Holly Cremer Berkenstadt
Holly Cremer Berkenstadt receives the 1st Annual United Way Woman of the Year Philanthropy Award


Holly Cremer Berkenstadt receives United Way Woman of the Year Philanthropy Award in honor of her significant service and philanthropy to the community

Holly Cremer Berkenstadt, a Sun Prairie native, received the United Way of Dane County Woman of the Year Philanthropy Award at the Women’s Leadership Council annual membership breakfast on June 27. Holly was honored for a lifetime commitment to changing lives in the Dane County community. With a personal interest in improving the quality of life for all citizens, especially women, she has given her time, talent and donations to organizations that are committed to this mission.

“I cannot think of a more deserving woman for this award,” says Leslie Ann Howard, President  & CEO of United Way of Dane County. “Holly’s dedication to making our community a better place through philanthropy and volunteerism is true example of how one person can and does make a difference. I extend my deepest congratulations to Holly for receiving this honor.”

Holly has passed this love and commitment of community service to her adult daughter, Becca, and son, Brad, who have grown up with and continue involvement in philanthropic and volunteer work. Holly currently serves on several boards in the Madison community. These include: United Way of Dane County Foundation Board of Trustees, Meriter Health Services Board of Directors, Madison Area Technical College Foundation Board of Directors (past chair), DAIS Board of Trustees and DAIS Capital Campaign Chair. Past community service includes: United Way Board of Directors, United Way Vision Council (past chair), Salvation Army Advisory Board (past chair), Second Harvest of Southern Wisconsin Advisory Board, A Fund For Women Executive Committee (past chair), Madison Community Foundation Board of Directors, Wisconsin Partnership for Housing Development Board of Directors and Dane County W-2. Holly’s corporate philanthropy impacted Dane County through her previous ownership and leadership of her former family-owned business, The Wisconsin Cheeseman, Inc.

The Woman of the Year in Philanthropy award celebrates and acknowledges a woman who is committed to furthering our community’s Agenda for Change goals and educates, empowers and inspires women to be philanthropic leaders.

The event, held at Nakoma Country Club, was sponsored by an anonymous donor along with additional sponsorships from American Family Insurance, AnchorBank fsb, BMO Harris Bank, Credit Union National Association, Goodman’s Jewelers, Hilldale Mall, M3 Insurance, Meriter Health Services, Inc., SVA, and UW Health & Unity Health Insurance.

Important Facts About Women and Philanthropy

  • 43 percent of the nation’s top wealth holders are women. Top wealth holders are defined as individuals with assets of $1.5 million or more.
  • Women-owned firms in the United States account for two in five (40.2%) of all businesses in the country. These firms generate $1.9 trillion in annual sales and employ 13 million people nationwide.
  • Because women live longer than men, they will end up in charge of much of the $41 trillion expected pass from generation to generation over the next fifty years.
  • According to Diversity Best Practices & Business Women’s Network, women are responsible for 83% of all consumer purchases.

 About United Way of Dane County Women’s Leadership Council

United Way Women’s Leadership Council mobilizes the power of women to advance our community’s Agenda for Change. We are a movement of women who are working to change the human condition. United Way Women’s Leadership Council is addressing our Agenda for Change goals in Education, Safety, and Health. Join us and celebrate the power of women to bring about positive change to Dane County through philanthropy and service. We are a national network of some 50,000 members in 120 U.S. communities, and the most successful philanthropic effort of its kind.

About Our Community’s Agenda for Change


  • Students succeed academically and graduate from high school, regardless of race.
  • Children are cared for and have fun as they become prepared for school.


  • There is a decrease in family homelessness.
  • There is a reduction in violence toward individuals and families.


  • People’s health issues are identified and treated early.
  • Seniors and people with disabilities are able to stay in their homes.

United Way engages our community mobilizes volunteers and strengthens local nonprofits to achieve measurable results and change lives.

About United Way of Dane County

United Way of Dane County is addressing the underlying causes of community issues through our community’s Agenda for Change—seven goals focused on three priority areas of Education, Safety and Health that our community identified as most critical to changing lives and strengthening Dane County. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative work, we are achieving measurable results toward making our community better educated, safer, and healthier. United Way provides organizations and individuals the opportunity to give, advocate, and volunteer to change the human condition in Dane County.