Jeramey Jannene

State Tourism Secretary Leaves, Joins Local Foundation

Milwaukeean Sara Meaney joins the Dohmen Company Foundation.

By - Jan 11th, 2021 01:25 pm
Sara Meaney. Photo by Jessica Kaminski.

Sara Meaney. Photo by Jessica Kaminski.

Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney has a new job.

Meaney, a Milwaukee resident, joined the Dohmen Company Foundation as chief marketing and communications officer after announcing she would leave her state post.

The charitable foundation, as of 2019, is the sole owner of the for-profit The Dohmen Company. The formerly family-owned company was transitioned to become the country’s first philanthropic enterprise under the Philanthropic Enterprise Act of 2018 after selling off its life science services division. The structure assures all profits go towards charity.

In December the foundation announced it was purchasing the former Fein Brothers building at 2007 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. as a new headquarters. The King Drive building will also be home to Dohmen’s new Food for Health program. The program, currently in beta with Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, aims to use medically-tailored meals to reverse chronic disease.

Meaney previously served as chief marketing and development officer for Milwaukee Film before being appointed tourism secretary in December 2018 by then-Governor-elect Tony Evers.

“Sara has been a relentless advocate for the tourism industry even before the pandemic, but especially as it has faced unprecedented challenges this past year,” said Evers in a statement when her departure was announced in late November. “Sara has been part of our administration from the very beginning, and we will miss her passion and enthusiasm for travel and all the great things Wisconsin has to offer visitors and folks across our state. I’m incredibly grateful for Sara’s support and service these past two years, and I wish her and her family all the best.”

Meaney, like a number of other Evers appointees, was never confirmed by the Legislature. In addition to Milwaukee Film, she was previously managing director at BVK and partner and president at Hanson Dodge Creative.

“We are excited to bring Sara’s versatile skill set and creative energy to our leadership team,” said foundation president and chief operating officer Kathy Koshgarian in a statement. “Her experience and proven impact across public, private and nonprofit sectors brings velocity to the organization as we realize our vision to promote healthy communities powered by healthy people.”

Meaney will lead marketing strategies, branding and communication efforts across all foundation programs.

[inraticlead ad=”UM-In-Article-2″]“We find Sara’s cross-sector skills and experience perfectly aligned for this role to catalyze the necessary change that lies before us,” said board member and former company CEO Cynthia LaConte.

“The healthcare trend continues to go into the wrong direction with more than 40% of the US population being affected by chronic disease and  increasing rates of diabetes, heart disease and obesity,” said Koshgarian. “We are committed to a collective approach to solve this problem – the time is now to come together to provide education and preventative interventions, like food, to empower us all to live our healthiest life and reduce development of health problems requiring expensive medical treatment.”

“I’m proud to be part of an organization that sees the importance of empowering people to live their healthiest life. I truly believe that heathy communities start with healthy people,” said Meaney in a statement.

Anne Sayers is serving as acting secretary of the Department of Tourism until Evers appoints a permanent replacement.

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Categories: Business, Politics

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