Robert J. Toeppe
Bob Toeppe didn't have much time to ponder his career choices after being part of just the second graduating class ever at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in 1973. Personal loss forced him to put what he learned here to immediate use.
"UW-Parkside provided me with the skill sets to take over my family's metal finishing business at the age of 23, upon the death of my father," Toeppe said. "The university taught me to 'think outside the box,' have high expectations to succeed, and a good work ethic."
Now in its 88th year, Wisconsin Plating Works continues to grow, evolve, and improve under Toeppe's leadership. It was the first metal finishing job shop in Wisconsin to earn ISO 9001 registration. And it continues to collect honors.
"Over the past 10 years, we've won prestigious awards on environmental compliance but none more important than the honor of receiving the 2006 Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award for Employee and Environmental Stewardship," Toeppe stated.
When he isn't making his company better, Toeppe is helping to make UW-Parkside a better place for students. He sponsors a business scholarship, serves on the College of Business, Economics, and Computing advisory board and on the university's Foundation board. He's also a frequent patron of UW-Parkside's cultural and athletic events. He does all this, he said, so today's students can have the same chances he had."UW-Parkside was a major part of the foundation of my young adult life and I want to give opportunities like that to others."