MCF Staff

Meet Our Board of Governors

Madison Community Foundation’s Board of Governors is made up of area business and civic leaders dedicated to donor and community stewardship, thoughtful professional guidance and permanent, sustainable charitable giving for people who live in the greater Madison region.

Chair: Roberta Gassman

Roberta has served in leadership roles in all levels of government including federal, state, city and county. Most recently, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment & Training in the administration of President Barack Obama at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington D.C., and as the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development in the Cabinet of Governor Jim Doyle. As an Honorary Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work, she has also taught macro practice to advanced graduate students. Roberta also serves on the board of the United Way of Dane County, and previously served on multiple national, state and community boards including Edgewood College and Overture Center for the Arts.

Vice Chair: Christine Rew Barden

Christine is a shareholder in Reinhart’s Trusts and Estates Practice, and founder and chair of the firm’s Family Offices Group. She has extensive experience in assisting her clients in the development and implementation of estate planning and transition strategies intended to preserve family wealth as well as maintain and foster relationships across generations.

She also serves on the boards of the Kids Forward Foundation and Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras and is an active member of Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Jeff Bartell

Jeff was the founding and managing partner of the law firm of Quarles and Brady's Madison office until his retirement in 2008. He was formerly Wisconsin Commissioner of Securities and a Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General. Actively involved in the community, Jeff is currently a member of the Edgewood College Board of Trustees. He served on the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents from 2006 to 2013. He is President and board member of a nonprofit organization in Tucson, AZ (where he and his wife Angela spend winters) called Sunrise Neighborhood Assistance Program that provides volunteer services to elder and infirm residents in northeast Tucson. In 2008, Jeff was recognized with the Wisconsin Bar Foundation Charles Goldberg Distinguished Service Award, and in 2006, the Wisconsin Alumni Association presented him with University of Wisconsin Distinguished Alumni Award. He has served as a Trustee of the U.W.’s Wisconsin Union Association for more than 35 years.

Shiva Bidar

Shiva is the Chief Diversity Officer at UW Health and a member of the Madison Common Council. She serves as chair of the UW Health Council on Equity & Inclusion and is a founding member and vice-chair elect of the Madison Area Diversity Roundtable, a coalition of employers committed to diversity and inclusionary practices. Shiva also serves on the Madison Area Technical College Board of Trustees, and her work in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion has led to a number of honors, including the 2016 ATHENA Leadership Award, 2010 City-County MLK Jr. Humanitarian Award, and 2005 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award.

Anna Burish

Board member Anna BurishAnna is the Associate Director at The Burish Group of UBS, and has been with UBS Financial Services Inc. since 1994, serving in different branches throughout the United States. Within the team, Anna serves at Chief Operating Officer and Financial Advisor, overseeing the team’s strategic development while ensuring a high level of client service. She holds an executive Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business.

Anna is an active community volunteer and board member. She is an MCF donor and joined the MCF Investment Committee in 2021.

Jack E. Daniels III

Jack has more than 30 years of higher education experience, ranging from community and technical colleges to graduate institutions. His expertise includes strategic and master planning, economic development and community engagement. He also provides leadership in visioning and guiding initiatives focused on student success. As president of Madison College, Daniels has led efforts creating and implementing a shared governance environment, reshaping how the college responds to the unique needs of the communities it serves, and guiding the transformation of an institutional culture that respects open dialogue and shared decision making.

Al Friedman

Al Friedman has over 40 years of experience in corporate communications, higher education and nonprofit leadership. Retiring in 2010 after 30 years at UW-Madison, he participated in strategic planning, internal communication structures, staff development, and roll-out of strategic initiatives. He is a past board member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Higher Education (CASE) and the CASE International Commission on Communications and Marketing. Al also served as a board member and president of the Madison Public Library Foundation and the University Club (UW-Madison). Al is a past member of the Madison Parks Foundation board and a current board member of the Friends of UW-Madison Libraries.

Therese Gulbransen

Therese GulbransenAs a donor, Legacy Society member, former member, and Chair of the AFFW Advisory Committee, Therese Gulbransen has worked closely with MCF for many years. Therese is vice president of sales and marketing at American Printing and serves on the Evjue Foundation and the GLGA (Great Lakes Graphics Association). Therese will serve on MCF's Donor Engagement Committee. She is a community champion and is a former member and Chair of the YWCA of Madison, United Way Women’s Leadership Council and recognized by honors including YWCA Women of Distinction Award (2017) and an Athena Award Winner (2014). Therese is a proud mom to one daughter and an Edgewood Alumni with a BS in Organizational Behavior and Leadership.

Gloria Ladson-Billings

Board member Gloria Ladson-BillingsGloria Ladson-Billings is the former Kellner Family Distinguished Professor of Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and faculty affiliate in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She was the 2005-2006 president of the American Educational Research Association. Gloria’s research examines the pedagogical practices of teachers who are successful with African American students. She also investigates Critical Race Theory applications to education. Gloria is the author of the critically acclaimed books The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children and Crossing Over to Canaan: The Journey of New Teachers in Diverse Classrooms. She is the former editor of the American Educational Research Journal and a member of several editorial boards. Her work has won numerous scholarly awards.

Gloria is an active community volunteer and board member. She is an MCF donor and joined the MCF Grantmaking Committee in 2021.

Anne Lucke

Anne is the Chief Development Officer at the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, where she leads the development teams responsible for fundraising on behalf of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She serves on the board of the Evjue Foundation, Inc., previously served on the boards of the Madison Public Library Foundation and the Junior League of Madison, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Madison. A Milwaukee native, Anne holds an MA in English Literature from UW-Madison and a BA in English from Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA.

Gary A. Mecklenburg

Gary has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading healthcare executives for more than 40 years. His career began at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals from 1970-77. In 2006, he retired from Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago after 21 years as president and CEO. Following his retirement from Northwestern Memorial, Gary joined Waud Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, as an Executive Partner. He retired from WCP in 2017. Gary is a director of Froedtert Health in Milwaukee, Vice President of the Green Lake Association Board, and a member of the Advisory Council for Access Community Health Centers. He also has been a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Madison Symphony Orchestra.

Ron Mensink

Ron MensinkRon is former managing director of analytics and fund management for the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB). Mensink retired in 2015 from SWIB, where he led asset allocation, risk management and external public market manager activities. A chartered financial analyst, he has served on Madison Community Foundation’s Investment Committee since late 2013. In addition, Mensink has served in various church-related and Boy Scout volunteer roles in the past, and is a tutor for the Literacy Network.

Eugenia Podestá

Board member Eugenia PodestaEugenia Podestá; is a social entrepreneur and global connector with more than 20 years of nonprofit, international development and social impact experience. As Senior Director of Economic Empowerment & Entrepreneurship at Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international women’s leadership organization based in Washington DC, she is responsible for the VV GROW Fellowship, a highly competitive global one-year accelerator for women-owned SMEs. Eugenia is also an entrepreneur and co-founded Synergy Coworking in 2015. She is a dedicated enthusiast of local economic empowerment and leadership initiatives for women and communities of color in Madison. Eugenia received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Latin American Studies and her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also studied International Law and Development and worked on women-led tourism efforts at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú in Lima.

Eugenia is an active community volunteer and board member. She is an MCF donor and joined the MCF Grantmaking Committee in 2019.

E.G. Schramka

E.G. Schramka is a CPA and lawyer who for 40 years provided tax consulting services to closely held businesses and individuals in addition to estate and trust planning before retiring from SVA Certified Public Accountants. He also holds Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) and Accredited in Business Valuations (ABV) certifications from the AICPA. E.G. also serves as executive director of the Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Foundation and serves on boards and/or committees at Our Lady Queen of Parish, Edgewood High School and the Catholic Diocese of Madison.

Tripp Widder

Tripp WidderTripp Widder retired from active practice of law on December 31, 2020, the date that marked his 50th year as a lawyer. He spent many years as president of the Madison Public Library Board and its supporting Foundation. He is an MCF donor, fundholder and Legacy Society member, and currently also serves on the boards of Aldo Leopoldo Nature Center and the Friends of the UW Odyssey Project. Tripp will be joining MCF’s Grantmaking Committee.

Noble Wray

Noble Wray Before retiring in 2013, Noble Wray spent nearly 30 years with the Madison Police Department, including 10 as its chief. Since retiring, Noble has served as interim President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison, and currently consults with police departments across the country helping them improve their relationships with their communities. He is an MCF donor and will serve on the Investment Committee.
I am honored to be part of MCF - especially now, helping the most vulnerable recover from COVID while continuing to invest in children, the environment, the arts, diverisity and so much more.”
- Roberta Gassman, Board Chair