Milwaukee Business Journal: United Performing Arts Fund announces Patrick Rath as next president and CEO

Margaret Naczek | October 2, 2020

The United Performing Arts Fund announced Friday that Patrick Rath will succeed Deanna Tillisch as the next president and CEO of the nonprofit organization.

Tillisch, who retired at the end of September, held the position since 2011.

Rath currently serves as the executive development officer and system vice president at Advocate Aurora Health Foundation, a position he has held since April 2018. Prior to his time with Advocate Aurora Health Foundations, Rath has worked with Columbia St. Mary's Foundation, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Art Museum.

He served as UPAF's chief development officer from 2002 to 2004.

“Patrick’s deep love of the performing arts and his commitment to Greater Milwaukee is outstanding,” regional president at BMO Wealth Management and chair of the UPAF CEO search committee Steve Johnson said in a press release. “We know that he will continue the great legacy of Deanna and those who came before her, of growing UPAF’s role in working with all of UPAF’s stakeholders to sustain a vibrant arts sector long into the future. Patrick is a consummate professional, a strategic and visionary thinker and a stellar leader.”

Rath has been active on several Milwaukee nonprofit boards including the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and Association of Fundraising Professionals. Rath is also a musician.

“UPAF is led by exceptional and dedicated individuals who are resolute in their drive and passion for our performing arts community and it is an honor to have the opportunity to work closely with them,” Rath said in a press release. “For the past forty years, I have experienced our performing arts community as a student, performer, executive and leader.

"These roles have given me a deep desire to ensure that future generations have these same opportunities and experiences. While our performing arts community is experiencing an unprecedented loss of revenue during this pandemic, I am confident that UPAF will lead all facets to ensure a strong and sustainable future that builds on our core beliefs of excellence and access for all.”