United Performing Arts Fund
Press Release

United Performing Arts Fund Announces 2016 Campaign Co-Chairs

Community business leaders step up to support and sustain the performing arts in S.E. Wisconsin

By - Sep 15th, 2015 10:59 am

MILWAUKEE (Sept. 15, 2015) – The United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) has named its Co-Chairs for the 2016 Campaign: Paul Eberle, chief executive of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., Paul Purcell, chairman and CEO of Baird; and Peggy Williams-Smith, vice president of food and beverage for Marcus Hotels and Resorts. As UPAF Co-Chairs, the three will funnel their passion for the performing arts and its quality of life role to increase community involvement and awareness throughout Southeastern Wisconsin and achieve financial growth goals as a part of UPAF’s annual fundraising campaign.

“Paul, Peggy and Paul are pillars of the Greater Milwaukee area who lead by example,” said Deanna Tillisch, president & CEO of UPAF. “Their passion for the performing arts is contagious and they understand the connection between a robust arts and cultural scene to a vibrant and engaged community and their leadership and expertise will have a critical impact on the success of the 2016 UPAF Campaign.”

The 2016 UPAF Campaign will run Mar. 1 through June 9, 2016. The 2015 UPAF Campaign raised a record-breaking $12,001,226 for 15 Member Groups. This marks a campaign growth of more than 18 percent in just three years.

Paul Eberle. Photo courtesy of UPAF.

Paul Eberle.

About the Co-Chairs:

Paul Eberle is the chief executive of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. and responsible for the overall vision, leadership and direction of one of the nation’s leading law firms. Eberle is one of the first non-attorneys in the nation to lead a large law firm and he enjoys a long history of successful entrepreneurship in the fields of technology and real estate. Prior to joining WHD, Eberle was the founder and president of Capital Data, Inc., a technology, services and leasing company based in Milwaukee. Eberle is a current member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, BizStarts, Wisconsin Technology Council and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. Eberle is a graduate of College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.

Purcell Paul. Photo courtesy of UPAF.

Purcell Paul.

Paul Purcell is chairman & CEO and a member of the boards of directors of Baird Financial Group and affiliated entities, including Robert W. Baird & Co. Purcell joined Baird in 1994 and has served in a variety of capacities. In addition to his duties at Baird, he is co-chair of the board of Teach for America – Milwaukee and chair of the University of Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business advisory council. He also serves on the Alverno College board of trustees, the Cristo Rey Network board of trustees, the Greater Milwaukee Committee board and executive committee, the United Performing Arts Fund board and the Junior Achievement of Chicago board of directors. He received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. Purcell was named the Harvard Business School Club of Wisconsin’s Business Leader of the Year for 2012. In 2015, The United Community Center recognized him with its “Friends of the Hispanic Community Award.”

Peggy Williams-Smith. Photo courtesy of UPAF.

Peggy Williams-Smith.

Peggy Williams-Smith has been with Marcus Hotels & Resorts for almost 18 years, currently serving as vice president of food and beverage. She is a past president of Tempo Milwaukee and is the current board chair for the American Heart Association of Southeastern Wisconsin, sits on the steering committee for Milwaukee Women Inc. and serves on the boards of the MATC Foundation and Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation.  She has also led the Marcus Hotels and Resorts company-wide campaign for the United Performing Arts Fund.  Williams-Smith was honored in 2010 as one Milwaukee’s 40 under 40 presented by the Business Journal and was awarded the Peak Performer Award in 2013 from Junior Achievement.

About UPAF

United Performing Arts Fund’s mission is to secure community resources, promote the performing arts as a regional asset and improve the quality of life through responsible investment in and financial support of the performing arts in Southeastern Wisconsin. Our vision is to shape a diverse, vibrant and sustainable cultural life for all. In 2015 UPAF’s Annual Campaign raised more than $12 million to support the area’s vibrant performing arts environment. UPAF proudly bears Charity Navigator’s highest distinction for nonprofits – a four-star rating.

As an umbrella organization, UPAF supports a breadth of performing arts groups that collectively offer something for everyone through its 15 Member Groups and numerous Affiliates.  More than one million people are touched each year through performances, educational outreach, special events and community partnerships.

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