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Paul E. Purcell Inducted to Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – Junior Achievement of Wisconsin held its 33rd annual Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame™ on Thursday, June 1, 2023, at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

Paul E. Purcell was among the class of 2023 laureates inducted to the Business Hall of Fame.

Paul’s father wanted him to take over the family insurance-brokerage firm.  Since Paul was more interested in Finance, leading the family business was not in the cards.  However, Paul did take one piece of his father’s advice and turned it into a guiding ethic - “Your good name is yours.  You’re the only one who can give it away.  Protect it at all costs.”

After obtaining an undergraduate degree from Notre Dame, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, Paul joined Kidder, Peabody in Chicago as an investment banking associate. After rising through the ranks for 14 years, he was recruited to Robert W. Baird in 1994. 

In the 26 years Paul spent at Baird, he resolved to always put the client first and the firm before self.  “Everybody Wins” became an extension of the mantra he learned from his father.  After leading the firm’s buyout from Northwestern Mutual, Paul and the Executive Committee made associate stock ownership a top priority.  Today, more than two-thirds of Baird associates are shareholders and benefit from the firm’s ongoing success.

Paul served on many boards providing influence and leadership to key funding initiatives in Milwaukee and Chicago. His commitment to giving back remains one of the many legacies left behind after he passed away from cancer in 2020. 

Established in 1990, the Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame honors individuals whose business innovations, effective management, and civic involvement have made a difference in their companies and communities throughout the state. The laureates are also recognized for the high standards they set as role models for Wisconsin’s young people and as innovative business leaders who have positively shaped Wisconsin’s business climate.

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Media Contacts:

Jenny Gryniewicz


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