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Wisconsin 275
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Gus Ramirez

Executive chairman, Husco International | Waukesha
Founder, St. Augustine Preparatory Academy |  Milwaukee

Augustin “Gus” Ramirez led a buyout of Husco International in 1985 and went on to serve as its CEO for the next 25 years. He is credited with overseeing an era of growth at the manufacturer of hydraulic and electrohydraulic controls for off-highway applications. During his tenure, sales revenue grew from roughly $13 million to nearly $400 million, the company expanded internationally, and it launched its automotive business. Gus has remained executive chairman since 2011, when his son, Austin, assumed leadership of the company as president and CEO. Ramirez is also a prolific philanthropist. He and his family invested about $60 million to launch St. Augustine Preparatory Academy, a private, Christian K4-12 school on Milwaukee’s south side that today serves about 1,400 students. Over the past two decades, Gus and his wife, Becky, have supported nearly 200 Christian schools, mostly in Central America.

Education: Bachelor’s, master’s, Georgia Tech; MBA, Harvard University

First job: “Development engineer. (I) learned I did not want to be a career engineer.”

What two business leaders would you want to have dinner with: “Warren Buffett to discuss investment strategy and opportunities and Jamie Dimon (chief executive officer of JP Morgan Chase) to discuss global economic issues.”

Biggest risk you’ve ever taken: “Buying Husco with 97% leverage.”

What has you most excited for the future: “The opportunity to create ever-improving business at Husco and school at Aug Prep.”

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