Burke will bring a proven track record of results to the Governor’s office. She led Strategic Planning at Trek for nearly a decade, focusing every single day on improving the company’s bottom line and making it the Wisconsin success story that it is. Mary’s father started Trek in a barn in Waterloo, WI when she was 17 years old. Today, the company employs close to 1,000 people right here in Wisconsin, with an annual payroll of over $50 million. In addition, Trek supports countless other Wisconsin businesses, purchasing over $40 million in goods and services from other Wisconsin companies every year.
Before leading the office of Strategic Planning, Mary played a central role in Trek’s expansion as the Director of European Operations. Despite not speaking a single foreign language, she established sales and distribution operations in seven countries over just three years – supporting manufacturing jobs at home by increasing sales from just $3 million to over $50 million annually.
Leading the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, Burke put the private sector principles she honed in business to work for the people of Wisconsin. During her tenure as Secretary of Commerce she focused on attracting new businesses to Wisconsin and helping entrepreneurs and small businesses start up and grow. During Burke’s tenure the state’s unemployment rate was just 4.8% – representing 57,000 more jobs than there are in Wisconsin today.
Burke also brings a proven track record of results in education. Her commitment to teaching young people personal responsibility and creating opportunity for a brighter future led her to a deep involvement with the Boys & Girls Club. Her leadership put the club on sound financial footing and allowed them to dramatically increase the number of children they work with. Burke also created AVID/TOPS, an innovative public-private partnership between public schools and the community, committed to closing the achievement gap. AVID/TOPS has earned national recognition for its approach and its results, which include enrollment in a 2- or 4-year college by over 90% of students in the program. Inspired by the success of AVID/TOPS, in 2012 Burke sought and won a seat on the Madison School Board.
Burke’s family has a deep history in Wisconsin. She is a 4th generation Wisconsinite whose great grandparents were farmers. Her grandfather delivered the mail on the same route she lives today. Her mother was the first in her family to attend college. And her father started Trek Bicycle, a company that she helped turn into an international success story. Wisconsin has been good to Mary Burke and her family, and as Governor she will ensure Wisconsin creates jobs and opportunity for every family across Wisconsin.
Burke holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a focus in Finance from Georgetown University and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Harvard Business School.