Wisconsin First Lady Tonette Walker was born and raised in Milwaukee. She spent more than 20 years employed in the insurance industry before working for the American Diabetes Association. Currently, the first lady works in the development department for the American Lung Association. Tonette and the Walker family share their time between Madison and Wauwatosa, where their son Alex attends high school, and their son Matt attends Marquette University in neighboring Milwaukee.
As first lady, Tonette most enjoys using her role to help improve the lives of the people of Wisconsin. She is currently working in partnership with various foundations and nonprofit organizations to better recognize, understand and address the effects of trauma on the lives of children and families in Wisconsin. Through this partnership, she hopes to establish the State of Wisconsin as a national leader in the Trauma Informed Care movement.
Tonette also works regularly with Teen Challenge of Wisconsin, a faith-based organization dedicated to the healing and rehabilitation of teens and young adults with substance abuse addictions. The first lady works to raise awareness for the group throughout the state, and also assists Teen Challenge in their fundraising and expansion efforts.
On the lighter side, Tonette invites the people of Wisconsin to “Walk with Walker,” as she visits some of the state’s most picturesque trails, parks and landscapes in an effort to showcase some of the beautiful but lesser-known sites across the state, while also promoting health and fitness.
Because the first lady personally enjoys and values volunteerism, and because Wisconsin is home to some of the friendliest and most giving people in the nation, each month she presents a Wisconsin Heroes Award to a resident who voluntarily devotes his or her time and energy to a nonprofit organization or cause that helps make Wisconsin a better place.