We are honored to welcome John Hevey to the WAVE Advisory Board this spring! John has a strong relationship with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an impressive background in corporate accounting, strategy and private investment. We are thrilled he is joining the board and are extremely grateful for his dedication to the program, the University, and our students.
John received his BBA (1979) and MBA (1981) in Finance from University of Wisconsin-Madison and also became a Certified Public Accountant at that time. After graduation, John joined the tax department of Arthur Young. For over eight years he worked with numerous individual and corporate clients including Harley-Davidson (HD) and Kohl’s Department Stores. While he enjoyed working with his clients, he wanted to engage in more business decisions and looked for opportunities in business strategy. He advanced to Senior Tax Manager at then Ernst & Young, but decided to accept a job at HD. At HD John became Manager of International Finance setting up foreign subsidiaries, managing foreign exchange trading and gaining international business experience. Always looking to learn and grow as a manager, John took an opportunity to grow HD’s business in the Asia Pacific region in the mid-1990s. John focused on developing dealer and distribution networks while expanding the brand to bring Harley culture to the market. With strong results in Asia Pacific, John expanded his leadership to include the Latin America region as well. Looking for a new challenge, John moved to a struggling Harley subsidiary in the 2000s, as President of Buell Motorcycle Company. At Buell he focused on simplifying the product lines, encouraging engineering innovation, increasing sales and negotiating with factory workers over two union organizing drives. John finished his career at HD as Vice President of Strategic Planning & New Business Development.
After nearly 17 years at HD, John joined Hilco Valuation Services, LLC as Vice President managing over 100 valuations in support of asset-based loans across a variety of industries. Concurrently, John founded Birch Avenue Investments, LLC which specializes in traditional portfolio management, private equity investments, and early-stage angel investments. While John was serving on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Wisconsin School of Business, he was introduced to the Madison-based Wisconsin Investment Partners (WIP). John has invested with the angel group since 2008. He has also served as a mentor and investor at gener8tor since the accelerator’s inception. Additionally, John is the Chairman of LaunchLKN a non-profit fostering entrepreneurial activity through mentor/entrepreneur relationship building in the Lake Norman region of Charlotte, NC. He also serves on the Board of the Special Olympics of North Carolina.
Recently, John became one of our generous Wisconsin Forward Partners. The Wisconsin Forward Partners Fund helps make the Weinert Center programs accessible to all students and also assists in increasing the quality of student training and experience. John chose to give financially to the center because he always appreciated the background and skills he gained during his time at the University. Entrepreneurship is near to his heart and John feels confident in the direction Dean Samba, Dan Olszewski, and Martin Ganco are leading the Wisconsin School of Business and the Weinert Center. Johns says he looks forward to being deeply involved with the Center for years to come and is particularly interested in working with students early in their business ideation process. John is committed to coaching the next generation of startups and we are extremely fortunate to have him on the WAVE Advisory Board.
Donations made to the Forward Fund support the center’s annual operations, expansion of our programs, and have an immediate impact on the opportunities that we can provide our students. More information about the fund is available here.