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Mary Ellen Stanek Award for Diversity in Corporate Governance Announces 2023 Award Recipients

Mary Ellen Stanek Award for Diversity in Corporate Governance Announces 2023 Award Recipients

March 13, 2023

Dr. Joan Prince, UWM vice chancellor emerita, and Marquette University are chosen honorees

MILWAUKEE- The Greater Milwaukee Committee (GMC) in conjunction with Milwaukee Women inc (MWi), awarded the 10th annual Mary Ellen Stanek Award for Diversity in Corporate Governance to Dr. Joan Prince, CEO, Executive Strategies and Vice Chancellor Emerita, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), and Marquette University on March 13th at the GMC’s Membership Meeting. The Mary Ellen Stanek Award is given to individuals and entities demonstrating a commitment to promoting equity and inclusion in their corporate structure resulting in increased gender and racial diversity in leadership and on corporate boards in the Milwaukee Region.

Past winners include the award’s namesake Mary Ellen Stanek, Managing Director of Baird; Cecelia Gore, executive director of the Brewers Community Foundation; Ellen Gilligan, president and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation; Linda Gorens-Levey, partner at General Capital Group; Gale Klappa, Executive Chairman of WEC Energy Group; John Daniels, Jr., Chairman Emeritus of Quarles & Brady; and Gina Peter, Executive Vice President of Wells Fargo. Previous corporate winners include Froedtert Health, ManpowerGroup, Northwestern Mutual, Associated Bank, and Aurora Healthcare.

Joan Prince was recognized for her tireless work supporting inclusion of all students, faculty, and staff in driving UWM’s dual access and research missions. In February, she was appointed by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. As a founding member of MilwaukeeWomen inc., Prince has mentored females from an early age. She knows first-hand the feeling of being the only female and person of color in a board room, but that has only fueled her passion for advancing diversity.

On campus, she has created anti-bias training and formed programs to advance historically underrepresented and first-generation students. In the community she participates on numerous boards, intentionally connects women to each other and opportunities, and has spent a lifetime educating herself and others on the importance of diversity and equity’s role in success in the corporate world.

Marquette University was recognized for its commitment to increasing diversity among staff, faculty, and leadership positions throughout the institution. The university board have taken a proactive approach to accelerating the diversity of both the board of trustees and leadership council. Eight board members are women, nine board members are people of color, and nearly 50% of the leadership council are women. Today, one in five full-time faculty are individuals of color, and one-third of assistant professors are faculty of color; 48.2% of faculty are women, the highest percentage in 10 years. Additionally, 44% of tenured/tenure-track faculty are women, the highest in Marquette’s history. Marquette’s culture of diversity has also provided opportunities for inclusion across campus with efforts like the Urban Scholars Program, the Student Success Initiative, and the institution’s status as an Emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution.

MWi and the GMC Future Workforce Committee review nominees for the Mary Ellen Stanek Award on an annual basis.

About the Greater Milwaukee Committee

The Greater Milwaukee Committee comprises 200 passionate CEOs who work together to make Milwaukee the best place to live, learn, work and play. Currently led by President Joel Brennan and Chair Greg Marcus, the GMC creates new ideas and implements to address systemic and historic challenges in greater Milwaukee. For more information, please visit

About Milwaukee Women inc

Milwaukee Women inc is an organization of executives determined to change the quality and composition of corporate boards to enhance the performance of public and private companies, with a focus on women and women of color. Since its inception 20 years ago, significant progress has been made thanks to the commitment of Wisconsin companies.  Today 26% of board members of the Top 50 public companies in our state are women, up from 9.3% in 2003. Our Vision is to achieve balanced representation of all women on boards of directors to maximize the performance of public and private companies. For more information, please visit