Philanthropists Donald and Donna Baumgartner to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Nonprofit Excellence Awards program

Philanthropists Donald and Donna Baumgartner to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Nonprofit Excellence Awards program

Donna and Donald Baumgartner

Philanthropists Donald and Donna Baumgartner, major supporters of the arts in Milwaukee, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 11th annual BizTimes Media Nonprofit Excellence Awards program.

The Nonprofit Excellence Awards program will be held on Thursday, July 25, at 2:30 p.m. at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee. Click here to register.

Donald Baumgartner founded Milwaukee Shipbuilding Corp. with his father in 1951 to do U.S. Department of Defense work during the Korean War. The company was renamed Paper Machinery Corp. in 1956 and grew to become an international manufacturer of converting machinery for the production of paper cups, paperboard containers and custom packages. In 2016, Baumgartner initiated the company’s transition to 100% employee ownership.

Among many civic contributions, Donald Baumgartner is past president of the Milwaukee Art Museum’s board of trustees and was instrumental in bringing the Santiago Calatrava addition to fruition at the Milwaukee Art Museum. As chair of the museum’s building committee during that time, Baumgartner worked personally with Calatrava during the construction process.

Donald and Donna Baumgartner are also longtime supporters of the Milwaukee Ballet, giving $10 million for construction of its headquarters in the Historic Third Ward.

Donald and Donna Baumgartner also donated $8 million to the Milwaukee Art Museum’s endowment fund to pay the future salary of museum directors. The couple also made $1.5 million gifts to Milwaukee Film, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Florentine Opera. They also made a $1 million contribution for the renovation of Uihlein Hall at the Marcus Performing Arts Center.

Donald is a lifetime trustee of the Milwaukee Art Museum and a life director of the Florentine Opera. Donna serves on the board of the Milwaukee Ballet and the Milwaukee Film Festival and is a Milwaukee Art Museum trustee.

The finalists for the other Nonprofit Excellence Awards categories are (winners will be announced at the July 25 event):

Corporate Citizenship Awards:

Corporate Citizen of the Year

  • Generac
  • Hydrite Chemical Co.
  • Kohl’s
  • WaterStone Bank

Corporate Volunteer of the Year

  • John Kissinger, GRAEF
  • Robert Landwehr
  • Max Stephenson, Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP
  • Judie Taylor, DUECO

In-Kind Supporter

Next Generation Leadership

  • Nadiyah Johnson, Jet Constellations
  • Anthony Mlachnik, NorthRock Partners
  • Monica Nichol, Baird Wealth
  • Tim Patterson, Foley & Lardner LLP

Nonprofit Awards:

Nonprofit Collaboration of the Year

  • Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Department of Workforce Development, Islands of Brilliance, Disability:IN Wisconsin, Engauge Workforce Solutions and MATC
  • Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and Metropolitan Chicago and United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County
  • St. Francis Children’s Center, Penfield Children’s Center and Curative Care Network
  • WRTP|BIG STEP, Milwaukee Building Trades Council, MPS, Southwest Milwaukee Trades Consortium and Employ Milwaukee

Nonprofit Executive of the Year

  • Chad Bauman, Milwaukee Repertory Theater
  • Andi Elliott, Community Advocates
  • Rob Henken, Wisconsin Policy Forum
  • Sherrie Tussler, Hunger Task Force

Large Nonprofit Organization of the Year

  • Milwaukee Ballet
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Lutheran Child & Family Service

Small Nonprofit Organization of the Year

  • All Hands Boatworks
  • HPGM
  • Journey21
  • Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful

Social Enterprise

  • Food for Health
  • Martin Luther King Economic Development Corp. 

The platinum sponsor for the Nonprofit Excellence Awards program is Wintrust Commercial Banking at Town BankClick here to register for the event.

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