Joel Cencius, CFRE

Chief Development Officer


St. Joan Antida High School (SJA) welcomes back a familiar face to lead the school’s development and alumnae relations efforts as Chief Development Officer.

As a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), Joel Cencius brings more than 13 years of nonprofit fundraising experience to the Chief Development Officer role, with time spent in both direct-fundraising leadership positions and organizational management roles.  In his most recent role, Cencius served as the Vice President of Development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee.  In that leadership position Joel oversaw all fund development responsibilities for the agency which served more than 1,400 children and their families annually.  In his first year of holding that role he successfully increased funds raised, including a 28% increase in special event revenue in addition to securing new corporate funding.  Prior to joining Big Brothers Big Sisters, Cencius served SJA as the Sr. Director of Development from 2015-2018 and throughout his tenure helped to generate year-over-year fundraising growth for the school.  In addition to his fundraising successes he established the school’s marketing and communications department, increasing the school’s visibility and enrollment in a competitive high school market.  Previous roles also include time as Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving at Cardinal Stritch University where he directly managed the University’s annual giving and alumni engagement programs, and serving as the Director of Visitor Services for the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, where he managed all day-to-day operations at the museum.

Cencius is an active volunteer within the Milwaukee community, serving many organizations that work directly with youth and teens.  He has been a long-time volunteer for Make-a-Wish of Wisconsin and the Arthritis Foundation (National and Regional roles), and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Washington High School Alumni Scholarship Foundation. Cencius is also a member of Rotary and serves as Vice Chair for his Club.

Favorite subject in high school: English

Please feel free to reach out to Joel Cencius, CFRE, Chief Development Officer at (414) 274-4710 or