Prominent Milwaukee Community Leaders Form Organization and Join Bucks Ownership Team

Partners for Community Impact, Gale Klappa and Jon Hammes to Join Local Ownership Team

Today, the Milwaukee Bucks organization is proud to announce the addition of several community leaders and philanthropists to the Bucks ownership team: Partners for Community Impact LLC ("PCI"), Gale Klappa, CEO of Wisconsin Energy Corporation, and Jon Hammes, managing partner of Hammes Company. PCI is led by prominent Milwaukee-area community members who came together to invest in the Bucks franchise.

Each member has been heavily involved in major civic initiatives in Milwaukee, the state of Wisconsin and nationally. These initiatives cover a wide variety of entrepreneurial activities, often focused on urban economic development and renewal, which have positively benefitted diverse communities. PCI is excited to be involved in what truly is a transformational economic development project that will benefit the entire community. This partnership between the Bucks and members of PCI is a bold new model of private, community and potentially public partnership. The Bucks organization can now announce that PCI's ownership bid has been approved by the NBA. PCI members include:

  • Michael Barber: Chief Operating Officer, GE Healthcare
  • Valerie Daniels-Carter: Co-Founder, President and CEO, V&J Holding Companies
  • Virgis Colbert: Former Executive Vice President of Worldwide Operations, Miller Brewing Company
  • Charles Harvey: Chief Diversity Officer and President of the Johnson Controls Foundation
  • Cory Nettles: Founder and Managing Director, Generation Growth Capital

"We are extremely excited to become a part of the ownership team to support something truly transformative for our community," said Cory Nettles. "We have a significant opportunity to positively impact an organization that cares about giving back to our community off the court as much as they care about winning on it. The Bucks organization is an important cultural and economic asset to our community, and all of Milwaukee will benefit from the team's success. We look forward to supporting the Bucks' deep commitment to economic development, employment, innovation and philanthropy throughout Wisconsin—and beyond."

Daniels-Carter states that, "PCI represents a historic collective of African-American community and investment-minded business leaders. We see a unique opportunity to bring together a storied local sports franchise with a group of minority business leaders who are committed to ensuring that the benefits of this economic activity reach the full community. We think the PCI partnership model will be replicated throughout the NBA, particularly as a means of diversifying the ownership of NBA franchises."

The new team owners took action to join with the organization shortly after hearing Lasry speak at a Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) Board meeting in Milwaukee. The group approached the Bucks organization about coming in together as part owners, seeing their partnership as a natural extension of their past and continued investment in the future of Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

"Marc, Wes and I are thrilled to have the Partners for Community Impact group join us on our quest to make the Bucks organization the best in basketball," said owner Jamie Dinan. "Since I joined as an owner in July, I have already seen the huge strides we have taken on making the Bucks an integral part of the Milwaukee community. With these leaders joining the Bucks organization, the momentum on our side is undeniable. We look forward to utilizing their knowledge and expertise to build the future of Milwaukee."

Additionally, the Bucks organization is announcing Gale Klappa and Jon Hammes as two of the newest local owners of the team. Their bids have also been approved by the NBA. Klappa currently serves as Chairman and CEO of the Wisconsin Energy Corporation, the largest electric and natural gas utility in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the country. Jon Hammes is the managing partner of Hammes Company, focused on the development, financing and management of strategic real estate assets, specifically in the healthcare and sports industries.

"I couldn't pass up the opportunity to join with such distinguished fellow owners of the Bucks franchise," Klappa said. "The talent in the front office, on the court and throughout the ownership is second to none. All of us are united in our goal of building the Bucks organization into an economic engine for Milwaukee and Wisconsin, providing quality jobs in the community, supporting economic growth and making substantive progress on building our statewide workforce."

"I am thrilled for the future of basketball in Milwaukee," said Hammes. "Being home to a strong franchise will pay off in the long-term for all of our local institutions and their athletic activities. I believe we have the ownership team to do great work and am eager to take our next steps toward making the Bucks a model for other basketball teams across the country."

New Owner Biographies

Partners for Community Impact:

Michael Barber is the Chief Operating Officer of GE Healthcare. Barber has worked with GE since 1982 previously serving as VP of GE's healthymagination business strategy. He serves as Chair of the Milwaukee Chapter of the Elfun Society, is Regent at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, serves on the board of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), is a member and former Treasurer of Sweet Communion Baptist Church, and champions GE's African American Forum.

Valerie Daniels-Carter is Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of V&J Holding Companies. Daniels-Carter founded her company in 1982, with its corporate headquarters located in Milwaukee. She is a board member for the Green Bay Packers and American Automobile Association, and partnered with Milwaukee's Holy Redeemer Church since the 1990s to build a Boys & Girls Club, two schools, a medical facility and the Mother Kathryn Daniels Conference Center. V&J Holdings also is the largest female-owned franchisee in America.

Virgis Colbert is the former Executive Vice President of Worldwide Operations of Miller Brewing Company. Among his many corporate and community board commitments are Lorillard Tobacco (where he is Lead Director), STAG Industries, the National Center for Human Rights, and the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. He also is the former Chairman and current Chairman Emeritus of Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and he is a former Chairman of the Board for Fisk University.

Charles Harvey is Chief Diversity Officer and President of the Johnson Controls Foundation. Harvey joined Johnson Controls in 1977, and has served in a variety of roles, including Group Vice President of Human Resources and Vice President of Diversity and Public Affairs during his tenure there. He serves as a board member for Aurora Health Care System, the United Way Greater Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Public Policy Forum, the Detroit Music Hall, Hampton University, the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF), and the Milwaukee World Festival. He is among the Co-Chairs of the Milwaukee Cultural and Entertainment Capital Needs Task Force. He is substantial donor and founder for the Wisconsin Scholars Program, which provides academic scholarships to disadvantaged African American young men attending Morehouse College.

Cory Nettles is the Founder and Managing Director of Generation Growth Capital. Nettles also serves as Of Counsel at Quarles & Brady LLP. He recently served as Secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. He is a board member for several organizations, including RW Baird Mutual Funds, WEYCO Group, Associated Bank, United Way of Greater Milwaukee, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Teach For America, the Medical College of Wisconsin, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, the University of Wisconsin Foundation and Usher's New Look Foundation.

Jon Hammes is the Managing Partner of the Hammes Company, focused on the development, financing and management of strategic real estate assets, specifically in the healthcare and sports industries. A University of Wisconsin–Madison graduate, Hammes serves on the boards of the Medical College of Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin Foundation, the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, the United Way of Greater Milwaukee, and Teach for America, as well as the Greater Milwaukee Committee, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce, the Wisconsin Police Research Institute, WiCab Inc., and the American Enterprise Institute. He was elected to the Marquette University Board of Trustees in 2014.

Gale Klappa is Chairman and CEO of the Wisconsin Energy Corporation, the largest electric and natural gas utility in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the country. A Wisconsin native and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he has overseen Wisconsin Energy since May 2004. Prior to joining Wisconsin Energy, he served as executive vice president, CFO and treasurer of Southern Company in Atlanta. Klappa is a member of the board of directors of Badger Meter Inc. and Joy Global Inc., and serves on the executive committee of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, the board of trustees of the Medical College of Wisconsin, the UWM School of Business Advisory Council, and the board of directors of the United Performing Arts Fund.

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