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Mary Ellen Stanek Award for Diversity in Corporate Governance Announced

Press Release: Milwaukee Women Inc. and Greater Milwaukee Committee

2017 winners are Susan J. Schmitt, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Rockwell Automation, and Aurora Healthcare, receive GMC Mary Ellen Stanek Award for Diversity in Corporate Governance.

The Greater Milwaukee Committee (GMC), in conjunction with Milwaukee Women inc (MWi), awarded the fifth annual Mary Ellen Stanek Award for Diversity in Corporate Governance on Monday, February 13 at the GMC annual meeting. In a departure from prior years, two awardees were recognized: an individual and an organization. Susan J. Schmitt, SVP of Human Resources at Rockwell Corporation, and Aurora Healthcare each received the eponymous distinction.

The Mary Ellen Stanek Award, established in 2013, is given to an individual or entity demonstrating a commitment to promoting diversity in their corporate structure resulting in increased gender diversity in leadership and on corporate boards in the Milwaukee Region. Past winners include Mary Ellen Stanek with Baird, Jeff Joerres of Manpower Group, and Gale Klappa, CEO of WEC Energy Group, and Northwestern Mutual Life.

Susan Schmitt’s nominator noted that her “vision helped create an internal structure for Diversity & Inclusion that places the ownership and accountability in the business and engages senior leaders not only as sponsors, but as participants and change agents in this work.” Schmitt’s initiative helped increase the gender diversity of women executives and directors by more than 65%.

Aurora Healthcare, the largest private employer in Wisconsin, has worked to address the significant healthcare disparities in diverse communities, invested in creating a pipeline of diverse talent, and was one of the first systems in the region to join the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge as a bold step to eliminate health care disparities. This group is focused on increasing the collection and use of race, ethnicity and language preference data, increasing cultural competency training and increasing diversity in leadership and governance.

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 Julia Taylor and Chair Ted Kellner, the GMC creates new ideas and implements solutions in innovation and talent, economic prosperity and vibrancy of place. For more information, please visit

Milwaukee Women inc is a nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving balanced representation of women on boards of directors to maximize the performance of Wisconsin businesses. The group carries out annual research and produces an annual report on the gender diversity of the boards and C-suites of Wisconsin’s 50 largest public and private companies. MWi promotes awareness on the benefits of gender diversity and offers educational programs to increase the number of qualified women board candidates. For more information, please visit


Jackie Mortenson: or at 262-389-7627 Phill Trewyn: 414-390-5500 or 414-719-2650

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