Alumnus of the Year – 2001

Marty F. Stein

Marty Stein graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy in 1959 and founded Stein Drugs in 1961. In 1979, the drug chain was sold to the Walgreen Company. Stein Optical was founded in 1979 and on March 31, 1998 merged with Vision Twenty-One (a Florida based company). Ultimately, on August 31, 1999, all of the optical stores were sold to a Texas firm, Eye Care Centers of America. Marty’s civic and philanthropic activities encompass a wide spectrum, which include work with local, national and international organizations.

Locally, Marty served as a member of the Executive Council of the Hunger Task Force and is currently Campaign Chairman of the Fondy Market project. He chaired the United Way Campaign in 1991 and was President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee from 1993 to 1995. He is past Chairman of the Executives Council and a past Board Member for the Task Force on Family Violence. Marty is a past President of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin and currently is a Board Member of Junior Achievement, Inc. and serves as Secretary/Treasurer of J. A. International. In addition, Marty chaired the campaign to build the new Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and serves as Chairman of the Board of the Jewish Home and Care Center Foundation. Because of Marty’s strong belief to develop greater understanding and appreciation for all of our ethnicities, he chaired the America’s Black Holocaust Museum’s capital campaign.

Marty agreed to co-chair a two-year project, the Wisconsin’s Promise, with First Lady Sue Ann Thompson in October 1997. The mission of the Summit was to implement the five national goals of America’s Promise. Marty served as President of the National Community Service Board of Wisconsin and chaired the fund-raising campaign for the New Hope Project (welfare reform). He chaired the $15 million fund-raising campaign to build a new Pharmacy School in Madison and is a founder of the Citizens Democracy Corps Business Entrepreneur Program based in Washington, D.C. which provides business mentoring in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Also on the national level, Marty is past Campaign Chairman and Chairman of the Board of the United Jewish Appeal and currently serves on its Board of Trustees. In 1984, he chaired the Operation Moses campaign, which rescued Ethiopian Jews and brought them to Israel.

Marty sits on the Board of Directors of Koss Corporation and is a director on the Northwestern Mutual Life’s Series Fund and Mason Street Funds Board.

In 1991, Marty was named Man of the Year by the Harvard Business School Alumni Club and received the Junior Achievement National Gold Leadership Award. In 1992, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree from Cardinal Stritch College and in 1993 was awarded the Mentor Award by TEMPO. In 1995, Marty received the Silver Medallion Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and the Bowl of Hygeia Award from the Wisconsin Pharmaceutical Association. On August 8, 1999, Governor Thompson presented the “Distinguished Service to States” Award to Marty at the National Governors Association Annual Meeting. This award honors the incredible commitment made by ordinary citizens to public service and community activism. On April 4, 2001, Marty was inducted into the Junior Achievement Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame as one of its laureates.

Marty is the proud father of two grown sons and the grandfather of three beautiful granddaughters.

In a recent interview, when Marty was asked to comment on the importance of community involvement, he responded: “The world will never change unless we each take a piece of it, determine what is wrong and make it right.”