Rotary Person of the Year

Past recipients


The Rotary Club of Milwaukee has no higher honor than the Rotary Person of the Year Award.  Annually, our club honors an accomplished local individual who has distinguished herself or himself with professional accomplishments.


Unlike other awards that recognize civic and philanthropic achievements, the Rotary Person of the Year honors leaders who build, employ, and have an economic impact in our region.  Members of our club are eligible for the award, but, most often, the winner comes from outside the club.


Last year we celebrated Paula Kiely, Director of the Milwaukee Public Library.


It is important to note, the most important step in the process of selecting the Rotary Person of the Year is in your hands.  The secret to a successful Rotary Person of the Year selection is the nomination submissions from RCM members.  Rob Henken was nominated by Rotarian Jim Barry. Past winners Michael Barber was nominated by Rotarian John Ridley, and Sr. Edna Lonergan was nominated by Rotarian Doug MacNeil.


A committee of your fellow Rotarians reviews the nominations.  It’s a straight forward process in which the nominees’ attributes are scrutinized and compared.  The impressive list is narrowed, and one award winner is selected.


As such, past Rotary Person of the Year Award recipients include individuals who:


  • through their profession have made the community a better place to live and work.
  • and have shown outstanding leadership in the advancement of ideas, products or services.


The Rotary Person of the Year Committee requests that nominators follow these guidelines:


  • Describe why you think the individual you’re nominating meets our criteria and should receive the award.
  • Nominations should be one page or less in length and must be submitted electronically as a Word document.
  • Submit a one page attachment if necessary to highlight or note any special attributes beyond what you have written in your nomination.
  • Send your nomination and attachment to:
  • Our 2021 recipient will be announced in the late spring.
  • We will present the award at a May or June Rotary meeting.


The deadline for submitting nominations is Thursday, January 14th, 2021.