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Marquette University Alumni Association

College of Business Administration Award Recipients

Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award

Michael Van HandelMICHAEL J. VAN HANDEL, BUS AD '81

Mequon, Wis.

If the mind were a muscle, Mike Van Handel would have no problem flexing it. After all, that’s what he does every day at Manpower.

As executive vice president and chief financial officer for a world leader in innovative workforce solutions — since 2002 and 1998, respectively — Mike is responsible for Manpower's worldwide finance, accounting and IT functions and manages investor relations.

“The best thing about the work I do,” Mike says, “is that I work with an organization that makes a positive difference every single day.”

Speaking of making a difference, it’s not just what Manpower does. It’s what Mike does at Manpower. His achievements have been recognized by Institutional Investor, a trade publication that awarded him the prestigious America's Best CFO for Business and Professional Services not one, but eight years running. That’s every year since 2004. In 2008, the Business Journal of Milwaukee named Mike CFO of the Year for companies with annual sales of more than $250 million.

A magna cum laude graduate from Marquette, Mike also has an M.B.A. in banking and finance from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Today, he’s involved in a number of area groups: the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Children's Hospital President's Council. Mike is also a member of the board of directors for the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, sits on the board and Audit Committee and Risk Oversight Committee of Harris Financial Corp., and is part of the Dean's Council of Excellence in the College of Business Administration.

If that sounds like too many balls in the air at once, Mike notes it’s all about passion: “Find something you’re passionate about. Work hard, maintain a positive attitude and listen to learn from others.”

Fun fact: As part of his involvement with Best Buddies, a charitable organization that builds one-on-one friendships between volunteers and people with special needs, Mike created the biggest non-California bicycling team for the organization’s annual fundraiser: a 100-mile ride down California’s Highway 1. He has helped raise $240,000 the past three years.