Contact: Leana Nakielski
Leana Nakielski is the development director of the Greater Milwaukee Committee. She works closely with the GMC president, team, members and community partners to identify and attract valuable resources in support of the GMC’s initiatives that advance economic prosperity, talent and innovation, and creative placemaking. The goal is to make Milwaukee the best place to live, learn, work, play and stay. Leana also directs the organization of the monthly membership meetings, membership engagement, and staffs the GMC Membership Nominating Committee.
Prior to joining the GMC, Leana served as the director of operations at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and previously as the director of community resources at Highland Community School, a parent-directed Montessori public school on Milwaukee’s inner city westside, where her three children attend. Before launching the development program at Highland over three years, Leana worked for the urban agricultural non-profit Growing Power for nearly a decade (2003-2013) in various roles, from intern to Latino Community Liaison to Development Manager from 2008-2013. Leana is passionate about equitable and inclusive community development as it relates to the environment, food system, and economics, including aspects such as labor, energy consumption, health, and education. She is a proud double badger with a B.S. in International Agriculture and Natural Resources (Agriculture & Applied Economics emphasis) and executive MBA from the UW-Madison. Her education and work has provided Leana with a diverse and solid foundation of knowledge and experience in community development, including sustainable food systems development, personal and public health, education, workforce development, and business development.
Leana serves on the board of directors for the Urban Ecology Center, the Southeastern WI Watersheds Trust (Sweet Water), and Highland Community School. She is a member of the Community Action Council, Institute for Urban Agriculture & Nutrition, the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee and a mentor in the UW-Milwaukee Institute for Urban Education. Leana formerly served on the board of directors for the Center for Resilient Cities, the steering committee of the Milwaukee Food Council, and the Rotary Club Amigos de Milwaukee. She was born in Milwaukee and continues to live in the city with her family.