Twice monthly we profile a member of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee. Although every RCM member is an achiever and contributes much to the fabric of our local and global community, our PEOPLE OF ACTION stories provide an in depth look at how some members are making a difference.

February 2024

Ayrton Bryan works from Milwaukee, but serves a larger region remotely. It’s another stop on his path to his personal goal of becoming a corporate chief sustainability officer.  



January 2024

Carol Alexander Barnes is a woman of rare gifts. Although she joined Rotary less than a year ago, the ease with which she greets her fellow members any given Tuesday, always by name and with her signature warm smile, projects the poise and confidence of a longtime member.




December 2023

Dan Meyer
“Marketer” is how Dan Meyer described himself in a Rotary interview.  But drill down on his professional and personal lives and you find wide and deep involvement in Milwaukee – especially education. 


Sr. Kathleen O'Brien
Think of a job that offers a lifetime of world travel, incredible experiences and meaningful engagement and “nun” probably won’t make your list. But if you knew Sister Kathleen O’Brien, it would.



November 2023

Karen Plunkett is energized by her passions: appreciation of art and great design (which means travel) nurturing family and friendships around the world (also means travel) and having fun (again, travel). She is also passionate about making a difference in the world.

October 2023

Jim Barry, a tireless force for good in Milwaukee, has served in distinguished roles with community and philanthropic organizations including the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, and the American Red Cross of Southeast Wisconsin, to name a few. 


With his parents’ steadfast support, inspired by their work ethic and driven by an innate sense of wanting to make a difference in the world, Jason’s civic engagement and altruism began at an early age, volunteering in his community and dipping his toes into politics... Notably, at 17, he became the youngest person ever elected to the Democratic National Committee (DNC).



September 2023

Dan Buttery

“Honor the dead. Serve the living” is the War Memorial Center’s motto.  It’s a succinct, powerful phrase that occupies every waking moment of Dan Buttery‘s life, and perhaps when he sleeps as well.




August 2023

Leslie Hauser

As the club’s new President, Leslie Hauser is fine with being in charge. But she’d much prefer to keep her head down, roll up her sleeves and just get things done.



July 2023

Elizabeth Draper

Marketers at Visit Milwaukee need look no further than Elizabeth Evans Draper as someone who connects the Fresh Coast and the creative class to live a good life here.




June 2023

Frank Cumberbatch

Frank Cumberbatch‘s own determination and discipline lifted him from a life of poverty in Trinidad to an existence in the U.S. he could only dream about as a profoundly shy, severely asthmatic boy.


John Ferguson

John Ferguson has a deep personal commitment to Milwaukee and just a quick drive around the city shows where his professional passion lies.



May 2023

Tim Hunter

When he’s not turning ordinary household gadgets into load transducers, Tim Hunter is deeply committed to Rotary. He serves on the Johnson Park Committee, the World Community Service Committee, the Scholarship Committee and is a mentee. He participated in the most recent trip to Guatemala and volunteers at nearly every Done-in-a-Day outreach.

April 2023

Alex Zamora

Principles instilled in Alex Zamora as a child have led him on a pathway to professional and personal success and service to his community.




Jodi Ristau

“What I enjoy most about my job is the people—the people that I work with as well as my clients. Helping clients meet their goals along their life’s journey requires a close connection that is so special. Professional accomplishments without the people component just don’t have meaning to me.”



March 2023
Jon Rauser

Jon Rauser is a third generation Rotarian celebrating 50 years as Rotary Club of Milwaukee member. He has led a long and prestigious career in the U.S. Healthcare industry and still looks to leave a lasting impact on his clients today.



February 2023

As one of our newest and youngest members, Antoine Carter‘s thoughts are about Rotary’s future — a future he wants to help shape.  At each meeting he sees tables filled Rotary “giants” whose wisdom, purpose, and deeds he appreciates.  But his deep thoughts are how his generation can stand on their shoulders to be effective in a much different city.

Joanne Grunau

As a young real estate professional in Michigan, Joanne Grunau picked up kernels of wisdom from an older colleague named Barb Lewis. Joanne has long since moved on from the U.P. and real estate, but she carried Barb’s sage advice with her. “(She) taught me the value of working with others whose viewpoints and experiences might not match my own.”

January 2023

Maggey Oplinger

The challenge of building an opera during a pandemic was terrifying, according to General Director and CEO of Florentine Opera Company Maggey Oplinger, but she was in her element. After all, what she loves most about her job is overseeing all the moving parts of an opera company—the people, elements and logistics that go into creating something profoundly beautiful.

Rob Henken

2019 Rotary Person of the Year and President of the Wisconsin Policy Forum, Rob Henken, one of our most popular returning speakers, is very proud of the work the Forum does to bring people together to discuss policy issues with mutual respect. He is also thrilled that his two sons are following their dad’s passions:  baseball and policy.