United Performing Arts Fund Names 2017 Campaign Co-Chairs

MILWAUKEE, Sept. 14, 2016 – The United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) has tapped three respected community and business leaders to co-chair UPAF’s 50th Anniversary Campaign next year. This trio consists of Betsy Brenner, former publisher of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Linda Gorens-Levey, a partner with General Capital Group and Alex Kramer, market leader for the Private Client Reserve of U.S Bank. All three Co-Chairs have a long history of community service, and have previously demonstrated their enthusiasm for UPAF and its mission. Kramer serves on UPAF’s Board, and both Brenner and Gorens-Levey have served as Cabinet members.


“We’re so excited that Betsy, Linda and Alex will be joining us to celebrate our milestone year and raise the vital dollars needed to grow and sustain our world-class performing arts scene in the Milwaukee area,” said Deanna Tillisch, president and CEO of UPAF.  “Our annual campaign is always a celebration of the performing arts, but it’s also an opportunity to elevate awareness of the arts and its ability to entertain, educate and bring our community together.”

The 2017 UPAF Campaign dates will be March 1 through June 14, 2017. The 2016 UPAF Campaign raised a record-breaking $12.1 for 15 Member Groups.

About the Co-Chairs

Elizabeth (Betsy) Brenner spent her career in journalism. She was publisher of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from January 2005 until her retirement in June 2016. Prior to coming to Milwaukee, Betsy was president and publisher of The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., and The SUN in Bremerton, Wash. She serves on the boards of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; The Medical College of Wisconsin; the Boys & Girls Club and is a member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee. Betsy was the 2012 President of ‘ABCD’- After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, a Milwaukee-area resource for cancer patients and their families.  Since 2006, she has co-chaired the United Way Teen Pregnancy Prevention Oversight Committee, and served as a co-chair of the 2009 United Way of Greater Milwaukee Community Campaign. She represented Midwestern newspapers on the board of the Associated Press in New York and the Newspaper Association of America through June 2016.

Linda Gorens-Levey joined General Capital Group, a real estate development company headquartered in Milwaukee, as a Partner in March of 2015.  Prior to General Capital, Linda was a Managing Director at Stark Investments, a global multi-billion dollar alternative investment firm.  Before joining Stark Investments, Ms. Gorens-Levey was an Associate Director of Investments in the Securities Department at Northwestern Mutual.  In April 2016, Linda was elected to the Board of Ixonia Bank. Ms. Gorens-Levey serves on the Board, Audit and Executive Committees of the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County where she chairs the Community Impact Committee.  She is also a long-standing Co-Chair of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s Annual Economic Forum.  In addition, Linda is a member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, where she is a member of the Finance Committee and a Co-Chair of the MKE United – Greater Downtown Action Agenda.  Ms. Gorens-Levey was one of the 2010-2011 Co-Chairs of the Women’s Leadership Council for United Way, and was named as a Woman of Influence in 2010 by the Milwaukee Business Journal.  She was a 2012 recipient of the Sacajawea Award from Professional Dimensions and was a recipient of the 2015 Tempo Mentor Award.  Linda has served on the Campaign Cabinet of the United Performing Arts Fund since 2011.

Alex Kramer is the Market Leader for The Private Client Reserve in Milwaukee at U.S. Bank. He previously held a variety of senior leadership positions in the financial services industry, including Senior Vice President and Sales Manager at Johnson Bank Wealth Management, Vice President at Credit Suisse Private Banking USA and as a Managing Director at BMO Harris Private Bank in Chicago. Kramer is active in the community as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Milwaukee Art Museum, and on the Board of Directors for First Stage and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He also serves as a Trustee for the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and as an ex-officio board member of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF).

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 2016 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.



United Performing Arts Fund

301 W. Wisconsin Ave., Suite 600, Milwaukee, WI  53203

Phone 414-273-UPAF (8723) Fax 414-273-0826


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