The Leadership Kenosha Class of 2023

Leadership Kenosha to celebrate 25 years with inaugural awards

Guida Brown and Jerry Gulley to be honored as Distinguished Alums


Established in 1916, the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce is a business and community resource organization that continuously works to serve and strengthen the Kenosha Area.

Leadership Kenosha is excited to announce the graduation ceremony of its 25th silver anniversary cohort.

The event will take place on Thursday, May 18 from 5-7 p.m. at Upper East, 633 58th Street.

The Leadership Kenosha participants who will be recognized include 18 community leaders, representing 17 unique organizations across the higher education, nonprofit, business and government sectors. 

At the event, attendees will hear from the keynote speaker, Zina Haywood LK1999, and honor our inaugural award winners. They are:

Distinguished Alumnus: Guida Brown LK1999

Guida Brown

Guida Brown has a steadfast commitment to Kenosha County and has used her leadership and influence for so much good, including serving 13 years at Hope Council on Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse. Guida was part of the inaugural Leadership Kenosha cohort in 1998 and since then has held several leadership positions where she served others.

In 2013, Guida was recognized with the Susan B. Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award for “demonstrating equity in her volunteer efforts, giving of herself so that other women might learn, grow, advance and succeed and for providing inspiration of leadership.” Thank you, Guida, for your leadership in our community!

“While I’m so excited to be honored as the Leadership Kenosha Distinguished Alumnus, I’m also humbled and surprised,” she said. “Over the past 25 years — and, honestly, even before that — my mission in life has been to help others be the best that they can be. That means that any leadership I’ve tried to provide has been about serving others, not about myself. I’m thrilled that the committee has found me worthy of this inaugural award!”

In memoriam, Distinguished Alumnus: Jerry Gulley LK2016, accepted by James Schend

Jerry Gulley

Jerry Gulley worked tirelessly to lift others up and make his community stronger. When Jerry passed away in May of 2022, the stories of his leadership impact were too many to count. He modeled community involvement as well as a dedication to advocacy through his service as a Kenosha County Board Supervisor and his candidacy for County Executive.

On top of his list of accomplishments, he listened, supported, and challenged all of us to be better. Join us in remembering and honoring Jerry Gulley as a distinguished LK alumnus for his contributions to the Kenosha community and his commitment to service and leadership.

“I am deeply grateful to Leadership Kenosha for honoring Jerry with this award,” said James Schend. “He was a man of great character, who dedicated the last eight years of his life serving his adopted home of Kenosha and making a difference in the lives of countless others. He would be very honored and humbled to receive this recognition, and I am proud to accept it on his behalf.”


Exemplary Company: Uline

Uline continues to be a strong supporter of Leadership Kenosha in many ways. The company regularly encourages their team members to participate and get involved in this program as well as providing their own training and development initiatives. Uline encourages growth from within, encouraging their team to pursue additional professional development experiences. Additionally, Uline invites the cohort to attend sessions taking place within their meeting facilities, helping the cohort learn more about the business sector through presentations led by senior leaders. Thank you, Uline for your continuous support of Leadership Kenosha!

“Uline is honored to receive the first-ever Exemplary Company Award,” the company said. “With our headquarters located in Kenosha County, we are committed to connecting with the community and contributing to the professional development of its current and future leaders. We look forward to a continued partnership with Leadership Kenosha to support its mission to enrich the lives of those who live, work and study in Kenosha County.”

Keynote Speaker: Zina Haywood LK1999

Zina Haywood

Zina Haywood has over 40 years of higher education administration experience, including her recent retirement from Gateway Technical College in September 2022 after 29 years of dedicated service. In her most recent role as Executive Vice President/Provost, Zina served as chief academic officer with responsibility for over 70 academic programs and multi-campus operations. Zina led many impactful initiatives, projects and programs to improve the experience and academic success of all students, including the first year experience course “Gateway to Leadership,” the college’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr program and the development of the college’s first statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Zina has received numerous local, state, and national awards, including the NAACP Rev. Olen Arrington Jr Excellence Award as well as being named to Madison365’s most influential Blacks in Wisconsin among many other special recognitions. One of the highest honors received was upon her retirement when the Gateway Technical College Racine Campus Multicultural Resource Center was renamed the Zina Haywood Multicultural Resource Center.

Zina has been married for over 40 years to Todd Haywood and they have two grown children, Julia and David, and one grandson, Caleb.

“I first moved to Wisconsin in 1993 with a plan to stay in Kenosha for maybe 3-5 years before exploring other opportunities,” the 1999 Leadership Kenosha graduate said. “Leadership Kenosha is one of the reasons why my family decided to make Kenosha our home. While participating, not only did I learn about all the wonderful things our community has to offer but I also learned leadership truths, such as you can lead from wherever you are — it’s not just about your title.”

For 25 years, the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce has convened emerging and established leaders together for civic leadership development through Leadership Kenosha. Each year, the participating cohort is recognized for completing the program at a graduation ceremony. 2023 marks a significant milestone for Leadership Kenosha — the program’s 25th anniversary. With much to celebrate, KACC invites all alumni and members to join in.

Tickets to attend Leadership Kenosha’s 25th Anniversary Graduation are available through May 1. Purchase tickets on Eventbrite:

Individuals can also learn more about joining next year’s cohort at