Linda T. Mellowes Woman Leader of the Year
Women's Leadership Council
Mary Ellen Stanek
Mary Ellen Stanek is a longtime United Way supporter and advocate, a philanthropic leader, and a nationally recognized financial professional.
Passionate about giving back to her community and having a positive impact on issues that affect women and girls, Mary Ellen has been involved with United Way’s Women United network since 2008 and has served on the Women’s Leadership Council since its inception.
Mary Ellen serves on many local nonprofit boards, including All-In Milwaukee, Boys & Girls Clubs (past Board Chair), Children's Hospital Foundation, Faith In Our Future Trust, Froedtert Health, Greater Milwaukee Committee (past Chair), Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Medical College of Wisconsin (past Board Chair), and Milwaukee World Festival. She has co-chaired annual campaigns for both United Way and the United Performing Arts Fund and served on the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County Board.
A Chartered Financial Analyst, Mary Ellen has over 40 years of investment management experience. She currently serves as Managing Director of Robert W. Baird & Co. and Chief Investment Officer of Baird Advisors responsible for over $119 billion in assets under management. Additionally, she serves as President of the Baird Funds. In 2020 and 2021 she was named to Barron’s list of the 100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance.
Mary Ellen received her undergraduate degree from Marquette University (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and her graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She and her husband, Scott, have three children: Peter (Erin), Katie (Tim), and Patrick (Katie) and four grandchildren: Emme, Abigail, Kathryn and Henry.