MILWAUKEE — Scaling Wellness in Milwaukee (SWIM), a nonprofit organization aimed at forming strategic partnerships between local service providers addressing generational trauma in Milwaukee, has named local financial expert and community leader Eugene Manzanet as its first executive director. In this role, he will oversee the organization’s strategic and operational plans in addition to leading programs, expansion efforts and execution of SWIM’s mission.
Manzanet served eight years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve before launching a 25-year career in the banking industry, serving the Milwaukee area as a resource for financial education and community and economic development. He recently left his role as vice president of community lending for U.S. Bank Home Mortgage Wisconsin. He led a team of mortgage lending bankers dedicated to providing affordable residential lending options to low-to-moderate income earners in the Milwaukee area.
Manzanet is completing research in pursuit of his doctoral degree at Cardinal Stritch University in leadership in the advancement of learning and service. The focus of his research is nonprofit sustainability and advancement of organizational leadership. His research and commitment to the advancement of organizational leadership is demonstrated in his role as the chairman of the board of advisors for Mission Fuel. Mission Fuel is the area’s first nonprofit accelerator hosted in the hub of innovation and community engagement at Cardinal Stritch University.
“We are delighted to have someone with Gene’s expertise and passion for community building serve as SWIM’s inaugural executive director,” said Sumaiyah Clark, SWIM board chair and enterprise project administrator for the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services. “Gene’s impressive background in economic development and finance, coupled with a deep understanding of the Milwaukee community’s assets and its most pressing needs through his nonprofit work, makes him uniquely positioned to move SWIM forward as we launch our strategic and operational plans.”
“I’m thrilled to join an amazing group committed to tackling the complex issue of trauma and building resiliency,” Manzanet said. “I am eager to get started and work with key partners to help improve the quality of life in Milwaukee.”
Previously, Manzanet was vice president of community development for PNC Bank in Milwaukee, a position he held for 13 years. He is also currently a commissioner and vice-chair for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. In addition, Manzanet serves on numerous nonprofit boards and advisory councils and is highly passionate about his work within disenfranchised communities and enhancing the quality of life in Milwaukee.
Manzanet attended The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he developed his interest in social responsibility as a student majoring in history. He has continued his education locally at Cardinal Stritch University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA. Currently a doctoral candidate, he expects to defend and graduate from the program this year. A New York native, Manzanet lives in Milwaukee with his wife, Gladys, and four children: Gabriel, Emanuel, Mateo, and Malia.
About Scaling Wellness in Milwaukee (SWIM)
SWIM was formed to increase strategic partnerships between local service providers of all sizes addressing generational trauma in Milwaukee. SWIM’s mission is to drive community-based collaboration that helps to prevent and respond to trauma and creates a resilient Milwaukee. SWIM initiatives include increasing strategic partnerships between service providers, providing wellness and capacity building activities for small trauma-facing community-based organizations, and delivering trauma responsive workplace trainings and retreats.