Anique N. Ruiz is an award-winning professional with extensive education and experience in the nonprofit, for-profit and public sectors. She is an experienced consultant in the areas of leadership development and effective advocacy, with a proven commitment to improving the lives of women and people of color.
Ms. Ruiz is the Founder and Board President of The Journey For Women, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The vision of The Journey For Women, Inc. is to empower women in need with resources and strategies to address their spiritual, physical, mental and emotional needs. To realize its vision, The Journey For Women, Inc. works with local and international nonprofit, for-profit and public sector partners to develop innovative programming that addresses systematic, long-standing challenges for women and children in inner-city communities. Ms. Ruiz is passionate about helping women to overcome challenges in the areas of access to education, adequate childcare, lack of parenting or financial management skills, and poor health and nutrition.
She also facilitates weekly and semi-monthly forums entitled Sharing Circles—in-person and virtual forums where women (“sisters”) share their successes and challenges in a safe, loving, and confidential space. Since its inception in 2013, Sharing Circles have impacted the lives of hundreds of professional and homeless women alike, receiving applause and acclaim from the for-profit and nonprofit communities in Milwaukee.
In addition to facilitating Sharing Circles, Ms. Ruiz is a published author and blogger. Her first book, When a Tree Blossoms: Experiencing Fruitfulness That Lasts (published by The Ink Press, http://www.theinkpress1.wordpress.com), takes women on a 31-day journey to discovering their true potential and life’s purpose through candid stories of hope and transformation. Ms. Ruiz also writes for The Journey For Women, Inc. blog column (thejourneyforwomen.wordpress.com) which provides uplifting testimonies of triumph over life’s most difficult circumstances. The Journey For Women, Inc. blog has been read worldwide in over sixty-one countries, including Nicaragua, the Republic of Korea, Australia, India, South Africa, Germany Saudi Arabia and Brazil. Readers can also enjoy uplifting content from The Journey For Women, Inc. on Facebook, Twitter (@thejourneyforwomen), and LinkedIn.
In addition to her leadership at The Journey For Women, Inc., Ms. Ruiz worked as a Program and Policy Analyst at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Under the leadership of the Vice Chancellor for Global Inclusion and Engagement, Ms. Ruiz coordinated the 2013 and 2014 Milwaukee Partners In Giving Campaign, where her team rallied over 6,000 university employees to pledge thousands of dollars in support to Milwaukee nonprofit organizations.
Prior to her role at UWM, Ms. Ruiz consulted with the Nonprofit Management Fund in Milwaukee on a pilot study to determine the leadership needs of Milwaukee nonprofit organizations. Ms. Ruiz’s extensive research, interviews and original thoughts on leadership development, succession planning, mentoring, and other topics were compiled and published into a formal report entitled Nonprofit Leadership: Strengthening the Visionaries of the Future, which can be found at http://www.nonprofitmanagementfund.org/documents/LeadershipDevelopmentReport.pdf.
Ms. Ruiz is an experienced attorney with expertise in both civil and criminal litigation. As a litigation attorney with Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan, LLP, Ms. Ruiz represented Fortune 500 clients in a variety of industries, including insurers, restaurants, retail, communications, food manufacturers, banking, non-profits, and educational institutions. Her list of former clients includes, but is not limited to Wal-Mart, Rockwell Automation, JPMorgan Chase, AT&T, The Hershey Company and Texas Roadhouse. She also represented clients under the Student Practice Rule at the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office-Milwaukee Trial Division. During Ms. Ruiz’s tenure at the Public Defenders’ Office, she was successful in obtaining a Motion to Suppress Evidence in a Carrying a Concealed Weapon (CCW) case. Ms. Ruiz also gained experience as a summer associate at Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. in Milwaukee.
Early on in her career, Ms. Ruiz successfully advocated on behalf of students as a legislative intern and lobbyist for the United States Student Association and the Council on Educational Opportunity in Washington, D.C. In that role, she lobbied on Capitol Hill for access to education, created a voter registration guide for college students, and was invited by Former President William Clinton to the Oval Office of the White House for his radio address on Social Security. Ms. Ruiz continued her work in government as an intern in the Office of Former U.S. Senator Russell D. Feingold.
In 2012, Ms. Ruiz was elected as District Two Representative on the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors. In that role, she represented over 4,000 attorneys and advised the Board as a member of the Policy Committee. She was also named a “Rising Star” by CCN Magazine and recognized at the 2012 Midwest Urban Empowerment Awards, which honors young professionals under the age of 40 who are making their mark on their communities. Interviews of Ms. Ruiz have been featured on both the Wisconsin Law Journal and the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network websites.
Ms. Ruiz served as Chaplain for the Milwaukee Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is also a member of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Milwaukee. She has served as a board member for numerous organizations, including Legal Action of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers, the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association, and The Association of Women Lawyers. Her memberships include the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, and the Hispanic National Bar Association.
Ms. Ruiz earned her Juris Doctor degree from Marquette University Law School, where she was a Board member of the Moot Court Association, Vice President of the Black Law Students Association, and a member of the Judicial Committee. She earned a Master of Arts in Comparative and International Politics, cum laude, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs and Political Science at Marquette University.
More recently, Ms. Ruiz earned a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management at the Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Christian Studies with an emphasis on Women and Pastoral Counseling at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.
Ms. Ruiz is admitted to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin. She is proficient in Spanish.
For a full downloadable biography, click here: Anique N. Ruiz Bio_Sept 2015 (JFW).