Spirit of St. Francis Service Award: Alumni Service



John Kordsmeier recently retired from Northwestern Mutual after more than 36 years of service with the company and in the community. His most recent role was vice president of strategic philanthropy and community relations, a position he held since November 2011. In this role he also served as the president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. The department supports Northwestern Mutual’s ongoing focus on developing and implementing giving and volunteerism strategies that create community impact and underscore the company’s commitment to its employees and the field. During Kordsmeier’s tenure, the Foundation launched the company’s first national signature program, joining in the fight against childhood cancer.



Kordsmeier joined the Northwestern Mutual in 1980 as an underwriter in the new business department and served in various roles prior to being named vice president of underwriting standards in 2003. He became an executive officer in 2004 and served in a number of leadership roles.



In the community, Kordsmeier serves as a member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, the United Performing Arts Fund board of directors, Milwaukee Succeeds operations team and the executive council for both Milwaukee’s Building Neighborhood Capacity Program and the Community Development Funders Alliance.



Previously he served as the president of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater Board of Directors, trustee for Pius XI Catholic High School, and first vice president and chairman for Catholic Charities Foundation for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Kordsmeier also served as a trustee for Cardinal Stritch University.



Kordsmeier earned a bachelor of arts degree in education from the University of Dallas-Irving and holds a master of science degree in management from Cardinal Stritch University. He says his personal belief in servant leadership was perfectly aligned with the Franciscan tradition and values he encountered at Stritch.



Kordsmeier has strong ties to the Stritch alumni community. He and his wife, Connie, who is also a Stritch alumna (M.A., RLA, ’86), are parents to three adult children. Their family includes two daughters-in law (one of whom, Anna is a Stritch alumna, B.F.A., ’05) and two grandchildren. In his spare time, he is a British Premier League fan and avid Arsenal supporter so he frequents the Three Lions Pub in Shorewood, which is owned and operated by Stritch alumni — David Price, ’07, ’13, and Christopher Tinker, ’06, ’10. His other two passions are building awareness and raising funds for the fight against childhood cancer, and improving the quality of life in three of Milwaukee’s most distressed neighborhoods.