We just heard the heartbreaking news that our dear friend, former PA Milwaukee ED, and PANO VP of Growth Strategy and Development, Tonya Mantilla, passed away Saturday, December 18th, surrounded by daughter Tatum (pictured) and close friends. Tonya had been on medical leave privately and fiercely battling cancer for the past year.
Those of you who had the privilege to know and work with Tonya know her to be a devoted and decisive leader, a warm presence, and a truly caring soul. Tonya embodied Public Allies in all that she did and all that she achieved. Never looking for the spotlight for herself but rather wanting to support others being recognized for their work, she always put her commitment to justice and equity before all else and wasn’t afraid to speak truth to power.
Tonya started her journey with Public Allies in 1998 in the role of Program Manager for Public Allies Milwaukee. Over the course of her 8-year tenure, she served as Associate Director and then Executive Director for three years. Tonya left PA to take on a number of positions at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee culminating in the role of Vice President of Advancement. In July of 2019, Tonya returned to Public Allies as the Vice President for Growth Strategy and Development for the National Office where she led the transformation of our fundraising efforts. Much of our unprecedented fundraising success is due to her vision and leadership, including our current Racial Equity Campaign.
Tonya once shared, “There are only a few things in this world that are more magnetic than our Allies, our values, and our staff. Public Allies is a central part of my ethos and will always be home. I remain inspired by our vision, mission, purpose and transformative impact on the world. My PA journey included scores of staff and hundreds of Allies…I owe my formation as a leader to this experience.”
Our world is losing a tremendous spirit. Please consider supporting Tonya’s daughter Tatum through this difficult time by making a donation to this GoFundMe campaign.