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About the series
The Women in Business Speaker series features distinguished women business leaders who have reached the highest levels of achievement and leadership in their professional sphere. They will share their experiences and insights in order to inspire and ignite the Marquette community. This speaker series incorporates a unique blend of presentation and interactive ‘fire-side’ chat formats. In this way, it enables students, faculty, staff, and all of the Marquette University community to interact and engage with renowned women business leaders.
Inaugural speaker biography
Mary Ellen Stanek, CFA, currently serves as Managing Director of Robert W. Baird & Co. and Chief Investment Officer of Baird Advisors responsible for over $60 Billion in Assets under Management. She has nearly 40 years of investment management experience and serves as President of the Baird Funds.
Under Mary Ellen’s leadership, the Baird Advisors team was named a finalist for the Morningstar, Inc.’s 2016 Fixed Income Fund Manager of the Year Award. Previously she had served as President and CEO of Firstar Investment Research & Management Company.
Mary Ellen is a member of The CFA Institute, the CFA Society of Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Committee (past Chair), Milwaukee 7 (past Co-Chair), Tempo (past President), and Professional Dimensions.
Mary Ellen serves on the boards of Baird Financial Group, Northwestern Mutual, and WEC Energy Group (NYSE:WEC). She also serves on the boards of Boys and Girls Clubs (past Board Chair), Children's Hospital Foundation, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Medical College of Wisconsin (past Board Chair), Milwaukee World Festival and United Way. She served on the Board of Marquette University where she chaired the Board and was elected Trustee Emerita. She has co-chaired annual campaigns for the United Performing Arts Fund and the United Way.
An alumna of Marquette, Mary Ellen graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in 1978. She earned an M.B.A. several years later in 1984 from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Mary Ellen and her husband, Scott, have three children: Peter (Erin), Katie (Tim), and Patrick and three granddaughters: Emme, Abigail and Kathryn.
Mary Ellen has received the Marquette University Alumna of the Year (2010), the Marquette University College of Arts and Sciences Person for Others Award, Marquette University High School’s Spirit of St. Ignatius Award, The St. Francis Children's Service Award, The Tempo Mentor Award, The Business Journal Women of Influence Award, The Point of Light Award, Professional Dimensions Sacagawea Award, Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame Distinguished Executive Award, Baird’s Brenton H. Rupple Citizenship Award and the Herb Kohl Champion Award. She and her husband were named “Parents of the Year” by COA Youth and Family Centers (2011). In 2012, she received the MVP Award from Boys & Girls Clubs.