Denise Blackdeer Wagner
Credentials: BA ’94, MSSW ’95
Denise Blackdeer Wagner is a native of Madison. She earned her degrees from the UW-Madison (BA ’94, MSSW ’95). Denise is currently Chairman of the Board for Greywolf Partners, Inc., a full-service real estate firm with offices in Cottage Grove and Milwaukee. Greywolf Partners was formed in 2009 by Denise and her husband, Joe. In 2022, the company was recognized by the Indigenous Business Group as Business of the Year. Additionally, she serves as President of the Greywolf Foundation. Denise was also named as one of Wisconsin’s 33 most Influential Native American Leaders in 2023.
From early on, Denise has always been passionate and committed to helping those in need. As a member of the Ho-Chunk Tribe, she was raised to be a community steward. As a clinical Social Worker, Denise worked for the Veterans Affairs Hospital for 12 years in Wisconsin and Minneapolis. She held many roles at the hospital, as her clinical experience was focused on substance abuse, homelessness, and mental illness. Her favorite role was that of Native American Veteran outreach coordinator.
Denise has served on the Executive Board at Tellurian, Inc. for the past 15 years; dedicating her time to ensure those dealing with substance abuse and mental illness receive the care they need. In 2012, Denise helped her children create CARDS Closet, a free clothing resource in her hometown. CARDS Closet is still in operation and has helped thousands of local families in need. In 2018, it was recognized with a Jefferson Award for outstanding community service.
In 2021, Denise and Joe started the Greywolf Foundation. The Greywolf Foundation provides resources to assist people and entities in need, increase their opportunities for success, and better their communities. Its primary focus is in the areas of youth programs, education, employment and career development, poverty relief, community health, wellness, and recreation, disaster relief, and opportunity zones. In her work with the Greywolf Foundation, Denise and Joe established the Curtis W. Blackdeer Memorial Golf Outing. The event is the primary annual fundraiser for the Greywolf Foundation and is named in honor of Denise’s father, Curtis W. Blackdeer, which proudly honors his memory. The event was named after him, as he embodied the mission of the Greywolf Foundation, which is to impact communities and improve lives.
In 2022, the Greywolf Foundation established two scholarships with the University of Wisconsin Foundation, the Bob & Melida Wagner Excellence in Social Work and the Bob & Melida Wagner Excellence in Nursing. Each of these scholarships award financial assistance to a selected student at UW-Madison studying for a master’s degree at the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work and a selected student at the UW-Madison enrolled in the School of Nursing. Since its creation, the Greywolf Foundation has proudly given more than $160,000 in financial support to 70 different organizations and initiatives.
Denise enjoys spending time with her family and friends, volunteering and traveling. Denise is a diehard Wisconsin Badger fan and loves Badger Saturdays with her crew!