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Cory Nettles

Banking and Finance
Founder and managing director 
Generation Growth Capital |  Milwaukee

Cory Nettles is managing director of Generation Growth Capital, a private equity fund focused on buyouts and providing growth capital to small businesses and lower-middle market companies in the upper Midwest. He founded the company in 2007.

Its recent acquisitions include Michigan-based Killer Instinct Inc., Connecticut-based AutoShine of New England LLC and Indianapolis-based Harrell’s Car Wash Systems Inc.

Nettles previously was a partner with Quarles & Brady LLP and served as secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. While working as commerce secretary under former Gov. Jim Doyle, Nettles is credited with helping negotiate a $500 million venture capital package, along with banking and commercial lending legislation.

Nettles is board chair of Black Arts MKE, which hosts the Milwaukee Black Theater Festival. He and his wife, Michelle Nettles (chief people and culture officer at ManpowerGroup), this year made a $50,000 matching gift in support of Milwaukee Film. The couple has previously supported Milwaukee Film’s Black Lens initiative.

Nettles’s current board service also includes Weyco Group Inc., Robert W. Baird’s Baird Funds Inc., the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and Associated Bank. He’s recently served on the boards of the United Way of Greater Milwaukee, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Milwaukee World Festival, Teach for America, the Medical College of Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin Foundation, City Forward Collective Inc. and Usher’s New Look Foundation Inc.

Education: Bachelor’s, Lawrence University; J.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School

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