Mount Mary alum receives Business Journal Women of Influence Award


Marjorie Rucker ’00, executive director of The Business Council Inc., will be recognized for her community support in the 2020 Milwaukee Business Journal Women of Influence awards.

The Women of Influence event will take place virtually on Friday, Sept. 25.

Driven by a passion for social justice, community advocacy and service, Rucker actively works to increase business opportunities for diverse communities, effectively changing the social and economic landscape for marginalized populations.

For six years, Rucker has led The Business Council, a membership association affiliated with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) that matches diverse businesses— businesses that are owned by women, LGBTQ+, veteran and ethnically diverse populations—with corporations and public sector entities who are looking to diversify their business partnerships. Through this work, the Council drives economic growth in diverse communities, which ultimately leads to increased revenue generation, a larger workforce and increased education throughout Wisconsin.

Since 2005, the Council has helped its members produce at least $170 million dollars of business worldwide. Members range across 31 industries including construction, logistics, health & human services and technology.

“My job is to make sure diverse businesses are getting what they need to be successful so they can secure those opportunities to then grow and serve the community,” Rucker said.

Rucker is also chair of the Ethnic and Diverse Business Coalition, which works to change the ecosystem of business opportunities by advocating for or against policies that are harmful or beneficial for ethnic and diverse businesses. The Coalition also creates shared memberships among business members to increase their supplying power. 

The work requires leadership skills, confidence and a passion for service, all of which she credits to gaining through her Mount Mary education. Rucker graduated from Mount Mary University in 2000 with a degree in history.

“If it weren’t for Mount Mary, I don’t think I would have had the confidence to succeed,” Rucker said. “Being surrounded by women and many nontraditional students in age and background really opened my eyes to the world and what I could achieve.”