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Marquette, WARF announce 2018 ‘Force for Positive Change’ winners

Person in a field holding a wooden box containing vegetables such as beans, potatoes, red peppers, onions, etc.

Jacqui Fuller
Strategic Communications and Marketing Manager
[email protected]

Winners announced live at event on March 22

MILWAUKEE — Marquette University and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation have announced the winners of the 2018 Force for Positive Change awards. This year’s awards were the second time this statewide competition recognized social entrepreneurship as a model for solving social or environmental challenges in a way that is sustainable, just and that generates impactful change in Wisconsin. A total of $126,000 in prize money was awarded to 11 organizations.

“We were thrilled to be able to recognize so many high impact organizations, both for-profit and nonprofit, from all corners of Wisconsin,” said Kelsey Otero, associate director of social innovation at Marquette and co-producer of the event.

This year’s winners of $12,500 cash prizes were:

From Appleton: SOAR Fox Cities, Inc
From Hudson: Little Free Library
From Madison: Harambee Village Pregnancy, Childbirth and Breastfeeding Care, Williamson St. Coop
From Mayville: The Open Door Coffeehouse
From Milwaukee: ACTS Housing, STEMhero LLC and WasteCap Resource Solutions
From Neenah: Apricity
From Viroqua: Kickapoo Coffee Roasters

In addition, a student-run company, the Local Food Experiment from De Pere, won a $1,000 cash prize.

The winners were selected from more than 150 initial applications that were then narrowed to 32 finalists by an expert panel of judges from industry, academia and the nonprofit sector.

“While the winners come from very different fields and span the gamut from small entities run by a few passionate individuals to established organizations that have been operating for decades, they all share a commitment to balancing financial sustainability with a focus on social impact,” said Laura Heisler, director of programming at WARF and co-producer of this year’s event. “We could not have been more impressed with the caliber of this year’s applicants.”

Award winners were announced at the end of the Force for Positive Change event on March 22, hosted at Marquette University. The event featured speakers from American Family Insurance, Incourage Community Foundation, nationally recognized Ashoka Fellows, and a discussion with philanthropists John and Tashia Morgridge.

Marquette University and WARF spearheaded the competition, in conjunction with John and Tashia Morgridge, American Family Insurance, Ashoka, The Commons, the Morgridge Institute for Research, Promega Corporation, StartingBlock Madison, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business, Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council, Wisconsin Technology Council and Wisconsin Campus Compact.

For more information visit warf.org/PositiveChange.

Contact Heisler at (608) 316-4392 or Otero at (414) 288-4990 with questions.

The Force for Positive Change Award Competition is sponsored by Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and Marquette University. Entries were accepted from November 1, 2017, through January 19, 2018. Entries were be judged by a panel of judges selected by the sponsors. The odds of winning depend on the number and quality of entries received. No purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited. For full official rules visit warf.org/PositiveChange.

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