2024 Rotary Person of the Year:
Michael Gosman, President & Executive Director of Acts Housing
The Rotary Club of Milwaukee has no higher honor than the Rotary Person of the Year Award.  Annually, the 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 and recognizes individuals, executives and entrepreneurs who, through their profession, are making the Milwaukee community a better place to live and work. Members of our club are eligible for the award, but, most often, the winner comes from outside the club. We are proud to announce this year's winner, Michael Gosman, of Acts Housing. 
Although he started his career with Whyte Hirschboeck as a staff attorney, Michael Gosman’s passion for improving our community drew him to Acts Housing, an organization he has led for nearly a decade.
Since 1995, Acts has helped over 3,200 Milwaukee families into homeownership. Under Mike's leadership the organization has grown from seven employees in 2012 to over forty employees in 2023; and from $670,000 in revenue in 2012 to nearly $9,000,000 in combined revenue in 2023.

Recognizing that access to conventional financing for some families was limited, Mike established Acts Lending to fill an unmet need, a division which provides loans to families with barriers to homeownership. Today, Acts Lending has a $7MM portfolio of nearly 150 performing loans and nearly zero charge-offs.

In 2023, Acts families were unable to compete with predatory out of state financial buyers, so Mike helped establish Acts Homes, again meeting a market need. Acts Homes serves to interrupt the predatory practices of out-of-state investors who convert single-family homes to rentals. With philanthropic funds, Acts Homes buys portfolios of rental homes from investors and makes them available for owner-occupied homeowners. This novel concept attracted national media coverage in 2022 from Soledad O'Brien, the Wall Street Journal, and others. In its first year of operation, Acts Homes has made 35 homes available for purchase by families in Milwaukee. In 2024 it plans to acquire at least 60 more rental homes to be available for families.

Homeownership cannot be overstated as a means to building generational wealth. Building equity in a home can create financial stability and opportunities for better education and healthcare that will strengthen future generations. For much of this nation’s history, minorities were shut out of homeownership

which contributed to higher poverty rates among minority groups. In its early years, Acts primarily supported the Southeast Asian and Latino communities. However, recognizing the needs of the Black community, in 2018 Mike made a conscience effort to pivot the focus of Acts to traditionally black and underserved neighborhoods of Milwaukee. Those efforts resulted in measurable increases in black homeownership rates in the City of Milwaukee.

Mike’s inventive ideas, products and services have resulted in stronger families, neighborhoods and communities in Milwaukee, and for these contributions, he is our 2024 Rotary Person of the Year.