Donald Driver Announces 2020 Driven To Achieve Award Recipients

Milwaukee Brewers Community Foundation executive director Cecelia Gore and Jockey International Chairman and CEO Debra Waller are among four Wisconsin individuals that will be honored at Donald Driver Foundation’s Seventh Annual Driven to Achieve Awards presented by Northwestern Mutual on March 21.

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Champion, All-Time Leading Receiver, Dancing with the Stars Champion and New York Times best-selling author Donald Driver today announced the four individuals who will be honored for their outstanding community efforts at the event, which will be held at Milwaukee’s historic Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee.

“I am thrilled to honor these four outstanding awardees, they represent everything that Driven to Achieve is about, helping to make our communities a better place,” said Driver, who leads the judging effort for the high-profile awards with a board of community leaders, including representatives from Northwestern Mutual, MillerCoors, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and SURG Restaurant Group.

The 2020 community leaders who will be recognized are:

  • Amy Chionchio, President and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee — will be honored with the Northwestern Mutual Leadership Award. BBBS Mentoring program serves 1,4000 youth per year with strong one-to-one relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. Chionchio has grown the number of students served, the diversity of the program and the rigor with which participant success is measured.
  • Cecelia Gore, Executive Director, Brewers Community Foundation — Nearly 200 non-profits were impacted by BCF in 2019, mainly focusing on community organizations working with children. “Cecelia has been instrumental in creating the vision for Brewers Community Foundation since day one, and she has effectively built what we believe is one of the best-in-class sports foundations in the country,” says Rick Schlesinger, President of Business Operations at Brewers.
  • Albert and Shirley Schmidt, community members who have impacted thousands of lives through their generosity and enthusiasm over many years. They have a passion to help children in need and have generously sponsored more than 50 life-changing wishes for Wisconsin children battling a critical illness. Their Driven to Achieve Award donation will be given back to Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, Ascension, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Catalpa, Ben’s Wish and the Donald Driver Foundation.
  • Debra Waller, Founder, and Chairman, Jockey Being Family — JBF provide adoptive families the support needed for children who have experienced abuse, neglect, trauma, and loss so they are able to grow and thrive in their new families. “We believe every child deserves to grow up with a loving family in a forever home.”- Waller said.

Each leader will each be presented with an award and a $40,000 donation to each of their respective organizations.

Donald Driver’s Driven to Achieve Awards presented by Northwestern Mutual was created to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of multiple charities, companies and community leaders on a national and local level. In the program’s first six years, more than $1.4 million has been donated to charitable organizations, including the Habitat for Humanity, MACC Fund, Safe & Sound, Sharp Literacy, MKE Fellows, Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Blessings in a Backpack, St. Marcus School, Journey House, and others.

The black-tie awards event will feature multiple, soon-to-be-announced celebrity guests and musical acts. Past guests have included seven-time Grammy Award-winner Gladys Knight, Pro Football Hall of Famer and host of “Good Morning America” Michael Strahan, “Black-ish” Producer and Lead Actor Anthony Anderson, 2019 ESPN ESPY’s Jimmy V Award winner Coach Rob Mendez, former “Good Morning America” host Josh Elliott, Emmy Award-winning actress and comedian Sherri Shepherd, and recording artist Gavin DeGraw.

Community leaders and interested parties can participate in this event via the following sponsorship levels. Tables of 10 will be filled in on a first-paid, first-position order within the category of support donated.

  • Benefactor Table Partner for $5,000 – Table for 10 people
  • Loving Hearts Partner for $10,000 – Table for 10 people, preferred seating, Donald Driver autographed gift for table captain and guests
  • Strong Minds Table Partnership for $15,000 – Table for 10 with two VIP tickets to an exclusive meet and greet with Donald Driver & other celebrity guests, VIP seating close to the stage and additional benefits
  • Community Influencer Partner for $20,000 – Table for 10 guests with two (2) VIP tickets to an exclusive meet and greet with Donald Driver & other celebrity guests VIP seating and additional benefits PLUS two (2) passes to the VIP After-Party featuring Donald Driver and celebrity guests

Interested organizations can contact Laura Pappas at the Donald Driver Foundation by email at or by phone at 414-727-3600.