Tamara L. Pacada

Trinity Fellow Class of 2010

Graduate Program: MBA

Undergraduate Degree, Institution: International Business and Spanish, St. Norbert College

Trinity Nonprofit Agency: Menomonee Valley Partners, Stewardship Coordinator

Full-time Service Experience, Years Served, Location:

AmeriCorps *VISTA, 2003-2004, Selma, CA

Service Experience:

I served as an AmeriCorps *VISTA for two years at the City of Selma, CA. The first year, I was the Coordinator of the Selma Small Business Support Center, a small business incubator without walls. In a city that had very high unemployment and small business turnover, I was responsible for determining the needs of existing and potential small businesses and entrepreneurs in order to improve their chance for success. I collaborated with other city economic development departments in the region to offer regional business seminars, workshops and classes. I was also responsible for coordinating the program’s Steering Committee, raising funds and administration of the City of Selma Small Business Revolving Loan Program.

In the second year of my service, I was the Regional *VISTA leader for the Central Valley of California. I provided support and peer supervision to a range of approximately 30 *VISTA projects in the region to increase project effectiveness and sustainability. A major part of this support was to assist my peers in mobilizing resources, reviewing grant proposals and coordinating trainings. I also increased recruitment and reduced attrition of AmeriCorps *VISTA through various marketing strategies.

Trinity Fellowship Experience:

The multi-faceted approach of the Trinity Fellows Program (degree, nonprofit placement and reflections) is exactly what I needed at this point in my career. After eight years of professional experience, I truly benefited from the advanced education, as well as the time and support to explore other areas of interest. After completing the Trinity Fellows Program, I feel more prepared to determine where my service would be most beneficial based on my passion for specific areas of service.

The MBA program and Trinity Fellows reflections encouraged me to be open my mind to new ideas and solutions while allowing me to further develop my critical thinking and writing skills. These developments were further supported by my role at Menomonee Valley Partners, Inc. Although my responsibilities were primarily in development and volunteer management (areas that I had experience), my supervisor’s management style and expectations forced me to hone my skills.

Without the Trinity Fellows Program and Marquette University MBA Program, I may have gotten to the point I am today, personally and professionally, but I honestly believe that it would have taken me many more years and much more mentoring.

Plans after graduation:

I will remain in Milwaukee and plan to continue my nonprofit development/communications work.

Current Position:

Senior Development Director, City Year Milwaukee

Trinity Fellows

Quick Links


Carole Ferrara, Director
(414) 288-5861

Carolyn Swabek, Assistant Director
(414) 288-0637

Peggy Mead, Program Assistant
(414) 288-5473