Dan McKinley, president and CEO of PAVE in Milwaukee, has been one of IFF’s allies since meeting our CEO Joe Neri and President Trinita Logue 15 years ago. McKinley recently spoke with us to reflect on his work at PAVE and how he plans to spend his retirement.
What drew you to join PAVE in 1987?
I came to Milwaukee in 1987 to help launch a new Education Foundation for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee; in 1992, this organization became independent of the Archdiocese, took on a new mission as PAVE, and focused on making better educational opportunities possible for all low-income families in Milwaukee. This mission is my North Star.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
PAVE’s journey began with our groundbreaking work with scholarships that made new opportunities possible for over 17,000 low-income families, and evolved into planning grants and capital investments to help high potential schools expand — we just passed the $100 million mark in total investments. Mostly, I am grateful that PAVE enabled me to dedicate myself to an inspiring mission and do important work that makes a difference in the lives of children who must overcome the burdens of pervasive poverty.
How have PAVE and IFF worked together?
IFF was the inspiration for PAVE to become a community development financial institution in 2000, and when IFF opened an office in Milwaukee, we began a very productive collaboration that included a number of successful projects that increased the number of seats in high-performing schools.
What are your plans after your retirement later this year?
When you work for a mission-based organization you never really retire — you keep looking for ways to serve. Last summer, I came to understand that the best time to make a transition and plan for the next stage of my own journey is when our organization is fundamentally strong and functioning at a high level. So after I leave my leadership role at PAVE, I will find a little solitude and make room for some new thoughts about where and I how I might best serve … and then get back in the saddle.