Pleased to Announce Grants to Area Nonprofits

We are pleased to announce that nine nonprofits in Southeast Wisconsin will be receiving grants totaling $48,000.

These grants will go to various LGBT friendly non-profits in Southeast Wisconsin. Grants support HIV care, programming for LGBT youth and older adults, as well as the arts and community events.

“The beautiful thing about the Cream City Foundation is that we are able to bring together nonprofit organizations and donors who have the same goals of improving the lived experiences of LGBT people in Southeast Wisconsin,” said Pete Holbrook, President and CEO of the Foundation. “We’re thrilled to be able to support so many worthy programs through this latest round of grants.”

See here for more info.


Save the Dates!

The Cream City Foundation is looking forward to seeing you at our two signature events this year! We know your calendar fills up fast, so we wanted to get you dates for My Best Friend is Straight and the Business Equality Luncheon as soon as possible!

My Best Friend is Straight

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

5:30 PM

Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

929 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202

Bring your friends for an evening of networking, fun, food and drink! Learn first hand about the impact the Cream City Foundation is having on the lived experience of LGBT people in Southeastern Wisconsin. 

Annual Business Equality Luncheon

Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015

11:15 AM – 1:30 PM 

Keynote speaker: Brian King, Global Brand Officer Marriott International

Location To Be Announced Soon! 

Invite your friends to lunch to celebrate and promote LGBT inclusive workplaces essential to growing the talent pipeline to Southeastern Wisconsin. 

Thank you to BMO Harris Bank! Your support makes both of these events possible!

BMO Harris Bank


From Peter J. Holbrook, Ph.D., Cream City Foundation President and CEO


Pete Holbrook introduces Michael Johnston, who recently established the Valentine Fund of the Cream City Foundation.

Dear Friends: A warm thanks to all of you who joined us last week. We were thrilled with the turn out  – close to 230 people attended the event. It was an honor to celebrate this new chapter of the Cream City Foundation with you. For those of you who missed it, here are a few highlights of what we announced:

  • The Fair Wisconsin Educational Fund received funding of $7,000 including a $5,000 grant from The Birch Lodge Fund, through the generous support of Dr. Robert Starshak and Ross Draegert.
  • Fair Wisconsin and Diverse and Resilient received a joint grant of $5,000 to help underwrite the Wisconsin LGBT Leadership Conference.
  • Diverse and Resilient was also the recipient of a $5,000 sponsorship grant to support the Reviving the Dream Celebration.
  • The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin will be a recipient of a $7,500 challenge grant to help raise the bar for area Employee Resource Groups to generate more pledges in support of AIDS Walk Wisconsin.
  • To sustain the needs and well being of older LGBT adults, The Milwaukee LGBT Community Center will receive a grant of $7,500 to help underwrite their research and needs assessment.
  • The Valentine Fund, a donor advised fund established by Michael Johnston, has provided a grant of $3,000 to the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin to establish an Art Therapy Program.
  • A number of donors over the years have started a donor advised fund, including the Birch Lodge Fund by donors Dr. Robert Starshak and Ross Draegert, the Will Radler Fund, the James Schleif & William Morley Fund and The Valentine Fund, by Michael Johnston as well as a newly established fund by Board Chair Paul Milakovich.

Board Chair Paul Milakovich speaks at the Welcome Reception for new President and CEO Pete Holbrook.

If you’re interested in starting your own donor advised fund, please contact me. I welcome the opportunity to learn about your interests and talk about how together we can help the well-being and vitality of the LGBT community.

We’ve posted photos from the event here, along with a copy of my remarks from the Welcome Reception. I look forward to working with you to advance the mission and vision of the Cream City Foundation.

All my best,

Peter J. Holbrook, Ph.D.
President and CEO



Peter J. Holbrook Named President and CEO of Cream City Foundation

Cream City Foundation is pleased to announce today Peter J. Holbrook, PhD as its new President and CEO.

Holbrook most recently served as Dean of the College of Business and Management at Cardinal Stritch University. During his tenure at Stritch, he served in a number of key leadership roles that positively impacted the fundraising, enrollment and programmatic initiatives of the university, including holding the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of the Leadership Center.

“We are thrilled to welcome someone of Peter’s caliber to the Cream City Foundation,” said Board of Directors Chair Paul Milakovich. “Peter has a track record for growing organizations through strong relationships, unique partnerships, proactive fundraising and innovative ideas. He is undoubtedly the ideal fit for us considering his leadership experience and commitment to serving and supporting the LGBT community.”

Holbrook says he is determined to advocate, educate, and build positive relationships to foster a world of access and opportunity.

“One of my goals as President and CEO is to educate donors as well as the greater Milwaukee community on the compelling work the Foundation does to positively impact LGBT people in Southeast Wisconsin,” said Holbrook. “I’m looking forward to engaging with others to generate needed philanthropic resources to fund strategic initiatives that strengthen our community.”

While at Stritch, Holbrook actively engaged alumni and friends of the university in raising funds to support faculty development and innovative programing in the College of Business and Management.

Holbrook has led and facilitated strategic planning sessions for local organizations and is a member of numerous professional organizations. Over the course of the last 30 years while living in the Milwaukee area, he has volunteered with several local and national nonprofits, including serving on the Board of Directors for Diverse and Resilient in Milwaukee, the Development Committee of the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW), Milwaukee Public Television Vision 2057 Task Force and volunteering with the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse. Holbrook holds a PhD in leadership studies from Cardinal Stritch University and lives in Milwaukee with his partner, Tom Hoffman. Holbrook will begin January 20 but said he’ll be actively reaching out to community stakeholders immediately.


The Giving Society

The Cream City Foundation wants YOU to get involved!

If you’d like to have a positive impact on the LGBT community in Southeastern Wisconsin, and want to have a say in the programming your own contributions support, The Giving Society is for you.

Perfect for first-time donors, The Giving Society is a community of like-minded individuals, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and community leaders who make a monthly contribution to the Cream City Foundation. Once a year, you’ll have the opportunity to help select which nonprofits the society will support.

For example, The Giving Society’s donation last year helped close out the outstanding mortgage for the Southeastern WI LGBT Center in Kenosha.

A little goes a long way.  To make sure your voice is heard, consider joining The Giving Society! At whatever level you choose to give – as low as $10 or $25 a month – know that your contribution will add up to a much appreciated annual gift.

Joining The Giving Society easy.  Simply send us an email or call us at (414) 225-0244. We’d love to hear from you!