Former DFI Secretary Heinemann joins BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation

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Foundation also opens Madison office to expand statewide presence

MILWAUKEE, Nov. 14, 2013 – The Wisconsin BrightStar Foundation today announced that former Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions Secretary Lorrie Heinemann will join the foundation as vice president. Ms. Heinemann will head the foundation’s new Madison office, which will have statewide reach.

In addition to her tenure as a state cabinet secretary, Ms. Heinemann is a co-founder of the Wisconsin Angel Network. She also is a trustee of the WiSys Technology Foundation and a director of the Wisconsin Technology Council. She most recently worked at University of Wisconsin Foundation for the School of Business Major Gifts Team.

“Lorrie is an important hire for us because of her ability to expand our reach throughout Wisconsin,” said Jeff Rusinow, a foundation co-founder and director. “I have known Lorrie for years and her work throughout the state is highly regarded by those in government, and the financial and philanthropic sectors. It will be especially helpful to us to have another Madison presence along with our co-founder Mark Burish.” BrightStar’s next milestone will be the receipt of an IRS determination that gives the foundation 501(c)3 tax-exempt status.

“The IRS determination that we are a tax-exempt organization is critical for us.” Mr. Shannon said. “It will allow us to fully engage potential donors across Wisconsin. We have a number of companies in need of financing that have already registered with us. We are looking forward to beginning the vetting process and starting to invest in the early stage companies most likely to create jobs. Madison is an entrepreneurial hotbed and having Lorrie there will be a tremendous boost to our efforts to help build Wisconsin’s economy through philanthropy.”

About the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc.

The non-profit BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation is using a groundbreaking philanthropic approach to support job creation and economic growth across Wisconsin through investment in early-stage companies. This new approach will enable the formation of new investment capital in Wisconsin
through charitable donations to the foundation. Contributions to BrightStar will be tax deductible, assuming receipt of a tax-exempt determination from the Internal Revenue Service. The foundation is filing an application to obtain formal recognition of its status as a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. The organization’s non-profit, tax-exempt status will mean that more of the capital raised can be invested in high-growth, job-creating companies and that virtually all earnings and returns can be reinvested. BrightStar hopes to begin screening companies seeking investment in the fall.


Rod Hise
The Luminis Group Ltd for BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc.