We are thrilled to welcome a new appointment to our Board of Directors.
Christine Culver most recently worked at the United Performing Arts Fund. During her nine-year tenure at UPAF, Christine was responsible for being the primary contact with the UPAF Member Groups and Affiliates, managing the annual allocation process, leading the fundraising efforts for all individual and foundation donors and executing a community outreach strategy to establish and strengthen partnerships and support long-term fundraising ideas and marketing priorities. As a volunteer, Christine is active serving on the Executive Committee and Board of the Meta House, Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Elm Grove Junior Guild, the Life Navigators Board of Directors, the Milwaukee Zoological Society Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Elm Grove Women’s Club and TEMPO Milwaukee. Christine was honored as a Milwaukee Business Journal 40 under 40 and received the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County’s Philanthropic Five Award.
Prior to working at UPAF, Christine worked for eight years at a brand management marketing agency. Christine graduated with a B.S. in Marketing & Consumer Science from UW-Madison. She is also an alum of Georgetown University McDonough School of Business’ Business for Impact New Strategies Program and Leadership Now Nonprofit Leadership Cohort.
Christine resides in Elm Grove with her husband, Tom and son George and she is expecting her second child this summer. Christine is incredibly passionate about the Ballet and the arts in our region and is honored to join Milwaukee Ballet’s Board of Directors.
We proudly welcome five new members to our Board of Directors: Jennifer Abele, Mary Chuy, Kelly Noyes, Denise Thomas and Linda Wade. These impressive women bring passion, energy and new skill sets to our Company. We look forward to an exciting future with them on our team!
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Jennifer Abele is UW-Milwaukee’s Senior Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships, where she is a member of Chancellor Mark Mone’s cabinet. She develops holistic, mutually beneficial relationships between university stakeholders and external partners. She also oversees major future focused partnership initiatives on campus. Partnerships under her direction include the Connected Systems Institute, the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute, the Freshwater Collaborative of Wisconsin and TechEd Frontiers, UWM’s new online workplace learning initiative.
Prior to joining UWM, Jennifer served in two cabinet roles for the City of Milwaukee, leading the Milwaukee Water Works utility operation and the City’s Intergovernmental Relations team. She is widely known in Wisconsin’s public sector for her leadership in diplomacy, strategy, negotiation and fiscal planning. She is also known to be a fixer and a driver of intrapreneurship. Her work has gained her valuable connections across government, community and industry.
Jennifer is often called upon to serve on civic task forces and as a designee to various public boards and commissions, such as the Arena Task Force, Milwaukee Public Library’s Financial Sustainability Task Force and the Employ Milwaukee Board of Directors. She has served in leadership roles on nonprofit boards such as the Social Development Commission, Select Milwaukee and Wisconsin Women in Government.
Jennifer received her B.A. in Public Administration from Winona State University and her M.A. from UW-Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys parenting, cycling, hiking, skiing, traveling, live music and the performing arts. She resides in Milwaukee with her husband, son and stepdaughters, who will confirm she is constantly looking for ways to improve and refresh their home environment, just like she does in her career.
Mary Chuy is a Mom, actress, director, producer and filmmaker.
She began her acting career in Mexico at age 13 at La Compañía de Teatro de la Universidad de Colima, where she landed her first lead role as Ursula in the play Los Perros written by Mexican Dramaturg Elena Garro. Other credits include: Jasmine in BX Blues at the Coconut Grove Playhouse (Miami), Esperanza in Cafe at Teatro Candilejas (Miami), Dorothy in Amateurs at Lake County PlayHouse (Heartland), Bianca in Othello, Miss Forsythe in Death of a Salesman and Nurse in Romeo and Juliet at The Rhode Center For The Arts (Kenosha).
Her film credits include “Pet Names” (currently available on Amazon Prime) and “Corridor ” (in post-production). Her short films currently making film festival round are “Grandpa Getaways,” “Ringolevio,“ “Odyssey,“ and “Cohabitation.”
Television credits include in recurring roles in various telenovelas and series including “La Mujer de mi vida,” “Agua Marina,” “Los Teens,” and “Enamorada.” She also has been a guest for various news and entertainment shows on Spanish-language networks including Telemundo and Univision. Additionally, she co-hosted “Hoy Wisconsin Today” for Mundo Fox, WI.
As a director and producer, she co-created The Medusa Monologues with her friend, filmmaker Kristin Peterson, and co-produced Medusa Jr last summer with her daughter, Gabriella Mancuso, at NO Studios.
She is currently working on the post-production of “Blackbird, Fly,” a short film about the life of Raven Wilkinson, the first African American ballerina accepted into a professional ballet school in the 1950’s, written by Alyson Chavez.
Past credits working behind the scenes include assistant casting director and assistant director for an annual series of public service announcements produced by Accent Media in Washington, DC for the Catholic Communication Campaign. These PSA’S aired nationwide on all major Spanish-language networks.
Chuy currently lives in Oak Creek with her husband, Joseph Mancuso, and two children, Joey and Gabby. She also has an older daughter, Stephanie, and grandson, Mason.
Her passion has always been projects that inspire positivity and focus on human rights and social justice causes. Now more than ever, she enjoys producing her own projects from her house during her free time, while she homeschools her very energetic kids, cooks and wears many hats.
Local organizations she has collaborated with include Milwaukee Film, Milwaukee Filmmaking Alliance and NO Studios.
Kelly Noyes is a Shareholder in the Litigation and Risk Management Practice Group at von Briesen & Roper, s.c., and is co-chair of the firm’s Class Actions section. She represents businesses, hospitals and health care systems in a variety of litigation matters including class actions, contract disputes, business torts, non-compete agreements, insurance coverage, ERISA, environmental disputes, collections, appellate work, and toxic torts. Kelly represents clients in both state and federal court and has litigated appeals before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, as well as the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Noyes has been recognized as a Rising StarSM by Wisconsin Super Lawyers® in the area of Business Litigation since 2012. Kelly is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Bar Association, the Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Bar Association and the Association for Women Lawyers. She is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Noyes has been involved in numerous community organizations throughout her career. She is a regular volunteer with the Elmbrook Humane Society and fundraises for brain tumor research for Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is the former president of the Board of Directors for the Economic Justice Institute (EJI) of the University of Wisconsin Law School’s civil, anti-poverty clinical programs which include the Consumer Law Clinic, the Family Court Assistance Project, the Neighborhood Law Project and Foreclosure Mediation Clinic. Noyes has also served as a Director for the Association for Women Lawyers and enjoys mentoring women who are considering or pursuing a career in the law.
Kelly lives with her two children, Karina and Wyatt, in Pewaukee. In her free time, she is an avid reader, baker and hiker.
The Effective Communication Coach, LLC
Denise Thomas is the President and Owner of The Effective Communication Coach, LLC, a consultancy focused on transforming emerging and existing professionals into extraordinary leaders by mastering the art of effective communication.
With nineteen years of experience in working for Fortune 500 companies, Denise has honed the ability to deliver and receive messages across language, cultural, and communication-style barriers. She has been recognized for excellence in leadership from companies including Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, PepsiCo, General Electric and MillerCoors. Denise continues her focus on empowering people by traveling and teaching effective communication to professionals worldwide including Egypt, China and Israel.
Her existing portfolio of clients include Kraft Heinz, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Northwestern Mutual and Manpower Group. Organizations she’s consulted and coached include the National Black MBA Association, National Urban League, Thurgood Marshall Leadership Institute, and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee.
Over the years, her formal accolades include NV Magazine’s 2016 “Movers and Shakers” award, the MillerCoors Diversity and Inclusion Award and as the Featured Alumni during the Mission Driven Leader Series at Cardinal Stritch University in 2017. Denise was recently recognized by the Milwaukee Business Journal as a 2019 Woman of Influence and a Top 100 Power Broker in 2018 and 2019. In November of 2019, Milwaukee Magazine listed her as a “Women of Distinction” and BizStarts recognized her as a “Inspiring Entrepreneur” during their annual “BizStarts Honors” event. The Milwaukee Times Newspaper recently recognized Denise for her “Excellence in Business” during the 35th Annual Black Excellence Awards.
Denise is a Lead Facilitator at St. Norbert College as part of the School of Business’s Center of Exceptional Leadership and also an Instructor for the Cardinal Stritch University Mission Fuel Leadership Program. She serves on numerous non-profit organization’s Board of Directors and Advisory Councils including Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County’s Women United Leadership Council and Cardinal Stritch University College of Business Advisory Council. She is also a certified Hogan Assessment and CEL 360 Coach. Denise is a graduate of Cardinal Stritch University in Business Management and a proud member of The Links Incorporated – Milwaukee Chapter.
She is a proud mother of two future leaders, her daughter Dominique and son Daren.
Linda Wade has been actively involved in many forms of art since 1989, when she was an artist painting in oil on stretch canvas. She showcased her work at places including Firstart Bank, Waupun First Gallery, Channel 10/36 Auction and a host of private showings.
In 1990, Wade studied ballet at the William Riley Ballet Academy in Milwaukee, Milwaukee Ballet and Dance Works and eventually joining Dance Eternal in 1995. As a member of Dance Eternal, she was invited to join the Lead Dancer Kim Brunner in a ministry trip to a women’s prison in Texas. She soon realized that most of their troubles started when they were children, which birthed a desire to do create a safe place for children in Milwaukee to express themselves, learn a variety of art mediums as well as feel the love of Christ.
Wade received the name of the organization as she was flying back from that trip, Above the Clouds (ATC).
In 2001, Wade along with her friend, ATC Co-founder Barbara Melsheimer, incorporated Above the Clouds. The first class was held at Heartlove Place, Milwaukee. Since then, ATC has served more than 1,700 children in the last 19 years.