Wendy K. Baumann
President/CVO, Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
email wendy.baumann@WWBIC.com
phone 414-263-5450
At the helm of WWBIC since 1994, Wendy is an internationally-recognized leader in microenterprise, small business development, financial capability and social enterprise. In her long and rich career, Wendy has focused on advancing opportunities for women, racial minorities and lower-wealth individuals. She has pioneered business incubation, capital access programming, financial capability and economic literacy initiatives in Wisconsin and advanced many through national channels.

Board Profile

Wendy’s personal mission has always been to improve the financial well-being of others. This is exemplified in her career choices and bountiful volunteer service. In addition to Wendy’s commitment to WWBIC, she led the team that launched Milwaukee and Madison as a Kiva Cities (now ranked 8th highest volume in US), drove 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. Wendy is a sought-after speaker for national and international forums, including the Global Microfinance Summit and the United Nations, with emphasis on her expertise in women’s entrepreneurship and inclusive microcredit practices. A gifted advocate and coalition builder, Wendy has tirelessly lent her business savvy, compassion and leadership skills to positively change our economic landscape.

Board Experience

Wendy has served on numerous national and local Boards including: The Association of Enterprise Opportunity, Consumer Federation of America – America Saves, Office Depot – National Women’s Advisory Committee, The Association of Women’s Business Centers, The National SBA Advisory Board, Johnson Bank, WHEDA, and Northern Trust – New Markets Tax Credit Boards, Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, The Institute of World Affairs, Associated Bank Advisory Board, The Milwaukee Public Market Board, UW-Milwaukee Alumni Board, Herzing University, Milwaukee Metropolitan Civic Alliance, Milwaukee North Shore Rotary Club and others.

Professional Summary

With Wendy’s leadership and vision, WWBIC has grown from a $200,000 budget with a staff of two, to a $7.3 million organization with over 50 staff, five regional offices and rural satellite offices. Over 30 Years of Impact WWBIC has directly lent over $67 million in micro and small business loans with a current loan portfolio of $20 million and over 500 active borrowers.

Recognition & Awards

Major Initiatives:

  • Hank Aaron State Trail Run/Walk
  • Milwaukee Enterprise Center–South
  • Milwaukee Public Market – Co-Founder
  • MilwaukeeSaves Campaign – Founder
  • Kiva (Milwaukee and Greater Madison)

Awards:

  • Professional Dimensions– Sacagawea Award, 2014
  • Rotarian of the Year, 1989, 1990
  • Kiwanis Club Secretary of the Year, 1990 Small Business Administration–
  • Women’s Business Advocate of the Year, 1996 Urban Economic Development Association (UEDA)–Leadership Award
  • Small Business Administration– Business Advocate of the Year, 1997
  • U.W. Milwaukee–Graduate of the Last Decade, 1998 Marian Center Award, 2000
  • Ernst and Young–Distinguished Judge of the Year, 2000–2005
  • The Milwaukee Business Journal–Women of Influence Award, 2001
  • Metropolitan Milwaukee Civic Alliance– Salute to Volunteer Award, 2002
  • Future Milwaukee–Charles McNeer Civic Leadership Award, 2002
  • Association of Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)–Innovator of the Year, 2003
  • BizTimes Women Executive of the Year, 2017
  • Small Business Administration–Microlender of the Year 2002-Current
  • Small Business Administration–Community Advantage Lender of the Year, 2013-Current
  • U.S. Postal Honor–Women Putting Your Stamp on Milwaukee, 2003
  • The Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Judge (2006, 2007)
  • Milwaukee Area Neighborhood Development Initiative (MANDI)– Cornerstone Award, 2007
  • Regional Small Business Administration– Women’s Business Center of the Year, 2010
  • Public Policy Form Award, 2010 National Small Business Administration–
  • Women’s Business Center of Excellence, 2012 Small Business Administration–
  • Jody C. Raskind Mission Lender Award, 2017

 

Personal

Wendy has four adult children, two daughters and two sons, a fabulous border collie and resides in a log cabin in Mequon, Wisconsin. Interests include: cooking, biking and travel.

Sector

FinancialNon-Profit

Business Accomplishments

Entrepreneurial / Start Up

I grew up with an entrepreneurial father and academic mother and combined both merits in the work at WWBIC for the past 25 years.  When I took on the position of President of WWBIC the annual budget was $225,000 and an office in the lower level (basement).  Today WWBIC maintains five physical offices, a statewide presence and fifty plus member team with an operational budget of over $7 million and a loan portfolio of approximately 850 loans and over $20 million. Our business at WWBIC is advancing quality business and financial educational programming alongside access to fair and responsible capital – we work with entrepreneurs and business owners daily.

Leadership

Leadership may mean many things and is earned in my view.  I believe I have been one of the key leaders at WWBIC during the past 25 years.  In addition I have held leadership roles including Chair of the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy (spanning three Governors), Chair of the national Association of Women’s Business Centers, Co-Chair of the new Hispanic Collaborative as well as a lead in Milwaukee’s Public Market, The Hank Aaron State Trail Run Walk event, Launching both Milwaukee and Madison as KIVA cites to name a few.

Growth

WWBIC has grown significant in the past years as I have served as President and specifically in the past five to ten years – with still growth potential.  We are now providing select programming for Veterans and Military connected family members around entrepreneurship and business ownership also in Illinois and Minnesota.  We opened our fifth office in Northeast Wisconsin (Appleton) covering eleven counties in 2018.  We have grown not to build an empire –but to address a need.

Strategic planning

Planning is key in our work – with our clients and customers – and in order to grow – lead and advance.  We not only developed and advanced strategic planning at WWBIC with a formal plan we create and reference but we have actually assisted many organizations locally, regionally, nationally and internationally advance with our consulting support.  WWBIC is currently providing strategic planning to a women’s food based accelerator in Mexico City through a contract with the Department of State.