The Wisconsin Volunteer Coordinators Association (WVCA) recently announced Marty Petillo, Volunteer Services Manager at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, as the 2016 WVCA Professional Merit Award winner on May 5 at their annual meeting in Pewaukee, Wis.
This award is given to a professional who is an outstanding manager of volunteer services, a leader among peers, involved in the community, and a resource to other volunteer managers.
Petillo has managed Olbrich’s volunteer program for 15 years and has more than 30 years experience in nonprofit management. She started her career as a Peace Corps Volunteer Health Educator in The Gambia, West Africa. She 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.
Petillo defines her work with Olbrich’s 600+ volunteers as a human resources office for unpaid staff. She works with staff supervisors to ensure that volunteers are assigned to work that needs to get done and is a good fit for both the volunteer and staff supervisor. She has a knack for remembering every volunteer’s name and is always quick to show her appreciation for their efforts, a key to the 80% volunteer retention rate at Olbrich.
“Marty’s 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 reasons for her success at the Gardens,” says Olbrich Executive Director Roberta Sladky.
WVCA is a Wisconsin professional association founded in 1973 to create a statewide network for managers of volunteers. WVCA is designed to serve as a positive force in the promotion of volunteerism, leadership, and volunteer management.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens is located in Madison, Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Monona at 3330 Atwood Avenue. Visit Olbrich's website at