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joan haering Braun, BUS AD '58

Joan Haering Braun

It wasn’t easy for Joan Haering Braun to pursue her accounting degree in the 1950s. Academic advisers discouraged her from joining the male-dominated program, and she had to take a national exam to prove that she could handle it.

But Joan wasn’t deterred, and her accounting degree opened many doors in her professional career and volunteer work. For nearly 20 years, Joan served as executive vice president of the Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association of Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin, where she gained national respect for her work in labor relations and contract negotiations. In 2003, the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Construction Club honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Joan now consults in the Milwaukee area and continues to serve as the executive director of operations for the Labor and Management Health Care Coalition of Wisconsin.

She’s proud to have worked on behalf of union employers and union leaders.

“These are people who are committed to just wages, health and retirement benefits and educational and safety training that assure high quality-of-life standards for the thousands of men and women who do the work of this industry,” she says.

She’s driven by another reason, too. “I believe I can make a difference.”

And not only at work. Joan has been active in her parishes, St. Sebastian’s, the Milwaukee Archdiocese, and currently, St. John’s Cathedral, as well as numerous other community groups. It’s one way she lives out the mission of her alma mater.

“One cannot speak of Marquette without referencing the wonderful and important influences of the Jesuits,” she says. “The gift of faith granted to me was strongly reinforced and my spiritual development expanded thanks to these dedicated men.”

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