Sandy Wysocki

Business & Philanthropic Leader

Why She’s Amazing

Sandy Wysocki doesn’t want to be a princess. She wants to be more.

Looking back, it almost seems impossible that Sandy didn’t know anyone when she moved to Milwaukee after college for a job at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Over the years, Sandy has left her mark on the city time and again through her professional accomplishments and philanthropic leadership.

As the Director of Audience Development at the Milwaukee Business Journal, Sandy worked with dozens of professional and nonprofit organizations to facilitate all marketing and sponsorship agreements and initiatives. Now the Chief Development Office at the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF), Sandy works to ensure that the arts will always play a vital role in the Milwaukee community. She also speaks frequently at educational seminars as well as awards ceremonies.

In 2009, Sandy was presented an American Eagle Award for Excellence, the Business Journal’s highest honor. In 2014, she was named Kappa Delta’s Outstanding Alumnae for the Illinois/Wisconsin State Day. Kappa Delta also recognized Sandy in 2015 as 1 of 9 national Order of the Pearl award recipients for excellence in community service. In addition, Sandy received the 2015 Don Richards Leadership Award in recognition of her outstanding achievements as a leader in the region, in addition to her tremendous community involvement with organizations throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Sandy has served the community with leadership involvement in more than a dozen non-profit organizations.

We had a chance to ask Sandy a few questions. Read on, and we think you’ll agree that this modern day trailblazer’s energy and inspiration have no limits.

“Have you done enough? Learned enough? Taught enough? Given enough? Prayed enough? Or Loved Enough? The answer is always no. Thus, the journey continues…” – Sandy Wysocki

Q & A

Q: When you were a young girl, what did you want to be when you grew up and why?

A: As a young girl, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I grew up. I couldn’t imagine much beyond the life I was living, as my home was filled with much strife while I was growing up. In high school I worked on the school newspaper and I enjoyed it very much. As a result, I decided to pursue a degree in Journalism with a major in advertising from the University of Missouri – Columbia. It seemed like a very safe and respectable choice, given the fact the Mizzou has a very famous and highly regarded Journalism School.

Q: Did people call you “princess” when you were a little girl and, if so, how did that make you feel?

A: I wasn’t ever really referred to as a princess. I think I was always working too hard to be viewed as royal.

Q: How did you become interested in business and philanthropic leadership?

A: In college I first became exposed to business principles through several of my classes and my volunteer work with several committees and campus organizations. I began to see how beneficial my leadership and organizational skills were to making things happen.

Q: Did you have a mentor or role model who inspired you?

A: When I moved to Milwaukee to work at the daily newspaper, I knew absolutely no one. My first boss, Beverly Klein, became my first mentor and later a friend. She taught me many, many lessons about business.

Q: Did your family and friends support your aspirations?

A: As an adult, I have always lived away from the members of my immediate family. I have always felt good support from them, but I’m not sure they ever really understood my role in the working world and how important community service work was to me.

Q: Did you think about being called a “trailblazer” for choosing this path?

A: I’m not sure I would describe myself as a trailblazer, but….I have made a lot of things happen over the years in the philanthropic community.

Q: What motivates you?

A: My internal mantra that always asks “Have you done enough? Learned enough? Taught enough? Given enough? Prayed enough? Or Loved Enough?” The answer is always “no”. Thus, the journey continues…

Photo Gallery

Q: Of what are you most proud?

A: My three very successful adult children.

Q: What would you like people to learn from you?

A: That it’s possible to start small, work hard and achieve much. That courage and persistence are two of the most important qualities necessary to set and achieve life goals.

Q: What three words would you like people to use to describe you?

A: Compassionate. Optimistic. Generous.

Q: What do you want people to know about you outside of your accomplishments?

A: That I have a very strong and sincere faith in God which is the foundation for everything that I achieve and accomplish.

Q: Who do you follow on social media that shares your passion for making the business community and the community as a whole a better place?

A: I post on social media fairly frequently, but I don’t really follow anyone on a consistent basis. There are a handful of professional women in our city that are my closest friends and who share my passion for making this community and our region a better place.

Q: If you could eat lunch with one person, who would it be?

A: Mother Teresa

Q: Which woman would you choose to have on U.S. currency?

A: Sacagawea, the only woman who was part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Q: What advice would you give to a girl who right now wants to be just like you?

A: Don’t worry so much about the future. Trust in your God and in your God-given abilities, for you can handle much more than you ever thought you could. Also, don’t be afraid of the demands of having children. They provide more challenges than you ever thought possible, but they also bring you more rewards than you could ever imagine.

Bonus Question:

Q: What question would you ask the next Modern Day Trailblazer we interview?

A: How has your view of your career and your place in the business world changed over time? In your 20’s? 30’s? 40’s? 50’s? Beyond???

Fun Facts:

  • The last book Sandy read was Gone with the Wind, and she thinks it’s so much better than the movie!
  • Her go-to karaoke song is “Let it Go” from Frozen.
  • Sandy is slightly early or right on time – hardly ever late if at all possible.
  • Her favorite quote is “Give to the world the best you have, and the best will come back to you” by Madeline Bridges.
  • She would definitely choose chocolate over vanilla!