Charmaine (Fischer) Ponkratz '77

2011 P.E. MacAllister Distinguished Alumna Award for Service to Carroll

Known for her allegiance and love for Carroll, Charmaine (Fischer) Ponkratz '77 has dedicated nearly 25 years of her time and talents advancing Carroll's mission of providing a superior educational opportunity to students focused on career preparation and lifelong learning.

It was amid a campus tour of Carroll during a college visit day that Charmaine decided Carroll was the place for her. The personalized approach set Carroll apart from the rest and that continued throughout her learning and studies. She credits Dr. Joseph Hemmer, the late professor emeritus of communications, and Dr. Ernie Inveiss, professor emeritus of business, for the critical skills they helped her develop to express oneself with the written word and articulate one's point of view.

Charmaine graduated in 1977.  She accomplished this achievement in three years, earning a double major in business administration and communication. She was also very much involved in campus life participating in activities such as Freshman Orientation Committee, Business Club, Student Senate, Coordinating Council, Student Services Area Council, Student Publications Committee, January Term Committee, January Social Committee, Delta Sigma Nu, Scroll, Sigma Epsilon Sigma, Dean's List, recipient of the James L. Browning Award, Alpha Xi Delta and Kappa Delta Pi.

Her dual majors served her well as Charmaine pursued a career in the field of bank marketing at a time when the industry was undergoing deregulation and was beginning to understand the principles of differentiated product offerings and service levels. Charmaine is the retired Vice-President of Marketing from Marshall and Ilsley Corporation. During her banking career she was active in the Wisconsin Bankers Association and served as a faculty member for several professional schools sponsored by the WBA.

Wanting to give back, Charmaine reengaged with her alma mater as a member of the Alumni Council only a few years after her graduation.  Her dedication continued as an active member of the Carroll Board of Trustees from 1988 to 2008 as well as serving on the Business Advisory Council, and as a guest lecturer in the communication department.  In 2009, Charmaine was re-elected to the Carroll University Board of Trustees.

Charmaine and her husband Gary celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with their five children and spouses in Aruba in 2011.  She is blessed with 10 grandchildren and is very hopeful that one grandchild will end up going to Carroll someday. 

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