University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumnus Corey Vanderpoel ’99, of Hartford, is a hard worker both inside the office and out. He will be honored in October for early success in the finance field and his involvement in volunteer organizations with a 2014 Alumni Association Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
As a student at UW Oshkosh, Vanderpoel was an active member of Beta Gamma Sigma. His involvement on campus and his academic achievements led him to be selected to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
Vanderpoel graduated with honors and earned his bachelor’s degree in management information systems with a finance emphasis. After graduation, Vanderpoel worked as a software consultant for Greenbrier & Russel, a Milwaukee firm specializing in software development.
He then went on to pursue his master’s in business administration at Marquette University. After graduation in 2006, Vanderpoel transitioned his career from software development to finance.
“By demonstrating a passion for the industry, gaining the trust of some of Wisconsin’s most recognized business owners and successfully completing transactions, I was quickly able to evolve to become principal of a Milwaukee-based investment firm in less than seven years,” Vanderpoel said.
As principal of Mertz Associates, Vanderpoel was responsible for marketing the firm’s experience to secure new clients, conducting seminars and leading projects that consulted with companies on acquisitions and sales.
While working at Mertz Associates, Vanderpoel worked closely with Tom Magulski. Vanderpoel took the lead to help Magulski in discussions with a potential partner for a company that they owned.
“Quickly and effortlessly, he came to understand the essence of our business—financial and strategic—and perfectly captured it in discussions with a potential partner,” Magulski said. “Corey’s leadership and plan execution were outstanding.”
In 2011, Vanderpoel began working as the director of Baker Tilly Capital, a firm that focuses on mid-market mergers and acquisitions (M&A). His expertise was soon discovered by Schenck M&A Solutions, and in 2013 he was hired as the managing director.
“I co-lead a team of investment bankers and have been involved in hundreds of company sales and acquisitions, mostly for transactions up to $100 million,” Vanderpoel said. “On a daily basis, my role utilizes a broad set of skills, including finance, negotiations, sales, marketing, research, communication, operations management, human resources and information technology.”
Vanderpoel leads projects for both domestic and foreign clients and has had the opportunity to represent clients in China, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. He also is responsible for leading sell-side and buy-side marketing and administration. He serves on the Schenck Vision Committee to develop and communicate the firm’s vision, mission and culture.
Vanderpoel is a registered investment banking representative and has passed the FINRA Series 63, 82 and 79 exams. He has written numerous articles and conducted presentations about mergers and acquisitions, driving company value and empowering workforces.
In addition to his success in his field, Vanderpoel has been involved in volunteer activities. For the last six years, he has served on the Board of Directors and is the current treasurer for HOPE Network, a nonprofit organization in Milwaukee that provides support for single mothers.
He also has volunteered for AbilityConnection, an organization that focuses on providing opportunities for people with disabilities to pursue careers in information technology. This organization was formerly associated with Goodwill Industries.
His desire to succeed, as well as to give back to his community, comes from lessons he learned at UW Oshkosh.
“The greatest lesson I learned while at UWO was two-fold,” Vanderpoel said. “First, reputation is important, and second, people count on you. Through the substantial amount of group projects administered through the information technology curriculum, I became well aware of how best to work on a team, how to rely on others and how to build trust and allow others to rely on you.”
Vanderpoel’s family, coworkers, colleagues and friends have watched him advance in the field and have seen his generosity shine through. These are qualities that Jeffrey Schmitz, who nominated Vanderpoel for the award, believes make him an ideal candidate for the award.
“With a base of education and skills developed while at UW Oshkosh and a continued drive for professional development and giving back to others, Corey exhibits the behavior of an outstanding alumnus,” Schmitz said.
And it all began at UW Oshkosh where Vanderpoel gained the foundational skills that led to his accomplishments. “Forever, I will think of UWO as the foundation for my professional achievements, academic learning and personal values,” he said.
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