Wisconsin Volunteer Coordinators Association

Voices for Volunteerism

2016 WVCA Professional Achievement Award Winner

Marty Petillo
Volunteer Coordinator - Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Marty has managed Olbrich Botanical Garden's volunteer program for 15 years and has over 30 years of experience in nonprofit management. In Marty's early career she was a Peace Corps Volunteer Health Educator in The Gambia, West Africa. Through the years Marty has held positions as Deputy Director for health education grant work for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Director of UW-Madison's Cancer Information Service, and Project Director for Life Options Rehabilitation Program for Dialysis Patients. 


Marty has an 82% volunteer retention rate with her volunteers at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Marty's supervisor, Roberta Sladky, explains that her ability to assess new volunteers, place them in jobs where they will be successful, and train staff to effectively supervise the volunteers have been a few of the reasons for her success at the Gardens.


Marty has position descriptions for each volunteer assignment and reviews the volunteer experience with the staff to assure that staff and volunteers work collaboratively together.

She provides enrichment for volunteers with potlucks, social events, and special trainings. Marty and her volunteers developed an Olbrich Volunteer Cookbook which provides tasty recipes submitted by volunteers and also illustrates information about Olbrich Botanical Garden's history and gardens.

Past Winners of the WVCA Professional Achievement Award


2016-Mary Petillo


2015-Barb Horneck


2014-Carol Bloemer


2013-Stu Driessen


2012-Jim Radey


2011-Joy Alexander


2010-Linda Jahns


2009-Anne Strauch


2008-Cheryl Schmitz


2007-Karen Foust


2006-Ruthis Lombardo


2005-John Nieman


2004-Judy Richey


2003-Marti Sowka


2002-Chris Rodriguez


2001-Glen Tilot


2000-Joanie Johnson


1999-Marge Bader


1998-Julia Drobeck


1997-Susan Larson