Wisconsin 275
Wisconsin 275
BizTimes Media

Kurt Bauer

Real Estate and Development | Economic Development
President and CEO
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce | Madison

Kurt Bauer leads Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state’s largest business association, with more than 3,800 member companies. A combined association of the state Chamber of Commerce, Wisconsin Manufacturers’ Association and Wisconsin Safety Council, WMC advocates for pro-business policies – such as lower health care costs, school choice funding and tax reform – and particularly wielded its influence as COVID-19 mitigation policies were enacted throughout the early stages of the pandemic.

Education: Bachelor’s, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Career advice: “Write down your goals and make a plan to achieve each of them, and then outwork your competition in executing that plan.”

Hobby/passion: “I took my oldest on his first backpacking trip this past summer. The activity has always been one of my favorite escapes. I also enjoy hiking and mountain biking, and I just recently started golfing again after giving the sport up when my kids were born.”

Toughest business challenge You’ve ever faced: “I led the Wisconsin Bankers Association through the Great Recession, with all the challenges it presented to financial institutions. And I also led WMC through the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent business shutdowns and economic consequences. Neither crisis was easy, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.”

Nonprofit cause: “The WMC Foundation’s Business World program, which teaches young people about free enterprise and entrepreneurship.”