OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
Andy Gronik launched StageW™ for two reasons: To give the people of Wisconsin a voice, and to expose what is silencing that voice.
He loves Wisconsin and wants to help make living here better for everyone, which is true of a lot of people but Andy is uniquely able to do something about it. Andy knows how to create jobs. He has done it.
Andy Gronik, Founder & President
Andy’s professional success has been in business. After college he worked with Quaker Oats before returning to Wisconsin to grow his dad’s company. In a short time he expanded his dad’s business to national prominence by fundamentally changing the way the company served clients and helping to create the standards used by banks nationwide to lend money on machinery and inventory. Eventually Andy cofounded his own appraisal, consulting, asset management and disposition companies and grew them to international significance. Andy’s business helped companies grow and create jobs by providing the services needed to borrow money and improve profitability. His reputation as an expert opened doors to travel across the world to promote ideas and standards to advance trade and education with other nations.
Read More >
Andy can have a thoughtful conversation with business leaders in over 100 industries. His deep understanding of their needs is the product of having worked with talented people throughout all aspects of thousands of manufacturing operations across the world. Here are just a few of Wisconsin’s major employers served by Andy’s companies during his 35-year career:
• Allen Edmonds
• Ariens Co (Simplicity)
• Briggs & Stratton Corp
• BRP (Bombardier)
• Cargill Meat Solutions
• Caterpillar (Bucyrus)
• Con Agra Foods Inc.
• Kraft Foods
• General Electric Corporation
• GE Healthcare
• Grassland Dairy Products, Inc.
• Harley-Davidson, Inc.
• Johnson Controls
• Joy Global
• Ladish Company
• Manitowoc Company
• MarquipWard United
• Mercury Marine
• Miller Compressing
• Oshkosh Corporation
• Quad/Graphics, Inc.
• Rexnord Industries
• Sargento Foods, Inc.
Andy created his first job in 2nd grade when he filled his coaster wagon with rocks and sold them door-to- door for a penny apiece. From there he caddied, washed dishes, bagged groceries, waited tables, swept factory floors, cleaned machinery and coached football. School wasn’t easy. He struggled with reading in particular, and barely made it into college. Once he got into college, however, he excelled and eventually found his way through UW-Milwaukee to the University of Georgia where he threw discus, setting the school record that he held until his teammates next throw 10 minutes later.
Andy knows how important it is for schools to have the resources needed to reach every student. His struggles and successes in education are reminders of what is possible and what can be done.
Wisconsin is home for Andy, his wife Mary and their two young children. He is committed to bringing people together who also love Wisconsin in order to see our state reach its potential. To bring unity, clarity and purpose back to our state.
Center stage was built for you. Please get involved.
Mark H. Iola, Chief Operating Officer
Mark has dedicated his entire professional life to turning the spotlight on people so they have a voice. He fights every day for people who can’t fight for themselves. He helps kids find their way in life and helps fund their way to college. Mark knows how to bring people together and he knows how to make the quality of life better in Wisconsin.
Read More >
Mark began his law career after graduating from George Washington University in 1979 with a B.A. degree and the University of Oklahoma in 1982 with a J.D. degree. He immediately began fighting asbestos companies for his grandfather’s law firm, representing labor union workers in the early days of asbestos litigation. Mark has an extensive history representing asbestos cancer victims and their families who are seeking fair compensation for their injuries, as well as representing and supporting other law firms as they fight on behalf of mesothelioma victims.
Mark has worked to provide educational opportunities to disadvantaged young people, serving as a Big Brother and founding board president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma. He has established the Mark H. Iola Scholarship to help little Brothers and Sisters pursue their educational goals when they graduate from the program. The scholarship program is one of the largest of its kind in the United States.
A former high school and college debater, Mark was the executive producer of “Resolved,” an award-winning feature-length documentary film on high school debate. The movie has inspired kids around the world to get involved in debate programs and advance onto successful professional careers after college. He is active in DFW Pug Rescue, an avid alpine skier and a master at the preparation of smoked meats and BBQ sauces.
Mark wants to help turn the spotlight on in Wisconsin. He sees the people of our state suffering the consequences of misguided policies and knows job growth and world-class education both begin with thought leadership. Mark sees this as a critical time and wants to give voice back to hard-working men and women so they are empowered to fight for a better future in our state. He has stepped onto StageW as a shining example of a person who wants to see Wisconsin shine. Mark gets involved.
Mary Gronik, Secretary/Treasurer
Mary knows all about giving people a voice. She regularly works with young women to help foster confidence, advance their job skills and prepare them for successful lives. As a lifetime Wisconsin resident and mother, Mary believes in a brighter future for Wisconsin and wants to make it a better place to live, work and receive the world’s best education.
Read More >
Mary excelled during her 15-year professional career as a public relations consultant, serving well-known companies throughout Wisconsin and the United States. As a college student, steel-toe boots were required for her first job at the Oak Creek Power Plant where she distributed parts and supplies to mechanics from the storeroom. A classically trained pianist, Mary worked as an accompanist in high school and a piano teacher in college.
Mary currently serves on the board of the Miss Wisconsin Organization, a state preliminary for the Miss America Organization, one of the nation’s leading achievement programs and the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Almost all of the young women competing for the title of Miss Wisconsin receive scholarship grants to further their education. By being crowned Miss Wisconsin 1985, Mary was able to graduate debt-free from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Mary has served as the southeastern Wisconsin regional field director for the Miss Wisconsin Organization for more than 20 years. In 1988, she was selected by the United Service Organization and Department of Defense to travel throughout the Mediterranean, meeting and entertaining military troops.
In 2002, Mary left her career to start a family. Mary and Andy are proud parents of two young children. Mary was born and raised in St. Francis, Wisconsin.