Local businesswoman finds more than one way to give back to the community

By Eileen Mozinski Schmidt - Special to The Freeman

Feb. 7, 2018


Anne Slattery

In business, coaching, and volunteer work, Anne Slattery is making a mark as a community leader.

With a professional background in accounting, Slattery has worked in a variety of positions and in August of 2017 was hired as chief financial officer for W.M. Sprinkman Corporation.

The business is an equipment manufacturer for the dairy, food, beverage, craft beer, and personal care product industries. It has over 120 employees at two Wisconsin locations and in the field across the country, according to its website.

“I’m enjoying the challenge of learning the different aspects of the company,” Slattery said.

She previously worked for a public accounting firm and also worked for MyHealthDirect before taking on the position at W.M. Sprinkman.

“I think there’s always opportunities for women to grow in business. Much of it comes through networking,” said Slattery, who added that technical proficiency and continuously striving to grow in one’s field are also key to success.

The challenge of making changes in her career has seemed attainable to Slattery, who said her family has an entrepreneurial bent.

It is that kind of enterprising spirit that has also driven Slattery as a coach and volunteer leader in the area.

Slattery was formerly a volleyball coach at Carroll University and is the current varsity coach at Pewaukee High School.

In her 11-plus years as coach, Slattery said she has worked to build a successful program, with the team winning two conference championships and last October the regional championship.

“She has been building the program, been doing a tremendous job,” said John Maltsch, athletic director for Pewaukee High School.

“We’re now one of the teams in the conference (opponents) have to worry about each and every week,” he said.

Maltsch added that Slattery’s work with younger volleyball players in the community has also been important.

Inspiring the next generation

Slattery is owner and director of the Midwest Penguins Volleyball Club, which she and her business partner, Janice Siebert, founded in 1997. The club has worked with more than 2,000 young athletes and hired 150 coaches during its tenure, according to the club website.

Alysha Schertz played for Slattery when she was a coach at Carroll.

“Right away she saw potential in me that I didn’t even see in myself, and she had a way of motivating players that was unlike any coach I ever had,” Schertz said. “She didn’t yell, because she didn’t have to. As players we wanted to work hard.”

Encouraged by Slattery, Schertz went on to coach and then referee. She said the Midwest Penguins has grown into one of the most competitive clubs in the region while still maintaining a close-knit family feel.

Slattery and Janice Siebert “have impacted so many families in the community by providing safe, and affordable opportunities to play volleyball at all ages,” said Schertz, now a freelance journalist and consultant who has remained active with the club by assisting with social media, marketing, and fundraising events.

She noted that Slattery has served for many years on decision making boards for the sport.

“Anne has done so much for the game of volleyball in general. Not only has she been coaching for decades, but she has also been a mentor to many people in all levels of the sport,” Schertz said.

Different ways of giving back

Slattery is the co-founder of Empowering Change Through Healthy Opportunities, Inc., a non-profit group designed to give back to others throughout the community through healthy family opportunities and education.

“The vision with E.C.H.O. is to provide some fun, simple family experiences,” Slattery said. “There’s a lot of work to do in the health community.”

Slattery and a group of close friends and colleagues started the group in honor of Slattery’s brother, David, who battled obesity in his adult life.

He made real progress toward achieving his goals, but passed away before they could be fully realized, Schertz said.

“Anne is determined to make sure his story lives on,” she said. “The organization is small, but I know Anne and her team have big plans for its future.”

The group’s annual Big Ball Bash raises money for programs in need and Schertz said reinforces how fun an active lifestyle can be.

Ultimately, Slattery said she is driven by wanting to make a difference in the lives of the children around her, to “build their esteem and confidence and see them grow.”

It is something Schertz says she is sure Slattery will continue to accomplish.

'Anne is nothing short of amazing. She is such an asset to everything she touches,” Schertz said.

“I am looking forward to seeing where she, and the staff at Midwest Penguins, take the organization, and also can’t wait to see how E.C.H.O. continues to grow and impact the community.”