Legacy of Leadership: Honoring Jackie Herd-Barber for Her Impact at Wellpoint Care Network and Within Milwaukee
Jackie Herd-Barber has served on Wellpoint Care Network’s Board of Directors for more than three decades.
“We are so incredibly grateful that she has made such a commitment to this organization; to the people here and the people we serve,” said James Madlom, Board Chair at Wellpoint Care Network. “Not one year or five years, but for 30 years. That’s an incredibly transformational investment in an organization and in a community.”
Having joined in 1992, Herd-Barber has seen so much change, both within the organization and amongst those who serve on the board.
“Jackie was invited to join the Board of Directors at a time of change within our organization,” said Ann Leinfelder Grove, President and CEO at Wellpoint Care Network. “And, at a time when the voices of women and women of color were less prominent.”
“I came in and there were seven guys around a table, and none of them looked like me,” said Herd-Barber.
But, she agreed to join anyways, knowing the important work that needed to be done.
“Wellpoint Care Network does such great work,” she added. “They take care of kids; a lot of kids that look like me. What resources can we provide to allow them to see the things that they can be and to truly make a difference in their life?”
To honor Herd-Barber’s legacy of leadership, the inaugural event was held in Wellpoint Care’s new Social Hall Wednesday night.
Board members of past and present gathered to celebrate Herb-Barber and her impact in the community.
“She’s not a person who sees sitting on a board as enough,” added Leinfelder Grove. “She practices what she believes in. Throughout her many years on the board, she has engaged with families that needed guidance, support and a strong advocate. And, sometimes, just a push to do better.”
“She is very passionate about underserved people in the community,” added Starlet Hayes, Vice President of Mission Advancement at Wellpoint Care. “Everything she does is from the heart. She truly wants to make Milwaukee a better place.”
Herd-Barber has served in leadership roles at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and many others.
“Thank you, Jackie, for all your countless contributions to all the Milwaukee communities, but especially to those on behalf of the kids and families we serve here at Wellpoint Care,” said John Teevan, board member. “Your creative, long lasting and over the top generosity have had and will have a profound and positive impact on them for generations to come.”
Wellpoint Care is grateful for Herd-Barber’s continued commitment to our mission of helping children and families thrive.
“Her tenure of 30 plus years is so valuable,” said Leinfelder Grove. “Not so much for the history of it, but because all that time she’s been pushing to something better. And, that makes her credible when she’s engaging other board members to think about change, to think about being uncomfortable, to think about honoring the community in different ways. That’s really been her story all along. She’s not going to wax and wane about what happened in 1992 or anything like that. She’s about strong children, families and community. She pushes because she cares deeply.”
“Because of her we’re a better board, we’re a better staff, we’re a better organization,” added Madlom. “And we, as a greater Milwaukee community, are incomparably better because of the contributions she brings each and every day.”
Leinfelder Grove adds that without the longtime board member’s support, Wellpoint Care Network’s ongoing, extensive campus transformation may have never taken place.
“Her voice — coming with a lot of influence because of all the other work she’s done within Milwaukee — was critical for our board to commit to do the Capitol Campus renovation. I can remember a meeting in early 2022 where she really called on board members to be accountable in making the community better; and to make our campus and our vision brighter by investing to make it a community hub. I remember her saying, ‘Our families deserve no less, we cannot take a pass on the opportunity and the responsibility to support those within southeast Wisconsin.’ I truly believe it was that speech that helped other board members see the vision.”
If you’d like to honor Jackie Herd-Barber’s Legacy of Leadership, you can support our Campaign for Community Connection. Learn more here.