Gardetto is BizTimes Woman Executive of the Year

Nannette “Nan” Gardetto will receive the 2014 BizTimes Woman Executive of the Year Award.

Gardetto is the owner and chief executive officer of Baptista’s Bakery Inc. in Franklin. Baptista’s is a contract manufacturer and product developer of nutritional snack products. The company’s customers are large consumer packaged goods companies.

Baptista’s has nearly 400 employees and operates in a 260,000-square-foot facility.

Prior to Baptista’s, Gardetto worked at her family’s business, Gardetto’s, beginning in 1975. In 1987, she became executive vice president and led the company until it was sold 1999 to General Mills. At the time of the sale, two Gardetto manufacturing facilities existed. As part of the sale of Gardetto’s, one plant was carved out and retained by Nan to house her new business venture, Baptista’s Bakery, which was named after her father and grandfather.

Baptista’s has been the recipient of many awards for fast growth, including Deloitte’s “Top 75 Wisconsin Businesses” award for 2012 and 2013. It also received Deloitte’s “Distinguished Performer Award for Entrepreneurship” in 2012.

A resident of Mequon, Gardetto is widowed, has three grown stepchildren and four grandchildren. Through a new relationship, she also is a mother to two teenage children. She currently serves on the boards of directors for several organizations, including Aurora Healthcare, The Blood Center Research Foundation, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and Andis Co.

Previous recipients of the BizTimes Woman Executive of the Year Award have included: Maria Monreal-Cameron, former president and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Wisconsin; former Harley-Davidson Inc. executive Gail Lione; and Dohmen CEO Cynthia LaConte.

Gardetto will receive the award during the BizTimes Women in Business breakfast at the BizExpo on Wednesday, May 21 at Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee. To register to attend the Women in Business Breakfast, visit

The breakfast also will include a discussion by a panel of executives, including: Julia Taylor, president of the Greater Milwaukee Committee; Nancy Hernandez, president of ABRAZO Multicultural Marketing & Communication in Milwaukee; Phyllis King, associate vice chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and Tami Scully Garrison, community commerce and partnerships manager at MillerCoors in Milwaukee. The panel discussion will be led by Kimberly Kane, president and founder of Kane Communications Group.

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