Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., the nonprofit organization that produces Summerfest, announced today that Baird managing director Mary Ellen Stanek has been named the new chairwoman of the MWF board.
"I look forward to working with the staff and board at Milwaukee World Festival to fulfill the mission of the organization, bringing the community together through music and special events, said Stanek.
Stanek also serves as co-chief investment officer of Baird Advisors, and as president of the Baird Funds. In 2020 and 2021, she was named to Barron’s list of the 100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance. Stanek also serves on the boards of Baird Financial Group, Northwestern Mutual, and WEC Energy Group, and on several nonprofit boards including All-In Milwaukee, Boys and Girls Clubs, Children's Hospital Foundation, Faith In Our Future Trust, Froedtert Health, Greater Milwaukee Committee, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and Medical College of Wisconsin and was elected trustee emeritus at Marquette University.
Staken will succeed Howard Sosoff, who has served as MWF board chairman since 2018 and will become chairman emeritus.
In addition to Stanek’s appointment, MWF also added Dr. Joan Prince, vice chancellor emerita for the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and U.S. ambassador emerita, General Assembly of the United Nations, to the MWF board. Prince is Mayor Cavalier Johnson’s appointee to the board. The board also approved the appointment of retired Johnson Controls executive Charles Harvey as an at-large member.Howard Schnoll, who has been a MWF board member for more than 40 years, will become an honorary board member, and Michael Lauer will be leaving the board, after serving two terms.