Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee
Press Release

Neil Willenson Joins Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee as President & CEO


By - May 30th, 2023 01:47 pm
Neil Willenson. Photo courtesy of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee.

Neil Willenson. Photo courtesy of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee.

Milwaukee, Wis. (May 30, 2023) – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee (BBBS) announced today that Neil Willenson has been appointed President & CEO. Willenson succeeds Amy Chionchio who is retiring after more than 15 years of service to the organization.

Previously, Willenson was the Vice President of Philanthropy and Community Impact for Kacmarcik Enterprises and Kapco, Inc. In this role, he led grantmaking to nearly 1,000 nonprofit organizations since 2010 and coordinated large-scale fundraising events on behalf of the organization.

“I would like to thank Amy for her outstanding service to the Milwaukee community during which Big Brothers Big Sisters has taken giant steps forward to expand quality services to thousands of children throughout metro Milwaukee,” said Terry Nadeau, Chairman of the BBBS Board of Directors. “We welcome Neil Willenson who has the experience and passion to continue our journey in helping Milwaukee’s youth achieve their full potential.”

Willenson is a nationally known non-profit founder, corporate executive, public speaker, and actor. He has vast experience in program design and execution, facility management, fundraising, grantmaking, public relations, marketing, strategic planning, live event production, celebrity talent booking and personnel management. He is an organization creator and builder who approaches all projects with creativity, innovation, collaboration, strategic thinking, and kindness.

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve as President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee. This organization has proven outcomes in making a transformative impact for more than one thousand children annually,” said Willenson. “I salute Amy Chionchio for more than 15 years of service to the organization. It is a great honor succeeding her as she and the Board of Directors have set a strong foundation for organizational expansion.”

As the Founder of Camp Heartland (now called One Heartland) in the early days of his career, Willenson led a national non-profit organization that made a year-round and life-long difference for children impacted by HIV/AIDS. During his time leading the organization, the organization raised 45 million dollars and provided hope and healing to 6000 children. He is also Co-Founder of Camp Hometown Heroes, a national summer camp for children of fallen U.S. service members as well as Co-Founder of Camp Reunite, a groundbreaking program for children who have an incarcerated parent.

Willenson graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.

BBBS engaged Kittleman & Associates to conduct a search for its new President & CEO. Kittleman & Associates is a national executive search firm that specializes in the recruitment of CEOs for the entire nonprofit sector. For more information, visit

About BBBS:

For 47 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee has created and supported mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. During the history of this organization, more than 50,000 young people have had their lives changed through Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). BBBS has done this by creating meaningful, purposeful, relationships between adult volunteers and children in the metro Milwaukee area. Nearly 90% of the youth served come from low-income households, 65% have been raised by a single parent, and 85% are people of color. It has never been more vital to break the cycle of poverty and provide equal access to opportunities. For more information, visit

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

Mentioned in This Press Release

One thought on “Neil Willenson Joins Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee as President & CEO”

  1. ZeeManMke says:

    I wonder who funds this group? What do you think Willenson’s compensation is? I’d guess around $250,000. Nice gig if you can get it.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us