2019 Difference Maker Organization: Godfrey & Kahn


SecureFutures is thrilled to recognize Godfrey & Kahn as the 2019 Lloyd Levin Difference Maker Organization.

The Milwaukee-based legal firm has been a part of SecureFutures history from the very beginning. In 2006, G & K served as the legal counsel when SecureFutures (then Make A Difference – Wisconsin) first applied for nonprofit status. Since then, members of the firm have continually supported SecureFutures as volunteers, Board and committee members, and community advocates.

In addition to investment of time from its members, Godfrey & Kahn is one of the major sponsors of the SecureFutures Investment Conference, the annual fundraising event which provides over one third of the organization’s total revenue each year. Between conference sponsorship and in-kind support, G & K’s financial contribution to SecureFutures has totaled over $100,000.

John McDonald, a shareholder in Godfrey & Kahn’s Corporate Law and Technology & Digital Business Practice Groups, has been one of the firm’s most dedicated advocates for SecureFutures, beginning as a volunteer in the first year of the organization’s existence. He has also served a full term on the SecureFutures Board of Directors, including a stint as Board President, and now serves on the Advisory Council.

“We really appreciate being recognized,” John said. “There’s been a wide array of involvement from people at G & K, and we’re grateful to SecureFutures for allowing us to be so involved.”

John considers SecureFutures to be an example of a mission-driven organization which seeks to continually develop and widen its impact.

“SecureFutures has truly innovative programming, and they continue to grow, continue to push things along in terms of the practical application of these concepts,” he said. “I don’t know anyone else who’s doing this.”

Joe Schlidt, G & K’s Director of Client Special Services and another longtime SecureFutures volunteer and advocate, agrees.

“We have the best program in the country, hands down,” Joe said. “That’s been indisputable in my mind. There’s literally no one doing what we do better. We’ve got to shout that out to the world.”

Joe says that the ongoing commitment of G & K to the SecureFutures mission speaks to the values of the firm’s leadership.

“One of the things I like about the people here – it is a local-minded, community-minded leadership group. They understand the importance of investing in the community, and they’ve benefited from that and the community’s benefitted from that. Giving back to the community helps everybody,” said Joe, “It’s easier to be insular in this world. To take a stand and to say that this cause is important tells me about the character and the values that this firm has.”

SecureFutures is grateful to Godfrey & Kahn for their tireless commitment, investment and advocacy over the course of our shared history.

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