Welcome to a series introducing the women who were nominated by professionals and will be honored at "The Rad Women Celebration: Being Rad for Social Change." The event is hosted by the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee and will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Italian Conference Center. The idea was inspired by the bestselling book "Rad American Women A to Z," by Kate Schatz, who is the keynote speaker at the event. For more information, go here.
Teri Sullivan is the founder and CEO of Arts @ Large. She started the organization in 2001, and today, it is an award-winning, nationally-recognized educational organization that builds the skills, confidence and competence of classroom teachers, arts specialists and artist educators to engage thousands of K-12 Milwaukee Public Schools students annually in experiential, arts-infused learning.
Sullivan works daily in many ways to make Milwaukee – and the world – a place of growth, creativity and passion. She sums up her outlook on life in one powerful sentence, "All people deserve the best."
Read more to find out why Sullivan will receive a "Rad Milwaukee Woman" award in October.
OnMilwaukee: What is your personal "mission" with the work that you do?
Teri Sullivan: My personal mission is a George Bernard Shaw quote I carry with me every day: "I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake."
What does success mean to you?
Success means being mindful every moment of how my thoughts, words and actions affect my personal and professional relationships. When I am truly mindful, I know that I am on my most authentic path.
Who or what have you learned from the most?
My father is my inspiration. A high school drop-out, former Navy man and entrepreneur, he was self-taught and created and ran a commercial construction business that was highly successful. He always operated with integrity. What was most important was to be fair and honest, and treat people with respect. As a nonprofit administrator for my entire career, I've always valued individuals’ contributions to the organizations I serve, no matter how large or how small. Each individual has talents and resources to contribute, and all are important. Being fair and equitable in my work, making certain that every person receives high quality services, is the basis from which all my work originates. I'm so lucky to have a role model that has taught me the core of success. All people deserve the best.
What would you like to see change for women in the workforce?
Based on the principals I learned and adopted throughout my life, I believe that all women should be treated the same as all men are treated. Each person should be required to maintain high standards that adhere to company missions, provide honest service with integrity, and as a result, all people should be compensated based on performance and not gender.
What does a "perfect" day off from work include for you?
80 degrees, coffee with my husband, Tom, a snuggle with my pups and kitty, a good game of golf, a ride on the Harley, a visit and chat with my son Sean, family and friends, and some late-afternoon gardening.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.