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United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

Women United Counsel Group 2023

Women United

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A powerful network of women who strengthen our community through an investment of talent, compassion, and philanthropy.

image of three professional women

As one of the largest donor networks in the world, Women United brings together strong, passionate women, each sharing their unique experiences and expertise. 

Changing Lives

Over the past 20 years, Women United was key in supporting the Healthy Youth initiative, specifically the nationally recognized Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. The Women United Endowment Fund still supports these evidence-based strategies that align with Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative in perpetuity.

Beginning in 2023, Women United is embracing the latest United Way initiative, Empowering Minds. The goal is to change the lives of high school students by focusing on prevention, equity, and access to mental health services.

Member Benefits

Over 1,600 members of Women United have raised over $240 million since 2002. You can be part of creating lasting change in our community for so many in need. In addition, you can:


Become a Member Today

If your employer runs a United Way workplace campaign, please give $1,200+ through your workplace. All other donors click “Donate Now & Join” to open a new page and start your online donation. You will need to create a username and password so you can make your gift today.


Donate Now & Join


Already a leadership donor, sign up to be a member now.

Council Members

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Women's Leadership Council Co-chairs

Headshot Photo of Lee Ann Conta

Lee Anne N. Conta, von Briesen & Roper, s.c.

Leslie Wininger headshot

Leslie Wininger, Advocate Health

Women's Leadership Council Members

Sandra Botcher, Northwestern Mutual*

Lori Bottoni, Community Volunteer

Krista Brookman, Northwestern Mutual

Patty Cadorin, Community Volunteer*

Sharon Canter, Community Volunteer

Cheryl Carron, Jones Lang LaSalle*

Stephanie Chedid, Luther Manor*

Lisa Cieslak, GMR Marketing

Rachael Conrad, Rockwell Automation

Julia Currie, Direct Supply

April Dunn, Community Volunteer

Jane Durment, The Marcus Corporation - Retiree*

Jennifer Fahey, PwC

Lisa Fernandez, Deloitte LLP

Cecelia Gore, Brewers Community Foundation*

Linda Gorens-Levey, General Capital Group*

Ann Granitz, BMO

Kadie Jelenchick, Foley & Lardner LLP

Jasmine Johnson, Versiti Inc.

Rebecca Kennedy, A. O. Smith Corporation

Meg Kurlinski, Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.

Gail Lione, Dentons*

Christine Liu McLaughlin, Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.*

Linda Mellowes, Community Volunteer*

Amy O'Brien, Enterprise Mobility 

Candy Pindyck, Community Volunteer*

Leslie Plamann, EY

Thelma A. Sias, We Energies - Retiree*

Erika Smith, Froedtert Health

Lynn Sprangers, 54 Hands Productions*

Ann Stadler, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater

Mary Ellen Stanek, Baird*

Judie Taylor, DUECO

Anne Tidmore, Johnson Financial Group

Susan Waldman, Johnson Controls

Jennifer Westphal, MGIC Investment Corporation

Aimee Wiedmeyer, Community Volunteer

Stacy Williams, Baird

Melody Wolske, PwC*

Katrene Zelenovskiy, Quarles 

Jessica Zeratsky, Dykema

*Emeritus Member

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Related Blogs

The one period students shouldn’t have to worry about in school.

Women United collects 100,000 menstrual products for local students.

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2019 Women United Bruncheon Recap

Thank you to everyone who attended our largest Women United Bruncheon to date!

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Gail Lione finds Strength in Numbers with Women United

As Chair of the Women United Global Leadership Council for United Way Worldwide, Gail leads a global force of 75,000+ women dedicated to creating a world of opportunity for everyone.

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Podcast: The Power of Elevating the Voices of Women in Our Community

On Wednesday, November 7, United Way’s Emerging Leaders and Women United joined forces to present a fall leadership panel featuring notable change-makers in our local community. Panelists discussed the growing power and influence women play as advocates and leaders in the workplace, community, and beyond.

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“They Teach Us Something, Too.”

When Oby Nwabuzor, a community volunteer, entered James Madison Academic Campus for her first Women United Mentoring Session, she intentionally went in without expectations. “I knew it wasn’t going to be about me,” remembers Oby. “It’s about the girls.”

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"Mentors helped me visualize what was possible."

As a member of United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, Margaret has had the opportunity to pay it forward. Each year, Women United hosts a mentorship series for young women at James Madison Academic Campus (JMAC), a Milwaukee Community School.

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Bags, Brunch, and Big Impact!

Thank you to everyone who attended our largest Women United Bruncheon to date!

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How I Do More, Be More through United Way

2018 Linda T. Mellowes honoree Elizabeth Brenner reflects on her career in the newspaper business and why she has always supported (and felt supported by) United Way.

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Mobilizing the Power of Women to Fight for our Community

Women United Global Leadership Council Member Christine Liu McLaughlin reflects on fighting for the health, financial stability, and education of every person in our community, and how you can get involved.

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Make April Your Most Impactful Month Yet!

No matter how much time you have, United Way can help you make a positive impact on your community this month.

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Women United Member Blazes a Trail for her Daughters

Sharmila Anbu shares her story of joining Women United through United Way Manitowoc County and, now, in Milwaukee, and how she hopes her example of volunteerism is passed on to her daughters.

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Meet United Way Board Chair Cory Nettles

Cory Nettles, founder and managing director at Generation Growth Capital, Inc., was recently named chairman of the board for United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County and will serve a two-year term. Cory, who has been involved with United Way for his entire professional life, took a moment to share his passion with us.

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Podcast: Chatting with Project Runway/ReUNITED Designers

On October 11, 2017, all designers from season 15 of Project Runway, plus a few guests, came together in Milwaukee for a one-of-a-kind fashion show experience. We had the chance to sit down with four of the designers who came to Milwaukee early: Alex Snyder, LaTasha Henderson, Jenni Riccetti, and Mah-Jing Wong. They had just returned from an emotional experience dressing clients of the YWCA Southeast Wisconsin’s employment programs, helping them prepare and feel great for their job hunt.

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At SPREE, Lisa Ricke Helps Women Find their Finishing Touch

For Lisa Ricke, owner of Finishing Touch Jewelry, creating beautiful baubles for local women is more than just a job; it’s a true passion. You can shop her one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces at the upcoming SPREE: Shopping for Change event on November 2nd.

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*Fall* in Love with Your Community in October!

Fall is officially here! Grab your Pumpkin Spice Latte and come do some good with United Way this month.

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Podcast: Make it Work! Chatting with the Project ReUNITED Event Design Team

Fashion Designer and Project Runway alum Linda Marcus and Interior Designer Libby Castro are two of three co-chairs of the upcoming Project ReUNITED event, a one-of-a-kind evening that will bring together all of the designers from season 15 of Project Runway. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to benefit United Way’s Community Fund.

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Clean Your Closet for a Great Cause

As you’re cleaning out your closets this spring, we ask that you set aside your gently used women’s professional clothing to benefit the clients of our agency partners. A piece you bought but only wore once could be the confidence boost another woman needs to ace her job interview, or to start her new job on the right foot.

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Local, Women-Owned Retailers Live United

On Wednesday, November 9th, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County hosted it’s first-ever Women United Shopping for Change, or “SPREE,” event. This event provided a one of a kind luxury shopping experience with a collection of select, locally-based, women-owned retailers as well as a live auction. In total, the event raised $12,000, which will go to United Way’s Community Fund.

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400+ Women Gather for Leadership Bruncheon

400+ women from Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County gathered Wednesday for United Way’s Women’s Leadership Bruncheon at the Pfister Hotel. The event was sponsored by Aurora Health Care.

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Q&A with Cheryl Carron

Read a Q&A with Cheryl Carron, Women's Leadership Co-chair.

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Get Involved

For questions or more information about joining Women United, please contact Nancy Clarkin via email or at 414.269.1990.