Bret Bicoy's primary role since 2008 is President & CEO of the Door County Community Foundation. Under his leadership, the Community Foundation has become the premiere vehicle for bringing people together to address issues facing Door County and has been held up as a model for other communities. During Bret's tenure, countless projects have been launched under the Community Foundation including the Door County Scholarship Network, the Door County COIN Business Mentoring and Micro-Loan programs, the Women’s Fund, Healthy Water Door County, Discuss Door County, the Crime Prevention Foundation, Write On Door County, the Kress Pavilion, the Sturgeon Bay Skatepark, the Door County Civility Project, and too many others to mention. He was also writes a regular column on philanthropy in the Peninsula Pulse.
Prior to returning to Wisconsin, the Bicoy family lived for 4 years in Las Vegas, Nevada where Bret served as President of the Nevada Community Foundation. During his tenure in Las Vegas, the Nevada Community Foundation received $49 million in contributions and secured $71 million in known estate commitments. In 2007, Bret was named a Person of Influence in the annual “Influence” issue of In Business Las Vegas. The magazine called Bret one of the “men and women who make things happen” in Nevada.
Over his entire career, Bret has been responsible for more than $150 million in known estate commitments ("known" because often you don't know the value of an estate gift until it arrives). He has been counsel to campaigns that have raised nearly $100 million, and the foundations he has led have distributed nearly $60 million to charity.
With his lovely and charming wife Cari, Bret returned to Wisconsin in 2008. After considerable soul searching they realized that there was more to life than always reaching for next rung on the career ladder. They had enough of big city living and wanted to raise their six children surrounded by family and friends in this wonderful place called Door County.
A 1992 graduate of Tufts University, Bret was honored with the 2006 Young Alumni Achievement Award as one “whose distinguished accomplishments bring credit to his community, his profession, and Tufts University.”
Bret also served as President & CEO of the Marietta Community Foundation when in 2002 he was named a Fellow of the Council on Foundations in Washington, D.C. for his work promoting philanthropy in diverse communities. While in Ohio, the Marietta Chamber of Commerce named him the Telesis Community Leader of the Year as “a believer in impossible things, whose vision, enthusiasm and dedication have unquestionably made their mark on our community.”
In the 1990s, Bret was the Senior Foundation Officer of the Green Bay Community Foundation during which time he helped launch the Door County Community Foundation. When living in Green Bay, Bret also served one term on the Brown County Board of Supervisors and was twice elected to the Green Bay City Council.
As a volunteer, Bret is an active Rotarian, previously as a member of the Marietta Noon Rotary Club and now with the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay, Door County’s oldest and largest service club.
Currently serving as his Club’s Sergeant-at-Arms, it’s his responsibility to “humble” other Rotarians – which basically gives him permission to make fun of other members and levy fines accordingly – moneys which are used to support the Club’s scholarship program.
He previously served as President of the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay. Bret is also on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ and on the Board of the United Church of Christ Foundation of Wisconsin.
An inspiring and gifted speaker, Bret gives numerous keynote speeches and workshops each year. On topics such as community building, volunteerism, charity, philanthropy, and planned giving, Bret moves easily from inspirational keynote speeches before large crowds to technical presentations on the mechanics of charitable giving.
He has been the featured speaker before chambers of commerce, graduation ceremonies, volunteer dinners, and non-profit events. He has also given countless workshops on fund development. Schedule permitting, he welcomes the opportunity to speak with your group.
Bret also continues to provide strategic planning services to numerous organizations that are trying to be deliberate in creating their future. If the calendars can line up correctly, he'd be glad to assist with your planning.
In years past, Bret has also served as a consultant on major fundraising campaigns and planned giving programs, offered workshops on diversity and inclusive practices, counseled on community and civic engagement, and helped with foundation management. However, Bret’s position as President & CEO of the Door County Community Foundation makes it difficult for him to commit to long-term, ongoing projects. While he occasionally consults with long-time clients in these areas, he typically does not enter into long-term consulting work with new clients unless there is an exciting initiative, or particularly challenging issue, to be addressed.
However, he continues to welcome inquiries from any charity if he can be of assistance in more limited ways.
With his lovely and charming wife Cari, they are parents of Alyssa, David, Bret Jr., Kekoa, Nalani and Malia. Born and raised in Aiea, Hawaii (the only city in America spelled only with vowels). Bret still loves his boogie board but has yet to find any really good waves in Wisconsin.