I have exciting news to share from the Basic Needs Giving Partnership – we’ve welcomed in our inaugural Board of Directors, released our grant guidelines, and the Board and I are thrilled to welcome our newest staff member to the team, Director of Grantmaking, Stephanie Gyldenvand!

In this position, Stephanie will play a critical role for the Partnership, serving as the primary grantmaking strategist and a key relationship builder and connector across our 10-county region.

Stephanie brings a unique combination of skills, experiences, and perspectives that make her an exceptional fit for the role. Stephanie, who has called Oshkosh her home for over 25 years, is driven by deep commitments to strengthening community and advancing equity through trust, relationship, collaboration, and action. Throughout her career, she has worked to center the lives of people most impacted to have voice and power in the decisions that affect their lives.

Prior to accepting this role, Stephanie served as a public health strategist, working to advance health equity and racial justice at the Winnebago County Health Department. During her tenure, she also established and supported grantmaking processes to leverage state and federal funding to build capacity for area nonprofit organizations.

Stephanie’s career also includes eight years of nonprofit experience as both an executive director and community organizer serving Oshkosh, Fox Valley, and Green Bay. She brings 15 years of local and state policy experience focused on addressing social and structural determinants that drive inequities in the areas of housing, transportation, mental health, substance use, mass incarceration, and social connection/belonging. At home, she enjoys walking her golden retriever through local parks, joining in the Slow Roll community bike rides with friends, and supporting the Oshkosh Food Co-op that she worked with many amazing community leaders to build. Stephanie has a master’s degree in Public Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Human Services Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

In anticipation of Stephanie’s leadership role, Dawn Ruchala, Board Co-Chair and Manager of the U.S. Venture Open, shared “U.S. Venture along with many dedicated partners have grown the impact of the Basic Needs Giving Partnership over its history. We are thrilled to have Stephanie join the team. She is deeply embedded in the community and brings a well-rounded, diverse experience and network in many of the areas we invest in. She will help advance our work even further in the years ahead.”

Please join us in welcoming Stephanie to the team! You can contact her directly at [email protected] and interact with her first hand at our upcoming virtual information session on April 28, where we’ll be sharing more details about the upcoming grant process. Please RVSP here.

After working with a group of community volunteers last fall via our Board Recruitment Advisory Group, collectively we identified a slate of potential board members with the skills and mindsets that could advance and support the Basic Needs Giving Partnership’s reimagined vision and mission. The Board Recruitment Advisory Group built off of the great work our Transition Team provided in 2022 to guide the evolution and formation of the Basic Needs Giving Partnership as an independent organization. Our founding board members will provide governance, oversight, and strategic direction as we build upon our historical legacy.

We are proud of the Board that’s been built and their commitment to and passion for the community. These individuals represent various neighborhoods, towns, and cities across Northeast Wisconsin and bring expertise in a wide breadth of issues relevant to our work. They represent corporate partners, philanthropy, nonprofits, direct service providers, and the public sector. Most importantly, they bring varied personal and professional experiences and perspectives that will inform our work and bolster our impact.

  • Amanda Chu, Co-Chair – Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, SLO Farmers Co-op, NEW Food Forum | Brown County
  • Dawn Ruchala, Co-Chair – U.S. Venture | Fox Cities
  • Jenni Eickelberg, Secretary – Thrivent | Fox Cities
  • Keith Doxtator, Treasurer – Oneida Nation | Oneida
  • Kathy Constantin – Brown County Health and Human Services | Green Bay
  • Marycarmen Fabian – Reach Counseling | Fox Cities, Omro, and Oshkosh
  • Kristen Gondek – People of Progression | Outagamie and Winnebago Counties
  • Lisa Kogan-Praska – Boys & Girls Club of the Bays & Lake Region | Green Bay, Shawano, and Door County
  • Angie Lee – EDEN | Oshkosh
  • Teal VanLanen  – Kinect M1 | Greater Green Bay

I’m thrilled to be working more closely with a stellar group of individuals – board and staff – to deliver on our vision of creating thriving, equitable communities across Northeast Wisconsin. I hope you’ll join us on that journey!

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