Paul Schmitz is the CEO of Public Allies, which has advanced the leadership of over 5,000 diverse young adults to strengthen communities, nonprofits, and civic participation across the country. He is also the he author of "Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up." Paul writes and speaks frequently on leadership, diversity, civic participation, social innovation, collective impact, and community building. He is a faculty member of the Asset Based Community Development Institute, and serves on the boards of Independent Sector, The United Way of Greater Milwaukee, and Voices For National Service. As a private volunteer, Paul co-chaired the 2008 Obama presidential campaign’s civic engagement policy group, was a member of the Obama-Biden Transition Team, and was appointed by President Barack Obama to the White House Council on Community Solutions. Paul is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a recipient of their Graduate of the Last Decade alumni award. He was selected by The Rockefeller Foundation as a Next Generation Leadership Fellow, has been recognized by The Nonprofit Times as one of the 50 most influential nonprofit leaders in the country, and is a recipient of Fast Company magazine’s Social Capitalist Award for innovation. He lives in Milwaukee with his partner and five children.
Cris to Public Allies brings more than 20 years experience of executive leadership in the nonprofit, public and private sectors. Cris is a reformer who led state regulatory departments in Texas and Wisconsin, and served as COO of a regional nonprofit overseeing an $11 million budget and 400 employees working to improve foster care services in two states. She was a partner in a venture that invented “electronic benefit transfer cards” for distributing government benefits such as food stamps, a change that prevented fraud and enhanced the dignity of users. After the business was sold, Cris joined UPC Health Network, where she directed an $80 million business employing 350 workers in Wisconsin and Illinois. She started a respiratory therapy operation in Illinois that became the most profitable in its company. Cris was an advisory board member of Scholastic, Inc.; has served as a vice chair of Wisconsin Aids Resource Center of Wisconsin, was an advisory board member of Public Allies Milwaukee, and has held several other volunteer roles. A cum laude graduate of the Philippine Normal College in Manila, Cris has a master's in Educational Psychology from the University of Hawaii.
David served as an Ally in 1996-1997 at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, and then led youth programs at the Mid-Town Neighborhood Association. In 1998, he joined Public Allies Milwaukee as a neighborhood organizer for the Milwaukee Youth Initiative, a project launched by Public Allies and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation to empower youth leadership at the neighborhood level. From 1999 to 2002, David served as a Program Manager at Public Allies Milwaukee, supporting Allies and leading local evaluation efforts. In August 2002, he joined the national office as Continuous Learning Officer, providing coaching, technical assistance and monitoring for our local programs. He was promoted to Vice President of the Leadership Network in October 2005. David currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Tikkun Ha’ir, a Jewish social justice organization, and is on the advisory board of the Beyond Racism Project with the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.
A community needs Public Allies because people need to be connected to one another in meaningful ways."
-Michelle Dobbs, Vice-President, Leadership Practice