October 2, 2015


Hot off the presses!  Harvard Business School released a report this week focusing on communities across the nation that have implemented the Collective Impact approach and have seen meaningful improvement in educational outcomes. Guess who’s on page 10? Milwaukee Succeeds!

According to the report Business Aligning for Students: The Promise of Collective Impact (click to download the .pdf), there's a clear and positive impact when everybody in the community, including the business community gets together and aligns themselves around the common goal. That's really what Milwaukee Succeeds is all about: alignment.

We are doing this!

Listen to Allen S. Grossman, Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School and author of the new report:

“Despite the sustained commitment of business leaders, they are often frustrated by the slow pace of education improvement in their communities. We found that if businesses join forces with others through Collective Impact – they can align and coordinate their efforts and together make more meaningful progress in improving students’ performance. We encourage business leaders, who collaborate and rely on data to run their businesses, to take a similar approach to supporting public education. Collective Impact has the potential to be a game changer in American education.”

Slow and steady and with strong support from our business community, Milwaukee Succeeds is changing the game , as our 2015 Milestone Report shows.  (Do you still need extra print copies of our Executive Summary to share with colleagues? Contact Kia Towns.

The report is fascinating reading, and confirms that this is difficult work in many cities throughout the country.  But we know the cost of doing nothing in Milwaukee, and I am so grateful that hundreds of individuals and organizations in our community are still at the table, working toward a set of common goals that will improve the lives of our kids – no matter what school they attend.

Here is a nice article in Forbes Magazine on the study, highlighting “A new study by Harvard academics shows how business helps itself by helping disadvantaged students.”

More good news…

Please join me in welcoming Dave Celata as our new Deputy Director of Milwaukee Succeeds. He will:

Provide strategic guidance and action plans that result in “moving the needle” on measurable goals through citywide systemic change and collective impact.

  • Dave CelataCollaborate with Goal Managers to set timelines, milestones and checkpoints that ensure timely implementation of network activities and achievement of outcomes.
  • Utilize planning tools and data systems (e.g. logic models, implementation measures) to track and report on action plan implementation.
  • Coordinate and assign Network Coaches in the training and support of Goal Managers to effectively utilize the continuous improvement process within each Network.
  • Facilitate communications and “communities of practice” among Goal Managers, Milwaukee Succeeds staff and Goal Sponsors to promote Network coordination, problem solving, data based decision making and knowledge development in emerging practice areas.

For the past three years Dave has been the Social Responsibility Program Manager at the American Society for Quality (ASQ), creating a series of social responsibility integration guides that provided professionals with step-by-step guidance for using quality methodologies for integrating social responsibility into their business strategy. He is an expert at identifying and communicating methodologies that enhance social responsibility practices and increase their impact, including case studies, original research, trainings, and professional publications.

Prior to his work at ASQ, Dave spent four years at the Social Development Commission as their Policy & Research Manager. Dave holds a Masters in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a BA from the George Washington University in Washington, DC.

For fun, we asked him to answer a few questions about himself!

Best advice you’ve received? "It is hard" isn't a reason to quit, it means you need to work harder -- high school football coach.

Favorite teacher and why? Mr. J in fifth grade; he was my first male teacher, which made a huge difference for the son of a single mom.

What is the one thing that should be taught in school that isn’t already? Leadership. Too many children grow up falsely believing that they can't make a difference in this world. If we simply gave *every* child the opportunity to lead, we would be awed by what they could do.

If you could have lunch with a famous person, who would it be? Elon Musk.

Greatest career lesson learned? Two lessons: take calculated risks and never turn down an opportunity to grow.

What is your favorite book? Walden.

Beatles or Rolling Stones? Do I really have to choose?

Beyoncé or Taylor Swift? Definitely not in my wheelhouse.

Favorite memory? My wedding day and the night my son was born.

Morning routine? I'm an early bird and try to commute on my bike for as much as possible...outside of winter...can't be that guy.

Thank you Dave! And thank you everyone for your continued help.


Danae Davis  |  Executive Director
Milwaukee Succeeds
101 W. Pleasant St., Suite 210, Milwaukee, WI 53212
Direct: 414.336.7057


If someone forwarded you this “Hey it’s Danae” message and you would like to receive it directly, please send your email address to Kia Towns. Thanks!


Milwaukee Succeeds is a broad-based, communitywide collaboration that aims to improve educational outcomes for every child in Milwaukee, in every school, cradle to career.
Copyright © 2015 Milwaukee Succeeds, All rights reserved.

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