Patty Cadorin is motivated by the value she provides to others, measuring her own success based on what she has helped others achieve rather than what she has accomplished on her own.
Cadorin, a 23-year veteran in the banking industry and senior advisor at BMO Harris Bank, said she prefers to be in the background helping others in banking and the wide variety of roles she has held in Milwaukee-area nonprofit organizations.
“I enjoy mentoring young women, both within and outside of the bank,” Cadorin said. “I think that I am just listening and providing an ear for them, as a lot of times one just needs to hear themselves talk out loud. But it surprises me when they later thank me for something I’ve said that provided value to them.”
Beyond her duties as senior advisor, Cadorin has provided mentorship to leaders across BMO, helping them think through their own career goals and responsibilities, said Jud Snyder, president of BMO Harris Equipment Finance Co. and BMO’s senior executive for southeast Wisconsin.
“Without exception she has always focused on what is best for the bank and best for her community, leading by example with grace and confidence,” Snyder said. “I’ve been fortunate in my own career to have Patty’s counsel on numerous occasions and have been truly thankful for her guidance and perspective.”
Cadorin has also been a leader for a long list of community organizations. She is the chair of the Wisconsin Women’s Council; serves on the board of directors of the United Community Center, Building Brave, the Milwaukee Urban League and the Puelicher Foundation; and is a member of the United Way Women’s Initiative Leadership Council.
She is the former chair of the board of directors of Aurora Family Service and the Donors Forum of Wisconsin. Cadorin is also a former member of the board of directors of the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee and Zink the Zebra Foundation.
Cadorin co-chaired the 2015 United Performing Arts Fund community campaign, which brought in about $12 million.
She also co-chaired the Aurora Health Care Foundation Gala in 2016, the Boys and Girls Club Transformations Fashion Show in 2008, co-chaired the Sharp Literacy Novel Event in 2008, and was a member of the NFL Alumni/Big Brothers Big Sisters Golf Tournament committee for 19 years.
Before becoming a senior advisor at BMO Harris, Cadorin was chief of staff to the CEO. Prior to the acquisition of Marshall & Ilsley Corp. by BMO Financial Group, she was senior vice president and corporate communications director for M&I.
While her own resume is robust, Cadorin is quick to applaud the work of other women in the region.
“I so admire all of the women of Milwaukee,” Cadorin said. “They are powerhouses. I get energized and inspired just being around them. Our women nonprofit and education leaders are driving some significant initiatives in our communities. I am honored to contribute what I can to that work.”
For Cadorin, establishing a scholarship fund for young women in the Milwaukee Public Schools system is one of her proudest moments in her career. For her birthday a few years ago, Cadorin asked her children to donate to the fund rather than receiving birthday or Christmas gifts, she said.
“I told my two sons and their wives that I didn’t want any more birthday or Christmas gifts,” Cadorin said. “We decided instead to establish a scholarship fund with the Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation for a young woman high school graduate. I am so proud of them, they created the scholarship, suggested the name for it and they fund it each year themselves.”
In recognition of her career achievements and community contributions, Cadorin will receive the BizTimes Woman Executive of the Year Award at BizExpo 2020 during the Women in Business program, which will be held virtually from 12:30-1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 19.
“Patty is an inspiration and example to so many within the bank and across our broader Milwaukee community,” Snyder said. “She exemplifies what it means to lead with purpose, courage, humility and character.”