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Wisconsin 275
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Steve Richman

Group president
Milwaukee Tool  |  Brookfield

Steve Richman has led Milwaukee Tool, the fast-growing Brookfield-based tool manufacturer, as its group president since 2007. This year alone, it expanded its R&D operations in Menomonee Falls, began occupying a downtown Milwaukee office to house 1,200 employees and opened a hand-tool plant in West Bend, which is expected to create 150 jobs and marks a return of manufacturing activity to the Milwaukee area for the brand. Milwaukee Tool revenue has grown year over year, to about $8 billion in 2021.

Education: Bachelor’s, UCLA

First job: “As a kid, I started a yard work business. I began working on lawns and hired additional people to take on more work/yards. I learned 1) Customer expectations and communication are absolutely critical. And 2) How to deal with employees not performing.”

Toughest business challenge you’ve ever faced: “The agility to respond to current demands and keep the focus on the long-term success of the business.”

Nonprofit cause that has special meaning to you: “Milwaukee Academy of Science. (CEO) Anthony McHenry and team have led the education of the youth of Milwaukee. The MAS team has disrupted the ordinary approach to education and they are changing Milwaukee in a positive way.”

What’s on top of your bucket list: “Going to see a UCLA basketball victory in the Final Four. Winning the championship!”

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