Women of Distinction 2019: Marybeth Cottrill & DeVona Wright Cottrell

It is Milwaukee Magazine’s pleasure to introduce this special section featuring female business owners, financial and spiritual leaders, health care professionals, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and all-around glass-ceiling breakers!

As board members of TEMPO Milwaukee, DeVona Wright Cottrell (director and associate general counsel at Baird) and Marybeth Cottrill (director and private wealth adviser at BMO Wealth  Management) are committed to advancing women’s careers in the Milwaukee area. “I realize that my success did not happen in a vacuum,” says Wright Cottrell. “I benefited from the shoulders of my faith and other giants in my life.”

Cottrill feels similarly and counts TEMPO Milwaukee members among her closest friends. “They are inspiring forces of nature and the best of mirrors – reflecting and sending the truth back to me to consider and take action,” she says. Cottrill admits she tends to be impatient the minute she spots opportunities for change, wanting to get started immediately. What’s worked for Cottrill is to begin in her own way: “I direct that energy to work collaboratively for solutions,” she says.

“My purpose is to leave a positive and lasting impact on every person I encounter.” – DeVona Wright Cottrell, Board Member, TEMPO Milwaukee

Q&A with Marybeth Cottrill & DeVona Wright Cottrell

How are you a force within your community?

Wright Cottrell: “I utilize my gifts, talents and skills to build a runway that allows others to see light when surrounded by darkness. I create impact by creating opportunities where I can excel and bring others along. To whom much is given, much is required, and I am incredibly blessed and determined to pay it forward.”

Cottrill: “Whether working as a volunteer, at the office or at home, I try to be present and ready to help others. It is my goal to be a thoughtful volunteer-leader, colleague, adviser and friend who is willing to listen, ask tough questions and call it like I see it, so collectively we can improve our community for others and ourselves.”

What is your life purpose?

Wright Cottrell: “To leave a positive and lasting impact on every person I encounter. I live out this purpose in my role as a leader in my career, family and in the community through my focus on excellence, education, access for all and empowerment of women and girls.”

Cottrill: “My purpose in life is to embrace my skills to engage with others, learn about them, and help them be the best of themselves. Each day, I love to help people determine their opportunities and challenges, prioritize, and focus on making their dreams come true.”

Click Here to Read More of This Year’s Women of Distinction



A seasoned writer, and a former editor at Milwaukee Home & Fine Living, Kristine Hansen launched her wine-writing career in 2003, covering wine tourism, wine and food pairings, wine trends and quirky winemakers. Her wine-related articles have published in Wine Enthusiast, Sommelier Journal, Uncorked (an iPad-only magazine), FoodRepublic.com, CNN.com and Whole Living (a Martha Stewart publication). She's trekked through vineyards and chatted up winemakers in many regions, including Chile, Portugal, California (Napa, Sonoma and Central Coast), Canada, Oregon and France (Bordeaux and Burgundy). While picking out her favorite wine is kind of like asking which child you like best, she will admit to being a fan of Oregon Pinot Noir and even on a sub-zero winter day won't turn down a glass of zippy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.