A respected business and community leader has become the first-ever Executive-in-Residence for UW-Green Bay’s Austin E. Cofrin School of Business.
Tim Weyenberg, past CEO and current Executive Chair of the Board of Directors for Foth Companies, is in the early stages of his tenure in the newly created role. He is working with University stakeholders to determine how he can be most effective, and will have a more consistent presence on campus — including regular office hours and more — come spring.
Even in its formative stages, Weyenberg’s role — and his leadership — promises to make a difference, said Cofrin School of Business Director Lucy Arendt.
“Tim is especially well-connected, knowledgeable, super energetic,” Arendt said. “He’s got a great reputation in the community as a leader, and also in terms of his connections to the campus. He’s very committed — genuinely interested in strengthening the relationships between the campus and community. So he’s a perfect choice for this.”
Weyenberg spent 28 years with Foth, 16 as CEO, before retiring in March 2013. His extensive community involvement has included leadership roles with the New North, Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. He received the 2013 Free Enterprise Award from the Rotary Club of Green Bay. At UW-Green Bay, he has been actively involved with the Business program, the Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI), Phuture Phoenix program and more. This next opportunity, Weyenberg said, is an exciting one.
“When she (Arendt) explained what they were trying to accomplish, with enhancing the connection between the school of business and the business community,” Weyenberg said, “it seemed to me this role provided a huge opportunity to enhance that Cofrin School of Business vision of being knowledge-seekers in Northeastern Wisconsin.
“I think we know there’s a lot going on — but there’s also a lot to do.”
With new UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller stressing attention to innovation, entrepreneurship and partnerships, that work is likely to have high priority. Immediate tasks include establishing a Cofrin School of Business advisory board, a process with which Weyenberg will be deeply involved. He also will advise faculty on curriculum, work one-on-one with students, guest lecture and help with things such as mock interviews. And while Weyenberg definitely has ideas of what his executive residency may look like, he’s reaching out to students, faculty and others to help him further define the role.
“There’s really two themes I have in mind at this point,” Weyenberg said. “One is improving the connectivity between the Cofrin School of Business, between the University and the business community… Another one is relevance … how do we engage that community to make what is being produced by the school of business even more relevant to the potential customer, the employer?”
Made possible with funds from the University’s largest-ever academic gift — $5.5 million from Dr. David A. Cofrin — Weyenberg’s tenure will last one to two years. And while his business acumen is second to none, Arendt said, Weyenberg also will show students how to be a well-rounded and contributing member of a community — a message, she says, that is critical.
“He’s not just somebody who has done well at work,” Arendt says. “Students sometimes, they get a lot of questions about what they’re going to be doing to make a living, and that sort of thing.
“It’s not about what are you doing to make a living, but what are you doing to make a life? And I think he’s a great role model for that.”
For more information on the appointment of Weyenberg as Executive-in-Residence for the Cofrin School of Business.