Wendy Baumann to receive BizTimes Woman Executive of the Year Award

WWBIC president to be honored at BizExpo

Wendy K. Baumann
Wendy K. Baumann

Wendy Baumann, the president and chief visionary officer of the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. will be the recipient of the 2017 BizTimes Woman Executive of the Year Award.

Wendy K. Baumann
Wendy Baumann

WWBIC, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that helps entrepreneurs in Wisconsin that want to start or expand a business but face barriers in accessing traditional financing or resources.

Since its incorporation in 1987, WWBIC says it has loaned $53.2 million, helped 4,385 entrepreneurs in Wisconsin create and retain 9,884 jobs and assisted 57,405 clients.

Bauman has led WWBIC for 24 years. Under her leadership, WWBIC has grown from a $200,000 budget with a staff of two, to a $5.7 million organization with a staff of 50, four regional offices, and three rural satellite offices.

In addition to her work for WWBIC, Baumann led the team that launched Milwaukee as a Kiva City (now ranked 8th highest volume in U.S.), was involved in the development of the Milwaukee Public Market, co-founded the national Association of Women’s Business Centers, co-formed the Invest in Wisconsin CDFI partnership, and currently sits on numerous regional and national boards.

She has spoken at national and international forums, including the Global Microfinance Summit and the United Nations, with an emphasis on her expertise in women’s entrepreneurship and inclusive microcredit practices.

Prior to leading WWBIC, Baumann was director of small business development for Milwaukee Area Technical College for five years.

Previous recipients of the BizTimes Woman Executive of the Year Award have included: Paula Penebaker, president and chief executive officer of YWCA Southeast Wisconsin; Dr. Eve Hall, president and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin; Nanette Gardetto, founder of Baptista’s Bakery Inc.; Maria Monreal-Cameron, former president and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Wisconsin; Gail Lione, a former Harley-Davidson Inc. executive; and Cynthia LaConte, president and CEO of Dohmen.

The BizTimes Woman Executive of the Year Award will be presented to Baumann at the BizExpo conference on Wednesday, May 24, at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. She will be honored during the Women in Business breakfast at BizExpo.

The Women in Business breakfast will also include a panel discussion with women who own businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. The panelists will include: Linda Katz, CEO of Port Washington-based Molded Dimensions Inc.; Crystal Miller, president of Frontida Assisted Living; Holly N. Ritz, president of Milwaukee-based The Penworthy Company LLC; and Dawn Vogelsang, president of Pewaukee-based  Hamacher Resource Group Inc. The discussion will be moderated by Kimberly Kane of Kane Communications Group. Click here to register to attend the Women in Business breakfast event.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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