Our Team

Star Divider

RIP MACLAY, Founder and CEO (rip@ipledgeusa.org)

Education: Dartmouth College, BA (Economics and Art History); MBA (Finance and Marketing) from The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania).

Maclay is responsible for developing the overall strategy, the artistic creation and direction of I PLEDGE USA. His photography work has been featured in news publications and recognized in photo contests. Maclay feels a strong connection between the worlds of art, education and business: “Like never before, we need to tell a relevant story. We are at a critical intersection where powerful ideas and innovative technologies are creating exciting new ways to use our imaginations, to stretch the creative process, to integrate ideas and to discover new relationships. The discipline needed to work in a constantly changing environment, while incredibly challenging, can be extremely rewarding. In the end, the measure of our success is in how effectively we communicate our story.”

Maclay is the managing partner of an investment firm he founded, Cedarwinds Investment Management (www.cedarwinds.com).

PATTY BEST, Executive Director (patty@ipledgeusa.org)

Education: University of Wisconsin, Madison (Special Education and Film)

In her role as Executive Director, Patty serves as the primary point person for all project inquiries and work performed by the firm.  Her background is in education and art, and her enthusiasm for the concept of education through art goes hand-in-hand with the mission of IPA.  “The Flag is such an exceptional vehicle to bridge art with history, social studies and more!  The creative process requires thinking and problem solving; decision making….how can that not help in the other areas of education?”

DONNA BARBER, Secretary/Treasurer (donna@ipledgeusa.org)

Education:  Milwaukee Area Technical College, Associates (Accounting)

While Donna may be responsible for the back-office operations of I Pledge USA, her front-of-the-house presence and dedication to the mission of I Pledge is very evident.  As an auxiliary member of American Legion Post 18 and the daughter of a WWII injured POW, Donna dedicates her work with I Pledge to all the Veterans in her life–those who gave of themselves so that we could have the freedom of the American Dream!  “Thank you!”

PHIL RECHT, Director

Education:  Williams College, BA (Political Economy); JD and MBA from The University of Chicago.

After graduating from college, Phil served in the Navy as a submarine weapons officer before attending graduate school.  He is a retired partner of Quarles & Brady, a major law firm headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He currently is a self-employed furniture maker.


Chez Ordonez, a progressive, unorthodox change agent, is a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has extensive knowledge and experience in Communications, Journalism and Government Relations. He carries additional abilities in media; mainly in radio and print journalism.

Chez was raised in a diverse household by immigrant parents who taught him to always look for the third path, think outside of the box and to challenge mainstream practices. He continuously approaches a situation with the framework of inspiring innovation, and leverages his natural ability as a high performing communicator and storyteller for the betterment of those around him.

In his professional career, Chez has held many key level positions in communications, outreach and government affairs.  He served in management roles for two large telecommunications corporations and proceeded to diversify his talents.  He went on to be a journalist, doing live community radio as an on-air producer, fill-in host, and eventually co-hosting.

Chez has served in the Wisconsin State Senate as a Director of Communications, Civic Engagement Director for a Milwaukee non-profit, and is now working in Healthcare managing government affairs in several states.