Versiti - 2023 Imagine Gala | Versiti Blood Research Institute

2023 Imagine Gala

Join us for an evening of innovation and discovery in support of Versiti Blood Research Institute.

The annual Imagine Gala benefits the Versiti Blood Research Institute Foundation, which helps propel our investigators’ groundbreaking research.

Event Details

Date: Friday, Sept. 8, 2023
Time: 5:30-11:00 p.m.
Location: Wisconsin Club | 900 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI

Please RSVP by Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023

All proceeds support research at Versiti Blood Research Institute. Cocktail attire requested.


The Virginia Brooks Jefferson Award is given in recognition of an individual, group, corporation or foundation whose outstanding volunteer leadership supports Versiti’s mission to advance patient care by providing life-saving solutions grounded in unparalleled medical expertise.


This Year's Winner: Jackie Frederick

Jackie Fredrick began her career in blood health at the Blood Center of Southeastern Wisconsin, now Versiti, and was appointed its fourth CEO in 2001. For more than 15 years, she guided the organization through unprecedented growth and foresaw the changes that swept across health care during the economic downturn. She began the process of incorporating what was then known as BloodCenter of Wisconsin with other blood centers in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan to create what is now Versiti.

Jackie retired in 2016 but continues to support Versiti’s lifesaving mission, including through a named scholarship that benefits graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Jackie’s commitment to our community includes her service on the boards of Alverno College, Morgridge Institute for Research and Froedtert Health, to name a few. Jackie exemplifies everything that the Virginia Brooks Jefferson Award stands for.

Last Year's Award Winner: Nan Gardetto

Nan Gardetto has dedicated her life to giving back to the community. As president of the Everyday Good Foundation, she directs her philanthropic efforts to causes that improve lives. Nan and her family are longtime supporters of Versiti Blood Research Institute.


This award is given to a recipient who has persevered and displayed hope as well as gratitude, through a difficult and challenging blood disease. Join us in celebrating strength and resiliency.


This Year's Award Winner: Elise Goebel

As a teenager, Elise was diagnosed with severe factor VII deficiency, a rare bleeding disorder that affects the blood’s ability to clot. She receives medical care at Versiti Comprehensive Center for Bleeding Disorders, which taught her how to self-infuse the factor VII replacement her blood lacks.

Last Year's Award Winner: Rhett Kallenberger

Rhett was diagnosed with leukemia in 2021 at just 4 years old. During 100 days of inpatient care, he received six blood and platelet transfusions to give him the strength to ensure grueling chemotherapy.


CSL Behring | Presenting Sponsor

Thank you to CSL Behring for its five years of partnership in fighting blood diseases as a lead Imagine Gala sponsor!

Hero Level

Axion Risk Management Strategies
Brewers Community Foundation

Champion Level

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Fresenius Kabi
MHS Health Wisconsin

Ambassador Level

BMO Harris Bank
Engberg Anderson Architects
Fidelity Investments
Foley & Lardner
Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin
Marquette Associates
Northwestern Mutual

Advocate Level

Brown & Brown Insurance
Grant Thornton
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Network Health
von Briesen & Roper, s.c.
Financial Giving
Versiti Blood Research Institute Foundation accepts financial and philanthropic gifts from donors, which helps to propel lifesaving research.
Versiti Partnerships
Versiti community partners and sponsors include amateur and professional sports teams, restaurants, entertainment venues, nonprofits, and more.
Versiti Blood Research Institute
Versiti Blood Research Institute investigators study blood disorders like hemophilia, blood cancers like leukemia, and other blood diseases.
Ways to Give
You can support Versiti’s mission in several ways, including donating blood, hosting a blood drive, joining the organ and tissue donor registry, and more.