February 16, 2017
Written by Katie Kuhn, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
Kadie Jelenchick is a 2013 winner of United Way’s Philanthropic 5 Award. A Partner at Foley & Lardner LLP, Kadie regularly donates her time and legal services to Legal Action of Wisconsin’s Volunteer Lawyers Project and helps serve the young women of Milwaukee through her role on the Board of Directors of PEARLS for Teen Girls.
What did it mean to you to receive the P5 award?
Initially, I was surprised. Then, once I realized the magnitude of the award, I was humbled. The other winners were so inspiring, I considered myself lucky to be counted among them. Winning a P5 award allowed me to witness how others leverage their professional talents for the organizations they are passionate about, as well as the community at large.
How has your involvement with United Way changed since receiving the P5 award?
Winning a P5 award better opened my eyes to the good work that United Way does. Since winning the award in 2013, I’ve gotten involved with the Emerging Leaders donor network and serve as one of the Ambassadors for our firm’s United Way giving campaign. In addition to my commercial work at Foley & Lardner, I help with our recruiting efforts. Last year we partnered with EY to introduce our respective summer associate classes to Intern Day of Action. Our summer associates loved it; not only did it allow them to give back to the community, but it was a unique opportunity to get to know other like-minded young professionals who are considering moving to, living, and working in Milwaukee.
How has your commitment to the community evolved since then?
I’m still involved with the organizations and activities that served as the basis of my nomination, like Legal Action of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse. Additionally, I’ve taken over the role of vice chair of my firm’s national pro-bono legal efforts, helping provide opportunities for my colleagues to engage in pro-bono legal services. I also joined the Board of Directors for PEARLS for Teen Girls, a United Way program partner, and have been able to appreciate first-hand the impact that critical United Way funding can have on an organization.
What is your favorite way to get involved and give back?
When you’re partnered with others that share your enthusiasm and commitment to improving the city, the activity almost doesn’t matter. The best part is the connection to the community with other people who share your values.
What advice do you have for people as they are thinking of someone to nominate for a P5 award?
In a community like ours, with so much generosity and passion for service and good works, it’s not who should you nominate, it’s who shouldn’t you nominate. Ask your neighbor, ask your friends, ask a colleague “what’s your why?” Why are they committed to serving the community? After talking to a handful of people, you will definitely have someone to nominate.
The P5 awards are a wonderful platform for promotion for the various organizations and causes that the winners care about and invest in. Not only does P5 introduce you to those people in the community you are excited to meet, but you learn about what other winners are doing in areas of the city.
Nominate an outstanding community leader for a P5 award today!
Thank you to event sponsor BMO Harris Bank.