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Deanna Tillisch

Deanna L. Tillisch is president & CEO of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF), the largest nonprofit of its type in the country. UPAF raises much-needed dollars for 15 “Member Groups” that deliver world-class performances and nationally recognized arts education throughout the region. In 2016, UPAF raised a record-setting $12,059,201.

Prior to UPAF, Tillisch spent almost two decades at Northwestern Mutual, holding leadership positions in Communications, Marketing and the Foundation.

Tillisch is a board member of Milwaukee Institute for Art and Design, serving as governance chair and executive committee member. She is also a member of the Burke Foundation Board of Directors. Tillisch has served as a thought leader in key community initiatives including: Cultural & Entertainment Capital Needs Task Force, Medical College of Wisconsin’s Women in Science and LISC Strategic Planning Committee. She is a founder of UPAF Notable Women. In Tillisch received the Women of Distinction Award from the Waukesha County Community Foundation in 2014 and the Women of Influence Award from the Milwaukee Business Journal in 2016.

Tillisch holds a Master of Business Administration, graduating with honors, from Marquette University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


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