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.
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.”
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.
Causing Disruptions: Upping the Social Services Game Across the Sector
Susan Dreyfus, Health and Human Services Thought Leader
If the social services sector is going to make a greater impact, then leaders must work together to elevate preventative services to the level of healthcare. Sector leaders need to help advocates who are not typically involved in direct client care (e.g., policy makers, philanthropists, etc.) proximate to our work in order to experience what it takes to holistically and sustainably improve lives. To reach this level, it will take a collective disruption by sector leaders to push towards increased partnerships including mergers and acquisitions, data and information sharing and more robust funding across the board.
More about Susan
After 9 years, Susan Dreyfus stepped down in 2021 as CEO of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities after leading the organization forward through a historic and strategic merger with the Council on Accreditation. She is now working as an executive coach, retreat facilitator for teams and boards and consultant in adaptive change and planning in both the public and social sectors to advance enduring change to ensure all people can achieve their fullest potential.
During Susan’s tenure as CEO of the Alliance, the organization went through both organizational and adaptive change to accelerate its theory of change and position America’s community-based human serving organizations for excellence, distinction, and influence through the vision of creating a healthy and equitable society so all our neighbors can thrive. Prior to joining the Alliance in 2012, Dreyfus was secretary for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. She was appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire in 2009 and approved by the Senate. She had responsibility for Medicaid, aging and long-term care, child welfare, behavioral health care, juvenile justice, economic assistance, and other human services. Before her work in Washington state, Dreyfus served as senior vice president and chief operating officer for the Alliance.
In 1996 she was appointed by the Gov. Tommy G. Thompson Administration in Wisconsin to be the first administrator of the Division of Children and Family Services. Her responsibilities included child welfare, childcare quality and licensing, youth development, and an array of emergency assistance, and other programs.
Dreyfus is past chair of Leadership 18, a coalition of CEOs from the largest and most respected nonprofit organizations in America and was previously the chair. She served on the governing boards of the American Public Human Services Association and Generations United. Dreyfus serves as chair of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Systems for Action (S4A) national advisory committee. She was appointed through the Speaker’s office in the U.S. House of Representatives to serve on the National Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities from 2013-2015.
In 2019, Dreyfus was named to The NonProfit Times’ Power and Influence Top 50 list of nonprofit leaders who have “distinguished themselves as initiators of concepts that will have legs and are already having impact.” She also was included in the Power and Influence Top 50 list in 2018, 2017, and 2015. The American Public Human Services Association awarded Dreyfus its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 for her contributions to the field of health and human services in both the public and private sectors. In 2018, Dreyfus was recognized with a Women of Influence Award by the Milwaukee Business Journal.
Demystifying Social Services: Pathways Beyond Healthcare That Lead to Sustainable Well-Being for All
Kathy Markeland, Executive Director, Wisconsin Association of Family & Children’s Agencies (WAFCA)
Kathy joined the WAFCA staff in January 2007 bringing a diverse public policy and member services background. In 2019, she was selected to serve as Executive Director to guide the continued growth of the Association and increase member capacity to deliver outstanding human services that help Wisconsin’s children and families to achieve their full human potential.
Prior to joining WAFCA, Kathy served as an associate director for the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, the public policy voice for Wisconsin’s Roman Catholic bishops. In her eight years with the Conference, Kathy advocated on a wide range of issues from environmental matters to human concerns and health care policy. In addition, she followed state developments related to welfare reform, services for the vulnerable and state and local finance.
In her early career, Kathy spent seven years serving the Wisconsin Counties Association, providing both member support and public policy advocacy services to elected representatives on Wisconsin’s 72 county boards. Her experience with the counties introduced her to a wide range of county services and programs and advanced her knowledge of state and local funding relationships. Her policy focus included human services, nursing homes, county organization and environment and land use management.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Behavioral Science and Law in 1992 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
LSS Helping Afghan Refugees (Fox 6 News Story)
West Allis, WI – As tens of thousands of refugees from Afghanistan begin their journey to the United States, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan (LSS) has been preparing to serve those who may settle in Wisconsin. Fox 6 News in Milwaukee, Wisconsin covered the story and spoke with Héctor Colón, President and CEO of LSS.
Though the individuals and families fleeing war will first stop at Fort McCoy, many will end up in different parts of the state where LSS can support them. LSS helps to get the refugees on their feet and moving forward toward true independence.
“We connect them to all of the resources that will help them be as independent and self-sufficient as possible,” Colón said. “We help these individuals come to Wisconsin, to our country, because they’re fleeing from war and persecution.”
You can watch the full news story below:
Héctor Colón Appointed to Nicolet Bankshares, Inc. Board of Directors
The holding company for Nicolet National Bank confirmed its appointment of Héctor Colón to its Board of Directors.
Nicolet Bankshares, Inc. sent out a July 20 press release announcing the addition of Colón, the President and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan.
According to Bob Atwell, Executive Chairman of Nicolet, “Héctor is a great addition to our board. He brings a strong track record of organizational leadership in the governmental, educational and not-for-profit sectors.”
Click the link below to read the full press release and learn more:
Gov. Evers, Héctor Colón Speak at LSS Aspen Center About Opioid Treatment
Waukesha, WI — On July 6, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers held a press conference at the LSS Aspen Center site regarding a new law that would help fund opioid abuse treatment services and funding through Act 57.
Héctor Colón, LSS President and CEO, kicked off the press conference in front of a host of TV, radio and print media, many of whom included LSS in their stories. Colón also spoke with WTMJ-TV and was featured on their story, which you can see below:
Aside from Colón and Gov. Evers, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow and Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley also spoke during the approximately 20-minute media gathering.
You can see the full press conference below, as posted on Milwaukee’s CBS 58 news site:
You can also find additional information from the using the links below: