The Executive Partners of the Milwaukee Education Partnership guide the organization as catalysts in creating solutions to enhance the quality of education, identifying new funding, and finding answers for Milwaukee’s educational and economic challenges. The Executive Partners are dedicated to improving educational experiences for Milwaukee students, educators and professionals through collaborative approaches.
The work of the Milwaukee Education Partnership is carried out through the office of the Executive Director, working under the direction of the Executive Partners.
Dr. James P. Loftus has been the president of Cardinal Stritch University since July 2011. He has more than 20 years of higher education experience in leadership, strategic planning, marketing, admissions, orientation, financial aid, academic program development, non-traditional and accelerated programs.
Prior to Stritch, he had served as the vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Services with St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. In that position, he oversaw the areas of admissions, financial aid, retention, student services, security, communications and marketing, and records and registration.
Dr. Loftus notes that:
“How we [the Executive Partners of the Milwaukee Education Partnership]
can serve the needs of the teachers is a real important ingredient in our work.”
Ashanti Hamilton was elected to the Milwaukee Common Council in 2004 where he currently serves as its president and alderman for District 1. He has developed, implemented and supported key legislation, policies and programs related to various issues such as educational opportunity and academic outcome improvements; mentoring, leadership and literacy support for targeted Milwaukee youth; poverty; neighborhood revitalization; job creation, opportunity, quality and security for Milwaukee residents; and the development, success and achievement of young men of color in Milwaukee.
Alderman Hamilton has served on numerous boards and commissions including the Milwaukee Area Technical College Board of Directors on which he currently serves. He is an MPS graduate of Riverside University High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Marquette University, where he participated in the Upward Bound program and worked in Marquette’s Educational Opportunity Program. After graduation he taught English and coached track and football. He also has a law degree from Thurgood Marshall Law School at Texas Southern University.
“MEP [Milwaukee Education Partnership] matters because it brings us all together, it’s building an educational base, and it’s bringing resources to the area.”
- Earl Buford, CEO, Employ Milwaukee
Earl Buford’s career includes 18 years of experience in workforce development, diversity initiatives, and executive leadership. In July of 2014, Mr. Buford became the president and CEO of Employ Milwaukee, where his focus is to strengthen and grow workforce development in the Milwaukee area. In his previous position as the president and CEO of the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/BIG-STEP (WRTP/ BIG-STEP), Buford developed strong partnerships with national and state wide businesses, labor unions, government agencies and non-profit organizations to develop High Road workforce and economic development efforts.
In addition to his leadership of the WRTP/ BIG-STEP, Mr. Buford served on Tom Barrett’s mayoral transition team in 2004. Mr. Buford has served on and is affiliated with many local, state and national organizations including Vice President Joe Biden’s advisory task force on effective workforce strategies, the State of Wisconsin Apprenticeship Advisory Council, and Mayor Tom Barrett’s Green Team.
“Any time we can partner and talk together and work through it together we’ll have greater understanding and we’ll be strengthened. This community can only get stronger.”
- Dr. Vicki Martin, President, Milwaukee Area Technical College
Dr. Vicki Martin became the tenth president of Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) in July 2014. She has served the college since 1988 and prior to being named president, was executive vice president and provost. She is one of the leaders of the M3 initiative that aligns Milwaukee Public Schools, MATC and UW-Milwaukee and strives for student success from kindergarten through college.
As MATC’s chief academic officer from 2007-2014, Dr. Martin facilitated many key initiatives, such as Career Pathways, the Faculty Innovation Center and the Women in Technology Center. She also was the vice president of MATC’s Oak Creek Campus. Before coming to MATC, Dr. Martin worked at Carroll College/Columbia College of Nursing as a student counselor and dean of students.
“The Milwaukee Education Partnership over the last 15 years has been instrumental in identifying and helping secure over $90 million in different types of funding.”
- Dr. Mark Mone, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
On December 15, 2014, Dr. Mark Mone was named the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s (UWM) ninth chancellor. Prior to becoming chancellor, Dr. Mone was a Professor of Management in the UWM Lubar School of Business where he also served as the Chancellor’s Designee for Strategic Planning and Campus Climate from 2011-2014. In that role, Dr. Mone worked with the campus’ senior leadership, governance groups, and all stakeholders to develop UWM’s 2020 strategic plan, and campus-level programs to improve the organizational climate.
Dr. Mone has been a longtime member of UWM’s faculty, serving for more than 15 years as the Associate Dean for Executive Education & Business Engagement. During that time, Dr. Mone was responsible for the Executive MBA program—the longest running program of its kind in Wisconsin, Career Services, and other financial and marketing functions.
Kim Schroeder, a 21-year veteran Milwaukee Public School teacher, was elected as President of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association (MTEA) and took office in June, 2015. During the previous four years, Mr. Schroeder served as MTEA Vice President and was the lead member organizer of the MTEA.
Mr. Schroeder is committed to providing the best opportunities for public school students to learn, a strong alliance with the community, and advancing social justice issues.
Mark Sain is committed to the education of the students of Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). He is a lifelong resident of Milwaukee and an MPS graduate of Washington High School. Mr. Sain is President of Milwaukee Public Schools Board of School Directors. He has been a member of the Board since April 2011 and President since April 2016.
Mr. Sain was a Firefighter from 1980 through 2008 when he retired after a stellar career. He held multiple positions, from Firefighter up to Assistant Chief. As the Assistant Chief, he provided leadership to the 1,100 members of the Milwaukee Fire Department. He managed an annual budget of $92 million and was responsible for supervising six bureaus — Administration, Communications, Training, Emergency Medical Services/Special Operations, Equipment Repair/Maintenance, and Firefighting.
Being an active member of the community is something Mr. Sain has continued to do. He has worked with the Helen Bader Foundation’s Homework First Program at Phillis Wheatley School. He has tutored MPS high school students in reading comprehension. He has sat on the advisory committees of the Blood Center of Southeast Wisconsin’s Community Blood Donation Drive Campaign and of Make A Difference of Milwaukee and currently sits on the advisory committee of the Cardinal Stritch University College of Education. He has worked with Marquette University’s Mediation Program. He is also a Trustee of the Milwaukee Public Library.
Dr. Keith Posley is Chief School Administration Officer with Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), focused on providing support, supervision, intervention strategies and accountability systems to schools and school leaders, to ensure that students in all MPS schools have a safe, supportive learning environment and receive effective instruction that supports high student achievement. Over the years, he has served as a district administrator in various other capacities including assistant principal, principal, and regional superintendent. He began his career in 1990 as a physical education teacher at the elementary level. During his tenure as a principal, he was named one of eight exemplary principals selected by President George W. Bush.
Dr. Posley received his bachelor’s degree from Tougaloo College in Mississippi and his master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He holds a certificate of Advanced Studies in Administrative Leadership and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from National Louis University.
He believes that reading, math and writing in particular, need the intense focus of the entire MPS system. Dr. Posley states, “I firmly believe each child must possess a strong knowledgebase in these critical areas.”
“MEP [Milwaukee Education Partnership] matters because we have to come together as a community to solve our critical issues.”
- Gerard Randall, Executive Director, Milwaukee Education Partnership
Gerard Randall is the executive director of the Milwaukee Education Partnership (MEP), which aims to enhance the quality of teaching and learning in Milwaukee Public Schools; bring every student to grade level or beyond in reading, writing, math and science; improve access to higher education opportunities; and advocate for public education.
Formerly, Mr. Randall served as the president and CEO of the Private Industry Council of Milwaukee County (PIC), a workforce development board. As CEO, he provided leadership and strategic direction as the PIC planned, administered and coordinated employment and training programs to meet Milwaukee’s workforce development needs. Mr. Randall is also a former teacher of social studies and exceptional education students, and he currently teaches in the School of Education at UW-Milwaukee.
Mr. Randall became the executive director of the Milwaukee Education Partnership in 2010, bringing with him his vast knowledge, insights and employment experiences in government, education and community service. He is a founding member of this partnership (formerly called the Milwaukee Partnership Academy) and served as one of its executive partners during his time as CEO of the PIC.