Wisconsin 275
Wisconsin 275
BizTimes Media

Wayne Oldenburg

Manufacturing
CEO
Oldenburg Group Inc.  |  Glendale

Wayne C. Oldenburg founded Oldenburg Group Inc. in 1981. The company was a manufacturer of mining equipment, commercial lighting and military products. In 2006, Oldenburg sold its coal mining equipment business to Joy Global Corp. (now Komatsu Mining) for $140 million, but kept its division that made machines used in hard-rock underground mining. In 2016, it sold its underground mining equipment and defense businesses to a New York-based private equity firm. Oldenburg kept its commercial lighting equipment division, Glendale-based Visa Lighting. He continues to serve as chief executive officer of the company, which supplies performance engineered products that are used in the architectural lighting industry.

Oldenburg is past-president of ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, a nonprofit organization that provides support of people affected by breast cancer; the organization was founded by his late wife, Melodie Wilson. For years, Oldenburg has provided rent-free space in Visa Lighting Inc.’s Glendale office building to three nonprofits: ABCD, Girls on the Run and SHARP Literacy.

Education: Bachelor’s and J.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison; MBA (equivelant) Stockholm School of Ecomocis

Favorite destinations: “Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; Stuart, Florida.”

Favorite Wisconsin restaurant and order: “Kopp’s, butter pecan custard.”

Toughest business challenge you’ve ever faced: “Overcoming the closing of two factories, relocating and building two new ones.”