The Women's Fund of Greater Milwaukee hosted a “Disruptors, changing the power dynamics” event on November 18 that included a conversation with CNN Anchor Abby Phillip sharing her experiences and insights about how gender and race impact women and ideas of how we can do better for women of color in Greater Milwaukee.


As a signature sponsor for the event, Associated Bank recognized Melanie Ricks as a “disruptor,” or someone who is eliminating barriers, changing the status quo, and creating social change for women. Ricks is an anchor host at 101.7 The Truth, a radio station that embraces Milwaukee’s black community. She is also the in-game host of the Milwaukee Bucks. Ricks was recognized for using her voice and platform to continue making an impact on the city through her service and advocacy.


“Associated Bank was proud to be part of this educational event and important conversation in our community,” said Marilka Vélez, senior director of marketing, Associated Bank and board chair of the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee. “Women like Melanie have the ability to challenge everyone and she works to educate the community on how we can best do that.”


Ricks was among 12 disruptors recognized at the event.


Event proceeds work to advance equity for women by providing HER Scholarships, supporting grants to area nonprofit organizations addressing systemic issues, and convening the community to change attitudes, behavior and culture. 


Melanie Ricks and Marilka Vélez at the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee event



Prior to the event, Marilka Vélez joined Melanie Ricks in the 101.7 The Truth studio for MKE in the Morning