SAVE THE DATE | WBDC 2024 Midwest Business Conference 9.12.24

A Moment With...
Wendy Baumann
President and Chief Visonary Officer of WWBIC

Wendy Baumann

What is “A Moment With”? The Women’s Business Development Center is pleased to continue with our series, “A Moment With”, where we periodically highlight some of our greatest supporters and partners, sharing their career experiences and advice. This month, we will be highlighting Wendy Katherine Baumann, President and Chief Visionary Officer of the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC).

Meet Wendy Baumann: Wendy Katherine Baumann serves as President and Chief Visonary Officer of WWBIC, a statewide economic development corporation. Baumann accepted this challenging position in the community in 1994, providing the leadership required to ensure the achievement of WWBIC’s mission and to uphold the philosophy of serving businesses owned by women, minorities, and low wealth individuals in Wisconsin.


A Lesson

We asked: Tell us about a piece of advice that shaped your career.

Wendy Baumann shared: My mom taught me at a very early age—sometime around kindergarten—that you can do and be anything you want to if you put your mind to it! I remember my father also telling me “Wendy, you have to put things in life in perspective.” Both pieces of advice helped shape my career in many ways for years to come.

 

We asked: What inspired you to take your career path?

Wendy Baumann shared: I have always wanted to make the world a better place for others. Now, after being at WWBIC for 30 years, I feel that I’ve accomplished that goal. I truly believe that the work we do has made an impact on many.


A Turning Point

We asked: What was the biggest risk you took in your career? Did it pay off?

Wendy Baumann shared: I am usually the kind of person who is not risk averse. The biggest risk I took in my career was leaving my role at the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) as the Director of Small Business. In that role, I oversaw three offices, reported to the dean, and had a solid salary and related package. I left to take on the role at WWBIC, which, at the time, was not even five years old and had gone through five executive directors. While it was a risky career move at the time, 30 years later, it’s clear that this risk has paid off very well.

 

We asked: What advice would you share with someone looking to change their career?

Wendy Baumann shared: You truly need to be as honest as possible with yourself and really ask why you’re looking for that change—where does it come from? I would also say that life can be short, so believe in the Nike branding message–JUST DO IT!

 

We asked: Where do you look to for inspiration?

Wendy Baumann shared: I find my inspiration in everyday life, such as in a look on a mother’s face while watching her daughter or son accomplish something, or in a WWBIC Team member who facilitated their first training or approved their first loan. People out there in the world who are doing caring and selfless things to make that world a better place have always been my biggest inspiration.


A Guidepost

We asked: What does community mean to you?

Wendy Baumann shared: Community means many things to me, but the most important thing to remember is that our world is one community. Then we have nations and states, women communities, family communities, our WWBIC team community, and so many more. It is much more about how you interact with these communities and how you can learn and grow from one another.

 

We asked: Share with us a mantra you live by.

Wendy Baumann shared: Work hard, play hard, and be kind to others.

 

We asked: What book/podcast/other resource do you consider a must-read/listen?

Wendy Baumann shared: I love historical fiction, so I would recommend any historical fiction novel. I also love to cook and think of myself as a chef, so I enjoy going to bed with cookbooks!

 

Thank you, Wendy Baumann, for participating in “A Moment With”; we are proud to call you a loyal friend of the WBDC.

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