JoAnne Brandes is a founder and senior fellow of the Carroll University Center for Leadership Excellence. She is an attorney; an outside board member of several corporations; and speaker and consultant specializing in leadership development, corporate structure and governance, cultural transformation, and change management. JoAnne retired after a 25+ year career with the S.C. Johnson family of companies as Executive Vice President, CAO, General Counsel, and Secretary of JohnsonDiversey, Inc. She was responsible for all legal matters, Human Resources, Communications, Public Affairs, and administration for the company and its over 65 international and domestic subsidiaries. JoAnne was a member of the company’s management committee and had major responsibility for the company’s acquisition and integration of global companies adding over $2 billion in sales. She was named "Working Mother of the Year? by Working Mother magazine in 1994 for her work in developing corporate child care and other family friendly programs for employees.
JoAnne is currently a Trustee of Carroll University; Chair of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation Board, and a member of the Strategic Planning Committee; as well as a member of the UW-Eau Claire Chancellor’s Council. Her current directorships include: Andersen Windows Corporation; Bemis Manufacturing Corporation; Metrix, Inc.; Highlights for Children, Inc.; and Optique Funds (formerly JohnsonFamily Funds). Past directorships included: Bright Horizons Family Solutions; Alternative Resources Corporation; and St. Luke’s Hospital and Medical Center. She is also a past regent of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents.
JoAnne graduated from Willamette University College of Law with a Doctorate of Jurisprudence degree, and from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire with a BA degree in Journalism and Political Science.
JoAnne has been the recipient of many awards and honors, most recently receiving the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Lifetime Excellence Award in 2009, and the State of Wisconsin Friend of Education Award in 2006.