Colleen is President of the Milwaukee Irish Fest Foundation and is a past-President of Milwaukee Irish Fest. She also serves on the Board of Directors of CelticMKE, now the parent organization of Irish Fest. She has been involved in Milwaukee Irish Fest since its early days, as her brother, Ed Ward, was its Founder. Irish Fest is truly a passion and essentially a “way of life” for her family.
Colleen’s specific area of responsibility at the Festival is Diplomatic Relations and Guest Relations, caring for dignitaries and ensuring positive guest experiences. She chairs the Fund Development Committee, responsible for festival sponsorship and year-round donations.
Milwaukee Irish Fest, celebrating its 40th year with a totally virtual festival in August, is the largest celebration of Irish and Celtic music and culture in North America.
Milwaukee Irish Fest Foundation, in its 25 years, has provided grants of more than $650,000 to non-profit organizations in the USA and in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The priorities of the Foundation are Irish culture and education, and support of community endeavors.
Outside of her various volunteer commitments, Colleen has had a career in healthcare and in non-profit management, focusing on people with disabilities. She continues to serve as a consultant in the field. She and her husband Tom have two adult children.