Meet the Bettys: The Risk-Taker

The Risk-Taker: This fearless female never settles for the status quo

For most of her adult life, Tiffany McDuffie, a certified public accountant, helped others manage risk. But after 10 years in traditional corporate roles, McDuffie, 42, craved change. In 2008, she embraced risk full time. “I had to trust my gut,” says McDuffie.

“I’ve never been nervous about failure, just deathly afraid of regret.”

After briefly trying real estate, she turned to an idea closer to home: kids. McDuffie spent several years substitute teaching inside Milwaukee Public Schools. There, she noticed that students came to school sullen and addicted to technology. McDuffie, who grew up surrounded by “happy, active kids,” knew her next move.

In 2012, the Chicago native and her husband, Otto, founded Purposeful PLAY (Positive Learning through Athletics for Youth), a nonprofit that offers after-school sports programs for kids in low-income communities.

The goal was to create a positive, nurturing environment like the one McDuffie grew up in. “Playing sports teaches kids to work as a team, and it teaches confidence. We want kids to learn that if they fall, they can get back up.” There’s no app for that.

The Betty Awards” appears in the November 2019 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

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