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Advocate for Children & Families

About Joe

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Leadership with Results.

Joe Luginbill is an advocate for children & families, social entrepreneur, and elected official.

Joe has been a fighter for children and families at the statewide, national and global level. In 2018, Joe was elected to the United States Council of Organizations for the United Nations. Joe also serves as a Child Protection Advocate with UNICEF USA and as a U.S. member of the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth. He is an inducted member of the World Association for Infant Mental Health, the Royal Commonwealth Society, and the International Association of Trauma Professionals.


Joe has worked as a case manager and program director serving migrant children and families in 23 Wisconsin counties, and has served as a child welfare caseworker within the circuit court and human services systems. In 2016, Joe founded the Luginbill Children’s Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that administers scholarship and support programs serving children and families. Joe also spearheaded efforts to ban conversion therapy in Eau Claire and is the founder of OKtoBeYou.org, a resource site for LGBTQ youth. He is currently the CEO of the State Theatre and Community Center.


A native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Joe ran for his hometown School Board in 2015. Upon his election to the School Board, Joe became the youngest elected official in Eau Claire history and the first openly gay member of the School Board. In 2018, Joe was re-elected to the Board as the top vote-getter amidst a crowded field of seven candidates. Joe has served in the Board offices of Clerk, Treasurer, Legislative Liaison, Vice President, and President. He is a proven leader who sparks dialogue, builds coalitions, and enacts meaningful change. Joe authored over 155 policies and resolutions during his time in office, and was a key founder of the Eau Claire Virtual School.


Recognized as a global advocate for youth, Joe has been named as an Ambassador to the International Youth Forum and as Ambassador for the United Network for Organ Sharing.


Luginbill has previously served as a member of the United Way Education Advisory Council, Eau Claire Coalition for Youth, Successful Children's Network Board, Northwoods Coalition Advisory Board, Head Start Governance Committee, Eau Claire County Industrial Development Board, Wisconsin School Board Policy Committee, Alliance for Strong Communities Board, and as the Chair of the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention.

A Friendly Face

Since 2012, Joe has been a familiar and trusted face for families and products. Joe has been a brand ambassador for a number of food and nutrition companies and his work to encourage youth cooking was called "Very Admirable" by Martha Stewart (Sirius XM Radio, 2012). Joe’s work has been featured in retail locations and online, including Recipe Class, Celebrity Chef Network, and Recipes Tutor. He has promoted home cooking through partnerships with Mega Foods, Silver Spring Foods, Alli, and GlaxoSmithKline. For the past several years, Joe has taught free cooking classes for children and served as a media spokesperson for the Community Table.

Joe's Education

Joe is the proud son of two music teachers, the oldest of four siblings, and a proud product of the Eau Claire Area School District. Joe’s education includes North High School and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (Sociology and Family Studies). Joe is a certified Child Welfare Caseworker through the UW-Madison School of Social Work and Wisconsin Child Welfare Professional Development System. Joe also holds professional certifications in Ethics and Boundaries from UW-River Falls, Hazard Communication from OSHA, Public Information from FEMA, and Organizational Sustainability from the Midwest Counterdrug Training Center.

Joe’s Mission

In his free time, Joe enjoys volunteering for youth-serving organizations, spending time outdoors, testing new recipes, and writing short stories. Joe plans to continue his work as an advocate for children and families in all the ways that he can.