HISTORY OF WISCONSIN STATE SOCIETY
The history of the Wisconsin State Society goes back to the mid-1850s, when the Illinois State Society was founded as the first society of its kind. It wouldn't be long before the Wisconsin State Society was formed, however the records of past presidents, board members and activities have been lost to time.
What we do know is that state societies began coming back into vogue after World War II when they came together to re-launch the Cherry Blossom Festival in 1948.
According to legal documents, the Wisconsin State Society was incorporated in the 1970s. In the early 1980s, around 1982, our immediate past president Bill Wagner (now serving as treasurer and president emeritus) took over leadership of the society. It's been more active and less active throughout the ensuing 30 years, but Bill has never wavered in his stewardship of the organization.
Do you know more about the history of the Wisconsin State Society? Let us know and we'll add your contribution to the history.
Brandon was elected to be the president of WSS in 2018 and previously served as vice president in 2017. He grew up in Oostburg and graduated from UW-Whitewater. He and his wife Rachel moved to Washington in 2015 and live in the Navy Yard neighborhood. His past careers include working in the Wisconsin capitol, on campaigns and for a business trade association. He currently works in communications on Capitol Hill.
Vice President for Special Events
Paul was elected as the vice president of special events in 2018. He helps organize and lead WSS's largest events each year, the Cherry Blossom Princess Reception every spring and the Brewers tailgate every summer. Paul grew up in Milwaukee went to UW-Madison for his undergrad and J.D. and earned a Master's Degree from the U.S. Army War College. He currently is a Legal and Ethics Advisor for FEMA. Paul has been active with WSS since 2000.
Vice President for Service Activities
Wendy leads and organizes WSS's volunteer and service events. Wendy grew up in Sheboygan, earned her undergraduate degree at Wisconsin, and her master’s degree at Johns Hopkins. She has worked extensively in political and communication roles and now does her own consulting via 1492 Communications (in addition to her extensive duties as part-owner of the Green Bay Packers).
Treasurer & President Emeritus
Bill served as president of WSS for over 30 years, nearly as long as Wisconsin has known the recipe for cheese! He now continues his service as treasurer and president emeritus. He has been a major organizer of this society and its events since the 80s. He grew up in Oconomowoc. Before moving to the D.C. area, Bill graduated from UW-Madison Law School. Bill's motto: "You're never too old to have a happy childhood. It just takes longer to recover."
Susan serves as Corporate Secretary after serving for many years as WSS vice president. Susan was raised in Appleton and attended Marquette University, graduating in 1972. She then attended Georgetown University Law Center. Before retiring several years ago, her legal career involved regulatory, legislative and international law in various positions in government and private practice. She resides in Annandale, Va.
MEMBERS OF THE BOARD
VP of Service Activities
VP of Special Events
Treasurer & President Emeritus
Delegate to NCSS
Do you want to be a leader in the Wisconsin State Society? There are a lot of roles to play in our organization. If you have a passion for something and want to be more involved with us, please get in touch.
Get in touch with us to learn more about our events or how to get more involved. We look forward to hearing from you!