, with an emphasis on the Harambee neighborhood.
Frank brings more than 30 years of experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Previously, he was Program Manager with Acts Housing, the Senior Assistant to Milwaukee Mayor, Tom Barrett and a member of numerous startups.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh.
Ep. 5 – David Duea – Mental Health Crisis Demands Intervention. Bold Asks.
LSS President and CEO, Héctor Colón, sits down with David Duea, President and CEO of Lutheran Community Services Northwest, to discuss how bold, aggressive advocacy and unashamed appeals for funding is vital for success. David describes how his organization’s push for big gifts and proactive partnerships with other agencies have taken Lutheran Community Services Northwest to the next level and helped countless more in need.
David also stresses how early intervention programs are vital to the health and well-being of everyone, including those working in social services agencies. This work is transformational, and it is important to have specific professionals to focus on each type of situation. Concentrated, direct devotion to each individual and family gives agencies the best opportunity to make an impact.
David Duea is the President & CEO of Lutheran Community Services Northwest. LCSNW provides services to people in Oregon, Washington and Idaho with support to meet life’s most difficult challenges and thrive in communities that are healthy, just and hopeful. David led significant growth for the organization in the past 7 years including bringing Compass Housing under the Lutheran Community Services umbrella, expanding their services to include emergency services and affordable housing. He holds a BA from Pacific Lutheran University in Social Work and an MBA, with a focus on Total Quality Management, from City University. David and his wife Jane live in Tacoma, Washington. They have two adult children that live in Seattle and San Diego.
Ep. 4, May 17, 2022: Tracy Wareing-Evans, Accelerating Public Trust Through Sector Alignment, Investment.
Tracy Wareing-Evans, President and CEO, American Public Human Services Association (APHSA)
Tracy Wareing Evans is the President and CEO of the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), a bi-partisan national membership organization representing the cabinet level leadership of state and local health and human services agencies, and the subject matter experts that help execute their mission to improve outcomes for people nationwide. In coordination with its governing board of directors, Wareing Evans sets the strategic direction for the Association and spearheads delivery on its mission “to advance the well-being of all people by influencing modern approaches to sound policy, building the capacity of public agencies to enable healthy families and communities, and connecting leaders to accelerate learning and generate practical solutions together.” In support of APHSA’s bold strategic plan, Wareing Evans is mobilizing strategic partnerships with connected sectors integral to thriving communities, including education, justice, housing, and health as well as community-based organizations.
Wareing Evans has a long history in high-level policy development and public administration. She served as a senior advisor to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and, before moving to Washington D.C. in 2009, as the Director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security, an integrated human services agency. She has also served as policy adviser for human services under then Arizona Gov. Napolitano and as director of the state’s child welfare division. Wareing Evans began her career as a litigator. Wareing Evans has served on more than 25 boards and advisory committees over the course of her career, including several national appointments. Her current board service includes Social Current (focused on activating the power of the social sector) and WorkRise (a research-to-action network on jobs, workers, and mobility). In 2019, she was selected as a fellow to the National Academy of Public Administration.
Ep. 3, April 20, 2022: Charlotte Haberaecker – If not us, who? Human services shift social challenges
Charlotte Haberaecker, President and CEO, Lutheran Services in America
Too much emphasis for funding in the social sector has focused on providing services after problems have occurred. A lack of innovation and prevention dollars create larger gaps among certain demographics and fail to correct long-term problems for individuals and communities. Developing healthy, productive children and adults who live with purpose and meaning is critical to solving societies largest problems – and the social services sector can lead the charge.
LSS President and CEO Héctor Colón chats with Charlotte Haberaecker, President and CEO of Lutheran Services in America, as she talks about creating a disruption, not waiting for one to happen. Charlotte and Héctor also discuss the workforce shortage in the sector and how it impacts its members, the services they provide, and the ability to meet the whole needs of people. They also break down the need for upstream funding through innovation and prevention, and how strategic partnerships and stakeholders can help fuel philanthropy that provides flexible spending to fulfill essential needs.
Charlotte Haberaecker is the President and CEO of Lutheran Services in America, one of the largest and most respected health and human services networks in the United States. Lutheran Services in America empowers one in 50 people in America to lead their best lives so all communities can thrive. Under Charlotte’s leadership, Lutheran Services in America has consistently been recognized by the Chronicle of Philanthropy and Forbes as one of the nation’s top nonprofit organizations. She is at the forefront of developing and implementing groundbreaking initiatives and collaborative learning models to drive systemic change.
Prior to joining Lutheran Services in America in 2012, Charlotte was the #2 Executive at Global Impact, a $110 million nonprofit that provides funding for critical humanitarian needs around the world. Previously she held senior leadership positions in management consulting at Price Waterhouse where she strengthened nonprofit, for-profit and government organizations. Charlotte also served as a senior leader at Fannie Mae where she led an industry transformation initiative and was the co-inventor on five patents awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Charlotte was the recipient of the 2018 Rebrand 100 Global Award for one of the top 100 brand transformations in the world, the 2017 Humanitarian award from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the 2015 NonProfit Times Magazine’s “Power & Influence Top 50.”
Charlotte holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration in management science from the University of Illinois.