Legacy Fund

Over 40 years ago, four civic leaders (who were on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors at the time) began a conversation focused on what needed to be done about Madison’s downtown. It was a time of urban sprawl and downtown Madison was suffering. These four people knew that if the downtown decayed it would negatively affect the entire city. Their discussion led to the eventual formation of Downtown Madison, Inc. (DMI).

The four visionaries at the time were: Bob O’Malley, President of (then) United Bank & Trust (passed away May 30, 2014), Bob Schmitz, President of the Hub Men’s Clothing Store (passed away June 27, 2013), Don Hovde, President of Hovde Realty, Inc. (passed away February 8, 2002), and Don Helfrecht, CEO of Madison Gas & Electric. They created the vision/foundation that continues to drive the work of DMI today and it is for that reason DMI has established a Legacy Fund in their names.

Bob O'Malley
Bob O'Malley
Robert Schmitz
Robert Schmitz
Don Hovde
Don Hovde
Don Helfrecht
Don Helfrecht

Donate to the Legacy Fund


The Legacy Fund allows businesses, friends, and families to recognize those who have contributed over and above to the health and growth of DMI. Contributions can be made at any level to honor an individual, a company, or a group that has committed time/work to the betterment of downtown Madison. These generous contributions will honor our founders dedication to downtown and will keep their legacy alive by funding research, special projects, grant writing, and staff training at the discretion of the DMI Board—all to enhance our effectiveness in implementing our mission to sustain and grow a healthy and vital downtown Madison!


Legacy Fund Donors

  • The family of Bob O’Malley in the name of Bob O’Malley
  • The family of Bob Schmitz in the name of Bob Schmitz
  • Virginia Rogers, sister of Bob Schmitz in the name of Bob Schmitz
  • The family of Don Hovde in the name of Don Hovde
  • Janine Punzel in the name of Don Hovde
  • Madison Gas & Electric in the name of Don Helfrecht
  • Michael Best & Friedrich in the name of Matt Carlson, DMI Board Chair 2013-14
  • Steve Brown Apartments in the name of Steve Brown
  • J.H. Findorff & Son in the name of Rich Lynch, DMI Board Chair 2003-04
  • Friends of Dick Wagner in the name of Dick Wagner
  • Park Bank in the name of Pablo Sanchez
  • Porchlight and DMI Board Members in the name of Steve Schooler
  • First Weber Group in the name of Dan Lee, DMI Board Chair 2015-16
  • Madison Gas & Electric, Steve & Laurel Brown, Steve Brown Apartments, Brownhouse, The Mullins Group, CāS4 Architecture, LLC, Fiore Companies, UW Health, Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau and Madison Area Sports Commission, Deb Archer, Katie Rist/Foley & Lardner, Tim Casper, Urban Assets, and Ron Luskin in the name of Susan Schmitz, DMI President 1999-2017
  • Fiore Companies, Steve Brown Apartments, Madison Gas & Electric, Susan Schmitz, Carlson Black O’Callaghan & Battenberg LLP, J.H. Findorff & Son, Matt Carlson, Dan Lee, Doug Poland, Janine Punzel, Nathan Wautier, Ron Luskin, Two Men and a Truck, Melissa Huggins, Broadwing Advisors, Juli Aulik, Kari Grasee, and Old National Bank in the name of Stacy Nemeth, DMI Board Chair 2017-2018
  • Madison Gas & Electric in the name of Jeff Newman, DMI Treasurer 2017-2020
  • Stafford Rosenbaum, Nathan Wautier, Ron Luskin, Steve Brown Apartments, Melinda Heinritz, Stacy Nemeth, Anita Schleicher Mahamed, UW Health, and Janine Punzel in the name of Doug Poland, DMI Board Chair 2019-2020
  • Steve Brown Apartments, Strategic Brand Marketing, Melinda Heinritz, and UW Health in the name of Nathan Wautier, DMI Board Co-Chair 2021, Randy Banks, Ron Luskin, Janine Punzel, Carole Schaeffer, and Carol Ann Hewitt
  • von Briesen & Roper, s.c., Steve Brown Apartments, Melinda Heinritz, Strategic Brand Marketing, The Edgewater, and Urban League of Greater Madison in the name of Megan Jerabek, DMI Board Co-Chair 2021-2022
  • Madison Gas & Electric, Steve Brown Apartments, Melinda Heinritz, The Edgewater, UW Health, Anita Mahamed, Strategic Brand Marketing, and Doug Poland in the name of Mark Richardson, DMI Board Co-Chair 2022-2023