Milwaukee, Wis., Oct. 22, 2020 – The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has promoted Kenneth Robertson to executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer as he continues to guide the community foundation toward its strategic and operational objectives. He has been serving the Foundation as vice president and CFO since October 2015.
“Ken’s vision and execution on a range of strategic initiatives go beyond the responsibilities of a traditional CFO, and this promotion, in part, reflects responsibilities he has assumed from the start of his tenure,” said Ellen Gilligan, Foundation president and CEO. “Ken believes deeply in the Foundation’s mission and our shared vision for an equitable Milwaukee, which he has reinforced through this tireless work and clear commitment to racial equity and inclusion.”
This promotion comes at an important time in the Foundation’s history as the organization realizes a deeper focus on transformational philanthropy and community change. Robertson has played an essential role in informing the Foundation’s strategic direction and optimizing operations during this time. In his expanded role, Robertson will adopt greater responsibility and authority across the organization. In addition to his established leadership in the ThriveOn Collaboration, he will assume direct responsibility for the Foundation’s impact investing program and human resources functions.
Robertson has over 20 years’ experience in both the for-profit and the nonprofit sectors. His professional experience includes serving as CFO for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, as well as finance roles with GE Healthcare, Briggs & Stratton, Miller Brewing, Motorola and more. Equally important, his lived experience as a Milwaukee native and product of Milwaukee Public Schools, plus his volunteer leadership roles with Wisconsin Philanthropy Network, Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and Howard Fuller Academy, afford him unique perspective that guides his approach to community leadership and decision-making.
Robertson proudly served his country for six years in the U.S. Air Force. He is a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee alumnus and holds an MBA from UWM’s Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business.
Further advancement in finance and administration leadership
As part of this organizational change, Wendy Ponting has been promoted to vice president of finance & controller to assume a greater leadership role within the Foundation and its administrative functions.
Ponting has served on the Foundation’s finance team since 1998 and has been controller for nine years. Her sharp technical skills and strong institutional knowledge have been critical to the Foundation’s growth and success. In addition to her controllership responsibilities, Ponting will assume expanded financial responsibility managing the Foundation’s cash disbursement and cash receipt cycles.
Ponting graduated summa cum laude from Cardinal Stritch University, where she also earned an M.S.