Wisconsin 275
Wisconsin 275
BizTimes Media

John Bergstrom

Other Leading Industries | Retail
Chairman and CEO
Bergstrom Automotive  |  Neenah

After early ventures with his brother in the bar and hotel business, John Bergstrom co-founded Neenah-based Bergstrom Automotive in 1974. He remains co-owner, chairman and chief executive officer of the automotive retailer, which today is the largest in Wisconsin and one of the top 50 car dealerships in the U.S. It has about 35 locations across Appleton, Green Bay, Madison, Neenah and Oshkosh and employs about 1,400 people.

The group has expanded through acquisition over the years. In 2020, Bergstrom Automotive purchased Cliff Wall Automotive’s Subaru, Mazda and Mitsubishi dealerships in Green Bay.

An active member of the Fox Valley community, Bergstrom has helped raise funds for the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Menasha Boys & Girls Club and Bubolz Nature Preserve.

Bergstrom personally spearheaded the initiative to build a Rockefeller Center-like ice rink in downtown Neenah and led a group of investors to fund the project as a gift to the city. The Plaza at Gateway Park opened last year.

In October, Bergstrom purchased an elementary school property from the Neenah Joint School District with plans to give it to ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah.

In addition, he’s served as a director of WEC Energy Group, Banta Corp., Kimberly-Clark Corp., Midwest Express Holdings Inc., Sensient Technologies Inc. and the Green Bay Packers.

Education: Bachelor’s, Marquette University

Fun fact: Shortly after their graduation from Marquette University, Bergstrom and his brother opened a bar together in a former post office building, naming it “The Old Post Office.” To this day, Bergstrom hasn’t had a drink of alcohol.

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