Local Business Owners Pay It Forward on the Wausau Campus
Friday, Mar 17, 2023
Jeff and Amy Plier’s commitment to the Wausau Campus can be traced back to their own higher education journeys that ultimately helped them achieve their business goals as owners of Wausau Container Corporation, a successful local manufacturer.
That is why they pay it forward now as prominent financial supporters of the UW Wausau Campus Foundation and students on the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) Wausau Campus. They tell their story in this short Q&A with foundation director Brad Zweck.
Q: Many of our foundation supporters have a connection with the Wausau Campus that goes back many years. What is the origin of your engagement with the Wausau Campus and/or the UW System?
A: We are especially fond of the Wausau Campus because Jeff and I are both graduates of UW-Marathon County. We were both well prepared by top-notch professors and successfully completed our bachelor’s degrees at UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stevens Point respectively.
Q: Wausau Container Corp. has been a high-profile presenting sponsor of our foundation's annual Giving Tuesday campaign in recent years. Why did your company decide to take this leadership role?
A: We took the lead on supporting Giving Tuesday because we know that many students have significant financial need. Scholarship funds are critical since many of our Wausau campus students are first-generation and non-traditional students, working several jobs to pay for college. Our support helps students to discover their purpose in life which is important to us.
Q: What role should the Wausau Campus play in helping to meet the needs of local business leaders and their workers?
A: A key to successfully recruiting and retaining local talent is for students to start their education here and stay here. By providing students with internship opportunities, local business leaders can help students find their place. Additionally, with record numbers of upper management retiring, many companies are looking to promote younger workers from within. The Wausau Campus offers several bachelor’s degree programs and an MBA program for those aspiring to move into these positions.
Q: Amy, as past president of the foundation board, you remain very active with the foundation. What is the key difference the foundation can make for our campus and community in the next few years?
A: A priority for the Foundation is to continue funding scholarships for students to achieve their educational goals. Expanded bachelor’s and master’s degree programs on the Wausau Campus will assist the local business community in educating, recruiting and retaining employees. The Foundation’s ongoing support of the campus also gives students access to a highly desirable UW education right here in Wausau.