“The Unexpected” is the title chosen by Susan M. Finco for her address to University of Wisconsin-Green Bay graduates and guests. A long-time University supporter and member of the Chancellor’s Council of Trustees, Finco is an exceptional example of a Wisconsin college graduate who has succeeded in business and serving her community. She is the Wisconsin Idea in action.
Finco is owner and president of Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc., an award-winning, full-service public relations firm located in Green Bay, Wis. The firm conducts business in the U.S. and Canada and has a national reputation for exceptional expertise in communication strategy, media relations, issues and crisis management. The company’s client base ranges from Fortune 500 firms to small businesses, and her firm is a certified WBE (Woman-owned Business Enterprise).
Susan began her career “on the other side of the desk,” working for more than 15 years as a radio and television broadcast journalist, including reporting and anchoring roles at both WBAY and WFRV TV. A highly respected and award-winning journalist, Susan won numerous awards for her work including regional recognition for a series on Liver Transplant and the AIDS Scare.
Her PR journey began in 1992 when she went into business with Charlie Leonard, a public relations pioneer in Northeast Wisconsin. Over the years, the firm has received more than 30 Awards of Excellence from the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Susan is a sought-after public speaker on a variety of communication topics and a trusted advisor to organizations of all sizes. She is a valued member of the Board of Directors and serves on the Executive Committee of both the Green Bay Packers and Society Insurance. She also serves the Council of Trustees for the U.S. Army War College Foundation, Bellin Health System, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Council of Trustees and Huntington Bank of Wisconsin.
Susan’s passion and commitment to community and serving others are inspiring. She has served as Chairperson of the Board for the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, President of Rotary International – Downtown Green Bay, and is a member of the Public Relations Society of American and the Wisconsin School Public Relations Association.
She was awarded the Green Bay Rotary Free Enterprise Award in 2015 (the first female recipient), the Green Bay Chamber’s Cornerstone Award, named the Small Business Person of the Year by the Chamber in 2002, is a Green Bay Chamber Athena Award recipient and was recognized as UW-Milwaukee’s Fox Valley Alumni of the Year — the first recipient of the award.
Susan also shares her time and talents to raise needed funds for important community initiatives, and has been a part of teams which have raised $53.1 million dollars for various community and campus campaigns. She also helped found the annual “A Pair and a Spare: The Undercover Challenge,” a campaign to provide socks and underwear for people in need. The effort has collected more than 100,000 items since it began and is still going strong.
Susan Finco demonstrates that both businesses and communities thrive when people selflessly share their time and talents. Susan was born and raised in Cudahy, Wis. and earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She and her husband, Ed Kralovec, reside in De Pere, Wis. and treasure time with family and traveling.