Why She’s Amazing
Wendy Selig-Prieb doesn’t want to be a princess. She wants to be more.
Wendy’s life has taken her in directions she never could have imagined, and she has embraced it every step of the way. Her career has evolved from corporate law to baseball to fashion to motivational speaking. As a business leader, she is known for her ability to create a vision, develop a plan, foster growth and cultivate loyalty. As an individual, she is admired for her strength of character in making decisions that are best for her personal and professional life.
Wendy spent the last ten years with Worth LTD. From April 2014-July 2015, she served as President of New Ventures for Worth. Wendy was responsible for the company’s marketing, digital and showroom strategies. With a mission to catapult Worth from one of the best in-the-know fashion secrets to a coveted lifestyle brand, she developed a plan for transformative growth. This plan centered around two key initiatives which launched in July of 2015 — showrooms in the iconic Crown Building in NYC and positioning Worth to excel in today’s digital age, including new websites. Prior to assuming this position, Wendy served as President of Worth New York, the flagship brand of Worth. Under her leadership, the business experienced double-digit growth and new heights in almost every key metric.
Prior to that, Wendy was the only female President and Chairman of a Major League Baseball Club, the Milwaukee Brewers. The 2001 opening of Miller Park was the culmination of a 10-year mission for Selig-Prieb and the Brewers organization. During that season, the Brewers saw the largest attendance increase by a Major League club in the first year of a new ballpark. Under Wendy’s leadership, the Brewers also enhanced their community support through various initiatives, including the creation of Brewers Charities (now the Brewers Community Foundation), which supported many innovative programs such as The Girls of Summer Softball League.
Currently, Wendy is embarking on a new adventure with a powerful message – to encourage everyone to live a life they love.
We had a chance to ask Wendy a few questions. We think you’ll agree that the example she sets for how to live life is something we all can love!
“I learned that when you have success,
you gain a voice; and I like using mine
to inspire and empower others.” – Wendy Selig-Prieb
Q & A
Q: When you were a young girl, what did you want to be when you grew up and why?
A: I wanted to be the next Chris Everett. However, I came to recognize that, while like Chris, I had a powerful two-handed backhand that is where the similarities ended!
Q: Did people call you “princess” when you were a little girl and, if so, how did that make you feel?
Q: How did you become interested in pursuing a successful career in business, including leading a MLB team, yet always remaining committed to putting your family first? What did you have to do to accomplish this?
A: I have charted a path I never could have imagined. While I sometimes describe myself as “the ultimate hyphenate” —Mom, Wife, Board Member, Executive, Entrepreneur, Advocate for Women and Families, Friend, Brewers Fan (order depends on the day!), looking back I now see that several common threads connect all these parts of my life. They include following my passion, working hard, making hard choices and taking risks!
I have had different goals including building a world class ballpark and baseball organization, learning and evolving, empowering women, being a good wife and mother, acclimating to life after being a high-powered sports executive, starting my own business, leading a women’s fashion company and being open to new opportunities. At every turn in each of these pursuits, I have done my best because that’s a big part of my definition of success.
Q: Did you have a mentor or role model who inspired you?
A: I believe we find the mentors we need at the different stages of our lives. And, it probably isn’t just one person. My first and most important mentor is my father. I was very fortunate because I had a front row seat to his career. By watching him, I learned the importance of pursuing your passion, focus, optimism and perseverance. But the most powerful message my father conveyed was his belief in me. It was unwavering and sometimes stronger than my belief in myself.
Q: Did your family and friends support your aspirations?
A: Yes! My husband and daughter are my biggest cheerleaders. While I often beat myself up about the sacrifices and hard choices I have made, I know they would tell that nasty voice in my head that it couldn’t be more wrong. They would tell that nasty voice that they are proud of what I have done and that I am a better mother and wife because of these things. Likewise, my friends are always there for me. I feel very fortunate to have friends who are more like family and family who are more like friends.
Q: Did you think about being called a “trailblazer” for choosing this path?
A: Never! My goals never included being the first woman to do anything; however, that is where I have sometimes found myself. I grew to understand the influence I could have as the only female CEO in MLB. I often had people tell me that my success gave them the confidence to pursue their dreams. Sometimes it was a woman who wanted to pursue an “unconventional” path, other times it was a young person who was defeating himself by thinking he couldn’t do something before he had even tried. I learned that when you have success, you gain a voice; and I like using mine to inspire and empower others.
Q: What motivates you?
A: Doing my best and helping others be the best they can be!
Q: Of what are you most proud?
A: Our daughter, Natalie!
From a business perspective, my role in the development and design of Miller Park. The ballpark was essential for the survival and long-term success of the Brewers. Since moving into Miller Park, the Brewers have been to the playoffs twice and drawn three million fans three times, a feat they never accomplished in their 31 years at Milwaukee County Stadium.
Q: What would you like people to learn from you?
A: Creating a life you love is possible for anyone — it is never too late, and it is never too early. It probably won’t be easy and there will be days, months and even years where things are not where you want them to be. I have charted a path I never could have imagined, and I believe you can, too!
Q: What three words would you like people to use to describe you?
A: Passionate. Evolving. Empowering.
Q: Who do you follow on social media that shares your passion for living a life you love?
A: Arianna Huffington, Marlo Thomas, Sheryl Sandburg, Maria Shriver, Gloria Steinem, Meg Whitman, I Don’t Want to be a Princess!
Q: If you could eat lunch with one person, whom would it be?
A: Jackie Kennedy Onassis
Q: Which woman would you choose to have on U.S. currency?
A: I don’t want to choose only one!
Q: What advice would you give to a girl who right now wants to be just like you?
A: Be yourself and be relentless in pursuit of your passion! I believe the “why” is far more important than the “how” or “what” when it comes to your life. The mission you are on must mean enough to you to continue until you figure out how to get it done.
Bonus Question: What question would you ask the next Modern Day Trailblazer we interview?
A: Tell me about a setback or failure that you have experienced and what you learned from it.
- The last books Wendy read were Socrates by Paul Johnson and
Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik.
- Her go-to karaoke song is “I am Woman” by Helen Reddy.
- Wendy’s favorite sports team is the Milwaukee Brewers.
- She prefers chocolate over vanilla.
- Wendy’s favorite quote is “People will forgot what you said,
people will forget what you did, but people will never forget
how you made them feel.” by Maya Angelou.