Meet the Bettys: The Groundbreaker

Melinda Wilke treads boldly where few have gone before.

JOIN US IN HONORING THE 2020 BETTY AWARD WINNERS IN A VIRTUAL EVENT DECEMBER 15TH. AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR ANNA QUINDLEN WILL DELIVER THE KEYNOTE ADDRESS AND JOEL QUADRACCI OF QUAD WILL PRESENT REMARKS. 

Money never intimidated Melinda Wilke. “My dad owned several businesses – semi-truck rentals, mechanical repairs – and he’d always shared his general ledgers with me,” says Wilke, the 42-year-old wealth management advisor and founder of Wilke Wealth and Investment Planning. “They were logical and gave me comfort. I was handling my parents’ tax returns by the time I was 12.”  

As she got older, however, Wilke found she was an anomaly. Not only was her field dominated by men, but so was her client base. While most men easily discussed money matters, Wilke found that women considered the topic intimidating and taboo.

Wilke decided to address the discrepancy by hiring women and educating them, too. Two years ago, Wilke created Wine, Women & Wealth, a quarterly seminar that has taught over 200 women how to take control of their financial futures. “One day, I hope to see every woman walking a little bit taller because she feels confident about money,” says Wilke. Until that happens, Wilke is here to help. 


Melinda Wilke is one of the 2020 recipients of a Betty Award. Each year, Milwaukee Magazine presents these awards as a tribute to the late Betty Quadracci, the magazine’s former publisher who founded Quad/Graphics with her husband Harry. Read more about this year’s honorees here


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s November issue.

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