Mary Victoria Evans Rader, known as Tori, is a life-long resident of Green Bay. Tori was born in 1943 and attended St. Joseph Academy and St. Norbert College. She married Robert J. Rader on August 12, 1967, and has four children and nine grandchildren. Since retiring in 2008, she has spent countless hours working with non-profit agencies.
Tori was hired as the first Executive Director of Literacy Green Bay (formerly Literacy Council of Brown County) in 1988, when the organization had 164 students, 86 tutors and a budget of $30,000. By the time she retired in 2008, Literacy Green Bay had grown to 898 students in tutoring and ELL classes, 285 tutors and a budget of $458,000. In 2002, the organization received the National Award for Excellence from ProLiteracy, recognizing Literacy Green Bay as the outstanding literacy program in the nation.
Tori served on the board of directors of Wisconsin Literacy for 15 years, working to build a strong network of support for adult literacy programs and advocating for funds to staff Wisconsin Literacy in Madison. She served as president of this state organization from 2003-05 and wrote a grant to hire the first paid executive director. In 2005, Tori was cited by the State Legislature as an “Adult Literacy Visionary in the State of Wisconsin”. She also received the Literacy Green Bay Irene Daniell Kress Literacy Award in 2008.
Tori’s talent have allowed her to help start, expand and/or support literacy organizations in five neighboring counties and she also conducted presentations on program effectiveness at three national and five state conferences.
Over the years, she achieved her goals by prioritizing work, family and volunteer activities. She served as president of Service League of Green Bay in 1983-87, is a member of Green Bay-DePere Antiquarian Society and Daughters of the American Revolution. She also served as president of the Brown County Historical Society 2013-15, where she led the effort to launch a capital campaign (2015-18) to raise funds to ensure the organization’s long-term viability and its obligation to maintain Historic Hazelwood House.
Her work is truly commendable. Tori’s vision to improve the lives of others is never-ending and she characterizes the true meaning of advocacy and dedication.