Chad Hershner and Jeff Amstutz are the quintessential Children's Wisconsin ambassadors. They also have chosen to be part of Children’s Guardian Society to leave a legacy that will allow us to help kids well into the future.
Their connections to Children’s are deep. Chad was raised by foster parents: “I was 6 months old and my foster parents were in their mid-60s when they took me in. They had two kids of their own and I was their 29th foster kid.” Most of these kids only needed a temporary home but Chad was there to stay. Chad continues: “My parents were not wealthy; they were just angels on earth with a passion for making a difference in kids’ lives. They raised us to be kind, above all else, and that meant finding ways to give back. They instilled in us a deep sense of joy, love, and gratitude.”
Chad and Jeff have been married seven years and together since 2004. After six years as Vice President of Development at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Chad jumped at the opportunity to become Children's Wisconsin Development Director in the Northeast. He immediately fell in love with the organization—and so did Jeff.
Both Chad and Jeff are passionate about Children’s Community Services work. In Chad’s words: “Children’s helps kids in need. They don’t just place them in foster care—they also support the parents and provide wraparound support.” Jeff is owner and creative director of A2Z Design and has also been on the board of the Sexual Assault Crisis Center in the Fox Cities for many years. Chad and Jeff have seen firsthand Children’s life-changing work with kids in crisis at the Child Advocacy Center in Neenah and across the state.
They also have a passion for pediatric mental health. “Our son has been on an intensive mental health journey. We are very appreciative that Children’s is leading the way, creating innovative mental and behavioral care models for Wisconsin and the nation.”
After seven years at Children’s, Chad became Chief Philanthropy Officer for Ascension in the Fox Valley. He is immensely proud of the partnership between Ascension, Children’s, and ThedaCare to form Catalpa Health, aimed at improving access to youth mental health services in northeastern Wisconsin. Both Chad and Jeff are excited to see how Children’s will continue to grow in the Fox Valley so that families don’t have to travel far.
Chad and Jeff agree: “We believe in giving back by supporting the charities close to our hearts.”
“When Children’s says ‘kids deserve the best,’ they mean all kids. That’s what’s so inspiring to us and the reason why, as we were doing our estate planning several years ago, Children’s was one of our top charities. When people hear about planned giving, they think you have to be seventy-five and a billionaire. We’re not billionaires—we believe in giving back by supporting the charities close to our hearts.”