Mission Fuel applies a business accelerator model to assist nonprofit leadership teams with developing and implementing strategies to diversify revenue streams, become more entrepreneurial, and ultimately realize a more stable and self-sustainable future. Through this initiative, Mission Fuel will support the skill development of nonprofit leaders to address a variety of complex challenges in an economically sustainable and holistic manner. See what our alumni are saying about Mission Fuel.


Cost: $7,000 per person • Limited scholarships available!*

Location: Cardinal Stritch University | 6801 N. Yates Road | Milwaukee, WI 53217


  • Education and training focused on entrepreneurship, innovation, and business development
  • Consulting and Technical Support
  • Entrepreneur mentors
  • Leadership coaching

  • Adult Learning Seminars
  • Opportunity for prior learning assessment and matriculation into Stritch degree programs 
  • Student Interns


Mission Fuel is an intensive program utilizing the best practices of business accelerator models. The goal is to provide exceptional training and professional development for nonprofit leaders so that they in turn can effectively diversity their revenue streams, and sustain and grow the organizations they lead. The components of the program include the following:

  • Three (3) 5-week experiential learning courses about social entrepreneurism, innovation, business development and design. The courses take place on Monday evenings from 6-9 p.m. on the Cardinal Stritch University main campus in Milwaukee and in locations throughout Milwaukee. There is also online instruction and interactions each week, as well as additional applied learning assignments. 
  • Technical and consulting support is provided as needed for each participating organization.
  • It’s expected that each nonprofit will have 2-3 organizational leaders participating. Additionally, each organizational team receives mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs or business leaders.
  • Individual leadership coaching from a master coach.
  • Adult learning seminars will be offered throughout the program to complement the holistic accelerator experience.

A strong commitment to attending all classes and participating fully in all aspects of the accelerator model is critical to yielding the full impact and benefit of Mission Fuel.

You will be notified when you’re application has been received, and the Mission Fuel team will schedule your program interview.
Please note that Mission Fuel has a limited number of scholarships available. Participants are encouraged to seek organizational support and sponsorships to supplement their own personal investment in the program.

Mission Fuel is open to all nonprofit leaders, including professional staff and board members.

Mission Fuel is supported by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority.  Applications are encouraged from nonprofit leaders whose organizations are located in the Transform Milwaukee area (see for more information). 

What Mission Fuel Alumni Say About Their Mission Fuel Experiences

Meet Cohort 1 Participants

Brandon Methu
Board Member
Community First

Cacy Kemp
Associate Director
Safe & Sound

Chantawn Jackson
Journey House

Clarence Johnson
Executive Director
​Wisconsin Community Services

Gabrielle Rabon
Board Member
African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin

Ger Thao
Project Manager
Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce

Ginger Duiven
Executive Director
Literacy Services of Wisconsin

Holly McCoy
Senior Director of Programs
Literacy Services of Wisconsin

Jim Bartos
Project Manager, Community Building Milwaukee
Wisconsin Community Services

Kimberly Miller
Project Specialist, Community Building Milwaukee
Wisconsin Community Services

May yer Thao
Executive Director
Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce

Ossie Kendrix
President & CEO
African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin

Vanessa Vasquez
College and Career Readiness Coordinator
Carmen Schools of Science & Technology

William Coleman
Program Manager
Safe & Sound

Rafael Garcia
Executive Director
Community First

Kevin Turner
Special Assistant to the CEO
Journey House

Brenda Barton
Board Member
Community First

Reona Vang
Board Member
Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce

Lamont Davis
Program Director
Community First

Cherise Myers
Director of Community Partnerships
Journey House

Bevin Christie
Director-Student Internship Program & Career Readiness
Carmen Schools of Science & Technology


Meet The Mission Fuel Team-Advisory Board and Staff

Mark Gesner, Ph.D
Executive Director
The Stritch Hub for Innovation and Community Engaged Learning
Cardinal Stritch University

Mikal Wesley
Mission Fuel Program Coordinator
Cardinal Stritch University

Advisory Board Members

Joaquin Altoro, Vice President for Business Banking, Town Bank
Jamie Elder, Director, Strategic Partnerships, Stand Together
Roxie Hentz, Ph.D., Founder Executive Director, CEOs of Tomorrow
Michael Hostad, Executive Director, Innovation in Milwaukee, Greater Milwaukee Council
Tina Koehn, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer, UMOS, Inc.
Tonya Mantilla, Vice President, University Advancement, Cardinal Stritch University (Board Chair)
Gene Manzanet, Vice President Community Lending Sales Manager (Milwaukee-Madison), US Bank
Holly McCoy, Executive Director, Literacy Services of Wisconsin
Sarah McGraw Greenberg, Regional Director, Forward Community Investments
Jeanette Mitchell, Ed.D., CEO, Leadership by Dr. Jeanette
Tony Shields, President & CEO, Wisconsin Philanthropy Network
Matt Wagner, Ph.D., Vice President of Revitalization Programs, National Main Street Programs