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Eileen Connolly-Keesler ’02, president and CEO of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, accepts the Collaboration in Action Leadership Award.

The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation (OACF) was recognized for its support of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh at the UW Oshkosh Foundation’s fifth-annual Report to the Community Breakfast on Oct. 8.

The Collaboration in Action Leadership Award was presented to OACF President and CEO Eileen Connolly-Keesler ’02, before members of the UWO campus community, Oshkosh area leaders, key donors and friends of the University. OACF, a nonprofit organization serving Winnebago, Waushara and Green Lake counties, was recognized for its demonstrated commitment to improving the quality of life in the region by developing partnerships and providing leadership gifts to launch campaigns.

For many years, OACF has partnered with the University, its departments and the UW Oshkosh Foundation, administering scholarships that support students pursuing their education at UW Oshkosh. Furthermore, OACF took a leadership role in improving Titan Stadium, and OACF’s Leave a Legacy effort encourages area residents to include philanthropic gifts in their wills and estate plans.

“This award was created to recognize an individual or organization in northeastern Wisconsin who advances the mission of the University and whose efforts impact educational, cultural and economic change within our region,” UW Oshkosh Foundation President Arthur Rathjen said. “The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation; its Board of Directors; and its CEO, Eileen Connolly-Keesler, embody a ‘spirit of collaboration’ that is virtually unparalleled within our community.”

In addition to her work with OACF, Connolly-Keesler championed the University within UW System and region while serving on the Board of Regents.

Previous recipients of the Collaboration in Action Leadership award include J. J. Keller, Affinity Health System and Door County Government.