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Bank Group CEO Selected to Lead WMC

Madison, WI – The current head of the state’s largest financial industry trade group has been selected to lead the state’s premier business advocacy organization, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC).
Thomas J. Howatt, President & CEO, Wausau Paper Corp., Mosinee, and Chairman of the WMC Board of Directors, announced the Board elected Kurt R. Bauer to succeed WMC President and CEO, James S. Haney at a meeting today.
Bauer has worked for banking trade associations for 18 years, including the last seven as the President/CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA). Prior to that, Bauer headed the Phoenix-based Arizona Bankers Association, and also served as WBA’s chief lobbyist. He will replace Jim Haney, who has led WMC for 27 years.
“We are very pleased to have Kurt Bauer join WMC as our next President and CEO,” said Howatt. “Kurt’s trade association experience and strong track record of success makes him the ideal candidate for this important position.” Howatt continued, “We look forward to him continuing WMC’s tradition as the leading and most effective voice of business in Wisconsin.”
“It is a great honor to be selected as the new president and chief executive officer of WMC.” Bauer said. “I look forward to working with the many stakeholders who share the collective goal of making Wisconsin the best place for employers and employees alike.”
He said making Wisconsin more competitive will help speed the economic recovery, grow jobs and resolve the state’s chronic budgetary issues. “The best way to improve the quality of life for everyone is to expand private sector businesses by pursuing policies that encourage business expansion and relocation in Wisconsin.”
Bauer is originally from Beloit, and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He will become just the fifth person to lead WMC in its 100-year history. Bauer will officially join WMC early next month.

James S. Haney, (608) 258-3400 or cell (608) 206-7855

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