Banking and Finance
President and chief visionary officer
Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. | Milwaukee
In 1994, Wendy Baumann assumed leadership of the 7-year-old Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp., a statewide economic development organization focused on supporting women, people of color and low-wealth individuals – groups that have historically faced barriers in accessing traditional financing or resources to build their businesses. Under Baumann’s leadership, the organization’s loan portfolio has grown to $23.5 million with 600 active borrowers.
Education: Bachelor’s and master’s, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Favorite destination: “Spain – all of it, especially Valencia. I hope to die an old, lovely woman in Spain.”
Hobby/passion: “Cooking. I truly think of myself as a home chef. I cook daily and have dinner parties weekly. My dad and I have a cooking series, ‘The Dad and Daughter Cooking Show.’ It airs on public television in Sheboygan County.”
Biggest risk: “The biggest risk is not doing something in life. We often regret the things we do not do rather than those we do. I like the Nike theory and tagline, ‘Just Do It.’ If I had to share my biggest risk, it was probably taking on the role of president of WWBIC nearly 29 years ago when I had four young children and a very safe and secure job. But I have never looked back nor found it a risk – and I am not bored yet.”