- About Us
- Our Work
With a strong background in policy, real estate and community development, LISC Milwaukee Executive Director Donsia Strong Hill leads LISC’s strategic direction and partnership efforts.
Before becoming LISC Milwaukee’s Executive Director, Ms. Strong Hill completed over $3 billion in structured finance transactions working as a public finance attorney providing bond and underwriter’s counsel services to tribal governments, municipalities, housing authorities, banks, developers and redevelopment authorities. For the last decade, her work involved developing infrastructure and other economic development projects to create long-term sustainable income streams.
Strong Hill, who grew up on the South Side of Chicago, served as secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing under Governor Jim Doyle and as a Brown County assistant district attorney. Her previous public service also includes spending nearly two years as a policy analyst in the Clinton White House, and then as a senior advisor in the U.S. Department of Energy.
Donsia earned a juris doctorate from John Marshall Law School where she was an executive editor and published author of the Software Law Journal as well as a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She is also a member of the inaugural class of the ACRE real estate development training program.
Phone: (414) 930-1746
A Chicago native, Francisco Bravo has made Milwaukee home for 10 years. He earned his BA in Political Science from Marquette University and has a diverse background in public policy, business analytics, underwriting, and finance. His commitment to revitalizing low-income communities was solidified working on various projects in Milwaukee’s District Attorney’s Office and Wisconsin's 4th Congressional District Office. Through subsequent roles in mortgage resolution, business development, and commercial banking, he developed expertise building private/public partnerships around housing and catalytic revitalization initiatives. LISC was an obvious next step. Francisco enjoys giving back through his current involvement as Vice President of the Marquette University Young Alumni Association, the coordinator for the Mexican Fiesta Run & Walk for Diabetes on the Near West Side Partners Commercial Corridor Development Team, and as a mentor and volunteer for various youth programs
Bess Earl's primary responsibility is to ensure the strategic alignment of neighborhood investment and development with existing and planned law enforcement initiatives in the city of Milwaukee. She will work closely with community development initiatives and law enforcement to advance common goals for the increased safety and vitality of Milwaukee neighborhoods. Most recently, Bess Earl served as the Director of the Washington Park Partners (WPP) Sustainable Communities where she oversaw neighborhood revitalization strategies. At the same time, she was the Coordinator of Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) Coordinator for United Methodist Children’s Services. BCJI is a federal grant program that aims to reduce crime and improve community safety to advance overall neighborhood revitalization. Through a partnership team, including neighborhood residents, Milwaukee Police Department, and local agencies, the BCJI targeted hot spots of violent and serious crime and employed data-driven, cross-sector strategies resulting in the reduction of violent crime in Washington Park.
Bess was an AmeriCorps member for two years with the 16th Street Community Health Center and the Washington Park Partners. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is currently enrolled in the University of Milwaukee’s Nonprofit Management Graduate Certificate Program.
Phone: (414) 930-1758
Sakuri Fears oversees LISC’s Family Income and Wealth Building programs including the Financial Opportunity Centers and LISC’s Commercial Corridors program. She gives financial and technical assistance to neighborhood partner organizations and works to strengthen partnerships among community-based organizations and other corporate, civic and public sector organizations. Sakuri brings more than 15 years of professional experience combining administrative, program development and marketing expertise in educational, business, and community development initiatives. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education, with a focus on Community Education and Engagement from UW-Milwaukee, has a certificate from the Associates in Commercial Real Estate (ACRE) program, and is a Certified Occupancy Specialist with the National Center for Housing Management. Along with her experience and education, Sakuri brings with her a passion for improving the condition of the community.
Phone: (414) 930-1741
Dawn manages LISC Milwaukee's communications strategies and tactics. Dawn has worked for several national nonprofits in fund development, marketing, communications, and organizational development. Most recently Dawn was the VP for Marketing and Development at Public Allies' national office. In 1995 she co-founded KaBOOM! with Darell Hammond, raising community-built playgrounds across the country. Dawn has a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Phone: (414) 930-1760
Amelia Peña has been with LISC Milwaukee since January 2011. Amelia manages all administrative functions in the office. She prepares financial contracts, tracks income and revenue, prepares donor acknowledgements, coordinates meeting logistics, and provides administrative support to our staff. Prior to her position with LISC, Amelia was the Administrative Assistant for Public Allies National Office. She is most proud to have served in the Air Force where she was a Computer Technician. Amelia spent most of her tour in the Air Force at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. She currently lives in Milwaukee with her husband, Anthony and their children, Memphis and Mila.
Phone: (414) 930-1763